Welcome to the Third Year Blog!

This week, we have an embarrassment of riches for the blog. Not only have an inordinate amount of things happened, been achieved or been experienced, but an inordinate amount of our wonderful Third Years have chosen to then write about those things.

We have pupils inspiring Hampton Prep pupils in the world of photography, we have reports on cricket, we have record breaking athletes, we have reports on powerful talks, we have trips to legendary musicals, we have computer game design, we have sailing triumph, we have prizegiving musicians, we have a viewpoint on Hampton rowing and we have organ performances at London railway stations.

Frankly, the fact that this bit is still going on is only delaying you getting to the good stuff. The Third Year Blog feels as if it is in an excellent position this week despite little to no discernible excellence of its own.

We are the Gareth Southgate of school blogs.

Only a bit less defensive minded.

And without a complicated relationship with waistcoats.

Heads of Year Message

Well done and thank you to all Third Year pupils for their respectful yet active participation in a number of presentations from guest speakers this week:

  • Monday morning: Imran Ahmad (OH) Talk
  • Wednesday morning: Mike Haines OBE – RS Talk on Forgiveness
  • Wednesday afternoon: Careers in Creative Industries Forum

Thank you to the many members of the Hampton School Community who gave up their time to support the Careers in Creative Industries Event on Wednesday.

We were also delighted to receive news of the outstanding work of the Hampton delegation at the ISSP Creative Writing Day at Tolworth Girls School last Thursday. They were Nihal B, Filip L, Sam F, Bailey H-C, Ashton C, and Rory M.

With just one week left of this academic year, we really enjoyed celebrating the achievements of this Year Group at our Prizegiving event on Thursday evening. It is impossible for us to recognise every achievement or worthy act with a prize, and we are well aware how many pupils deserve recognition across a wide range of academic and co-curricular achievements throughout the year. Please rest assured that these achievements are recognised and valued by teachers at each and every performance, sports fixture, grade card or event – even if a prize was not forthcoming on this occasion.

As well the Founders’ Day Assembly on Tuesday next week, there will be a Mufti Day on Friday (last day of term) to raise funds towards Form Charity.

Laptops

Pupils and parents should be aware that the school’s network filters monitor all devices for inappropriate language, inappropriate content or concerning behaviour. The new school laptops are subject to the school’s network filters for online activity at any time – i.e. searches made at home will be picked up by the school’s network filters on arrival at school. Pupils must recognise that the laptops are for school work only, in school and at home. Any activity that meets the threshold for concern will be followed up in school.

Absences

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 the parent portal. For planned absences and appointments, please contact Heads of Year requesting the absence with as much notice as possible.

Boys, we hope you make the most of the last week of term. Please throw yourselves into the activities on offer (including the interform penalty shoot-out)  and keep supporting one another with kindness right until the end of term. As always, do reach out to us or your Form Tutors if you are having any difficulties.

We hope you all have a lovely weekend in the sunshine!

Best wishes

Mr T Rigby & Mrs M Bedford

Arts Award Workshops

On Friday 21 June, me and my teammates, Aadam K and Jamie H, hosted an arts award workshop for Hampton prep on Photography. Before the event started, the tension was high and many last minute changes had to be done, such as collecting the lamps, finding backgrounds for the pictures and making last minute changes to the presentation. I found the most stressful part the first workshop because it was the first time we were going through the whole thing and we had to make it all look perfect for the pupils. We did our best to entertain the younger pupils and tried to share our attention to all of the members and reward them copiously.

They seemed to be having a great time and most liked taking pictures outside and editing the pictures and of course, the rewards. The only issue we had was not having enough iPads for the pupils to take pictures on, but this problem was resolved when I brought a digital camera on which a trusted pupil could take pictures on. In between the workshops, we met up with our supervisors to discuss little changes and we decided to spend more time outside and manage our time better. Overall, I found our photography workshop an incredible event that has inspired children to take on photography.

Report by Edmond L (3B)

Siddharth S and I ran a workshop about video game design at the Arts Award workshop on 21 June. We spent months preparing for it, and it was very exciting to see it finally all pay off. The younger boys thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, and we got plenty of extremely positive feedback from both the boys and the teachers.  

Our workshop was essentially about creating art for our video game, writing lore for the artwork, and giving each other feedback on the individual pieces of artwork. There was also the competitive aspect of it – the winner had their artwork actually added into the game, and we also allowed them to play it. When they were creating artwork, we gave them both praise and suggestions, which the teachers told us caused massive engagement from the pupils.  

In addition, we told the boys that we may actually publish the game, so they had a great amount of motivation to do quality artwork. 

In order to facilitate our workshop, we created many things: 

  • A website to create and submit their (pixel) artwork and see everyone else’s submissions, in order to give feedback on them. 
    • This website was hosted freely on pythonanywhere.com and created using the Flask python module (my friend Anton C taught me this), in case anyone else wants to create something similar. 
    • A PowerPoint for screenshots of our game, ground rules, potential inspiration, what they need to do and how. 
    • An inspiration sheet containing artwork from our game 
    • A feedback sheet containing easy-to-answer questions like “how could we improve the workshop”, “what did you learn from it” and “would you consider game design as a career in the future” (to which almost everyone answered yes). 
    • In addition, as part of the Organisation committee, I helped Leo F (in the Promotion committee) to create and edit a promotional video for the Arts Award. This process took around 5 hours in total, and we worked together. 

The workshop went extremely well – the boys used our inspiration sheets effectively, and there were no technological errors, apart from one boy needing an iPad charger (which we unfortunately could not give). We received extremely positive feedback from the boys and teachers – mentioning the engagement (as aforementioned) and the mostly excellent creative output. The main piece of negative feedback we received was that the boys did not have enough time to complete their artwork – we only had 35 minutes for each workshop, and around 15-20 mins of that was spent on teaching them what to do and presenting the PowerPoint, as well as the feedback. In the first workshop, we had even less time since the iPads were only delivered halfway through the workshop, so we had to improvise something for the boys to do (they ended up giving feedback on our game and asking questions about it). 

Even though the workshop itself went extremely well, the prior planning was quite stressful. The video took 5 hours – 3 more than originally expected due to severe quality issues, and the website took more than 7 hours to design, set up and host (due to the quite long process one has to go through to unblock a website from the school Smoothwall, I had to reprogram the website almost completely to ensure it was not blocked). However, this definitely paid off, and the boys definitely enjoyed themselves. 

By Theo L (3A)

World ‘Make music day’ – Organ Performathon

Theo T (3H) took part in the Organ Performathon as part of the World “Make Music Day” on 21 June, which took place at the London Bridge Station (and in 125 countries), where he was invited to play a 20-minute recital between evening rush hour, entertained himself and the commuters at the same time.

“It was another interesting experience for me to play in public to a different audience, where I normal play in front of the congregations as the organ scholar for the Parish of Esher.  “Henry” the organ is very compact and despite having a faulty pedal, I enjoyed learning and playing new pieces to avoid using the faulty pedal. The sound is very different to the Church environment but the applause from the passing travellers motivated me to play the best I can, and it was a privilege to play “Henry” at London Bridge Station. It is believed to be the world open-access railway station pipe organ and the only one in UK”

Here is a link that explains the event in more detail:
https://www.atlondonbridge.com/blog/make-music-day-x-organathon

Hamilton Trip

On Tuesday a group of Third Years and Hamptonians from other year groups went on the Hamilton trip. We took a 2 hour coach ride to Victoria Palace, a theatre with a stage that was made in around 1910. I personally had already seen the play online when it was filmed but to go and be there in person was a much better experience. The songs were all really catchy and I saw even the people next to me who hadn’t seen it before were able to sing along. It was a great trip even though a lot of the people who went were exhausted the next day after it finished around 10:45!

By Jamie H (3D)

Athletics

It was a scorching hot day at the St Mary’s University track. The Richmond Borough athletics competition was underway.

There were many incredible achievements, with the Third Year relay team (Olly MH, Tolu I, Ethan M, Kota D) smashing the previous event record along with Olly MH breaking the 300m record. The athletes delivered an exceptional performance, excelling across the board. Some other mentions go to Joe T who won the hurdles and high jump, Ethan M who won the 100m, Olly who won the javelin, and Tolu who won his 200m race. Well done everyone!

By Harry W (3D)

Record breaking relay

The athletics team came ready for a very hot day. The gazebo was set up and we were excited for a big day ahead. After a day full of events the big race came. The relay team comprising of me (Kota D – first leg), Ethan M (second leg), Tolu I (third leg) and Oliver MH (anchor). We were given lane 6, which was not great, but we looked past it and had a strong mentality to win.

