children talking outside sat on benches

Headmaster’s Weekly Newsletter, 4th March 2022

Posted: 4th March 2022


We have come to an end to an extremely busy week, with many of our year groups leaving the HCH gates for enriching and exciting educational adventures.

Student Film

We had an amazing HCH community event from Years 3-13 in this afternoon’s assembly when we were able to learn about how creative some of our students are. The assembly focussed on the follow up project Year 10, Year 11 and Year 13 students have been working on since their November trip to the French Institute. The students made their own movie of the classic “Le Petit Nicolas” and they explained to all of the other students about the process of making the film (both the acting team and the technical team). It was interactive as the students presented some of the shots used on the day, and explained how they choreographed the shoot. Every actor explained their role and then everyone watched the short film. The event ended in a Q&A, where even our younger students had many great questions. It was a fantastic event.

Maths Challenge

At the beginning of February, selected students from Year 9, 10 and 11 took part in the prestigious UKMT Intermediate Challenge run by the UK Maths Trust. We have now received the results and are very pleased! We ended up with 9 Bronze (top 21% of participants), 13 Silver (top 14%) and 4 Gold (top 7%) certificates. This in itself is a very good result, but we also have qualifiers for the Grey Kangaroo (Year 9) and the Pink Kangaroo (Years 10 and 11). Out of 200,000 participants in the Intermediate Challenge, only around 8,000 are invited for each of the Kangaroo competitions and we wish Ruhaan, Alexander, Adit , Dasha, Ben and Cameron all the very best for the 17th March!

Sixth Form Spanish Trip

On Thursday, our Year 12 and 13 Spanish students travelled to the Cervantes theatre in London to see La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca, a play they are currently studying in preparation for their A level examinations.  By seeing La Casa de Bernarda Alba live, the students broadened their knowledge and understanding of Lorca’s masterpiece, which explores the themes of repression, passion and conformity. Jose commented that it was a wonderful educational and life experience for all of the students.

International Women’s Day – Tuesday 8th March

I was privileged to welcome Libby Nicholas, Managing Director of Dukes Education, as my guest for this week’s episode of Conversations with the Headmaster. It was an absolute pleasure to hear Libby’s story, her views on leadership, and her thoughts about the shifts in society in relation to the way we think about gender. I was also incredibly inspired by her passion for education and for making a difference in young people’s lives. Thank you, Libby!


Parent Presentation – Wednesday 9th March 6-7pm

You are warmly invited to join us at HCH next week and attend a workshop on health and nutrition led by Holistic Health Coach Katya Bobova ( A description of Katya’s workshop is here:

Feeding a school kid isn’t easy: at most times they’re hangry (hungry + angry or cranky). They don’t want to hear your advice, they want a quick snack and preferably similar foods to what their friends are eating. This workshop (discussion) will help you learn:

– How to choose the foods that will work best to enhance your daughter/son’s academic performance and also support their physical development.

– Which foods to offer to your children at meal time and as snack, which foods will help improve their attention & concentration, balance them through stressful times, improve their sleep.

Overall, this workshop focuses on the effects good nutrition can have on your child’s rapid growth & overall health.

Nature Day at HCH – Wednesday 9th March

Protecting the environment and thinking about what we can do to ensure environmental sustainability for our children’s future is extremely important to me as Headmaster. HCH is committed to environmental initiatives and I look forward to seeing more of a focus in this area as we work with the children to find positive solutions to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. This is one of the reasons I am so inspired by the work of our parent volunteers who are working on our community garden. Please see the following message from Hannah and Vicki:

This Wednesday 9th March is Nature Day at HCH. On this day, we would love the school community to come dressed in green, or wearing something with a nature motif, and to bring in a minimum donation of £1. During the day, form tutors will accompany their children to the garden area, and each child will be able to plant a seed of their choice. We are now seeking donations from the whole community which will be used to buy essential equipment for further development of the garden. Our first purchase with your money will be a water butt to save rainwater throughout the Spring. The more successful we are with donations, the more beautiful the garden will be, and the more we will all be able to enjoy it! If you have not yet seen the work that the parent volunteers have done, please stop by and take a look. We thank you so much in advance for supporting this exciting and vital project.

Butser Farm

On Wednesday Years 5 and 6 attended a special Anglo-Saxon and Viking Day at Butser Farm in Hampshire. Despite the weather, the students had great fun chalk-carving, spinning and thinking like an archaeologist. It was a fantastic day for all!

Sixth Form Gallery Trip

Our sixth form art and photography students had a deep dive into some fascinating art this week in their trip to some central London galleries. Accompanied by our Artist in Residence, Selwyn, whose knowledge of art history is always astounding, they looked at work from the 1300s right through to contemporary artist Jock MacFadyen, whose most recent show at the Royal Academy completed the tour. Eve, our Head of Art, explains that these trips are such an important part of the students’ appreciation of the context within which their own practice sits. Not only can they study these works in detail, picking out relevant elements such as colour palettes, symbolism and composition, but the experience of seeing this art in real life, rather than on a screen or in a book, allows them to understand how we have engaged with image making through the ages.

Computer Challenge

Last November, students were invited by Hertford College, Oxford for a computing challenge to test their knowledge of computer science.  Just before half term, 18 of our students took part in this challenge. They were given one hour to solve as many problems using their computational thinking skills. I am delighted to say that the following students received Merit (top 15% nationally):

  • Aleksandr from Y7
  • Eesa and JT from Y9
  • Denis Y8

This was the first time we entered this challenge with our students but now we are looking forward to continue this tradition every year. All participants will receive their certificates from Hertford College, Oxford. Congratulations to the students above, but also to all of the participants. I would also like to extend a massive thank you to Neelu, Head of Computer Science!

World Book Day

We celebrated all things literary this week and it was a joy to see the children dress up as their favourite characters. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s 6-word short story (‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn’), I also set up a competition to all HCH staff to see who could come up with the best 6-word story. I was awestruck by the entries and the creativity of our staff, and it was extremely difficult to decide on a winner. The joint winners, however, were Thomas and Jess:

‘Sublime tartare… chef’s wife still missing?’ (Thomas)

‘One knee, one ring, one word.’ (Jess)

Runner-up went to Claire: ‘Unpretentious white envelope, opened hesitantly… success!’

I hope you and your families have a peaceful weekend.