Wednesday, 9 March 2022

A message from Fr Lincoln Harvey

I think Hampden Gurney School is an astonishing place. Anyone who visits immediately sees that our building is an architectural marvel. It is a breath-taking multi-storey hub of learning and discovery. However, not so many people realise that the building rises up from the altar in our basement chapel. And its design is no accident. The building captures the way in which the life of our school rests upon its Christian foundation. We are committed to prayer and worship, and I believe this provides our children with the best environment in which to flourish.

Hampden Gurney is of course open to children from every part of our local community. Our religious foundation determines our radically inclusive values, in which we seek to serve children whatever their belief or ability. We’re a very diverse community, much like a village school in size, but with the whole world attending. And diversity brings such riches to our community life, ensuring that the cultural capital of our lively neighbourhood finds expression in the day-to-day life of our school. It’s one of the reasons, I love spending time in school each week. I never fail to feel inspired by both the unity and diversity.

Hampden Gurney clearly places great value on academic excellence. We want our children to develop a genuine thirst for knowledge and wisdom, providing them with challenges that will lead to ever-deepening understanding. The evidence shows that the children reach their academic potential. For example, our recent national test (SATS) results were amazing. Year 6 pupils exceeded the national average in mathematics, reading, and writing, and this success shows how our children are deeply motivated to learn. I am often struck by their brilliance when I chat with them, with conversations venturing to just about any topic under the sun. But our children’s success depends on the wonderful team of teachers who serve in the school. Their passionate commitment to educational excellence shines bright. They work so hard to meet the needs of every child. The teachers really are an inspiring bunch.

But our school is not only about academic excellence. Our children have great fun, with sports, games, after-school clubs, and all manner of extra-curricular activities, such a music, chess club, and school trips. These activities are designed to fire the imagination, release creativity, and direct the children’s energy as they explore their world and embrace life to the full. And we take great care of them. Health and fitness is highly valued, with the children’s safety and well-being at the forefront of everything we do. Our children are in a great environment, of that I am sure.

Of course, Hampden Gurney School is led by the incomparable Mrs Chua. As headteacher, I think Mrs Chua embodies the school’s values: reverent, grateful, humble, and forgiving, she is resilience personified, whose joyful and energetic presence sets the tone for the entire school. She invests so much energy into making Hampden Gurney a happy and successful place, and leads the team of wonderful support staff and teachers by her example. It’s an absolute joy to work with her and be part of her amazing team.

And the Governing Body consists of such a wise group of dedicated volunteers, drawn from all walks of life. We are passionate about promoting high standards in educational achievement to help the school go from strength to strength. We are all very proud of our school, and – as this litany of praise suggests – I am absolutely delighted to be the new Chair of Governors. Thanks be to God for Hampden Gurney School!

Fr Lincoln Harvey