Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 5 - 7th october 2016

From the Headmaster:

Whilst I have enjoyed a variety of experiences in the last twenty years of being a teacher, it did come as a little surprise on Thursday when Reverend Coupland handed me a strange object to hold. The continuing theme of 'Wonderful World' explored rocks this week. Whilst strictly speaking it was a fossil I was holding, i did detect a little hesitation from some children to shake my hand when awarding certificates a short while later. Do ask your children about the fossil I was kindly handed; it was certainly a new experience for me.

It has been a particularly busy week not just in the classroom but also 'behind the scenes.' On Monday we received a visit from the architect and development team from ILG. The plans for the development of the site both existing buildings (classroom refurbishment) and new classrooms to accommodate our continued growth to Year 6 are very exciting. I am keen to ensure that the plans are shared with you as soon as possible so you can also be part of the consultation process. I hope to hold an information evening where we can share the plans with you and to explain how we will ensure that all of our children benefit from the growth and have access to the full range of activities required and desired. A date will be set once I receive the completed drawings very shortly.

Continuing with this theme, Miss Kilpin (i/c Sport) and I are very keen to ensure that we continue to develop and strengthen the provision of sport at Park Hill. We are fortunate to visit The Hawker Centre each week with the children. As we grow, the provision of quality sport and coaching will be essential. As such, we are keen to ensure that the children are exposed to quality coaching appropriate to their age in a coherent structure to ensure that they not only enjoy being physically active but are also able to develop the skills and techniques in a range of sports and activities. We have recently purchased a significant amount of sporting resources including rugby and hockey equipment. This will start in earnest after half term with evasion/invasion games principles for Year 1 children and tag rugby for the Year 2 and Year 3 children. In the Spring Term, hockey will be main sport for the games sessions. So that you can be aware of how we intend to grow sport at Park Hill, a full curriculum map for games leading up to Year 6 will be included in the Deerstalker next week.

On Tuesday, we will be receiving a visit from our IT support team who will be installing various upgrades to our existing infrastructure and to our wifi coverage. I am aware that there is an issue with either our management information system or our email provider that means some of you are not receiving our emails. I very much hope that we will resolve this issue during their visit.

Finally, you can read more about the Christmas Fayre meeting at The Albert later in the Deerstalker, but I very much hope you will be able to join us on 12th October (7pm) to start the planning for what promises to be a very enjoyable Christmas Fayre on 3rd December.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Kind regards,

Alistair Bond

Wonderful World - Rocks...

Reverend Coupland continued his theme by exploring the wonderful world of rocks. He clearly enjoys this subject as he brought in a selection of items including a dinosaur vertebrae and the fossilised item that he made me hold that I referred to in the previous section. Once again, the children impressed him with their knowledge and confident answers.

This has clearly ignited great curiosity, with children coming in to school this morning clutching a variety of rocks and fossils. There was also a rock focus at Woodland School yesterday. It has certainly ignited a desire to visit the Jurassic Coast at half term.

Christmas Fayre

We are very keen to ensure that our Christmas Fayre is enjoyed by all. A date is set for Saturday 3rd December and many of you have kindly already spoken to me about your suggestions and ideas following what I understand was a highly succesful fayre last year. We are keen to ensure that all of these wonderful ideas are shared and planned for well in advance. I very much hope that you will be able to join all members of our community (teachers, parents and friends of Park Hill) at The Albert for a Christmas Fayre planning meeting on Wednesday 12th October, 7pm. We are keen to confirm a suitable time, range of activities and food amongst other things so that we can maximise the time we have ahead of the fayre. I am pleased to confirm that Father Christmas has already confirmed his availability despite being incredibly busy at that time of year. It promises to be a memorable day. I very much hope you will be able to join us on the 12th to start the process.

Second Hand Uniform

Mrs Barikor has kindly established a Facebook page where you can request, post, sell and even donate spare items of uniform. Please follow this link to access the page -


I held a very productive meeting at our uniform supplier Lester Bowden this week. The primary reason for my visit was to ensure that they have an up to date uniform list and to discuss our requirements as we grow up to Year 6. This will include a more suitable and comfortable games kit for rugby, football and hockey as well as team kits as we participate in more competitive fixtures against other schools. We also discussed the options for a waterproof PE/swimming bag.

Lester Bowden also kindly agreed to visit school in the coming weeks to receive feedback about the uniform and to allow you to stock up, saving a trip to Epsom. We hope to confirm a date in due course.

The uniform, specifically the games kit, will be the focus of my upcoming coffee morning on Wednesday, 8.30am - 9.30am. I do very much hope that you will be able to attend.

Scooter Rack Design

Certainly worthy of a design award, the design by Gabriel Clarke certainly fulfilled all of the criteria that we were looking for. As with all good engineering, it was a very simple solution, well designed. The handle of the scooter will sit between two pieces of wooden doweling with the weight of the scooter doing the rest!

I did think Gabriel was most magnaminous when he came to receive the certificate, ensuring that his father also received some of the attention for helping. We have started the work to bring his (Gabriel) work to fruition. I am told it will be ready for installation by half term. I very much look forward to seeing it in action.

Information from First Steps

It has been an enjoyable and busy week in First Steps. The children have had great fun creating bluebird collages for our colour of the week, learning lots of number songs and building our fine motor skills with play dough. We also tried yoga and some of us had a fantastic time exploring Richmond Park during Woodland School, looking under logs to see what mini beasts we could find.

Information from Second Steps

Phonics and Big Write has been one of Second Steps main learning focus this week. We have concentrated on learning the letter name and sound 'p'. We have had fun recognising the letter and objects that begin with 'p' within our classroom and school environment.

Incorporating our letter 'p' focus, the children have had great fun whisking up their own magical ‘potion’ using glitter, sparkles, ‘purple and pink paint.’ We used our senses to listen, see and touch the bubbling potion. They worked extremely hard to independently write some of their ingredients demonstrating excellent letter recognition and formation.

Following our Topic ‘Senses,’ the children enjoyed tasting a variety of food with different flavours and tastes which was a great guessing game for them all, even surprising their teachers with their love for eating lemon!

Information from Reception

This week, Reception have been very busy. We have learnt all about 3D shapes including their properties and have been sorting them into different categories. In our circle time we have been busy talking all about our emotions and have been role playing different scenarios to help the children resolve their own conflicts. In Literacy, we have been starting our independent writing and have labelled our own human bodies and faces!

Information from Year 1

This week Year 1 have been exploring our favourite author Michael Rosen. We read the story Little Rabbit Foo Foo and then became author illustrators to create a new version with different characters.

We know this story so well that we can Big Talk it from start to finish with actions.

In Mathematics, we have been focusing on subtraction; learning all the words associated with taking away and exploring subtraction using number lines and cubes.

Information from Year 2 and Year 3

This week in Owl Class we have been using our senses to develop our independent writing. This has enabled us to create some wonderful descriptive stories about being stranded on a desert island. We have also been looking at inverted commas during our SPaG lesson. In Mathematics, we have been looking at 3D shapes and their properties and sorting them into a venn diagrams. The children are really enjoying their Science lessons. We have been exploring what healthy living means, how we can stay fit classifying foods into different food groups. Our food diaries provided a wonderful opportunity to ascertain what foods we eat.

After School Activities

The link to apply for a place on the various activities can be found here -

If I could remind you that should you wish to apply for a place for after school club next 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.Places for after school club are restricted to children attending Second Steps through to Year 3.

Should you need to cancel an After School Club session, please contact Mrs Blower directly to amend the form.

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

You are welcome to bring your children to breakfast club which opens its doors at 7.30am. £5 per session to be paid on the day.


Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking across their drives when dropping off or collecting your 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.

Don't forget…

Christmas Fayre Meeting @ The Albert 7pm Wednesday.

Coffee Morning, Wednesday 8.30am.

Certificate Winners

Elena Greenaway - Exceptional independent writing.

Jennifer Kemp - Amazing letter formation and recognition

Gabby McLean- Fantastic independent writing

Harris Kane - For working super hard in phonics

Tristan Oliver - Excellent story ending on a 'cliff-hanger.'

Elena Vasilikostas - Amazing subtraction using a number line.

Oliver Blower - For superb use if inverted commas.

Max Verdult - All round positive attitude.

Dates for the Diary -

Tuesday 11th October - Year 1 Visit to Kingston Museum.

Wednesday 12th October 8.30am-9.30am - Coffee Morning.

Wednesday 12th October 7pm - Christmas Fayre Meeting @ The Albert

Wednesday 19th October - Parent/Teacher Consultation Meetings, 5.30pm - 8.00pm.

Thursday 20th October - Parent/Teacher Consultation Meetings, 5.30pm - 8.00pm.

Friday 21st October - Staff INSET. School closed for half term.

Monday 7th November - Term Resumes.

Monday 7th November - Year 1 Visit to the National Gallery.

Tuesday 8th November - Reception Class Phonics Workshop 9am - 9.30am.

Thursday 10th November - Future Schools Evening - Shrewsbury House & Notre Dame.

Friday 11th November - Art Workshop with your Year 2 and 3 child 2pm-3.30pm- With limited places, please contact Mrs Blower if you would like to attend.

Wednesday 16th November - First Steps & Reception Class Visit to Chessington Garden Centre.

Wednesday 16th November - 6.00pm-7.00pm - Coffee Evening.

Thursday 17th November - Second Steps Visit to Chessington Garden Centre.

Monday 28th November - Hampton Court Palace Visit (Year 1, 2 and 3)

Monday 28th November - Football vs Westbury House (A)

Wednesday 30th November - No Swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Thursday 1st December - Choir singing at Galsworthy House.

Saturday 3rd December - Christmas Fayre.

Monday 5th December - The Forgotten Christmas Elf (Story Storks Theatre Show) at All Saints Church

Wednesday 7th December - No swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Wednesday 14th December - No swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Thursday 15th December - Christmas Nativity 11am. Last Day of term.

Term resumes - Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Happy Birthday!

October 6th - 13th - Holly Yap & Lana Abdeen

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.

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