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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 150 - 24th September2021

From the Headmaster:

There were a few broad smiles at the assembly on Thursday following this rendition of this particular Bruno Mers/Olly Mars song. I, for one, found myself whistling it for the remainder of my day.

I have written about privilege on previous occasions. The privilege I enjoy at sitting here in my office listening to Ms Tomaskova strumming on her guitar as the children lean into the latest song or melody. Lean? Yes, a carefully selected word to capture the enviable ease at which all of our children break into song.

I also enjoy the privilege of heading into either of our nursery classes and being reminded of how simple life really deserves to be.

Whilst it was officially last week, my highlight of what has been a particularly enjoyable week was the return of our parent social. I was able to,at various points to stand back and enjoy seeing our Park Hill family come together again and enjoy a sunny afternoon with on another. Thank you from joining us and for making it such an enjoyable occasion.

I hope that whatever you have planned this weekend that you enjoy being with one another. Off to the Stoop for me, it’s been a few months….

Alistair

A request for your help…

I am afraid that whilst we do attempt to develop and maintain good relationships with our neighbours I regret that we received a less than pleasant complaint from a neighbour regarding parking, noise and an forcefully expressed perception of our school and our community.

Whilst many of us enjoy the privilege of walking or cycling to school I would be very grateful, as I am sure would our neighbours, if you could avoid -

  1. Parking across driveways, no matter how temporary.
  2. Avoid parking on the private property of the surrounding apartment blocks.
  3. Do not park on the yellow zigzag directly in front of school from 8am through to 4pm (at the very least you will avoid an immediate parking fine if the warden is surveillant)
  4. Please do help us in addressing what is an alleged (mis) perception of the school and by extension of me as being less than friendly and approachable.

It seems that the noise from a jet wash contractor prior to the start of term has resulted in a fairly heated exchange of views on a certain social network. This, as well as the parent social last Saturday appears to have been a catalyst for the complaint.

Whilst I can personally address noise at the weekend, I would be grateful for your support with the parking and consideration for our neighbours. 🙏

Assembly

Rise up this mornin'

Smile with the risin' sun

Three little birds

Pitched by my doorstep

Singin' sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true

Sayin', "This is my message to you, whoo-hoo"

‘A proper explorer…’

Bob Marley and Sir Ranulph Fiennes? Not many links could be made between these two gentlemen but there is a link and an important message too.

Despite his extraordinary array of records and adventures, Sir Ranulph has/had two fairly significant fears.

The first? Spiders. A paralysing fear of the poor, misunderstood creatures. He overcame his fear by camping in the desert amongst a certain variety known for their hairiness and size. After the umpteenth arachnid had walked over his legs he came to the realisation that they were not to be feared. His fear was irrational.

Some viewer discretion is advised, you have been warned, however I recommend that you watch from 13 minutes in to learn about how this most extraordinary explorer overcame his second worry.

I find it similarly extraordinary that someone who has climbed and trekked great distances has a similar paralyzing fear of heights. There you have it. Sir Ranulph Fiennes suffered from vertigo.

As you will hear from the video above, at the age of 60 he decided to do something about that and took on the North Face of the Eiger. Proper drops and a good place to ‘lose’ your vertigo.

We all have worries, we all have things that may give us a restless night or a little agitation.

Having shared some of our worries we also decided that by speaking to someone about your worries is really important and incredibly helpful.

So. No matter how big or small your worry, share it with someone, they will help you. Even if it means climbing the Eiger…🧗

National Champion

We are always keen to celebrate success whether this be in school or outside of school. Mario in Year 5 has enjoyed particular success recently.

Mario took part in BISHA (British Inline Skater Hockey Association) Tournament Finals last Sunday.

His Team, Avalanche IHC 10U won and became BISHA National Champions!

The Team won all (15 out 15) matches on the way to the finals.

Although Mario played most matches in defence (hence the clean sheet 😊 ), he become third highest goal-scorer within the whole 10U league with 9 goals and 2 assists.

To add to this, Mario also played in older age group 12U; in this age group Avalanche came second; hence two medals: Gold and Silver on the pictures.

Many congratulations, Mario. A superb achievement!

Year 6

Year 6 have finished their first book, ‘Oranges in No mans land’ and have worked hard to summarise the whole book in two pages. It was brilliant to see which events the Year 6’s thought were key and should be included, and the level of description that each required for each one to make sense.

We now move on to our new topic using the book, ‘A world of information’ to analyse non fiction texts and write our own. Already, the children have begun comparing our new and old texts for differences in writing style.

Maths has led us to the edges of algebra and sum manipulation. Using the fact that addition and subtraction are opposite processes, we’ve started to create our own ways of check sums, and develop simple algebraic equations to show how they can be manipulated.

Science involved the application of Newton’s laws to work out and then use F=ma. The key principle being that the greater the mass, the greeter the force required to move it. We continue with this next week.

Humanities has led us to analyse and compare two different cities in the same ancient civilisation - Athens and Sparta. Despite being geographically close, they had significant differences.

I was lucky to hear the music snd songs being sung from my classroom on my way around school - the end of half term mini concert promises to be excellent.

Finally, a debate raged in our classroom this week over what makes a good citizen - should a citizen be required to defend a country? Does smoking make a citizen bad? And is someone not a good citizen if they ‘manipulate’ the rules of a game to win? All these questions were posed in our PSHCE lesson this week and caused disagreement. The debate continues.

