Welcome to the Fourth Year Blog!

It has been a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and alacrity with which the Fourth Years have taken to the many academic, sporting and extra-curricular opportunities which have been on offer in such a packed half-term. With everything from experiencing the impressive scenery of the Icelandic glaciers to that out on the River Thames, we have another excellent round-up from our intrepid team of reporters Monty, George, Gabriel and Zaidan. Thank you all for your efforts in putting this together!

Iceland Trip

A group of 45 Fourth and Fifth Year Hamptonians travelled to the Nordic Island for a four-day adventure over the half term break. Monty S (4A) tells us all about it:

On Friday 10 February, boys from the Fourth and Fifth Years travelled to Iceland on a Geography trip. The group were able to enjoy a vast array of experiences including climbing a glacier, watching molten lava flow and smell the ‘rather eggy’ hot springs.

A highlight from the trip was swimming in the geothermal swimming pools and having our bus ‘raided’ by Vikings. Not only were the boys able to experience the geology of Iceland but were also lucky enough to have a local guide each day who could share some terrific nuggets of Geography knowledge.

Everyone reflected on the amazing trip: 

It was certainly a once in a lifetime experience – Xavier F

The scenery was like somewhere nowhere else on earth – Sam B

I thought it was great that we had lots of fun but still learnt bits of geography that can help us in the classroom – Joshi R

Although we were not able to see the Northern lights, we did experience the Arctic wind and snow.

Thank you so much to all the staff who were able to produce this amazing trip!


Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition

It’s great to see some of our Fourth Years trying their hand at debating, Gabriel K (4E) introduces us to one of the competitions Hamptonians take part in:

On Monday 20 February, after the short half term break, three Fourth Year pupils were excited to participate in a day of interesting debate in the first round of the Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition.

Since Covid began, some rounds of the regional debates have been held online. Unfortunately, this year, Hampton were not able to compete in person against local schools in London, so were faced with the challenge of a daunting ‘Zoom’ call on computers. Hampton entered four teams into the debate, with a total of eight pupils in total. Each team debated in the British Parliamentary format against three teams from other schools. The format is very similar to the one Parliament uses and consists of an Opening Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government and Closing Opposition. Harresh J and I were on the same team, whilst Alex N was partnered with a member of the Sixth Form.

Over the course of the afternoon, pupils were given two motions to debate. Both were very topical discussions, with one of the debates being around the topic of climate change and environmental sustainability. Unfortunately, none of the Fourth Years made it past the second round; however, it was extremely difficult to separate the teams that made it through to Finals Day and those who very narrowly missed out. Alex N and his teammate missed the chance to go by a single point! Despite not making Finals Day, we were all glad to have gained such valuable debating experience and thoroughly enjoyed seeing one team of Hamptonians in the Sixth Form making it through to the next stage. Senior Debating for the Fourth Years has proven to be very entertaining this term, and is highly recommended to other members of the Fourth Year who enjoy delving into current affairs and meeting new people.

Rowing Update

It’s been a busy term on the river for our Fourth Year rowers, here’s a report from Zaidan A (4G) on the Schools’ Head:

On the 17 March, a flotilla of over 300 crews took to the Championship course on the Tideway for the Head of the River Race. The course, which is 4.25 miles, stretches from Chiswick Bridge to Putney Bridge. Given the previous cancellation of Hammersmith Head on the 26th of February, few crews were given the opportunity to race on the Tideway. As such, many had to rely on land-based training to be able to effectively perform in their Eights. While the weather was in a constant state of flux, the need for composure and mental resolve in the torrential downpour was paramount as lapses in concentration and focus were bound to occur, which could have been very costly on the course.

We entered two Eights, whom were both well-drilled and prepared for the challenge ahead. The A crew competed in the J15 Championship VIII category while the B crew competed in the Sch/Jun 2nd 8+ category. Both crews raced against stiff competition against the top schools in the country, with the gold medals going to St Paul’s (A) and St Paul’s (B) crews in both categories. However, both our crews have much to be proud of, with our Championship VIII coming 2 seconds short of 4th place. Meanwhile, our 2nd VIII placed 11th out of 23 crews. Overall, it was a positive result all around as our squad heads into regatta season.

Hot on the heels of the Schools’ Head, our crews took part in the main sculling event of the season, the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head at Dorney Lake, which saw the J15A octuples win a Gold medal. Fantastic!

OGDEN Trust STEM Careers Event 

With Fifth Year fast approaching, Hamptonians are beginning to think about A Level choices and life beyond Hampton. George B (4G) explains more about the Ogden Trust STEM Careers Event that some of our Fourth Year pupils attended:

On the afternoon of Wednesday 8 March, a dozen Fourth Year boys joined multiple other schools from the surrounding areas for the OGDEN Trust STEM careers event. After a brief introduction, participants were split into four groups to hear from various visitors who talked about their STEM career and their journey towards it. Included in the visitors were Mrs Reilly (a former NPL physicist), Andrew McHutchon (lead of the data science team for McLaren), Dr Ian White (a cell biologist at UCL) and Adrian Ede (a former Project management consultant in the oil industry). It was especially interesting to hear that two of the speakers – Andrew McHutchon and Ian White – went to Hampton school!

Duke of Edinburgh

Hot off the press! It’s been great hearing updates from your Silver DofE practice expedition over the last couple of days. We hope it stayed dry!


Rugby Success

It’s been an action-packed term for our rugby players, with plenty of matches taking place both home and away. A big shout out to our U14 7s squad who made it to the finals of the Warwick 7s. Now onto summer sports!

Meet Mr Leafe

The boys had a series of quickfire questions for Assistant Head of Fourth Year, Mr Leafe.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Hampton?

Definitely the enthusiasm and energy boys bring to every lesson; it is such a gift for a teacher when there is already a real sense of intellectual curiosity in the room!

And about life at Hampton?

There is such a welcoming and warm atmosphere here; with such a lovely group of colleagues in the Common Room, it didn’t take long to settle in! Overall, it is just the ideal environment to teach in – lively and happy. One particular highlight has definitely been coaching the U14B Football team for two years now – it has been very rewarding to see them develop into a team defined by effort, togetherness and skill!

What do you enjoy most about teaching your subjects?

Politics is exciting because it is a ‘live’ subject; a week is a long time in Politics, and the textbooks go out of date quicker than they can be written! It is always very interesting to discuss the latest developments in the UK, US and global politics with the boys.

English is a delight to teach because there is no limit on the original ideas which can come from the pupils; every year they spot something new in the texts we’re studying!

What is your favourite book?

Such a tough one. The Great Gatsby has to be the novel which captures a time and place so perfectly.

Favourite sport?

Football, and – of course – following Hull City!

Have a great Easter holidays!

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