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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 97 - 22nd November 2019

From the Headmaster:

So much to reflect on this week. So many highlights and so many memories created for both children and teachers alike (as well as some memories for our parents too!)

I did enjoy our kindness themed assembly. Such fun and perhaps a timely reminder about how kindness spreads and how our kind interactions with others fills buckets...read on for more details.

The short trip down the M4 for the Welsh Indoor Rowing Championship was a similar highlight. Such a superb event and so enjoyable for Mrs Gibbons and I to see our children ‘leave nothing behind’ (and no, I am not talking about lost property there...)

A highly successful Early Years charity appeal for Children In Need, culminating in a super bake sale, run highly efficiently by our very own nursery children.

What better way to start the weekend?

Oarsome! (Sorry.)

Alistair

PS - Miss Finch would like your support. She is having her hair cut for a hugely worthwhile charity The Little Princess Trust ‘providing real hair wigs to children and young people with hair loss, and funding vital research into childhood cancers.’ Miss Finch is being shorn next Friday at 9.30am, details of a just giving page will be distributed on Monday, she will also appreciate support next Friday.

♻️ 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.

Kindness Assembly

It was a really rather special assembly on Thursday. All about filling buckets with kindness and happiness. We also explored just how we or someone else has filled a bucket. What made it so special or indeed memorable? Everyone joined in. Thank you.

Three rather special performances were also enjoyed by all-

Punctuality

I am rather hoping that you can help with a number of buckets that need filling up...

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.

Indoor Rowing - Welsh indoor Championship 2019

One of those moments that I, as will Mrs Gibbons, look back upon with great fondness. An absolutely terrific experience for our young rowers who, as per our expectations, left absolutely nothing behind after their two minute row.

We were both equally pleased with the calm and confident manner with which they approached the championship, their first time at such an event.

Very, very well done to our team of Isabel, Sarah, Alexa, Yash, Gabriel and James and to Mrs Gibbons who clearly has ignited a love of the sport among the children.

Children in Need

I would like to thank you for all of your generosity in supporting our Early Years children with their fundraising, bake sale and picture quiz for Children in Need. Well done to Jessica for correctly identifying the baby/child photo to the teacher. We also seem to have a number of potentiel entrepreneurs in Early Years!

The final total will be announced ASAP, we do already know that it is in excess of £200! Bravo!

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

As you can imagine, the children getting to design and code their own computer games was a big hit this week in Year 5 and 6. While we are in the early stages of our creations, there is a buzz going around as the children spark each other up with ideas and more impressively with solutions on how to make their gaming ambitions come true. With the children able to access their coding accounts from home, please feel free to ask them to show you their progress so far.

The poster in our classroom reads ‘Mathematicians are not people who find maths easy, they are people who enjoy how hard it is’, this saying was particularly prominent this week. When challenged with sums at the start of the lesson that included multiplying tenths and hundredths, the children were quick to state that they would not know where to start with such problems. A few minutes later, armed with the right strategies and a bit of practice, the children were soon completing these as quick as any other multiplication problem.

The first big project of the second part of Autumn term came to an end this week, the children got to publish their poetry work through the medium of Street Art. They decorated the school path with their poems and illustrations using pastels and chalks. From the classroom window they got much enjoyment from watching the younger children interacting with their creations.

Year 4

Another week ticked off as we approach the final quarter of Autumn term. We entertained ourselves this week with a hands on curriculum where we spent time using maths as our starting block to follow recipes, but also to emulate Ancient Civilisations, in particular the Egyptians and their Pyramids. There was kindness too where compliments and nice gestures where reciprocated around the class, but we also enjoyed the fruits (or should I say baking) of Leo’s labours in the kitchen with his Egyptian biscuit bakes.

Our work English has focussed on completing comprehension tasks analysing the week’s news as well as analysing poems that employ metaphors to describe new fantastic worlds made of ice cream, or the sea mimicking the behaviour of a hungry dog. The focus was to complete our poems that use metaphors to describe our world if it were a colour, a monster or other animals.

Maths has been a big focus of our week and it has been embedded in to a lot of the work we have completed. To understand angles and types of triangles underpinned a lot of our learning as we applied our new found knowledge to creating pyramids with different dimensions and bases for our model Egyptian landscape. The final product should be finished next week when we apply plaster bandages to our models and paint them using shades of yellows, ochre, umber, siennas: Sandyish colours.

Our model exploits continued in RE as we learnt how to make salt dough. In fact, it is really easy. Just flour (plain), salt and water. Mix it together and we have our modelling material. To use salt dough will enable pupils to create decorations symbolic to Christmas over the next few weeks, but also be the basis of the English writing in two weeks when they learn how to write instructions for a range of craft activities. I wonder what our models would look like if we substituted the salt for sugar? Probably, parents wouldn’t get to see their creations. I think we’ll keep using salt for the time being.

Excellent effort Badgers, we look forward to more craftiness next week.

Year 3

This week was all about time in Year 3 from analog to digital and figuring out time intervals, I have been really impressed with their knowledge and application of learning.

In English we completed our paper aeroplane instructions and tested out each other's. Trying out your partner’s instructions was quite a challenge in some cases making us think about the importance of choosing our words carefully working step by step. After a little reflection we thought about how to improve our work in the future.

Our reflection on assembly has played a part in our homework this week and the importance of keeping our invisible happiness bucket full by saying lovely things to each other. I look forward to hearing what lovely things the children have been saying to their family!

Year 2

A week of water, circuits, and research.

In English this week, we have been researching animals and creating mind maps of our information. We have learnt about contents pages and are in the process of designing some new information books. They are looking very fancy! Maths was capacity and measuring, and we braved the cold to fill up buckets and trays to measure using cups. We discovered that this was a non uniform measurement and that we should be using a uniform measurement instead (like ml).

In science, circuits were built and tested, and the children learnt how to accurately draw circuits using component symbols. They then challenge each other to create their circuits. Coding is continuing with inputs and the children have begun to create a game by using 2 different inputs for their sprites, swipe and press. This led to some very interesting encounters as they paired up to play games against each other, with one child trying to hide and the other as the seeker. Many laughs were had.

Congratulations to Abbie, Jennifer, and Athena on their handwriting certificates and they have already begun to put their pens to use in French and spellings.

Year 1

Can you see in the dark? Have you see the light.

Have you ever seen inside a bear cave?

I can guarantee that Year 1 have ...

Our science topic this term is light and we are investigating whether you can see shapes and colours without a light source. This question proved to be quite intriguing to Year 1. Inspired by the story ‘Can’t you sleep little bear’ we looked inside a bear cave without any light and with a soft candle light and the. recorded our observations.

We discovered that light travels in a straight line and that we need light to reflect of an object to see.

We continued our investigation into light in literacy and art lessons designing shadow puppets and then performing a range of child led imaginative stories.

In RE we looked at how light is used as a religious symbol. Considering how it makes us feel and when and where light appears in religious stories.

Indeed we have experienced several lightbulb moments during other curriculum lessons. We plan to create a light box to draw in the style of Quentin Blake. Using a feint image to draw illustrations in ink and permanent waterproof pen then adding watercolour.

Reception

Fair trade and Children in Need have been the top focuses for this week. Reception ventured into the community on Monday, taking a trip to the all mighty Asda. Children gathered the ingredients for our baking later in the week and we had a hunt for fair trade items, with our super banana Pablo at hand to tell us why fair trade is important and who it helps. Tuesday was spent looking at the charity Children in Need. We learnt all about Pudsey bear, who he helps and how he brings so much joy and hope to children’s lives. Wednesday we donned our aprons and mixed to our hearts content, making muffins and biscuits to sell at our bake sale on Thursday and Friday. The children have been full of creativity creating shopping lists and cooking instructions in Literacy and investigating length and weight in Numeracy. What a wonderfully creative and enjoyable week the children have had, next week we are looking forward to using the Spheros in Computing and creating hedgehog houses with natural materials.

NHS Request for Support

Please find below a letter from Dr Catherine Heffernan, Principal Advisor for Commissioning Immunisations and Vaccination Services at NHS England, encouraging parents to take up the NHS vaccination offer for their children.

'In Kingston, we are not yet meeting national targets for many childhood vaccinations and this is putting children at risk of serious illnesses. We would be most grateful if you could give support to the national effort to increase vaccination uptake by sharing the attached letter with all parents at your school.'

Second Steps

What an amazing week we have had in Second Steps! Children loved our fancy dress party day and enjoyed making and decorating cakes. Our cake sale was a successful charity event and we collected lots of money for Children in Need.

We have continued to talk about hibernation and children have explored this topic through all areas of the Early Years foundation stage.

They made their own hibernation/animal caves at home using different materials and brought them in to school to share with their peers. The letter of the week was t and children loved letter hunting in the sand pit. Next week our letter will be i. Great work Second Steps!

Our letter of the week was Aa so we have been doing lots of activities such as a letter hunt and printing with apples. Next week our letter sound will be Tt.

Also next week, we are anticipating a fun filled week of raising money for Children in Need.

First Steps

This week First Steps children focused on “Kindness”.We talked about being kind everyday and how we can show kindness towards others.The children made kindness flowers and gave them to Second Steps children to say thank you for looking after them and sharing toys.They learnt that doesn’t make much to bring a smile to people’s faces.

As part of “Kindness” First Steps children supported the annual charity of BBC children in need: Together we can change young lives.We discussed with the kids about disadvantaged children and we said that baking a cake is a tasty way to raise money. All the children involved and made delicious cup cakes.

Doctor Pig story, this cute and charming story, was very popular. The kids enjoyed it using props to retell the story about Finely Pig who decided to become Doctor Pig.

As Christmas is around the corner, thanks to Miss Finch, started to be transformed into a “cosy cottage” with a fireplace. The following weeks it will be ready to celebrate our favourite time of the year.

Last but not at least, the First Steps toileting area is now completely finished, looks amazing and very helpful. Now the children can go straight to their own toilet without walking down to the Second Steps.What a big r! Meanwhile, the outdoor play area started to be used again.

Have a lovely weekend! The First Steps Team

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

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:

Ralph (Year 2) - Grey Jumper (unnamed)

Aiden (Reception) - named grey jumper

Birthdays

Certificates

Dates and Reminders

ILLNESS

Following on from the text message sent by the office this week, can we please 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.

TEACHER LED CLUBS

Next week is the last week of teacher led clubs for the Autumn Term (unless you have been informed otherwise). Club bookings for the Spring Term will go live next week.

EVENTS

- Due to maintenance at the Kingfisher, there is no more swimming for Y1-Y6 or the Swim Squad for the rest of the term.

- Tuesday 26th November - Inter-house football at Ditton Field.

- Wednesday 27th November - Hour of Code.

- Thursday 28th November - St Andrew’s Day Assembly and Inter-house spelling competition.

Useful Links -

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond