Welcome to the Third Year Blog!
Well, here we are in 2023, refreshed and raring to go! From speaking to the Third Years around School, they certainly seem to have made the most of their Christmas break. Whether it was an outstanding holiday, time spent with their families, or relaxing with their Xbox, they all seem to have come back with a spring in their step, which is wonderful to see.
The first week back has had the boys getting their GCSE options in as well as spending PSHE time starting to think about the sort of careers they might be interested in. Talking of careers, if there are any budding Rishi Sunaks or Keir Starmers in the Third Year, next week sees the inaugural opening of the Hampton ‘House of Commons’. This will offer a great chance to experience the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate, all hosted by Mr Leafe, who will be tasked with keeping the discussion more civil than it usually is in the actual House of Commons.
The week has also seen the resumption of the School sports programme, with fixtures this weekend for the Rugby and Football sides and the first set of winter nets for the Third Year cricketers. Not only that, but Friday saw the titanic Interform Tug of War competition full of straining sinews, raw palms and interesting choices of technique. Who won? Find out later in the blog.
Writing this, it starts to seem incredible we’ve only been back a week. I haven’t even talked about what’s in the blog, which features some of the wonderful cultural experiences the boys watched or participated in over the holidays which, frankly, made my primary Christmas activity of eating as much chocolate and turkey as is feasible seem underwhelming in comparison. Without any further ado, let’s dive in!
Heads of Year Message
It has been lovely to see the boys back in School this week. Along with Form Tutors, we have been meeting with boys to discuss and review their autumn term reports – delivering well-deserved congratulations and setting targets for the term ahead. There is a palpable sense of energy amongst the Year Group in the new year, and we encourage the boys to maintain this sense of purpose and enthusiasm in their endeavours at School throughout this term.
Thank you to all boys and parents for taking the time to consider your GCSE subject options and submitting the online form to confirm your choices this week.
We recognise that some of these decisions are very difficult and you might change your mind over the remainder of this school year or following the summer exams. Whilst we would urge boys not to make such decisions lightly, and only ever after having discussed it with parents, Form Tutors and the relevant subject teachers, it is possible to request an alteration to your GCSE options, and such requests can usually be accommodated. Any request to alter GCSE options must be made by parents in writing to Mr McBay (email@example.com), copying in Form Tutors and Heads of Year. Please continue to contact us, your son’s Form Tutors and Mr McBay (Director of Studies) if you have any ongoing questions or concerns regarding GCSE options.
For your forward planning, we can confirm that the First to Third Year internal exams will take place during the week before summer half term (22 May – 26 May).
We hope that those parents who were able to attend the talk on Relationships and Sex Education by Esther Hardy on Tuesday evening found it engaging and helpful. If you have any questions or concerns about the PSHE curriculum please contact Mrs Halford (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For medical absences, please notify your son’s Form Tutors via email (cc’ing email@example.com) on the morning of each day of absence by 8:45am, or complete the absence form via the parent portal. For planned absences and appointments, please contact Heads of Year requesting the absence with as much notice as possible.
Boys – Please let us, your Form Tutors or the relevant subject teachers know if you have any difficulties. We hope you enjoy the term ahead. Have a lovely weekend.
Mr T Rigby & Miss M Bedford
Christmas Ski Trip
Some of our Third Years headed to the slopes over the Christmas break, Josh G (3J) tells us all about it:
During the Christmas holiday, Third Year pupils and a couple of Fourth Years went on a Ski Trip to Les Menuires in the French Alps. It was really enjoyable, as skiing with friends was great. I was in the top group for skiing and we enjoyed lots of challenging runs and jumps on the mountain.
If the morning or afternoon skiing wasn’t enough, we had the opportunity to ski with Mr and Mrs Clarke for a couple of runs. They are great skiers so this was a fantastic opportunity. On one of the nights, we had a quiz. While my team didn’t do very well, it was still lots of fun with everyone loving it. On another evening, we headed out to speed mountain. There were carts on tracks that we went down the mountain on with the option to break. Most people didn’t and it was an exciting experience. On the last day, our instructor let us do lots of skiing tricks with a partner. My friend and I held each other’s poles and spun down the slope. Somehow, we only managed to crash once! Overall, the ski trip was brilliant. We all got to advance our skiing and had fun along the way. Thank you to Mr Clarke and all the teachers for giving us this wonderful opportunity!
Hayden E (3A) and Jack H (3A) also enjoyed their time in the French Alps:
Lots of Third Year pupils got away at the start of the holidays to France, for the School Ski Trip. It was a very fun trip full of so many exciting things. Lots of activities, good food and of course a lot of great skiing. The boys got to enjoy a roller coaster ride through the mountains. Although there were many, many falls I think that everyone developed some good skiing skills by the end of the trip.
A visit to the theatre
Harry GW (3E) and Joshua R (3E) enjoyed an exciting trip to the theatre over the Christmas holidays, let’s find out more about it:
Over the Christmas holidays, we both went to central London to see a critically acclaimed play called My Neighbour Totoro. The production is based on a 1988 anime fantasy film of the same name, by an amazing Japanese animation studio, called Studio Ghibli, which is headquartered in Tokyo. Ever since we were children, we have always loved the wonderful and countless movies that the studio has created – they are0 just so magical, and the animation took us to weird and wonderful worlds with witches, dragons, and supernatural talking frogs. Adapted into a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company and award-winning Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, and directed by Phelim McDermott, the play took place in the Barbican Centre. This performance arts centre was huge: the theatre itself had five storeys. The production is only running for three months and so we were really lucky to be able to see the play.
Set in 1950s Japan, the play recounts the story of two sisters, Mei and Satsuki, and their dad who have moved from Tokyo to the countryside to be closer to their mother, who is sick in hospital. Their new house is haunted by many different spirits, who take the form of soot, and are called susuwatari. Mei visits the forest one day and meets a forest spirit called Totoro, who is an adorable mix of cat, owl, and chinchilla. We shan’t tell you the rest of the story – we wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. The secret of Totoro shall remain one until you go see it for yourself; we hope you keep the secret too!
The story was told via a unique mix of acting and puppetry, which made the play almost spring out upon the audience. The way that the set was used was incredible and each set would unfold upon itself. The play was full of spirit and heart, and it was really magical and enchanting to watch. We would give it a rating of 5 stars, and we would definitely recommend it to you.
Bhavan Indian Arts School
Rohan V (3E) took to the stage at a recent performance at the Bhavan Inadian Arts School, let’s find out more:
During the Christmas holidays, a show was performed by the Barhatiya Vidya Bhavan Indian Arts School. It’s the biggest show of the year for The Bhavan. There were four separate solo performances in the show and an art exhibition. Tabla, mridangam, sitar and dancing was performed at the show. It was a beautiful display and the venue was filled to the brim. The first song was played on the mridangam. The instrument is similar to those big drums you see in marching bands that you hit on both sides as you play but instead of sticks you use your hands. It is a very difficult skill to master but the boy playing displayed the piece perfectly.
For this concert, I was one of the lucky few chosen to perform and I played the tabla. This instrument is similar to the congo drum. I was very nervous as this was my first time playing my instrument in front of such a large crowd but, thankfully, it went well and I didn’t disappoint.
The next performance was on the sitar and it was by far the best event of the show. The sitar is similar to the guitar, yet it is much bigger and there are more strings. This piece was so good it was almost hypnotising. The crowd was mesmerised by the girl’s performance and she was outstanding. Finally, there was the dance performance. The girl performing danced to a classical Indian piece and she gravitated and twirled across the floor. Her moves were precise and elegant and she was flawless.
Tug of War
Friday lunchtime saw a truly tough Tug of War competition as part of the relentless battle for the highly coveted Third Year Interform Cup. All the forms competed well and fairly. After a series of group matches, the final came down to a match up between the undefeated 3A and 3H. It took a whole minute for a winner to emerge and it was 3A who managed to cling on and win this ding-dong contest.
An excellent effort by all the teams, but particular congratulations go to 3A. This takes them up into third place in the overall competition, just behind 3G in second and current leaders 3F. But, there are still plenty of events coming up, so plenty to play for in the rest of the year!
Take a look at some of the highlights from this lunchtime’s competition:
Houses of Commons
Order, Order! The Hampton House of Commons is a new club for budding politicians with an interest in all things politics and parliament. We will create a ‘mock’ version of the House of Commons and debate new and fresh ideas on policy areas from Education to Healthcare, with a governing party and Cabinet, an Opposition and representation for all parties currently in the Commons. The club will run weekly, and the first session will give you the chance to choose your party as we determine who commands a majority, party leaders, the Cabinet and the Speaker.
Come along next Monday 16 January at 12.35pm in the Lecture Theatre. All year groups are welcome. Any questions, please contact Mr Leafe.
Grab the opportunity to get involved in the STEM Fair at LEH in February. Your aim is to work in a team to create an artefact and a poster explaining your project. You have freedom to choose from any area of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.
The advice is to come up with a title phrased as a question that you are capable of answering. The ‘artefact’ is a loose term and can range from:
- A model/prototype
- Computer program
- Artwork inspired by your research
Project proposals are due in on Monday 16 January so if you have’t yet submitted yours, get your thinking caps on over the weekend.
If you have any questions, email Mr Wilson in the Physics Department.
Two Truths and a lie
Each week a member of the Third Year team will be sharing three facts about themselves – two of which are true and one which is a lie. 3J Tutor and Assistant Head of Third Year Mr Green is up this week…can you find the lie?
- Mr Green dislikes dogs to the extent that he refuses to look at them
- Mr Green once played a season of competitive cricket with current Australia international Adam Zampa
- Mr Green’s favourite colour is green
Answer to be revealed in next week’s blog!
After a break over the Christmas holidays, it’s time for another perplexing Connection Corner! Can you spot the connection in this week’s conundrum: