Second Year Blog

Let’s start where we left off – with news of this year’s Junior Musical Tin Pan Ali.  We are delighted to hear from two of the stars of the show, Tom and Ben, who have prepared these fabulous reports for us:

During the first half of the Autumn Term there were auditions for the play Tin Pan Ali. At first I admit that I was not very interested but then I heard that the director was the person who wrote it and has an OBE for services to young actors. This was such a great opportunity, so I auditioned. And I could not be more glad that I did as it was one of the most fun and satisfactory things that I’ve ever done. The buzz that you get at the end of the show is unique to anything else. And I am so lucky to have had the experience and I am sure that anyone else who did it with me would agree.” – Thomas Norman (2J)

“The week before half term, a few of us Second Years were lucky enough to be involved in the Junior Musical – Tin Pan Ali. Set in 1920s Chicago, the lead role of Ali Baba was played brilliantly by Louis Middleton (2L), eagerly supported by Ben Francis (2L), Cameron Slade (2B), Tom Norman (2J), Abhi Sundaram (2B), Jay Heading (2J), Milo Heard (2J), Noah Wood (2J) and Josh Ross (2L), who all got suited, booted and armed as gangsters. Sam Colvine (2L) and Thomas Wykes (2H) played roles as family members and Finlo Cowley (2B) got to dance with the chorus and as a bookie.  It was great fun to tread the boards at the Hammond; singing some great songs, dancing with dustcarts(!), and delivering our best gangster Chicago accents. Joined by the girls from Waldegrave school, the last few months of rehearsals paid off to a great final performance; much fun was had by all, and massive credit must to Mr Roland and Miss Carnes for their patience, support and encouragement – Miss Carnes did a great job creating and teaching the dances, and Mr Roland did a brilliant job as musical director – multitasking to both song and orchestra. Jeremy James Taylor wrote and directed the play, bringing his experience in the National Youth Musical Theatre to Hampton – we have all learnt a lot from him!  We all had a great time, and are eagerly looking forward to next year. Thank you Hampton for the opportunity, and well done guys!” – Ben Francis (2L)

 Last week the boys enjoyed a well-deserved week off. It’s fair to say that they put the week to good use. Jai Saha (2J) went to London where he went to the British Museum, the Forbidden Planet comic store and the Japanese Embassy to conduct research on his HELP project on Manga and Japanese art. Toby Kerr (2W) also used some of the break to work on his HELP project. Toby went to Orford, a small village in Suffolk, where he had lots of time to work on his project (an A2 self-portrait) by hammering nails into a piece of wood and winding string around the nails. Toby gained a lot of satisfaction from completing the nailing, and that was one of the highlights of the half-term for him. Jake Costen (2P) worked on his HELP project (programming), played computer games and did some trampolining. In short, he did what he always loves to do.  Adithya Arvind (2P) worked on his HELP project too, as well as his English reading project, his Physics project and his Geography project. It wasn’t all work though; Adithya also completed his Mensa puzzle book, mastered a new piano song and got promoted to division 5 in FIFA. Olly Coles (2J) helped his grandparents move into their new home and Sam Cummings (2J) went to his cousin’s wedding in Surrey. It was great and he danced till 3 am and stayed over at the venue.  Luke Walsh (2W) saw his cousins for three days and his other cousins came to his house as well.  Conor Bleach (2W) enjoyed having some rest and catching up on everything he needed to do.  Kyle Seth (2W) went on the annual Hampton paint balling trip. Kyle says: “it really enjoyable because I got to shoot some of my friends. I even managed to hit Mr. Walsh! Overall, I really enjoyed it and hopefully I will go again in the future.” Noah Wood (2J) attended a five-day cricket camp hosted by Peter Wellings who is an ex-Middlesex cricketer.  Noah says that: “the week was very good as we learnt a lot about the basics of cricket whilst learning these through games and matches.” Joe Cowley (2J) got qualified to go deep see diving by going diving in a swimming pool in Putney leisure centre. For Xandy Slater (2J) the best moment of the holidays was meeting up with his mates whereas Jack Pearce’s (2J) highlight was exploring an abandoned mansion. Ben Freer (2W) relaxed and stayed at home, but also ventured into London where he went on the London Eye and visited Madame Tussauds. Sohan Sodhi (2W) mostly enjoyed resting after a busy half term, but also had a great day with classmate Conor Bleach. The boys went to Nando’s, played on the PS4, watched Captain America: Civil War and then played darts. Maximilian Bublik (2W) went to a friend’s house for a three-night sleepover. Unfortunately, after that he injured his Achille’s tendon so, as he wasn’t able to do any sport, he ended up playing Fifa 17. On Sunday, though, he went to watch Fulham play Tottenham. Unfortunately, Fulham lost 3-0. 

