Welcome to the Third Year Blog!

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

The Third Year Blog likes to be topical but, on a day like this, it is hard to know where to start…

It is the first day of Euro 24, an event that will dominate the news over the coming weeks. Of course, ‘the news’ is a much more nebulous term than it used to be, with vast swathes of the population getting their information from social media as opposed to traditional news sites. But, regardless of where you get your news from, the fate of Gareth Southgate, his team, his tactics and, potentially, his fit, will be hard to avoid.

Alongside this, the UK election campaign also rumbles on, with the announcements over the last few days of the various manifestos of the leading political parties, along with the daily jibes and jabs aimed at the different parties by the newspapers and media outlets that are opposed to those parties’ viewpoints. If you are to read and listen to much of this, your assumption might well be that the nation and, indeed, the world is in a dire state. This is in part because each party will be looking to positive about their own policies, but also negative about the policies of their opponents, or their record in government. It is also the case, that a media outlet is much more likely to be able to influence things in the direction they would like by inflicting a very damaging blow on the party they are less in favour of than by promoting the strengths of the party whose approach they support.

A study last year suggested that for every negative word in a headline in an online article, the clickthrough rate on that story increased by 2.3%, whereas positive words (while more prevalent) tended to reduce clickthrough rate. Why does this matter? Well, simplistically, the danger is that we find ourselves in a world where the negative viewpoint is prioritised over the positive, as it will generate more clicks and, therefore, more engagement and more advertising revenue. Being presented with a world where all is seemingly going wrong may not be fully accurate, or good for our mental health, but it may well be good for clicks. Thankfully, this is not a pressure that the Third Year Blog falls prey to!

What this does all mean is that there can often be positive news out there that we don’t necessarily hear. For instance, a study published by the University of Bristol has shown that there has been significant progress in the drive to reduce levels in the atmosphere of chemicals that destroy the Earth’s ozone layer, confirming that historic regulations limiting their production have had a positive effect. This is wonderful news, but not something that has been widely reported.

Another example is the story from earlier this week that a group of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing a form of concrete that can store and then release renewable energy. They are calling their concrete a form of ‘supercapacitor’ and they have visions of it as a substance that could create scenarios where we have ‘roads that store solar energy and then release it to recharge electric cars wirelessly as they drive along a road’ (Source: BBC Future). Again, this sort of news is incredibly hopeful and speaks to the remarkable, positive scientific developments that are going on, without us knowing about them.

Now these things are never going to knock the news that Gareth Southgate’s lucky waistcoat didn’t manage to stop England from losing to Iceland off the front page. Regardless of how positive the news is, it won’t be able to overshadow the story that a senior government official close to the Prime Minister was surprised to discover that him betting on the month that the election would be held in was frowned upon. No, these stories will continue and so they should – it is the media’s job to hold those in power to account. But, it is important to remember the good things going on in the world.

This is an incredibly boringly long-winded way of saying that we have some good news, as always, in the Third Year Blog this week. We have a pupil delivering a remarkable performance at the Middlesex Athletics Championships. We have more rowing success. We have a report on the upcoming Arts Award day. We have the next instalment of Lucas Z’s epic tale. So much goodness!

Having said all this, we do also have a teacher lying, which is the sort of thing we should really put in the headline of the blog if we want more clicks, but that’s just not how we operate…

Heads of year Message


Any pupil that could not collect their new laptop this week should go to the IT drop-in sessions in the Lecture Theatre at morning break time on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next week for collection. Similarly, any pupils experiencing difficulty in setting up or configuring their new laptop should attend one of these sessions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: There is software loaded onto the school laptops that enables safeguarding monitoring to take place at all times. Any online searches, social media interactions, or other digital activities undertaken on the school laptop that meet the threshold of concern will be picked up by the school’s network filters when the laptop is brought back into school. Pupils should recognise the need to use the laptops for school work and school purposes only (including when away from school). Pupils may face a sanction if they fail to adhere to the IT Acceptable Usage Policy.

RS Talk

We are looking forward to welcoming back Mike Haines OBE on Wednesday 26 June. He will give his very powerful talk to all Third Year pupils that morning. This is a Religious Studies talk at which Mr Haines speaks with compassion and wisdom about his very challenging life experiences, and we anticipate that all our pupils will show him the respect he deserves whilst listening and asking questions on the theme of Forgiveness. Please notify us, or the RS department, in advance if you have any concerns about this talk.


There was a chance for all Third Year pupils to reflect on exam preparations, processes and performance during Form Period this week. We asked everyone to note down things that they feel went well, lessons learned about revision planning or exam technique, and any areas to focus on for improvement in Fourth Year.

Mr Moore spoke to all Third Years in a Year Group assembly this week about the importance of friendship, adhering to the School Code of Conduct right until the end of the last day of term, and the need to follow personal safety advice when outside school and into the holidays.


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.

We hope that everyone makes the most of the remaining three weeks of term. Please throw yourselves into the activities on offer 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.

Best wishes

Mr T Rigby & Mrs M Bedford

Athletics success

Let’s hear from Joseph T (3H) who won the Junior 80m hurdles in style at the recent Middlesex Schools’ Track & Field Championships:

As I arrived at Lee Valley, races were already underway, with athletes powering forward at a chance to run in the next stage of the event, at the Stone X stadium. 

An hour before my event, I began to warm up with other athletes. All were here for the win. Time flew by and before I knew it, I was at the line trying to remember all my lunchtime trainings. As the gun sounded, eight athletes shot out the blocks and in less than 15 seconds it was over. I was over the moon as I had managed to get a personal best, tie a Championship record set in 1979 and come second in the country in terms of time. I had qualified for nationals and I am ready for it. 

Joe (right) pictured below with Fifth Year athlete Jayden.

Star Regatta

At 10am on Saturday morning, the minibuses left Hampton on their way to Bedford, the site for the upcoming Star Regatta. After about a 2 hour drive, we arrived, and were greeted by our other rowers, who came earlier in the day. After setting up camp with our bags under a tree, we waited for our boating time. Our first race was against King’s School Ely, and more specifically, their A quad. As one of the Hampton B quads, we were slightly anxious for this race, as we did not want to get knocked out this early.

As we got to the start line, we sized up our opponents, ready to race the 1.25km course as hard as possible. We flew off the start, and quickly took three lengths on our opposition, where we stayed for the rest of the race. Our second race was against Shiplake, a school who had knocked out our other B quad. However, the confidence from our earlier race was still present, and we were ready for our next competition. Although Shiplake may have physically been bigger, we made quick work of them, setting us five lengths ahead within the first 750m. After a quick burst at one of the numerous bridges, we raced away, securing a place in the finals.

The finals were against the Hampton A quad, a quad we had seen practice many times in training. We knew this race was going to be a tough one, and that nothing was guaranteed. We were on the outside lane, so were set off a length ahead to compensate for the bend in the river that would favour the inside crew. Surround by the shouting of coaches and spectators, we raced off the start, holding just under a length of space over our opponents. However, as the river widened and wind picked up, our cox was forced to take some unfavourable turning, slowing down our boat speed. The other quad capitalised on this, putting in a burst to close the gap, and eventually overtake our boat. At about two lengths behind them, we attempted to catch up, although to no avail. It was a very tough race, and one well fought by our opponents. Overall, it was a great experience for our quad, and we were happy with our second place finish.

Report by Kai W (3H)

Arts Award

Next Friday, sixteen Third Years taking part in the Arts Award will be hosting an Arts Event for all of Year 6 at Hampton Prep. This is the first time this event has been hosted by Third Year boys and it will comprise eight different creative workshops staged in the English corridor; the topics will range from filmmaking to music composition. In these workshops, the younger pupils will learn to make entertaining movies, write melodic music, take mind blowing photographs or even write Shakespeare’s next novel.

In my workshop, I will be specialising on photography with Aadam K and Jamie H. We will be teaching the Prep pupils what a good picture looks like and how to take one. We will teach them how to focus their camera, change contrast and exposure to achieve a magnificent picture. They will be able to take pictures in two locations. Firstly, in the classroom where will would have set up lamps to create interesting lighting on various objects and then in the Cloisters where they will take photographs at different angles of the plants.

For us, it is a chance to develop our team building and leadership skills which is half of the Arts Award programme which is an external qualification equivalent in UCAS points to a GCSE.

Report by Edmond L (3B)

A new legend – continued

This week’s instalment is titled Air Strike. Click the link here to read more…


35 years and still going! Calling all runners, beginners or seasoned athletes – be part of Hampton School running history by taking part in the 1.8 mile time trial loop. Meet outside the Sports Hall on Friday 12.40pm, ready to run. A range of certificates for completion.

Two truths and a lie

Sanity is returned this week, after last week’s four truths and a lie, with a return to the usual format. But what was true and what was not in terms of what Mr Leafe tried to tell us last week?

He claimed the following:

  • Once Mr Leafe met Harry Maguire at a black-tie function and strongly felt that at that moment they were essentially equals
  • Mr Leafe has never eaten a yoghurt
  • If Mr Leafe hears the phrase ‘sweet treats’ he physically shivers
  • Mr Leafe used to be called Mr Leaf, but changed his name by deed poll as he felt his original name was ‘too common’
  • Mr Leafe once won a head-to-head mascot race dressed as a duck, defeating a crocodile

Mr Leafe did once meet Harry Maguire and had the strong sense that they were equals. Of course, this is still true in the sense that neither of them will be playing at Euro 24. While the Third Year Blog can’t vouch for Harry Maguire’s dairy intake, it is true that Mr Leafe has never eaten a yoghurt. He did also once win a mascot race dressed as a duck, beating a crocodile. What this means is that he did not change his name by deed poll to Mr Leafe.

This week we have Head of Fifth Year (and next year’s Head of Fourth Year) Mr Malston offering up a dirty lie in amongst some noble truths:

  • Mr Malston once survived a 7.1 Richter Scale earthquake
  • Mr Malston went up the Twin Towers on Sep 10 2001
  • Mr Malston won the Drama Shield at his school, winning the award ahead of a now Best Actor Oscar winner

Which is the lie?


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 Rivers in the UK. Big shout out to Krishang T, Ambrose B, Kiran G, Rory M, Olly P, William O’S, Rahul B and Darshan S. 

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 is second in line to the throne? Prince George

Which actor played Spiderman before Tom Holland? Andrew Garfield

Which author wrote Gangsta Granny? David Walliams

Who was sacked as the manager of Crystal Palace earlier this year? Patrick Viera

Connection: Patron Saints of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (George, Andrew, David and Patrick)


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