Encouraging the boys to make the most of the challenging work we put before them is a matter we consider almost every moment of every day at our School. Mr Barber and Mr Salt were in close alignment this week, as their assemblies both more or less explored the same aspect of how best to respond to the challenges we face along life’s journey. Mr Salt, with the able assistance of Ruark McDonald in Year 5, illustrated what a great difference to outcomes in matches that practising certain sporting skills again and again until they become almost automatic can make. Mr Barber shared how long it takes to form a positive, life changing habit. He emphasised how doing so could help us to face either a specific challenge or perhaps any number of challenges both at school and at home. The importance of both time and effort were the key dimensions the boys were inspired to consider by both gentlemen’s assemblies. In my assembly this week I stepped the boys through a challenge I had faced over the summer and how Mrs James came to my assistance with her excellent, habitually searching thinking, to help me out and solve my dilemma not just for me, but with me. Do ask your sons if they can recall the difference between “The Grape” and “The Garbo”, as I explained it to them on Monday…!
Friendship Champion Scheme:
At our School we rely on each other and we believe it is terribly important to foster this notion of mutual support across both the Pre-Prep & Prep by applying it in practical ways. To that end, on Wednesday morning in the Prep in her assembly aimed primarily at boys in Year 6, it was exciting for us all to see Mrs Mills launch her brand new ‘Friendship Champion Scheme’! The Year 6 Friendship Champions will make things happen: they will organise, communicate and get involved in activities at breaks and lunch times, by supporting boys in the younger years at the Prep to develop good friendships with each other. Specific tasks will include:
- Being role models for other boys across the school
- Leading others in a range of games and activities
- The Friendship Champions will (in small groups) deliver a presentation on the importance of friendships to Years 3, 4, and 5
- The Friendship Champions will be ‘on duty’ on the playground in small groups on different days and they may help to give out and monitor play equipment
We hope in time to extend the scheme to the Pre-Prep too. The Year 6 Friendship Champions will learn the essential skills of leadership. Communication, organisation and motivation will be key and naturally one of the aims of the scheme is for the Year 6 boys to grow in confidence and self-belief. Can we please ask parents of boys in Year 6 now to discuss the scheme at home this weekend and speak to Mrs Mills as soon as possible? Places are not limited to any set number of boys in Year 6 and of course, this will be a terrific aspect of school leadership in action for the Year 6 boys to raise when not only speaking to staff at senior schools this year, but also when they reach Year 7 in a year’s time!
Some may ask why we need a School Council at Hampton Prep? Amongst the many Articles set out within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Article 12 states that children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions considered. Mrs Lutz oversees our School Council, which is as serious a role for her as it is for the boys elected by their peers to be Councillors. The pupils who put themselves forward understand the role they will undertake if elected. In this role they aim to help develop and improve areas within the school and school day they feel could work better. Any School Council ought to provide meaningful ways in which pupils can voice their own opinions and have their own views considered in decisions which impact upon them. Our School Council is a forum therefore for our pupils to have their say, and to be heard by us all in a more formalised context. Since a School Council is a formal group within a school, with pupils elected by their peers to represent them and their views, an extra piece of prep was set for everyone recently. Pupils were asked to write a manifesto and then make a presentation to their class during our Life Skills sessions last Thursday. The names of those boys willing to be a representative for their class were forwarded to Mrs Lutz, who in turn produced a voting slip to be used the next day. The manifestoes were all very encouraging with many interesting ideas, aims and declarations. Voting took place on Friday morning during Form Time and votes were then counted. You will see below who will take office on the School Council this year. School Council will meet every fortnight to discuss events and changes and will feedback to the classes with any news from the meetings.
3H Edward Joliffe
3L Nico Liebster
4M Xander Lindsay
4W Joseph Beim
5B Aaron Drishti
5J Kailan Yathaven
6B Jasper Miles and Arin Patel
6S George Moria and Alfie Keller
News from Mr Salt, Head of Games:
Why do we value sportsmanship at Hampton Prep so much? I had the pleasure of refereeing an outstanding Year 5 football game on Wednesday. Every participant was extremely competitive and their desire to win was evident. The play was from end to end, with the ball crashing off posts and keepers pulling off great saves, and it was all played in an excellent spirit. The boys ruefully smiled at their own mistakes and congratulated the opposition on their fine skills. The teams laughed and joked with each other and took great pleasure in the tension of a close, hard fought game. Why does this spirit matter? Apart from the fact that we like to see the boys having fun, we as teachers want the boys to adopt attitudes in sport that will resonate through their wider lives. By respecting the rules, engaging with competitors, valuing competing as much as winning, and valuing intrinsic rewards as much as extrinsic, we hope our boys will eventually go out into society and, as well as achieving for themselves, contribute to society helping those around them and relishing the opportunities and challenges life shall give them. By fostering this attitude, we also hope our boys shall gain a wider and more nuanced understanding of what success is, and therefore be better able to recognise and reflect on the many opportunities there are to learn and grow in life. This is why, in short, we value the nature and quality of competitive sports so much here.