children talking outside sat on benches

Headmaster’s Weekly Newsletter, 27th May 2022

Posted: 31st May 2022


Friday, 27th May 2022

Headmaster’s Introduction

Dear Parents,

As I write this introduction, the sun is shining brightly and the sound of African drumming fills the air. We couldn’t have asked for a better day for the children to have this experience out on the main lawn, and it was a perfect way to end the half term.

I am delighted to announce that our fundraising event last week for the Ukraine crisis raised £3,246. Thank you so much to Jess, Lauren, the Friends, Sam, and everyone else involved in organising and running the event. I would also like to thank the pupils again for their wonderful performances.

Other highlights this week included a staff versus sixth form students football match where the staff just edged a win over an enthusiastic and spirited student team. We enjoyed Francophonie Week with different events and French culinary treats happening throughout the week. The Parents’ Wine & Cheese and Quiz on Wednesday was a resounding success and a great way to come together to break bread and test our French knowledge. We also celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with assemblies, activities and mini parties. On the theme of drumming, we had an excellent (and loud!) Drummer’s Concert last night. Thank you to Julie for organising.

I hope all of you have an outstanding half term with your families.

With best wishes,


Summer Term 2022
Dates for your calendar

  • 23rd June, Parenting in a digital world (Dukes Club)
  • 27th June, Year 11 leaver’s event (details to follow)
  • 28th June, Year 13 leaver’s event (details to follow)
  • 29th June, Years 2 – 13 summer concerts
  • 30th June, An Evening with Our Chairman, Aatif Hassan. RSVP by 27th June!
  • 6th July, Speech Day Prizegiving Ceremony


Francophonie Week

The French Department launched an event-packed Semaine de la Francophonie, celebrating all corners of the French-speaking world. It was the perfect opportunity for our students to discover different aspects of the francophone world and French speaking countries.

Daycare and Pre-Nursery children were visited by Caroline Weis, who led a French workshop where the students took part in a game about French colours. The children stood in a circle, singing along to a French song and doing the actions.

Nursery and Reception children had the chance to watch a Musical Puppet Show in the Main Hall: Les Aventures de Martin Avril. They met with Donia and her puppet Martin Avril (who also speaks French), alongside Jessy the violinist. The pupils had the opportunity to try different instruments, sing French songs and follow Martin in his travels.

Furthermore, Nursery, Reception and Year 3 were visited by the Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 FLAM (French as a first language) students, who interacted completely in French. Several activities were prepared for our young pupils, who very much enjoyed their time with older peers. It was a great occasion to strengthen their communication skills. Years 5, 6 & 7 loved leading their workshops!

Students from Year 1 to Year 6 met Omar the Drumming Artist, who offered each class an exciting drumming workshop outside in the beautiful sunshine. The whole school travelled to Africa thanks to amazing traditional beats from the Front Lawn all day long.

Years 7 to 10 students prepared some delicious crêpes with the help of our fantastic Friends of HCH, Camille Astier and Emmanuelle Liebert. We enjoyed tasty French lunches all week with tarte au citron, soupe vichyssoise and boeuf bourguignon, amongst other dishes.

During the Middle Years assembly, Year 8 explained what Francophonie means and they shared their own experience as French learners and how it positively impacted their overall learning experience across all subjects. They ended the assembly with their beautiful song from Céphaz, On a mangé le soleil.

On Wednesday evening, parents and staff got together for a wine & cheese taster session led by wine-specialist Géraldine, who introduced a variety of beautiful pairings of fine French wines and cheeses. This was then followed by the Francophone quiz made by the pupils of HCH. A fabulous evening all-round!

The Y1 enjoyed playing traditional French ‘petanque’ and ‘tomate’ games outside. They also read some parts of the famous Belgium comic book ‘Boule et Bill’ and invented a part of a story about it in French. They also sang in French to celebrate the francophone countries of Africa, and they coloured beautiful patterns of traditional African pieces of cloth.

An excellent week for everyone, and a massive thank you to the French Department and Julie Romieu, as well as all the people who made this week a memorable one!

Other news from across the school
 Jubilee celebrations 
The Early Years Team threw a ‘platinum Jubilee party’ this afternoon.
Everything was in red, white and blue, from the children’s outfits to the fruity kebabs!

Year 2 have created a beautiful display to decorate their classroom, based on their class reader for this term ‘A Bear Called Paddington.’ They wrote very creative acrostic poems and sent postcards home to Aunt Lucy at the retirement home for bears in Darkest Peru. This week they have also carried out various activities in their English lesson  to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – creating their own recipe for a Queen’s pudding, learning facts about Queen Elizabeth II and thinking about what they would do if they were the Queen for a day.

Year 5 enjoyed designing their own Jubilee crowns!
American Literature Association
English teacher and Sixth Form careers advisor Krissie West is giving a paper at the  American Literature Association annual conference in Chicago this week, discussing the need to centralise disadvantaged and marginalised children in literature. She is very excited to be asked to speak at this prestigious event and will be sharing her experiences with the students on her return.
Gardening Club and Community Garden

We had another busy Gardening Club on Wednesday in the Community Garden. The children painted stones with the different fruits and vegetables we’re growing in the garden, and once we’ve given them a coat of protective varnish these will go back in the garden to act as plant labels (photos below).

