WELCOME TO THE FIRST YEAR BLOG!

164 First Year pupils. 164 hours until 12pm next Friday. The countdown begins as there is now only one week left of the academic year! This week’s Biology trip to Marwell Zoo was undoubtedly a highlight, and the beautiful weather this week was definitely a bonus. The First Years also showcased their team spirit in the First Year Fun Run, coming together for excellent causes for our Form Charity partners. As the final week nears, don’t forget to thank your teachers, coaches, support staff, and each other, for a very busy and unforgettable first year at Hampton!

MARWELL ZOO

After a one hour journey, we eventually reached our destination, Marwell Zoo! Excitement filled the air as groups began to discuss what animals they would visit. Afterwards, we went straight into action. We were welcomed by a talk about the zoo itself and what animals it consists of. It was fascinating to learn how many animals this zoo helps to conserve and the way the zoo transports these amazing creatures from their homes to here. Some animals have even come from as far as the Middle East, Abu Dhabi to be precise; it’s extraordinary! Once we finished the talk, it was time to see some animals close-up. First stop: Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, we were not able to see it moving, but got a glimpse of its furry, spotty tail. We then made our way to the monkey enclosure. However, this time we got to watch the animals’ splendid movement (jumping from branch to branch). There were a range of different monkeys to look at – Bearded emperor monkey, Siamang, Golden-headed lion tamarin. After visiting few other animals, we then found a few benches and decided to have lunch. During this break, we were allowed to buy ourselves ice-cream. It was delicious, especially in the heat! Around half an hour later, we set off once more to go and see the likes of gigantic giraffes, magnificent meerkats, playful penguins plunging into the water, and a royal python coiling up into its sleeping position. Despite wanting more time to see more of these interesting animals, our time had come to an end. Although, it is definitely a place that I will come back to. What an exuberant trip it was!

In my opinion, I enjoyed the tropic part of the zoo since you got to experience the humid climate (similar) to a real rainforest. There were many vibrant-coloured birds flying freely across the enclosure and a few turtles along with a crocodile monitor. That enclosure was brilliant! By Riyaan G (1B)

MEET DR FLANAGAN

Ethans S-W (1L) talks to Chemistry teacher and Assistant Head Dr Flanagan:

What have you enjoyed most about being a chemistry teacher at Hampton?

I love that Hamptonians are not only really smart, but they are willing to have a go at anything. Even if I’m doing a really tricky topic, everyone has a really positive attitude, volunteers answers, and aspires to do their best.

What is your goal as a chemistry teacher at Hampton?

Chemistry is a subject that everyone has to do until Fifth Year. Some people love it, and some may not enjoy it as much as others. No matter what you think of chemistry, my job is to show the importance of chemistry in explaining the world around us. And I try and do that in as fun and as entertaining way as possible.

How to you think chemistry will change in the future?

I could write a whole essay on this! Chemistry is so interesting because it is always changing. One of the most exciting things in the future is how AI is going to impact chemistry. Traditionally, chemists would read vast amounts of articles and books to learn all about the subject, and then use this information to predict and discover new reactions. AI might be able to do, in a fraction of a second, what it used to take a chemist a whole career to achieve. These new discoveries may have a great benefit to humanity.

What do you enjoy about chemistry overall?

I really enjoy the problem-solving aspects of chemistry. Chemical research is like putting a jigsaw together: there may be lots of pieces of information that may not look like they go together, however, the role of a chemist is to solve that jigsaw to make a complete picture!

What did you want to be as a child and how did you become a chemistry teacher?

Really early on I thought I might be a musician and that’s because I played the violin, and if I practised hard enough, I thought I could become a musician. Then I studied sciences in school, and I really loved them. I did all of them for A level and thought I would become a medical doctor. However, I enjoyed the fundamentals of science too much and ended up doing Chemistry. During my PhD I did a bit of teaching, and really enjoyed it. So, I had to make a hard decision between research and teaching. I picked teaching!

What do you think was the most important advancement that we have made in chemistry as we evolved to our current era?

In the last 130 years I would say that without question the most important advancement is the Haber process. The Haber process is like magic. You take nitrogen – something incredibly unreactive – and you react it with hydrogen to turn it into ammonia, which in turn becomes fertiliser. Without this process there wouldn’t be enough food to sustain the global population. No other synthetic process has had a greater impact on humanity.

What do you think is the most useful bit of chemistry that helps us in our everyday lives?

These days plastics have quite a bad reputation, but they are actually one of the big success stories in chemistry. 100 years ago, there were very few plastics, but it’s now difficult to picture a world without them. For better or for worse, they are very useful. Our challenge is to stop making single-use, non-biodegradable plastic. We need to make plastic (and alternative materials) more sustainably, so that we can recycle them completely after their use.

What do you do in your free time?

I’ve played the violin for 25 years, and I still like doing that, and I play in orchestras. I enjoy watching football, and support Liverpool FC! I also really enjoy chilling out by watching and playing snooker!

RICHMOND BOROUGH ATHLETICS

We were all very excited. It was the Richmond Borough athletics competition. I got there at 11am and multiple races had already happened but many left to go as well. I was doing the discus, but that was after lunch. I watched lots of races, but then it was my time to go up to the discus cage. I was with maybe eight other boys, and I was second in the order of throwing! I started off strong, getting the longest distance that round, and just kept building off that and I won by about two metres! I was especially surprised because my normal summer sport is cricket. It was a great experience, and very rewarding to take part in. By Toby Baker (1P)

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

I waited in the wings. Heart thumping. Palms sweating. That was when I realised the previous song was over. It was my time to perform…

On Friday 21 June I waited impatiently for my games period to finish. A mix of excitement and nervousness pulsed in my veins as I knew that in three hours the concert would start. At the end of School, I rushed to the Hammond ready to be registered and go to the Garrick to sign in. After a brief registration I was ready to move to the Garrick to anticipate the experience ahead of me.

It was around quarter to seven when we made our way to the green room where we would be able to receive a live broadcast of the concert below us, in the Hammond. There were two halves of the concert separated by a fifteen minute interval where audience could get snacks from the Foyer bar, we were the penultimate band before this interval.

As band after band performed the standards for the concert were very high. Before I knew it, there were three songs to go before our performance, the First Year band rushed down to the practice room where guitarists tuned their instruments, pianists memorise their part and vocalists (me!) warm up their voices. Once there were two songs to go to the performance, I was so nervous my band literally asked me if I was crying! I was shaking, everyone in the band was nervous.

I waited in the wings. Heart thumping. Palms sweating. That was when I realised the previous song was over. It was my time to perform…

Everything seemed in slow motion as I entered the stage. Intimidation. Fear. Excitement. Nervousness. I felt them all at the same time. Our first song started, which was Magic by Pilot. Despite being the lead singer, I was not singing this time, I was only singing the chorus and backing up my fellow friend and guitarist. I was happy I was able to do Magic first as this warmed up my voice for what was going to be a banger. The song was finished in what felt like a matter of time. It was now time for me to start my show.

The pianist cued me in as I tried to convince myself I could do it. And I knew I could. I started and finished my first verse flawlessly and broke off into the chorus with ease. I was screaming at this point. It felt like it was me, just me, back to rehearsals. Singing by myself in the empty Hammond. I was in the zone. In another world. The “singers” world. I snapped back into current reality as I realised, I messed up a note in my second verse. “Do not black out. Do not do it,” I told myself.

Finishing the second verse was hard, however, I was ready to sing the final choruses. After finishing the first chorus, I remembered to repeat it and  the second time I easily zapped through it. The song felt like it was over. But it was not. I sang the quintessential “Of the world,” holding world at the end and ended the song with an almighty ending, I faced my band with arms up just as Freddie Mercury does in one of his live concerts. I felt adrenaline, glory, victory once I had finished as I thanked the audience through the microphone. We were the champions! We are indeed the champions. By Ethan S-W (1L)

LOWER SCHOOL EDI CLUB

In my Spanish lesson my Spanish teacher was talking about EDI Club (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). I  didn’t think I would go because it seemed like it just wasn’t my thing. But me and my friend decided to go. When we reached the club, we saw some Second Years playing a card game named Culturosity made by LEH. The rules are that you must answer the different culture-based questions first before everyone else. Me and my friend also played it, and it was really fun. Then we had Punjabi samosas from Chaiiwala and ended with handmade cinnamon rolls made by a Second Year.

On a recent Wednesday we had delicious Jamaican patties brought in by Mr Cumberbatch. After a scrumptious meal we had a heritage talk about Mr Cumberbatch. He explained how he was half Jamaican and half Bajan, where his parents were born. It was nice knowing more about Mr Cumberbatch and his heritage. I wonder what surprises EDI Club has for the upcoming Wednesday. By Shaurya D (1L)

First Year Fun Run

Great to see you all enjoying the annual First Year Fun Run this lunchtime, while raising lots of money for our Form Charity partners. Well done everyone!

 

TUTEE OF THE WEEK

Every week, the First Year Tutor team nominate a pupil who they have been particularly impressed with!

This week’s tutee of the week is Matthew T (1L) for always being kind, helpful, and polite, and trying really hard to get involved in everything getting stuck into everything! Well done Matthew!

SPECIAL SHOUT OUTS!

We love to hear about what you have been getting up to outside of school and to celebrate your successes in the First Year Blog! Please do send any information about any of your achievements through to Mr Jimenez (v.jimenez@hamptonschool.org.uk).

THE HAMPTON HUNT

Each week I will set you a challenge where you need to find out a random fact, number or indeed anything else around the School – you won’t be able to do this from home! Points for the interform competition will be awarded to the Form with the most correct entries over the course of the term! You have until the end of Wednesday to complete the challenge; you will find out in next week’s blog if you’re correct, and you will be given a merit by your Form Tutor the following Monday. And who knows – you might get to know the School better in the process!

Last week’s challenge: Where would you find this mosaic lion?

Well done to: Francisco CI, Noriki W, Ian L, Magnus F, Ethan W, Magnus O’L, Toby W, Richard C, Avyaya S, Charlie F, Ioan P, Akshaj G, Freddie F, Matthew T, Colin Y, Shaurya D, Rishi K, Naivedya A, George C, Neil M, Arjan C, Sujay N, Ruaan V, Vivaan S, Aaron J, Toby B, Eddie W, Vairaj M, Julian M, Cedric Y, Chen L, Joe F, Luoke W, Ollie S, Liangxu Z and Artem K.

Where would you find this important door?

Enter your answer here:

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

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