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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 115 - 11th september 2020

From the Headmaster:

There are so many elements and facets to school life that I am fortunate to observe or be party to. It may be the first tentative or bold strides of our very youngest children starting their school career or it may be the compassionate interaction between teacher and child that provides such joy. Such interactions can only result in a broad smile.

These moments are the fabric of our school, interwoven to ensure every child is nurtured and encouraged and has the confidence to thrive and prosper.

This week, as we all settle into the busy life of school, has brought numerous such smiles to my face as imaginations are captured and ideas ignited.

At this time of year I find myself reciting the poem 'Walking Away' by Cecil Day-Lewis;

'That hesitant figure, eddying away like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem...'

If you are unfamiliar with the poem do please look it up. As you can see from the images throughout this edition it has been a wonderful week, full of smiles, discoveries and winged seeds soaring.

I am delighted to confirm that we have worked very closely with Kingston Grammar School and is perhaps testament to our relationship and shared love of sport that games lessons will resume (as normal) at Ditton Field on Tuesday mornings. With strict adherence to the regulations and sole access to facilities at Ditton Field we shall be making the most of what looks like a return to summer weather. A broad smile also made an appearance as I reviewed the regulations and made contact with our long standing coach company Bruton's Coaches to review and discuss their procedures, learn that they had successfully completed the Government COVID-19 Industry Standard Certificate 'We're Good to Go' and that we can be fully compliant, not mix classes and ensure that all of our children from Reception through to Year 6 can benefit from the essential 2-3 hours of games and physical activity at the impressive facilities at Ditton Field every week.

There will certainly be an extra spring in my step on Tuesday morning, once a PE teacher, always a PE teacher!

As I type I am being somewhat distracted by the sunshine and cool breeze and the prospect of the return to woodland school and the multitude of ways we benefit from such ease of access to Richmond Park. Our emphasis on being outdoors and the associated physical and mental health benefits is nearly back in full swing. Do not underestimate our philosophy of 'no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing' especially in the coming months.

New Addition

I am delighted to confirm that subject to the various DBS checks we have been successful in recruiting a very talented teacher for our nursery who will also assume responsibility for our nursery during the school holiday periods. As has been previously communicated, please continue to email the class teachers directly and nursery@parkhillschool.com for any alterations or additions to sessions. Michelle will continue to manage the nursery fees and ensure efficient processing between Park Hill and our accounts team. More details of our new member of staff next week!

Enough from me for now. Do please remember I am there on the gate both mornings and afternoons so that you can speak with me. It is essential that you can come to me with any query or question so that they don't become a worry. You are also welcome to simply talk with me!

Enjoy your weekend. Stay safe and don't forget to spread a little happiness.

Alistair

After School Activities and Clubs

I am pleased to confirm that in addition to the previously advertised teacher led after School Activities that started last week, the Sports Squad on Tuesday, the Performing Arts Group on Wednesday and Art and D&T Group on Thursdays will resume this coming week. All three groups are invitation only. If your child attended Sports Squad last academic year then they are automatically invited again this year. Other children will be invited to attend following the games lessons in the coming weeks. Miss Georgina and Miss Menon would like to invite all those children who attended the Performing Arts Group to attend again this year and will assess other children in the coming weeks during their curriculum lessons. Mrs Bond will invite children to join her Thursday session as she also assesses the ability of children in the coming weeks.

We are also reviewing gate return of rowing club and are reviewing the British Rowing Roadmap document to determine our ability to remain compliant with their COVID-19 regulations.

Drumming

I am thoroughly delighted to confirm that our talented drum teacher Joe Reece is returning to Park Hill. I am aware that many of you have already made contact with Miss Menon to arrange lessons. Please contact her directly if you are interested.

From the School Office - Michelle Gambi

'Thank you for making me feel so welcome and being patient with me as climb the learning curve. As is the ethos throughout the school, please do not ever hesitate to speak with me at the gate or to contact me if I can help in any way.'

Flu Vaccination

All of our Reception through to Year 6 children are entitled/recommended to avail of the annual flu vaccination that will take place at Park Hill on 12th December. The forms, which should be in your children's bags are required to be returned to the school office by Monday 14th September. Any questions or queries please let me know.

