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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 74 -1st march 2019

From the Headmaster:

Pinch, punch and all that. February does contain Groundhog Day which I will invoke in allowing me to start the new month in exactly the same way as I did February...

The weather has been incredibly good to us, so far. Brilliant sunshine lavished our expedition on Monday which was a year to the day of the arrival of the 'Beast from the East.' How much more meteorologically removed you can be I am not sure but my goodness how we all enjoyed the 'decent' 10km hike from Holmwood to Leith Hill. Fortified by a gourmet meal near the summit (pasta perfectly al dente along with Lloyd Grossman's best) accompanied by a small helping of chips courtesy of The Plough Inn. As you will read, it will live long in my memory let alone the group of children as being a day of incredible learning and application of every subject across all areas of the curriculum. Such expeditions contain considered and carefully woven learning opportunities to ensure a truly outdoor classroom. The second group depart on Monday in what will be slightly damper conditions along with Year 2, 3 and the first group of year 4 and Year 5 children on a hike to Pen Ponds tomorrow afternoon.

I was rather taken by a documentary shown on BBC4 last week that I would strongly suggest you watch (or at least try to). I have added the link below to help -

What absorbed me was not just the extraordinary talent that film score composers have in being able to write music to suit as well as be played by the full range of instruments, it was their ability to create. One scene was particularly fascinating as it showed the director sitting with the composer at a piano watching the film, minus any music, and simply creating music to suit the scene and to interpret what the director instinctively felt was fitting for that scene.

This ability to create and interpret is an essential ingredient and element of our curriculum at Park Hill. Please do not think that being an Apple Distinguished School is simply about using Apple products and the iSuite of apps.

Quite the opposite.

It is very much about extending and enhancing the quality of teaching and learning; allowing the children and teachers to create and bring learning to life.

An example?

Well how about this from our Year 1 children who enjoyed a poem about an orang-utan in their classroom. They learnt the poem. Wrote about it; developed their understanding about the message and narration, and then made their own film. Speaking confidently into the camera, editing the scenes together and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Let's not forget other key skills needed such as collaboration and communication.

I have included various other examples of creativity in action in this Deerstalker.

Do please remain patient with the drive at school whilst we await our (long awaited) parking permit for the B area. I am endeavouring to leave it off the drive at drop-off and collection times. Hopefully the permit will come through early next week.

Neighbours and your help!

If I may ask for your help with a small number of things I would be most grateful.

We do enjoy good relationships with our neighbours but a significant frustration expressed to us is the parking in the neighbouring driveways and across exit points. Please help us by not parking either in the drive of Dean Court or in the parking spaces of Belvedere Court directly opposite the school.

We have addressed various elements of our after school provision to make collection as straight forward as possible but would be grateful if you might note the following -

Collection of children attending after school activities should be from the side gate at 5pm

Collection of nursery (full time) children should be from the main entrance

Serving the evening meal is quite an involved process, as I am sure you can appreciate! In order to provide a detailed 'hand over' about the day and adventures enjoyed as well as supervising the evening meal, we would be most grateful if you could avoid collection 5pm-5.10pm, if at all possible!

Finally...

Finally, and I know it is one of the many things that you already know, but please don't feel that I only stand at the gate to 'simply' welcome you and your children into school each day.

I am also there to speak with.

It may be the weather, the weekend rugby score or even to double check dates or events with, but I also hope that you feel able to speak with me about any aspect of school life.

We, as a staff, are simply here to give our children the best.

If you are unsure about anything please speak with me; it will only ever be taken in the spirit of making Park Hill even better.

We have a busy week ahead. Book Character Day on Thursday, Houses of Parliament Visit for Year 3, 4 and 5 on Friday and Music from the Movies on Friday evening. Drinks and nibbles from 6pm with the entertainment starting at 6.30pm with popcorn and choc ice to finish by 7.30pm. It promises to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.... (I checked the spelling).

Yours sincerely,

Alistair

Uniform

I am hoping that those of you who have already had the need to contact AlleyCatz have been very happy with the service received.

Although there has been little need this week, we are finally getting close to having a stock of Park Hill beanies that have been ordered at the uniform shop. Whilst I hope that we have seen the back of the worst of the weather do please check the Park Hill page of the AlleyCatz site for further information.

Naming Uniform

We do our very best to return lost property but we do come up against the challenge of nameless items. We would be grateful if you could please ensure that every piece of clothing (including shoes) are clearly labelled, ideally with a sewn in name tag. If possible, please ensure these labels are attached in the neckline of tops/ coats and in the back waistband of bottoms to help with easy identification.

