Welcome to the Third Year Blog!
Lordy beans, it is cold!
A time-honoured tradition at Hampton (and all boys’ Schools) is that whenever a class enters a classroom that has previously been occupied by a class from a different year (younger or older), the boys entering the room will immediately make a fuss about the smell of the previous class and open the windows. It is so cold at the moment, that they cannot even bring themselves to open the windows – this is unprecedented in my experience.
For all this, the boys are still getting themselves on to the 3G at lunch. As the staff queue to get their warm lunch and peer out through the steamy windows, there they all are, blazers flapping in the frosty air, hammering footballs at each other. It is impressive to watch.
In more formal sport, the Third Years have been getting themselves back on the icy pitches this week, with some excellent performances from the rugby and football players that we have reports on below, including an ESFA Cup win for the U14Bs football team. (the U14A team, also won their ESFA Cup match – we will have a report on that next week). We also have a review of the 2023 Games Awards from two pupils as part of their Arts Award projects. Regardless of the weather, the blog remains full to the brim…
Heads of Year Message
A note to all Third Year pupils that with Parents Evening on the horizon (Wednesday 31 January) it is a good time of year to be making extra effort to impress your teachers in lessons, hand in homework on time and to a good standard, and ensure that your behaviour is exemplary at all times around the School site.
Congratulations to both the U14A and U14B Football teams for progressing to the next round of their respective ESFA competitions yesterday afternoon with hard fought victories in tough fixtures. Well played and wishing you all the very best in the next round!
We are pleased with the way Third Year pupils are engaging positively with the carousel of PSHE lessons taking place during Form Periods this half term. The boys seem to be enjoying the opportunity to meet and be taught by different Third Year tutors as part of this carousel, and they are responding well to the content as a result. Sessions on Oracy and Debating are being supplemented with an important session on Alcohol and Cannabis awareness, and an introduction to the Relationships and Sex Education course (which will be taught either side of half term) via a talk by Esther Hardy.
With the current cold weather, a reminder that boys are allowed to wear sensible hats, coats and gloves to keep warm on their journeys to and from school, but they must revert to full school uniform throughout the school day whilst on site. This means they must wear a school tie (properly tied) and school blazer, with a white shirt (tucked in and buttoned up), dark trousers, dark socks and smart black shoes (non-trainers). If they are cold, it is permissible to wear a vest under the shirt and/or a dark V-neck jumper. Coats should not be worn in school.
Thank you to parents for adhering to our requests regarding absence notifications, especially at this time of year. 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.
Mr T Rigby & Miss M Bedford
Review of the 2023 Games Awards
Theo L (3A) and Siddharth S (3B) tell us about their Arts Award project that they’ve been busy with over the last few weeks:
We are working on the development of a video game on three aspects:
- Programming through the game engine Godot
- Composition of music
- Worldbuilding – including crafting a story, drawing plants and animals, and characters and dialogue
In order to better understand the video game genre, we reviewed the Game Awards. It is a very popular event, including all types of games – indie, survival, horror – allowing us to see what makes each game unique (different styles of art and sound). It showcased many game trailers – including premieres – as well as speeches from previous year’s winners.
- Many of the developers of the games shown have risen from the dead – such as Hello Games (with No Man’s Sky) – who showcased in the event an extremely stunning and unique game called Light No Fire. As the music is muted due to copyright, it shows us the importance of music from the viewer’s perspective as it feels much less immersive and distant without music.
- Jurassic Park Survival – an action-packed horror adventure game, that looks visually and narratively compelling from the trailer alone. However, we don’t know much about the game just from the trailer.
- Final Fantasy XVI – From the trailer, we can clearly see what parts of the lore are chosen to actively engage and attract the audience by adding suspense and excitement. The game is the latest in an acclaimed series, shown by immersive graphics, fighting experience and the varieties of settings it is placed in. Through this, for our game, it would make sense to add more world building and storytelling to also achieve this and actively demonstrate to the player that there is a lot to do and master. In addition, the music used is representative to the action on screen and sound effects are used to further give a more realistic touch.
- Rise of the Ronin – Again, the choice of music very much dictates the mood and atmosphere of the video game and provides a sense of what sense of game it is. In this instance, forlorn music is used to represent the problems currently faced prompting the player to play the game and solve them through the skill of martial arts. The quick choice of words is very important due to the limited amount of time which you have to draw the player’s attention and make them interested in the game.
- Skull and Bones – The music of the pre-existing piece, The Wellerman, was manipulated in a minor key and a deeper pitch to add a sense of confusion and the unknown which gives us a sense of anticipation of this being a pirate game. Also the action is synchronised with the beats of the music which makes it feel more original than it actually is.
- Alan Wake 2 orchestral performance – The music was certainly appropriate for this style of game; it is very unique and creates a lot of suspense and anticipation in the game itself (being a very story-rich horror game).
