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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.

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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Sixth form Boxing Club launches for the Autumn term

Pupils in Years 12 and 13 are being coached in non-contact boxing as part of the Autumn term clubs programme at Hampton Court House. Director of Sport, Roy Headey, is working with the small group of sixth formers to build their technique as well as giving them all important instruction in hand-wrapping... and conduct to ensure all the students are safe. Each sixth form boxer is given their own wraps and gloves as part of the programme and they follow a specially crafted programme which will guide them through basic technique before moving on to more complex combinations. The later start time in Years 12 and 13 means the pupils can take part in lunchtime clubs and activities. The newly formed boxing club is not only giving the sixth form new skills and techniques but provides an aerobic and anaerobic workout for the whole body.

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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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Y13 Attend ‘Physics in Action’ at Emmanuel Centre

Year 13 physicists took a trip to the Emmanuel centre in Westminster last week to hear talks from five brilliant UK physicists.

The lectures were entertaining, wide ranging and thought provoking. The speakers, all research scientists at leading UK institutions, gave some insight into applications of... physics to addressing some of the big questions facing us today:

-How can we improve cancer treatment so that it has fewer side effects?
-How do we fuel the energy needs of an ever-growing population?
-How good is science at predicting the future?

The speakers encouraged students to consider why the arrow of time only points forwards and why even a system as apparently simple as a double pendulum is basically too chaotic to predict accurately.

The language of the talks was technical and really stretched the students beyond the A level but they were able to get a lot from the day, and made full use of their front row seats to ask lots of questions.

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Sixth Form Careers and Financial Awareness Week

The Sixth Form have had a two-week focus on life after school – first they took part in a Financial Awareness week, where the students learnt about earning, spending, saving and, of course, debt. They also focused on the emotional aspect of money. This was followed by Careers Week, resulting in a... guest talk from Tony Preston of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as talks from our own Mark McSweeney (software development), Eve Blackwood (working at the BBC) and Kathryn Sumner (Working in the TV, film and stage industries). It is fair to say that the students were inspired and enlightened by the various challenges and rewards of life after education.

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Treasure Hunt in Richmond Park

Today several students from Years 8-12 had a fantastic time solving a treasure hunt around Richmond Park. The groups had to have their Sherlock Holmes thinking caps on and they had to work together to solve a series of mysteries using the given clues. At the top of King Henry VIII’s mound, we peered... through a telescope through the bushes to see St Paul’s Cathedral which is over 10 miles away! There was a positive energy within the group despite cycling over 20km, including tackling some steep climbs.

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