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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 156 - 19th November 2021

From the Headmaster:

It can be all too easy to get caught up in the constant demands that we place upon ourselves.

The chasing of deadlines, appointments, meetings and the blurring of lines between working from home and working from the home office as well as the constant ping of email or text messages demanding our attention are all distractions that can, all too easily distract you from what is actually happening around you. The important stuff…

I was reminded of the importance to stop and look around on two occasions this week. The first, a kind gift from a fellow rebel (never put your car into reverse near a glass window) and the second, as a result of our assembly focussing on ‘one kind word.’

It can make a world of difference to someone. An acknowledgment, a smile, a proper and sincere thank you at the checkout or even just giving someone your time.

So, a simple request (other than for an England win on Saturday) make an extra effort to say one kind word this weekend and be more like Ferris, don’t forget to look around, you might miss something.

Alistair

P.S. - A rather nice delivery today. ‘Recognised for continuous innovation in learning, teaching and the school environment.’

Now to find the right wall to display it on…

Assembly

Just one kind word. Try this video as inspiration for your one kind word this weekend -

Now go and fill a bucket with kindness, we all need it sometimes.

A particularly pleased young man, on the strongest of recommendations from Miss Blevin, received the rarest of awards, a Headmaster’s Certificate at the assembly on Thursday for his great determination and application to his learning. Well done, Leo.

Year 6

What a week in Year 6. Our wonder book study is now complete and the Year 6’s are completing their story’s based on a theme, and from multiple perspectives. Friendships are breaking, being rebuilt, described, and punches have been thrown. It has been a real whirlwind as we finished this book.

Maths has been focused on BIDMAS and the order of operations. We have solved complicated calculations with brackets and powers of 4, as well as word problems, reasoning problems. Much time was spent explaining our methods and highlighting the different ways we went about solving these.

Computing saw the creation of unique iPad devices. By working out how much power 3 batteries would generate, we set about designing an iPad that would be useful for us (lots of cameras, smaller batteries, no Touch ID, or a Touch ID, headphone Jack or no lead phone Jack etc). We discovered that is was incredibly challenging to fit everything in the device and still have enough battery life (more components, smaller battery). We then set about working out roughly how long our devices would last with all the components we wanted. One device lasted almost 9 hours, whilst another would only last 5 and a half.

Year 5

Embracing the message behind Anti-Bullying week, the children in Year 5 used their poetry skills to rewrite the lyrics to A Wonderful World. After multiple rewrites and edits, the children performed their final version live in assembly on Thursday.

For our maths work this week, the children have been been calculating the area and perimeter of irregular shapes. After using their estimation skills to consider what size enclosure different animals may require, they went on to design fun shaped enclosures with the desired area calculated in square meters.

On Friday the children went to visit the HMS Belfast warship as part of their studies regarding WW2. It was wonderful to see the children in awe of the magnificence of the ship and seeing how polite and courteous they were to the staff who worked there.

Year 4

This week in Year 4 we have had the pleasure of lovely Lucy joining our class. We welcome Lucy and have enjoyed getting to know her. We enjoyed creating forest trails in Adventure School on Monday, with the children investigating contours, trails and pacing to ensure accuracy.

In Maths this week, we have been investigating converting mm to cm by dividing by 10 and the inverse of cm to mm by multiplying by 10. This has helped us with our rectangular perimeter work.

In English, we have been working on our own individual non-chronological reports having completed our autumn non-chronological reports last week.

In other exciting news - we have started our rehearsals for our Christmas play. The children have been practising their lines and learning their songs with super enthusiasm.

Well done, Year 4.

Year 3

Year 3 have had a busy week reading their class book The Abominables, enjoying rich vocabulary and the journey of the Yetis with lady Agatha across the world.

We have also been learning about instructional texts, looking at their features and how to write them in relation to trapping a dragon! Handwriting is still a big focus and I am pleased to say we had two more Bronze certificates handed out this week in assembly.

In Mathematics we have moved onto fractions, recognising that they are equal parts of a whole and making the links with equivalent fractions.

Humanities has continued with the Romans, in particular the Gods and Goddesses of which there are many, even more than the Greeks! This also carried on into art where we are completing our paper mosaics.

A busy, hard working week!

Year 2

We begun our literacy lessons this week by looking at Diary entry’s and keeping a journal of how our week has gone. We looked at what we can include in our diary and the format of one. As the week progressed we moved onto writing job descriptions and we produced job adverts that were stuck around the classroom and our friends can then apply for the position should they be interested in our vacancies! The inquisitive nature of Year 2 children helped us to create brilliant posters!