- Exobourne Master of the Apocalypse – The music was again reflective of the action on screen and created a foreboding atmosphere, enabling the watcher to roughly predict what could happen while adding that layer of uncertainty to it. Again, the audio and the use of a mysterious radio made it more intriguing by making us ask questions such as ‘who is on the other end of that radio?’ This trailer utilised the concept of “do now, explain later” heavily by answering most of the questions, yet still leaving us on cliffhangers and unanswered questions. This certainly creates heavy anticipation for the game.
Some of my favourite games showcased included the visually appealing Ark Survival Ascended, Jurassic Park Survival, Monster Hunter Wilds and the (very short) Spider-Man clips. I also liked seeing small indie games being shown, such as Pizza Tower, as the developers of these games can have a chance to show their incredible talent, despite being a small team.
There are several things we have learned in this event. Firstly we realised that video game music is one of the most important things when presenting a game to the public, as it is very important to create an atmosphere and suspense while you are playing. The choice of words on screen and spoken aloud by characters are important as you have to intrigue the viewer within a certain time frame. We learnt how to make our games stand out against others, especially as we watched the games in succession, by using techniques on how to present your lore or plot to the reader by choosing which parts to show and not to show – creating questions and thus anticipation for the game. We realised how important was the actual content presented on screen. We saw that the more successful games usually showcased more of characters, creatures, landscapes and weapons which are very captivating.
On the other hand, despite how much we have learned, there were some flaws. For instance, there were countless advertisements throughout; causing me to skip through a large portion of the show. Some games were not given a speech at all/given a very short speech – even award nominees and winners – and some games were given an extremely long speech. This is very unbalanced, and some developers, and the creative minds behind award winners, should be given more time to share their opinion.
Interactivity and sound design of a game is of utter importance – with poor writing, the player would find it hard to play the game further and thus recommend it to others, and with poor interactivity (ie. The world directly changes with player actions), the player would not be as engaged with the game. Almost all of the award winners had both of these.
I would recommend it to new developers – as they can gain an idea of different styles of games – as well as to game enthusiasts – many of the games shown are new releases (albeit some coming in many years time) that look very appealing. I find it hard to recommend to anyone who is a very casual player – since the vast majority of games shown are big-budget, highly-anticipated releases.
7/10 – award winners certainly deserved more presentation time, as well as a better variety of genres. However, despite its flaws, the event did showcase many games that would appeal to a large audience, as well as taking small indie games into account – and most of all, we learned a lot about game music, world building and presentation.
It’s been a busy week on the sports pitches, let’s hear from Ben P (3A) and Adam S (3A) who report on some exciting matches:
Last Saturday morning our U14Bs faced off against Tiffin. We played at home and it was a typically cold winter morning, however the pitch was good and we were ready for the match. We took kick off after captain Archie C won the toss and the game was on. Both teams needed a few minutes to really get going and Hampton capitalised on this. Great pressure from our defensive line and some fast and powerful tackles were driving Tiffin back into their half and a few minutes later we had them on their own try line. The pressure got to one of their props and they dropped the ball allowing Ben P to dive onto it and score between the posts. Scrum half James E converted with ease putting Hampton 7-0 up only a few minutes in.
Before we knew it, we’d pressed back to deep into the Tiffin half and had scored yet another try however in a moment of carelessness, our no. 8, Ben P, forgot to score between the posts. This put James at a very challenging angle to convert from, so regretfully we only gained 5 points. At 12-0 down Tiffin started to retaliate. With a break down the left-hand side their number 15 scored a well fought try, but it was not converted, so we maintained a comfortable lead. Or so we thought. The half time whistle blew and the team talks began. Neither team was perfect but so far Hampton’s formation and aggression in their lines both offensive and defensive had them ahead.
Tiffin kicked off the second half sinking the ball deep into our territory and the hands of Elliot J who ran it straight back to the half way line. The game was on. Tiffin immediately seemed more confident and won the ball from a counter ruck. Hampton counter rucked it back and the game seemed to stay in the middle of the pitch for large parts of the second half with many knock-ons and uncontested scrums.
Finally, Tiffin had broken free with their star number 15 again. We gave chase and managed to haul him down and get into position, but not before Tiffin had run up in support and put four players into the ruck. After a lot of back and forth running, Tiffin thought they’d scored but they had the ball on everything and everyone but the try line, as around eight of our players had scrambled in to stop them. Hampton won the scrum and managed to get the ball away. It was however in vain as Tiffin scored again shortly after. They did not convert.
With the score 12-10 we needed some points and Gui G delivered in style. He beat almost every man on the pitch for an amazing solo try. The game was really tightening with everyone exhausted but playing on with good shows from both teams. George M managed to break through for us and score another quick try. With the score now at 22-10, Tiffin really needed points and sadly Hampton started to slip. Our opposition scored twice and converted one to tie the game. All players were pushing for the lead, most noticeably an incredible feat of strength by Harry L seeing him mauling against six Tiffin players and successfully holding up the ball. The referee however didn’t see that Harry had indeed earned the ball from a rip before the maul began and so when a Tiffin player trying to pull him down went onto his knees the whistle was blown for release. A scrum came shortly after and only 5m from our try line.
