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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 104 - 31st January 2020

From the Headmaster:

What a week! We do seem to have hurtled through January, or was it Veganuary or even Dry January? If the last few days of whichever 'anuary' were a challenge then I would recommend joining us as the last five days seemed to have flown by.

We have also been 'floored' by some of our classrooms getting a mini facelift, which continues into this weekend - look out for some changes to the appearance of the school on Monday morning.

Our week started with a thoroughly enjoyable navigation session as our young adventurers prepared their route cards for their post half term yomps in the Surrey Hills. The same day also saw me getting a little excited at the conclusion of the cross country trials when the clear night sky revealed Venus in all its glory (each to their own, I suppose.)

As is now our tradition, we look forward to seeing you all next Friday at our now legendary February parent social, where Chef Leon gets all creative in the kitchen, I get creative in Teddington Cheese (the phrase ‘kid in a sweetshop’ springs to mind) as well as with the refreshments and we gently tickle the brain cells with our quiz. All we ask is a £5 contribution per person to enjoy a very relaxed and enjoyable evening with good food, good refreshments and good company! Please click here to sign up, do it now!

As you can see, we have another busy week ahead, lots of sport including cross country and our indoor rowers competing at the South of England Schools Indoor Rowing Championships. I am very much looking forward to driving the team up to Oxford, I rather suspect that there will be quite the convoy and a vocal crowd travelling up the M40 next Sunday!

I hope you all enjoy a good weekend. Just the small matter of the return of the Six Nations to occupy my Saturday and Sunday afternoon...Swing Low!

Alistair

IMPORTANT NOTES AND DATES

Monday 3rd February - Y6 Trip to Churchill War Rooms

Friday 7th February - ISA London West Regional Cross Country

Friday 7th February - Parent Social and Quiz 7pm

Sunday 9th February - South of England Schools Indoor Rowing Championship

Monday 10th February - Random Acts of Kindness Week

Tuesday 11th February - Safer Internet Day

E-Safety - A (very) Timely Reminder...

It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they are doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you.

As a school we work very hard with our children to make them aware of how to protect their identity and how to be safe online.

This is certainly one area of school life where the partnership between school and home is of paramount importance.

Listed below are some incredibly helpful links for parents to access to support the essential conversations and approach to take with e-safety.

NSPCC - talking with your children

Net Aware - Apps

Roblox - Advice Net Aware

Mr Peter Cowley is the Lead Advisor for Online Services and Safety, Achieving for Children and worked with our Year 5 and Year 6 children on Thursday and discussed with them how to keep safe online. He also passed on some additional websites that will be of interest to you -

Can you trust everything you read on the internet?

London Grid for Learning

And then one more for you. This resource is used in school to encourage children to read information carefully. The dangers of DHMO (read it carefully...)

♻️ 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. Late children must be signed in through the school office.

Lost Property

Harris - Waterproof coat

Gabriel - Waterproof coat

Dominic - Maroon fleece

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.

Sports Squad

Whilst we endeavour to locate a suitable pool for our swim squad, we would like to invite those children who normally attend swim squad or sports squad to join Miss Adamidou for circuit training on a Monday evening.

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

English lessons, well to be more precise, recording and our audiobooks, took our story writing to a whole new level this week. Too frequently children’s stories never escape from the exercise book that were written in or receive an audience to basque in the wonder of their creation. But that is not the case this week in Year 5 and 6. After watching our sample story pop up on Spotify, them children have seen the potential audience for their stories grow and as a result their minds have been focussed to trawl over every word and every piece of punctuation in their stories to ensure their audience is left with no doubt about the talent we have in the class. While most children have now recorded their audiobooks, next week the edition will start and we aspire to launch our stories for public consumption near the end of next week.

Maths lessons have been consolidating some traditional skills, in particular a focus on deciding which division technique would be most appropriate to use under different circumstances and them applying it with increasing accuracy.

The children’s PE lessons are supported in school with additional classroom based Sports Science lessons. It was remarkable to hear the students discussing kilojoules and kilocalories and how their food choices will impact on their time trials for the forthcoming ISA Cross Country squad.