We also learnt how to take cuttings to create new plants. Each child went home with either a mint or a rosemary cutting that they took themselves from the plants in the school garden. We’re hoping that these will root and we can pot them up after half term to sell on our little plant stall at the Summer Fête in a month’s time (extra plug, 19th June!) with the money raised going back into buying more seeds and compost for the school garden. But it’s also an opportunity for the children to watch the roots form and new plants begin to grow and we very much hope they enjoy this. Everyone has now had the opportunity, too, to enjoy some produce from the garden. The radishes were delicious!

Finally, we had our first big crop of lettuce which we are hoping made it to the lunch table today! Many thanks to the parent volunteers, Lisa and Jenny, who joined us this week to tidy up before half term, and thanks too to Zelda (Yr3 form teacher) and Sam (yr6 form teacher) who also helped with the Club this week.

– Vicki and Hannah

Wraparound care survey
We are currently exploring options for wraparound care at the beginning and end of the school day. We would be very thankful if you could take a couple of minutes to fill in this survey to help us understand your needs as parents further.

Friends of HCH Weekly Update

Summer Fête: Sunday, June 19th, 1 – 4pm

Please hold our Summer Fête date on June 19th from 1 pm to 4 pm. We continue to work on this to ensure it will be a fun day for both young and old ones 🙂

If you have any other ideas for stalls or would like to donate a cake or wish to contribute with anything else, do let us know on our form here, and for clothes, plants, toys and books, you can contact Hannah directly:

After half-term, we will share with you all the activities and an exact rota with you, asking anyone who could help volunteer a bit of their time to assist us on the day to enrol there 🙂 Without your help, we would not be able to plan this hopefully fantastic event!

Francophone Week

This week was dedicated to La Semaine Francophonie: Merci beaucoup to everyone from the HCH French Department and the Friends who were involved in making this week happen; we have heard raving comments about the quiz paired with delicious cheese and wine, yesterday’s and today’s crêpe making, the French menu this week and we are still refining our drumming skills 🙂


“It was so nice to meet new parents! Thanks to everyone involved!”

“It felt like a classy evening with fine wine and delicious cheese and great company. It also made me feel more connected to HCH. [..] worth the money and worth coming to similar events!”

Introduction to coding

Does your child love gaming? Why not give them a chance to try coding arcade-style games? The Dukes Club is running some fantastic coding clubs over half term; they are a great opportunity for your children to learn how creative coding can be. Kickstart or boost your child’s coding knowledge with this engaging online coding taster day where children will learn the basics of coding, building simple arcade-style games which they can play at home in this Ultimate Activities course suitable for children aged 7-11 and exclusively available to Dukes Club members. We will be running two online sessions during the half term on 31st May 2022 and 1st June 2022.    

When to start thinking about your child’s university journey

An exclusive panel discussion with experts from Oxbridge Applications and A-List Education.
Experts from Oxbridge Applications and A-List Education provide practical advice and key points to consider from the early years and throughout your child’s schooling, in order to ensure that they are best prepared for their UK or US university journey when the time comes.

This talk is suitable for parents of Key Stage 3+ (11 years and up) students and will cover the following:
• Advice on when to begin the process
• Advice on differentiating between different university pathways (UK, US, other global destinations)
• A close look at how GCSE or A-Level choices can affect university applications
• How a student can use their time, even in the earlier years, at secondary school to build a strong University application

The Panellists:
Alicia Luba and Alison Bissell are the Directors of Oxbridge Applications and A List Education.
Alicia has been working with students and their families since 2013. She is an expert on Oxbridge Applications and supports private clients as well as our school partners, Wellington College, Marlborough College and Rugby School. She has a first-class degree from Oxford in English Literature and an MA from Kings College London specialising in Shakespeare. Alicia has also written for The Telegraph and other publications.

Alison Bissell read Maths and Philosophy at the University of Oxford. For almost ten years, Alison has been working with applicants to refine their university applications and build the skills required for the various application milestones. Alison specialises in STEM subjects and has particular experience guiding international applicants, having hosted events with schools in Asia, Middle East and US.

They will be joined by Tammy Parks, Associate Director of University Admissions and Outreach at A-List Education.

This talk is brought to you by Oxbridge Applications and A-List, members of the Dukes Education family.

Parenting in a digital world

Devices are front and centre – and we know making good choices isn’t always easy!

Digital Awareness’s Parenting Webinars are an interactive learning opportunity for parents, carers and school staff. Our experts provide parents with unique insights into the latest apps, trends and critical online issues to be aware of. The webinar will leave parents feeling empowered and knowing how to have the right conversations.

This talk is recommended for parents of 8 – 12 year olds.

All events and courses can be Club Events (

Molkky Club made a glorious return in the sunshine!






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