An Evening with HCH
Thank you to all parents who joined me and members of my team on Wednesday night to listen to our new curriculum vision. It was great to connect with everyone and to hear your thoughts afterwards. I will be sending finer details of changes to relevant year groups and sections of the school in the coming days and will be inviting you in as individual year groups to provide you with the opportunity to ask any specific questions you might have.
Many of you asked me about the pedagogical texts I referenced that informed and influenced our curriculum design and what I would recommend to parents. I would start with Professor Guy Claxton’s The Future of Teaching and the Myths that Hold it Back (2021). As I mentioned in my presentation, much of the foundation of our curriculum design was based on Professor Claxton’s pedagogical theories around the “learning powered school” and how we empower children as independent lifelong learners.
One of the best parts about being Headmaster of such a kind, compassionate and empathetic school as HCH is that everything related to behaviour at school is generally stellar, and relationships are generally extremely harmonious. However, a few of you have raised concerns recently about instances of bullying in the school – concerns myself, SLT, staff and the Governors take incredibly seriously. We are seeing this behaviour across the education sector – in Dukes schools, other independent schools and across the state sector. It is the view of researchers and educators that this is due to the post-covid complexities of re-socialisation and a regression in our pupils’ ability to self-regulate. Please see this link:
We were aware of this on our return to full time school last term and we have done a huge amount of work to ensure this manifests itself in manageable ways. I would like to invite all parents to our first Hampton Court Town Hall to discuss our new ‘Anti-Bullying and Wellbeing Strategy’ on Tuesday 22nd March 4-4.30pm in the Main Hall. I will share with you our thinking and actions in this area to date and our plans for the future. Please be assured that we are not alone in facing these challenges and we have certainly responded quickly and robustly.
I will be joined at the Town Hall by Katherine Vintner Head of Heathside School, Schools Mental Health Lead at the Department for Education and Co-Founder and Senior Adviser for the National Safeguarding Alliance, who has been working alongside me on our strategy, and by Libby Nicholas our Safeguarding Governor. I do hope to see many of you there on Tuesday.
I have also attached our current Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy for you to look at prior to this meeting. Please note that we are constantly reviewing and adapting our policies and that these latest iterations are still being finalised through consultation.
I mention often how important parental voice is to me for ensuring that we are acting in partnership to provide the best education for your children. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this anonymous survey which will provide us with an opportunity to hear your perspective.
Conversations with the Headmaster
This week was Science Week and I was honoured to be joined by one of our exceptional students, Solo, who spoke to me about his passion for science. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about what inspired him, and about his interests and goals. It was a profoundly satisfying moment for me to know that HCH has such outstanding role models as Solo. Thank you Solo!
Heart dissections, colour-changing clock reactions, the science of the very cold, cloud chambers, chemical cookery, criminal minds, and high voltage! All of these were topics explored by our students and staff this week for Science Week. Thank you to Thomas and the rest of the science team for delivering such interesting and exhilarating sessions.
Geography Field Trip
Year 8 pupils did superbly well on their geography fieldwork day on Monday. Fortunately, the weather played along as they spent all morning outside, tirelessly completing a range of surveys in order to find evidence of the impacts of tourism on our local area. When it came to the task of undertaking questionnaires with the public, they overcame their inhibitions and embraced the challenge, managing to acquire a record-breaking 73 responses. I know that Rebecca was very proud of them, and looks forward to reading their findings.
On Nature Day last week our parent volunteers raised a total of £362! Thank you to the whole community for making this day such a success, and for your contributions to the Community Garden (a thank you from Hannah and Vicki). Thank you all for your generosity and thank you to Hannah and Vicki and the other parents who are committing so much positive energy to make our garden look amazing.
Following on from the amazing book sale today that raised much money for the library project, The Friends have organised a bake sale on Friday 25th March from 3pm in the Main Hall. The funds raised will be donated to selected charities to support those affected by the war in Ukraine. Any parent who would like to assist with the bake sale by baking and/or selling cakes/ biscuits, please contact the Friends (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Green Car Park
Just a reminder that the Green Car Park will be closed from this coming Monday 21st March – Friday 25th March. Initially this was meant to be a week later but the Palace had to change their plans. Thank you for your forbearance with this.