Welcome to the Third Year Blog!
The blog can barely walk this week.
If you were to personify this week’s blog, it would be taking part in one of those man versus food competitions, filling themselves, gorging themselves, undoing their belts and having to take temporary breathers before plunging back to the plate for more of the sweet, sweet pie.
It is a veritable contentosaurus. It is like a bear in late autumn.
If you were to offer a sports simile, it is like an NFL nose tackle – impossible to get through quickly.
This, while incomprehensible as a simile to most of you (thus rendering it useless), is very apt, as this weekend is Super Bowl weekend!
American Football is a sensational sport. The structure of game is entirely designed to deliver ongoing tension. The physicality, speed and skill of the players is breathtaking. The finances of the sport have been crafted to try to ensure parity year after year, making it possible for any team to find their way to the top of the tree if they are successfully managed (unless you are the New York Jets, it would seem). It is deeply ironic that a sport that is essentially at the pinnacle of capitalism (it would cost a company $7million to run one 30 second advertising spot during this weekend’s game), is run using what is essentially a structure based on socialist principles. This, though, is a discussion for another, less corpulent, blog.
Best of all is the variety of player types the game can cater for. There are the aforementioned Nose Tackles and the Offensive Linemen who play opposite them, who can weigh up to 25 stone. There are the Wide Receivers, sprinting down the sidelines at a speed that could qualify for the 100m in the Olympics, chased by the Cornerbacks who are able to keep up with them. There are the Edge rushers, terrifying creatures 6ft 5inches tall, weighing 18 stone and able to run 40m in 4.5 seconds trying to attack the Quarterback who is calmly surveying the field in the 2.5 seconds they get before one of the Edge Rushers assaults them, before throwing it 60 yards downfield with pinpoint accuracy. There are even the kickers, some of whom wouldn’t look physically out of place in the Fifth Year at Hampton, who do nothing apart from try to kick a stationary ball through the posts at the most highly pressured moment of the match, rendering all of their physically incredible teammates’ efforts worthless if their technique and mental fortitude fails at the wrong moment.
While they are all different, all of them have remarkable skill and talent. When they work together and encourage each other to let these complementary talents shine, they are capable of sensational things and they look like they have a wonderful time doing it.
The sharper amongst you will have seen this analogy limping into view a few lines ago, but it is impossible not to be reminded of the Third Year at Hampton, particularly as they are exemplified in this week’s bloated blog. We have rowing triumph, we have the end of the road for a marvellous cup football run, we have reports from the Rock Concert, we have Interform competition, we have cross country running and we have a trip to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see, first hand, some remarkable Ghanaian artifacts.
Even for the Third Year blog, this is almost too much blog. Let’s get into it!
Heads of Year Message
Thanks to everyone for supporting our Form Charity partners by coming to school in Mufti today. We can sometimes do this on autopilot on the final day of term, but it is worth reminding everyone of the money we raise in the process and the educational purpose of looking beyond the school gates at our impact on the local, national and global communities of which we are a part. More details can be found here. We’re also grateful for the many Food Bank donations that pupils brought to school this morning.
We thoroughly enjoyed watching the interform rowing challenge on Thursday lunchtime. A really strong showing from every Form meant that over half the Year Group participated in (or supported) the event. The boys put in a phenomenal effort and between them covered over 48,000m of rowing in a lung busting 20-minute race. Well done to 3D who determinedly held onto a slender lead from start to finish, but also to 3A and 3C who were neck-and-neck the whole way and needed a photo finish to separate them. Everyone should be very proud of their efforts after the race!
Commiserations to the U14B football team who lost 1-0 in their ESFA Cup match in midweek. They played really well against strong opposition but couldn’t find the magic formula on this occasion. Thanks to all the Third Year pupils who came out at lunchtime to support the team and represent the school well.
Boys – We wish you all a peaceful and restorative half term holiday, and we look forward to seeing you in a week’s time – refreshed and rejuvenated for next half term. Have a lovely week off!
Mr T Rigby & Mrs M Bedford
Hampton head was on Saturday 3 February on a 2.8km stretch of the Thames. It was a fresh morning with some pretty heavy cloud overhead. As a rower those conditions weren’t bad. We didn’t need to worry about overheating and the air was refreshing. I can’t say the same for spectators, some of whom were at the riverside for five hours or more. Over 30 boat clubs and over 600 boats from singles to octo’s were racing. As you can imagine that takes some fairly intensive management which was handled expertly by the staff of our boat club, in particular Mr Perry. Boats were on the water from 8am and the event was finally over at 3:30pm. I say ‘over’: there was still an enormous amount of work done by those managing the event afterwards. My octo was on the water by 9:30am and then we started our stressful navigation of the seemingly endless stream of boats. My boat was lead by Zack A as cox, Daniel McC in the 8 seat, Jasper M at 7, Ben P at 6, Billy M at 5, Jorge M-F at 4, Harry L at 3, Luke C at 2 and Alex C at Bow. This was our first race and we had a few bags of sweets in the boat so understandably energy was very high. Despite this, Zack got us down to the start line incident free. The usual alertness of Alex and Luke was of course very helpful. Once we’d gotten all the way up we’d fully changed into race clothes, snacks away, water bottles empty and focusing for the race. Our warm ups went smoothly and it was looking like a good race was ahead.
We got to watch some of the older year groups race in the time we spent waiting. Every crew looked very well drilled but, at the risk of sounding biased, I’d say the Hampton Sixth Formers were the standout performers. They looked immaculate. Every one of them was overtaking crews, it was like they were in their own separate lane. The quads had all gone by and so had the doubles. We needed to start getting ready. We spun around at the top end of the race with help from Mr Lee and Mr Hill and before we knew it we were at race pace flying towards the start line and then we were off. There was an obvious difference in speed between this and how we’d trained. The scenery racing past and the turning heads of our opponents in the corners of our eyes, we were pushing faster and faster – it felt like we’d never get to a full speed.
Before we knew it we were past the first bend and properly into the race. Zack guided us expertly down the river as we tried to keep a hold of our technique through the grittier stages of the race. Daniel had almost mechanical accuracy in holding us in time, keeping the crew together. The rhythm of the boat was constant and spirits were high. The Hampton J14As of the previous year had won the event so we were the first in our category scheduled to start. Although this left us a nice open river to work with, it also meant we had no way to know how we were doing because we couldn’t be sure how long afterwards the next boat was released. Regardless, we rowed on. Soon we were far enough down river that we started seeing crowds of parents. There was the odd sideways glance but we kept our composure, not rocking the so far level boat. In what felt like 30 seconds we had made it to the last island on the course signalling to us that the finish line was closing in. Collectively we heaved harder, reached further and pulled faster. This was it. Our race on our part of the river. Almost at the end the boat felt faster than ever. The fatigue had started to show in our form. A few big splashes here and there and 1 crab was caught but we recovered quickly, never relenting our efforts. Then there it was. The finish line.
Our race was over and our time was in. It was out of our hands now. The race had left us absolutely exhausted but we still paddled on without incident to an official who helped us spin and head back towards the boathouse. We watched and cheered for our boats as they came down past the island 1 by 1. The B boat had even managed to overtake another school during the race. Once we made it to the landing stage it became painfully apparent that there was still a lot to do. J15 crews were warming up and helping us out of our boat. Once our B C D E and F boat who had all had an excellent race were back and had put their boat away. We headed upstairs and out of the way of the other crews.
By that evening the scores were finally in. It was an amazing result for the J14s. Us, the A crew had won the event and 2nd place was none other than our own B boat. 3rd was Molesey and 4th was Keane sculling school. Our C crew had managed to come 5th, our Ds 7th, Es 8th and F crew 10th. Bearing in mind that this was an A, B and C crew event with 13 different boats this was an outstanding result. What’s more is that because there were medals for of course 1st 2nd and 3rd A B and C crews, it worked out in the end that every single one of our crews had won a medal. 2 Gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal had been earned for us across the day.
It was a brilliant outing. Not just the scores but the organisation made it an incredibly smooth process. This was a long-awaited race and the first for our year. It was a good experience to learn from for our new and inexperienced rowers.
By Ben P (3H)
You may have seen in the news recently, that the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum have agreed to loan 32 gold and silver treasures back to Ghana. The Asante gold is Ghana’s equivalent of our Crown Jewels and are being returned on a three-year loan in the coming months.
On Tuesday 6 February – which, coincidentally, was the 150th anniversary of the British army’s raid on the Asante capital – I was lucky enough to see them in person at the V&A. I was kindly hosted by Angus Patterson, the Museum’s Senior Curator for Metalwork, who took the pieces out of store to show to me and talked to me about their importance. The items have cultural and spiritual significance to the Asante people and were looted by the British army during wars between the British and the Asante empire, in Ghana. The items include a peace pipe and badges worn by the king’s ‘soul-washer’. Current British laws prevent museums from returning some artefacts permanently, so the loan will allow the items to be displayed in the Palace Museum of the current Asante King to commemorate his silver jubilee. I felt privileged to see them at first hand before they travel home after 150 years.
Report by Alex C (3F)
On Tuesday 6 February, I was lucky enough to participate in the U14Bs ESFA Quarter final match against Ivybridge Community College. It was an incredible feeling to be out on that pitch, with all of us playing our hearts out and fighting until the very final whistle. That is why, unfortunately, the defeat hurt all the more when we lost 0-1 at the end of it. However, it did give me a chance to reflect on our current season and previous ESFA games, which never fail to bring a smile to my face as I remember what we have already achieved.
We played amazing football every step of the way thanks to our coach Mr. Boyes. From an 8-3 win against Bradfield College, to an unbelievable 4-1 win against Whitgift in extra time, this has been a great year for us. I have to mention once again how proud I am to represent Hampton in such a skilled and fantastic team. I think I speak for the whole team when I say it hurts that our ESFA campaign is over for this year, but I am positive that our determination and ability will lead us to a very promising next season, with even greater successes.
By Paul I (3A)
The 2024 Rock Concert was probably one of the best I’ve seen or played in at Hampton. A solid standard of performance was delivered throughout – notably uplifted by just how great all the lighting and staging in the Hammond was. The concert saw a variety of different songs performed – with both usual favourites like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Oasis, to some newly performed acts ranging from Pink Floyd to Polyphia. While I’ve been in some other of these concerts before, this one felt particularly great for my band and I as this time, we got to play an original song we wrote. All in all, this concert has got to be one of my favourite parts of the school year, and was a really fun event to be part of!
By Alex L (3G)
On the night of the Rock Concert, we went to the music hall straight after school for a talk on everything we needed to know for the concert. After that, we had soundchecks and the stage was looking amazing, with an impressive set up and really cool lighting; I was so excited to perform but also extremely nervous. We had dinner shortly afterwards and after some last minute rehearsals it was time to go backstage for the concert. I had a band with my friends and we were playing an original song that we wrote together and we were second in the whole thing. The first band started playing and because I knew we were next this was the point where the nerves really started to kick in. When it was time for us to play, we went up to our positions and got ready and then we started.
As nervous as I was beforehand, as soon as we started playing I just became absorbed by the atmosphere and put my all into the performance, as did everyone else. Despite a few minor mistakes, we made it through to the end and ended up putting in a performance that I was very proud of. And that performance reminded me yet again why I always love doing the Rock Concert. It’s just such a great experience performing your song in front of a large crowd and no matter how nervous you feel beforehand it is always more than worth it.
By Harry S (3G)
Richmond Cross Country
Two Fridays ago was the Richmond Schools’ Cross Country Championships. There were races from all year groups from First year to Upper Sixth. The Second and Third year races were both at eleven o’clock so we left Hampton at around 9:30. We were all nervous on the journey there and talking about our plan for the race. It was two laps of a loop in Richmond Park which was, in total, 4.4km. We were thinking of running at a pace just quicker than our 5k pace which worked pretty well. We arrived at the race an hour before the start, so we had time to watch the end of the First year race and warm up. Finally, we had to take our place at the start line. After what felt like an eternity, the gun was shot and our race began. Around 150 people were in our race and we all funnelled into one narrow path. Unfortunately, on the first turn, someone caught my leg and I fell, injuring me knee so I couldn’t run the race as well as I was hoping. However, our other Hampton runners did really well with three of us coming in the top 20. At the end of the race, we were able to rest for ten minutes before returning back to school just in time for lunch.
By Charlie D (3G)
Thursday saw the Third Year Interform rowing competition, which is always a high point of the year both in terms of excitement and volume. In total, the boys rowed over 48km in 20 minutes. Who won? The results are below:
1st: 3D 5575m at 1.45.7 per 200m
2nd: 3A 5540m at 1.48.3 per 200m
3rd: 3C 5529m at 1.48.5 per 200m
4th: 3G 5498m at 1.49.1 per 200m
5th: 3H 5412m at 1.50.8 per 200m
6th: 3B 5263m at 1.54.0 per 200m
7th: 3E 5260m at 1.54.1 per 200m
8th: 3F 5141m at 1.56.7 per 200m
9th: 3J 5029m at 1.59.3 per 200m
To the victor, the spoils (and the chance to write the report…).
20 minutes straight on the rowing machine, all out, changing the rower every 45 seconds or so.
Nine forms were competing for first place.
3, 2, 1, GO!
And it was off! The inter form rowing had begun.
The Sports Hall erupted into screaming and shouting, everyone supporting and cheering their team on. Our team, 3D, had a shaky start, hovering around 5th place but we slowly started gaining on the form in-front of us. By the time of the 5th minute of rowing we had overtaken the leaders at the time (3E) and we were rowing strong in first. The pressure was high in the sports hall with people out of breath and heavily breathing after giving their all for their form. We kept pushing, going faster and faster, increasing the gap between us and second place which had gotten 10 meters close due to Will D heroically launching himself off the ergo, without warning anyone else (the best moment of all in my opinion).
The minutes were counting down and by the last 45 seconds we had a strong lead of 300m ahead of second place. I finished and with the last 5 second countdown, we had come first. Our form was delighted and with a real team performance, we had won. Beaming we took a group picture and headed back to form to an extremely happy Mrs Clarke. Well done to Harry W, Jamie R, Alex B, Konrad R, Josh M, Dmitry U, Will D and everyone who participated in the Interform rowing.
Report by Oliver M-H (3D)
Take a look at the video below to get a sense of the excitement at the event:
Next blog, we will provide an update on the overall positions in the Interform Cup!
DISCOVER HAMPTON – BUILDING BATTERIES IN CHEMISTRY
In this episode we join Mr Schofield teaching our young chemists how to build batteries. Around since 1799, batteries are everywhere in our day-to-day life and battery technology is key to moving away from fossil fuels for transportation and power generation – an essential topic for all our young chemists. Click on the link below to listen.
Two Truths and a Lie
Last week, Mr Zannetou was the teacher shamelessly lying in order to feed the monster that is ‘Two truths and a lie’. It all sounded strangely convincing…
- Mr Zannetou is affiliated with the Mozambican national football team
- Mr Zannetou raced cars (he is unspecific about which type of cars)
- Mr Zannetou was once a security guard for 90s pop idol and reality TV hero Peter Andre
Which was the lie?
It turns out that Mr Zannetou did race cars. I am sure that if you asked him, he would be able to tell you more about this, as the Third Year blog is woefully ill informed on this point. Mr Zannetou was once a security guard for Peter Andre – the Third Year blog imagines that he is too discreet to reveal any secrets, but he must have any number of stories about mid-90s C list celebrities. What this means is that he has no affiliation with the Mozambican national football team. Bearing in mind the fact that Mozambique have never qualified for the World Cup and haven’t qualified for AFCON since 2010, this probably reflects quite well on him.
This week’s liar is Assistant Head of Third Year, Mr Moore. An illustrious man lowering himself into a pit of dishonesty. Such is the price of being a Third Year tutor at Hampton. So, which of the following ‘facts’ are facts and which is an untruth?
- Mr Moore is a big Abba fan
- Mr Moore has won the National Rosslyn Park Rugby 7s
- Mr Moore has scuba-dived in the Bahamas to conduct fieldwork on endangered coral reef ecosystems
Well done to everyone who had a go at last week’s Connection Corner. Merits go to all those who correctly guessed that the answers were all to do with Christmas. Big shout out to Zhenbo H, Oscar B, Huw P, Devan B, Kian I B, Ali J, Oliver C, Krishang T, Salah S, Kiran G, Luke F, Ishaan A, AJ C, Jake O’R, Oliver S, Darshan S, Olly P, Bailey HC and Rory M.
Another tricky one this week, have a go over the half term break and see if you can spot the connection:
In case, you’re still perplexed here are the answers from the last week’s conundrum:
What is the capital city of Belgium? Brussels
Who presents This Morning alongside Stephen Mulhern? Holly Willoughby
In which country was the Ottoman Empire centered? Turkey
Which Northern Line station lies between King’s Cross and Old Street? Angel
Connection answer: All things to do with Christmas (brussel sprouts, holly, turkey, angel)