Welcome to the Third Year Blog!
…and, just like that, we’re all back!
The start of a new term is always an odd time, as teachers and pupils shake the dust off from a few weeks off. It is also the time when the ‘Third Year Paradox’ is most true. This is the logic problem whereby you ask a Third Year what they did most of for the last three weeks, to find them answer ‘sleep’. When you then ask them how they are feeling as the new term starts, they answer ‘tired’. Admittedly, this paradox can’t hold a candle to Galileo’s Paradox of the Infinite (look it up, or ask someone in the Maths department), for example, but it is one that recurs through the years.
Of course, the reality is that after the initial shock of getting out of bed when the hour is a single digit (in the 24 hour clock) for the first time in weeks wears off, energy levels rise and the roller coaster that is the Hampton week kicks back in. It is hard to be tired when you’ve got so much stuff to do and it has been brilliant to see the boys all throwing themselves into their lessons and clubs. This is particularly true for the pupils who have been braving the elements this week during their lunchtime training sessions with the bitter northerlies racing across the field – it’s been an inspiring sight to see them all out there, though not as inspiring as watching Messrs Sims, Hooper and Hood who have been running these sessions in their shorts due to an ill judged wager as to who would be able to make it all the way through the winter without succumbing to the warm embrace of a tracksuit bottom. Rumour has it that Mr Hood has already given in, but Mr Hooper and Mr Sims are still going – a competition to keep an eye on.
As far as this week’s blog goes, we have a couple of excellent reports and a video from the Junior Ski Trip to Austria as well as information about an Innovation Competition being run by some of the Sixth Form. Plenty to get your teeth into…
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 end of term grade cards – 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 Dr Hendry (firstname.lastname@example.org), copying in Form Tutors and Heads of Year. Please continue to contact us, your son’s Form Tutors and Dr Hendry (Deputy Head) if you have any 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 (20 May – 24 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 Nicholson (email@example.com).
For medical absences, please notify your son’s Form Tutors via email (cc’ing firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
In the current cold weather, pupils are allowed (or indeed encouraged) 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. Persistent failure to meet these uniform requirements is a conduct issue.
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
Junior Ski Trip
Over the Christmas holidays, a group of 60 Third Year Hamptonians traded in their textbooks for the snow-capped mountains of Wagrain in Austria, as they embarked on a week-long ski adventure. Let’s hear from Dylan L (3A) and James E (3F) and find out how they got on:
After waking up bright and early, 59 lucky Hamptonians and I arrived at Heathrow Airport excited about our trip to the Austrian Alps. We were all wearing black and yellow odd balls hats and looking to spot others with matching head wear to go together through security and onto the plane. As we got onto the plane, we realised that it would be a long day of travelling as we still had to take a coach from Munich to Wagrain once we landed. Fast forward (if only we could have!) to when we arrived at our accommodation, where we were all told that we had to try on all of the kit that we needed for the next day to hit the slopes as early as we could. As it turned out, that was just the thing to help us work up an appetite. As we sat down, we were greeted with a big bowl of soup. To some it looked unappetising, but we soon found out that it tasted a lot better than anticipated!
All geared up and ready to go after breakfast, we met the instructors who would be helping us improve our skills over the week. Soon after, groups three to six travelled up the mountain via the Flying Mozart gondola while groups one and two spent their first day on the practise slope. It had been a while since some of us had last skied, but we all got the hang of it quickly after our first run. As we sat in the chairlift, you just couldn’t ignore the breath-taking scenery. The snow-covered trees and valleys were very picturesque. After stopping for lunch, we all headed back out to continue to ski for a few more hours. After a little bit of reshuffling of groups, we all spent a few fun filled days skiing the slopes of the neighbouring mountain. These were my favourite slopes as you had access to a wide variety of runs including more slaloms and the fun runs! On this mountain, we were able to record the speed of our descent and many high speeds via a range of different ski apps.
