News

Y9 and Y10 trip to Damien Hirst’s workshop and studios

Our Y9 and Y10 students were offered an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to see inside the inner-workings of one the most famous living artists in the world. We were welcomed by Damien himself at his Gloucestershire studio. He also took us to his foundry to see the construction of some monumental... bronzes. The group were invited into Damien’s beautiful home for lunch and to see his personal collection of art. The icing on the cake was the chance to create spin paintings of our own on purpose-built spinning machines. A huge thank you from all of us for extending such a warm welcome and allowing us such incredible insight into the processes that are involved in creating this fantastically varied body of work.

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Lower Years Easter egg hunt

Lower Years pupils were treated to an Easter egg hunt today to celebrate the end of term and the start of the Easter holidays. The Friends of Hampton Court House went to fantastic lengths to hide Easter eggs in the grounds of the school and construct a word search to give the pupils clues which would... lead to the location of the Easter bunny. Some eager-eyed pupils even managed to spot the Easter bunny making his way through the grounds and gave chase before he went to visit the Early Years pupils.

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Middle Years Floating Garden Competition

During Science Week, Middle Years students were invited to take part in the ‘Floating Gardens Challenge’ set by the charity Practical Action. Students learnt that crops can often be wiped out because of long term flooding of croplands in places like Bangladesh. Their challenge was to use recycled... materials to engineer a solution to this. Students thought carefully about the many facets of this problem:


– the weight (light as possible) and strength (able to hold several kg of weight without breaking) of their materials
– the stability of the design in water
– how to plant and grow cress seeds with minimal watering
– material and adhesives that could cope with getting wet.

The designs would be judged on the amount of cress growth and also the amount of weight that could be loaded onto the garden before it sank. Filip, Cyrus, Nathaniel and Ollie used moss to keep their soil moist and achieved the most impressive cress growth:

For the test of buoyancy we enlisted the help of our sixth form physicists:
The winning design was simple but very effective, made out of plastic bottles and corks, and using clever proportions to allow it to balance evenly and hold the greatest weight. Mohammad, Ben and Benjamin were the overall winners with a design that held 1.8kg of weight and grew an impressive amount of cress. Well done!

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Maths Day 2019

Thirteen year groups and eleven different activities, it can only be HCH Maths Day!
Whilst Nursery and Reception children brought in their teddies and counted out pasta shapes, Year 6 used their ratio knowledge to make waffles. We can now say that if the ratio is not right, the dough can look like a... paste and will not make great waffles and anything with too much liquid just runs down the side of the waffle maker and again, will not make great waffles. Year 11 were shocked by how much life costs. Opening their envelopes with their job descriptions and salaries did not cause concern until taxes had to be paid, accommodation rented, weekly grocery shop had to be accounted for and transport had to be considered. Years 3 and 4 were given room plans with the scale of 1:10, which they then had to furnish with items from the leaflet they were given, all the time keeping their budget of £700 in mind. Year 1 practised their ruler skills by creating a Mondrian-like picture, whilst Year 2 enjoyed spending their play money on our bespoke fairground (a big thank you to our two helpers from the 6th Form). Year 7 investigated setting up their own ice-cream business, looking for the best prices at whole retailers, finding out set-up costs and running costs and trying to find reasonable prices for their ice-cream in order to make a profit, but still attract lots of customers. Year 8 did some experiments, noted down outcomes and then graphed their results. Year 10 were introduced to game theory and their cheering reverberated around the theatre. Year 5 braved the weather and went outside to pass on messages using flag semaphore. Year 9 invested their money into different kinds of stickers, but the stock market dictated the stickers’ worth at different stages and trading got harder and harder, seeing some companies making huge losses, whilst others were savvy enough to quickly sell and buy whatever was most profitable.


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Middle Years Adventure 2019

Pupils from Years 5 to 8 enjoyed an action-packed weekend of mountain biking, climbing, activity trails, and kayaking when they went on their Middle Years adventure at Avon Tyrell in the New Forest. Pupils and teachers took part in activities that encouraged them to step out of their comfort zone and... socialise across the various year groups as they learned new skills from the Avon Tyrell instructors. In the evenings the group would gather round the campfire to share stories and on the last night of the trip they were treated to a disco in the Grade 1 listed house that plays host to the outdoor activity centre. Despite the cold and blustery weather the middle years pupils demonstrated grit and determination as they tackled the outdoor pursuits. They would cheer each other on during the obstacle courses and wall climbs and help one another in and out of boats and to find their balance during kayaking. Most importantly the students returned to school having created lifelong memories.


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Sixth form pupils enjoy inspirational talks during Careers Week

Years 12 and 13 enjoyed their final careers talk from Peter McCarthy-Ward, a retired telecommunications professional who now lectures at UCL. Peter brought to life some of the A level economic theory that they have been studying with his honest and amusing observations about working in the public sector... as a senior civil servant, and in the private sector as a manager at BT.


As well as Peter, students have had the opportunity to meet with a range of speakers over the past two weeks from professions as diverse as film, journalism, sports science, engineering, genomics, computing and finance. The overarching messages of being open to opportunity, working hard and developing softer skills alongside their academic qualifications were clear to students, who engaged incredibly positively with all of the speakers, showing real interest and asking thoughtful questions throughout.
In an ever changing world of work, it was an an inspiring message for our students that while they may not accurately predict their paths through it, they could work to maximise their adaptability and ability to face these changes positively.

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