05 June 2020
Welcome to the latest edition of Hampton@Home, which again brings you a vibrant collection of news, features and updates from our School community.
Life at e-Hampton has continued apace since the half term break, but our return has also coincided with distressing, chastening scenes across America following the horrific and senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – ‘racism is an abhorrence that we must all reject’ – resonate powerfully with all of us at Hampton. Equality and diversity are fundamental to our values and ethos, and we remain committed to repudiating racism and other discrimination. This is a moment that has hopefully focused our collective thinking and should lead to sustained, meaningful actions in response. I know that Hamptonians past and present will feel as passionately as I do about the matters that Mr Floyd’s death has highlighted, so we shall ensure that we explore the issues raised by events in the USA with our pupils through our pastoral programme next week.
Early June typically means School examination time for boys in our First to Fourth Years and Lower Sixth, so we have maintained this rhythm at e-Hampton via online assessments. Our Lower and Middle School pupils have been undertaking these since Monday and it will be the turn of our Lower Sixth next week. We are grateful to parents for all you have done to ensure that your sons have approached their assessments so sensibly and diligently in undeniably unusual circumstances.
The second half of the summer term also traditionally sees the culmination of lots of hard work on Arts Award projects by many of our Third and Fourth Years. As you will see in this week’s H@H, their submissions involve a wonderful array of novellas, videos, sculptures and photography. It is inspiring to see Hamptonians’ artistic flair continuing to thrive in resolute defiance of current limitations. In fact, our present societal restrictions seem to have been the catalyst for some even more remarkable performances than usual. Our Brass Ensemble’s performance of Mr Jums, linked below, is an excellent case in point. It showcases outstanding musicality and impressive audio-visual production skills too! Thank you also to Harry Goolnik of our Upper Sixth for introducing us to one of his literary heroes, J.K. Rowling. He will doubtless have joined me and many others in enjoying her latest creation, The Ickabog, which is being released in weekly online chapters during the pandemic.
In our weekly e-newsletters, I have occasionally taken the opportunity to include a quotation from a favourite writer, admired performer or memorable historical figure. But this week’s literary reference comes courtesy of our First and Second Years instead. Guided by Mrs Plowman, from our always-creative Drama Department, the boys have produced a wonderfully evocative rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic poem If. As you will see via the video link below, our Lower School dramatists feel that Kipling’s words are especially apposite given today’s local, national and global challenges. Their words reflect the confusion, frustration and occasional fears that we are each likely to have encountered over the past few months, but also echo some of our more positive, constructive and peaceful experiences. It is clear that these Hamptonians have responded in resilient fashion to Kipling’s entreaty to treat those two imposters, ‘Triumph and Disaster’, just the same! I applaud all of the boys and colleagues involved, and I am sure that you will find their performance thought-provoking and poignant.
I wish all Hampton families a lovely weekend
With kind regards and best wishes