Below are some frequently asked questions. Please refer to them for further information on the admissions process and life at Hampton School.
How should I prepare my son for the Entrance Examinations?
We set our own entrance papers which are based on Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum and accessible to boys in both preparatory and primary schools. The papers are designed to identify academic potential and innate ability rather than test what has been taught and are accessible to all. Past papers are not released, however the commercially available 11+ papers can provide useful practice. We encourage boys to read as much and as widely as possible as this will assist them in all papers and also recommend lots of practice with Maths problem solving questions. We do not recommend tutoring as we are looking for naturally bright boys who will thrive and be happy at school.
Can my son sit for entry at 11+ and 13+?
No, boys may only sit for entry at 11+ or 13+. Offers made for 11+ and 13+ entry are not transferable from one entry point to another (the offer of a place in the First Year at 11+ cannot be transferred to entry in the Third Year and the offer of a place at 13+ cannot be transferred to entry in the First Year).
Hampton is so big. Do boys get lost there? Do the boys settle quickly?
It feels like a small school. There are just over 10 pupils per teacher. There is a sympathetic and comprehensive induction programme and each boy is given The Hampton School Survival Guide, written partly by recent new boys. All new First Years go for two days at no extra cost to the Avon Tyrrell activity centre in the New Forest as part of their induction. All the Third Years have a team-building day shortly after the new boys arrive. A boy can always find someone to talk to: the Mentor, his Form Tutor, his Head of Year, or if needed one of the School counselling team.
If you have entries at 11+ and 13+, How do they integrate?
At the start of the Third Year the forms are re-organised into completely new groupings of both continuing and new pupils. All new boys can express a preference if they wish to be with a particular friend.
What is the Structure of the working day?
Morning registration is by 8.50am. There are 5 lessons each morning, with a 20-minute break after the first 3. Lunch-break is 12.35pm – 2.00pm to allow plenty of time for co-curricular activities. School ends at 4.00pm. The School coaches leave promptly at 4.20pm. We like boys to arrive from 8.00am (when breakfast is available) and, after School they can work in the Library under supervision until 5.00pm.
Is there Saturday School?
No lessons but on a typical Saturday there could be over 400 boys and 40 staff involved in sport, music, drama, chess, all voluntary.
How are the boys organised?
The average form size from First to Fifth Years is 23, and actual class size in some subjects can be less. In the Sixth Form, the Forms or Tutor Groups can be in single figures. Each form has a Form Tutor who stays with them, at GCSE and A level, for two years if possible. Each form in the first three years has a volunteer Sixth Former who acts as a Form Mentor to the boys in the form. The Form Tutors work as a team with the Assistant Heads of Year and Head of Year and meet often to discuss the progress of each boy and the year group as a whole.
How easy is it to see a teacher?
Very easy. Simply telephone, email or write, probably to the Form Tutor or Head of Year, to have a discussion or make an appointment. We also hold one full parents’ evening for each year group every year and several in key years coming up to subject options. There are voluntary extra parents’ evenings for pastoral, careers and university matters. Parents also receive two major written reports a year, with regular grade cards for effort and academic performance in between.
What is discipline like?
Based on common sense and reasonably relaxed and friendly, because the working of the School and the atmosphere in it is built on tolerance and mutual respect. Poor behaviour of any kind, especially any form of intentional or thoughtless bullying, is rare, deplored and treated very firmly and the boy helped to improve. Relations between boys and staff are excellent. There is a sense of shared and common purpose at Hampton.
Do boys ever meet girls?
We are not a co-ed school, but close links with LEH perhaps offer the best of both worlds. The buses and jointly run School coaches offer a meeting place. The CCF (Combined Cadet Force), Service Volunteers and Millennium Boat House are run jointly. Sixth Formers have mutual lunchtime ‘visiting’ rights. A great deal of drama and music is done co-operatively including a number of joint theatrical productions each year.
What plans are there for the future?
Our ethos and atmosphere are very precious and we do not want to become a “hothouse”. We have always taken boys from a very wide variety of schools and we want this to continue. The plan is simply to try to raise standards academically and all round and make the School and its facilities better and better each year without changing its character. A continuous development programme ensures that our pupils enjoy excellent facilities and we are proud of our new state-of-the-art 3G all-weather sports ground and professional standard Performing Arts Centre, The Hammond Theatre.
How much homework will my son get in the First Year?
In the First Year boys are set three pieces of homework each day. They are expected to spend 20 minutes on each subject.
What languages do you teach?
The Modern Languages are French, German, Spanish, Russian and Mandarin. Any one of the first three can be chosen as the first language studied, with the opportunity to start a second (and third) language in the Third Year. Classical Greek is also available from the Third Year. Top sets begin AS language work in the Fifth Year. All First and Second Year boys study Latin, which supports English and Modern Languages by teaching precision and grammar.
Are boys "set" for any subjects?
There is no setting in the First Year. There is some setting of Modern Languages and Mathematics from the Third Year. Science is partially set for GCSE. There is no other setting as the boys are generally from a reasonably narrow ability band and opportunities for differentiation, each boy working to his best with none marking time or held back, are offered within the class.
What about Careers and Universities advice?
This is excellent, with full careers aptitude diagnosis for each boy and a well-stocked Careers Library. Nearly all leavers secure their first choice university and course. Virtually all go to elite UK universities or medical schools. Around 30 boys gain places at Oxford and Cambridge each year and an increasing number go on to study at American Ivy League universities. For further details of leavers' destinations please visit the Leavers' Destinations page.
Do you have to play a particular sport?
All boys choose the sport they wish to play. In the First Year, they can pick football or rugby. From the Third Year, they can row, which they do all year round. Summer games include cricket, tennis and athletics. There are many other activities available, such as golf, real tennis, squash, cross-country, basketball, table tennis, badminton, swimming, fencing, sailing, rock climbing etc.
Does Hampton offer a sport for all policy or is sport elitist?
The top teams are all very good indeed and play the best opposition. However, there is sport for all: for example Hampton fielded 26 football teams last year including D, E and F football teams.
What if my son doesn't like sport?
He won’t be the only one! Although sport is very strong at Hampton there is something for everyone and we also offer an extensive range of pursuits off the sports field catering for a whole variety of interests. Some boys enjoy the opportunities offered by the creative arts; others enjoy the excitement and camaraderie of the Adventure Society, CCF or DofE. Some boys opt for the intellectual challenges of Chess and Bridge and the keen writers have the opportunity to work on one of the many School magazines and newspapers. The list and opportunities are endless.
How many clubs take place after School?
Where possible all clubs and activities take place during the extended lunch period (an hour and 25 minutes) as around 55% of boys use the School coaches which leave promptly at 4.15pm. In the First, Second and Third Year the only activities which take place after School are Orchestra, CCF (from the Third Year) and some cricket practices. Further details are available from the Admissions Office. Training sessions in Rugby, Football and Cricket are held after School for those in the Fifth Year and above but by this stage many boys are happy to use public transport and parents know each other well enough to arrange lift shares.
How to boys get to school?
Some walk and many cycle. Many use the 111, R70 or 285 buses, all of which stop outside the School or very close to it. Some boys travel by train to Hampton station on the Waterloo-Shepperton line. There are coaches jointly with LEH and about 1000 pupils from the two schools use these. The catchment area is quite large; further details of the coach routes is given on the Coach Services page.