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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 117 - 25th september 2020

From the Headmaster:

I fear that I might be in the minority of one when I explain to you that each Friday when I make my way home I am transported back to childhood memories of a certain Albert Arkwright who would end each episode ruminating on his day as he brings in his fresh produce from in front of his shop in Open All Hours.

I would hope that any physical similarity is still some years away but the sentiment is not too dissimilar in reflecting upon the previous five days, the successes, the moments and the anticipation of what lies ahead.

This weeks Arkwright moment? A thriving energy from all of our children in both First and Second Steps. The woodworking was a real highlight, as was the tangible excitement from Miss Gardner who was gently ensuring the owls were being created safely whilst encouraging a love of creativity and hammering.

The use of augmented reality in Year 3. The discovery of a dinosaur egg, sitting on their desks was simply a treat as excited chatter gave way to volleys of questions.

We do, as you know, have an appreciation for how technology can enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Exploring the use of Amazon Alexa's in each classroom is bringing great innovation and efficiencies throughout the school, more of which next week.

The infinite opportunities to simply talk with children of all ages on a whole host of topics is simply thrilling. This week was no exception as I had a lengthy conversation about the correct (at least in one young mans opinion) noise for a pig, all the way through to a lengthy explanation on black holes, paradoxes and Liverpool Football Club (admittedly not as interesting as a certain claret and blue team but I did my best...)

These conversations and observations are the life and soul of our school and ensures that any resemblance to an older, moustachioed gentleman is some time off.

It was a real pleasure to see so many of you join us for our weekly assembly, details of which are included in this edition. I find it fascinating that a sense of community can still thrive despite physical distance. I do hope that you will join us again each Thursday.

Do please take note of the Showbie workshop this coming week and also please note that our philosophy of 'no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.' With the temperature dipping and a less than pleasant breeze, do please ensure that Adventure School kit (waterproofs, walking shoes/boots) and associated waterproofs and welly boots for Woodland/Forest School are labelled and in school on the relevant day.

Enjoy your weekend. Stay safe and don't forget to spread a little happiness.

Alistair

Showbie Workshop

Rumour has it that not unlike the Ravens at the Tower of London (the Crown will fall and Britain with it) that without Showbie a similar fate will befall Park Hill, although who wears the Park Hill crown remains undecided.

We quickly adopted and employed Showbie all the way back in 2017 as our key platform for Year 1 through to Year 6 and our decision was proven to be a particularly wise one during lockdown. Whilst it is largely intuitive we would like to invite you to a zoom session Monday 28th September, 6pm with one of our Showbie Champions. Mr Stevenson will guide you through the various elements to ensure you are all confident and understand how we use the (frankly brilliant) application. Details of his zoom address can be obtained from the school office or via Showbie itself.

From the School Office - Michelle Gambi

"I think that I have now either spoken with everyone or at least met everyone at the morning drop-off. Thank you for making me feel so welcome and very much part of the Park Hill family! As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way."

Funding Forms

Whilst I have the majority of the forms now in, there are just a few outstanding. Do please let me have your forms by Monday so I can start the process of obtaining the funds.

Fees

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can offer any help with regards engagement with our accounts team who are based in the Stanmore office. We are aware that the accounts team have migrated to a new accounting system which may have resulted in delays with the invoices being distributed.

School Money

You (those of you who it applies to) should have now all had emails with the clubs and breakfast club payments requests. Again, please let me know if you haven't yet received an email and I will make sure this is resolved.

Lost Property

We do our very best to return items, do please ensure that al belongings are labelled.

Georgia - Missing a blazer, lost after Running Club.

Rose Theatre - Youth Theatre at Park Hill

"At Rose Youth Theatre Under 11s we develop the communication, literacy and confidence of our members via drama and the spoken word, as well as ensuring that every child feels their contributions to the group are valued and vital. From text and improvisation to character and complex narrative, we cover introductory elements of drama and story telling each term. Rather than produce ‘young actors’ our goal is to develop a rich array of life skills such as teamwork, leadership, public speaking, sophisticated literacy abilities, imagination, creativity, focus and an ensemble spirit!"

"We’re offering all Park Hill School students a 50% discount for the Autumn term. Join us for just £60!"

"We have space in the following groups on a Saturday at Park Hill School:"

12.15pm-1.30pm for 5-7 years

2.15pm-3.30pm for 7-9 years

Please email Isabelle.Kabban@rosetheatre.org if you’d like to join!

Mr Stevenson - Teaching and Learning

This is first of, what I hope to be, little insights into some of the activities that your children take part in around the school during the week and some of the more hidden elements of the school week - an opportunity to highlight, not just great pupil work, but teachers too who teach some truly great lessons. There has been so much happening around the school each week, it is always hard to keep track of, but I will attempt to do my best to show a few pieces of work around the school that have inspired me and demonstrate just how exceptional our children really are.

The pupils have now settled in and it has been brilliant to see what the teachers have been up to with their classes. From Mrs Kilb's Money work in Year 2, to Mr Bond teaching French to Reception, the work never stops at Park Hill and I’m constantly reminded of how creative and innovative our teachers are and how they bring these topics to life in class.

While this is not an exhaustive list, some pieces of work that come to mind that exentuate this are things like Mrs Gardner’s and Mrs Gibbon's cardboard hedgehogs in Woodland school, reusing packaging material from our resources, and teaching them creative skills. Year 5’s work on The brain proved a hit as they came up with simple tests to challenge the areas of their brain in different ways, from memory to colour recognition. Bringing music to life using GarageBand and layering different instruments with Miss Menon, some brilliant superhero story writing in Year 3 with Mrs Bond, and, as mentioned earlier, Mr Sims' war cabinet run by the children in Year 5, inspiring new ideas for writing. Finally, I finish on Mr Papps’ work with animation and gifs using green screen, something much loved by Year 6 I’ve been repeatedly told.

Our new subject of STEAM also provided some brilliant problem solving, as they were challenged to create their own paper village, requiring the use of nets, colour, slotting, and mapping.

Let us not forget our nursery which always has a myriad of exciting activities set up, with playdough, painting, small worlds, building and construction, water play, and many more. Miss Vari, Mrs Guniz, Miss Finch, and Mrs Mousi always have a brilliant selection of things for the children to do. Miss Adamadou joins them to teach physical activity as well and they thoroughly enjoy their lessons practising their physical skills.

Over the last few weeks, the children have been carrying out their initial assessments, and these are now over. The children have done very well, carrying out these with minimal fuss - it always reminds me how resilient the children are, that they simply get on with it and enjoy working out the problems. Additionally, we have a great team who help support children’s individual learning needs.They support individual and small groups of children in class, helping them push their understanding further and guide them. Mrs Leech and Mrs Menon have been hard at work in classes the week, whether in Year 3 supporting with English, or Year 6 with Maths, or performing arts, these teachers are ideally located to help.

Finally, Performing arts is in full swing and a rather apt song is being sung around the school. I look forward to sharing the result of this with you soon.

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.

With all of our children throughout the school having made a terrific start to the school year, the gate will now close promptly at 8.30am.

Illness & Medical

We continue to abide with the DfE Regulations.

Pupils, staff and other adults must not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive in at least the last 10 days.

We ensure that anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home.

These are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We would like to remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea) 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.

Chicken Pox

We have a case of Chicken Pox in our Early Years. Should your child catch Chicken Pox you should keep him/her away from school until the spots have scabbed over and are no longer weeping.

Health, Safety and Medicines at School

Please note the following important points regarding the administration of medicines at school.

Further to recent recommendations and legislation we are no longer allowed to dispense any medicines to the children, with the exception of school provided Calpol, Waspeze and sun lotion and then only when you have signed the medical form agreeing to this procedure.

If your child is taking prescribed antibiotics or other drugs you are advised to adjust the timing to avoid school hours. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor at the time of prescription.

• Asthma: Children who take medication for asthma must have two named inhalers at school. One to be kept in the first aid kit in the classroom the other in the School Office. Please label clearly with your child’s name and hand personally to Miss Gambi.

• Epipens: Please provide two epipens for use in school when necessary; labelled clearly with your child’s name.

• Cough sweets (or any other sweets) are NOT allowed in school as they pose a potential choking hazard.

• Children with a temperature or diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last day must be kept at home until clear of all symptoms for a minimum of 48 hours.

• Head lice - please remember to check your child's hair regularly.

• Contagious diseases: Please inform the school office immediately if your child has been diagnosed with any contagious disease eg: chicken pox, measles etc

• It is imperative that you inform the school, in writing (a quick note will suffice), of any medication your child has received, since midnight, before coming to school.

Thank you for your co-operation. We know you will appreciate that these procedures are for the benefit and safety of all your children.

Fantasy Football

The football season is due to kick off this weekend.While attending matches or watching games on the big screen at the Norbiton can prove to be less that simple at the moment, please help get your footie fix by coming to join in the Friends of Park Hill Fantasy Football League. Just click the link below to join up.

If you already have an account then you can use the code M2V6PV to find the Friends of PH league.

Uniform

The full uniform list can be found here.

Assembly

The theme was very much centred around (simply) 'do the right thing.' Inspiration came (not from Spike Lee) courtesy of a young lady in Year 5 who, despite not partaking in the gourmet breakfast club toast and jam decided that she should help by clearing away the plates. When asked why she she felt she should help when she hadn't joined the breakfast club she replied 'because it was the right thing to do...'

This resulted in a stroll down memory lane for me at least. A house point was awarded (perhaps unfairly) to Mrs Bond and Year 3 who correctly identified the image below as being taken in the centre of Tripoli, Libya. The Marcus Aurelius Arch was one of the many places in Tripoli where Mrs Bond and I (and not forgetting our daughter for her first few years of life) enjoyed exploring during our six years living in the most extraordinary country.

As well as exploring the three (Tri - poli) roman cities of Tripoli, Sabratha and Leptis Magna, we also developed an even greater appreciation for the Roman Empire and for Marcus Aurelius himself. His values of -

"If it’s not right, don’t do it."

"If it’s not true, don’t say it."

are perhaps more important than ever at this particular time in history and exemplified both in Australia and more recently in Santander in Spain.

‪“True sportsmanship is…Knowing that you need your opponent because without him or her, there is no game. Acknowledging that your opponent holds the same deep-rooted aspirations and expectations as you. Knowing that, win or lose, you will walk off the course with pride. Always taking the high road. And always, always, always being a good sport.‬”

We then altered the thoughts of Marcus Aurelius and suggested that perhaps it could also be interpreted as "if it's right, do it."

So with perhaps with the world and life being a little more challenging than usual (for obvious reasons) perhaps we should all THINK and do the right thing every time -

With an emphasis on kindness and spreading a little happiness. So, from my old stomping ground of Tarablus through to Marcus Aurelius and finishing with a little Sting (in the tail/tale)

Year 6

Year 6 have had a busy week in English, analysing and then planning and information text page. We have been looking at the book, ‘A World of Information’ have all picked different topics to study. Interestingly, we had 4 space themed topics and one of which I know absolutely nothing, so we are looking forward to learning about this. In preparation, we have analysed formal and informal writing and developed our own comparison kit using vocabulary and text language.

Our topics are:

Comets

The Moon

Black holes

Pluto

Paradoxes

Phobias

The Hebrew Alphabet

The History of Horses

The History of Cars

The History of the Liverpool Football team

Earthquakes and their effects

Optical Illusions

The History of Cheerleading

I think you will agree that these are interesting and varied topics and that our information text promises to quite unique.

While our non fiction book is coming along, we have been studying angles, measuring them, comparing them, and coming up with rules to help us estimate them. We then created riddles to test our angle knowledge.

One example was from Luce who came up with: I am a letter of the alphabet. I have one right angle and one reflex angle that is three times the right angles size. What letter am I?

Science has led us to designing a machine, and Year 6 are hard at work both designing what it will look like on the outside, as well as what the circuitry will look like on the inside. Year 6 have introduced variable resistors to allow them to either speed up or slow down their machine. Our shields are also up in class and Roman letters are being created to explain their purpose.

Mr Stevenson

Year 5

At school we have redeveloped part of the school grounds as a small allotment area, this will be looked after by the Year 5 children throughout this academic year. This week we had our first session to start preparing the ground for growing and will put some bulbs in over the next few weeks. Once the bulbs have had their time to shine we will move on to have a go at growing some fruits and vegetables. Taking on the allotment for growing veg in the spring time will link nicely with what will then be our Humanities project where we will be looking at Britain since 1945 when managing allotments were encouraged due to post-war rationing. We will make good use of the days where the children are in PE kit to spend time on the allotment. If you have any child appropriate gardening tools or accessories at home that may help us and you wouldn’t mind them being used in school, please do send them in.

With the Treaty of Versailles in tatters, the children have been learning about ‘blitzkrieg‘ and how the Axis soldiers stormed across Europe right through to the commencement of the Battle of Britain. To support their studies the children have been designing their own WW2 fictional characters and planning to tell different parts of the war through the eyes of their character.

Mr Sims

Year 4

Amongst the gnarled iPad wires in the centre of Badgers classroom, Year Four have had to endure a week filled with classroom disputes. This left some of us bemused and in disarray with some becoming impudent in their behaviour towards learning some of their awkward spellings. The pressure did seem to mount with the overexposure of spellings.

I must reassure you that this has been a week to treasure within our class enclosure. Year Four have been learning and understanding their spellings (week 3), that will insure great progress with measured descriptive writing skills.

With this focussed emphasis on vocabulary and expanding our descriptive skills (with some composure), pupils have been caught writing their ‘Just So Stories’, incorporating their available key grammar skills in direct speech, powerful verbs and week 3 spellings to describe the action. We are preparing to publish our stories too, as we started to design a front cover using effective drawing techniques using keynote on the iPads.

Using place value charts to great effect we have been multiplying and dividing two or more digits be 10 100 1000. Using the place value chart we learnt how we move the digits along the chart to the left for multiplication, and to the right for dividing. Building on those skills we explored how we could multiply one digit by three or more digits using partition of the numbers.

In our Art lesson children have taken their beautiful photographs to transform them in to paintings. We employed an effective method to trace our lines by rubbing chalk pastel on the reverse of the photo, placing upon the plain paper and then pressing over the lines with a pencil. The results were impressive and we look forward to beginning our paintings next week.

Further investigation in to the respiratory system and planning an experiment to compare male and female lungs informed Mr Stevenson’s Science lessons. Some enjoyable and informative moments from the week has been watching the pupils presentations on how the Heart and Lungs work. An interesting note on these showings was how we learnt something new with each child’s presentation which were displayed in various formats: keynote, spoken presentation, video, computer gif’s and Minecraft.

Keeping safe is always important, particularly online. Mr Sims’ Computing lesson on e-Safety, had children viewing cartoons to address various scenarios relating to e-safety in order to seek effective countermeasures to avoid negative experiences. The main theme was to: ensure pupils looked at being positive and nice when communicating online; deciding whether to share content privately or publicly; and that they have permission to use pictures and other documents.

Just your average week in Year Four, and I assure you it will be business as usual next week. It has been a pleasure to teach you, so for now I must bring closure on your school week and enjoy your leisure time.

Mr Papps

Year 3

Another busy week in Year 3, from continuing our work on formal addition to writing character descriptions in English.

We started the week in Adventure School with a lovely walk in Richmond Park and some team building activities. Tuesday was the last of the sunshine for this week and Ditton Field was glorious, no need for football boots there!

In Science we are investigating Rocks and Soils with an exciting time using augmented reality to help with our studies. Art consisted of transferring our ‘viewpoint’ photos to paper using chalk pastels. We are looking forward to using watercolours to finish them next week.

Mrs Bond

Year 2

This week the children have been finishing their imaginative stories. They have been working hard to describe the settings and the characters and some children even started to put some dialog into their paragraphs. We ended the week by reading our stories to our friends and getting their compliments on what bits they liked the best and why.

We had great fun in Adventure school this week building shelters in teams. Each group had to work together to create the best shelter to make sure our park hill bear could sleep outside without getting wet from the rain. At the end of the lesson we had lots of fun testing our shelters to see if any of them leaked getting our poor bear all wet.

In Science we have been exploring food chains. We looked at what produces, consumers and even what an apex predator was!

Next week we are really looking forward to starting some poetry with the children. We are going to be getting creative by making our own poems and then we might even using keynote to bring to life an animated version of our poems.

Enjoy your weekend.

Mrs Kilb

Year 1

“I love this lesson” Rasim

“I want to carry on learning.” Sinoe

These were a few of the phrases spoken this week in Year 1.

Mid week we spent a fascinating afternoon exploring the plants and animal species in our school grounds. After collecting a few good specimens we began to order and package them, designing innovative labels and writing the names of each item.

In literacy this week we have been exploring non fiction writing. Writing information about puppets and adding labels to our glove puppet designs.

In maths we move from number to measure and have been exploring money and time. Year 1 impressed me greatly with their ability to add 1 or 2 more to coins ranging from 2p to 50p. We even looked at how many different ways there were to make 4p, 5p and even in some cases 20p using different combinations of coins.

We recapped o’clock and sequenced key events with great success and enthusiasm. Our game of What’s the time Mr Wolf ? was so popular that other classes asked to play and we were able to apply our skills by teaching others.

Miss Gardner

Reception

Our learning theme this week was The Colour Monster book by Anna Llenas. It is a stunning pop-out adventure which explores colours and feelings in a fun and gentle way. Linked to this, we discussed the emotions we have felt in the past and the emotions we feel now. We were able to use feelings such as: fear, calm, happy, sad, angry, scared and worried and suggest examples and scenarios of when they felt that way. In literacy the children drew pictures and wrote words to describe what and how they were feeling. Some examples: “I felt scared when I had a bad dream about a fox,” Sophia. I feel calm when I do yoga at school, it helps my mind relax,” Amber.

In Maths we used the monster number line to rearrange and order numbers to 20. We learnt what one more and one less than a given number. In phonics we are continuing to secure our phase 2 phonemes to consolidate our reading skills.

We have also been focusing on our working memory and each morning the children have had the opportunity to play board games such as pairs, snap and name games which is good to recall information and solve problems.

Well done to Sophia and Thiyara for being awarded certificates this week. Have a great weekend!

Mrs Gibbons

Second Steps

Another busy week in Second Steps.

The children had so much fun this week. We read the story ‘The Listening Walk’ by Paul Showers, then we went on our own listening walk around the school wearing our listening ears so we could hear everything. We toured the indoor and outdoor areas to see how many different sounds we could hear. Using our tick lists we crossed them off. One of the sounds they heard the most was the wind blowing through the trees.

We have been making good use of our Early Years library, sharing books with our friend and telling stories to each other. The favourite book has been ‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’.

We got very creative painting our self portraits and using the wood work toys to create hedgehogs using tubes, nails and lolly sticks. The children showed great hand eye coordination skills in both activities.

The children have enjoyed the outdoor play with the dinosaurs in the water, digging and building in the sand and making a cherry picker with the Mobilo.

Good work Second Steps.

Miss Finch & Miss Vari

First Steps

First Steps children have been very busy learning a new song ‘5 Little Monkeys Swinging on a Tree’. We are hoping that you have already heard the melody or snapping hand actions at home.

The children dive in the story ‘Goldilocks and Three Bears’, retold the story using puppets and oats in messy tray. Having a picnic with our hand made bear masks at our garden was another great activity for children to bring up the story alive. We will carry out reading the same story upcoming week as well.

Sorting bears helped children to practise their counting and colour recognition. Some children found challenging to use the tweezers to transfer the bears as always practise made it perfect.

We are also practising saying “please” and “thank you” as part of daily life. The children show good progress on this, especially at snack time.

‘No Biting’ was another story we focused this week. The children had a chance to think what they could bite and what they could not. Apple and chocolate were popular answers for biting and friends & mummies for not biting.

The children were really enthusiastic to go to library this week where they had a chance to listen a story and chose a book and read it with their friends.

Well done First Steps for a fantastic week!

Have a nice weekend!

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

There are also some wonderful images from our Little Adventurers available through their own instagram page -

Useful Links -

...and besides, I already have my very own Nurse Gladys.
Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond