Fans of less mainstream musical instruments had a real treat last Friday at the first ever Hampton School Rare Beasts Showcase Concert. The Rare Beasts programme is the brainchild of Director of Music Mr Donald, and aims to train up some of our younger boys to play instruments traditionally under-represented in the orchestras at the top end of the School. I am delighted that so many First Years – some already very competent musicians on other instruments, some complete novices – have risen to the challenge. It was a pleasure to hear Luke Michels, James Wiley, Oskar Zieleznik and Rishi Patel (violas), Edward Finnett (oboe), Lucas Carbajal (French horn), Luke Jansen (bassoon) and Kristoffer Olofsson (tuba). I am sure the Rare Beasts programme will continue to be a great success, and I look forward to orchestral concerts in a few years’ time in which sousaphones outnumber violins by 5 to 1, and flutes are drowned out by a legion of dedicated cors anglais-ers. Also on the musical scene, Edward and Thomas Wykes were part of a highly successful jazz concert at Garrick’s Temple, on the banks of the river, on Saturday. Well done to all our musicians!

And well done to our athletes, some of whom competed in the first round of the English Schools’ Cup, at the Lee Valley Centre, on Monday. Thomas Ketel, Louis Middleton, Kabir Sait, Chris Hardy, Arthur Hopley and Ben Freer were part of the joint U12/U13 team that won the overall title – fantastic news! There has also been sporting success on the tennis court, with Rohan Vasudev and Billy Atkinson reaching the semi-finals for the Surrey Tennis Festival, with good wins over Hinchley Wood and Harrodian.

There were further good wins for our cricketers, with the U12A and B teams putting in impressive performances against Tiffin. Arjun Bhat and Zak Dyer were again in the runs for the As (39 and 33*), as we posted 149-8, and two wickets apiece for Thomas de Gruchy, Kyle Seth and Ollie Stokes restricted Tiffin to 58-8. Both Luke Bland and Abhi Sundaram retired on 30 for the Bs, and Aayan Sheikh scored 27, in an excellent 148-2, before an incisive bowling performance saw Tiffin dismissed for 26. Aayan, Fergus MacEacharn, Luke Michels and Billy Hutchings all took two wickets. And a good day for the Ethans in the Cs – Ethan Knight scored 39, and Ethan Clapham took two wickets as the U12Cs beat Fulham Boys’ School by ten wickets.

Mr Sims reports in glowing terms on the efforts of Alessandro Russell and Max Broughton at the Richmond Primary Schools’ Golf tournament at Hampton Court Golf Club yesterday. Alessandro and Max took responsibility for a game each, introducing the younger children to the rules of the game, helping coach them and generally assisting with the logistics of the event.

Last week we celebrated the sterling contribution of numerous First Years to Dr Ward’s cottage honey-producing industry, the Hampton Bee Keeping Club. This week, my unusual co-curricular award of the week goes to Ludo Bellamy and Zebedee Aylin, both of whom have taken up the challenge of attending Miss Carmichael’s Arabic Club. Well done boys!

Easan Gunarajah and Riyaaz Khan are two of our star chess players, and they have enjoyed very successful debut seasons. Easan was an integral part of the 2nd team that won the Third Division of the Surrey Schools’ Chess League, and Riyaaz played for the 3rd team that finished third in Fourth Division. The future of Hampton chess is clearly in good hands.

Just the two merit certificates to celebrate this week, and very well done to Vathshan Ramanakanthan (30 merits) and Kabir Sait (50 merits). And let me finish be saying what a pleasure it was to see so many of you at parents’ evening last night. I hope you found the experience to be useful, and that your sons’ subject teachers were able to give you some valuable feedback. If the evening has left you with any additional or follow-up queries, please do not hesitate to contact subject teachers, Form Tutors or me.

Mr J. Partridge