In maths our focus is on word problems that help us with our doubling and halving knowledge. We have been listening to word problems being read out to us and breaking it down to create a equation that we can solve and engaging in some maths challenges that have pushed us to critically think about the key words that are in our word problems.

In Swimming and P.E this week we saw some fantastic effort from the year 2 children! Well done! In humanities, with a focus on directions and compass use, we played a game of finding our names around the playground using the directions given. This was fun and I think we’ve still got some names lurking around the playground! In science this week, we swiftly moved onto creating series circuits and explaining how it works using our scientific knowledge. Using our prediction skills we discussed if some circuits would work and then tested them out to verify our understanding! It’s been an excellent week, Well done Year 2!

Year 1

This week In Year 1 our focus for literacy has been to improve our phonic knowledge. We looked closely at several phase 5 sounds and solved a series of challenges to apply and consolidate our new knowledge. Year 1 created their own bingo boards, worked with sound buttons, became expert phoneme spotters and were able to decode unfamilar words with the focus sounds. Well done.

In maths we have moved into place value and are looking carefully at tens and ones within numbers. In addition we are solving maths challenges using manipulatives and our problem solving skills.

Woodland school this week was a fascinating exploration into pareidolia - which is the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern. We learnt about a wonderful museum in Chichibu, Japan, two hours northwest of Tokyo, called the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks) which houses over 1700 rocks that resemble human faces.

These are called jinmenseki, or rock with a human face.

Our task was to find our own Jinmenseki and we were incredibly successful! So now Year 1 have their own Chinsekikan museum!

Reception

Zoom, zoom, zoom we’re flying to the moon!!! Reception have been in design mode this week as we have been exploring how to design and make a rocket. This started in maths as we explored triangles and circles and how to describe them using mathematical language such as “sides” and “corners”. The children then used these shapes to make their own rocket and they could then talk about what shapes they had used and their key characteristics. I was amazed when the children accepted the challenge to label their rockets with the he names of the shapes and many of them applied their phonic knowledge to help them write these words.

We have also begun to design our rockets that we will make using recycling. The children were challenged to write down what they need to make their own rocket. We have budding designers on our hands.

The class were amazed and excited with the balloon rocket experiment and they could explain why the rocket moved forwards. (The air that came out of the balloon gave the rocket energy to enable it to push forwards.) They then made their own rockets and tried very hard to work together to help them problem solve how to blow the balloon up and attach the rocket to the balloon. I was very impressed with their cooperation skills.

We expanded our knowledge of triangles and circles in Woodland School when we used sticks to make triangles and circles, the children had to think about how many sticks they had to use.

What a great week Reception.

Second Steps

Second Steps have started on our journey to Christmas.

We have started learning our Christmas song with the odd tangent onto various renditions of Jingle bells.

The children enjoyed their music lessons, using the musical instruments and tapping out different rhythms at different speeds and volumes. Learning to listen to the guitar to know how loud or fast to play.

Second Steps enjoyed creating their fireworks pictures using the iPad so much that they have continued creating lovely pictures. Navigating round the app to find different effects.

A group made the biggest mud pie in woodland school, using all different resources around them, leaves, fallen petals, water and soil. A few were looking at how the mud changed when we added water to it.

As it was Odd Sock day on Monday and Children in Need this Friday we have been talking to the children about helping other people. What kind things can we do?

The children said some lovely things. “We can give them a hug”, “I will make a cake”, “everyone can come to my party”.

Miss Finch, Miss Wood, Miss K

First Steps

A fun filled busy week in First Steps for the children, we have been exploring our focus colour this week which was blue. To learn and become familiar with the colour blue we discussed the items we brought in from home and stuck them on our show and tell bored. We made our own sea pictures painting the sea all blue and choosing sea animals to stick on it. During circle time the children were asked to collect blue items from around the classroom and share it with their peers to show they recognise the colour blue.

For Woodland school this week we went on a adventure walk to find sticks around the school and playground. Using the sticks we found we made our own microphones to use when doing singing and dancing sessions. We had a picnic out on the table with pretend food, plates and cutlery and the children were practicing to use their knife and forks when eating. The children really enjoyed the sensory tray this week, we had different materials and textures for the children to feel and explore like foil, stones, wool, pasta, sugar etc. This week we also celebrated anti bullying week, we watched a video during circle time to learn more about it and then discussed what we can do to be kind to those around us. Well done, First Steps!