This was last play and we knew we needed to defend hard. It was Tiffin’s ball for the next five minutes and our players just managed to keep Tiffin at bay. Eventually James E managed to get into the ruck quickly and get us the ball. James passed to George M who broke through the line and almost reached the other end of the pitch but Tiffin’s fast and alert backs managed to catch him. The game ran back and forth along the pitch but in the end the ball was knocked on off the side of the pitch and the final whilst was blown. A tie at last, 22 all. Both sides played exceptional rugby and it was a very entertaining game to watch. It was the best performance of our side this year and featured every player giving a man of the match worthy performance. It was really something for the team to be proud of.
By Ben P (3A)
There was a lot of hype and talk about this upcoming match. ESFA Cup. Round 4. Against our rivals Whitgift. As soon as the draw came out for this match, we were all excited and determined to beat them after losing to them 4-3 in round 3 to some controversial decisions by the referee. We were having a great season so far after netting in over 65 goals and only conceding 14! We were unbeaten all season apart from losing to ACS Cobham’s A team, which challenged us.
We all huddled round for our final team talk which was lead by Ashton C before kicking off. Both teams started off strongly but we looked the better team after earning many corners and pressuring the defence. However after all of these chances the first half ended 0-0. We started off strongly again in the second half. The first goal didn’t come long after the restart. It was a classic training ground goal which came from a cutback from Adam S to Brennan C who then squared it to Ashton C, who calmly put the ball in the net. However, soon after, Whitgift equalised to make it 1-1. The scoreline stayed the same for the rest of the game and then came extra time.
We had been in this position before and we knew what was coming next. We straight away dominated the game and kept creating chances. Eventually we managed to take one of these chances after a brilliant run from Tioba S-B who beat three men and took a shot which was saved by the keeper. Luckily though Kota D was there to tap in a difficult half volley to make it 2-1. Not long after that Kota D made it 3-1 after a brilliant strike from outside the box which the keeper had no chance of saving. We ended the first half of extra time with a high morale and with the thought that we were 10 minutes away from going into the quarter finals.
Late in the second half of extra time, Whitgift had a corner which the keeper went up for. We then counter attacked. Just like the first goal, it was a goal straight from the training ground, where Kota D cut it back to Gregory D who calmly scored, which left Mr Boyes in awe after screaming at Brennan C to shoot from the half-way line! The final whistle eventually went and the whole team celebrated as we progressed into the Quarter Final of ESFA.
Report by Adam S (3A)
There’s one more week left to enter the Hampton Innovations competition. Take a look at the video below from Leo and Rafe (one of our very own Third Years), who’ll tell you all about it:
You can enter as an individual or as a team, so have a chat with your friends and see what you can come up with. All you have to do is fill out this form linked here
Final entries for shortlisting will be on Friday 26 January 2024, so plenty of time to get your thinking caps on. If you have any questions please email Miss Towler.
Two truths and a lie
Last week, we had 3A’s Form Tutor, Mr Crook. His truths/lies were all sport focused, but which one wasn’t true?
- Mr Crook has played in the FA Cup as a goalkeeper
- Mr Crook has run a 5k Park Run in under 19 minutes
- Mr Crook was part of a team that reach the Final 8 in the Men’s regional Championships for DII Colleges in Rugby in the USA
All of these feel quite feasible, don’t they? Well, slim though he is, Mr Crook was part of a successful rugby team in the USA, representing Minnesota-Duluth. He also did represent a club (Pagham FC) in the early rounds of the FA Cup as a goalkeeper. What he hasn’t done is run a 5k park run in under 19 minutes – though his best time is 20.01 minutes, which is not too shabby at all.
This week, our liar is the man that Mr Crook shares an office with – Mr John. Only two of these are true, but the Third Year blog wishes that all of them were.
- Mr John has had afternoon tea with King Charles
- Mr John is a speed cuber – he can consistently solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 8 seconds
- Mr John has written a book
Which is the lie?
Well done to everyone who had a go at the first Connection Corner of 2024. It was a tricky one and stumped many of you. Merits go to all those who correctly guessed that adding a prefix of San made all the answers into a place name. Big shout out to Krishang T, Olly P, Kiran G, Rory M and Svajan G.
Another tricky one this week, have a go over the weekend and see if you can spot the connection:
In case, you’re still perplexed here are the answers from the half term conundrum:
Which footballer scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal against England at the 1986 World Cup? Diego Maradona
Which famous Spanish actor is the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek film series? Antonio Banderas
Which football manager is known by the media as ‘The Special One’? Jose Mourinho
Which German F1 driver won four consecutive World Championships between 2010-2013? Sebastian Vettel
Connection answer: Adding a prefix of San makes them a place name (San Diego, San Antonio, San Jose, San Sebastian)