Welcome to the Second Year Blog!

There was much anticipation for Character Day amongst Second Years and we all wondered just how many versions of Alex Rider, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes would appear. The boys gathered in the Cloisters where the prizes for best costume and runner-up were announced. They also enjoyed creative writing workshops with the author, Cliff McNish, and raised money for our chosen form charities.

In this week’s blog, we have news of the latest Talk! on ‘The Art of Diplomacy’, a review of the Lower School Art Exhibition and an interesting report on what it’s like to be a stagehand. Thank you to all the boys who reliably come to Blog Club with their interesting ideas. Have a great week and enjoy the first signs of spring!


Another bumper week for merits! Well done to the following Second Years:

Rajvir Sahota – 10

Neev Gangwani – 40

Danyal Pasha – 40

Konrad Granberg – 50 (super!)

Patrick Hobbs – 60 (fabulous!)

Jonty Gwynne – 60 (excellent!)

Jonty Gwynne – 70 (congratulations!)

Lion Merits

Manav Krishna – 10


Each week the pupils decide on a question to ask all the Second Year form tutors. With Character Day in mind, this week’s question comes to us from Willoughby E and Leo L (2L)

If you could be stuck in one of these novels, which one would you choose?

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Treasure Island

Miss Tiller, ‘I’m going with Wonderland – I did write a play inspired by the adventures there…! ‘ and Mrs Whitwam would like to be trapped on Treasure Island because she reckons it will be sunny and she can lie around on the beach and watch swashbuckling pirates. Mr Harrison chose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, ‘Easily Willy Wonka, marking papers would be so much more fun floating down a chocolate river on a lilo.’ This was also chosen by Miss Holt, Miss Winstock (‘I’m keen to try the chocolate which makes you fly!’). Narnia was the pick for Mrs Owen (‘I want to go to Mr Tumnus’s house for tea!’); Mrs Kirby and Mr V-A who struggled: ‘This is a spectacularly difficult question. I’m really stressed about LotR or TLTWTW, but I’m going with Narnia. Aslan’s just lovely!’. Miss Mattinson said 2L have voted for Treasure Island, I think it would have to be Narnia or the Chocolate Factory for me!. No clear winner!

Book Character Day

From Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes and the Mad Hatter to Willy Wonka, the Hampton corridors were teeming with literary figures today as Second Year pupils celebrated World Book Day 2024, raising money for our chosen Form Charities.

Congratulations to our winner Willoughby (2L) and Jonty (2L) our runner up:

Take a look at just some of the fabulous costumes from the day:

Book Character Day Gallery

Meet the mentor

Shiv V (2W) sat down with one of Form 2W’s Upper Sixth Mentor Toby C and fired some questions at him to find out all about Toby:

What is your favourite memory of Hampton?

My favourite memory of Hampton is the snow day last year. All my friends and me were ecstatic to see snow in Hampton, and we all went outside to make snowmen and have fun; we even started making little snowballs from the fresh snow.

What do you do for A Level?

For A Level, I do History, Maths and Physics. I have enjoyed these three subjects ever since I joined Hampton, and so it was easy to decide. No regrets!

What do you want to do at university?

I aspire to do Aerospace Engineering at university which is the practice of designing and modelling spacecraft and planes. If humans decide to colonise other planets in the future, aerospace engineers will be key to this. Furthermore, the A Level requirements for aerospace engineering are history, maths and one other subject so I am well-placed.

What are you going to do after leaving Hampton?

I plan to go somewhere with my friends, possibly a beach of some sort, and get a summer job. I will really miss Hampton, especially seeing my friends every day, so for now I plan to spend as much time with them as possible, while still focusing on my studies.

What do you like about being 2W’s mentor?

I enjoy helping my mentees, giving them guidance and sharing my own experiences with them.

What clubs and sports have you enjoyed most?

I have loved being part of senior rugby, but my favourite club was the model rocket which my friends and I set up.

Last of all, what’s your favourite lunch in the canteen?

Friday’s fried chicken with chips and the chocolate cookies is by far the best!


The Talks! have been coming thick and fast this term. Mrs Whitwam and Vayun J (2W) tell us all about this week’s informative lecture on The Art of Diplomacy:

Nicholas Hopton, who has been British Ambassador in Yemen, Quatar, Iran and Libya spoke to us on Thursday about the role of a diplomat and the skills needed to be successful as well as giving insight into the complexities of the Middle East. He sought to banish the preconception that it was all about sunny places and drinking gin and tonics.

He said diplomacy was about the ‘three Rs’ : reading, writing and representing. He said it was a ‘ huge responsibility and privilege to represent the United Kingdom as ambassador.’ He said to be successful you needed good people skills and languages were a great asset.

Reflecting on his long career in the Foreign Office, Mr Hopton said it always passed ‘the duvet test’ which meant he was always eager to get up and go to work. He said his work was hugely varied and recounted when he met Putin at a conference about Libya and introduced himself and Putin gave him a cold stare and said nothing back.

His experiences on diplomacy were very interesting, especially when he told us how he sat next to Vladimir Putin in a meeting! He also provided a lot of information on the Middle East and the conflict between Israel and Hamas. He told us how he was against military intervention from any country, and how this was an issue to be solved between the two parties present. Overall, the talk was very fascinating and provided useful insight on being a diplomat.

Coming up next is a fascinating Talk! from two directors of Sci-Fi favourite Doctor Who. Find out more here.

Lower School Art Exhibition

The Art Gallery was a riot of colour this week. Siddhant S (2J) tells us more:

This Tuesday there was a Lower School Art Exhibition containing art from the First to Third Year. We could see the preparation made into the project; the walls were covered with paintings and lino prints and drawings; an explosion of colours from the smallest details to the very largest splash of colours. Ceramic pieces had been moulded into cups, vases and many more shapes, all unique to themselves; my favourite were the pop-up ceramic cakes! They looked good enough to eat! Mr Knibbs, however, preferred the abstract ceramic art pieces which were in many unusual shapes.

For me, the stars of the show were the lino prints made by the First Years. They created different animals with different splashes of colour. I highly recommend going if you are interested in art and want to see these amazing pieces yourselves.

Bleak Expectations

Let’s hear from Joshua A (2J), one of the theatre crew who worked behind the scenes on the recent production of Bleak Expectations:

I was working backstage as a stagehand last week and enjoyed being involved in a play with such an outstanding set, costumes and as well as appreciating the comic performances. My tasks included pulling one of the characters on a long chain as well as keeping everyone quiet in the wing which, at times, was very hard! The play was set in Dickensian England where the protagonist Pip Bin, tries to recover his broken family from his evil guardian, Sir Gently Benevolent.

Both Hampton and LEH worked with each other to put on the show; backstage the crew was made up of 14 Hamptonians from across all year groups. The set is the childhood home of Pip Bin, as his older self tells the story. His sisters Pippa and Poppy make this play more of a family adventure. If you’ve seen the show, you would know that it was a great hit!

If you’re interested in getting involved, ask the team at the Hammond Theatre if you can help on the summer show.

Club of the Week

Danyal P (2J) gives us the lowdown on Geography Club:

Geography Club is club full of enjoyment excitement, where we do quizzes about geography. This week was country flags, which were mostly difficult. I learnt new country flags for e.g. the Dominican Republic which I didn’t know was in the Caribbean. I also learnt that there was a country next to it called Haiti. These two countries also suffer from hurricanes. To conclude Geography is a fun club where you learn new things. Please come along to Geography club first half at lunch in G67 where we will be doing different activities of Geography every week.

Lessons of the week

Music and Design Engineering are this week’s feature lessons, Oliver Y (2P) and Joe B (2P) tell us more:

This week in Music, we learnt about Romantic character pieces written in the Romantic Era (1800-1850) representing different moods and feelings. We learnt about the different instruments used in this era, including the harpsichord, which is a really old version of a piano and the different patterns/structures of the character pieces, e.g. ABA (ternary) and AB (binary). Additionally, we learnt about the famous composers in the Romantic Era, including Robert Schumann and Cécile Chaminade. It was all very fascinating.

This week, I have really enjoyed Design Engineering. In Mr Zannettou’s half of 2B, we are working on our 8×8 matrix boards. We finished our code two weeks ago, and last week, we started soldering components onto our PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). We were given soldering irons, solder (a metal alloy shaped like a wire, made of 60% tin and 40% lead), cutters (for the sticking out bits of metal after soldered) and components. Our first components were three 100X resistors and one 180R resistor. We soldered them onto the circuit board by heating the small metal pad on the board for 5-6 seconds, and then dipped the solder in until there was enough. We left the heat on for 1-2 seconds and then took it off. We had to be careful not to put too much or too little solder on, or we risked short circuits or components falling out! We have done the same with 100nf (nano Farad) and 22nf capacitors, one LED, two buttons and a matrix wire connector. I hope the boards turn out well; the project has been really fun so far.

DISCOVER HAMPTON – Stepping back in time with history

The final podcast of the Discover Hampton series features some of our very own Second Years who step back in time to the Tudor period to delve into the reign of Mary I – aka Bloody Mary – with Head of History Mr Roberts.

Click on the link below to listen.


We love to hear about what you have been getting up to outside of school and to celebrate your successes in the Second Year Blog! Please do send any information about any of your achievements through to Mrs Whitwam ().


Well done to everyone who had a go at last week’s quiz. Merits go to:

2J: Joshua A, Siddhant S

2L: Armaan V

2W: Shiv V, Laurie L-T

2B: Joe B, Alex G, Ekam R

2H: James G, Joshua L

2P: Oliver Y, Samrith S P

Take a look at this week’s questions – have a go yourself or challenge people at home and see if they know the answer. Points for the Interform Competition will be awarded to the form with the most entries over the term.

This week’s brain-busting quiz questions have a distinctly literary theme! Why don’t you have a go and enter your answers here. 

Here are the answers to last week’s questions:

  1. What is the earliest date in the year that Easter has fallen? And the latest? March 22/April 25
  2. What is the pagan name for Easter? Eostre
  3. How many Easter eggs are sold in the UK every year? 180 million
  4. Which country started the tradition of the Easter bunny? Germany
  5. The first Easter eggs were real eggs that were boiled and dyed – what colour was traditional? Blue


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