The close of the spring term, accompanied by the promise of longer, brighter and sunnier days are always a balm to the soul and never more so this year as we advance further down the roadmap out of lockdown. I am sure that many of us are eagerly awaiting next Monday when we will once again be able to meet friends and families, albeit in our gardens and adhering to the rule of six. And excitingly, when I next see Hamptonians following the Easter break, not only will shops, restaurants and gyms have hopefully re-opened but we will finally be able to have our hair cut – a date I for one am very much looking forward to.
There has been much to enjoy since Hamptonians returned to the School site on 8 March and I know I speak for all my colleagues in expressing just how uplifting it is to have our corridors, classrooms and School grounds once again bustling with the clatter, chatter and laughter of 1300 boys. Day-to-day life continues undimmed despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, and our boys have chalked up impressive achievements some of which you can read about in today’s e-newsletter and which I will expand upon further in this letter.
Before doing so, I would like to firstly return to a topic which has dominated the media headlines this month and which I referred to in my letter to parents two weeks ago. As we have all witnessed, the tragic death of Sarah Everard has thrown into sharp focus the unpalatable truth that too many women and girls do not feel safe from violence. The circumstances surrounding Sarah’s death have led to a subsequent outpouring of anger, fear and frustration from women and girls across the country highlighting issues in our society around harassment, consent, gender equality and abusive behaviour.
As I stressed in my letter, and as has been discussed with Hamptonians in recent assemblies, PSHE lessons and form period time, we deplore such behaviours, which are entirely contrary to the culture, ethos and values of our School. We also recognise that all schools have a responsibility to help educate their pupils on important societal issues such as those raised and we shall continue to carefully explore what we can do better.
I have personally been deeply moved by the wisdom and maturity of many of the young women who have spoken out on these issues; not just to bravely share harrowing their testimonies but to plea that these testimonies act as a catalyst for meaningful change in societal attitudes. In thanking the thousands who had left testimonies on their digital platforms, the founders of #everyonesinvited this week called on people to move forward and build on the mistakes of the past and work on creating a new future. Another letter which has been seen widely on social media is from a 16-year-old girl to her headteacher stating that this is an ‘opportunity for real change to be made’. This is a responsibility that we all must act upon; individual pupils, parents and teachers owe it to our daughters, mothers, sisters, wives and friends to address these societal issues. We certainly aim to focus on that at Hampton moving forward, and our values of mutual respect and kindness remain at the core of a Hampton education. ( needs something more about what the School is going to do and how this will be communicated to parents)
As I had frequent cause to mention in my weekly Hampton@Home e-newsletter updates, Hamptonians’ indomitable spirit during these challenging months of national lockdown has been a source of continuous inspiration and it is once again perfectly illustrated in today’s digital news update. Chapeau! to Lower Sixth linguists Nayaaz Hashim and Patrick Helm who triumphed in the national final of the prestigious and fiercely challenging Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes, the national Sixth Form French debating competition organised by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. The competition was held online this year, an added level of complexity for our young linguists but, undaunted as you will see in our video report, Nayaaz and Patrick displayed formidable oracy skills ensuring a Hampton win in this event for the first time in the School’s history. Congratulations also go to our Chess players who were crowned champions in the online Under 19 English Chess Federation Schools’ Championships and bravo to Fourth Year Vishal Saha for taking top prize in the Drama Department’s iMovie competition which challenged Hamptonians to create a film based on the theme of ‘hope’. Do take a look at Vishal’s charming film which is all about finding purpose through developing new skills and interests, in today’s e-newsletter
In closing, I would like to warmly congratulate our superbly talented musicians who created the Hampton School Lockdown Orchestra at the start of the spring term. Under the expert guidance of our inspirational Head of Music, Mr Roland, aided by his wonderful Music Department colleagues, the boys, many of whom played multiple parts, took on the ambitious challenge of performing Mambo from West Side Story. The result as you will see in the newsletter video is a toe-tapping, high-energy and joyful performance – an ideal upbeat ending to the spring term.
Enjoy a wonderful Easter break with your families and I look forward to welcoming everyone back in the summer when we hope to see ‘normal’ Hampton life continue to resume.
With kind regards