Welcome back to the First Year boys after your very well-deserved half term break. Despite the wet weather and the pollen count skyrocketing, hopefully you still managed to have a rest and some fun! With four more weeks to go, the countdown to the summer holidays has well and truly begun.

This half term is packed full of exciting opportunities, with 1F, 1J, and 1L visiting religious places of worship on the RS Trip on Monday. The rest of the First Year are on their RS and Geography Trips next week, with the entire year group finishing off with the highly anticipated Biology Trip in a few weeks’ time. Get ready to flex your competitive sides with the upcoming interform competitions, quizzes, and rowing. There’s still so much left to play for – which First Year form will take home the trophy?

On a more academic note, the First Years may have also started to receive their assessment results from their various subjects this week; while many will be pleased with their results, there will inevitably be some pupils who are disappointed with how they have done in some subjects. It is important to remember that these assessments are a learning experience, and we often learn best from things going wrong than going perfectly. If anyone is particularly concerned or upset, please speak to your Form Tutors, School Counsellors, or any of the First Year team. Remember, you are defined by much more than a number or grade!


The three First Year forms went on a RS Trip to a Mandir (a Hindu’s place of worship) and a Gurudwara which is a Sikh’s place of worship. Firstly, we went to the temple named BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London. I was quite surprised that most of the people in my form haven’t visited this beautifully made temple. I have visited the temple many times. Moreover, I spoke the same language as them. After a 30–40-minute drive by coach, we finally arrived. When we entered the temple, everyone took their shoes off and placed them in the shoes section. After that, a member of staff showed us a ceremony; then we walked to a room where we watched a video about how the temple was marvellously made with the outside being Bulgarian limestone and the inside being pure marble. Next, many people asked questions to the member of staff. Penultimately, everyone, in a clockwise direction, prayed to the gods. Finally, some people bought some things from the souvenir shop before leaving for the next stop.

After 30 minutes, we reached our next stop which was the Gurudwara. When we entered the Gurudwara we wore a religious cloth on our heads and then had a langar, meaning a food service. The food was extremely filling and very scrumptious. I had a paratha, rice, pasta and dal chawl. Once we were done everyone was led to an enormous room covered with a white sheet. At the front there were four Sikh men singing and in the middle was a lady worshipping Guru Granth Sahib. After that, a member of staff led us outside in a fairly spacious room and explained the beliefs and the things Guru Granth Sahib liked. Finally, at end the day we had prasad which is a religious offering.

In my opinion this has been an awesome trip because of the wonderful experience of the Gurudwara and Temple.

By Shaurya D (1L)

On the first day back from half term, I was excited to take a day trip to the Mandir and Gurdwara. Our day began at 9am and the coach took us on a forty-minute journey to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir which was located in London. When we arrived, the huge temple dwarfed any other structures. In the middle of the temple was a statue of the founder occupied by two elephants; the architecture was intricate and beautiful. Upon entering, we removed our shoes and sat down, ready to be instructed on the rules of the Mandir.

Our tour began with a ceremonial mantra to a Murti (an embodiment of the divine, the ultimate reality or Brahman). This prayer was recited in Sanskrit, talking, and chanting about peace on Earth. Next, we advanced up the stairs and to the main hall (Garbh – Gruh) this is where the shrines of Deities are located and is the most important place in the Mandir. Although a Mandir is open from morning to night, the deities have a so called “lunch time period,” in which the Garbh-Gruh is shut.

After spending thirty minutes examining different shrines, we went downstairs to the ground floor of the Haveli to learn more about the history of the temple. In the 1970s, Pramukh Swami Maharaj along with thousands of other Indians came to England. At this point a place of worship for some of these Indians along with Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a small church which was rented out for some time as their small Mandir. It was then when Pramukh Swami Maharaj realised that with the growing Hindu community in England, he must make a bigger temple. This was when the construction of the temple began in 1992. By 1993, 169 craftsmen from five different states in India (Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, and Rajasthan), worked together to carve the Haveli. The 9,000 square feet Haveli was completed in 1 year and 8 months. This structure was made out of and carved on Burmese teak wood and was structurally supported by English oak. The Mandir consisted of 26,000 slabs of stone from Italy and costed an approximated value of twelve million pounds! This marble was sent from Italy to Kandla (India) to be carved, shaped, and sent back to England – all ready to be put together like a jigsaw.

I really enjoyed my experience at the Mandir however, I knew that the trip was not over yet. We arrived at the Gurdwara and walked to the main library; this is where we tied our headscarves to show respect in the religious area. Once this was done, we moved over to the kitchen of the Gurdwara also known as the Langar. We saw the meals getting prepared and it reminded me of the smell of food in my Indian Grandmother’s house.

At around 12:45pm it was time for lunch which was going to be roti (a type of Indian flatbread), Dahl (lentils) and Rajma (Indian red kidney beans). This was a delectable meal and I enjoyed it very much – it was also one of my favourite highlights at the Gurdwara. One of the facts I did not know about the Gurdwara was that around 10,000 people eat from the free langar.

We then moved onto the balcony of the divan hall (the prayer hall) and listened to the prayers and shabads (chants), these are sung by ragis (priests). Next, we moved onto the divan hall on the ground floor. This is where we sat for a while before moving onto the prayer hall two. The instructor talked about the reasons of why Sikhs do not cut their hair and the five K’s. The reason for not cutting your hair as a Sikhs is because Sikhs believe that hair is a gift from God and therefore, you should not cut it. The five K’s is the appearance of a Sikh and thing they wear – kesh (uncut hair), kara (steel bracelet), kanga (a wooden comb), Kaccha (cotton underwear) and the Kirpan (a steel sword). We were also told about the two things God expects from you as a Sikh, humbleness, and sweetness.

Overall, my day trip at the Mandir and Gurdwara was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed learning about the architecture of the Mandir and I enjoyed eating the free meal from the Langar.

By Ethan S-W (1L)

Dorset Adventure

Mud, mud, glorious mud! Some of our First Years made the short trip to the Dorset coast over half term for an action-packed weekend of rock climbing, abseiling and giant canoeing. The Hamptonians also enjoyed the Mud Trail at Dorset Adventure Park where they mastered balance beams, cargo nets and mud slides. Take a look at a few of the photos:


Every week, the First Year Tutor team nominate a boy who they have been particularly impressed with, and Mr Fuldner and Mr Hill provide him with a football to use on the fields for the week!

This week’s tutee of the week is Alex Z (1P) for being absolutely lovely, very kind and caring to others, and getting stuck into absolutely everything; well done Alex!


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).


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: Which zoo are we off to with the Biology department in June?

Marwell Zoo on Thursday 27 June!

Well done to: Shaurya D, Charlie F, Matthew T, George W, Ian L, Francisco C I, Oscar G, Michael C, Alex D V, Elliot P, Julian M, Harry C, Reuben N, Sasha B, Toby B, Ocean Y, Cedric Y, Nicholas S, William M, Theo P, Ethan W, Richard C and Ying Z.

How many medals have Hampton Chemists won in the past six years of the Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge?

Look in the department you’d expect to find the answer!

Enter your answers here:

have a great weekend!

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