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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 118 - 2nd october 2020

From the Headmaster:

In a previous existence (involving lots of sand and heat and tall buildings) one of the elements that was judged as part of an annual school inspection was 'innovation' (without getting political, this annual system does not allow for school improvement as you are simply only ever preparing for the next inspection rather than doing what is actually right for the children.)

Innovation: a new idea, method, or device.

When we started on our technological journey all the way back in 2016/2017, we established our vision as the 'considered use of technology to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.' It was planned, it was coherent and purposeful.

Our approach to the implementation of technology was not, as a certain Captain "Howling Mad' Murdock might suggest a case of us sitting down and saying "Hang on everybody, I want to try something I saw in a cartoon once!"

We knew what we wanted to achieve and we also knew that it was going to challenge perceptions and pedagogy. Testament to a fantastic team here at Park Hill there was no resistance and a genuine desire to embrace the opportunities and potential.

You will have seen the use of AR in a history lesson last week and the gif produced from green screen, keynote and animation but a particular innovation this week has challenged the grey matter.

How many of us recall from our own childhood a small exercise book sitting on our desk so that when we asked our teacher to help us spell out a word, they could write it in our spelling book? Fast forward a few years, and now the Amazon Alexa or Siri has replaced the teacher. "Alexa, how do you spell...?"

Now, another definition for innovation implied that innovation can bring about 'efficiencies.' Imagine a talented class teacher no longer having to interrupt their work sitting with a child on their fabulous piece of creative writing to answer a spelling related question and children independently able to solve their queries?

Imagine a busy classroom, the usual 1001 things for teachers to remember and 'Alexa' chimes in to remind them that one of their children is leaving early for a dental appointment?

Or, how about this...?

We are starting our journey, exploring the potential benefits of "Alexa" (I am studiously avoiding drawing any parallels between the "Alexa" answering back and my daughter, Alexa, answering me back...) but it is nevertheless an utterly remarkable time to be in education at the start of the fourth industrial revolution and exploring tools and technology for its considered use to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

Lots to enjoy in this edition, plenty of examples of the many varied and vibrant lessons and activities that take place each week. The plan being to give our children the very best.

"I love it when a plan comes together..."

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

Alistair

PS - Please check blazers at home, Georgia is missing hers and we have turned the school upside down in our search!

Year 4 Art

Mr Papps and his Year 4 artists were hard at work again this week. As you can see, a very natural and clearly calming watercolour lesson.

Showbie Workshop

I was very pleased that so many of you were able to join us for Mr Stevenson's Showbie workshop on Monday. Glossing over the very interesting fact that everyone zoomed in without complication as Mr Stevenson sat in his dining room (I have offered him assistance with a book shelf backdrop) I sat here at school and you all logged in from various point across South West London to ensure you gained the necessary support with Showbie. Would this have been considered prior to March? Interesting lessons from lockdown...

Whilst I know you are all now experts, please do not hesitate to contact us or bring in your own devices if we can help in any way.

From the School Office - Michelle Gambi

"It's (not) all about the money, money, money.." has been a tune rumbling in my head this week as we hopefully get to grips with the myriad of fees related queries this week. Thank you again for your patience as we work through both current and historical queries. A wholly productive call this morning with our accounts team I have been promised will lead to all issues being resolved! ;)

Flu Vaccinations

To confirm, flu vaccinations take place on 2nd December.

15 Hours Funding

The deadline for claiming the 15 hours funding has now passed.

School Money

You (those of you who it applies to) should have now all had emails with the clubs and breakfast club payments requests. Again, please let me know if you haven't yet received an email and I will make sure this is resolved.

Lost Property

We do our very best to return items, do please ensure that al belongings are labelled.

Georgia - Missing a blazer, lost after Running Club.

Rose Theatre - Youth Theatre at Park Hill

"At Rose Youth Theatre Under 11s we develop the communication, literacy and confidence of our members via drama and the spoken word, as well as ensuring that every child feels their contributions to the group are valued and vital. From text and improvisation to character and complex narrative, we cover introductory elements of drama and story telling each term. Rather than produce ‘young actors’ our goal is to develop a rich array of life skills such as teamwork, leadership, public speaking, sophisticated literacy abilities, imagination, creativity, focus and an ensemble spirit!"