Fees

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can offer any help with regards engagement with our accounts team who are based in the Stanmore office. We are aware that the accounts team have migrated to a new accounting system which may have resulted in delays with the invoices being distributed.

Please let us know of any queries or questions and we will ensure a swift resolution.

School Money

With the various clubs and activities now in full swing and a number of trips being planned, you will start to receive the normal messages through our online payment system SchoolMoney from next week. A reminder and explanation on how the system works will be published to you all early next week.

15 Hours Funding Form

Please note that forms to claim the 15 hours funding for our nursery children will be distributed to those of you who require it on Wednesday next week.

Alexandra Road is a designated "school street" and as such is restricted during certain hours - details can be found through this link -

Year 3 and Year 4 Art

During the art lesson this week, our Year 3 and Year 4 children were looking at objects from different perspectives. It seems we have some budding photographers in our ranks.

Punctuality

The start of the school day is crucial.

It sets the tone for the day and teachers view the start of the lesson as critical in ensuring learning objectives are achieved and realised. Arriving late to school is incredibly disruptive for all. I appreciate that buses and trains and traffic all play their part but we do need your help in ensuring the children gain the most from their school day and that they arrive by 8.30am. Late children must be signed in through the school office.

With all of our children throughout the school having made a terrific start to the school year, the gate will now close promptly at 8.30am.

Illness & Medical

We continue to abide with the DfE Regulations.

Pupils, staff and other adults must not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive in at least the last 10 days.

We ensure that anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home.

These are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We would like to remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea) they must be clear for at least 48 hours prior to returning to school. You must inform the school office directly on 020 8546 5496 if your child will be absent that day.

Uniform

The full uniform list can be found here.

Assembly

A weekly mental challenge that I thoroughly enjoy is the search for the (sometimes unconscious) ignition of an idea of theme for the Thursday morning assembly.

I am conscious that zoom presents some challenges it will not deter me from, what I hope, is a thought provoking theme. Bike rides are good for ideas, possibly due to the rhythm of turning legs, Twitter is a never ending source of inspiration and other times it is my propensity to glance out of the window (stop daydreaming, Bond!)

This week? It was a conversation. You know who you are, sadly you were not able to attend the assembly on Thursday, so a resume for you (all).

It started with a reflection from early May -

We stayed home and stayed safe. Strange times.

Except many didn't stay home. I had the privilege and pleasure of walking from my home to school every day, along with utterly hard working and compassionate colleagues to ensure we stayed open for children and parents who needed us. It was a strange and strained time but the walk would offer me the wonderful opportunity to look up, walk (safely) in the middle of a deserted road, revel in the bird song and take in the fresh air. Much positivity from a challenging time.

We then spoke with Mrs Bond who recounted a memorable time (when we were a little younger) where we traveled down to Beziers in the south of France to camp in and around the Pyrenees. Tired and fatigued and also a little 'hangry' Mrs Bond decided to brandish a pen knife to slice open a baguette. She missed the baguette. Out of the dark shadows of a quiet French campsite came a Dutch couple who extended great human kindness and deployed most of their first aid supplies to help. Kindness is not restricted nor confined by boundaries or language. Out of a challenging time comes the warmth (and bandages) of human kindness.

On to Mr Sims. A footballing injury, amid little sympathy from teammates, brought much frustration at being incapacitated but a greater appreciation for the more simpler daily tasks of being able to bend over to tie shoe laces. Out of adversity comes an appreciation for things we take for granted? A greater patience?

Mr Papps? Serious illness at a young age resulting in a lengthy stay in hospital. The outcome? The appreciation of time and the unforgiving minute filled with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.

Finally, Vicky Williamson. The cycle sprint track athlete who in 2016 endured a frankly horrific crash in a European final that broke her neck, pelvis and back (in addition to a laceration that is best not mentioned) which led her to?

'Stumbling across her true strength.'

Yes, we have all and will all from time and time again experience turbulence and storm. By coming out of the other side, which we always do, we learn more about ourselves and our infinite capacity to be empathetic and compassionate human beings.

Year 6

The first week is over and Year 6 have worked incredibly hard throughout it all.

