Upper Years News

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Big Draw Festival 2019

We have been absolutely thrilled with the outpouring of creativity that this year’s Big Draw Festival has inspired in our students and staff. We challenged every member of our school community to produce a self portrait that would express facets of their characters and give insight in to their inner... worlds.


The variety of approaches and techniques has produced a rich visual tapestry of the interests, emotions and the expressiveness of the participants. From delicately observed pencil sketches to bold and colourful ink studies to unexpected interpretations of the self.

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Times Tables Challenge 2019

Time flies when one is learning a lot and we have almost reached half term. Which means the annual HCH Times Tables Challenge got under way.
The first semi-final on Monday had Year 4 up to Year 8 very close together, with Year 5 being in the first spot. Tuesday saw the older year groups battling to get... into the final and Years 10, 11 and the Sixth From left Year 5 in the forth spot, just missing out on a pace in the final.


This meant that for the first time in the history of this event did the three oldest year groups make it into the final.
And what a final it was!
Especially the younger children were impressed by the speed and you had to be there to believe the excitement times tables can elicit.
In the end it came down to the final points and the Sixth Form won by a small margin, with Year 11 in second place and Year 10 carrying home the bronze medals.

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GCSE and A level students visit Swanage

Our hardy students braved the relentless rain and wind to capture some highly creative images of the stunning Dorset coast. The photographers experimented with Neutral Density Filters to capture long exposures of the dramatic stormy waves as they crashed against the shore. Meanwhile the artists work... quickly and decisively as they battled against the elements to interpret the landscape in watercolours, inks and graphite. A memorable and productive weekend despite the terrible weather!


The GCSE and A-level geographers had a fun and productive weekend preparing materials for their courses and engaging with a range of natural processes and landforms. Studying alongside natural wonders including Durdle Door arch and Lulworth Cove helped bring these elements of the curriculum to life and the students showed wonderful resilience, despite the weather, to collect a range of useful data and information.

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Year 7-12 Activities day trip to Chinese cooking lesson

26 students went to a Chinese restaurant in Thames Ditton to learn how to make spring rolls and dumplings. The rolling was strangely relaxing and a huge number of dumplings and spring rolls were made. We then got to eat our food along with some fried rice. It was a really sociable way to learn to cook. We stopped on the way back at a Chinese supermarket to enable students to buy ingredients so that they could hone their newfound skills.

Year 9 trip to New Scientist Live Exhibition

Year 9 thoroughly enhoyed their day out at the New Scientist Live Exhibition on Thursday. They listened to talks from specialists in engineering, human sciences, technology and the cosmos as well as Tim Peakes and Konni Huq. The students particularly enjoyed hearing about the life cycle, and adaptations and behaviour of some unusual parasites on the Earth Science Stage.

Camp HCH 2019

Over 130 pupils from years 5 to 13 and 40 staff took part in the annual Camp HCH in the school grounds on Friday. At the end of the school day the pupils made their way to the sports field to pitch their tents and say goodbye to their parents before the evening’s festivities started. As the BBQ was... lit, the students took part in ‘Zen in the Den’ activities, making their own dreamcatchers and learning how to craft their own bows and arrows out of twigs from the school grounds. As the sun began to set on the campsite, the pupils played French cricket and ultimate frisbee tournaments while the catering team and teachers began to prepare the food for dinner. After dinner, the bonfires were lit and the pupils gathered to perform live music for one another and dance. The evening drew to a close with marshmallows toasting over the bonfires and stories before bedtime. On Saturday morning the campsite was cleared while the children drank hot chocolate and ate croissants, chatting about the evening before and the many happy memories they have made.

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Upper years girls coached by World Champion Katey Byrd

The girls in Years 9 to 11 enjoyed their first rowing lesson of the year. The high ratio of coaches to pupils means the girls receive intensive coaching during the two-hour period they spend at Molesey Boat Club, with a mix of rowing on the river, technical training in the indoor tank and functional... strength work in the gym.

The expert coaches include Katey Byrd, who has been selected to represent Ireland in the Olympic Weightlifting World Championships in Thailand at the end of this month. Katey will be competing in the 71kg weight category and is Ireland’s only competitor at the World Championships. As an accomplished athlete and strength and conditioning coach, Katey is a wonderful mentor for the upper years girls.

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