From the Headmaster:

Pinch, punch and all that...where did January go?

I am fond of talking about resilience and perseverance but I was impressed by how well our cross-country team dealt with conditions on Friday. Although the regional competition was sadly postponed, Miss Adamidou felt that a stretch of the legs at Richmond Park was very much in order. Perfect conditions were enjoyed by all (I joined them and remained very happily ensconced in a big thick down jacket...) and a very challenging course was designed. Needless to say the children more than managed the course and set a few PB's on the way. I would like to thank our vocal supporters for joining us and to Miss Adamidou for softening the disappointment for our team.

I do hope that you all have had the opportunity to read my letter regarding our new school uniform supplier. AlleyCatz have already impressed me with the speed of their responses and air of efficiency, I am confident it will be a good move; do let me know of your early impressions so I can feedback accordingly.

Yours sincerely,


PS - Rumours of a coup d'état this week. You turn your back for a second...I am just glad that Mr Papps obtained photographic evidence.

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...!)

Cognitive Flexibility

Whilst a well known television program may have already cornered the expression 'conversation street,' this section of the Deerstalker might be referred to as 'technology corner.'

Fear not, it will not be a lecture but perhaps it will give a perfect insight into just how technology is being and can be used to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

As you can see below, three children came to see me this week with three pieces of wonderful work. Each one had completed a maths/science activity on identifying and then sorting items in heavier or lighter than.

I do apologise for using the increasingly in vogue expression 'cognitive flexibility' but these three images do rather define the term. All three children achieved precisely the learning objective in sorting the items, correctly identifying them as well as using the correct expressions. What you will see is that each one went about presenting the information in a slightly different way but each one quite correctly, hence flexibility; they chose how they felt it is best presented. Click on the images to get a closer look. They have every reason to feel proud of their work.

Coding - Tynker and Drones

Children in Year 3 had quite a challenging end of the week. As part of their computing lesson they have been developing their coding skills and were the first class to program the recently acquired drone. As you can see, the challenge set was for the children to write the code for the drone to take off, flip and then land, safely. Perhaps just a little work to be done on that last task...

Parent Social

Well it certainly lived up to expectations. A most enjoyable evening with over 60 parents and teachers sampling a most appetising menu and supplemented by some super cheese and perhaps a few whisky converts too...

I would like to thank you all for making time to join us and to Chef Leon, Marsha and messrs Bond, Stevenson, Patel, Gardner and Murphy for working so hard preparing the food and ensuring a good time was had by all.

News from Year 5 and Year 4

It has literally been a week of arrivals in Year 4 and 5. On Monday morning we were joined by Jeffery from Wenzhou, China. He will be joining us for a further week as he learns about English school life and the culture of Kingston and beyond. Unconnected to Jeffery, but from the same origin, we delved into the dark world of the Black Death that ripped through England in the unlucky 1300s.

Our third Arrival has come courtesy of Shaun Tan, whose book has kept Year 4 and 5 captivated with his detailed and imaginative drawings of a journey, with a dark underlying theme.

For English we have been concerned with developing our: comprehension, inference and interpretation skills. Looking through Shaun Tan’s picture book ‘The Arrival’, pupils have been deciphering clues in the detailed drawings to make their own understanding of the story. These skills will be essential for developing pupils analytical skills which they can carry across in to other subjects. The surreal aspect of the drawings has been an intriguing element to the story and left pupils wondering if they are ‘real’ within the story, or acting as a metaphor for events in the narrative.

Planted firmly in reality, albeit slightly surreal at times, we have been plotting co-ordinates on a grid with two or four quadrants, and applying translations to move polygons across the grid. We found that plotting co-ordinates an easy task, though the ability to accurately draw and present our work neatly more challenging. Accuracy, a methodical approach and a ruler are very important and skills that we will continue to develop next week as we work on plotting line graphs using data given and analysing our results.

Data we could use could be the death count from one of the deadliest diseases to strike these shores. The Black Death was our focus from Monday as we learnt key facts about the plague which spread throughout the country in a year, having arrived in a Dorset port around 1348. “It’s a punishment from God!”, some said. However, I believe my comprehension task wasn’t that bad. Good ways to avoid the plague involved good hygiene and avoidance of carriers. We found out that cases of the Black Death had been found in Libya in the past few years, so please be cautious around those individuals who may have lived and worked there.

Whilst avoiding any deadly diseases, Year 4 and 5 have been developing their business plans in computing with Mr Stevenson. Identifying resources required and other logistics being solved, pupils will hope to implement their plans soon. On Thursday they will have a morning to focus on their entrepreneurial activities. Good luck!

Our week came to a chilly end on Friday and some pupils from Year 4 and 5 went on a run through Richmond Park to replace the cancelled Cross Country event. Whilst other pupils revelled in the warmth and spectacle of the Reception class Talent Show, our cross country pupils chilled out on a run to clock impressive times over a 2km course. Despite being a little hesitant at running in the cold, pupils thawed out, and enjoyed a refreshing end to the week.

Great attitude and excellent effort Year 4 and 5.

News from Year 3

This week has be all about time! We have an exchange student from China who is learning all about life in England and in our school. The class have taken turns to help support our visitor in class and intergrate in the playground. We have been thinking about how hard it must be to come to a strange country, with a different language and follow instructions!

In Mathematics we have made great strides in learning how to tell the time to the nearest minute. We learnt that the easiest way to read time is by looking at the hour first and then reading minutes past. This then converts easily into digital.

Our studies of the Mayans is continuing as we find out how they lived. Computing this week has been coding with the help of programming Jimu robots, drone and spheros. Debugging and working out algorithms certainly builds on their mathematical problem solving skills.

News from Year 2

What a week it has been!

We started this week with the arrival of 2 new pupils, Emma and Eric, from China. They seem to already have some great friends in year 2 and it has been a lovely addition to our class. English this week has, bizarrely, been focused on a type of Japanese storytelling called Kamishibai or ‘picture play’. Illustrations are placed in a frame or stage and the story is told as each picture is removed. The children have been learning about the importance of illustrations and have retold the story of ‘lily and the snowman’ using Kamishibai. In mathematics, we have started some work on 2D shapes and have been working on creating irregular shapes all the way up to dodecagon (12 sides).

In Science we have been building up to creating our own houses and used VR and a new app called Architouch to create 3D models of our houses in preparation for building the real thing this week.

Adventure school heated up this week with the children learning to cook. They created hot chocolate this week and it was very much enjoyed during the cold of last week.

News from Year 1

A busy week in Year 1. We have enjoyed some light and fleet feet courtesy of some Irish dancing on Tuesday as well as solving maths problems with addition and taking that into real world word problems.

Their hockey skills have been developing well, with particular work on passing and moving into space to ensure the attack is maintained.

Showbie is really coming into its own as the children manage their own workflow and are enjoying the voice feedback to develop their creative writing.

News from Reception

Reception have had a terrific week, with Wednesday and Friday being the children’s weekly highlights. The children were superb ambassadors for our school whilst spending the morning in Kingston. Our shopping trip to Waitrose was great for children to use their senses and food knowledge. They remembered some key words such as carbohydrates, protein, fats and dairy. “The bakery is mostly made up of carbohydrates” Yusuf said. The children were able to weigh fruit items on the scales and recognise the price value. Afterwards, they applied their money knowledge to pay for their items and knew whether they needed change or not. Our Talent show was a brilliant success! All the children had a part to play. Within Literacy we all shared ideas to paint signs, write price tags and set up our refreshment stall which has extremely benefited the children’s self confidence and self esteem. Well done to everyone that was involved, you were all amazing! Thank you for all joining us and watching the show. Have a great weekend!

News from Second Steps

This week the children have engaged in many different activities. We have been learning about Chinese New Year which began on the 28th of January 2019 and the main celebration is on the 5th of February 2019. Here the children learnt about what is Chinese New Year, Mrs Yap kindly came in on Wednesday to share what takes place during Chinese New Year. The children enjoyed being involved in this and revelled in the role-play area, which was a Chinese Restaurant. The children dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes and learnt how to cook some yummy food too. As part of our Expressive Arts and Design development and Understanding of the World it is vital that children learn through play, to be able to use their imaginary play as well as learn about different cultures. We teach the children the importance to respect on another. We asked the children what they thought was important and their interpretation of respect:

“It is good to be kind to somebody and not being unkind”- Benjamin

“It also means to use our school toys nicely so they do not get broken or lost” - Jack

During our woodland School, the children had so much fun exploring the nature at Richmond Park. They used all their senses to explore the park. The children used their gross motor skills to climb tress, run in and out of the vines and bushes. They got their hands messy by investigating the muddy areas and making mud pies. They absolutely loved getting messy when jumping in the puddles.

“The puddles were so big and when we jumped it made really big splashes.”- James

“When we went to Woodland School I liked collecting different leaves”- Christopher

For maths and phonics this week, the children have ben learning how to blend simple CVC words as well as continuing to practice their letters and sounds. They did many different activities to engage their learning and interest. For maths the children learnt how to do simple subtraction sums. They used gloves filled with sand to count and take away a given number, they then had to find the number and place it next to the sum. This was a focus activity and resource liked by all the children. They all preserved at this and showed a “I can do” attitude. Amazing work Second Steppers! They even wanted to do this activity again a few days later and some children got involved to teach the others.

“I enjoyed counting the fingers and taking the fingers away, I was proud when I found the number and when my teacher was proud of me”- Kit

We also have been learning about measurements as part of our topic. The children used different objects to measure certain toys, they picked the toys to measure as well as what they would use to measure them. They children also compared the toys and learnt how to use different terminology.

“I liked using the different measurements to measure the toys and seeing which was bigger.”- Aidan

“We can use the pencils to measure how tall Mrs Burn is.”- Mary

Second Steps has had a busy week filled with engaging activities, learning opportunities as well as a continuous involvement by all children.

News from First Steps

What a busy week we have had in First Steps!

We have learnt about healthy food pyramid and discussed about healthy and unhealthy foods in Early Years Assembly and children gave really impressive examples. Well done you all!

At Woodland School, we went on a bear hunt in our bark area. We couldn’t go over it, we couldn’t go under it and yes we did go through it and splashed in water, squelched in mud, stumble tripped through deep dark forest, hooo wooed snow storm and lastly tiptoed to cave! But we weren’t scared at all and definitely will go on a bear hunt again!

In PE lesson, children practised their jumping skills over the obstacles. The children started to jump over low obstacles then Ms. A increased the height of the obstacles and children loved the challenge!

In messy tray, children improved their fine motor skills while trying to get the treasure with the tweezers. We talked about the size of the treasures and tried to find who got the most treasure.

Mrs. Bailie has conducted another amazing music lesson with First Steps and children experienced playing different musical instruments during the lesson. They tried their best to follow the song and finding correct instruments.

A special thank you to Mr. Bailie who came in the class and played guitar just for our little music lovers.

Please make sure that your child wears something red on Tuesday, we will celebrate Chinese New Year with Mrs. Chan!

Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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