Our work on Oranges in No Mans Land continues with the exploration of character motivations, and the beginning of the joinery our character takes. We have also used direct speech and reported speech within our work to help enhance our grammar skills, and have begun the process of justifying our explanations using the text.

Maths has involved dividing and multiplying by 10, 100, and 1000, and solve problems involve this. Our dice came out to act as random number generators, and decimal points were added to increase complexity.

Science was our first foray in to electronics, reviewing our understanding of circuits in preparation to build something larger. Introduced was the idea of resistance and the children correctly identified where something like this would be in their house: a dimmer switch.

Congratulations to James and Marley for becoming the heads of their respective houses, and to Kiran for becoming a school councillor. Another well done to Sarah who has become both house captain and a school councillor. While not everyone could be a councillor, well done to the pupils of year 6 who created presentations and took part. There were some brilliant presentations.

Mr Stevenson

Year 5

Bilbo Baggins is bracing himself for his adventure in English and The Treaty of Versailles is unravelling in Humanities, it promises to be an eventful week next week in Year 5.

In other areas in the curriculum, it was fantastic to have the children back up to Richmond Park for PE. We are back in to football season so the children were working on their dribbling skills and aiming to keep the ball nice and close to their feet. Next activity had the children working between the cones along with focussing on moving the ball quickly yet still under control.

This week the student leadership roles were up for grabs at Park Hill. The children voted on each position and representing Year 5 in these roles of responsibility are Dominic as Class Librarian while Elena and Jessica will become members of the Student Council.

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The football season is due to kick off this weekend.While attending matches or watching games on the big screen at the Norbiton can prove to be less that simple at the moment, please help get your footie fix by coming to join in the Friends of Park Hill Fantasy Football League. Just click the link below to join up.

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/m2v6pv

If you already have an account then you can use the code M2V6PV to find the Friends of PH league.

Mr Sims

Year 4

There have been several debates in Year 4 this week, none more relevant and pertinent than the conversations that followed Thursday’s assembly theme of using negative experiences as a means to strive against adversity and appreciate life. From our discussions about cuts, bruises and broken arms, came moments where we thought about our negative experiences and how we can empathise with others who may be having similar negative experiences to ours. This idea of empathy will be something we hope to explore further in the coming weeks, where we consider how people are feeling, how we relate, and what we can do to help.

In class and with much empathy towards their teacher, Year Four sat down for a couple of assessments this week and demonstrated excellent attitude towards trying to prove themselves with excellent efforts from everyone.

During our English lessons we exercised our creative talents in writing short stories inspired by the tiger in Henri Rousseau’s painting, ‘Surprised’. Expanding on stories about animals, towards the end of the week we read and compared two versions of the Elephant’s Child by Rudyard Kipling. After being spanked several times and facing the jaws of the crocodile, we learnt that the elephant fought adversity to save his life, acquire knowledge and gain his long and very useful trunk, in keeping with Mr Bond’s assembly theme.

For our Maths work we continued our progress on place value where we worked on ordering and sequencing numbers above 1000 and gained further understanding of rounding numbers 10 100 1000 and beyond. One of the highlights in our maths lessons was investigating three and four digit numbers using subtraction. I’m hoping children can explain the process, but it involved cementing our knowledge of place value, subtraction and following sequences to find a pattern.

Our global discoveries of the world in Humanities encouraged pupils to research all continents of the world, the equator and the tropics, as well as locate five rainforests. We found out that rainforests lay within the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, and the climate within the tropics was key for rainforests to thrive.

In more creative pursuits, Miss Menon was drumming up musical rhythms in her lesson that opened the classroom to simple beats using percussion instruments using the Garage Band App. Finally, our iPad camera’s came in very handy for our art lesson where we explored viewpoints around the school where we chose usual and effective places in which to take pictures. Looking up, through, into, onto, in between and close to, became useful viewpoints and the results where stunning. We look forward to sharing them soon.

Thank you again Year Four for all your hard this week.

Mr Papps

Year 3

From learning about rocks and minerals to looking at improving our punctuation and sentence structure, Year 3 have had a busy week. We are looking at the importance of adding adjectives to make our sentences more interesting leading into some powerful writing about Stilt Town which we will look to post next week when it is completed. Using Showbie has been a powerful tool to verbalise our thoughts to replay and help us writing. In Adventure school we had the challenge of socially distanced First Aid training! We focused ‘DRs ABC’ when approaching the victim in various role play situations.

Year 3 also thoroughly enjoyed their first Latin lesson learning basic greetings and are looking forward to understanding more.

Mr Bond

Year 2

We started off our week with an exciting adventure school lesson all based around first aid and helping people in different situations. It was wonderful to see the children all discussing how to get into the recovery position and getting their partners to follow their instructions.

In Maths we have been focusing on using number bonds to help our quick addition skills. The children have been adding 3 and 4 numbers together looking for number bonds to help with their workings.

In English we have continued our describing work and have moved onto describing settings and different book characters. Next week we are going to be writing our own stories which will be very exciting.

In Science we have been learning about animals and their offspring, we had some great discussions as to how different animals offspring look so different to their adults. Have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Kilb

Year 1

Another great week in Year 1. This week we began our humanities topic on Toys. We began by learning how teddy bears have changed over the years, writing descriptions and learning how to sketch bears that are over 100 years old.

In Maths, we have been ordering and counting numbers to 20. Solving monster maths problems and working in our number formation.

Our phonics and writing focus has been inspired by the story ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ and the children really impressed me with their detailed shopping lists and descriptions of the tiger. We rehearse our phase 3 sounds and phase 4 blends ready to begin learning alternative sounds next week.

They were taught conversational French phrases in our French lesson and had a wonderful time conversing in the playground.

Overall lots of positivity and lots of progress made.

Miss Gardner

Reception

Reception have had a brilliant first full week learning new routines. Everyone has had fun getting to know each other through name games. In Maths we have been looking at measurement. A mystery mouse visited our class and asked us to help track footprints to find out which superhero’s have completed their missions. The children worked in teams to estimate how many cubes long the footprints might be and then checked their answer by counting them. They were each able to use comparative mathematical language such as short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest. Mystery mouse was very pleased that we helped him solve the mysteries. In literacy we learnt about our families and drew our own family portraits. In phonics we introduced segmenting and blending CVC words for reading, also practising writing our name. Well done to Eesa for being awarded a certificate this week for his kindness and helpfulness in the classroom. The children also voted for school council members, both Lucas and Georgia will be our school council ambassadors for Reception - well done!

Mrs Gibbons

Second Steps

Second Steps have had a great first week back in school.

At the end of last week we celebrated Jess Walsh’s 4th birthday.

We have been getting to know all our new friends by playing the rolling ball game during circle time to learn everyone’s names. We have seen a few new friendships forming already.

Using pens, paper and lots of glue we created pictures of our best friends and asked the children who their best friends were. With some rather interesting answers!

The children have been helping to make play dough from scratch, naming all the ingredients and learning how to make purple using red and blue food colourings.

As a class we have been reading Little Red Riding Hood. Learning a new song using makaton signs along with singing. The children have been using the finger puppets to re-enact the story in the dolls house and with the toy television.

This week we had our first PE lesson with Miss Adamidou. The children had a great time playing ball games in pairs.

Miss Finch & Miss Vari

First Steps

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to all the parents, grandparents and carers who have helped us making these days very special for our new joiners. We are aware that saying goodbye to your little ones could be hard sometimes and seeing their tears could make a big gasp. But we try our best to dry all the tears and heal all the wounds. Our main aim is to make a great start to their school life.

To achieve this, we have set up unique activities each day. The children enjoyed playing different games to learn their names and helped each other to follow the rules.

Art table was one of the popular activities in and out of the class. Playing with animals in rice, hunting teddies in sand tray gave children opportunities to play together and improve their relationship.

Singing nursery rhymes and reading stories together gave us big chances to build bridges among us. Some children enjoyed doing PE, some children loved picking up leaves at Woodland School. All children found something to make themselves happy.

We have completed our first week with big smiles on children’s face and happiness in our heart (at that point I would like to thank our seasoned First Steppers for helping their new friends to settle in smoothly). Cannot wait to have more adventure with our little ones. Well done you!

Mrs Akoglu, Mrs Mousi, Miss Gurd & Mrs Leech

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond