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Parents shape the future of HCH

Last Thursday was the annual Parents’ Forum at Hampton Court House. The Headmaster presented his vision for next academic year, while parents were invited to give their feedback on the school. Several teachers delivered short presentations about projects they are working on.

Those who attended were positive yet challenging in their comments – the breadth of expertise among our parents was definitely evident.

This year, the Headmaster noted, has been marked by three major structural changes at HCH: the launch of a new Sixth Form, adult learning with Form Seven, and a daycare crèche for the children of staff. Next year will be a year of consolidation, with even more focus on developing the already excellent quality of teaching. Several staff are completing professional development courses or master’s degrees.

It’s hard growing up
Daniela Mingham gave a touching presentation entitled “It’s hard growing up”, where she outlined the challenges, both for teachers and students, of launching a pioneering new Sixth Form. Parents were curious about our new cohort’s response and how they were structuring their day around the later start time.

The power of quiet
Josep Navarro introduced a new meditation initiative he has been trialling with our youngest children in the Early and Lower Years. The aim is to bring the widely proven benefits of meditation, such as creativity and wellbeing, into the children’s lives.

The voice
Kathryn Sumner explored the notion that the voice is important as the written word: she suggested that vocal training should be as much an everyday part of education as teaching writing, and that teachers need to be equipped to help students find their individual voice.

Why should school end at 18?
Adam D’Souza reviewed the first year of Form Seven, Hampton Court House’s unique adult learning programme; asked for suggestions for next year’s talks and courses; and introduced forthcoming residential courses in France.

Music and the brain
Kieran Brunt illustrated the positive effects learning a musical instrument has on the brain. Kieran has been appointed Director of Music from September, and he shared some of his ideas on making music even more central to life at HCH.

Record breakers
Ben Ruddin launched an ambitious fundraising event to support Mahlale High School in South Africa: on Saturday 18 June, HCH will support Queen Mary Sailing Club’s attempt to break the Guinness World Record for biggest stand-up paddle board parade.

The HCH way: questioning our beliefs
Last, but by no means least, Jon Hind gave a précis of the recent Government white paper “Educational Excellence Everywhere”, including the benefits of a more evidence-based approach to teaching. However, Jon also cautioned against the dogmatic use of evidence and explained the difficulties of conducting statistically significant research in education.