 In other football related news, we get to say a hearty well done to some of our Second Year players.  Alex explains what’s been going on:

“Students from independent schools across London have been taking part in trials for the last year to try and represent London in a national tournament. This year three Second Years from Hampton have been selected for the team: Xander Wright, Jonah Blake and Alex Dinan. The tournament takes place in March and from there thirty boys will be invited to play for the national team and go on tour.” –  Alex Dinan (2L)  Good luck, boys!

 Football featured high on the list of boys’ half term activities.  Leon Griffiths (2W) says that he relaxed a lot and played football, as did Alessandro Russell (2W) who scored seven goals in two football matches. Alessandro hopes this helps get him promoted into the next football team.  Football was also an important part of Max Braszkowski’s (2P) break.  Max says: “over the holidays I played lots of football for my club. I also ate lots of roast beef and went swimming lots too. I enjoyed my holidays but unfortunately, last Thursday, my Polish grandad (who lives in Poland) died and I am leaving at the end of lunch today to attend the funeral tomorrow.” Max, we are so sorry to hear this. 

Lots of boys used the break to catch up on some culture. James Langdown (2P) went to see The School Of Rock at the New London Theatre with his sister. According to James: “The theatre is designed so there is not a single bad seat and you could easily see from anywhere. The play was amazing because all the children actually play their own instruments and at the end there was one of the children playing a guitar solo behind his back and doing knee slides. It was absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to anyone who likes rock music.” Fraser Dunlop (2W) went to Tate Britain where he saw Henry Moore’s work. Fraser really enjoyed seeing these drawings. Sam Skinner (2J) visited a blitz exhibition and Sandy Mitchell (2J) went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum where there were many striking photos and it was very dramatic. Shane Bowden (2P) used his camera and edited the pictures he had taken to post them on social media.  Shane also went to a remembrance talk for Eric “winkle” Brown, possibly the greatest pilot who ever lived. 

Some people ventured further afield. Matthew Hibbert (2P) went to the Lake District and climbed a mountain, as did Malachi McCalla (2P). Luke McNamara (2W) enjoyed his trip to Bournemouth pier, where he tried the pier zip, which is a giant zip wire that goes across the pier. Milo Heard (2J) went to a bull terrier dog show in Coventry. Milo’s family might be getting a dog of this breed in the summer so it was really exciting. 

 Many Second Year boys strapped on the skis and headed to the mountains for a week of fresh air, family time and fondue.  Huw Harris (2J) and Sam Davidson (2J) both went to Chamonix.  Sam stayed in Les Houches with his cousins and learnt to parallel turn, whereas James Bantick (2J) started to learn how to snowboard. Luke Michels (2J) and Jay Heading (2J) both went skiing in Switzerland.  Luke says that it was very fun and I enjoyed going to all the different restaurants.  Oliver Stokes (2W) spent the week skiing in Val Thorens and Max Broughton (2W) went on his second ski trip, this time to Tignes.  For Oliver Glenn (2W) it was his first time skiing. Oliver says: I went to Austria and I went skiing for the first time ever. I went with family friends and it was really fun to have my first holiday in the snow and to try something new. It was great fun and I loved going up into the mountains.  Luca Boucher (2P) chose St Foy: It was incredibly fun as there was some beautiful off-piste skiing, which was immensely fun. There were also two very nice natural black runs which means they have not been pisted. Unfortunately, we could not do the third black run that goes down the untouched back side of the mountain due to the avalanche risk, but that did not prevent us from having fun.  Sam Walker (2P) was in the Three Valleys:  This holiday I went skiing in the Three Valleys. I spent most of my time in Meribel which was so much fun and improved on my off-piste skiing on moguls and non-pisted snow. I also improved my freestyling as I managed to do a 180.  Thomas De Gruchy (2W) was in France too: During the half term break I went to La Fornet, located just outside Val d’Isère, to ski. I really enjoyed it. I went with my family, Fergus MacEacharn’s family and two other families. We skied for 6 days and had lessons for 5 of them. I felt that I really improved, and I went to the snow park on the last day, where I did lots of jumps and the slalom course.  As was Xander Wright (2W): During my half term I went skiing in Val d’Isère, France with the rest of my family. When I was there I actually met Fergus and Tom DG about 5 times. On Sunday, the day before I came back to school, I went to the Fulham-Tottenham match and we sadly lost 0-3 with a hat-trick from Harry Kane who was supposed to be injured! Overall I had a great holiday. 

These trips sound glorious: there’s ‘snowplace’ I’d rather be in February! 

Some families favoured warmers climes for their half term break. Sam Berthon (2W) enjoyed walking around the volcanoes of Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. He also liked the Netflix in the apartment!  Jonah Blake (2W) enjoyed going swimming in the sea and making a dolphin out of sand with his family in Oman.  Easan Gunarajah (2P) visited Sri Lanka during the holidays. Easan says: The most interesting thing was whale watching, until I vomited early on during the 5 hour journey and was ill for the rest of the day.  Lovely.  Arthur Hopley (2P) says: “My holiday was a blast as I went to Dubai. It was absolutely amazing and it was scorching hot. I travelled up the Burj Khalifa which was amazing. There were also many amazing cars such as Lamborghinis.”  Mac Crawford (2W) spent the week snorkelling his way around the Maldives and says: “it was so great as I went snorkelling for 6 hours a day and saw 4 black tip sharks and a baby sting ray.  Luckily for me they were not dangerous. Then I taught a small boy how to dive into a swimming pool.” Back in Europe, Ben Pearce (2P) made a big bonfires sat around it eating s’mores and marshmallows during his week in France.  Ben says: “it was very cold but I still managed to walk in our river. The weather there was very warm. I do not learn French at school but I spoke French in the village and to our neighbours.”

 Back at School, the boys hit the ground running. On Wednesday, the South East Schools Chamber Music Competition took place in the Hammond Theatre. Many ensembles competed including the Hampton Clarinet Quartet, which included Tom Wykes (2H). They played a seven-minute piece called Fantasia and they think it went well. The brass band, including Henry Ward (2B) on the horn, also competed, hoping to get to the next round. Well done to Tom and Henry for being the youngest competitors!

The boys are now looking forward to dressing up for our annual Character Day next Friday. This event has proved to be a popular and colourful occasion in the past, and raised considerable sums for Form Charity. To add to the boys’ enjoyment of the day, the English Department have arranged for author Matt Whyman to speak to the First and Second Year about his work. Matt is the author of several young adult novels including Boy Kills Man and The Savages. Boys, do try to collect sponsorship money from your family and friends in support of the School’s chosen charities. Our three Form charities this year are Momentum, a local charity supporting children with life-limiting conditions; Macmillan, a national charity providing specialist health-care for those affected by cancer; and WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. We look forward to seeing your amazing, literary-themed costumes next week!

Last but not least we say congratulations to the following boys for their latest merit milestones: Thomas Ketel and Billy Atkinson (10 merits), Xander Wright, Joshua Ross, Ben Settle and Easan Gunarajah (20 merits), Tomasz Findlater and Ethan Clapham (30 merits), Thomas de Gruchy (40 merits), Billy Hutchinson (50 merits), Sam Colvine (70 merits) and Nayaaz Hashim and Ben Francis (100 merits).  Keep them coming, boys!