Collection Arrangements - Safeguarding

We would be most grateful if any messages regarding collection are passed at the gate with Mrs Watts or Mrs Blower, emailed or called through to the office and not left with the teacher.

Similarly, we would also be grateful if any last minute changes to collection (from 2.30pm) are called through to the School Office and not emailed to ensure the message has been received.

Real Tennis - Hampton Court Palace

What a treat. For those of you unfamiliar, real tennis is a rather extraordinary game that is essentially a combination of squash and tennis and is enormous fun to play. As a special treat we offered the opportunity for a trial lesson to the Year 4 and Year 5 children. The racket is wooden and requires some strength to wield, hence the older year group. It is not every day that you can say that you played sport on a court built in 1625 and stepped in the footprints of monarchs since that time.

I am rather hoping that there will be a subsequent interest in having our own Real Tennis club.

Social Media

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

Adventure School Expedition - Leith Hill

It wasn't Leith-al and we weren't Holmwood bound (puns courtesy of Mr Papps) but we certainly enjoyed our expedition from Holmwood to Leith Hill on Monday. As you can see, the weather was simply stunning. Each child navigating using the OS Map and compass.

We spoke about key features and burial mounds. We explored how the word 'copse' came into being and looked and the total metres climbed. We also explored the flora and fauna and how the physical geography of the land determines where we settle. We enjoyed the bird song and identified different birds through their call. I think that covers the whole curriculum...

Recitation - Inter House

I do look forward to the recitation assembly. A slightly 'lower' key inter house event (as in a little less competitive) but still nevertheless highly enjoyable and a truly important opportunity for the children to stand on stage and perform. Do not underestimate just what it takes to stand up there and recall lines or to simply talk. It is extraordinary that our children do this with such skill, each individual deserves recognition for this regardless of how easy they find it (or may it look easy).

Hearty congratulations to all who took part, utterly impressive and enjoyable.

Please visit our YouTube Channel for all twenty-one videos!

News from Year 5 and Year 4

A blistering hot beginning to the second half of Spring Term began with an expedition to the Surrey Hills for half of year 4 and 5 on a surprisingly hot and clear day. (The remaining half, planned their expedition and look forward to their walk next week.)

Our aim: to walk amongst nature to brave the elements, relying solely on the contents of our backpacks, and survival knowledge. Exploring the countryside using just a compass, Ordnance Survey map, a trangia, and Mrs Bond’s wallet for the chips at the Plough Inn. I recommend the rosemary and wild sea salt.

The trip consolidated our learning in Adventure School: using map reading skills; reading compass points and the sun to decide on our direction across the landscape; making informed observations of our surroundings: cooking our own food. We had been quite worried about the climb in the afternoon as Mr Bond had mentioned part of the walk was lethal! Imagine our relief when we learnt it was in fact, Leith Hill!

At the summit, our reward for the long walk were stunning views across Surrey to Sussex, as well as sweeping landscapes of London too. Excellent effort Year 4 and 5, we look forward to more walks soon!

On a similar hot and burning theme, Mr Stevenson ignited pupils interested in Science, and his pyromania on Tuesday. With the topic of Energy in question; pupils investigated how certain objects burn under the heat of Bunsen burners to prove the amount of energy they contain. A fascinating topic with lots of burning question for pupils. Mr Stevenson’s experiments shall continue.

Pupils continued their interest in science with excellent presentations on a range of famous Scientists. It was fantastic to find out about Mary Anning, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton to name a few.

Flames full of energy were required (and in abundance) for English, fuelled solely by pupils. They lit up the classroom in a blaze with their flare for performance; having read and analysed Michael Rosen free verse poetry. We discovered how Michael Rosen takes on characters in his poetry as he writes and performs about relationships between adults and children, and moral issues that arise; lying in particular.

It was fantastic to see pupils performing their chosen poems in Assembly for the the Inter House Poetry challenge. We excelled with our clarity of voice; use of expression to take on different characters and emotion; and acting skills to convey the story.

We will continue to read poetry next week, focussing on the work of Roger McGough, which will influence our creative talents as we endeavour to create our own poetry.

The central theme of our Maths work over the week has been the periphery of the subject of shapes. We have been learning about Perimeter of shapes and learning how to calculate missing lengths of polygons and compound shapes using measurements taken from other edges. We continue our studies looking at area of a shapes, in particular, compound shapes. We will understand what a square metre, cm is, whilst consolidating our knowledge of finding lengths of sides in order to calculate the area of compound shapes.

Our week ended on a creative note on Friday during STEAM Day. Pupils responded to music with expressive, marks and words to produce wonderful abstract art works that captured pupil’s gestures, feelings and emotions, combined with their imaginative vocabulary. Please observe sections of our work that will be appearing on display across the school.

The day was concluded with the electronic Sphero balls to explore our artistic landscapes. Using angles for directions and accurate measurements, pupils coded instructions for the electrical devices to focus and explore on specific areas of their drawings.

An eventful and very rewarding week. We won’t allow the rain to dampen our fires as we kindle more spirit for the week ahead. Well done Year 4 and 5!

News from Year 3

Year 3 have been busy from the start, thoroughly enjoying their peformance poetry topic and working together beautifully to prepare for the assembly. Overcoming their nerves to stand on stage in church they certainly did us all proud. In Mathematics we have been mastering angles looking at obtuse, acute, reflex and right angles. We even began to start measuring in degrees using our protractors for the first time which created great excitement! We have enjoyed presenting our homework presentations on famous scientists in the world. It was a pleasure to hear the children speaking so well infront of an audience. We particularly enjoyed Elena’s quiz after her speech.

News from Year 2

No easy start for year 2 I’m afraid. We have jumped headfirst into fantasy stories, discussing characters and the things that make a fantasy story. We have then created our our own fantasy stories using story mountains, and huge amounts of different vocabulary. Children were challenged to add similes, write using paragraphs, and consider alliteration and ellipses. The stories created were brilliant and contained exciting and imaginative ideas.

In mathematics, we have been looking at word problems, both considering addition and money. The children read the problems, highlighted key ideas, created their sums, and then solved them.

Some fantastic poetry has been completed this week and I was very proud that every member of year 2 learnt and performed a poem. Well done.

News from Year 1

In English, Year 1 are currently learning about poetic voice. We have been identifying the theme of different poems and what the poet is trying to say. So far we have explored several poems by Michael Rosen such as ‘chocolate cake’ and ‘were going on a bear hunt’.

Our primary focus has been exploring the poem 'There's a Rang-Tan in my bedroom', which was created by Greenpeace, an environmental charity which focuses on protecting the natural world.

We have changed the words to ...

There's a Rang-Tan in my classroom

There’s a Rang-tan in my classroom and we don’t know what to do.

She plays with all our trays and keeps borrowing our books too.

She destroys all of our plants and she keeps on shouting “ooo!”

She throws away my chocolate and she howls at our soap too.

There’s a Rang-tan in my classroom and We don’t want her to stay.

So we’ve told the naughty Rang-tan that she had to go away.

Oh Rang-tan in my classroom, just before you go...

Why were you in my classroom?

We really want to know.

There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do.

He destroyed all of our trees for your food and your shampoo.

There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do.

He took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.

There are humans in my forest and I don’t know what to do.

They’re burning it for palm oil so I thought I’d stay with you.

Oh Rang-tan in my classroom now We do know what to do. We’ll fight to save your home and we’ll stop you feeling blue.

we’ll your story far and wide so others can fight too.

Oh Rang-tan in my classroom We swear with all our hearts

The future’s not yet written but We’ll make sure it is ours.

We have explored the poem in order to identify the poet's voice, particularly regarding humans and their impact upon the world. The children have explained the meaning of the text, making inferences about the characters and why they act in a certain way.

Furthermore, in PSHE they have explored:

What palm oil is.

How palm oil is used.

The positives and negatives of farming palm oil, including deforestation which is referred to in the poem.

Who Greenpeace is and what the focus of the charity is.

Whether the children believed it was right to ban the advert.

The children were exceptionally thoughful and were genuinely moved by both the poem and the advert. They certainly displayed their Secret of success 'To understand others'.

News from Reception

An excellent start to the second part of spring term. Glorious sunshine meant that a vast amount of learning took place outside! From reading to science on the logs in the bark area, the children were in their finest element. We introduced our topic on Change. Our florist role play area inspired our children to create their own wedding ceremonies which led children creating menus, invitations, designing suits and dresses. We looked at key vocabulary for wedding celebrations and different cultured weddings then set up the chairs which looked like a church. They all had a blast! Science was interesting with children’s curiosity exploring different aspects of ‘Change.’ Seasons, weather, time, growth, planting, growing etc. We began the first steps of growing our beans. They used their ipads to make a book. Within Maths we recapped number and quantities using our snack. Reception are increasing their independence by giving out their snack, helping to spread and pour milk with their peers. Well done.

News from Second Steps

Welcome Back, we hope you had a lovely half term, the children have been telling us all about their exciting time. This term we are continuing out Topic on “Growth”. We will be watching a baby called Evangeline grow from a few weeks old to a year old, this is from a Ceebbies programme on growth.

“I went skiing with Oscar, Arlo, mummy and daddy. It was hard and the snow felt cold but it was not soft”- Kit

“I played with Kyle and Kallum ” - Kassius

“We went to a new hotel, it had a new bed and it was very nice.”- Bea

Our story of the week has been “Jack and the Beanstalk”. The children learnt about how the beanstalk grew from a tiny seed to a gigantic beanstalk. They learnt about height, shapes and sizes within the story and afterwards went around the classroom measuring different items. In our role-play area we set up a Garden Centre where the children role-played buying plants, seeds and other items from the shops. They weighed each item which was being purchased, told the customer the price and then gave back any change if needed. The Garden Centre even had it’s own tea room where the children got the chance to pick out what flavoured tea they wanted to drink!

“This tea smells minty.”- Rameez

“ That would be ten pounds for all those things .”- Mary

It was a lovely day on Tuesday and the children thoroughly enjoyed their time at Richmond Park. The children used their gross motor skills to explore the rather large tree trunks. They learnt how to climb up the tree trunks as well as how to get down with little or no support. Once they were on the tree trunk, they used their core muscles to balance and walk along the tree trunk. Some children decided that the tree trunk was a big stick that was in a race and had to get to the other side of the lake as fast as it could. There was even a made up song to help stick go faster!

“ I think if we climbed this tree trunk on our own it would make us big and strong- Jack

“This is how you can get down, put your foot here and the other one here then slowly slide down ”- Benjamin

For phonics this week, the children have been learning how to blend simple words and read them. They are also learning to read tricky words in order to prepare them to read simple sentences. The children have also been practicing and learning letters and sounds as well. Using different resources and teaching methods, the children really engaged in all the focus activities with great enthusiasm and wanted to do more. The children particularly enjoyed going on a sound hunt in the bark area. They then had to go and find an object that started with the sound/s they had found.

“ I enjoyed having to look for the sounds in the bark area and I found many letters”- Aiden

“ I helped Kassius find some sounds.”- James

For maths we have been working on numeracy and quantity 1-20. The children were encouraged to find a numeracy and then go and fetch the correct quantity. They children also had a number hunt in the outside area where they had to find the numeracy and put them in order. The children have also been learning how to do simple addition and subtraction sums. The children really enjoyed this focus activity and participated well in the different activities given to them.

“ so if I had five fingers and I took two away I would only have three left?” - Zachary

“ Four Lego’s plus another four.....I have eight now.”- Mary

In outside area the children had great time exploring their environment, they used different tools to dig in the bark are while looking for the letter/sounds. They have been exploring the water trays and pouring the water from one tray to another using a pipe line connected to each tray. An obstacle course was created to help develop their gross motor skills and to be able to work within a given space. The children walked carefully on the milk crates and along the wooden plank as well as climbing over obstacles to get to the other side.

“ I can jump off....look”- Christian

“ I can balance really carefully and walk across the bridge”- Gisele

Second Steps have had an amazing week back at school with lots of fun activities. They have had many learning experiences as well as opportunities. Well done Second Steps!

News from First Steps

What a lovely week we have had in First Steps. The children enjoyed creating fairy music using different musical instruments and decorated their very own colourful fairy wings.

We have found three hungry babies in our messy tray and try the feed them with our porridge. The babies appreciate the children help. Some of the babies were bored and they had a good tour in their proms.

And dinosaurs..Many dinosaurs came into sand tray and we counted them, we put them in size order. On Tuesday three of dinosaurs run off the sand tray, I saw them running through the bark area. Luckily First Steps children were brave enough to come and search with me; we found them different places in bark area. Then we brought them into class and felt their textures, counted their spikes.

Then children created their own dinosaurs and stuck the spikes and draw their eyes and mouth.

We also made egg out of play dough and found the dinosaurs inside it. This linked us where babies come from and more questions..

Please don’t forget First Steps children will be dressed up on Thursday as their favourite book character for World Book Day and we will be attending the Assembly in the church. Parents are welcomed.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond

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