Below are some frequently asked questions. Please refer to them for further information on the admissions process and life at Hampton School.
Pupil to teacher ratios
The ratio of teachers to pupils in the School overall is 1:9. Form Groups are generally around 22/23 but are smaller in the Sixth Form, typically 10/12 boys.
Class sizes vary depending on the Year Group. In the first two years boys are taught as a Form Group but as they move up the School and choose subject options the class sizes are much smaller. A typical German GCSE class may have 10 boys and in the Sixth Form classes of 12 for Science subjects, ten for languages and five for Latin are not unusual.
What is the mix of state-maintained primaries/prep school pupils?
Hampton has a very diverse community and is perhaps unusual among independent schools in this part of the world in that around two thirds of the boys who join us at 11+ come from state-maintained primary schools. The remaining third join from independent prep schools which finish at the end of Year 6. The reverse is probably true for the majority of London independent schools.
Before becoming independent, Hampton was a grammar school and the School still retains much of that ethos and feel today. The genuinely grounded and diverse nature of our community is what attracts many parents and boys to our School.
We are also very keen to maintain access for boys who would flourish and thrive here but whose parents cannot afford the fees. There are currently 61 boys in the School on completely free places and many more receive some degree of financial support. The Fitzwygram Foundation, named after one of the School’s founders, was set up in 2015 to increase the number of Free Places at the School and aims to provide a further 50 Free Places by 2025.
How many boys join at 11+ and how many at 13+?
In a typical year around 140 boys join the First Year (Year 7) and between 40 to 50 join the Third Year (Year 9). Although there are more places available for entry at 11+ there are many more applicants and, statistically, it is not easier to get in at one point or the other. Please note that boys may not apply for entry at 11+ and 13+
Is it better for boys at Prep Schools which finish at the end of Year 8 to join at 11+ or 13+?
It is entirely up to you as a family and what you feel is best for your son. We would be delighted to consider your son for entry to either the First Year (Year 7) or the Third Year (Year 9). Our general guidance, is that if your son is happy at his prep school then there is no need to move him early at 11+. Boys who remain at their Prep School for the final two years benefit from being a ‘big fish in a small pond’ and have opportunities to take on positions of responsibility such as prefects, mentors and house captains – roles which they would not otherwise be open to them until they reach the Sixth Form at Hampton. Selection for sports teams and key roles in school plays and concerts is also less competitive in a Prep School environment. However, you know your son best and it is important that you choose the right option for him in consultation with his Prep School Head who is best placed to guide you.
By way of reassurance, it is not easier to get in at 11 or 13, although we have more places available in the First Year we also have many more boys applying – statistically, it is very much a ‘level playing field’. There is also no difference in the outcomes at GCSE, A Level or university entrance between boys joining in the First or Third Year.
Does my son need to be tutored for the entrance exam?
We set our own entrance papers which are based on Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum and accessible to boys in both primary and prep schools. The papers are designed to identify academic potential and innate ability rather than test what has been taught and so 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 we also recommend plenty of practice with Maths problem-solving questions – it is important that boys not only know the mathematical techniques of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, but also know how to apply them to solve ‘wordy’ Maths problems involving two or three different steps.
We strongly discourage tutoring as we are looking for naturally bright boys who will be able to cope with the academic pace of work at Hampton, be happy and thrive here.
Can my son sit for entry at 11+ and 13+?
No, boys may only sit for entry at 11+ or entry at 13+. Equally, 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 a big school, do boys get lost?
Hampton is a big school but it feels like a small school. When boys join us they tend to make their own smaller and more intimate version of the School – for example they will know where their Form Room and classrooms are, where they sit in the Dining Hall and where they go for their co-curricular clubs. They will also get to know which part of the 3G or School field to go to so that they can meet their friends, but initially there may be many areas of the School that they will probably not come across. Then, as they grow and become more involved in different activities, so the School grows with them.
When boys first join us we also equip them with a map of the School site and staff and older boys are always happy to point them in the right direction if they do get lost!
How do you help boys settle in?
Boys join Hampton from over 100 different feeder schools each year, and delivery of a smooth induction programme is therefore essential to help boys settle in as quickly as possible and make new friends. Our staff have a wealth of experience of this important process and our induction programme is an established and effective one. Helping boys feel at home is a priority at Hampton.
All boys are asked if there is a particular friend they would like to be in a Form Group with before they join and are also issued with The Hampton School Survival Guide, written in part by recent new boys. Those joining the First Year spend two days at the Avon Tyrrell activity centre in the New Forest as part of their induction and all Third Years have a team-building day in the first few days of the autumn term. The emphasis for all of these activities is on working together as part of a group, having fun and making new friends.
There is also, always someone a boy can talk to: his Sixth Form Mentor, Form Tutor, Head of Year, or if needed, one of the School counselling team.
How do boys joining in the Third Year (Year 9) integrate with those who have already been there for two years?
We take great care to integrate those who are joining in the Third Year with the boys who are already in the School. At the start of the Third Year the Form Groups are re-organised into completely new Forms which contain a mix of newcomers and existing boys. We also hold a team building activity day at the start of term which helps build new friendships and all new boys can express a preference if they wish to be in the same Form Group as a particular friend.
We tend to find that as the boys joining the Third Year are a little older, and have had the benefit of being at the top of their prep school, they are generally ready for the step up to senior school and settle in very quickly. By half term it is often difficult for teachers to tell which boys have been with us for two years and which have just joined!
What is the structure of the School day?
Morning registration is at 8.45am and the first lesson begins at 8.55am. There are five lessons each morning, with a 20-minute break after the first three. Lunch is from 12.35pm until 1.50pm to allow plenty of time for our co-curricular programme. There is a further opportunity for boys to see their Form Tutor at 1.50pm, where an afternoon registration is completed. This is followed by three further lessons and the School day ends at 4.00pm. The School coaches leave promptly at 4.15pm, which allows plenty of time for boys to organise themselves and walk to LEH if their coach departs from there. Boys can arrive from 8.00am (when breakfast is available) and they can work in the Library under supervision, after School until 5.30pm. Sixth Form pupils can also continue to work in the Sixth Form Study Centre until this time if they would like to do so.
Is there Saturday School?
There are no lessons on Saturdays but there can be as many as 500 boys and 40 staff involved in sport fixtures, music practices or drama rehearsals. Many of these weekend activities are supported by parents and provide a great way to meet other Hampton families.
Is there a typical Hampton boy?
Intelligence, a lively mind and a generosity of spirit are all common characteristics but there is no typical Hampton boy. Boys are encouraged to be themselves and to follow their own path at Hampton within a nurturing and inspiring environment.
But most importantly of all, we expect our boys to be personally ambitious while supporting those around them with kindness. This is the Hampton way and it is distinctive.