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Hampstead School is a large comprehensive school in the London Borough of Camden, England. The school building is one of the oldest in the borough. It has been recognised by Investors in People. It has about 1,300 students between the ages of 11 and 19 attending the Lower School (Year 7 through to Year 11) and the Sixth Form College (Year 12 and Year 13).
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The main building on Westbere Road was originally the site of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School having relocated from its Hoxton premises in January 1903 and before moving again to its current location in Elstree to become Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School. Hampstead School was founded as a secondary modern in 1961 and incorporated Harben Secondary Modern School in Netherwood Street, Kilburn, before becoming a comprehensive. The old school's Latin motto Is est emendo; tendo quod macula iocus notitia (to correct faults, give direction and impart knowledge) can still be seen on the face of the main building.
In 2013 Jacques Szemalikowski, the head teacher, reported Kinnan Zaloom, a 19-year old student who established The Hampstead Trash, a website critical of the school, to police and asked Zaloom to never return to the school. Mr Szemaliskowski said he was particularly concerned 'that Kinnan has mentioned the ideologies of anarchism and individualism on this blog' and that he had 'even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt.' The school also contacted the university that he was planning to attend, informing it of Mr. Zaloom's 'mad writings'. Zaloom no longer operates this blog, now managed by anonymous current students of the school.
The school was awarded a 'gold star' accolade by Ofsted in 2001, which placed it within the top 6% of schools in the country. This was despite half of its 1,275 pupils speaking English as a second language and 10 per cent being refugees. Compared with similar schools, Hampstead was rated well above average for exam results and given an 'A' grade.
Some aspects of the school's performance according to Ofsted dipped after the 2005 inspection. In particular, attendance and GCSE results fell sharply in 2006. However, according to Ofsted this dip was corrected by 2008.
GCSE students sitting their examinations in 2010 achieved the school's highest Key Stage 4 results to date, surpassing the record set by the 2009 cohort.
The 2012 Ofsted report graded the school as 'good' for both achievement of pupils and quality of teaching.
The Sixth Form at Hampstead School is popular and successful. The school's approach means that students enter the sixth form with below average standards. A large number of students study science and mathematics; the school is among the 20 best schools nationally for participation in advanced level science courses. In many cases, students progress to advanced courses by building on foundation or intermediate programmes of study. Most go on to university when they leave.
Hampstead School re-introduced a uniform for Lower School students in December 2006 following a consultation with parents, pupils and staff. The current uniform consists of a black jumper with the school crest, a white shirt, which must be worn with a school tie, black trousers or skirt and black shoes. As of September 2011 a black blazer with the school crest has also been introduced.
The school's Debating Society meets every Friday and includes students from all year groups.
In 2005, 21 students from the school were the first team from a comprehensive school to win the cup for the Best Delegation at the Model United Nations (MUN) Forum held in Belfast. The conference was attended by around 250 delegates from over 20 schools in England, Canada, Burkina Faso, and America. The forum provides participants with the opportunity to debate issues of international concern. The students from Hampstead School also received several awards for outstanding individual performances.
This winning tradition was replicated by the senior team of 2007 who won the inaugural George Watson's College MUN held in Edinburgh and also stormed to victory in November of the same year at Methodist College, Belfast, staking their claim in the annals of MUN folklore as one of only a couple simultaneous two-time UK champions. They also set a record at MCB for the highest ever yield of awards, with the team of seven delegates garnering five Best Delegate awards and two other mentions, as well as a Highly Commended General Assembly Delegation mention and the Best Overall Delegation award. They then successfully defended their Edinburgh title in 2008, being declared joint winners with Methodist College Belfast, before once again defending their title at Belfast in October as they took victory alongside Cheadle Hulme in another shared victory. This unparalled run meant that the team became the first ever in the history of school-level MUN in the United Kingdom to achieve the 'double-double', holding Best Overall Delegation at the same time at two conferences in two successive years. The team then finally bowed out by triumphing, inevitably, for a third consecutive time at Edinburgh in 2009, sealing an incredible 5 successes in a row in a feat that has never been seen before, nor is it likely to be repeated. The Hampstead team's record, team referring only to the winning delegation, over the past 2 years (or 5 conferences) therefore stands at sixteen Best Delegate awards, fourteen other mentions, five Best Overall Delegation awards and two Highly Commended General Assembly Delegation mentions in the aforementioned five conferences, against schools such as Eton College, the London Oratory, Methodist College Belfast, Withington Girls' School and George Watson's College.
In the 1998 New Year's Honours List, Tamsyn Imison, then headteacher, was awarded a DBE. The citation stated that Imison had introduced initiatives to improve standards and ensured the best were spread to local schools.
Notable former pupils
- Doc Brown, rapper, brother of Zadie Smith
- Maya Jane Coles, Musician
- Alex Bogdanovic, tennis player
- Aslam Choudry, Mayor of The London Borough of Brent
- Rowenna Davis, journalist
- Sadie Frost, actress
- Tobias Hill, novelist and poet
- Jasper Joffe, artist
- Anita Klein, printmaker
- Andrew McIntosh, Baron McIntosh of Haringey, politician
- Zadie Smith, novelist
- Kilburn website, accessed 9 September 2013
- "The Hampstead Trash".
- Amara, Pavan. "Headteacher reports teen blogger who criticised school to police." (Archive) Camden New Journal. 5 September 2013. Retrieved on 8 September 2013.
- Davis, Anna. "Hampstead headteacher tells police of pupil 'enchanted by anarchism' and tips off his chosen university." London Evening Standard. 6 September 2013. Retrieved on 8 September 2013.
- Buchdahl, Ellie. "A-level student reported to police and his future university by headmaster after he criticised school in online blog." Daily Mail. 6 September 2013. Retrieved on 8 September 2013.
- "Schools with the golden touch", Liz Lightfoot, The Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2001
- Ofsted report October 2008
- BBC report January 2010
- Uniforms return to Hampstead School". Camden New Journal, 21 December 2006 accessed November 2007
- Hampstead School official website
- "Budding diplomats from Hampstead School sweep the board in model United Nations", Camden Council website, 9th November 2005. accessed November 2007
- Hampstead School website 2007
- Millennium Dame - interview with Tamsyn Imison: Times Educational Supplement, 20 March 2008 includes a large amount of comment on the school accessed 20 July 2010
- "Teachers head honours class of '97", BBC News, 31 December 1997
- Brent's new mayor unveiled - Harrow Observer 13 May 2011
- The questionnaire: Sadie Frost, The Guardian, 20 February 1999
- "The poet who works with kids and animals", Camden New Journal, 10 December 2004. Accessed 18 November 2007.
- , Camden New Journal, 17 March 2011
- Lord McIntosh of Haringey – Scotland Office Spokesman in the House of Lords, 26 June 2001, Scotland Office
- Zadie Smith