children talking outside sat on benches

Headmaster’s Weekly Newsletter, 25th February 2022

Posted: 25th February 2022

I write this week’s letter buoyed by the feeling of spring being just around the corner. It was a glorious day at HCH today with everyone spending as much time as possible outdoors enjoying the sunshine, a vast contrast to yesterday when the hail pelted down on us! I was so impressed with our little ones who were outside at forest school during the hail, although they thoroughly enjoyed it!

Community Garden

Our wonderful parent volunteers led by Hannah and Vicki have been working hard on our garden project. It has been amazing to see the site behind the porter’s hut transformed into a lively and exciting place. It is clear that this is going to be a magical spot for all members of the community and I am so grateful for all the hard work of the volunteers. Thank you!

Music at HCH

Pupils were treated to a jazzy serenade by our peripatetic saxophonist and pianist teachers during Tuesday morning’s assembly. We are very fortunate to have such talented staff at HCH as music is part of the DNA of the school. This is why we have introduced music as a GCSE option for the upcoming academic year and I am keen to see if it will be a popular choice for our pupils.

Year 5 & 6 Trip to the French Institute

Pupils in Years 5 & 6 had a wonderful day on Tuesday at the French Institute.

In the morning, they settled in the Quentin Blake library, which is adjacent to the Institut Francais, where they had story and language activities based on the topic of ‘the environment’. The pupils had the opportunity to pick up some books and do some reading over lunch time and discover famous French comic strips and novels. In the afternoon, they visited the Cine Lumiere to watch an animated cartoon entitled: “La prophetie des grenouilles” (Raining Cats and Dogs). The cartoon is a fable questioning the difficulties of living together in solidarity and in an increasingly precarious environment. Both the staff and children thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Label FrancÉducation Ceremony

Can I send out a gentle reminder to please RSVP for the Label FrancÉducation ceremony on Wednesday 30th March by Monday 28th February. Thank you, and I look forward to you joining me in welcoming esteemed guests from the French Embassy to HCH. I am sure we are going to have a fabulous evening.

Early Years Booksale Fundraiser 

The Friends of HCH are hosting a Booksale Fundraiser on Friday 18th March to help us raise funds for a new library (watch this space). Please visit the Main Hall between 3.00-4.30pm.

Conversations With the Headmaster

This week I was joined by Katie Hager-Conroy, our Assistant Head of Pastoral Care and Latin teacher, to discuss working at HCH, wellbeing, the Arctic and salsa dancing! I hope these short weekly videos will provide you with a deeper insight into life at HCH.

‘An Evening with HCH’

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I would like to invite you to HCH on Wednesday 16th March for a presentation and a chance to meet other members of the HCH Executive and Senior Leadership Team, as well as Libby Nicholas, Managing Director of Dukes. This will provide me with the opportunity to explain some of the initiatives we are implementing to build on the provision at HCH, and it will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and get to know some of the newer members of the HCH team. A formal invitation through Paperless Post is forthcoming.

Green Car park Temporary Closure

We have been informed by Hampton Court Palace that the Green Car Park is being resurfaced between 28th March to 1st April. During this time, we will not have any access rights to the school through our West Gate (back gate) and all traffic will have to come through the main front gate. We will send you more information in the coming weeks but thank you in advance for your forbearance with this.

Pupil Voice

I felt incredibly proud this week after meeting with five remarkable young women during lunchtime to discuss their experience of HCH. Thoughtful, articulate, and confident, all five inspired me and filled me with hope. I am always left deeply touched by these discussions and just wish that I had more time to spend with our remarkable pupils. Thank you so much Mimi (Y7), Isabella (Y8), Julia (Y9), Katie (Y10) and Maja (Y11) for helping me think about how we can continue to improve HCH.

Lastly, we are keeping a close eye on the situation in Eastern Europe. I am acutely aware that the situation is impacting many families in our community. We are thinking about how we talk about this issue sensitively as a school, especially as we have so many different age groups. Our Form Tutors have been helping their tutees talk about what is happening and we are having an assembly for Years 5-13 on Monday to come together and reflect as a community. My heart goes out to all of you who are affected.

I wish you and your family a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes,