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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 91 - 27th sepTember 2019

From the Headmaster:

It is never a good sign when I hear myself saying ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing...’ the rain certainly tested the resolve on Tuesday morning as we pondered going swimming instead of our normal games lesson, however the pitches at Ditton Field were in their normal pristine condition as we managed a full session without interruption.

The long awaited arrival of our new classroom for Year 2 has been quite the challenge in confirming delivery dates (more than double the length of delivery time promised even after countless phone calls) resulted in the arrival of the classroom on Friday morning. With all of the various constructors, electricians and carpet layers (it will be an insulated timber floor) all lined up ready, I was informed this weekend that the lynchpin to the whole thing has very sadly suffered a bereavement and will not be on site over the weekend to complete the construction.

I am extremely conscious of the tremendous goodwill and patience shown by both the parents in Year 2 and also the children (not forgetting Mr Stevenson) having been promised a new classroom and it now tantalisingly sitting just two days of labour away from bending ready. I do hope that I may call upon just a little more patience with the two days of construction commencing first thing on Monday morning with the associated electrician ready to drop everything and provide power. This has been incredibly frustrating as we all wanted this to have been completed by now. I do hope that I can indeed call upon your patience and goodwill ‘just’ for a few more days.

On a more positive note, I do hope that you enjoyed the reception on Friday evening. It was a pleasure to see so many of you join us for the evening. Although I forgot the champagne supernova, (see the Year 4 report below) but we still managed to toast the longevity of the school.

I found myself happily engaged in quite the conversation this week with our Year 2 children. Who do you trust with your personal information? This, in a ‘keeping yourself safe online’ context was quite revealing and a topic that I trust many of you will join me for on Tuesday when we hold a parent workshop on e-safety and what we can do as parents to ensure our children are indeed safe. Please do not think that this workshop is irrelevant to you if you have younger children, this workshop will contain highly relevant information that you must have before naturally inquisitive minds start being exposed to such things.

Our Harvest Festival assembly is approaching on Thursday with the collection of donated items welcome in the Second Steps shaded area. I do hope that you will be able to not only donate items for the Joel Charity but also join us for the assembly.

Much to look forward in the coming five days. A trip to HMS Belfast for Year 6 and Year 5, the aforementioned e-safety workshop, Head’s Coffee Morning (apologies, two days running for some of you...the main topic of conversation will be school inspection and the advice we have received about the recent Labour Party conference discussion regarding independent schools) and then the national triathlon for our triathlon team over in Essex.

This latter event deserves greater reflection.

We are due to take the full compliment of children for this triathlon. A 90m swim, 2km bike ride and then 1.2km run. This event attracts over 60 schools from across the UK.

Two years ago we entered our very first triathlon. We had a team of seven. The philosophy then remains as it is today; give the children the opportunity to participate, to enjoy being physically active but also to send a message. A message that those not selected should regard it as a challenge, a challenge to improve on their swimming, cycling and running and to join the next event. It is with pride that we have now doubled the number of children competing on Friday from this time last year. Miss Adamidou has already indicated that she expects a team of twenty children to compete at the main triathlon next May/June.

This progress reflects not just on the efforts and determination of the children, their parents and staff but perhaps also reflects the progress of our school. It remains a pleasure to greet everyone in the morning and to have an insight as to just what the school means to everyone. The ethos of the school is pure, we are all here for the children and this mutual respect and appreciation of one another will ensure our continued success.

Whether you are new to the school or have been with us for longer, please never lose sight of this philosophy. We must have time for one another and a respect for one another.

I look forward to seeing you all in the coming five days.

Alistair

PS - School Council, House leadership positions and other positions of responsibility will be awarded at the assembly on Thursday morning (glory!).

PPS - I regret that due to staff absence, the parent workshop - How to help at home and progression through the Early Years will not be held on this coming Monday.

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

Reflecting on life in Year 5 and Year 6 this week, the real highlight is how the older children are growing into their responsibilities as roles models for the younger ones. For sure it is great to see the children blossoming with their maths and English work, designing and making their structures to test their hypothesis is science and of course honing their ball control skills on the football pitch, it has been a real highlight to see the softer skills of life flourish this week. Seeing the Year 5 and 6 children interacting with the younger children is always nice to watch, although one incident this week stood out more that others. With playtime in full swing and the younger children flying around the bark area, ducking in and out of the trees without a care in the world, it can be easy to forget that for some children social times can be a challenge. It was wonderful to see some of the children of Year 5 and 6, without prompting, sacrifice their own time for recreation and break away from their own social groups to interact, entertain and play with some of the younger children who find such times awkward. The Year 5 and 6 children work hard in lessons and with many of them having extra-curricular lives that would exhaust most adults, they deserve their breaks as much as anybody, but it was lovely to see them put other children’s happiness over their own.

Year 4

It has all seemed a blur. The week flew past as we shed seven days from the calendar, and despite a few distractions, it has been an oasis of calm in Year Four.

Happy Mondays have become part of our routine as we began writing our ‘Just So Stories’ inspired tales set in the jungle, and made good progression through subtraction problems.

Consolidating our understanding of re-grouping with subtraction has been an important theme in our Maths lessons where we have been working on creating subtraction problems with the same answer, using digits 0-9 only once. Despite being unfamiliar with the task, Year four demonstrated great verve when attempting these problems.

For our adventure school, we ventured in to Richmond Park where we had a massive attack of creativity in producing a map of the area surrounding Kingston Gate. Children drew their own symbols for the map key, and set about the tricky task of placing trees, a bush or two, car parks, horse tracks, pavement and other important features on to their maps. No doubt, we hope to be sharing them with you soon.

Hinduism is our RE topic this term and we have studied the four main beliefs of Moksha, Dharma, Reincarnation and Truth is Eternal. We were particularly interested in reincarnation. The belief may differ from soul to soul, but we enjoyed speculating what we will become in the next life. A lot of super furry animals were proposed, however I (Mr Papps) would choose to live with the eels.

Using similar ideas taken from the beliefs of Hinduism, we have continued our focus on friendship and team work in PSHCE lessons. We continue to identify how we can work together in harmony and as an effective team. Negative behaviour to exclude others will be firmly placed in the garbage. This week we have produced posters on including people and it has been very heartening to see in Year Four, that despite the mistakes we make, we show compassion and respect for everyone. If someone is excluded, we look to include them and ensure that they are feeling alright. I have seen many examples this week where pupils have shown great respect and compassion for each other to include and lift their spirits.

Another fantastic week Year Four. We certainly hope to see more examples of being compassionate and helpful, and that we may soon reach our own version of a Year Four nirvana.

Year 3

This week we have gone from designing and testing shelters in Richmond Park to voting in our new House captains, vice, student council members and digital leaders. We look forward to introducing our new leaders in our next assembly. In Mathematics we have had a focus on column method addition with word problems. Science has been particularly exciting this week with the children recreations of their digestive system using tights, orange juice, bread and a number of other food groups, need I say more!

In English we have enjoyed exploring vocabulary and the different shades of meanings to enhance our character descriptions. More writing soon. In humanities we have looked at the life of the Mayans leading into our art and DT work on creating a ceremonial mask.

Year 2

Year 2 certainly have done quite a bit this week.

In English, the children have been learning to use plans and turn them in to stories. The theme - a day at park hill school…with a twist, and this twist meant there was something different about the school. We had changes in colours of walls, different lessons, and even a dinosaur workshop. There were some excellent stories. Bonds and 3 digit addition have bonding our maths lessons together, and the children have learnt to look for patterns within sums to see if they can make them easier.

Year 2 Science is all about offspring and growing up, and the differences that come. We had some excellent discussions about changes over time, particularly about birds and reptiles. Computing will continue to be about keeping themselves safe on the internet, this time it was about sharing information and online games.

Year 1

In Phonics we have been revising Phases 2, 3 and 4 and have begun to learn the Phase 5 alternative sounds. Such as ‘ai’and ‘ay’ and where they would be used in words. “ai is used in the middle if words and ay at the end” Holly.

Our computing skills continue to develop and Year 1 are becoming increasingly adept at uploading to Showbie or saving their work. This week we practiced independently photographing and uploading our spelling results.

In Numeracy we have been learning about teen numbers and place value. A particular highlight this week was teen number bingo - teaching the children in an engaging way to recognise and name the teen numbers whilst also encouraging collaboration and listening.

Year 1 continue to develop their ability to work scientifically; developing their observation and recording skills through close exploration of seasonal changes -plants and weather. As well as investigating plants and animals, identifying living and non living things and sorting and describing the characteristics of plants.

In PSHCE we are learning about being me in my world. Thinking about making relationships with others, expressing and managing our feelings and considering our rights and responsibilities.

Reception

Wow, what a performance Reception delivered in our first Early Years assembly. The children have been working extremely hard to practice our words and the actions. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Woodlands School was full of splashing in muddy puddles this week, embracing the rain and the waterproof clothing. The squelching in their wellies and the mud up their backs probably showed you how much they enjoyed themselves. In our PSED sessions we have been looking at how to make our friends happy with things that we say, we created a compliment circle and all took turns to give our friends a complement. At the end we discussed how it made us feel, Benjamin “it makes me feel like a superhero”, Aiden “it makes me feel so good and happy inside”.

Second Steps

Second Steps have had a busy week as usual. The children were so excited to perform their song at the Early Years assembly on Thursday and they did incredibly well! Thank you to all of those parents, carers and family members who attended. It was lovely to see such a big turn out!

To continue our topic of People Who Help Us the children have helped to develop our amazing Doctors Surgery. Second Steps have been busy practising their writing skills with making appointments and drawing First Aid bags as well as developing fine motor skills by tying bandages and using the doctors equipment. The children having been thinking about how to care for their patients in the role-play area and we have seen lots of very kind and dedicated doctors in our class!

During circle time we learned the song, Miss Polly had a Dolly with Makaton sign language.

First Steps

Another busy week has passed and we are very proud of the children’s progress.

They worked hard to develop their fine motor skills by squeezing oranges and lemons at sensory tray. Rolling and flattening playdough and making different shapes.

In Art and Design the children were using apples and exploring the mixture of the paint they produced apple prints that are really works of art. They also enjoyed cutting and sticking colourful tapes and ribbons and created some nice pieces. All these are displayed in their classroom.

In Physical Development the PE teacher, Miss Adamidou, encouraged them to stop to ball with their foot without pressing hard. Also children played different games to help to improve their listening skills.

It was raining and pouring this week as we always say no bad weather, bad clothing! Rain couldn’t stop First Steps having fun! In Woodland School on Thursday the kids put on welly boots and rain suits and enjoyed splashing and rolling in muddy puddles. What a fun!

Reading Rod’s Campbell’s charming book “Dear Zoo”, the children explored the animals through a simple, beautiful, descriptive and funny language. Then they played in the imaginative big tuff tray pretending and laughing.

Lastly, our first Early Years assembly in St.Paul’s Church was a lovely experience for the little performers and a big pride for their parents seeing them on the stage. The children showed confidence and excellent social skills singing “Hello” in many different languages.

Calendar and Events

I have selected some key dates that I would like to draw your attention to for the next three weeks leading up to half term –

1st October - Parent Workshop - E-Safety workshop for parents

2nd October - Head’s Coffee Morning

3rd October - Harvest Festival

4th October - ISA Junior Triathlon

Harvest Festival - 3rd October

I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming Harvest Festival and a local charity that we would very much like to support. It is important that we encourage children to contribute positively to the lives of others not just within the school but also the local community and wider society. We have been approached by the local Joel Community Charity to help with their work supporting those affected by homelessness in Kingston and New Malden.

Please click on the link below to learn more -

They have provided us with the type of donations they are seeking. We will be joined by their staff at our Harvest Festival who will then, with the help of our children take the donations to the centre and distribute accordingly.

We would be grateful if you could begin to bring these donations to the shaded area (Second Steps) where we will have a collection area.

I do hope that you will be able to join us for the assembly on Thursday.

Instant Premium Coffee

Tea bags (PG, Tetley not herbal teas)

Honey, honey, honey! We do not use any refined sugar in our building. We bake with honey, pour on to cereal and use it to sweeten hot beverages.

Squash (no added sugar)

Passata

Tinned Tomatoes

Baked Beans

Tinned Tuna

Tinned vegetables (peas, carrots, sweet corn, kidney beans)

Cereals (non Sugar type like Weetabix and Corn Flakes)

Mini Hand sanitizers (alcohol free only)

Shower gel

Shampoo

Deodorants

Disposable Razors and shaving cream

Toothbrushes and toothpaste (not mouth wash)

Moisturiser – male and female

Sanitary products

Gift cards for supermarkets (topped up with no more than £5 each card)

Gift cards for cafes/coffee shops (topped up with no more than £5 each card) this gives our guests a warm place to sit during the cold winter days

Oyster cards (topped up with no more than £5 each card)

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Images from the week

Uniform

I was very impressed with just how smart our children looked this morning, in addition to their broad smiles as they entered school. I would like to remind you that girls in Prep School should now be wearing the pink and white striped blouse and that the white blouse is no longer part of our uniform.

Games lessons for children in Reception to Year 6 will start next week at KGS Ditton Field, although the forecast looks to be good, will need maroon football socks and football boots for the term. The full uniform list can be found here.

We do also recognise that the black games shorts can be a little large for children in Reception who are joining us for our regular games lessons at the impressive Kingston Grammar School playing fields. Should you find this to be the case, they are very welcome to wear a plain black pair of shorts until such time they are able to fit the school shorts.

Lost Property

The following items are currently missing:

Michael (Reception) - water bottle (named)

Ralph (Year 2) - grey jumper (unnamed)

Sagari (Second Steps) - black coat (named)

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Useful Links -

Created By
Park Hill
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Credits:

Alistair Bond