Welcome to the Third Year Blog!

Hello all. Blog time.

This week’s blog is filled with the thwack of leather on willow (for clarity, this is a cricket reference). The weekend saw the start of the season and, while it is nominally summer, it certainly didn’t feel like that on the windswept plains of either Merchant Taylors’ School or Hampton.

Cricket is a wonderful sport, but it is a sport that benefits from the warmth. There are many reasons for this, but one that any cricketer will be able to talk to you about is ‘April hands’. This relates to the experience of trying to catch or stop a flying, hard cricket ball with hands that are crying out to be encased in warm gloves, as opposed to placed in front of a speeding projectile. Any self-respecting coach will talk to their team about the importance of committing to the team’s endeavour and that ‘every run matters’ and ‘catches win matches’. These are true statements, but they don’t always spring to mind when you can’t feel your fingers and the ball is bearing down on you.

Of course, part of this is driven by the fear of being hurt. It is a hard ball and your hands are important and have nerve endings in them. The trouble is that this mindset often leads to you actually hurting yourself more. If you are half hearted in your attempt to catch the ball, you’re less likely to apply the proper technique and more likely, therefore, to hurt your hands. If you really commit to the idea of doing the thing that you don’t really want to do (but know you probably can), and you have trained effectively in the past, the experience is actually painless and can be very satisfying.

The alert amongst you may have felt that this diversion from the core purpose of the blog was somehow trying to tell you something. Those of a particular mindset may have recognised it as a laboured analogy, hobbling towards you, out of breath, trying to offer wisdom about your upcoming end of year exams. The Third Year Blog is nothing if not educational.

But, enough of trying to instil values in you. Let’s talk about what we have in the blog!

Well, there’s cricket, as per the above. We also have a report from a magnificent day for the U14A footballers, who finished their (frankly, incredibly long) season in style. Finally, we have an interview with a Third Year who became a qualified SCUBA diver over the holidays.

A feast for Friday!

Heads of Year Message

It is important for all pupils to recognise the need for calmness and good behaviour in the coming weeks to allow for effective and diligent preparations for the end of year exams.

Third Year Exams

Third Year Exams will take place from May 20 -24 (the week before half term). We hope that Third Year pupils have benefitted from the two Study Skills lessons during PSHE this week. We would encourage everyone to make a revision schedule and stick to it, and be prepared to trial new revision techniques this year whilst being alert to which methods facilitate the best engagement and recall for you. The Third Year is an excellent time to do this and lay strong foundations in study skills for the GCSE years. We have asked all Third Year subject teachers to stop setting homework (or to set targeted revision homework tasks only) from Monday 6 May. Boys should use the homework time available to prepare diligently for Exams. Subject specific revision check lists will be available online from next week.

Co-curricular activities

Boys should continue to listen for Form Tutors announcements, check their emails and the digital screens around school for information about co-curricular activities. We firmly believe that the most successful pupils are those who make the most of the wide-ranging opportunities available at Hampton and enjoy their time at school. The co-curricular timetable can be found here.


For medical absences, please notify your son’s Form Tutors via email (cc’ing absence@hamptonschool.org.uk) on the morning of each day of absence by 8:45am, or complete the absence form via My School Portal. For planned absences and appointments, please contact Heads of Year requesting the absence with as much notice as possible.

Boys – Please remember to let us, your Form Tutors or the relevant subject teachers know if you are having any difficulties.

Have a lovely weekend.

Best wishes

Mr T Rigby & Mrs M Bedford

Cricket Update

U14 A Cricket

It was good conditions for April and the first toss of the season was won by Sanjit B (Captain for Hampton) and he elected to bowl. All in all, Hampton didn’t bowl terribly but mainly they bowled too short on the April wicket we had. A standout performance was Jack H who constantly hit a good line and length and very few runs came off him consequently. Another good performance was Isaac M, bowling at the death and picking up two important wickets. Merchant Taylors’ ended with a total of 170 off 25 overs: a tough chase.

Opening the batting for Hampton were Sanjit B and Ashton C who got off to a good start having nearly 30 runs in four overs. However, the wicket of Ashton slowed the run rate down and after an incredible catch to get the wicket of Ollie K and the wicket of Max P, it was up to me and Sanjit to try to win the game at the required rate of 10 an over. Including some unorthodox shots and a 6 over long on, we were getting closer and closer, needing only 15. Then the wicket of Sanjit went down. From 55 off 5 overs to 9 off 4 balls I knew I needed to go big. Unfortunately, I was caught out in the last over and we didn’t manage to score the runs. Sanjit and I both managed around 40 runs but it wasn’t quite enough.

All credit to Merchant Taylors’, they played incredibly well and deserved the win. Hampton U14s will go again on Saturday 27 April against Tiffin School.

By Xavier K (3C) 

U14B Cricket

The U14Bs set out onto the field, raring to go for their first match of the season against Merchant Taylors’ School, despite rather chilly conditions even with a 2pm start. We felt confident heading into our first match, having beaten them on both of the previous occasions we had faced them. However, we were wary of the fact that they would be looking to come back at us stronger.

We started off with great intensity, with George W and Danny P bowling some tight opening overs, giving away only 22 runs off the first six overs. Oscar B and Rahul B then came on, with Rahul B finding himself unlucky in his first over, with two catches dropped. However, the very next over, Oscar B managed to get us another opportunity, which was taken by Ishaan A at point to get us our first wicket. However, as we went further into the innings, Merchant Taylors’ School started to accelerate, even with: Will O’S taking a wicket; Ishaan A taking a wicket off his first ball, which was well taken by Benedict B at point; Charlie D taking a wicket, which was caught by Danny P; and Rahul B also taking a wicket. They were especially strong in the last few overs of the innings though, hitting 29 runs off the last two overs, and were led to 164-6 off their 25 overs by one of their openers who made 77 not out. We went into match tea knowing that although we had bowled well in parts, we now faced a tough challenge.

We got some words of encouragement from Mr Roberts before we headed into the second innings of the match. Our openers, who were Ethan G and Ollie H, got us off to a great start, especially Ollie H, who made a solid 32, and after eight overs, we found ourselves very well placed with 63 runs scored and just one wicket lost, going well ahead of the run rate required. However, we had a middle order collapse, where we seemed to take too much pressure on ourselves and this caused our run rate to decrease a lot and for us to lose a heap of wickets and end up finding ourselves having scored only 103 runs after 20 overs and having lost eight wickets. Manraj G and George W managed to play impressive innings in the last few overs though, with George W being particularly impressive hitting 28 runs off 18 balls and the only six of our innings, to reduce the margin by which they won, as we ended on 149 runs.

Overall, despite some rustiness from us, we had played well in many parts of the game and we look to come back stronger in our next game against Tiffin School this weekend.

By Ishaan A (3H)

Scuba Diving

 Over Easter, Daniel M (3A) became a qualified Scuba diver. As well as some magnificent photos, we wanted to share an interview with him talking about the experience.

 So, what is the qualification you managed to get over the Easter break?

Over the Easter holiday I achieved my open water SCUBA diving certification. To achieve this qualification I needed to first complete a theory course that I completed the half term before. This theory course was quite long and contained a lot of important information about how to dive and safety while diving.

How long have you been diving for?

This was my first time properly diving and overall I went on 18 dives, but I have also done a bubble maker course in Mallorca a few years ago, which was my first time using SCUBA gear. I also went on a few shorter dives while doing the course that didn’t count because they weren’t as deep, as they were only for trying different skills.

Where did you first start learning?

As I previously said I did a short bubble maker course in Mallorca a few years ago but this Easter was my first time properly diving.

As you have progressed, what has been the most difficult or challenging part of learning to dive?

During our course we had to practise many skills that were somewhat challenging while being a dozen meters underwater, but I think the hardest ones were: removing, retrieving and clearing my mask underwater and something called a CESA which is a form of emergency exit when you are out of air and the surface is closer than your buddy. This included orally inflating your BC after you have reached the surface.

What is it that you most enjoy about diving?

I most enjoyed the feeling of being underwater almost as if you are floating, I also really enjoyed seeing the amazing different species of fish and marine wildlife.

Where is the best place you have dived?

The place I went to dive in the Easter was absolutely amazing. It was called Wakatobi – a dive resort in Indonesia – and it was a conserved area so the biodiversity was amazing, we saw loads of turtles, rays, sea snakes and more! There were many different dive sites we went to there but my favourite was Turkey Beach. It was named this because there are so many turtles there but the people who discovered it thought turtles were called turkeys!

What would be your dream diving experience?

My dream diving experience would be to dive somewhere like the Cocos Islands of Costa Rica where there are loads of hammerhead sharks. Sharks were one of the only things we didn’t see at Wakatobi and I think it would be an amazing experience to dive with sharks.

What would you say to someone reading this thinking about whether to give diving a try?

I highly recommend SCUBA diving to anyone who would like to give it a try. It is an amazing experience. Not only the amazing wildlife that makes it a completely different world but also the incredible experience of floating underwater (especially once you have mastered neutral buoyancy). Overall diving is an incredible experience, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone who is willing to try it.

The Arsenal independent Schools’ Cup

This week, saw the final football fixture for Third Years, Joe T (3H) tells us all about it:

Upon arrival, as the U14As took the first steps towards the changing room, everyone was in awe of the incredible astro and grass pitches. Nobody could have imagined how perfect it could have been. The sun shone high in the sky as we got ready, hearts racing. With each game only being 25 minutes, we all knew how hard we would have to work to come out on top. As we took off on our first game of the Arsenal Academy’s Independent Schools’ Cup, spirits were high, and the football was played perfectly. We had won our first game with a few seconds to go!

Our second game followed suit with similar outcome, the sun still shining as we played our football. As the fourth game commenced, we were on the top of the leaderboard with a total of nine points only matched by one team. We managed to win convincingly in our penultimate game. Now we only had one other team to beat. As we stepped out onto the Arsenal pitch, we all knew we could only do one thing: win. And that is exactly what the team did!

All of the boys pulled through and managed to go undefeated at the tournament taking home the trophy to sit alongside the U16 Cup from earlier this year. We had done what we set out to do and came home with even higher spirits than we had started with.

Take a look at the moment they lifted the trophy: 

Form Charity Bake Sale

Don’t miss this term’s Form Charity Bake Sale to help raise funds for our three charity partners: Jamal Edwards Self-Belief Trust, the Woodland Trust, and Children at Risk in Asia.

Cakes and other baked treats will be available for pupils to buy at morning break in the Cloisters, costing 50p or £1 per item. Head to the Cloisters at break time on Thursday 2 May, there promises to be lots of tasty treats on sale!


Don’t miss the first Talk! of the summer term and the unique opportunity to hear from two specialists from the world of humanitarian aid and disasters, Professor Ian Davis OH (1955) and David Peppiatt OH (1987). Listen to their experiences and get first-hand account of what it is like to be an aid worker on the front line and the challenges they face trying to ensure aid reaches civilians devastated by war or natural disasters. Come along to the Hammond Theatre on Wednesday 1 May at 1pm.

Find out more here.

Two truths and a lie

Last week, Mrs Griffiths one of our outstanding receptionists was our resident liar. She tried to tell us that:

  • Everyday, while working at the School, Mrs Griffiths does chair yoga exercises for at least four hours.
  • Mrs Griffiths studied Japanese for two years.
  • Mrs Griffiths became profoundly deaf on one side after being involved in an emergency landing in an aircraft while working as a member of the cabin crew.

Well, it turns out that Mrs Griffiths was involved in an emergency landing while working as cabin crew. While doing that job, she also studied Japanese for two years. What this means is that she doesn’t do four hours of chair yoga a day…

This week, we have the U14A Football coach, Mr Hooper offering untruths. Have a look at these….

  • Mr Hooper’s father played professional cricket.
  • Mr Hooper has a Maths A level.
  • Mr Hooper played football for the ISFA U18 England team.


Well done to the everyone who had a go at last week’s Connection Corner. We were after something quite specific last week, merits go to all those who correctly guessed that the answers were all counties of Ireland. Big shout out to Rory M, Bailey HC, Olly P, Krishang T, Kiran G, Darshan S and William O’S.

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 last week’s conundrum:

What is the name of the poem where the first, second and fifth lines have the same rhyme and rhythm? Limerick

What is the name of the impermeable buoyant material that is most commonly used to stopper bottles of wine? Cork

Which sports presenter will host Wimbledon on the BBC this summer? Clare Balding

What is the name of the chain of local bakers’ shops that can be found in Hampton, Hampton Hill, Teddington and Twickenham? The Cavan Bakery

Connection: All counties of Ireland (County Limerick, County Cork, Country Clare, County Cavan)


Back to All Articles