The past is a foreign country

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Comptonboys on ITV tonight

If you turn on ITV at 8pm tonight you may be pleasantly surprised to see Mr Lyndon and 6 Year nine students (Osama, Reece, Eamonn, Milad, Sainey and Samy) on Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway. We shall be pitching for £8,980 to take 40 students to the First World War battlefields in France and Belgium.

The journey to the last 100 (who were filmed for the programme out of the 2000 that applied) was an interesting one. After I got an email from a friend of mine, John Simkin, telling me about the show, I just knocked off a quick email to one of the producers (Amy) outlining my proposal, and she rang back instantly, literally within 15 seconds of the email being sent. Amy invited me to an audition the following saturday in a hotel in Russell Sq where I had a minute to make my pitch. However I couldn't make the date so instead one of the production team came to school and we filmed the pitch there. This was followed by a further email asking me to fill out an application form. A phonecall asking me for dates that I was available for a recording was followed immediately with the disclaimer 'but it doesn't mean necessarily that you are on the show'! Eventually I was told that I was through to the last 100 and could I bring some students to help with the pitch. So about six weeks ago myself, Tony Cotton, one of our learning mentors and 6 boys set off for the 3 mills studio in Bromley-by-Bow. We arrived at about 3.30 and were ushered into a corridor with all the other hopefuls. Fortunately we managed to get a room and the boys were happy enough to eat the chocolate biscuits and crisps that were provided. We were called for a dress rehearsal and told where to stand, and then made our way to one of the spare studios for a final run through and more crisps and chocolate biscuits. At about 7.30 we made our way into the back of the studio, watched the contestants in front of us get hammered by the panel (they were twin illusionists who wanted £15,000 to invent a new illusion - they didn't get the money) and then it was our turn....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Reflecting on the TASC Slave Trade Project

Having spent the last four weeks working on the Slave Trade project, it is now a good time to think about what has gone well and what can be improved for next time. There are two tasks that I would like you to complete:

1) complete the TASC survey which you can find on and then click on the link which says TASC survey

2) Write a comment below about a) What went well on the project b) How you can make your project even better next time

Thank you for your time.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Should we apologise for the Slave Trade?

There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the city of Bristol should apologise for the part that it played in the Slave Trade. Bristol, along with Liverpool and London were the main ports involved and many of the houses and industries that developed were funded on the enormous profits made in the Slave Trade.

It is estimated that over 2 million people in Britain had jobs that were directly related to Slavery and many banks came into existance as a result, including Barclays and Midland (now HSBC).

In an article in the Observer newspaper (,,1769448,00.html) last weekend, Amelia Hill wrote

No official representative for Bristol has ever formally apologised for the fact that, from 1698 to 1807, when trading in slaves from Africa was outlawed, 2,114 ships set sail from Bristol to Africa and then on to plantations in the Americas, carrying over half a million slaves.

There was a debate in Bristol, which you can see in the picture above, and the audience were asked to vote (you can find the result here:

Compton Boys - you have to post up your thoughts about the following:

1) Do you think the people of Britain today should make an apology for our country being involved in the Slave Trade - Yes or No
2) Give a reason for your answer (try to give as much detail as possible)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Africa before the Slave Trade

It is often forgotten that Africa was a very important continent before the Europeans arrived. The African empires of Benin, Songhai and Zimbabwe as well as the ancient Egyptian empire, were rich in culture as well as having vast economic wealth from trading gold and spices.

In the early 16th century, the Portuguese trader Duarte Barboosa said of the east African city Kilwa:

‘There were many fair houses of stone and mortar, well organised in streets. Around it were streams and orchards with many channels of sweet water.’ Of the people who lived in Kilwa he reported, ‘They were finely clad in (wore) many rich clothes of gold and silk, and cotton, and the
women as well; also with much gold and silver in chains and bracelets, which they wore on their legs and arms, and many jewelled earrings in their ears.’

A Dutch traveller to the kingdom of Benin in the early 17th century sent home this report of the capital.

‘It looks very big when you enter it for you go into a great broad street, which, though not paved, seems to be seven or eight times broader than the Warmoes Street in Amsterdam. This street continues for about four miles and has no bend in it. At the gate where I went in on horseback, I saw a big wall, very thick and made of earth, with a deep ditch outside. Outside the gate there is a large suburb. Inside as you go along the main street, you can see other broad streets on either side, and these are also straight. The houses in this town stand in good order, one close to the other and evenly placed beside the next, like our houses in Holland.’

(Thanks to Nick Dennis for the quotes)

Comptonboys, your task is to add three pieces of new information that you have learned about the Atlantic Slave Trade in your reply.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Thinking in an Active Social Context at Henry Compton

There are going to be some very exciting developments happening in the History Department over the next few months. We have teamed up with one of the leading proponents of Thinking Skills Belle Wallace and one of the leading developers of Logovisual Technology, Dan Varney to pioneer a new project about the Translatlantic Slave Trade and the Abolition of Slavery. This will also involve students contributing to this blog as a record of their work on the project. The final product will be posted on the new website that Mr Lyndon has just launched;

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World Aids Day at Compton

World Aids Day on December 1st was celebrated in great style at Compton with nearly 400 students proudly sporting their red Aids awareness ribbons. Mr Lyndon gave an assembly highlighting the importance of understanding how HIV/AIDS can affect our lives. Nearly £20 was raised for the Terence Higgins Trust. Thanks to everyone who gave so generously. If you want to see pictures of Compton boys wearing their ribbons then check this

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"The past is a foreign country
they do things differently there"
L.P. Hartley

This is a blog for the History students and staff of Henry Compton School, Fulham.

The result is everything (or is it?)

This August saw the best GCSE History results at Henry Compton school for the last 6 years (and possibly longer). 45% of students received grades C and above, an improvement of 20% on last year. There were 13 students that achieved a grade C or higher (1A*, 3A, 3B, 6C). However, it is important to recognise the achievement of ALL the History students at Henry Compton, many of whom worked extremely hard to achieve their targets and overcame many hurdles along the way. The History department is proud of all of you.