Mrs Guniz

Mrs Mousi

Miss Bambi

Physical Education & Games

Key Stage 2 have been exploring what makes a good balanced diet for an average person and comparing it to an athlete. Pupils are beginning to understand that calories=energy and the more you exercise the more likely you will need to refuel your body with energy. We have been comparing diets such as Michael Phelps and the 12000 calories he once consumed when competing for gold. EYFS are continuing to develop their gross motor skills by running, jumping, skipping and hopping whilst learning about different colours. Reception have been working on their fine motor skills by using a tennis racket and using different objects to balance things on whilst standing still, walking, running and hitting objects in mini games.

Mr McArthur

Climbing

Climbing - our climbing sessions have been incredibly successful, with Year 6, 5, and 4 pupils challenging themselves to climb the 15m high wall. They worked together, supporting each other and learning how to belay. Huge proud of all our pupils; we look forward to welcoming Year 3 and 2 next week.

French

Year 2 &3

This week’s theme is about the time. We started our lesson with our usual routine songs about the days of the week, the months and the weather. After completing the date sheet, Children have discovered and practised telling the time in French - introducing only “O’clock” at this point.

To help us do so, we have looked at our classroom clock and started counting to 12, then to memorise the spelling for each number we have used a matching activity. Children had to sound out the number and to listen carefully to the beginning and ending sounds to find clues that would help them with their answers whilst paying attention to the silent letters like in “ deux, trois, sept, huit”.

For our last activity, I was very pleased to see how everyone was challenging themselves and how they were trying their best to solve the number anagram activity. Children had also the chance to practice telling the time. They had to ask for the time using the sentence form: Quelle heure est-il? and drilled for pronunciation singing along along “Quelle heure est-il?” Song.

Well done everyone!

Maitresse Narjiss

Latin

In Latin, the children showed a lot of enthusiasm in learning Christmas carols by heart so they are ready to perform them during the Christmas period. We focused on the lyrics and explored works that we still commonly use today, such as, “triumphantes”, “videas”, “Angelorum”, “celebrantes”, “festa”, “natum”, etc. Additionally, the children learnt and practiced the months in Latin, coming them with the English and other European languages. Counting from 1-10 was another new achievement that Year 3 pupils thoroughly enjoyed.

Magistra Latina Nektaria Mousi

Music

In Music we have managed to get the performance ready at one day’s notice. This is level of readiness, courage and professionalism you would expect from West End musical performers. As it turned out on Thursday morning assembly, Year 5 students can deliver.

On Wednesday at 1.30 Mr Sims showed me a beautiful lyrics his class wrote to the melody of Wonderful World, performed by Louis Armstrong. I loved it and we decided to perform it on Thursday morning. To make things even more exciting I asked Lexi to accompany us on drums. She has never played that song. And we couldn’t even rehearse together because it wouldn’t be practical to move drum kit upstairs at such a short notice. We created drumpads

from notebooks and folders and Lexi drummed on her table. On Thursday morning we ran through it together and we were good to go. I would like to thank Year 5 class teacher Mr Sims and Year 5 class as well as Park Hill leadership to make this adventure possible.

Ms Tomaskova

Images from the week

Covid-19 Regulations

You will be aware that as a school we are no longer required to maintain ‘bubbles’ and are no longer involved in the track and trace of individuals. Should there be a positive case, NHS Track and Trace will determine who has been a close contact and inform those people directly. They will be advised to take a PCR test. As detailed in the latest DfE regulations - Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.

They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

The measures we will continue to take as a school is as follows –

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone

2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes

3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases

In light of all of the above information we are delighted that we will once again be able to welcome you into school for the morning drop off as well as for the myriad of events such as workshops and social events. For the first week, as the children settle into their routine we feel it prudent that children in Year 3 – 6 are collected from the front of the school whilst children in nursery , Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can be collected directly from their classrooms. In due course we will review this but given the numbers congregating, we would prefer to take a measured approach at this time.

Members of prep school staff will remain with their class should they have siblings in the nursery or pre-prep who can be collected first. We are delighted that we can have this invaluable contact with you again, the conversations at the classroom door are so important to ensure the very best relationships.

The school gate will be open from 8am-8.05am for early drop off and then open again from 8.15am – 8.30am where you are welcome to walk through with your children to their classrooms. Lessons will commence promptly at 8.30am. Clubs will finish at 5pm, with children being brought to the front of the school for collection and children attending after school club from 5pm to 6pm should be collected from the front door. We shall continue to be alert to any changes in guidance as we head to the winter months and inform you accordingly.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond