Second Year Blog

Welcome back!  After an extremely busy Spring Term the Second Years have enjoyed a well-deserved Easter holiday and are back and raring to go.  Over the break, boys from 2L, 2J and 2W enjoyed a fabulous few days in Barcelona. We say ‘muchas gracias’ to Fred (2L) who has written us this brilliant breakdown of events:

“Early on Friday morning a bedraggled but excited group met at the group departures lounge in Heathrow Airport. After a hasty breakfast and buying of lunch we boarded the two-hour flight to Barcelona. Almost immediately after leaving the plane Mr Blachford explained that there were some slight differences between Spanish and Catalan, the official language of Barcelona and Catalonia. However, we were assured we would probably pick it up quickly.  After dropping bags off at the hotel we travelled down to the beach where we bought a hot lunch and played football. We then walked along the street front to La Rambla, or the high street, in English. After securing our bags on our chests, in order to protect against pickpockets, we were greeted by a rush of market stalls which contained all manner of wares from around the world. During this visit we also looked around La Boqueria, the market. There was lots of different food that was available for us to buy.  La Rambla lead to La Plaza de Catalunya, the central plaza of Barcelona. From there we walked to the cathedral of Barcelona where we were given an hour of free time before returning to the Hard Rock Cafe where we enjoyed burgers and chips before taking the metro back to the hotel. After breakfast at 8:30 we once again boarded the metro back to Catlunya where we took the bus up a mountain to the theme park and cathedral of Tibidabo. We spent the day there before returning to the hostel for a delicious paella on the terrace. After another early start we set off for La Segrada Familia, the huge Cathedral that will be finished in several years and be nearly twice as high as anything on the Barcelona skyline!

We then rode the tourist bus to Camp Nou, the Barcelona FC stadium! After lunch we spent an hour and a half exploring the stadium, in awe that we had walked down the same tunnel as the football team.  After a visit to the gift shop which sold all manner of merchandise, from grass from the pitch to playing cards, we hopped back on the tourist bus before enjoying a meal which featured Spaghetti Bolognese as a starter!  On our penultimate day we rode the tourist bus around the city to El Pueblo Español, a village which celebrates all Spanish culture, featuring reproductions of streets from all around Spain.  We then visited the aquarium and enjoyed a spectacular underwater tunnel where we were separated from sharks and rays by only inches of glass!  We then returned to the hotel before visiting the same restaurant as the previous night, only this time lasagne was a starter option!  Afterwards we took the tram to the Diagonál Mal, where we had a game of bowling, which proved to be an entertaining night for all! On our final day we visited the mall again were we bought are last souvenirs and had burgers for lunch before spending the rest of the day on the beach. We then returned to the hotel for the final time to pick up our bags before saying goodbye to Spain and Barcelona and taking a very late flight back to the UK.” –  Fred Darley (2L)

For Jay Heading (2J), Jamie Lund (2J), Sam Cummings (2J) and Sandy Mitchell (2J), the highlight of the trip was the afternoon at the beach, where the boys spent the afternoon playing football.  Milo Heard’s (2J) favourite part of the trip was going to the Camp Nou and going on the pitch there.  Milo says: “it was amazing to be in the same stadium that caused an earthquake that registered 4.4 on the Richter scale. An earthquake made by fans!” Sam Davidson and Xandy Slater (2J) recommend the Tibidabo theme park where they had lots of fun despite the awful weather!  The small number of people there meant that there were no queues for the rides and that their pizza order arrived quickly.  For Sam the horror house would have to be the highlight of the trip; my group and I came out shivering, he says.

The boys in 2J were a busy bunch over the break: Dylen Singah (2J) went to Virginia, America, where he spent most of the time shopping and bought a set of two drones. He also went to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum and the Natural History museum. In the Air and Space museum he tried a flight simulator, which he thought was very bad, even though it went upside down!  Huw Harris (2J) went skiing in Chamonix and went to Wales with his grandparents.  Olly Coles (2J) went to Cornwall with a friend, where they surfed and went to the beach a lot. His favourite part of the holiday was surfing with his friend’s dog!  Ben Wix (2J) went to the old Roman town of Bath where he saw the Roman baths and they were fascinating! They were incredibly well preserved. Ben says that it was a really enjoyable and educational trip.  Samaksh Agarwal (2J) spent time in the Cotswolds with his grandparents and Luke Michels (2J) went to Devon where he celebrated his birthday. It was really fun! He went surfing, had an ice cream and lots of birthday fudge.  Back at home, he rehearsed for the next rock concert with Jai Saha (2J) and James Bantick (2J). They played Superheroes, Radioactive, and Pompeii. It sounded great! Jai also went to Rome where he saw amazing landmarks such as the Colosseum.  Ethan Knight (2J) competed for the School in athletics at the Harrow meet and Noah Wood (2J) went on a rugby tour to Jersey with his club (London Welsh). The team stayed at a very nice hotel on a Saturday and the next Sunday they played two matches and won both. Noah says: it was an amazing trip with everyone being involved.

Back at School, the boys have hit the ground running; some have already completed the Maths Challenge, watched Twelfth Night, run 1500 metres and played two tennis matches.

“It has been a busy week for our U13 tennis team of Rohan Vasudev (2B), Billy Atkinson (2W), Ben Bird (2B) and me, Jai Saha. On Wednesday we played Claremont Fan Court and straight after on the next day we played Harrodian. Our match against Claremont was very close. It came down to the last doubles match which was played by Ben Bird and me. The match was extremely close with it going into a tiebreak. However, we kept our nerve and won 12-10 in the tiebreak. Luckily for us our match against Harrodian was a bit easier. We won 6-0, with everyone winning all their matches. However, Harrodian was a good side and I believe it was our team’s consistency that won us the fixture.  Overall it has been a good week for the U13 team.” –  Jai Saha (2J)

Looking further back, we hear from Jake about Hampton’s fencing match against Egham Fencing Club:

“There were two teams from Hampton, and two from Egham. Hampton’s A Team consisted of Yann Luk (4C), Firas Khalil (4C) and Alex Yau (3E). The B team consisted of Jacob Iqbal (1P), and Dominic Must (1B) and me. Yann was captain of the A team, and I was captain of the B team. Each person fences the three people from the other side’s team (thus, everyone fences everyone else). Each fight (1 vs 1) is won by the first fencer to reach the next multiple of five points, with the previous fight’s points added on. Each team had to be the first to 45 points to win the match (9 fights * 5 points = 45 to win).  Team A won their match, but unfortunately team B lost by a small margin. Everyone fenced well, and we did much better than we expected. Overall however, Hampton lost the match. We hope to do better in our next match. Thank you to Mick Johnson for coaching us, and to Mr Barnett for taking and supporting us.” – Jake Costen (2P)

Before finishing, we congratulate Sam Colvine (2L) who passed his Grade 4 saxophone exam with Merit and, last but not least, we say well done to our Second Years who have achieved merit certificates. We say congratulations to:  Rishi Patel and Patrick Helm (10 merits), Andrew Lees and Ben Le Moign (20 merits), Luca Parrish and Roman Feron Clark (30 merits), Kabir Sait and Ben Grahame (40 merits) and Joel Arulpragasam (50 merits)!