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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 42 - 8th december 2017

From the Headmaster:

Well. What a week. Inter House Rugby; Production rehearsals; Christmas Lunch and parties; Hour of Code; Carols at Galsworthy and an Environmental Health inspection. We managed once again to squeeze in seven days worth of activities into five.

One thing that consistently stands out is the attitude and approach of the children in grasping and relishing these opportunities and from colleagues who consistently provide extraordinary opportunities to our children, even at the end of a busy but utterly rewarding term.

To look forward we have carols at The Rose Theatre on Monday, a few more rehearsals and the big production on Thursday, 11am - 12pm. As a reminder, term finishes at 12.30pm, for all children, with our full time nursery children then returning on Friday as already informed.

The production, having enjoyed a rehearsal on Thursday, is something to anticipate, not the least the surprise we have for you at the end. I do hope that you will be able to join us.

Mini-Buses & Transport Service

We have been spending some quite some considerable time exploring the potential of acquiring our own mini-buses. This will provide us with even greater opportunities to enhance the curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning through more field trips and excursions.

In addition, we would like to understand if there is an interest for a transportation service for your children at the beginning and end of each day. The exact logistics remain to be confirmed and we would greatly appreciate your time in order to ensure that the service meets our standards and provides you with the important peace of mind.

At present the intention is to provide a ‘door-to-door’ service, with the mini-bus employing a GPS tracker to enable you to track in real time its progress in collecting or dropping off your children. We appreciate that the success of such a service is dependent on reliability of collection time and you being able to get to work on time yourselves.

Naturally, we would ensure exacting safety standards would be met, along with age appropriate car seats being provided by Park Hill and qualified drivers with the relevant safeguarding checks that we apply for teaching staff employed. At this point we anticipate an approximate one way charge of between £3.50-£6 depending on distance travelled.

I am keen to stress that this initiative is in its relative infancy and your time with the questionnaire would be most appreciated. If you could complete the questionnaire by Tuesday 9am, I would then hope to be in a position to provide further information before we end the term on Thursday.

I very much look forward to seeing you on Thursday, it promises to be a memorable event.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair

PS - we are looking to livestream the production on Thursday for those of you unable to join us. Please contact Mrs Blower to register your interest.

Hour of Code

Our first ‘Hour of Code’ proved to be a superb event, made enjoyable thanks to so many of you who joined your children in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 on Friday.

The concept is to demystify ‘coding’ and to provide the children with the opportunity to ‘flip’ the learning and become the teachers.

We used a variety of applications including Tynker, Hopscotch and then Swift Playgrounds to solve a problem and have a bit of fun at the same time. Some pairs used Swift to code one of our two Meebots to dance, or more accurately boogie along to ‘Boogie Wonderland’ the winning dance then being awarded with a suitable prize. Three groups ventured outside into the cold and wrote a code to direct one of our three Spheros, essentially a gyroscope in a ball, to get nearest to the hole in a nearest the pin challenge. As you can see, it was a most enjoyable way to spend a Friday, especially as Chef Leon then rewarded our endeavours with a rather superb lunch.

The Sphero coders faced quite a challenge in getting nearest the pin. They had to factor in to their code the speed (m/sec), angle and time of travel in order to sink their putt.

The winners? The dance off was a closely fought affair, with the eventual winners being Mr Warner and Zac (the former clearly drawing upon personal experience from the dance floor) and Sarah and Mrs Bakhouche who tackled the challenge in a very scientific manner.

Christmas Lunch

Chef Leon and Linda have had quite an exciting week. The lunch on Thursday was exceptional. How on Earth they managed to prepare the range and variety of food they did is beyond me...

To follow this up the very next day in preparing lunch for the children, parents for the Hour of Code and to manage with an unannounced visit from the Environmental Health Inspector I think they both deserved their weekend!

I am delighted to confirm that our 5 Star rating has been maintained, with the inspector commentating on and praising the standards of cleanliness and protocols operating in the kitchen.

Inter House Rugby

Whilst the mini-version we played was a more accessible version of rugby, the children clearly enjoyed their matches on Tuesday morning. Close games and quick feet saw St.Patricks come away eventual winners.

Galsworthy House Carols

Our children made the short and now annual trip up to Galsworthy House to entertain the residents with some some festive cheer. As I wrote at this time last year, the maturity of our children never fails to impress.

Specific Information for the last week of term

No teacher led clubs or instrumental lessons w/c 11th December unless you have been told otherwise.

Monday 11th December - Year 2, 3 and 4 singing at the Rose Theatre. Parents welcome to join. 11.15 - 12pm at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Tuesday 12th December - no Games lesson for Reception - Year 4

Wednesday 13th December - no swimming for Year 1 - Year 4

Thursday 14th December - Reception - Year 4 to come to school in sports kit.

Nativity 11 - 12pm. Children will then be taken back to school and dismissed by their class teachers by 12.30pm for the start of the Christmas holidays.

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.

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.

Second Hand Uniform

For your information, we are no longer hosting sales. If you wish to request some second hand uniform please complete the Google Form:

Website

We are in the process of developing a new website. We are hoping to reveal our new site in January 2018.

The grid calendar is back up and running, although we are still trying to publish 2018-2019 term dates and remove the 2016-2017, however they are in the grid calendar.

Parking

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, Wellington boots 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.

Spring Term club choices-

Form to be completed by 12pm on Monday 11th December. Parents must complete the form again to confirm their choices for the Spring Term even if the choices are the same as the Autumn Term.

Credits:

Alistair Bond

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