children talking outside sat on benches

Headmaster’s Weekly Newsletter, 4th February 2022

Posted: 10th February 2022

Wellbeing Award for Schools 

I am delighted to inform you that this week Hampton Court House earned the Wellbeing Award for Schools from Optimus Education. Yesterday was our verification visit in which Katie and I gave a presentation to their selection committee about wellbeing at HCH. The committee then analysed our provision in relation to emotional wellbeing and mental health, and initiatives such as starting a new PSHE programme that includes emotional literacy, hiring a school counsellor, refurbishing the Common Room, to name but a few.  Our commitment to supporting emotional wellbeing and mental health will not stop here though. The award process helped us to structure our actions and think outside the box, and we will now take time to reflect on how we can make further improvements. The Wellbeing Award group will continue to meet termly, and the Student Wellbeing Group will start their initiative ‘Talking Space’ after half term (thank you Bruno and all of the other young people involved with this initiative!). The award recognises how much work we have done since September 2020 to keep positive wellbeing at the heart of what we do. I would like to extend a special thank you to Katie for all of her hard work during this process and for caring so much about the HCH community.

RSE Framework

As you might remember from last year, we started teaching the statutory Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Policy (RSE) at HCH in April 2021 but I thought it would be appropriate to remind you about the policy in case you would like more information. The policy can be found on our website.  If you have any questions or would like to offer any feedback please do not hesitate to contact Deputy Head Pastoral Amy Burgess.

Maths and Pizza

Year 4 put into practice their learning and understanding of fractions in a very creative way this week. They recently learnt about adding fractions with unlike denominators and had to come up with their own pizza recipe that involved 1/8, 1/4, 1/3 of various ingredients. It was a great way to complement our topic, to have fun making pizzas and enjoy our special lunch! Thank you to our chef Junior for helping out and to Claire for her creative teaching!

Celebrating French

The postponed Institut Francais membership award ceremony date has been confirmed for the evening of the 30th March (the last day of the Spring Term) and paperless invitations will be sent next week. Esteemed members of the French embassy will be attending and I am looking forward to celebrating the success of our wonderful French department at this event.

National Storytelling Week

Local author Sue Ransom visited HCH this week to celebrate National Storytelling Week. She facilitated workshops for Year 10 and Year 12 and spoke about her locally set books and shared insider tips on how to become a published author. Our pupils were extremely inspired!

News from The Friends

The Friends of HCH held their first introductory meeting of 2022 this week and discussed events for the year and welcomed new members. They would like me to advertise that new members are most welcome! Please contact friends@hchnet.co.uk for more information.  Further Friends events 2022 will be announced in next week’s newsletter. A massive thank you to The Friends from me for all that you do to support the school.

Animation Club

The members of Animation club have been honing their sculpture skills this week. Inspired by our current theme of Alice in Wonderland and by each other’s faces, the students produced this amazing range of characters after a short sculpting demonstration by Eve.

Reception Yoga

Following one of my invitations for parents to get involved with the school community, we have been able to organise a Reception Yoga Club thanks to Emma Jenkins (thank you so much Emma!). This week the whole class attended (16 children!). These yoga classes explore breath, movement and relaxation in different ways. The children are learning how they can use their breath to feel calmer (and fill the room with the sound of 16 buzzing bees!) and also to let go of tension and frustration (roaring like lions!). This week they explored balancing as they practised tree poses creating a wonderful forest of trees blowing in the wind. Balancing on one foot is really challenging for the children so these yoga classes will really help them build resilience and tenacity. The singing bowl is a big hit with the children who love taking it in turns to fill the room with a single sound, quietening the rest of the everyday ‘noise’. We are looking forward to some better weather when we can get outside and join the trees and bees in the school grounds for our Tuesday club!

Kindness

I would like to end my newsletter this week with a reflection on kindness. I went on an informal ‘learning walk’ this week with a visitor (who is also a Reporting Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate). I was so proud to take him into our various classrooms to observe the fantastic teaching and learning taking place, but what made me so proud was how he commented on how respectful and kind our children are. We all have reason to feel very proud.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend with your families, and those of you who are rugby fans enjoy the start of the Six Nations (my favourite tournament!).

Adrian

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