Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 32 - 8th September 2017


From the Headmaster:

As I was enjoying the build up to the start of term I did find myself humming the David Bowie song "Changes" which probably most accurately describes what has been a relatively busy last two months.

The very long awaited cabin was finally lowered from the sky back in July. I shall spare you the details of the administration involved in arranging the road closure, logistics of the crane company and then the fun involved in finding the owner of the car parked directly in front of the school slowing the whole process down by two hours...

I was fearful that after nine months of aborted attempts that we would again be thwarted. However, as you will all now be well aware, the whole process was completed within a matter of hours and the children and staff are enjoying a rather wonderful classroom.

I have long been determined that the quality of furniture for First Steps should be of the highest standard. Community Playthings design and build their own items specifically for early years settings and take great pride with the durability of the pieces. in total, over ninety boxes were offloaded and unpacked on 22nd August. With display boards installed and new interactive monitors and resources also installed in the days leading up to this week a great deal of energy has been expended by a large number of people. If I might thank all of my colleagues for their hard work and long hours in getting the classroom ready and also to Michelle Fennelly (Head of Operations, ILG) who has delicately and diplomatically negotiated with the various companies to ensure it all came together on that day in July.

I know many of you have been to view the new classroom, but do please visit the room to see the wonderful space the children are now enjoying.

It hasn't just been a change for First Steps. With the exception of Mrs Bond and Miss Renfrew, all other teachers have also moved classrooms. This simple sentence does not quite do justice to the packing and moving of resources and equipment and personalisation of their new environment. Again, I am grateful to the hard work of colleagues in ensuring the classrooms were looking so bright on Wednesday.

You will also hopefully have noticed that the children are now enjoying a new location for their music lessons. Again, considerable effort went in to relocating various musical instruments and in purchasing new ukulele's, flutes and drums to ensure that we can now boast our own specialist music classroom. With the addition of a specialist art/DT room we are delighted with the improvements made this summer.


Other improvements this summer are of the human variety....

I would like to offer my congratulations to Mr Stevenson who is now a happily married man. Similarly I would like to congratulate Miss Renfrew who accepted a marriage proposal whilst with her partner Lukas on a rather splendid holiday this summer. As they say in the Middle East, 'Mabrook!'

Finally, I am delighted to inform you that Mrs Hanif is expecting her first child. I am sure you join me in congratulating her and her husband, Sully. I am sure that her new child will follow in her footsteps and join us at Park Hill in the coming years!

Food, Glorious Food..

I believe it is a wrongly credited famous saying, and I shall go one further and alter it to suit an education settings, but I firmly believe that a school marches on its stomach. We felt that employing our own chef would ensure that we could further raise the variety and range of the lunch menus.

After quite a lengthy search I am absolutely delighted to confirm that Chef Leon has joined the school and has made a most impressive start to the term (that sentence really doesn't quite do justice to the quality of food we have enjoyed this week.)

How does roast chicken, roast potatoes, fresh vegetable medley (broccoli, carrots, peas and courgettes, gravy and Yorkshire pudding sound? Now add a leek and potato soup as a starter and yoghurt with melon for dessert and I think it gives you an indication of the standard of lunches now being enjoyed. Leon is already very much part of our family and I would like to encourage you to welcome him to our school. Might I recommend hovering near the kitchen when he is making his now famous egg mayonnaise sandwiches?

Chef Leon

In light of the dangers of enjoying three course lunches each day (I do sit with the children to hear about their day) exercise will become increasingly important.

In a moment of madness (on my behalf at least) Mr Gavin Clarke, Mr Mark Fielding-Smith and I, all being parents of children who attend Park Hill, have signed up to the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Off Road Charity Bike Ride on 23rd September. We are aiming to raise £500 towards the charity and would be most appreciate of your support. I hasten to add that whilst we would appreciate your kind sponsorship there is no obligation to do so. However, should you be able to support our 71 mile ride I would be most grateful if you could follow this link to the fundraising page. I am at pains to point out that no lycra will be visible at any stage during the ride nor in photos should we (or more accurately, should I) reach the destination!


I would like to draw your attention to the many events we have planned for this term. You can download the events from the calendar on our website to your outlook calendar. I would like to draw your attention to various workshops next week in addition to a parents social event at the end of this month that I do hope you will all be able to join us for. Do please scroll through this edition to the calendar section to view further details.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Class Reps

Whilst we do all we can to ensure that communication flows from school to home and vice versa, we have a number of parents who kindly help us with organising class trips, passing on information and also acting as a source of knowledge for our new parents. I would like to thank them in advance (indeed, I know that they have already been helping 'behind the scenes' this week) for their help. The class reps for this year -

Year 3 and Year 4 - Sarah Lewis; Year 2 - Guniz Akoglu; Year 1 - Sarah Burns; Reception - Natalie Field; Butterflies - Vikki Soobrayen; Dragonflies - Bea Sutterby & First Steps - Chris Fielding-Smith.

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.

Flu Vaccination Form

I would be grateful if the forms regarding the flu vaccination could be returned to the school office by Monday 11th September.

Early Years Funding

We would ask that forms relating to Early Years Funding be returned by Monday 11th September at the very latest.

You may well be aware that the 30 hours provision has caused a number of challenges to a large number of nurseries. We are facing a degree of difficulty in obtaining the necessary information. Following a meeting early next week, we anticipate being in a more informed position and will communicate this accordingly.


Although only three days in to the new term, we did receive our first 'missing uniform' report this morning. 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

Well, what a super start to the year! I think we can safely say that it has been a particularly smooth start, with all of the children settling into their wonderful new classroom with ease. We very much look forward to displaying our artwork on our new display boards and to enjoying our first full week on Monday.

Second Steps

Welcome to Second Steps! The children have been exploring their new classroom environment as well as making three new friends. Second Steps have enjoyed different activities within the classroom and have all settled in really well on their first week back. We have explored the outdoor area, looking for different nature objects and found many across and shells without snails. Well done for making such a great start to the term.


What a great start to the term. Reception have throughly enjoyed participating in a range of activities including a self portrait activity which are now up on display in the classrooms for you to look at. Reception even got to use the new music room for their first Music lesson!

Year 1

WOW! What a wonderful start to the new school year.

The new Year 1 children have have made the transition from Reception to Year 1 with confidence and enthusiasm.

This year, Year 1 will be making an exciting journey through time when they consider, ‘How toys have changed over time and why’. Our focus will be on changes and significant events within living memory, so it will be a great opportunity for family members to share their own memories with the children. Perhaps some of you have toys from your childhood that you would like to share?

In Science, the children will be developing their enquiry skills though questions such as 'do people with big feet need big gloves' or ‘Why are humans not like tigers?’ which will give them opportunities to identify common and more unusual animals and compare their needs to their own.

This week in Science we focused on body parts - identifying and naming external parts and then building a model to identify our internal organs and work out their purpose.

Year 2

Year 2 have had many exciting activities. Introducing them to the classroom, the children were challenged to search and find various items, activities, and objects of interest. Many found our puzzle box - none could open it. The children were also introduced to Mrs Leech, who will be taking them for humanities this year. As well as writing rules, the children created a time capsule which will be dug up at the end of the year to show just how much changes in a year.

Year 3 & Year 4

Year 3 & 4 have made a super start to the term, they are raring to go!

In English, we have been looking at our Superhero alter egos to help us work out our strengths and our targets for the new term.

In Mathematics, we have been revisiting the basics of place value and even managed to get into hundreds of millions!

In Science, we are learning about the respiratory system and how our lungs work. We are looking forward to using the rather impressive Science Lab in Canbury School for all practical activities starting next week.

In Humanities, we have started our adventure into the world of Ancient Egypt, working out how we find out about ancient civilisations through archaeology, using primary and secondary sources. I have been very impressed at how much the children have grown up over the holidays and how focused they have been from day one! They are certainly setting a great example as the top of the school!

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.


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!

Krisha Karavekar, Aadhrith Sarvesh & Zara Field.

Dates for the diary...

11th September - Introduction to Tapestry (1st Steps - Reception) led by Miss Dixon 8.30am

13th September - Headmaster's Coffee Morning 8.30am

15th September - Reception Open Morning - For parents of children in First Steps, Second Steps and Reception

16th September - Open Morning

18th September - Individual Portrait Photographs

18th September - Teacher led activities begin

19th September - Phonics Workshop - For parents of children in First Steps, Second Steps and Reception

21st September - Harvest Festival Assembly

22nd September - School Council Bake Sale

25th - 29th September - Health and Activity Week

28th September - Special Assembly GB Athlete Visit and coaching sessions

28th September - Macmillan Coffee Morning

29th September - Parent Workshop - Reading with your children

30th September - Parent Social - Evening BBQ and refreshments

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.

Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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