Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 36 - 6th october 2017


From the Headmaster:

I was delighted that so many of you were able to join us for the BBQ last Saturday evening. It proved (at least I hope it did!) to be a most relaxing evening, one where there was plenty of food to enjoy. We are planning for a similar evening towards the end of November to start the festive season in style. The answers to the quiz are included in this edition as are the winners (although I am suspicious that friends were called and Google used with abandon.)

A slightly quieter week, only in comparison to what was an action packed Health and Activity Week. Our Reception classes made their way to Waitrose as part of their topic on people who help us. I am delighted to report that they received many complimentary comments about their behaviour and appearance. Woodland School was in full flow this week, making the most of what has been quite a pleasant week.

I have been involved in a range of meetings this week. A very productive day with my counterparts in our group of schools and nurseries looking at assessment and preparation for inspection in addition to a chance to share ideas and initiatives currently taking place in our respective schools.

The key meeting of my week was regarding our application to become an Apple Distinguished School. I would very much like to encourage you to read about this meeting and how we are using iPads at Park Hill detailed in this edition. I cannot stress just what a positive impact the integration of the iPads have had across the school.

As a reminder, we are holding our parent-teacher consultation evenings next week. If you have not done so already, please follow this link to book -

In addition, We are looking forward to the inter-house Spelling Competition taking place next Friday, 2.30pm - 3.30pm here at school. You are more than welcome to join us for our first inter-house event of the year.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. - After half term all children should be wearing winter uniform and all children should wear the Park Hill school coat.

Creative Writing at Park Hill

One of the many favourite parts of my job is receiving children whose work is deemed worthy of particular celebration. We encourage a love of reading and of developing vocabulary. I would suggest that the quality of work I am delighted to include below, belies the age of the author. Those of you who also enjoy grammar and punctuation will also appreciate the quality of the writing from Rachel in Year 3 (bear in mind she is therefore 8 years old). She clearly has a way with words (it is yet to be completed) -

Breakfast Club

In order to ensure we can obtain accurate numbers for Breakfast Club each day we have adapted the form currently used to book a place for the after school club. If you wish to apply for a place for breakfast club for the next day or coming week, these requests can be accommodated up to 2pm each day, with the form being taken off line at 2pm to ensure we can make the necessary arrangements. These bookings will need to be made each week and will be 'online' from 3pm each Friday afternoon for the consecutive week.

Computing Curriculum at Park Hill

I am aware that perhaps we are a little guilty, it is allegedly an English disease, of not 'showing off' enough and sharing with you sufficiently just what extraordinary initiatives are taking place here at Park Hill. Age of child nor size of school are barriers to providing our children with opportunities that I will confidently state are not enjoyed by children of a similar age in other schools.

You will have read about our Year 3 and Year 4 children exploring the human respiratory system in virtual reality before then getting up close to a very real respiratory system at the science labs. As many of you have already commented It would be expected to provide this opportunity in Year 10 or Year 11, certainly not in Years 4 or 3.

We are fiercely proud of the significant advances we have made with our computing curriculum and use of Apple devices across the school. With over 75% of our teaching staff now boasting the Apple Teacher Certificate/Qualification, 1:1 iPad provision in a minimum of two classes and a growing body of evidence to prove the positive impact it is having on teaching and learning, we have certainly made great strides in a relatively short period of time.

We are now aspiring, as a result of these efforts, to become an Apple Distinguished School. The award is notoriously difficult to achieve, with numerous criteria to fulfil. The benefits to this award include being recognised as a centre of excellence for computing and ICT, gaining opportunities at a national and international level to share our knowledge and the skills of our children in using and applying iPads and Apple devices and providing our teaching staff with extraordinary opportunities for professional development and influencing the use of technology in schools.

Our first step took place on Thursday when we met with the Apple Education Manager for South London & the South East. She very patiently went through the qualifying criteria with myself, Miss Renfrew and Mr. Stevenson, pausing to allow us to articulate how we can prove we meet (and exceed) each descriptor.

In addition, having spoken with a number of children about how they feel their learning has been enhanced with the use of iPads, we explained how we are supporting the other schools in our group with their deployment of iPads.

I am delighted to confirm, as a result of this meeting, that we are now taking the next steps towards achieving the award. We will now receive a visit from the team in charge of awarding Apple Distinguished School status in November. They will visit the school, speak with our staff and pupil Digital Action Team, and then go on a detailed learning walk around the school to judge whether we can then complete a presentation proving our suitability and integration as per their criteria.

We hope that following a successful learning walk, we will submit our final application for consideration this academic year.

So, how do we use iPads at Park Hill?

We do need to dispel a myth. iPads are not used for 'games.'

Along with encouraging collaboration, we use iPads to provide opportunities to bring the learning alive. I am pleased to explain how we go about achieving this.

Apple TV's are deployed across the school to allow teaching staff to mirror and AirPlay work from the iPads to the screens. If a child has written or completed work that the teacher would like to share with the class they can mirror, using the camera on the iPad, to project the work to be shared.


We have reduced the volume of photocopying (good for the environment) for lessons such as English comprehension. Some of our classes have access to First News which is an excellent subscription where children answer comprehension questions on current affairs. The pdf file can now be AirDropped to the iPad in front of the child to then work through, answering questions in their English books.

Apple Classroom

Apple Classroom is an application used by the teacher to control and manage the class set of iPads. On the teacher device, they can see what each child is looking at and currently working on. They can freeze screens at the touch of a button to ensure they have the attention they need and then can deploy other apps or files from the teacher iPad using Apple Classroom.

Once work has been completed by the children, their work is then stored and saved in a rather clever app called Showbie.


In addition to children being able to store their work in this folder, teachers can set homework, mark and make comments as well as allowing these files to be accessed in a secure way through the cloud and web browser from home. This last feature is being unveiled gradually over this term.

Following my coffee morning earlier this week, it was felt that in addition to providing workshops to parents, it would be beneficial to indicate the apps that we currently use to enable children to present information in a variety of ways.

Top left and going clockwise: DoInk (Green Screen); Padlet; Numbers; Pages; iMovie and KeyNote.
Book Creator

The apps identified are our most used and easiest to access apps across the school by all ages of children. DoInk is a green screen application allowing children to record images or speech against a backdrop that can be imported from saved images or video. A presentation with one of our pupils 'reading the news' in Tudor times with images of Henry VIII and his various wives was a rather clever way of presenting information and therefore allowing colleagues to assess knowledge in a far more interactive and revealing manner. More importantly, memorable for the children.

Padlet you will hopefully have already used following our whole school summer holiday homework. Essentially a platform for sharing information in live time, one use is for children to share their knowledge at the start of a topic, enabling staff to judge prior learning. Everyone being able to access the page simultaneously.

Pages and Numbers are part of the iLife suite of preinstalled apps that our children use to write newspapers, comic strips and to collaborate on a live document.

iMovie is a very intuitive and easy to use app that allows children to deliver presentations in a very engaging and interactive manner. The homework for Year 3 and Year 4 last week was to write a presentation about their favourite athlete. Whilst there is room and a need to encourage 'paper' presentations, why not use iMovie instead? This was one such use from Alexa that, and by her own admission, made homework fun this weekend. It took just 20minutes to compile and required her to research relevant facts, write a script, find the images and video and then add the text. An alternative to standing alongside a presentation and working through each slide -

KeyNote is also part of the iLife suite of preinstalled apps. Again, a very easy to use app to present information. The app is the subject of a course that a number of teachers will be attending next week. Teacher Tuesdays is a regular series of workshops that take place in all Apple Stores providing teachers with innovative and new ways to use a range of apps to enhance teaching and learning.

There are a range of free workshops for parents and children that also take place in all stores. These take place throughout the day, with many taking place on a Sunday morning. Do follow the link below to view further information -

A key element of our computing curriculum is coding. To help demystify exactly what this entails, we are holding a parent workshop on Wednesday 1st November to provide you with opportunities to work with your children and support them at home. We shall be adding further workshops throughout the year to provide you with practical suggestions on how to enjoy similar stress-free homework!

As a final tip, you might like to consider using this following website as a reliable and safe search engine with your children -


Whilst the internet is a marvellous tool, you will be aware of the various dangers and 'dark side' to the web. I currently sit on the quality assurance panel of the London Children's Safeguarding Board and, as a result, have access to some excellent sources and organisations who we are currently in discussion with to deliver workshops to the children and to you all. I will confirm these dates in due course, but would strongly recommend that you attend. These sessions will be arranged for both evening and morning times.

Second Hand Uniform Sale - Friday 13th October 3.30pm - 4pm.

Please email Natalie Field (nats_field@yahoo.co.uk) or Jane Lloyd (jlogclarke@gmail.com) directly by Monday 9th October with specific requests so they can ensure these are available on Friday.

We always do what we can to recover and return lost items to their rightful owner, if we could ask that all items are labelled and named it would be most appreciated. We do have a healthy selection of used uniform that can be arranged through a Facebook page.

Please follow this link to access the page -

I would be grateful if you could assist us in ensuring the children are wearing the correct uniform to school. Black school shoes should be worn, white socks for girls and grey socks for boys. Children from Reception to Year 4 are required to wear a blazer. Our school uniform is a source of great pride and I would be grateful for your assistance as we remind the children of the need to ensure shirts are tucked in and that they leave the school as smartly as the arrive.

News from the Classes

First Steps

We would like to give Gisele a warm welcome to First Steps.

This week we have continued exploring colour. The children have created rainbow toast using milk & food colouring & painting it on bread.

We had fun combining colours with our sense of touch by painting with coloured ice cubes.

The children have been learning how we can use our bodies to make sounds, by clicking tongues, stamping feet, clapping hands, clicking fingers & humming all to rhythm & songs.

Hadi had increased the class' curiosity about snails, we have been having snail hunts in the gardens especially after the rain, we have used play dough, rolling & shaping it to make snails.

Second Steps

In Second Steps this week we have continued exploring and talking about our different senses and enjoyed a fun activity about our sense of touch. For this the children had to feel what was in the sock and guess the object. Waiting patiently for their turn Second Steps used descriptive vocabulary for each item, especially the fir-cone!

We have been practising name writing, using the board markers to trace over the letters of our name as well as making our names, using magnetic letters.

In Maths, we have been matching numerals and having a go at writing them too.

In cooking on Friday the children used their creativity to ‘paint’ Rainbow Toast and then eat the results!


Reception have been busy looking at different people in the community and how they can help us.

When we went on our little trip to Waitrose we thought about all the people that helped us get there and who helped us when in the shop.

“The bus driver helped to drive us there.”-Abigail.

“The shop keeper helped us to pay for our fruit.”- Krisha

We had lots of comments about how smart and well behaved our children were. Well done, Reception! We are so proud of you.

In Maths we have been looking at 3D shapes. We went on a brilliant shape hunt around the school playground to locate as many different 3D shapes in the environment as we could.

Reception have been working very hard in their Phonics sessions which is bearing fruit when doing our one on one daily reading. Well done, keep up the hard work.

Year 1

Another busy and productive week in Year 1. The children have been learning about puppets around the world and began to make their glove puppets.

The puppets are based on animals (mammals and reptiles) and the children have worked hard to design, cut and assemble each piece.

On Thursday we has a wonderful outdoor learning session at Woodland School where we used natural objects and materials to create animal stick puppets. The children produced their own puppet shows; collaborating and developing dialogue. Their stories were creative, imaginative and wildly entertaining.

In Maths, our focus has been on addition, subtraction and word problems. The children have learnt how to decode a word problem by looking for key information and drawing pictures to help them solve it.

In Literacy, we were learning how to write information pages. This was tricky because the children had to learn the difference between fact and opinion. I am thrilled with the children’s writing this week - they have worked hard to produce interesting sentences. Well done.

Year 2

This week, the children have been working on difference and using hundred squares to quickly answer large subtraction sums. Some were tricky, but the children persisted, and eventually solved them as well. In addition, we have look at patterns within a hundred square, when adding 3, 5, and 9.

During this week, the children have written their own poem inspired by Spike Milligan on any topic they chose. We have poems on paint, bears, a panda, and even a breadstick. These have then been added to book creator and are slowly being turned in a poetry book. In Science, the children created their own animal to fit in to a position on a food chain. They had to think about the features it would have, the size of it, whether it had any defences, and its diet. Amazing creatures were produced. Computing over the last few weeks is now reaching its climax, with he children learning all about safety online. Today, they created simple mock profiles for a online game, making sure they used nicknames, spoke to an adult first, and kept their password secret. Our cars are also taking shape, and are ready to be assembled now that they are painted.

Year 3 & Year 4

This week we have continued to enjoy developing our own superhero character based on ourselves and put that character into our very own story. Four of the class were then entitled to write their work in neat in pen as they had already earnt their Bronze handwriting certificate!

We worked really hard on including powerful vocabulary and making the story exciting to read.

In Art, we have continued our Ancient Egyptian topic looking at the cat god ‘Bastet’ and are making a Mud-Roc sculpture using the a water bottle, paper and masking tape for the model. The children really took a great deal of care over their sculptures and are looking forward to completing them next week.

In Science at Canbury, we completed our heart rate investigation and are beginning to draw conclusions from our findings. We are also learning the importance of a fair test and how important it is to evaluate our results and draw conclusions from our findings.

Year 3 & Year 4 Art

As part of their history topic, the children have been hard at work during their art lesson making their own versions of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet.

Drop off and Collection Arrangements

The side gate is open each day from 8.00am - 8.05am for early bird drop off. It will then be opened again from 8.15am - 8.30am for drop off, and 3.30pm - 3.40pm for collection. Early bird drop off is for children only and you should leave your children with the member of staff on duty.

If you are running late, please inform Mrs Blower so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Prep School Science

The Year 3 and Year 4 children are clearly benefitting from their time at the Canbury School Science Labs. Moving on from the heart and lungs exploration last week, the children made good use of the specialist equipment available to measure heart rate levels post-exercise. As you can see, they earned their lunch that day!


Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking in their drives when dropping off or collecting your children.

Please do not park on the yellow chevrons directly in front of the school or across driveways for the safety of all of our children.

Woodland School

Could I ask that you ensure that waterproof trousers and coats are brought into school on the relevant day (regardless of the forecast) so that we maximise our use of Richmond Park.

After School Activities

Please note: all activities, clubs (including after- school and breakfast clubs and trips will be charged through schoolmoney.

Please follow this link to access the booking forms for after school club and for teacher led activities. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13th September.

Happy Birthday!

Holly Yap & Beth Walsh!

All events can be downloaded to your outlook calendar through the school website.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school office if you would like to obtain a copy of an image of your child that is included in the newsletter.

Quiz Answers! (I do hope that you have read the full Deerstalker before checking your answers...)

Well done everyone for tackling the quiz with such determination -

Click on the images to enlarge.

Answers -

Does note equal to; Writing; Automated script which browses the web; Shaduf; Blueprint; Spike Milligan; Throat; Left - the heart is there; Canopic; Khanda.

Photos - Spike Milligan, Taylor Swift, Paul Rudd, Orlando Bloom, Idris Elba, Mary Berry, Andy Serkis, Stephen Fry, Usain Bolt - The element is POTASSIUM.

Darwin; Neutrons; Dmitri Mendeleev; Chemical reaction that releases energy; Turbulence in the atmosphere of the earth; -273; Doppler effect.

Reaction time; No backbone; Keeps heat in.

The 'winners' were, with 28/30, Jane Lloyd and Nidal Bakhouche.

Their prize is to set the next quiz...

Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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