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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 102 - 17th January 2020

From the Headmaster:

A busy first full week back. Judging by the grins on faces coming back from our various adventures into Richmond Park this week, the weather (there goes my new year resolution of not starting a Deerstalker discussing the weather) hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for splashing in puddles or getting generally muddy.

A whole host of highlights for me this week. The very welcome return of drumming lessons in school (although our neighbours may not agree) and a particularly enjoyable walk around the school with camera in hand, capturing fleeting moments that I would like to think give a glimpse into daily life here at Park Hill.

Apparently a quote that I am renowned for repeating is the Park Hill (Ranulph Fiennes) mantra of -

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”

It does seem to have been a particularly damp and mild winter thus far. In Adventure School this week we enjoyed a good yomp at some speed that necessitated appropriate footwear. I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the need for appropriate clothing for both Adventure School and Forest School, every week. They are important subjects in our curriculum. Walking boots (welly boots for Forest School), waterproofs and suitable clothing are needed. The expectation also being that for Adventure School our children pack their own bags informed by the weather forecast that we would like them to be responsible for obtaining.

I do hope that you will be able to join us on Thursday for what promises to be a super assembly to celebrate (slightly in advance) Chinese New Year. The whole school will be present as we celebrate the year of the rat.

Now to finish on the theme of the weather (well and truly dismantling the previously mentioned resolution.) Sunday looks set for being a fine day. I shall be heading out to the Surrey Hills myself (in appropriate clothing) to make the most of it and to finalise plans for our next Adventure School expedition. I hope you manage to also enjoy what promises to be a beautiful day.

Alistair

IMPORTANT NOTES AND DATES

Tuesday 21st January - Hockey vs Westbury House (Year 3) 10.30am.

Thursday 23rd January - Chinese New Year Assembly (Whole School) St. Paul’s Church, 8.50am.

Friday 24th January - Mixed Sport fixture vs Westbury House (Year 4, 5 & 6) (away) 2pm - 3pm.

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

♻️ 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.

Lost Property

Gabriel - Waterproof jacket (named)

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.

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

It has been lovely to see the children return from their festive break, the children have eased back in to the school routines well. New school terms naturally align with new topics and it has been great to see the children’s reactions to finding out about the school work for this term, their love of learning is evident for all to see.

In English, the children have been continuing their stories on loneliness that they planned in so much detail before the festive break. To embrace the modern method of sharing stories and information, these will be made in to audiobooks and shared through the forthcoming Park Hill Radio platform.

In Mathematics, the children have been expanding on the coordinates work that they undertook in Humanities and Mathematics lessons last term and have been applying this knowledge to underpin work on translations and reflections. The cross-curricular learning also flows through humanities for this term as this week the children have been enjoying learning about different decades from the 1950’s through to modern life while using statistics and data from each period to support their work on statistics in Mathematics.

Year 4

Come gather round children wherever you flock, because this was the week we learnt the clock,

And the time it is a changing!

Time after time we need to need to thoroughly look at our understanding of mathematical concepts and this week we have been focussing on the clock; telling the time in 12hr, 24hr and written form.

It has been a time consuming activity, but I am confident now at the end of the week, pupils will all have more confidence in their understanding of time. Please continue to discuss the time and how long things last to make sure we retain these skills.

For ‘The Hole’ in English we have been interpreting Oyvind Torseter’s book and using it to generate descriptive sentences employing fronted adverbials and extended descriptions of verbs and nouns. Additionally, we have also learnt to write and recognise sentences that use the present perfect tense. We enjoyed learning... excuse me, I mean...We have enjoyed learning this aspect of grammar and look to employ the present perfect and our extended descriptive sentences when writing up our story plans that extend the story of ‘The Hole’.

In other areas, we have begun to design chairs for an ambitious DT project where we aim to create small models of chairs. The designs are proving quite marvellous and demonstrating our creative, yet practical concern for design.

In Religious Studies we have spent time reflecting on how we see ourselves as we try to identify symbols that represent ourselves. This is in response to the 5 K’s in the Sikh religion and how symbolism is key to their worship and daily life.

One rather enjoyable aspect of being a teacher is to see pupil exchange ideas and share their learning. Some times, they behave like a teacher which is often where I encounter much self reflection . The enjoyable aspect isn’t that I can relax in the corner of the classroom, but it is how it helps with their communication and consolidation of learning. This week, some Year 4 pupils were given the opportunity to lead lessons that they had planned themselves and delivered independently.

Henry gave a marvellous lesson on improving fine motor skills, body strength and working as a team through his obstacle course where pupils had to work in pair to navigate the numerous obstacles. His lesson drew high praise from teacher and his contemporary.

On Thursday, Ela gave a fun and informative lesson on creative writing and use of language as children were tested with describing objects using their best adjectives to enable pupils to guess the object. Everyone loved her lesson and enjoyed expanding their descriptive skills.

Finally, Elena and Bella presented their art lesson which focussed on the well being of their peers by encouraging a relaxing and fun lesson of painting on canvases to improve our fine motor skills and expand our creativity. The results were wonderful, with a chorus of approval from all of Year Four.

We look forward to more lessons taken by pupils during this term where we can expect more creative learning and confidence in the subject that we are teaching. Well done to those pupils who taught, but additional praise must be aimed at their class mates who worked as a team to enable these lessons to be such a resounding success.

Fabulous work Year 4 and more to follow next week.

Year 3

Year 3 have hit the term running this year, launching into word problems in Mathematics and exploring states of matter in Science. I particularly enjoyed seeing Year 3 running around around the playground with a tennis ball, particle exploring the three states, thanks to Mr Stevenson they certainly delved deeper into their understanding!

In Adventure School we further built on our team work and trust skills guiding each other over obstacles in Richmond Park with one person blindfolded. We worked out communication is the key with an on going dialogue to encourage and reassure their partner. Thinking carefully at how to describe every footstep and the responsibility of looking out for someone’s every step was a rewarding and challenging experience that Year 3 rose to extremely well.

Our English this week had a focus on similes and metaphors to build up powerful imagery with ‘The Tear Thief’ story by Carol Ann Duffy as inspiration.

Year 2

We have had a brilliant week in Year 2. Starting in our classrooms, we have built portals using iMovie and green screen and travelled through them to magical fantasy worlds. These are based on stories like’ The lion, the witch and the wardrobe’, and ‘The wizard of oz’. We are now half way through our stories which is incredible as some are already 2 pages long!

In maths, we have been organising numbers using ordinal numbers, greater than and less than, and equals. Crocodiles were stalking our classroom as we know they always eat the biggest numbers.

Science was the start of our material topic. This was all about sorting them into man made or natural. The debates raged in our classroom as a wooden peg split the class down the middle. Is it natural, or is it man made?

Music filled our classroom as we have been created layered songs starting with a drummer and building on top.

Year 1

This week Year 1 have become motivated to learn and to teach others. About what? Climate change.

We have been delving into natural science and learning about the effects of fossil fuels on plants and animals. Year 1 have decided that they are going to save the planet.

We learnt about ECO activist Greta Thunberg and wrote information booklets.

We have studied our solar system and discovered that this is the only planet that can sustain live and so we must look after it.

In phonics we looked at real and nonsense words and how to segment and blend accurately. We revised our monster words and looked at the patterns within the words - the silent ghostly letters like e and u.

In Maths we look skip counting - counting in ones and tens and how important place value is to solve these types of problems

Reception

What a wet and wild week Reception have had. We started our new topic which is all about different foods around the world. We have looked at healthy and unhealthy food and even created our favourite dinners to have in our literacy books.

During computing this week the children have been coding the code a pillar and the sphero to move around our class maze. Looking at positional and directional language. There has been some wonderful team work!

Woodland School was spent jumping in muddy puddles and enjoying a woodland walk, where we tried to find as many birds as we could.

In Maths we have started to look at number bonds to 10 and some children found this so easy they are now working on number bonds to 20!

Have a great weekend.

Second Steps

Second Steps children have been learning about Chinese New Year this week. This is a perfect way to introduce Second Steps children to different cultures and traditions and it’s also a perfect way to keep celebrations going following Christmas and New Year.

Children loved sharing their own thoughts and ideas about their family life and celebrations. We were busy working on number painting, counting skills and cutting skills for making our beautiful red lanterns. Please come in and have a look at our hanging lanterns and Chinese number display when dropping off your child in the morning. For the number painting the children used black paint and brushes to form the numerals. Children have begun to understand that there are a variety of forms of writing in our world.

We had fun practising name writing and letter formation using the Jolly Phonics app on our iPads.

In Sport lessons the children have been leaning to handle hockey sticks to dribble a ball towards a target. Everyone enjoyed this new challenge and listened carefully to the instructions.

Well done Second Steps children for performing their Rainbow song using the parachute. We hope that you enjoyed their wonderful singing and actions.

First Steps

First Steps have had a great start to 2020.

We would like to welcome Laith H, Bethan, Laith V and Sophie. They are all settling very well and have already started making new friends.

We have been learning about winter, snow, snowmen and snowflakes. The children have shown interest in snowflakes and have created their own using cotton wool, white and blue paint, glitter and cutting shapes in paper.

This interest led us to cook snowflakes last Friday. The children cut stripes out of pastry and then criss crossed them to create a snowflake shape then we baked them. At the end we put some icing sugar to decorate them.

While learning about winter we introduced the Snowman song, which the children have enjoyed learning. This led on to extended singing times and our favourite song has been sleeping bunnies.

This week we had our early years assembly in church. First steps were very confident at singing their Snowman song on stage. They also joined the rest of the Early Years children in singing our Welcome song and We’re Finished songs to all the parents who were able to come along.

In our PE lesson last week, First Steps children practised their following instruction skills. They ran to the coloured hoops, walked backwards, hopped and walked like a crab to reach the hoops. They tried very hard to complete their task, and did a great job too!

This week Miss A was very brave and introduced hockey stick skills to the children in small groups. The children listened well and followed instructions.

As part of our Early years planning we ask the parents for information from home, what the children like doing and any special occasions they have coming up, we found out that Max likes tomato soup, so when we were cooking this week we made tomato soup by cutting and squishing tomatoes. When it was cooked we all tasted it and it was yummy!

Independent Schools Association - Musical Theatre

We invited interested children to prepare and perform with a partner a song from a musical. With the intention being very much that the children were empowered to prepare and produce the song themselves. We felt it only appropriate to share some of their their remarkable performances with you all.

Certificates

A rather splendid Early Years assembly this week. Congratulations to our certificate winners (even if you can’t quite see a young man hiding behind his certificate!)

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