Ethan, Tolu and Oliver all put down their tapes to know when to start running and we were all set. Mr Sims shouted, “On your marks!”… I went down on one knee in my starting position, ready to win. I heard “Set!” and I rose and then heard the gun go. I was off instantly with good long strides and after a quick start I was ahead of everyone as I got to Ethan. Our changeover was perfect – Ethan had a head start of 10 meters and he blitzed through the straight, further increasing our lead.

Ethan then got to Tolu, with the changeover not quite as fluid as they would have hoped for, but due to the head start we had and Tolu’s speed, he got the baton and went around the bend quickly, keeping a good 5-meter distance from second place. He then he reached Oliver, with another slightly faulty changeover, but it was okay as Oliver went down the last 100 meters instantly with long strides and no one gaining on him as he flew over the finish line. We had run a time of 46.53 seconds crushing the borough record of 47.7 by 1.2 seconds! We were exhilarated and exhausted, but we went to collect our medals. Oliver also ran the 300m running an impressive 37.98 seconds beating the borough record: 38.8.

In all the Third Year Athletics team gained 10 gold medals: 3 field event medals and 7 track event medals. A very good last athletics tournament from the team.

By Kota D (3H)

U14A Cricket

On Saturday 22 June, the U14As set off for an away match against RGS, Guildford. Led by Mr Hooper and captained by Aarav D, we won the toss and chose to bowl first. We started off excellently, with George E picking up a wicket in the first over. This set the tone for the rest of the innings as we picked up many wickets and bowled really well. Despite a good batting partnership in the middle, we had restricted RGS to only 128, thanks to good contributions from Jack H (6-1-16-3) and myself (6-0-21-2).

After a nice match tea, we began our second innings. Unfortunately, after a good bowling display from RGS, we found ourselves struggling at 56 for 7, seemingly out of the game, before George E and Max P built a partnership, searching for victory from the jaws of defeat. However just as we felt the chance of winning, we were left distraught after we had been bowled out for 112, losing the game. However there were lots of positives to take from this game and we will go again on Thursday against Eton.

By Isaac M (3D)

Fascinating Talks

In the last week, the Third Year have had various talks from inspirational men and women. They all heard a powerful talk about forgiveness from Mike Haines; Old Hamptonian and author Imran Ahmad told them his inspirational life story; and they had the Creative Careers afternoon, introducing them to careers they may not previously have considered. Here are some of their reflections:

On 26 June 2024, Mike Haines came into to give the Third Year an inspirational and passionate talk about forgiveness. He told the story of how his brother was killed by ISIS and how he ultimately managed to give the killers forgiveness. He described it as feeling like all his anger and sadness left him. He then went on to spread the message of forgiveness to show its powers of healing and leaving anything bad in the past.

I asked him whether his family forgave them as well and he responded that his godmother, who was previously surrounded by hate and grief, also forgave after he explained his reasoning as to why he forgave. It was because the terrorists want chaos, hate and fear to drive people apart and that we should not give into the hate and anger and instead should forgive.

By Alexander B (3D)

On the 26 June 2024 the whole year crammed into the Hammond for a talk about forgiveness, it was delivered by Mike Haines, whose brother was kidnapped and killed by members of the terrorist organisation ISIS. He discussed his story of how he forgave the killers and expelled the hate from inside of him.

By Joel S (3D)

I have really enjoyed listening to some fascinating talks over the last week including Imran Ahmad’s talk on life lessons, Mike Haines’ talk on forgiveness and the Careers in Creative Industries talks. Mike Haines’ talk in particular was very powerful as he has experienced terrible things and yet he has still forgiven the perpetrators of his brother’s murder, which is incredibly inspiring. It was amazing to hear him talk about his journey to forgiveness and the truly great things he has done to try to combat hate crime and speech so the wrong people are not blamed for the actions of extremists such as ISIS.

By Thomas Q (3D)

This Wednesday, the whole of the Third Year was given a talk by Mike Haines, who told a very powerful and moving talk in the Hammond. He described his journey of forgiveness after his brother was killed by ISIS. This talk was very relevant to the Third Years as we have been studying forgiveness in RS and so the talk provided many interesting insights to think about in our last couple of lessons.

It was truly fantastic to see someone moved so deeply, willing to share their thoughts with the School and I think all of us had something to learn from that talk. After speaking with some fellow pupils after the talk, it was apparent that everyone felt the same way I had and the applause at the end certainly justified this.

By Vuk V (3D)

On Monday, we viewed a talk from a very comedic gentleman named Imran Ahmad, he was an author who used to go to Hampton. He spoke about his book very eloquently, with much humour as well: it was a hoot for all who watched it. He told us his life story and although he was very good, I would’ve liked it more if he told us a bit more about his motivations to write a book as that was rather vague! Overall, it was a good talk. Personally I liked the story where he said he went to Malaysia to play in the snow!

By Jaime RB (3D)

The transition to Hampton Rowing

After transitioning from a club to Hampton rowing, the difference between them is immense. I had been rowing for about a year and a half at my local club, and it was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Every Saturday, I would go out in a single or double and row up and down the Thames. As much as it was fun, I was often left to myself and although this was often helpful to my rowing by myself, some mistakes were made which were not picked up.

As I entered Hampton rowing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew Hampton had a long history of great rowers, but apart from that, nothing else. What a surprise I would get. From the get go, the coaching was so different from that of my club. No matter what coach you were with, or what boat you were in, you were taught to the highest standard. As the movement between boats calmed down a few months into the term, and race crews formed, this coaching difference became apparent. Everyone in the boat would be held to the same standard, and were all taught to help them improve both as a rower and as part of our boat. We were drilled with technique, something that would become one of the most important parts of racing.

Overall, rowing at Hampton has been a memorable experience that I will not forget, and one which I suggest to others, even if they have rowed prior to joining the school.

By Kai W (3H)

Sailing Success

Congratulations to Alex Bal for his sailing success that he describes below.

Last Sunday I competed in an open meeting at Queen Mary Sailing Club and came first out of 33 boats. Unfortunately, there was not as much wind as I hoped for but there was still good racing. Next weekend, I am traveling to Derwent Reservoir which is a six hour drive up north, close to Newcastle, for a National Series Event.

By Alex B (3D)

Prizegiving Music

This Thursday, 27 June, some of my fellow Hamptonians and I played at the annual Third  Year prizegiving. We played at the start of the event in a small jazz combo, playing the pieces ‘Chameleon’ and ‘Blue Bossa’.

Following Thursday evening, we are joining Hampton Prep choir to perform ‘When You’re Smiling’, for Hampton Prep’s century celebration. Harry S will be playing on the piano, Oliver S will be on guitar, Oliver C will play the drums, Kiran G will play double bass, and I will be on the saxophone. We are all looking forward to these two exciting nights.

By Devan B (3D)

Two truths and a lie

Last week we had Miss Bellingan serving us a filthy, corrupt, lie in amongst a confection of truth. But could you discern which of these was that lie?

  •  Miss Bellingan is allergic to cranberries
  •  Due to an old family superstition, Miss Bellingan refuses to wear the colour purple on Wednesdays
  •  Miss Bellingan has a deep fear of sea sponges

If Miss Bellingan eats a cranberry, we are not entirely sure what actually happens, but she assures us that it isn’t pretty. Yes, she IS allergic to cranberries.

If you were to imagine a (clearly fictional) scenario where a Third Year pupil had not done their homework for Miss Bellingan, then how might they be able to distract her so severely that she didn’t realise that that homework had not been completed? One possibility would be to brandish a sea sponge at her, as she does indeed have a deep fear of them. Why this is the case is unclear.

What this means is that Miss Bellingan does not refuse to wear the colour purple on Wednesdays due to an old family superstition. Of course, this doesn’t mean that she’s entirely comfortable with the colour purple on a Wednesday, but that lack of comfort is not driven by mere superstition.

Connection corner

Well done to the everyone who had a go at last week’s Connection Corner. Merits go to all those who correctly guessed that the answers were all characters from were all Guardians of the Galaxy. Big shout out to Danai T, Kiran G, Rory M, Olly P, Svajan G, Krishang T, Leonardo F and Darshan S.

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

In astronomy, a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky is called what? Nebula

What leafy salad do Americans call arugula? Rocket

What is the name of the predatory insect named for the look of their folded forelegs, which are held close together as if praying? Praying mantis

What is the name of the screenwriter, writer and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Peter Jackson 

Connection: Guardian of the Galaxy characters (Nebula, Rocket Raccoon, Mantis and Peter Qui

Have a great weekend!

 

 

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