On this trip, we did not only ski, as we had a large range of after-ski activities. The most popular were the football and basketball tournaments. We were split into six different teams, and all had to play each other in quick-fire matches. We also went swimming one night where most of us all took advantage of the slides. Another day we watched a film and another night we even went on a toboggan. For this we had to queue up in pairs and slowly but surely, you reached the top of the track with your partner. As we bombed down the track, most of us not braking at all, we were clutching our seats with excitement.
My personal highlights were the fun runs as there were many fun jumps and corners to accelerate through. Halfway through the week, one of the courses was changed and suddenly there were new obstacles for us to complete. Last but not least, we could not forget our guide, Leon. He was a very fun personality to be around, and he introduced a number of catchphrases to the Hampton vocabulary. We would be willing to pass them on to you “for a small nominal fee.” We returned home to a snow free Heathrow on 22 December with lasting memories of a fantastic trip.
By Dylan L (3A)
Having spent weeks studying the piste map and tracking the snowfall and weather it was really exciting to head off to Austria as soon as term ended. In our matching Hampton bobble hats we met early at Heathrow for a long day of travel and arrived at Wagrain in cold darkness. We hired our ski kit, had dinner and unpacked in our dorms.
The next morning we awoke to bright sunshine and loads of snow and I couldn’t wait to hit the slopes. Every day started with a typical Austrian breakfast of various meats and cheeses. We then made and packed our own sandwiches for lunch and then headed to the Flying Mozart lift – our entry way to the vast skiing area. We skied in groups of ten and each group had an instructor. The lessons were technical and fun. All groups congregated for lunch at the same place and some days we were able to extend our skiing day, being guided down a few extra runs by Mr Bailey and Mr Cumberbatch.
We usually returned to the hotel by 4.30pm and there was just enough time to hang up our kit before the evening activities began. Our hotel was a sport hotel specifically for young people with fantastic facilities. The large sports hall was the venue for football and basketball competitions over multiple days. We watched “The Meg” in the film room one night and went swimming another night. A highlight was tobogganing, where we sat in a cart connected to rails which bombed down the mountain doing sharp turns and drops, making it really fast and fun. It was an action-packed week which was really enjoyable and, as I am new to Hampton, it was also a brilliant way to get to know more people. Huge thanks to the teachers for taking us and getting us home in time for Christmas!
By James E (3F)
To get a taste of our Junior Ski Trip, take a look at our photo gallery and watch the video below:
Do you have an idea that could revolutionise the environmentally friendliness of the School? Maybe you want to convert the School fields to a wind farm, sell Hampton’s waste to foreign markets or invest heavily in green toilet paper stock! The wilder and more creative the better. Enter as an individual or as a team (a problem shared is a problem halved after all).
All you have to do is fill out this form linked here.
From the entries submitted, the best, the wackiest and the most well thought out will be shortlisted to present their ideas at a fair to battle it out for ultimate glory …. well … a TROPHY and a PRIZE.
Give it a go, see how far your hairbrained scheme will take you. 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
Before Christmas, our willing liar was Mr Towl. He tried to convince us that the following were true:
- Mr Towl has scored a goal at Wembley Stadium.
- Mr Towl has cracked his head open on four separate occasions.
- Mr Towl has been on 18 plane flights in 2023 – one every 19 days.
So, which was the lie?
While it seems impossible that such a fresh faced young gentleman as Mr Towl can have cracked his head open on four separate occasions, it is true. Beyond that, while he’s no Mr Walsh (who goes abroad every weekend), he has also been on 18 plane flights in 2023. So the lie was the idea that he had scored a goal at Wembley Stadium – having seen Mr Towl play football in the staff 5 a-side matches, a much more feasible scenario would have been for him to have been booked at Wembley Stadium, but he’ll have to remember that for the next time he tries to pull the wool over our eyes.
This week, we have 3A’s Form Tutor, Mr Crook. He wants us to believe this nonsense:
- 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 reached the final eight in the Men’s regional Championships for DII Colleges in Rugby in the USA.
Surely, none of that is true? Find out next week…
Connection Corner is back with another challenging conundrum! Have a go over the weekend and see if you can spot the connection:
Have a great weekend!
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