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My HCH experience: Adrian Rainbow, incoming HCH Headmaster

I have been in HCH for two days this week and I have loved getting to know the children and the HCH staff better. I am now even more excited for September, which I didn’t think was possible prior to my visit.

I led my first assembly for middle and upper years pupils in the grounds of the school. We performed what I loosely call the ‘Rainbow Haka’ together. I have found this coordinated movement technique a great way to energise oneself at the start of the day but I have also always found it useful in practise as a way to bring minds together, actively listen, and further develop our gross motor and cognitive abilities for a day of learning.

I was privileged on Wednesday morning to have a ‘learning walk’ around our early years sections of the school. I was accompanied by Libby Nicholas, our Vice Chair of Governors and Aimee Kimbell, from Riverside Nurseries. It was abundantly clear that the provision in the early years is fantastic and the children were demonstrably happy and thriving. Libby and I are committed to working with Anne-Francoise and the early years team to give further resource and support to this crucial area of the school.

What better way to spend a sunny lunchtime than by the river with The Friends of HCH. We discussed many aspects of school life and I am overwhelmed to hear about the amazing events the Friends of HCH have run for us in the past. The summer fete, halloween parties, proms and Christmas fair sound amazing and I am really looking forward to experiencing them all first hand. I am, however, looking forward to developing the relationship between the Friends of HCH and the wider parent community even more. There are some ideas that the team at the school and I are already discussing. Watch this space. Thank you so much to Camille, Shelina, Polly, Isobel, Lara and Emma for a fantastic lunch and great conversation.

On Thursday I was able to enjoy the ‘Rainbow haka’ with the early and lower years, too. The younger children seemed to love the rhythmic expression and really engaged with the idea of actively listening to the people around them and moving together as one unit. It was great fun. I also met with many individual staff members to learn more about HCHl and was joined by Guy who came into the school to see staff and students and have lunch with me in the grounds. It was fantastic to see Guy. We continue to work together closely on the handover and are becoming very good friends. The pupils and staff were also really pleased to see him and chat about school life.

The students have all been working hard this week on their French verb challenge, set by the French department. I understand that this is an annual competition and it was great to see the students taking participation seriously with a healthy dose of competitive spirit. A special congratulations to Ulani in Y7 who was the only student to get 100% in the first round of the competition. Amazing work, Ulani! Best of luck to everyone today for the final.

HCH is such a hub of inspiration and kindness. HCH parents must be incredibly proud of all they accomplish in and out of school. I am really looking forward to working with all the amazing teachers, non-teaching and site staff, as well as our senior team to give them the best possible school experience.