News and Events Articles

One column layout

11 February 2021

Charles Dickens comes to life in assembly

Charles Dickens comes to life in assembly

To me, it is Dickens’ walking stick that stands as a clearer symbol of the man than his writing desk or his quill. Why? Because it is a reminder that he experienced the world around him on foot; every footstep fed the rhythm of his mind as he ambled, unnoticed around the city at night. Interestingly, Dickens would routinely walk between 10 and 20 miles a night - just imagine is 2.2 miles to walk all the way around Battersea Park so Dickens’ would be completing between 5-10 laps a day.

It was on these nightly walks that Dickens would pass a well-known and familiar building to us - St Luke’s Church, Chelsea and there you will find photos and letters of his in the crypt as it is here that he married Catherine Hogarth. Is Catherine Hogarth a name that we recognise? If you don’t, next time you are walking past Gail’s coffee shop, go down Oakley Street and look out for her blue plaque as evidence of where she and Charles Dickens once lived. 

I would like to thank Mrs Warner as well as Luke and Asad in Year 8 for their wonderful readings based on their own interpretations of Dickens’ ‘Coketown’ from Hard Times. Both boys were truly Dickensian in their approach and we were steeped in the sights, sounds, and smells of their respective, smog-filled cities. 

So how is Dickens relevant today? Well, his drive as a social reformer to highlight the injustice of the Victorian class system and the poverty and illiteracy that surrounded him evokes any social issues today. In addition, he was a champion of a cleaner environment and how the growing mass of factories was retrograde to a greener state. Would Dickens have perhaps instigated the Extinction Rebellion movement?

However, it is his characters that still inspire our pupils today. Mr. M'Choakumchild is to be discovered and as with the challenge laid down in assembly, I encourage all to discover Dickens and select one of his famous 17 novels to start reading; you will be amazed by what you will discover!

To finish, I would like to share a quote by Dickens from his first novel, The Pickwick Papers. With his huge emphasis on community and working together to face the world today, it truly reflects our efforts at this time. 

“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”

Mr McSherry


  • Spelling Bee

    05 March 2021

    Spelling Bee

    The Hampshire School Chelsea entered The Bellevue Spelling Bee Competition and all pupils in Years 3-8 had the opportunity to sharpen their competitiv...

  • Mr Nielsens Challenge of the week

    04 March 2021

    Mr Nielsen's Challenge of the week

    With the weather very much improving, there is a new challenge that will get you outside in the fresh air. The London Marathon is normally a highlight...

  • Sport: The results are in!

    04 March 2021

    Sport: The results are in!

    Last week, the children competed in a Virtual Fixture against Notting Hill Prep, Chepstow House and Eaton Square. They competed with various physical ...

  • La Chandeleur

    04 March 2021

    La Chandeleur

    Year 3 have been busy making pancakes (les crepes) for La Chandeleur ( French version of Pancake day) at home. They have followed a French recipe and ...

  • New Houses

    04 March 2021

    New Houses

    This term, we rebranded our House system. We have four new houses each representing very important virtues: passion, equality, creativity and enduranc...

  • We find hope in poetry

    04 March 2021

    We find hope in poetry

    The annual Hampshire School Chelsea Poetry competition is centred around the theme of ‘Hope’, which we felt couldn't be a more appropriate theme durin...

Click here to view our news archive
Two column layout


The Hampshire School Chelsea

15 Manresa Road, Chelsea
London, SW3 6NB

Tel: +44[0] 207 352 7077