Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 33 - 15th September 2017


From the Headmaster:

As you can see from the images contained within this edition of the Deerstalker, we made our first visit of the year to Ditton Field and the most impressive playing fields and all weather pitch that we enjoy a unique access to. As well as enjoying the clear sky and sunshine, the appearance of the children matched their impressive ability. In addition to receiving very positive feedback about the quality of the uniform I am delighted with the 'upgrade' and how much smarter everyone looks.

The first of our fixtures against other schools are due to begin shortly, starting with matches for the Y3 and Y4 children; football this term and then gradually moving on to rugby and netball before Christmas.

I feel that I must comment on just how quickly and calmly all of our children in First Steps have adapted to school life. It was a pleasure to spend time in there this week and again earlier this afternoon. It is a pleasure to see the children approach activities in such a positive yet structured and ordered manner. I would like to extend my thanks to Mrs Akoglu, Miss Finch, Mrs Hanif, Mrs Hibbert, Mrs Leech and Mrs Patel who have ensured the children have enjoyed such a good start.

Charity Bike Ride

Clearly I still have a great deal to learn (my wife reminds me of this frequently).

I thought, by removing any threat of publishing images of lycra clad cyclists ahead of the charity bike ride that is taking place next Saturday that we might gain enough sponsorship to achieve our target of £500.

However, not unlike the old joke about paying a less than talented busker to actually stop playing, it seems that I actually need to threaten to actually publish images of us in various states of disrepair during our arduous training sessions unless we achieve our target. You have been warned!

To those of you who have already very kindly donated we are most grateful.

Mr Gavin Clarke, Mr Mark Fielding-Smith (pending recovery from a rather nasty bout of pneumonia) 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.

A great deal to look forward to next week. The start of clubs, individual photographs and the first School Council Bake Sale in addition to another week of discovery.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. - I had a very irate neighbour who is very frustrated with the use of the private driveway adjacent to the school. We do everything we can to ensure we maintain good relationships with our neighbours. Do please help us and do not park on the drive of Dean Court.

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.

Adventure School

To much excitement, the children from Years 2, 3 and 4 made their way to Richmond Park to enjoy the first of the new curriculum addition of Adventure School. I would hope that the children will have explained that the focus of the new subject is for them to learn about themselves and then to acquire skills that will enhance and develop self esteem and confidence.

The first lesson was concerned with shelter building. We discussed the 5-W's of shelter building: Wood, water, weather, watch-out and worries. You need wood for warmth and for the actual construction of the shelter. Water is fairly important to life and you should also check the weather forecast to determine clothing choices and also wind direction which determines where you build your shelter. Watch-out - it is advisable not to build your shelter under a cliff face or under a tree with damaged branches and finally worries, consider the environment around you. Best to avoid upsetting potential unpleasant native species such as snakes etc!

Once a discussion had been completed, the children then used resources from the local environment to build a shelter for a rather nervous looking cuddly toy (it was actually a camel who would most definitely need shelter from the cold wind this week!)

Following construction the children then had their shelters tested against the elements to determine who would be the first winners of the Fiennes Award which would be presented each week for the child or team who completed the task most successfully.

I am very much looking forward to this coming Monday when the children will be, subject to the completion of a test, qualified first aiders courtesy of St. John's Ambulance who will be visiting school for the afternoon.

Headmaster's Award and Bronze Quill Awards

I am occasionally starkly reminded as to just what responsibility we enjoy as teachers. Indeed, it seems that the Derek Redmond/squirrels 'Perseverance' assembly nearly one year ago has resulted in something of a legacy.

I received the perfect start to my day earlier this week when I received an email from Mr. Greenaway. In short, after a dent to her cycling confidence following a fall, his daughter received the necessary encouragement in the form of 'Mr. Bond spoke about perseverance in an assembly, about not giving up.' After promising to inform me if she did just that, Elena overcame her demons, persevered and navigated the full circuit of Bushy Park without stabilisers last weekend. I can think of few better deserving reasons to be awarded with the first Headmaster's Award of the academic year. Call it what you want. Perseverance, grit or determination, Elena clearly has it and what an important quality to possess.

In addition to Elena, Rachel Lewis and Gabriel Clarke were awarded with their Bronze Quill awards this week. Following great effort with their neat handwriting, they are producing handwriting of such neatness that they are now permitted to write in ink pen in their display work and in their handwriting book. Next step, Silver Quill will allow them to write with an ink pen in their English books. Gold will allow them to write in ink in all work. I would like to think this will be the start of many such awards.


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

We have had a great first full week in First Steps.

Everyone is settling in well into their new classroom.

This week we have been looking at and learning our colours using a rainbow song. Along side the song we have been introducing the BSL (British sign language) signs for the colours.

There has been a lot of texture experiments with shaving foam, rice, coloured & fragranced water play, painting hands & talking about how it feels. The children have also been colour mixing in zip bags so they can see the how the colours change as they are combined.

Outside the children have been exploring the bark areas. Using the toy diggers, spades & sieves to create bark & sand castles.

Second Steps

This week, Second Steps have been exploring their senses. We went to Richmond Park during our Woodland School and used our sense of hearing, sight and touch. We explored the grounds and the trees and went in search for some nature items. We talked about what we had found and described them while looking for more ojects. We have been learning how to be independent and self served ourselves at snack time and even washed up our own bowl and cup. Second Steps have been working on their fine motor skills (finger gym) and completing activities set out. Amazing work and determination from Second Steps this week! Well done.


Reception has had a very fun filled week doing various activities. The human body topic was introduced and children have enjoyed exploring our role play areas: X-Ray department and Baby Clinic. Linked to this, the children made their own X-Ray’s, by drawing around their hands and glueing ear buds to represent the bones. The children counted their bones and found out there are more bones in their hand then realised. In fact, the human hand consists of 27 bones. Maths work included: identifying and matching shapes to the interactive board, then going on a shape hunt with their buddy. The children have been learning a ‘body song’ in Performing Arts and even practised the Harvest song for next weeks assembly. Despite the changeable weather the children have participated in some fun outdoor sessions including Rainbow Road and Woodland School, exploring for acorns and conkers.

Gentle reminder, toys are only to be brought in for ‘Show and Tell’ Friday afternoon. Thank you.

Year 1

This week in Year 1 the children have begun to investigate toys focusing first on bears.

The children have learnt new vocabulary such as battered, threadbare and vintage and also the differences between old and new bears.

We began to prepare our toy museum and describe the exhibits.

“His head is jointed. He is tiny. He is the size of our hands. His nose is sewed on and is made from cotton. His paws are velvety and wrinkly.” - Mario

“This is a hugged bear. It has a smooth tummy. It is a happy bear.” - Bemi

At Woodland school we were investigating Seasonal change and looking for signs of autumn, although the blackberries were not ripe we decided that it is autumn. Apples have ripened, crops are being harvested and we found lots of plants which producing seeds. In addition we saw squirrels collecting food and storing it for the winter

Year 2

This week, year two have been very busy. In mathematics, the children have been learning all about place value using cubes, and then dice to create their own sums. In English, we have started our work on stories, working on our description and structure. Science provided many interesting discussions as the children discovered what was necessary for growth (apparently chocolate is not), which created quite the debate in our class over whether exercise was necessary or not. DT provided our first creation this term in the form of a moving picture. More exciting things to come!

The children have been working hard on their presentation now that they are in year 2 - spacing work out, and keeping sums neat. With handwriting every morning, I look forward to seeing their writing improve over the coming term.

This week involved our first swimming lesson of the year, and children were excited to travel back down to kingfishers and splash around in the pool.

Year 3 & Year 4

Years 3 & 4 have had an exciting week, their first Adventure School consisted of making a waterproof shelter for Burt the Camel out of anything the children could find in the park around them. This was tested by pouring water over the shelter and seeing if Burt got wet! We learnt about the five Ws of shelter building wood(a source to build with), water(for survival), weather(looking at conditions and how they effect your build), worries(any insect nests etc. nearby) and watch (out for any dangers above like falling branches).

Alongside all of our other subjects, Science was particularly exciting as we had our first orientation lesson around the fully equipped Science lab in Canbury School. We were given a very warm welcome by the Headmistress, staff and children. The children were shown how the lab was set up, aided by two Canbury School prefects. We looked at how a bunsen burner works, where the gas taps are, how a fume cupboard works and where all equipment and kit is stored. The children thoroughly enjoyed their first visit and look forward to heading back soon.

Congratulations to Alexa, Kerem as the Year 4 Student Council members and to James and Sarah who were voted in to represent Year 3. It was an extremely close vote and we look forward to an array of new initiatives throughout the year.

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.

Parent Social - 30th September

As a reminder, I would like to remind you that we have a social event on 30th September. I very much hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most enjoyable evening. BBQ, quiz, good company and refreshments all guaranteed and provided....

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.


Chef Leon has been busy, the highlight for me was the chicken and sweet potato mash with vegetables earlier this week. Looking ahead -

Happy Birthday!

William Motion, Miss Renfrew, Mr Stevenson, Miss Finch & Mrs Watts.

Certificate Winners

Dates for the diary...

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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