"We’re offering all Park Hill School students a 50% discount for the Autumn term. Join us for just £60!"

"We have space in the following groups on a Saturday at Park Hill School:"

12.15pm-1.30pm for 5-7 years

2.15pm-3.30pm for 7-9 years

Please email Isabelle.Kabban@rosetheatre.org if you’d like to join!

Mr Stevenson - Teaching and Learning

Quite a week!

As is always the case at Park Hill and, as I said last week, there are so many great examples of lessons and work that I could share with you. The quality of work that is already being produced is excellent, whether it be in the English and Maths lessons, the Science's and Computing lessons, or in Humanities, Art and DT, and RE lessons.

In amongst this, we have having a drive on times tables throughout the school. You may have seen the innovative use of Amazon’s Alexa in Year 5 to test tables, and each class is tackling these in different ways, either weekly tests, morning work, skills lessons, and games. Hit the button is a good game for practising tables.

As Year 6 will know (and probably remember), our internet cut out during this weeks assembly, but the message from Mr Bond got through. Year 5 and 6 are often caught red handed helping the younger children to join us on the playground, taking time from their own games and conversations to help. This is something that I frequently see, and is lovely that the children epitomise the idea of what it means to be a Good Samaritan.

During a walk around at the beginning of the week, I wandered in to Reception to catch the end of what had clearly been an exciting and informative lesson on the teeth, with moulds provided by Mrs Vaughan. In Second steps, the children have produced self portraits (personally, I think the resemblance is uncanny).

As many of you know, I have a slight interest in science: I was equally impressed, therefore, with one of Mrs Gibbon's displays on the skeleton using cotton buds. Always a pleasure to see science in the early years.

Poetry with Mrs Kilb produced some lovely work, one of which is below from Holly, and Mr Papps’ work in RE was producing some accurate and colourful drawings of Gurdwaras.

"If my doctor told me I had 6 minutes to live, I would not worry: I’d type a little faster”

My interest in science extends beyond the classroom and to one of my favourite authors, Issac Asimov. The creativity he utilised to produce some amazing pieces of work is something we share at Park Hill. Writing is carried out around the school. Our young writers have been hard at work and many have produced stunning pieces. Georgia in Reception with her labelling of the Gruffalo, Aidan in Year 1 has produced both a lovely cat and some outstanding writing, Abbie in Year 3 with her story based on a short film, and a typed non fiction page from Sarah, James, and Isabel in Year 6. Whether handwritten or typed, these are some great examples of the writing that happens every day.

Let us not forget that a lot of work goes in before they put pencil to paper. In second steps, Ms Vari and Miss Finch took the children though some sounds which caused much excitement (even cause one child to break in to a dance, I hear).

STEAM is rapidly becoming something the children look forward to each week, and we end the week on open ended and incredibly creative tasks. This week was led by Mr Papps, who took the children (and their pencils) on a journey, creating line artworks both digitally and on paper. A very arty way to finish week 5.

Mr Sims - Welfare

Park Hill is a unique school, many factors feed into our day to day activities which in turn puts child welfare at the core of everything that we do. After all, a child who is relaxed, happy and comfortable in their surroundings, is a child who will commit to the tasks and activities set by their teacher with greater enthusiasm. From here the reciprocal cycle of positivity builds exponentially.

Small class sizes do play a big part in both initially settling a child in to school but also in allowing the staff to really get to know the children in their care. With a low pupil to teacher ratio, each child gets a bigger slice of the teachers time and attention. This setting puts Park Hill staff well positioned to spot any indicators that the children may have a worry or be in need of a little more support. At each staff meeting that we have at Park Hill, staff and child mental health is a standing agenda item ensuring that our response to any concern is taken on by the whole school community as a priority.

We are fortunate to have such a strong team of educational professionals who are united in their actions to ensure and provide for the mental welfare of the children and their colleagues. Within the staff team we have Mrs Patel, who is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) trained practitioner, Mrs Leech as our Personal, Social, Health and Citizens Education coordinator while Miss Gardener and I had the pleasure of attending Mental Health England training and achieving Youth Mental Health First Aider certification.

Keeping the channels of communication open between home and school is vitally important so that we can work together to create the right environment for the children to thrive.

If you have a concern that you would like to discuss, or something that you think the school would benefit from knowing about, please let us know. The more we know about a situation, the quicker we can be at getting the right help and support in place. Mr Bond, Miss Gambi or other members of staff will always be on hand to meet and greet the children in the morning, this is a great time to share any concerns that your have or share any news that you think is important. Alternately, it is my responsibility at Park Hill to ensure a smooth day-to-day running of the personal wellbeing and pastoral care across the school, you can email me by using Matthew.Sims@parkhillschool.com and I will ensure your information is acted upon. For more day-to-day matters, please continue to email the relevant class teacher directly.

In next weeks Deerstalker, I will be sharing specific examples of how we are being proactive in supporting the pastoral care and positive mental health of us all within the Park Hill community.

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.

Chicken Pox

We have a case of Chicken Pox in our Early Years. Should your child catch Chicken Pox you should keep him/her away from school until the spots have scabbed over and are no longer weeping.

Health, Safety and Medicines at School

Please note the following important points regarding the administration of medicines at school.

Further to recent recommendations and legislation we are no longer allowed to dispense any medicines to the children, with the exception of school provided Calpol, Waspeze and sun lotion and then only when you have signed the medical form agreeing to this procedure.

If your child is taking prescribed antibiotics or other drugs you are advised to adjust the timing to avoid school hours. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor at the time of prescription.

• Asthma: Children who take medication for asthma must have two named inhalers at school. One to be kept in the first aid kit in the classroom the other in the School Office. Please label clearly with your child’s name and hand personally to Miss Gambi.

• Epipens: Please provide two epipens for use in school when necessary; labelled clearly with your child’s name.

• Cough sweets (or any other sweets) are NOT allowed in school as they pose a potential choking hazard.

• Children with a temperature or diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last day must be kept at home until clear of all symptoms for a minimum of 48 hours.

• Head lice - please remember to check your child's hair regularly.

• Contagious diseases: Please inform the school office immediately if your child has been diagnosed with any contagious disease eg: chicken pox, measles etc

• It is imperative that you inform the school, in writing (a quick note will suffice), of any medication your child has received, since midnight, before coming to school.

Thank you for your co-operation. We know you will appreciate that these procedures are for the benefit and safety of all your children.

Uniform

The full uniform list can be found here.

Assembly

"If it’s not right, don’t do it."

"If it’s not true, don’t say it."

So, an extension to the theme last week. Marcus Aurelius through to Ben Ryan, the former England and Fiji 7’s coach (also a former PE teacher. We are taking over the world...)

Summer beach reading and a line that made me sit up straight in the deckchair -

“The standard you walk past is the standard you become.” Ben Ryan

We discussed how choosing to ignore an action, deed or word condones it and that by walking past is the standard you become. So whether it is scaling the side of a building or diving into frozen water or, and of no less merit, stopping to help someone who simply needs your help, your standards are high and worthy of merit. Stand tall and be proud of who you are.

Year 6

Year 6 have spent this week looking closely at information texts and creating their very own about a topic. These are now completed and look fantastic, really showing a great understanding of their topics, and how how these pages should look and be themed. Not only this, but Year 6 spent a considerable amount of time planning their layout, subtitles, and content.

Even factoring in the immense amount of work in English, maths is still completed. The topic this week, Factors and fractions. Year 6 have developed their understanding of how to create factor trees and find prime factors of 2 and 3 digit numbers. In fractions, we reminded ourselves how to add and subtract them by finding a common denominator, and then solved problems around this.

In Science, construction has begun on our machines. The bases are ready and now the circuitry will need to be added for it is all sealed up and decorated. I sense a soldering iron next week…

Mr Stevenson

Year 5

In the Year 5 classroom this week, the story of how WW2 impacted those who remained on the mainland UK came to discussion. We have worked through events around the Battle of Britain, The Blitz and how these instigated the need for children to evacuate the big cities and head to the countryside. The children are taking their knowledge of WW2 and using it as inspiration to construct their own piece of fiction and to tell about different events from the eyes of a fictional character which they have created.

The children have started to present the findings from their own research projects in humanities. It was been truly fascinating to hear the children retell their stories about their family members and the experiences that they went through during WW1 and WW2. Thank you to the parents who have supported the children with their presentations at home, the personal nature of the presentations had a real impact on the children who were watching and listening.

Outside of the classroom, the children are really enjoying getting their hand dirty at the Park Hill Allotment. The team worked well together to prepare the ground with the big excitement coming on Tuesday when the children were assigned their own patch within the allotment to look after. Next week we will make our final soil preparations and finally get to put our lasagne-style planting plan into action.

Mr Sims

Year 4

As the mist settles on the week’s final lesson of STEAM, Year Four can reflect on an accomplished week where great progress was made in our Maths, English and other subjects.

It was a ‘tenths’ atmosphere on Monday’s first Maths lesson. Understanding the relationship of 0.1 and 1/10 was a breeze, before figuring out that 0.01 was equal to 1/100 underpinned most of our progress with fractions and decimals throughout the week. Using visual aids and a number line has cemented the knowledge and harnessed our ability to add and subtract decimal numbers, as well as place them accurately on a range of number lines too.

Our progress in English welcomed us in to the world of Daintree Rainforest and particularly the wonderfully presented book; ‘Where the Forest Meets the Sea’. The amazing artworks and hidden images of animals inspired our imaginations but also our inference skills in deducing what these ghostly images of dinosaurs, crocodiles and tree kangaroos represented, whilst also considering what images of hotels and houses strewn across the forest could mean too. This story will underpin our work next week as we prepare to argue against deforestation in Daintree and other unique rainforest locations across the world.

Our artistic endeavours have unveiled some rather superb work this week too. In Art we have made a very promising start with our paintings inspired by our photography. The key to good watercolour painting is to not apply dark paints too early, and that is just what Year Four achieved with their initial pale colouring of their compositions.

To add to our creative endeavours we have also been designing the outside of Gurdwara Temples. Analysing other temples inspired Year Four to create imaginative and respectful designs on a suitable place of worship for Sikhs.

Finally, our week came to a creative close in our STEAM session. Using the restrictions of rules to make art, Year Four Badgers produced wonderful, colourful pictures with five centimetre lines, and digital art using ‘numbers app’ consisting of limited reds, oranges, yellows, greens and blues on a one hundred square square grid. Further consolidating their understanding of fractions.

Excellent work again Year Four, we look forward to our penultimate week before half term with great excitement...well hopefully.

Thank you again for all your hard work and endeavours this week.

Mr Papps

Year 3

This week in Year 3 we have been looking at subtraction, mentally visualising the hundred square and moving on to the formal written method. In English along with our weekly comprehension and SPAG lessons we have been writing stories using descriptive writing to make our work more interesting for the reader. When we finished our stories, we then looked through our writing to highlight the connectives we have used as it was a particular focus this week.

In Science we are enjoying studying different rocks and minerals, sorting them and examining their properties.

Humanities was exciting as we got to taste Mayan hot chocolate, finding the flavour more bitter than expected, an insight to life and food in the past.

Our view point photography is materialising into watercolour paintings after transferring images onto paper, learning to use a wash before adding in the detail. A busy week!

Mrs Bond

Year 2

This week Year 2 have been getting stuck into learning all about time in maths, we have revisited o’clock and had a daily challenge to see who could show the o’clock and half past time the fastest in the class with their tiny clocks. We have gone even ventured into converting digital times into analog and analog into digital.

In English we have had a very poetic week, looking at poems from Spike Milligan and reading rhyming stories. The children created a four line poem based on an animal of their choice. We planned out what words rhyme and it was very funny to see the children making up their own rhyming nonsense words.

In science we have been continuing to work on food chains and this week we all created some food webs, containing multiple producers and consumers we even had a challenge to see who could get a human into their food web.

In Adventure school the children worked together to practice making different knots. it was great to see them looking at the instructions and interpreting them in their own way.

Next week we are really looking forward to creating our own non fiction animal fact books.

Enjoy your weekend.

Mrs Kilb

Year 1

We have been exploring the colourful Meg and Mog books written by Helen Nicoll and Illustrated by Jan Pienkowski.

Year 1 were inspired to write their own spells using strange and wonderful ingredients. We especially enjoyed creating collage illustrations of Mog to complement our creative writing - an alternative adventure for Mog.

In maths we move to another curriculum area - measure. Our investigations have taught us how to measure accurately using a ruler, to compare using appropriate vocabulary and to apply our reasoning skills to answer questions.

Mid week we had an amazing outdoor learning session creating models with our woodworking resources. Year 1 were tasked to create an animal, thinking carefully about the features and characteristics. They learnt how to join Balsa wood with nails and screws and how to problem solve if the design did not go according to plan.

Miss Gardner

Reception

Reception have had another fun filled week with many rich learning experiences. Following on from last week, the children were so intrigued by Sophia’s show and tell that we continued the dentist theme. The x-ray’s of the skull and mouth stemmed many questions of curiosity. (Thank you for letting us see them). Sophia taught the children all about the teeth, using terms such as molars and incisors. She said “molars are used to grind and incisors are used to cut.”

We then looked at a range of teeth moulds where children counted the teeth comparing adult and baby sized teeth. In science we focused on sugary and non sugary foods and what food forms keep our teeth healthy. “Candy floss is so bad for your teeth, they will make them rot,” Amber said. We looked at different fruits and learnt that even though fruits are healthy for us, they are not always good for our teeth so we have to make sure we brush our teeth properly.

In literacy, the children are being introduced to different forms of writing. This week we looked at labelling and captions. We looked at a well known story: ‘The Gruffalo story’ and as a class described the gruffalo’s appearance using labelling such as “purple prickles, turned out toes, two orange eyes and poisonous wart.” The children worked very hard and it was pleasing to see how they are beginning to apply their phonic knowledge to their writing. In woodland school this week the children had such fun digging and planting. As a team the children worked collaboratively to dig up the potatoes observing some creepy crawlies along the way 🐛🐌. We also took the time to plant tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, radishes and cress. We are hoping to visit Richmond park for our woodland school sessions after half term.

In Maths, we have been counting two groups through the use of practical activities. Please continue to develop your children’s number formation and numeral recognition ready for addition and subtraction later on in the year. Next week, we will be looking at 2D shapes.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs Gibbons

Second Steps

Another great week in Second Steps.

The children had so much fun with the science experiment using cornflour, water and paint. They discovered how to make purple using two different colours. They really liked the way they could roll it into a ball then when they stopped it was all gooey, running the rough their fingers. It was very slimy and messy but the children had so much fun.

Sport with Miss Adamidou the children were learning to skip with hoops, bunny hopping through the hoop and swinging it over their head and repeating the actions. They all listened and participated really well. After learning how to skip with a hoop they then continued to skip during playtime.

Second Steps were challenged to solve the mystery through a series of tasks that involved their knowledge of phonics/listening skills.

What’s the mystery sound? We used our smart board and listened to the sound each Mystery Sound button made. Children tried to identify the sounds and discussed their predictions. We also used some instruments such as bells, drums, rhythm sticks and triangles.

Children thought that rhythm sticks sounded like horses galloping. They also thought drums sounded like dinosaurs running.

Over the last few weeks we have seen some good friendships forming. It’s so lovely to see how well the children are getting on and the games they are playing together they have been learning to share fairly by talking to each other and negotiating turn taking.

Well done Second Steps.

Good work Second Steps.

Miss Finch & Miss Vari

First Steps

October has arrived and the FS children have settled in very well.

We carried on reading The Goldilocks and Three Bears story and children sort out objects between great big Papa, middle sized Mama bear and little baby bear. Our tuff tray gave great opportunity for this activity and children brought many different objects into tray to sort them by size.

While children were getting confident to retell the Goldilocks story, they also made up their own stories using castle, knights and dinosaurs.

Painting with toy cars is an enjoying experience.The children drove the vehicles into the paint and then on the paper making lines and patterns.

During water play and washing the dolls, the children practised the new song “Washing hands”.

In additional,the role play area was transformed into a garage play, where the little ones fixed cars with screwdrivers and tools, while the same time they built confidence, creativity and communication.

Enjoy your weekend!

Well done First Steps for a fantastic week!

Images from the Week

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

Following allegations that a certain Mr Stevenson was Granville last week (Nurse Gladys really was meant as a compliment), I will invite suggestions as to who is Hannibal, Face, BA Baracus and Howling Mad....

Now, a special treat. Just as you get rewarded for staying in your cinema seats at the end of Marvel films, here is your reward for staying to the very end of the Deerstalker.

Question: Which English singer, songwriter, DJ, fashion designer, actor, photographer and record producer appeared (rather incongruously) in Season 4, episode 16 of The A-Team?

Answer below....

I know!

Thanks to Mr Papps for that one.

Have a good weekend.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond