From The Headmaster’s Study, 22 January 2021
22 January 2021
Many thanks to pupils, parents and colleagues alike for contributing to another seven days of e-Hampton as the national lockdown period continues. Postal service permitting, this week’s proceedings should have begun for Hamptonians with the delivery of some tea bags from the School in recognition of the Samaritans excellent Brew Monday initiative – we hope that receiving these prompted boys to connect with family members or friends for a mutually-beneficial and restorative chat over a cuppa. As our School Captains team highlighted so honestly and well during Monday’s accompanying e-assembly, we are all finding the mental and physical challenges of lockdown difficult and wearisome at times, so it remains important for everyone in our School community to feel able to seek help from one another and from our pastoral team.
No doubt many of you will have followed events in the USA on Wednesday as the inauguration of the 46th President, Joe Biden, took place in Washington DC along with the swearing in of Vice-President Kamala Harris. It was uplifting, during a remarkably uncertain period globally, that the occasion was permeated by messages about the importance of unity, optimism and togetherness in the face of adversity. The words of 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman were especially compelling and her reading of The Hill We Climb offered us hope in challenging times:
…We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’…
Amanda displays a wisdom beyond her years and I find that the same is often true among our young men at Hampton. In this week’s edition of H@H mentors Maxi and Luke have some valuable tips to share with fellow pupils on how to approach lockdown learning; you can also catch up with the latest news from our pioneering Genocide80Twenty campaigners about their support for peacekeeping efforts in the Central African Republic. They will feature again during Monday’s e-assembly about Holocaust Memorial Day (Wednesday 27 January).
We also have another set of challenges for you in today’s e-newsletter and these should help Hampton families to keep active in mind and body despite current societal restrictions. Why not try following Mr Fuldner’s parachute-making instructions, producing a mini-blockbuster for our Drama Department, or tackling Mr Burke’s speed-bounce challenge? Meanwhile, our Environment Committee’s recycling competition launches today and will remain open for boys’ entries until next Thursday.
Please also remember to book your place for next week’s Thursday Night In, when our guest will be Julie Etchingham. As an ITV News at Ten presenter, she has enjoyed an award-winning career in broadcast journalism and her observations and views on contemporary events are sure to be fascinating. Judging by the appreciative comments received since yesterday evening’s online gathering with writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth – so brilliantly hosted by our School Captain, Jamie – our digital audience enjoyed Mr Brandreth’s witty and engaging presentation on The 7 Secrets of Happiness as much as I did! It was also heart-warming to hear him comment, as a Hampton grandparent, that he loves everything that he has heard about our School, including the fundamental emphasis we place upon happiness, shared values and upholding our distinctive sense of community. I can hardly claim to be impartial on the subject, but I couldn’t agree with him more!
And on that very cheerful note, I wish all Hampton families a restful and relaxing weekend.
With kind regards