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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 103 - 24th January 2020

From the Headmaster:

I think it only appropriate to look slightly ahead and wish you all a Happy New Year! As you will see throughout this edition of the Deerstalker, we have been celebrating Chinese New Year in advance of the actual date which is tomorrow.

As is becoming tradition, some of our parents kindly joined us to work with our children and to explain in more detail about the celebration.

A rather busy week. Chinese New Year, a brisk yomp all over Richmond Park on Monday (what a beautiful day) and hockey fixtures and governance visits and one or two rather fatigued children and staff (and parents no doubt...)

Much to look forward to next week, not least the workshop on Monday where Mr Stevenson will be explaining more about our assessment methods and how it informs planning, teaching and learning.

I hope you all enjoy a good and restful weekend.

Alistair

IMPORTANT NOTES AND DATES

Monday 27th January - Parent Workshop: Assessment. 8.40-9.30am

Thursday 30th January - E-Safety Workshop for Year 5 and Year 6 pupils with Peter Cowley (Lead Advisor for Online Services and Safety, Achieving for Children)

Thursday 30th January - Certificate Assembly at St. Paul’s Church, 8.50am

E-Safety - A (very) Timely Reminder...

It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they are doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you.

As a school we work very hard with our children to make them aware of how to protect their identity and how to be safe online.

This is certainly one area of school life where the partnership between school and home is of paramount importance.

Listed below are some incredibly helpful links for parents to access to support the essential conversations and approach to take with e-safety.

NSPCC - talking with your children

Net Aware - Apps

We would also like to pass on the recent age restriction changes to various applications that you may not be aware of. As you can see below, the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al have an age restriction of 13.

We are aware of the popularity of Roblox currently in the school. This has an age restriction of 7+. Please refer to the following advice when your child asks to download the app -

Roblox - Advice Net Aware

Mr Peter Cowley is the Lead Advisor for Online Services and Safety, Achieving for Children and will be working with the Year 5 and Year 6 children this Thursday and discussing with them how to keep safe online.

♻️ Empties Please!

Park Hill are working towards achieving the Green ECO schools award. We currently hold the silver award.

Our ECO committee autumn recycling scheme is collecting empty printer cartridges. Please collect your bag from school and bring back when full to add to our brown collection box.

We are paid for each cartridge received. Alongside raising funds for our chosen charity we also earn green points which can be redeemed for ‘green goodies’ such as bulbs, hedgehog houses, toad hides and gardening tools, even sponsoring an endangered species of out choice and rain forest conservation projects.

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.

Lost Property

Gabriel - Waterproof jacket (named)

Dominic - Maroon Jacket

Illness

We would like to remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea and temperature) 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.

Uniform

The full uniform list can be found here.

Sports Squad

Whilst we endeavour to locate a suitable pool for our swim squad, we would like to invite those children who normally attend swim squad or sports squad to join Miss Adamidou for circuit training on a Monday evening.

Remaining on a sporting theme, children who would like to be considered for the ISA Cross-Country on 7th February will need to attend the sports squad session this coming Tuesday, 28th February. We are only permitted to enter 3 boys and 3 girls in the U10 (Y2-Y4) and 3 boys and 3 girls in the U12 (Y5 and Y6) age categories. The team will be selected based on their individual times on Tuesday.

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

At the top of the school, the children have been shining in languages this week. In Latin the children learnt about how life in Britain changed following the Roman invasion and occupation. They studied how wealthy Roman people covered their floors with mosaics “tesserae”, which were made up of tiny coloured stones. During this lesson, the Year 5 and 6 children made a Roman style mosaic. When studying Latin grammar this week, the children focused on feminine nouns. During French lessons, the children focused on discussions based on different forms of transport. This included role playing different situations while asking questions and replying only in French. Some of the children are reaching the end of their written versions of their stories in English and have all had a practice at recording their stories using the audiobook creation software. For so many of the children, their stories provide a little insight to their own worries and concerns regarding the emotive subject. Having had the privilege of reading these stories and watching the plot lines and characters evolve on a daily basis, it has become abundantly clear the level of not only the talent in the class for story telling but also that the children have the ability to work with purpose and focus for sustained periods of time. Computing lessons are a highlight of the week for both the children and the Teachers. Having now split the lesson in to two sections, the first part is teacher led where we discuss a new element of coding, the second part now provides the children the opportunity to adapt the different principals of coding to match the needs of their own projects.

Year 4

Taking stock of the week, it makes me think it has not been a walk in the park. Indeed, it has been a very brisk walk in the park, especially at the beginning of the week in our Adventure School walk through the park. Mr Bond marched us quickly up to the Thatched House Lodge which was the high point of the expedition. We rested up on the bank facing west as the sun began it’s descent over Kingston. This made for inspirational views and for our drawings as pupils used their creativity to capture the features and events from the vista across the South West of London.

In our academic adventures we have been writing our ‘Hole’ story where pupils used their planned drawings to write out their stories which employed imaginative sentence openers and descriptive language. As we began to complete this activity we began our new topic recounting information. With the help of Leo, we read Wolves by Emily Gravett, identifying how the book presents important information about an animal, told by another animal within the narrative. This is a feature Gravett uses regularly in her other books such as her book, Dogs. After reading Wolves we researched facts on cats; recounting the information through the voice of a mouse within the narrative. We shall continue this format next week as we explore things that we are scared of.

The problems we have encountered in Maths have concerned ourself with the periphery of a subject. This being perimeter of quadrilateral shapes that we can measure and consolidate our use of measuring and addition skills. On the playground children calculated perimeters, using trundle wheels to measure the bark area and other locations. We also learnt that the perimeter of a rectangle can be found by adding the width and the length together, then multiplying that answer by two. Next week we aim to consolidate our learning of perimeter to inform our calculations for solving area problems.

In other areas of our learning, we have enjoyed designing chairs and making maquette models to allow us to calculate just how we will create chairs using balsa wood and fabric.

Other fun sessions this week have been taught by members of Year Four. Leo produced a fantastic lesson on using our creative skills to sequence a short narrative from key facts on a cat. Jess meanwhile, used her lesson to develop fine motor skills for ‘Fit Fingers’ with a range of activities that exercised the hand and fingers. Manipulating play dough, catching balls and transferring water from one tub to another using a small sponge were just some of the tasks set to challenge her peers. Pupils enjoyed and gave high praise for these lessons, as did members of staff and visitors to the school. They praised the pupil’s communication skills and inventive lesson planning.

To conclude our week we enjoyed our sports session on Friday afternoon at King’s College Playing Field, where we took on Westbury House in playing Hockey and Tag Rugby. In some competitive games it proved how their coaching (both new and old fashion methods) have vastly improved skills in trapping, passing, dribbling and positional play. Although we couldn’t win every game, Year Four, along with Year 5 and 6, demonstrated a desire to persevere, compete and most importantly enjoy their sport.

A tiring week for all, but great progress and fun. Great effort, Year Four.

Year 3

Year 3 have have ended with a poetic week building on their similes and metaphors from earlier on and working out rhyming couplets that relate to The Tear Thief character to build into their poem. We have included some of their similes for you to enjoy.

In Maths we have continued to enjoy word problems using a number of operations putting in our addition and subtraction into practice.

They thoroughly enjoyed a victory in their first hockey match against Westbury earlier on in the week.

Playing Sphero football by using their coding skills in computing was a real hit this week and helpful for the children to understand how their algorithms work in real life game situation!

Look out for our poems next week.

Year 2

This week, the children have focused on data and how to present it. We have created tally charts, block diagrams, and bar charts and have been using our green screen to explain why we use bar charts. This data was gathered from every class in the school and we have discovered that the schools favourite colour is blue, with pink and green as close second and third.

Our fantasy stories are now finished and ready to present on our new display boards. We now move on to our next poetry topic. In Science, we have been looking at woodworking in preparation for designing and building houses. The children took time to think about what materials would be best for each part of their house.

Our work on the Great fire of London continues and we have asked everyone to bring in cereal boxes to recreate the city back in 1666.

Year 1

Did you know that January the 20th is penguin awareness day? Year 1 do! We have learnt many interesting facts about penguins. ‘There are 17 species of penguin’ Timothy

‘Penguins only live in the south of our planet’ Chloe

‘Penguins can slide on the ice on their tummies’ George

Astonishingly, a group of penguins came to visit our class, appearing overnight, we were surprised by their actual sizes. To learn more we measured the penguins and their eggs using cubes and rulers.

In humanities this week Year 1 were tasked to be architects. First we learnt about the materials traditionally used to build houses and then investigating to discover if the story of the three little pigs was true. Are bricks the best material to create houses and if so why?

Our investigation was fascinating and challenged our ideas about buildings. We learnt that we need to think about scale, size, as well as how to keep the structure steady, stable and strong. We discovered when the big bad wolf arrived that even simple materials like paper can be successful houses with the right design.

Reception

Reception have loved celebrating Chinese New Year. We began with finding out about the celebration and listening to the traditional story which lead them to many learning links. They enjoyed creating a dragon and dancing like a lion. In maths we looked at positional language and used the animals in the race to describe which position they came in, e.g. first, second, third etc. The children used their knowledge about the zodiac animals and found out that they were born in the year of the horse and goat! The children painted Chinese numbers and performed this on stage brilliantly. We used the iPads to create magic move pictures of the ‘race’. They certainty impressed us with their directional language and their skills to insert, manipulate and change the colour of animals. Thank you parents for planning a wonderful Chinese assembly and bringing in the lucky red envelopes and snacks 🧧. Happy Chinese New Year! 🎉🎏🏮

Second Steps

This week in Second Steps we have been celebrating Chinese New Year. First Steps, Second Steps and Reception children joined together on Thursday to learn about Chinese New Year. Children played Chinese music using different musical instruments and enjoyed taking part in circle games. We made paper dragons using red, yellow and gold coloured papers and lolly sticks. This activity gave us the opportunity to practice our cutting skills and to learn to use the thumb, index and middle fingers together.

We all enjoyed listening to traditional Chinese stories and then had fun retelling each story. We sang a song about dragons and practised dragon dance using colourful ribbons and pom-poms. Happy Chinese New Year!

First Steps

This week in FS we decorated our classroom with lots of Red to celebrate Chinese New Year. We had red decorations, envelopes, dragons, and Chinese clothes.

The children have learnt that red is the traditional and favourite colour for Chinese New Year. We celebrated the Chinese New Year with two assemblies this week, which the children really enjoyed. We had one in St. Paul’s Church where FS were able to show the fans they had decorated to celebrate and the second for a special Early Years Assembly in their classroom. We thank Olivia’s, Sophie’s, Muyao’s and William’s mums that volunteered to come and visit us, to help and tell the story of Chinese New Year and get us in the Chinese spirit.

Many art and craft activities took place this week in FS.

The children enjoyed painting Chinese numbers and making fans to decorate their classroom with.

They practised using chopsticks to eat noodles with and made lots of noise shaking the bells the keep the dragon away.

They improved their fine motor skills by using black paint to create Chinese numbers and red paint to create a blossom tree painting with cotton buds.

They learnt about the animals in the zodiac circle, played with them in the tuff tray and they especially loved the cute knitted rat!

They were asked to search for red objects around the classroom and fill the magic box.

In the outside area the children had fun filling and emptying the kitchen’s containers with red rice, building red Lego constructions and cooking noodles in the mud kitchen.

On Tuesday and Thursday the FS visited our school library, where they enjoyed a lovely action story book read by Miss Whelan.

Happy Chinese Year.

XinNian KuaiLe.🐭

Chinese New Year Assembly

I think it fair to say that we all celebrated Chinese New Year 🧧 on Thursday. A real pleasure to have the whole school present. We have condensed the assembly into a video for you to enjoy.

Certificates

Birthdays

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond