Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 14 - 20th january 2017

From the Headmaster:

You could be mistaken for thinking it was the summer judging by the two videos we have uploaded to this edition of the Deerstalker. The cold but sunny weather we are currently enjoying ensured the children had a most enjoyable Games lesson on Tuesday.

As I explained last week, as part of our expansion, it is essential that we establish the very best of relationships with the various schools that our children will be attending in Year 7. I am delighted that the first of the games lessons for children in Reception, Year 1, 2 &3 took place at DItton Field, the all-weather water based pitches of Kingston Grammar School. In addition to increasing the length of the Games lessons for the children, the children benefited from being taught hockey by Mrs Natalie McLean, Director of Sport at the school. As you can see from the images and videos, the children had a most enjoyable time and made most impressive progress.

I am afraid that we were once again thwarted with our attempts to install the new First Steps Classroom. Access issues for the crane (including issues relating to two cars that we were unable to find the owners of) resulted in an aborted delivery. A date has been established for three weeks time due in order to provide the relevant authorities time to restrict parking to enable access. It is very frustrating that something so simple could be causing such complications. It will happen, colleagues from ILG are working extremely hard in supporting the project; it will be well worth the wait!

We are once again collecting the Active Kids Vouchers from Sainsbury's. We enjoyed delivery of a most impressive range of sporting equipment very recently. The collection box can be found in the side entrance - start collecting!

As part of the process of updating various procedures here at Park Hill, we are migrating our email server from our current provider to Office 365 this weekend. This will help with various aspects of school life including being able to use the Outlook Calendar internally, in addition to improving storage and file sharing. I am told that there should not be any significant difficulties but it might be that we experience some disruption to our email server tomorrow for up to two hours.

Not related to any potential challenges we may face as a result of the email migration, I shall not be in school on Monday morning and all day Tuesday next week. I shall be attending two courses - the first, on Monday morning, is being held at the Independent Schools Inspectorate head office and will cover safeguarding and compliance of the Single Central Register. The course on Tuesday, (all day) is concerned with Employment Law.

Finally, do please read through the full Deerstalker this week; there is information relating to the establishment of a Friends of Park Hill and the social event on Friday 3rd February.

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Information from First Steps

This week in First Steps we have continued to learn about our topic of opposites. We have created happy and sad face crafts and talked about what sort of things make ourselves and others feel happy and sad. We have also focused on sharing and really enjoyed a book called 'Sharing a Shell'. We have also become very interested in Yoga and Ballet which we will continue to explore each week. Well done to our new First Steps Children for settling very well and coming to school with such enthusiasm!

Information from Second Steps

This week it has been lovely to see Second Steps settle back into the class routine. They have been full of excitement and enthusiasm to begin our topic of Fairy Tales commencing with Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The children have enjoyed reading and listening to the story. We have started to develop our bear cottage for role play and extended learning. The children have focused on the letter and sound ‘K’ supported by phonic songs and games. The children thought of some words beginning with the letter such as ‘key’ and ‘kangaroo.’ They made a fantastic effort to form the letter and write the words in their workbooks too. The fairy tale theme continued throughout other subjects such as Music and Performing Arts where children acted out parts of the story and used the theme in cooking where children baked some oat bars.

During Maths, the children used their counting skills to add two groups using the big dominos and various objects, recording their answer on the white board.

Information from Reception

What a very cold and busy week Reception have had! We have enjoyed going outside and hearing the crunching of our feet when we were on the bark area. In Literacy, we have been reading the story of ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and have completed some fabulous writing about what would be at the top of our magic bean stalk! During our Topic times this week, we have looked at the frog and butterfly life cycle. We have looked at the different stages and even made our own life cycle information sheet.

Information from Year 1

This term, our topic changes to a natural history based theme: Dinosaurs

Year 1 will be attempting to answer questions such as;

Did Dinosaurs sing?

Are there any dinosaurs alive today?

Which Dinosaur is the biggest or smallest?

In Science, we will look at and compare the properties of different materials and ask questions like;

Which material would make the best shelter? Why?

What does waterproof or transparent mean?

We have been practicing our times tables and it is important that Year 1 practice these skills at home for rapid recall.

We are learning the 10, 2, 5, 9 and 11x tables.

In Maths, we looked at doubles and near doubles.

In Literacy, we are exploring traditional tales and so far have looked closely at Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. We are thinking about the way that stories have changed over time (the similarities and differences). This is a skill it would benefit the children to practice at home.

Information from Year 2

Year 2 have had a busy week. They have started their new history topic “The Great Fire of London” and are currently looking at fire safety over the last few hundred years. In Science, Year 2 are really beginning to understand the need for fair testing and making thoughtful predictions over the absorption of materials, then looking how to explain the results and make relevant conclusions.

Information from Year 3

Year 3 have worked hard this week. In Science, we have been investigating light and shadows and learnt that light travels in straight lines. We have made spinners to show that white light is made up of a number of colours and look forward exploring more predictions in the next few weeks. The games lesson on the all weather pitch was a real success and we are all looking forward to further improving our hockey skills over the next few weeks

Friends of Park Hill (FoPH)

I think it is very fair to say that all of our children benefit from a very close relationship between home and school. The various methods of communication we employ and the desire to continuously improve how we articulate the progress being made by the children is very much at the heart of strengthening this relationship. A perfect example of this was the Christmas Fayre which I am delighted to confirm raised £1,420. It is only right and proper that the very people who raised this significant amount of money, i.e. parents, staff and children meet to decide how to best utilise these funds. This will very much be the first item on the agenda of the Friends of Park Hill committee.

I am very conscious that the very word 'committee' can act as a deterrent when volunteering your valuable time! I would like to reassure you that the role of the FoPH is primarily a social one and exists to provide support to new families when they join us and to arrange social events to benefit the whole school community.

I would anticipate no more than two meetings each term, taking place at times convenient to suit busy diaries.

If the word 'committee' hasn't deterred you from forming the first FoPH I would be grateful if you might contact Mrs. Blower expressing your interest or to speak with me for further information.

Social Event - 3rd February

I am pleased to confirm that I now have a menu for the Wine Pairing Evening, 7.30pm, Friday 3rd February. It is very much intended as a relaxed and enjoyable evening, one where we can enjoy good food and good company. I am aware that we have not, as of yet, enjoyed a school wide social event and to celebrate the start of February/end of January! The menu, with wine carefully selected to suit each section, will be as follows -

Crawfish with harissa mayonnaise

Teriyaki salmon

Smoked chicken salad with avocado

Mini roast beef

Mini Pavlova with strawberries and chantilly cream

Mini rich chocolate brownies

Table with selection of cheese and antipasto

The wine menu is currently being designed. Once I receive the final selection I will write to you all again with the details.

The cost for the evening, including wine, food and 'expert' Charlotte Dean from Wined Up Here, who will guide us through the wine selection, will be £15. The emphasis will very much be placed on enjoying the company, food and wine, in that order. It promises to be a most enjoyable occasion.

I would ask that you complete this form to confirm your attendance -

New Development

I was delighted to provide many of you with the plans for the school expansion. It is a most exciting development, one that will benefit all of our children. As I explained, it is all well and good having wonderful facilities including a Science and Engineering classroom, Art and DT, Music and Food Technology rooms in addition to larger sized classrooms for our children but they mean little without high quality teaching and learning and a considered and well planned curriculum. This is an exciting time to be involved in education. Advances in technology are quite extraordinary and there is considerable evidence to support the opinion that we are in fact preparing children for jobs that do not yet exist. What skills and abilities do our children therefore need to best prepare them? If I can steer you to a report published by the World Economic Forum that reflects on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I have provided further details within this edition of the Deerstalker and a link to the report should you wish to read further. I have also provided you with the proposed layout of the new building and development of the main house. I do need to point out that whilst the design of the building most likely will not be changed, the actual use of the rooms will be further refined and 'tweaked' to ensure that the development is a great success.

The new plans are very exciting and will enable us to provide the highest standards of teaching and learning to our children utilising the type of specialist facilities that will provide them with broad and rich curriculum. As you will be aware, there will be further consultation before we see the first 'boots on the ground' and indeed further discussion required as a teaching staff and parent body. I know from experience the importance of engagement from all parties when planning school buildings. I have also produced a 'Padlet' page for you to ask questions/make observations. Please follow this link to gain access -

The password to access the page is - ParkHill

Whilst these images provide you with a basic idea of the development and plans, we will be uploading the presentation to the website in due course. To reiterate, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like me to explain in more detail about the plans and thought processes involved with this development.

The link to the World Economic Forum report that I mentioned earlier in this edition can be accessed here -

Half Term Camp and Easter Camp

Following the most recent parent questionnaire, a number of parents requested the provision of a holiday camp for their children. As Premier Sport are experienced in delivering such camps I feel confident that they would match our standards and expectations should there be sufficient interest. The cost would be approximately £35-40. Therefore, if you would like us to organise a holiday camp for the upcoming half term and also for the Easter holidays I would ask you to complete the following form -


Please ensure that all items of clothing are named. This time of year, with increased layers being worn, we do what we can to return lost property. We would be grateful if you could assist us in ensuring that items are labelled.

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 -

Boot bags are now available from Lester Bowden. All items can be ordered directly through their website.

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 in their drives when dropping off or collecting your children.

Please do not park on the yellow chevrons directly in front of the school 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.

Don't forget, this weekend…

Sainsbury's Active Kids Vouchers - Collection box by the side gate.

Sign up to the Wine Pairing Social Event

After School Activities

It appears we have a number of budding Chess Grandmasters and talented photographers in school. The first week of activities were enjoyed by all. The link to apply for a place on the various current 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 who are at least 3 years old.

Dates for the Diary -

23rd January 2017 - Reception trip to Porter's Grocers

30th January 2017 - Years 1, 2 & 3 trip to The Monument and Museum of London

3rd February - Wine tasting & food pairing evening with Wined Up Here (a social event to celebrate the end of 'Dry January' - details to be provided in due course.7.30pm

10th-17th February - Half Term holiday (10th February school is closed for staff INSET)

23rd February - Open Evening 5.30pm-7pm

2nd March - World Book Day

7th March - 9am-12pm Reception Class to Pizza Express

30th March - 12.30pm Easter Holiday

Certificate Winners

Congratulations to:

Gabrielle McLean; Mario Pearce-Kulyk; Luce Pirola; Jennifer Kemp; Christina Meouchi; Hayden Von Liechtenstein; Gabriel Clarke & Oscar West.

Happy Birthday!

Aidan O'Gorman; Luke Barker & James Moor (and Mrs Patel who is celebrating today!)

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

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.