Second Year Blog

2nd Year Blog

Welcome back and a very happy New Year! We hope that you are refreshed and ready for 2017!

The boys certainly seemed to have enjoyed the Christmas break and made the most of the time off. Jack Pearce  went to Ireland, Huw Harris and Sohan Sodhi both went to Wales, while Sam Cummings went to Yorkshire. Oliver Glenn climbed up Hellvellyn in the Lake District with his dog, his uncles and his cousin. Oliver says: there was a really amazing view above the clouds and of the lakes.  Ben Wix didn’t go away, however on Christmas Day he participated in the Park Run at Bushy Park. According to Ben: There was a great atmosphere and well over 1000 people participating, most of whom were festively dressed up in Santa hats and elf costumes. Although we didn’t get the fastest time it was a really great way to start Christmas Day.  Theo Wedge received tickets to the Harlequins match. The match was played at Twickenham on 27th December, where Harlequins fielded a strong side which narrowly beat Gloucester 29-24. Meanwhile Joshua Ross was busy learning about lemons!  He explains:

On 15th of December I went to the Royal Institution to be in the audience for the

filming of one of the BBC Christmas lectures. The subject for the lecture was

‘Supercharged: Fuelling the Future’ and it was given by Prof Saiful Islam of Bath

University. During the lecture the World Record was broken for the largest lemon

battery – 1,008 lemons were used, each cut in half to produce 2,016 sections. After

that we found out that it took a whopping 800 AA batteries to charge your mobile

phone for a year! The last experiment was a huge explosion that was fantastic as it

sent hundreds of ping-pong balls flying all over the lecture theatre. Finally, it was

incredible to be on the telly!  Joshua Ross


Jai Saha had a very musical break: he received a keyboard on Christmas day and has since started teaching himself to play some songs that he likes.  After Christmas he was joined by James Bantick and Luke Michels, so that the trio could rehearse for the rock concert. Jai was on the drums, Luke was on the keyboard, and James was on the guitar.  Jai was not the only Second Year to have a musically themed break, as some talented Hampton chorists had the opportunity to sing for the Queen!  Many thanks to Jake Costen for this report:

On the morning of the 21st of December, the choir of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace (which includes Jake Costen & Xavi Murtagh and the choir of the Chapel Royal of St James’ Palace went to Buckingham Palace to sing in a Christmas Concert. This was recorded live and played directly after the Queen’s Christmas message on Classic FM on Christmas Day. Before making the recording, we were lucky enough to get a tour around the palace. We went round the gardens and saw the Royal Corgies and we went round the house and saw the beautiful chandeliers and ornate furniture. Unfortunately, we did not meet the Queen, since she was in bed with a cold. Neither did she come to our concert! It was a very exciting day for all of us, especially as recording live meant no second chances. It was exciting for my parents as well, as they were invited to the recording in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace.  Jake Costen

We also take this opportunity to congratulate Jake on achieving a Merit in his Grade 6 Violin at the end of last term and to congratulate Dylen Singah who achieved a distinction in his recent ABRSM Grade 7 Piano examination.

Lots of families used the break as an opportunity to travel abroad.  Samaksh Agarwal went all the way to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.  Kyle Seth travelled to sunny and beautiful Mauritius with his mother and relatives and did lots of fun activities there such as water-skiing, snorkelling and ping-pong.  Sandy Mitchell  won a coconut in the backwards race during the annual beach races on New Year’s Day in New Zealand.  Milo Heard spent Christmas with his mum’s side of the family before jetting off to New York for New Year! Milo says: We did lots of things there like going to Times Square and going up the One World trade center 9/11 memorial. We went to an NBA basketball game and we saw the New York Knicks play Orlando Magic. Milo also had a rehearsal for the play Tin Pan Ali, on the day before school started.  Billy Atkinson spent the Christmas holidays visiting his grandparents in Middlesbrough. When he came back he went on holiday to Marrakesh in Morocco, after which he came back and played lots of sport and tried to get fit again after all the eating over Christmas.  Ethan Knight went to Coventry to visit his dad’s side of the family, then went skiing in Serre Chevalier with the School.

Ethan was joined by 13 other Second Years on this year’s Junior Ski Trip.  The boys had a wonderful time, as Louis and Alex explain here:

On the Saturday when we broke up from school we were up at 3:00 am to go to Hampton to catch an early flight to Geneva and then take a four-hour bus to Serre Chevalier. Once we were there we checked in and fitted our boots. For the next week we skied all day and in the evenings we had room checks. The winners got free drinks the next day. At the end of the week the room with the most wins got to have a day skiing with any twelve friends. Our room (Freddie Seddon, Amar Mukherjee and me, Louis Middleton) won. On the final day prizes were given out. There was the nearest death experience award (Freddie Seddon won that), the biggest slam award and there were various most improved awards. Then we had another early morning for the four-hour journey and then the flight back home. We all had a brilliant time.  Louis Middleton

We built up our ability to ski every day and did fun things in the evenings, like bowling and Winter Olympics. It was also funny seeing people fall over numerous of times. My favourite was when Max Broughton (2W) fell over 3 times in a row. His last fall of the three was when he slid down a few meters on one ski and fell over off piste. That made the skiing trip much funnier. But I wasn’t the only one who laughed and fell over. In my group of the beginners, everyone fell down at least once. I did a belly flop as I went down a small steep slope. In the evenings, we had room checks and the winner got a free drink token and the loser had to clean up the plates at breakfast. Unluckily, I had to do it one day. On the last day, beginners were given the chance to do a black run. Luckily no one fell over and everyone made it down safely. We then went back to the hotel and gave back our ski poles, skis and helmets. After supper, we had a prize giving. I managed to get the prize for most forgetful, because every morning I forgot something and had to go straight up back to my room to get it. But at least I managed to get something good.  Finally, on Christmas Eve, we woke up at 5:00 (local time) and had breakfast. We said thank you to the staff, not forgetting to give them champagne and a large box of chocolates.  We arrived safely at Gatwick and got picked up by our families there. Thank you very much Mr Clarke for organizing this trip and all the staff that came with us.  Alex Lloyd

Some of 2W’s skiers also share their thoughts:

In the holidays I went on the ski trip with school, it was incredible. It was really nice to ski with my friends and see what they were like at skiing. It was also a great opportunity to get to know people better who I don’t usually talk to.  Fergus MacEacharn

In my Christmas holidays I went on the ski trip. As a beginner I was very excited and I really enjoyed the trip because the resort was nice and we skied down lots of different parts of the mountains.  Luke McNamara

During the first week of the Christmas Holidays, I went on the ski trip with school to Serre Chevalier in France. It was very fun using chair lifts and gondolas and at one point we skied down the end of a black run at the end which was amazing as I had never been skiing on snow before that.  Maximilian Bublik

Sounds brrriliant!


It has been a busy first week back for the Second Years who have enjoyed language taster lessons to help them with their Third Year option decision making. Here’s what they thought:

I enjoyed the French taster session we had today during German. We learnt some basic sentences, for example “Je m’appelle …” which means “My name is …”. We also learnt some foods, like “escargot” which means “snail”. We had to try and name the famous French people in the pictures the teacher showed us. These included Asterix, and several football managers (whose names I have forgotten, because I am not very interested in football managers!).  The teacher was very nice, and he made us laugh.  Jake Costen

 I am deeply grateful for the second year language taster classes.  They have given myself and my peers far greater insight and clarity into the complex and important decision that is our Third Year subject choices.  They have also shed greater light upon the languages themselves and their respective bonuses whilst remaining entertaining and fun for the class throughout. As a member of a French class, after our week of taster subjects, I have decided to pick up Spanish with intentions to keep it through my GCSEs and I can safely say that without the classes this decision would not have been as easy for me as it was. Overall, it was a fantastic experience that shall surely aid me in my Hampton career. Nathan Newell (2H)
Some boys have started the year in excellent style: by picking up merit certificates!  This week we congratulate Leo Garcia (10 merits), Ben Grahame (20 merits) and Sohan Sodhi (30 merits).  Keep up the good work, boys!


Finally, we hear from Fred Darley who participated in last term’s architecture workshop, organised by Ms Kirby and run by architect Philip Wells. After lots of experiments and exploration of material the boys made full-scale pieces designed to be shelters of some sort.  The boys made some fantastic pieces, designed for different purposes such as; a gaming pod, a star gazing shelter, a beach shelter. All of this was inspired by trying to create a 3-D structure from a flat piece of card.  Huge thanks to Philip for giving his time so generously.

For the last six weeks of term some of the Second Years had an architecture workshop. On the first week the architect, Phil, showed us some buildings and taught us about the different parts of a building. He then let us experiment with different techniques for making structures out of paper.  In week two we continued to experiment in this way.  In the third week we were told to get into groups and design and prototype something we would build life size. For homework we drew designs and wrote about our inspiration.  Over the next three weeks we worked on recreating our designs life-size. A professional photographer came in and took pictures of us working. We learnt a lot during this period as we were forced to keep changing designs because plastic doesn’t work like paper and we had to do a lot of problem solving.  George Sanders and I finished ours just in time for the art exhibition. We built it out of correx (corrugated plastic). When the art exhibition finally came all but one of the shelters had been finished. We all said a big thank you to Phil for giving up lots of his free time to work with us.  Fred Darley