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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 67 - 30th novemBer 2018

From the Headmaster:

Despite the nights drawing in (probably more accurate to say they have not only drawn in but they have been firmly pulled to..) I would hope that there was a significant ray of warmth and sunshine following our assembly this week.

What a privilege it was to hear the variety of children from across the school entertain us with their musical skills. This was followed by a wonderful celebration of hard work and perseverance by the children with their handwriting, phonics, sporting skills and maths knowledge before starting a new tradition: school colours. We then had our grey matter well and truly tested with our now (in)famous Inter House General Knowledge Quiz. Perhaps a slightly (even) longer assembly than usual but hopefully worth it judging by the amount of laughter and genuine pleasure amongst the whole community in sharing success.

Time to let the Deerstalker do the talking and for us all to enjoy our weekends in advance of what is going to be a very busy and enjoyable two weeks ahead of us.

Do please read on to learn more about a combined Christmas Lunch, visit from a certain Father Christmas and a wonderful opportunity to join us for mulled wine, festive food and a chance to dust off the vocal chords for a carol evening before the end of term. I do hope that you will be able to join us.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair

PS - Working with children (and adults) is a privileged position and it can be all too easy to miss the many magical moments that take place every single day. Here is just one that made two Head's day; magic, pure magic. An absolute 'Bobby Dazzler' of a moment. Here's one for you, Mrs Clancy!

There are also some wonderful images from our Little Adventurers available through their own instagram page -

Please note: the school council expressed (very clearly!) that they found the school water bottles to be unsuitable (leaking over homework and desktops) and that they prefer to be allowed to bring in their own bottles.

Please note: If your children arrive late to school, please ensure you visit the school office to sign them in. This is for safeguarding purposes and is a requirement for schools. (Some of the reasons provided have been refreshingly honest...!)

Music

I think we were all impressed by the standard of performance from the children on Thursday. I am excited about the numbers of children enjoying their lessons, they are clearly making great progress!

Inter House General Knowledge Quiz

What an entertaining morning. I am also reassured by the general knowledge of our children and parents!

The ultimate winners were St. Andrews! The questions from the picture round can be found in this follow, best of luck!

Sopwith Camel

We will always seize upon opportunities to broaden our curriculum and such an opportunity arose for our Year 3, 4 and 5 children to extend their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) knowledge this week.

We were introduced to the Sopwith Camel and David a local aviation expert who delivered a superb presentation about the role Kinsgston has played in British aviation. Children and teachers were enthralled and proud learn of Kingston’s history. From the Sopwith Camel, the Hurricane to the Harrier Jump Jet. All produced a stones throw from Park Hill School! As you can see from the image below, they learnt about Bernoulli's Principle and how design technology has led to such extraordinary aviation development.

Christmas at Park Hill

With the end of term rapidly approaching I would like to confirm a number of dates. I am delighted to confirm that Father Christmas will be taking a slight break from his preparations and visiting us on Thursday 6th December.

Thursday 6th December - Christmas Jumper Day (all children and staff and parents are welcome to sport their favourite festive jumpers) £1 donation for Save The Children

Thursday 6th December - Christmas Lunch 11.45am (Nursery)

Thursday 6th December - Christmas Lunch 12.30pm (Year 1 and above)

Thursday 6th December - Class Christmas Parties

Thursday 6th December - Father Christmas visit 2pm - 3.30pm. Nursery children not normally in attendance are welcome to join us for the afternoon. Gifts for each child will be provided, photographs of their visit will be made available.

Friday 7th December - Choir singing carols at John Lewis (Kingston) (11am) and The Apple Store (Bentalls) (10.30am)

Friday 7th December - Story Storks visit (First and Second Steps) 9am.

Friday 7th December - Hour of Code (Year 2 - Year 5)

Friday 7th December - Carols and mulled wine at Park Hill 3pm-4pm. Join us and all of the children to celebrate the festive season over a glass of mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas Pud!

Saturday 8th December - School Choir singing carols at Waterloo Station.

Wednesday 12th December - Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure (Reception)

Wednesday 12th December - Choir singing at Galsworthy House 1.30pm-3.30pm

Thursday 13th December - 11am - 12midday Panto Pandemonium at St Pauls Church (all children involved) parents, grandparents and extended family very welcome to join us for our end of term production.

Thursday 13th December - 12.30pm School and Nursery closed for INSET.

Friday 14th December - School and Nursery closed for INSET.

Monday 17th - Friday 21st - Nursery open, reopening on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Monday 7th January 2019 - Spring Term begins

I am delighted to confirm a date for our Spring Fayre, Friday 22nd March, 4pm-6.30pm. We very much hope that by moving our fayre from December to March we will not only enjoy warmer weather but that we will enjoy more stalls and stands with far fewer demands on time during March. We can also ensure that all of our children can enjoy the fayre and will be able to contribute themselves by organising and manning many of the stands.

I can do that...

One thing that never fails to impress me is the genuine pride that we share across the school for when any child has their own success celebrated. Whether this is for phonics, spelling, or attitude I thoroughly enjoy the honour of presenting the weekly certificates to our children and the richly deserved applause from those present.

Celebrating achievement should also serve the purpose of aspiration; a growth mentality of 'I can do that..'

We celebrated the achievement of a number of our children this week with the presentation of our first School Colours; a unique tie that should be worn with pride. It can be gained for community improvement or action, representing the school or county at national or international level or even, as was the case in a previous school, for acting in a manner that is exceptional and exceeds our own Park Hill values of tolerance, respect etc.

Many congratulations to those who are now sporting the ties (strongly recommend the Windsor Knot) and I cannot wait to award more and completely deplete my stock of ties.

News from Year 5 and Year 4

Our travels this week have been long and tiring, but importantly they have been rewarding for pupils and staff where the memories will live on for many years. Pupils may be forgiven for feeling tired.

A bus ride on the 57 to the Polka theatre was a story filled adventure, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was in fact a Sopwith Camel. Despite the expectation of rain, the clouds abstained, and we made our peregrination across Kingston. Instead we experienced Typhoons, Tornados and Hurricanes as Kingston College gave pupils a thorough historical presentation on Tommy Sopwith’s eponymously named ‘Camel’ bi-plane and the Hawker plane production factories. We discovered how the history of Sopwith and Hawker Aircraft was grounded in Kingston as iconic British aircraft flew off the production line between 1917 to 1992.

Our trip to the Polka theatre was an incredible experience as we came up against the villainous Weasels; and that was just the bus ride. Creepy crawlies, birds and a 9 volt batteries scrambled through the audience as all Park Hill pupils revelled in the exploits of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad in the inventive theatre production of ‘The Wind and the Willows’. We hope to return soon!

In the classroom, which was a hub of investigation, we travelled to South Africa as we studied Travel writing and relative clauses. Imaginative and colourful adjectives were discovered to describe the rainbow nation as pupils prepare to write their own travel guide that perhaps Joshua and his family may enjoy perusing.

Our fractions have now been converted to decimals and we now know effective methods to add and subtract up to two decimals, which will aid us as we delve further into the relationship between fractions and decimals next week.

Science has been focussed on addictive drugs, where Mr Stevenson and Miss Mayle gave an insightful explanation in to the properties and health effects of cigarette smoke.

Returning to the theme of long journeys, in Religious Studies we analysed the journey of Mary and Joseph, and other important figures in the Christmas story who made important journeys guided by a light. In response we looked at important journeys that we have made, and the importance that light sources have held in those memories.

Shining lights from year 4 and 5 were also on on stage in the Thursday school assembly: Musical performances; certificates for classroom endeavours; inter house quizzes; school ties for special achievements. One moment that did stand out was Gabriel’s proud open mouthed expression as he received his Gold Handwriting Certificate. We send our congratulations to Gabriel and all the pupils continued success as we approach the penultimate week of autumn term.

Well done Year Four and Five! We are now looking forward to our build up to Christmas and displaying our performing talents in Choir performances in Kingston and the Christmas production.

News from Year 3

Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed Toads adventure today at the theatre. Leading up to the end of the week treat we have been working hard with instructional texts, using imperative verbs galore.

DT was particularly enjoyable this week after planning and building our Sphero Roman Chariots. We raced them down the corridor in heats to work out how successful they were. After the first set of races we discussed the need for a few re-runs to ensure fairness after a few false starts.

Next week we shall evaluate our chariots and spend time looking to improve our design.

News from Year 2

This week, the children have learnt all about measuring in different uniform and non uniform ways. We discovered the problems with non uniform measurements when all or questions appeared to be incorrect, and measured in m, cm, and mm.

we have learnt how to draw circuit diagrams using symbols to represent components. They designed their own circuits, drew them, and then challenged their classmates to recreate their circuits.

Our trip to see the Sopworth Camel was excellent and we learnt all about the role Kingston played in the construction of aeroplanes for the First World War. We also throughly enjoyed our trip to the Polka Theatre to see ‘The Wind in the Willows’.

News from Year 1

We have been having a wonderful time in Year 1 learning all about position and direction. We played a number of games to learn left and right and to instruct others around obstacles. Then we took our knowledge into Showbie to navigate around a town full of aliens and find different locations.

In literacy we began a new focus - the brilliant ‘Mrs Armitage on wheels’ by Quentin Blake. Year 1 became inventors designing new fantastical and also practical bicycles. They have been retelling the story in various ways through role play, sequencing images, explanations and writing lists.

Very impressive.

I am so impressed with the determination and focus the children are putting into their reading skills.

Our preparation for the Christmas production continues in earnest and the girls sound wonderful when rehearsing their song in class.

News from Reception

At the beginning of this dismal wet week, Reception were astounded yet again to discover little elf having so much fun sliding down the tarpaulin outside the classroom. With lots of questions to how he got there, the children have been in ore wondering. Each day has been filled with a little surprise where children’s imagination, vocabulary and language have been open ended. The children have begun to create Christmas pictures and decorations such as snow globes and snow flakes. Within Maths we have looked at positional language and have practised applying these skills by hiding and finding objects in relation to their position.

It is very pleasing to see how independent the children are within their child led writing. They have made leaps and bunds of progress within their reading and phonics which shines through.

Please can we encourage parents to look into the children’s communication book each day to ensure you do not miss any important notices or feedback related to their development.

In Science the children created their own snow storm looking at liquid density and change. They described it as “fizzing, bubbling, volcanos.” “Layers of oil bubbles.” Everyone has worked super hard in phonics and Maths too. Practical subtraction activities have increased their learning of using a number line, forming and recognising numerals to 20. Superb work, well done Reception.

Gentle reminder to all parents: Please can you bring your child into school wearing their Sports kit and full waterproofs/wellies every Wednesday morning ready for Woodland School. Thank you.

News from Second Steps

Once again what a super busy week we have had, full of fun and activities. We were so happy to see Father Christmas each day. He called us on the television to talk about how busy the elves and he was getting everything ready in time for Christmas Eve. We got to see how they worked in the workshop and Father Christmas spoke about how excited the elves were that they had started to compete with each other to see who could be the fastest! However due to them rushing and not helping each other things went wrong and we needed to help them. We are continuing to learn about Christmas as well how different cultures Celebrate Christmas. Within our role-play we have been acting out how we celebrate Christmas at home with our family, We have also enjoyed decorating the Christmas tree with many lovely decorations.

Using our senses, we have been exploring the different sensory trays which were put out daily with new exciting textures and smells. We even made some perfume out of herbs from our garden! We enjoyed making pretend pastries with the short crust pastry. We pretended that we had a bakery and we made and created many different tasting pastries.

Second Steps have been using their gross motor skills to manipulate a ball to where they wanted it to go. Using chairs, they needed to manoeuvre the ball around the chair, in and out of the chairs as well as try to shoot a goal! We have also had great fun in Finger Gym, working on our fine motor skills to complete activities set out on the table for us. We did lots of threading, dry pouring, wet transferring and dry transferring. We have also been doing different sized puzzles and even completed a 30 piece puzzle!

Within our construction area we have enjoyed using the Mobilo and wooden blocks to create many different 3D shapes as well as building castles and cities. We had to trap a really big dragon in a big cave as they wanted to destroy our city.

Story time this week, we have been reading many Christmas stories but our favourite story this week was “The Tiger who came to Tea”. We were told maybe one day the tiger might come to school for lunch so the teachers had to get a huge can of Tiger food just in case he/she does. We really hope he/she does come for lunch as it would be so much fun!

Second Steps have enjoyed making bird food during our Woodland School activity. The children used their senses to explore how adding different items and textures would effect them differently and would change how they all felt when put together as one.

What a busy and exciting week we have had, we hope to see Father Christmas again soon and do hope we get a surprise visit from the Tiger.

News from First Steps

First Steps children enjoyed using their imagination to create different things with lego, they were really good at telling all the details. We are still practising our Christmas song. Our stockings are decorated and waiting for Santa to fill them. The children learnt how to walk and run, fast and slow and had so many races against each other.

Picture Gallery

I found myself with my camera in hand at various intervals this afternoon; hopefully a selection of images from different times and perspectives on Park (Hill) life....(sorry for that pun...!!)

Birthdays

Happy Birthday!

Certificates

Many, many congratulations to our very first Gold Handwriting Certificate recipient, Gabriel! Exceptional achievement.

Useful Links -

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond

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