Year 4

Phobophobia Is the fear of being scared, something that I’m hoping wasn’t too infectious. Year Four faced up to and discussed what scares them as we write recounts of past incidents where we encountered our greatest fear. This is all in relation to Emily Gravett’s imaginative story; ‘Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears’. Delving in to our insecurities and sharing them has been an interesting experience, cathartic at times, as we learnt how to articulate our experiences. Our focus has been on structure of a recount, but we have also looked at Form Four’s use the possessive apostrophe, writing using the third person whilst using the past tense.

In our explorations of rectangles there was little arithmophobia or shapephobia. In Maths we focussed on area where we calculated how many squares are within a shape. Understanding that area can be calculated by multiplying the width by the length, our times tables came in to force as we solved area problems for rectangles and compound shapes. This culminated in creating weird and wonderful robot / monsters in various shades of multilink to then calculate the area. In an extension to this, pupils then set about transforming their creations into pentomino formations. Fabulous work!

In other areas of the curriculum Year Four have developed their mathematics and mazeophobia during Adventure School as they learnt how to locate points on the map using six figure grid references. This was a challenge as for many who had little experience of co-ordinates, but I can safely say Year Four understood when were were put in their place. Which is; 193701 (...or TQ 19383 70103). This ability to read read maps will be essential for navigation skills during our expeditions in March.

Excellent work Year Four. Enjoy your weekend without Dimanchophobia. I look forward to more phobias next week.

Year 3

This week we have moved onto multiplication in Mathematics with a focus on multiplying by 10,100 and 1000. We realised how important it is to understand place value and how the digits move across the column rather than just adding zeros! Revising the fact that zero is a hero, being a space holder for columns. We found that writing out the number one million, looking st the place value made it easy for us to write any number easily!

In English we have started our topic on myths and legends. Starting with Greek mythology, researching and retelling well known myths in our own words to each other. We then moved on to making our own mythical creature to develop into our own stories.

Our Roman topic is hotting up with some impressive shields and presentations on Roman soldiers, demonstrating what an impressive organised army the Romans were.

Year 2

The week was alive with the sound of poems. We have been watching, analysing, and then creating our own performances using poems from the book ‘Please Mrs Butler’ by Allan Ahlberg. They have been recording themselves practising the poem, and then teamed up to create a performance including actions. Our next step is to add some music and make our poems into a rap.

In maths, we were in love with the shape of everything. Experimenting with shapes and analysing properties with vertices and sides, we took photos and found where shapes were hiding. We then learnt how to make our own, using vertices to design different shapes. Now, we are making large versions for our display.

Computing, the children were dancing in the sunlight to the sound of their own tunes as they worked on laying songs and using 4 chords, C,G,Am and F. Some killer tracks have been produced.

We have gathered cardboard in our classroom as we head ‘into the unknown’. London will ‘never be the same again’.

Year 1

Our topic in PSHCE is dreams and goals and this week we thought about how we can achieve our dreams. We thought about how we have been successful in the past and what has helped up to learn.

We discovered that we have preferred learning styles, some of us like to move and experiment, others like to listen, most like to look. We documented our knowledge in dynamic book creator comics.

Our Science topic proves fascinating as always and has promoted a lot of interesting questions from Year 1.

‘How do you sleep in space?’ Theo

‘Do they eat ice cream in space?’ Allor.

‘How do you clean your teeth in space?’ Allegra.

We continue to learn about the planets and their features and have begun a new project to design our own newly discovered planets. Created using the wet on wet watercolour technique and then thinking about its features, like is it hot or cold, does it spin quickly or slowly, tilt on an axis or have any moons?

To conclude our measuring investigation Year 1 collated their knowledge into information books on penguins and are now beginning to understand the difference between fact and opinion.

We developed our understanding of maths language and the equals sign discovering what this sign really means in all our number sentences.

‘We use the 'equal to' show that each side is the same or equal. It could be the total or two numbers added together on either side.’ Holly

Reception

Reception have been working wonders in our grocery ‘role play’ store this week. It has really tested their creative and critical thinking skills. The children have thoroughly enjoyed exploring money which we will focus on further next week. As a class we have looked at a range of food and have made classification links to whether it’s healthy or unhealthy, whether it is good for our teeth and bones. In literacy, the children have looked at writing lists. We discussed different types of lists and why we use them. The children had a go at writing a list using bullet points of their choice and this weeks homework will be to take their list on a shopping trip with you. It was very interesting to witness what sort of items they would like to buy. There was a high trend of ‘tuna sandwiches!’

In Maths they have been measuring weight and ordering items by size. They enjoyed weighing the food in the shop and using the bucket scales to identify which one was heavier and lighter. Some children took satisfaction in weighing the dinosaurs and their eggs in our small world tray.

Phonics has been another highlight of the week as children have made tremendous progress in their reading and we are really seeing a difference in their independent writing.

Next week the children will be moving onto writing letters and in science we will be looking at magnetism. Great work this week everyone!

Second Steps

Second Steps have had a busy week as usual with lots of different activities. In phonics sessions we have covered two letter sounds, Hh and Rr. The children have been practising writing these letters in different ways such as using the white board and pens, forming the letters in the air and drawing them in the sand. We have been doing lots of name writing too and the children are encouraged to write their name on any piece of work that they complete.

The children have enjoyed practical maths activities with measuring and comparing different quantities when using the coloured sand and messy play resources.

For story time and circle time we have been looking at stories about appreciating our friends and people who are special to us. This has given the children time to reflect and tell the class about their thoughts on this subject.

We all had such fun at Richmond Park this week during Woodland School. We went looking for signs of animals such as footprints or feathers. After the rain this week the ground was rather muddy along the paths and luckily all of the children had their wellies, because it was very squelchy in parts and we went on a little adventure to find our way back to the gate, trying to avoid the muddiest places.

Mrs Patel came into our class to deliver a relaxing yoga session on Friday afternoon. The children were amazing at gentle stretching exercises while listening to beautiful relaxing music.

This was a lovely end to our week.

First Steps

We would like to welcome Keira to First Step, she. Has settled in very well and is already starting to make friends.

This week first steps have had a very busy week.

We have been learning all about Goldilocks and the 3 bears. We decided as a class that Goldilocks wasn’t very kind when she ate all the Bears porridge, especially when he broke baby bears chair. So we have been kind to the hungry bears by making lots of extra porridge for them to eat.

On the tough tray in the garden we have been retelling the story and the children have been getting the bears to growl and roar at Goldilocks to scare her away. In our home corner we have been creating lots of different foods for the bears to eat as the children said they can’t just eat porridge.

Following Sebastian’s interest of having a Teddy bears Picnic at home, our cooking this week the children made jam sandwiches and cheese sandwiches so all the bears could join us for a Teddy Bears picnic. It was great fun putting all the ingredients together.

The children were playing under the table pretending to hide from Goldilocks so we made a den using the blankets. They had lots of fun playing tricks on their teachers pretending to be asleep and snoring.

Thomas has been interested in emergency vehicles with most of the focus on Fire engines, so we have been playing with the fire station and small world people creating our own fire engine with big boxes. We painted everything red and then decorated it the blue lights, steering wheel and seats then went to put out all the fires. The children have been creating their on fire engine using different shapes, rectangles, squares and circles. There have been lots of great creations.

In woodland school, again the mud kitchen was very popular. Making muddy tea, pouring water from one pot to another showing great concentration and coordination, helped by the older children. While we were outside the children found some tennis balls so we had a game of ‘throw the ball in the tyre’. We can clearly see all Miss Adamidou’s hard work in sport is definitely working. There were some great throws.

Congratulations!

We finished this week on somewhat of a high note (sorry for that pun) with news that we have once again enjoyed success at a national level with James and Alexa being awarded second place in the Independent Schools Association Musical Theatre Competition, with their rendition of 'Favourite Things.'

Adventure School

I mentioned in my introduction that our Year 4, 5 and 6 children spent Monday afternoon preparing for their yomp into the Surrey Hills. Six figure grid references are notoriously challenging but our experienced and adventurous pupils made short work of completing their route cards for their hike.

Art Club

Our young artists were hard at work on Monday, exploring Keynote and learning more about Andy Warhol.

Certificates

Birthdays

We are urgently tracking down the photos from Thursday - they will be uploaded once recovered!

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