And here we are. Exams finished. Half term started.

What to do with a week filled without any revision hanging over you?

There are computer games to be played, footballs to be kicked and beds to be lain in. All of this is very important.

But, more important even than this, is the General Election which has just been announced.

Now, the Third Year Blog is not here to tell you who should or shouldn’t win the election. But it can tell you what an important privilege having a free and fair election is. It is something we take for granted, but something that many people in the world don’t have the chance to experience.

With that privilege comes responsibility – the responsibility to take the role you have in electing a government seriously. And, even more so now than before, it is important to think critically about what you are told about the parties and leaders competing for the votes of the nation.

Different media organisations will have different motivations to support different candidates and different ideas. The growth of AI will make it harder to be certain what is true and what is not. Parties and candidates will be unfairly smeared or inaccurately praised, and it is up to the people of Britain to understand what it important and true and what is not, and to then make their decision based on all of that.

Clearly, none of the Third Year can vote – you need to be 18 to vote in the UK. But, as elections are often every five years, the chances are that by the time the next General Election comes around you will be able to vote. So, why not try to engage actively with this election?

Take the time to watch or read what is being said about the parties, the candidates and their policies. Visit the websites of the major parties. See how they are being represented on social media and consider how true the various representations seem. Make sure you engage with arguments and ideas that you disagree with or struggle to understand. Talk to your parents and what they think – you might agree. Or you might not. But disagreement and discussion leads to greater understanding. Then, at the end of it all, see who you think you would vote for, if you could. Because next time, you probably will be able to.

Alternatively, catch up on your sleep.

Either way, make the most of your time and have a wonderful break! But first, read the rest of the blog!


Good luck to the J14 rowers who are competing at the National Schools’ Regatta today. We know you have put in a lot of training and we wish all three crews the very best for a strong performance.

Well done to everyone for completing the Third Year Exams this week. For those who missed exams due to absence or illness, please come to school on Monday 3 June prepared to sit those papers.  A reminder that we will only ever ask pupils to aim for personal best. There is no failure, only learning if mistakes occur. With that in mind, the exam reflection task we will ask Third Years to undertake in PSHE during the week after half term is particularly important.

Pupils will receive their exam results in the week after half term and can inform parents themselves. Parents will receive official notification of their son’s exam grades at the end of term in the Summer Grade Card. Departments that set pupils for GCSE will use exam results (alongside other grade data throughout the year and teacher feedback) to inform their decision making and will inform parents by letter before the end of term.

Boys – well done for all your efforts this week. Enjoy your well-deserved week off.

We hope you all have a wonderful half term break!

Best wishes

Mr T Rigby & Mrs M Bedford

Junior Inter Regional Regatta – Nottingham

A few weeks ago, there was an incredible opportunity for me and my fellow crew mates to attend the Junior Inter Regional Regatta. After a long journey, and an overnight stop at a lodge, we made for an early start to the event. The atmosphere was almost overwhelming, and it seemed unbelievable that we were amongst these top crews.

Following a well fought time trial, we had secured our place in the A final, and were now in the running for Gold. We came fourth in the time trial, but we made the unanimous decision that it was now or never. We fought hard, and achieved results. We came off the water with a Silver medal, only losing to Henley by less than a second. I’m so proud of my crew and I know that none of us would be here without each other.

By Marco G (3A)

Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

We heard this week that Hamoodi A-A (3B) received a commendation for his entry into the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators. He offered a beautiful translation of a poem written in Mandarin into English.

This is a brilliant effort bearing in mind that there were 16,000 participants, and is something to be very proud of – the School certainly is!
Well done Hamoodi!

An interview with Harris

If you walk down the corridor that Dr Hendry’s office is on, you will occasionally hear the barking of Harris, the School dog. Preparing a School dog to be ready to be fully part of School life takes time and effort, which also means that you won’t have seen as much of him as you might expect.

The Third Year Blog wanted to get a sense of how Harris was getting on and when we might be seeing more of him. Dr Hendry was very happy to take our questions, put them to Harris and to then interpret the answers of the big dog himself.

How old are you now?

I turned two a couple of weeks ago. Dr Hendry gave me an ostrich bone to chew on as a treat! I also got a cuddly bear to play with and I haven’t even chewed his ears off yet! Sometimes I fall asleep cuddling him.

How big are you? How much do you weigh?

I’m about the same size as my golden retriever friend that I play with in the park. I look much slimmer than them at the moment though as I went to the groomers last week. My fur clippings filled a whole black bin bag when the groomer finished! She said it was like grooming a sheep. Rude!

What’s your favourite food?

I love rabbit and turkey and duck and beef and cheese and peanut butter and yogurt and my cat sisters’ food (although Dr Hendry tells me off when I eat that). I think I like everything except broccoli. Blech! Broccoli’s horrid! Why would any dog eat that?! Dr Hendry said it was good for me, but I don’t believe her. I sometimes eat a carrot, but only if nothing else is available.

How are you settling into being at the School?

I LOVE School! There are lots of humans who say hello to me and some big humans come and take me for a walk every lunchtime. In the morning before anyone else is here I get to run around the School pitches and say hello to the grounds staff. I got into trouble recently for stealing footballs and chewing them, but I can’t help it when they’re so tasty!

What is his favourite thing to do in School?

In the summertime I like searching in the long grass for cricket balls. Dr Hendry takes them away from me if they are in good condition, but sometimes I’m allowed to keep a lovely old smelly one! I tried to eat a cricket ball once – it’s amazing what’s you find inside once you really chew it…

What is the naughtiest thing you’ve done at School so far?

Once I tried to answer the phone for Dr Hendry because she wasn’t there. She wasn’t happy when she came back and found bits of the phone on the floor, but I was only trying to help! She put me in doggy detention for that which is even more serious than a fifteen minute conduct detention!

When do you think you will be able to move more freely around the School?

Dr Hendry says if I’m an even gooder boy than I am already, I might be able to start spending time with the little humans in September. I go out with big humans for walks at lunchtime and I love that, so I can’t wait to run around with little humans. They play with balls on the 3G. Dr Hendry has never let me on the 3G, but it looks really fun!


Our small duck visitors have now left the School. The Third Year Blog thought it would be a good time to speak to Mrs Moria, who is involved in helping make sure the ducks are well catered for when they arrive, to get more of a sense of their time here.

Do we have an idea of how long the ducklings have been coming to Hampton for? Do we know when we started feeding them?

I’ve been working here for eight years, and they’ve been coming for all of those years. I believe they could have been coming for the last twenty or so years. Before The Barry Martin Centre was built, there was an open quad with a large pond in it. They used to nest in there and after that building was built, they moved to Cloisters.

Is it always the same mother duck who brings them?

We don’t know. We think there must be a family link, so whether it started with one mum and we now have the children/grandchildren of the original Mrs Duck we do not know. An internet search suggests it is likely to be the same family. “The female, accompanied by the male, searches for a territory. Most often, she will choose a territory close to where she was born. Some females return year after year to the same site. The nesting site may be close to a pond but is frequently at some distance and may even be far from water.”

How accurately can we predict when they’ll arrive?

Normally in March/April mum and two dads will start visiting. Irregularly at first and then increasing the frequency and timing of their stay. Once the mother duck has laid her eggs, she will stay on the nest for 28 days leaving only to eat and drink.

How many were there this year?

We started with 12 ducklings, and we released 10. One was predated quite soon after they hatched and one was just before we moved them. A successful hatch is considered when over 50% of the birds reach it to adulthood.

How long are they here for?

They were here for three weeks. It’s a judgement call as to when we move them. We try to make sure they’ve had the chance to grow a bit to give them the best chance of survival in the wild. Last year they decided they wanted to stay until they could fly away which was when they were 60 days old!

Are there any predators that they face in the School grounds?

Whilst they are very lucky that they are protected from foxes. In the Cloisters, crows are their biggest predator and we believe responsible for the predation of the ducklings. Thankfully, we have never been around to witness this. We think it must happen around dawn and dusk.

Do you see them enough to get a sense of any individual characters?

Unfortunately not.

How do you manage the process of them leaving?

Moving them is quite stressful. This year there were five of us who came in early on Sunday morning to do it. When she feels threatened Mrs Duck flies off and there is the potential that she could abandon the babies, so we had to be careful this didn’t happen. We funnelled all the babies into one area and gently placed them into a large high sided container. We put this on the back of the School Buggy and drove slowly over to the back of the field. We kept having to stop to make sure Mrs Duck was still around. When the babies were separated from her they make a distress call and you can hear them calling to each other. Once we knew Mrs Duck was at the back of the field, we released the babies by the fence so that they could easily access the River Crane which is behind the fence.  We retreated and watched from a distance to make sure they were all reunited. The whole process took about 2 ½ hours.

I saw the new duck house in the cloister garden for them – who built that and did they use it?

We bought this one to see if they would use it. They did when they were very little, we think it needs to be a little bit bigger, so Mr Jarvis our Maintenance Manager who is also a very skilled carpenter is going to make a new one for next season.

How long have you been in charge of making sure their Hampton experience is a good one?

It’s a complete team effort, my job is to buy the food! The Cleaning Supervisors and Keepers are responsible for feeding them. The Grounds team are responsible for making their accommodation nice and they also put the pond in this year.  Quite often when the team arrive at 5.30 in the morning Mrs Duck is at the doors by the Hammond pecking the door to remind them that she wants feeding! I think the arrival of the ducks makes everyone in the School feel a bit happier, so it feels right that we do our bit to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

A new legend – continued

Lucas Z’s epic tale continues. This week Jax and his team take on Zugai and we learn what a bident is.

Click the link here to read more…

Two truths and a lie

Last week, Miss Alexander offered us these ludicrous claims. Which of these is a lie?

  • Miss Alexander once hugged a shark.
  • Miss Alexander once had her arm broken by a swan.
  • Miss Alexander has never been to Nando’s.

Miss Alexander loves sharks. She also previously worked in the Caribbean, meaning that her hugging a shark was almost inevitable. This seems obvious when you know the facts. However, the Third Year Blog struggles to understand how it is feasible that Miss Alexander has never eaten a Nando’s. But, true it is. Which means that she has never had her arm broken by a swan.

This week, we have no willing liar. We will return after the half term with some ridiculous nonsense from one of the trusted adults in the School.


Well done to the everyone who had a go at last week’s Connection Corner. Well done to everyone who correctly guessed that the answers were all British Monarchs. Big shout out to Krishang T, William O’S, Kiran G, Ollie N, Darshan S,  Luke F, Rory M, Olly P, Dmitriy U and Kian IB.

Another tricky one to have a go at over the weekend:

In case you’re still perplexed, here are the answers from the last week’s conundrum:

Who holds the World Record for the Triple Jump for men? Jonathan Edwards

Which English singer-songwriter had success with Shotgun? George Ezra

Which famous British actress starred opposite her future husband in the film Cleopatra? Elizabeth Taylor

Which Victorian author wrote Hard Times? Charles Dickens

Connection: The four most recent British monarchs Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II and Charles III

HAVE A GREAT half term break!

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