Year 5

Year 5 have been learning about the Central Nervous System in Science this week. After comparing the speed of their ability to quickly grab a ruler as it falls through their hands against the speed that their pupils dilate in changing light, the children are able to describe the difference between a reflex and a reaction. This knowledge was further extended with exploring the reflex arc and then went on to explain this in a method of their choice. Some children have opted for embracing the green screens, animations or layering videos in iMovie.

In our Humanities studies, the children have been utilising the chat rooms in Showbie to re-enact the period between the end of WW1 through to the German invasion of Poland as if it were on modern social media. The chat room has allowed for the children to view the timeline of the build up to war through the different perspectives of citizens, soldiers, politicians and leaders from all sides.

Year 4

It’s been a busy week in Year 4. We have been looking at inverted commas in our class reader - Krindlekrax and have created conversations between our protagonist and his horrible friend. In our Maths lessons we have been continuing working on our place value including ordering 4 digits from largest to smallest and adding and subtracting 1000 to numbers.

In Science we have been looking at the different length of years on all of the planets had fun working out how young or old we would be on Mercury and Neptune! The class - as ever - are continuing to work very hard across the curriculum and continue to amaze me with their kindness to each other and the children around the school. Well done Year 4.

Year 3

Year 3 have continued their work on The Iron man coming up with new and more powerful literary devices to describe The Iron man, which we then built into a powerful paragraph varying the sentence start avoiding repetition. In Mathematics we have been learning different ways to add, from counting on, breaking up the digits as well as vertical addition for those who were ready. The children thoroughly enjoyed using digit cards to generate their own sums in increasing digits as their confidence grew. With pur Roman topic the children enjoyed sharing and presenting their homework projects finding out a variety of facts that interested them. From paper and tea, to iMovie and Keynote we had a really creative way to present our work. Well done Year 3.

Year 2

In Year 2 we have continued our work on character description. We have started to use fantastic adjectives to describe how our characters are feelings and their physical traits. With a focus on story structure, we have also looked at interesting sentence starters and conjunctions to join our ideas together.

In maths we started the week by looking at place value and now we have moved onto understanding the meaning of equal signs. With great games and interactive group work outside to identify two equal maths, we’ve had a wonderful week.

Earlier on this week we worked in groups to build bridges with paper and blue tack. All of us worked tremendously in a team and managed to balance a ball on our bridges!

Science involved taking pictures of mini beasts outside in our bark area and investigating if they were carnivores or herbivores. We found some worms, ladybugs, spiders and quite a few other insects too!

Finally, we read Mr Xargle and we had a heated debate about the existence of Aliens! We began to discuss what they might look like and if they would be scared of us if we spoke to them!

Year 1

Year 1 have become rather proficient at comparing this week. Not only have we been comparing addition and subtraction statements using inequality signs but we have also been looking at what is the same and different with Victorian toys.

In our Humanities topic we have been exploring the concept of time and how time is measured, beginning by differentiating between past and present. We have been learning about timelines, chronology with an interesting focus question to stimulate effective discussions.

In RE this half term we are looking at belonging and developing an appreciation for the wonderful world around us.

In Science we have been looking closely at the 5 types of plants-sorting and grouping plants according to characteristics and features.

In literacy we are developing our descriptive writing skills learning how to describe using all our senses and really focusing on strengthening our phonics knowledge to support both reading and writing.

Reception

Reception have certainly been busy this week and they seem to have now adapted to the new routines of full time school.

In literacy this week we have been recalling and recapping the sequence of the story in our focus book “Owl Babies”. The children can now retell the story like experts and they can often recall phrases from the book with ease and confidence. The children have particularly enjoyed saying Bill’s repeated refrain: “I want my mummy”. The children now understand the terms “beginning, middle and end” and they can quickly identify what happens at these stages in the book. These skills are also beginning to be applied when we are exploring our weekly reading books.

We have started our initial sound journey by looking at and identifying things that begin with ‘s’. Our song “come on everyone let’s slither with sssss” has really helped the children to remember this sound. (What can you find this weekend that begins with this sound?)

In Maths we have been focusing on representing numbers and developing our skills in matching numeral and quantity. The children have been using cubes to find new ways to make a given number and we have been developing our critical thinking skills by discussing how we have achieved the task. We have been matching numeral and number pattern to actions and have been using our “tapping sticks” to tap out the correct number of beats to match the number rolled on the dice. Finally the children have consolidated these skills by attempting either the green (easy), orange (middle) or red (hard) challenges to allow them to match the correct number of owls to the correct numeral or dot pattern.

The owl theme has continued into Woodland School this week where we collected natural objects to make a picture of an owl. We had feathers made from leaves, eyes made from stones and wings made from bark. The children really thought about their art products and often worked together to create imaginative owl pictures.

Well done reception, another fabulous week of fun, laughter and smiles.

Second Steps

Another great week in Second Steps.

We started the week by discovering lots of different Under the Sea creatures. We have been reading a lot of Sea related stories. The Rainbow Fish, sharing his shiny scales. Tiddler, telling his stories and finding his way home. Sharing a shell, a hermit crab looking for the right sized shell and finding out facts from The Big Book of the Blue. We discovered that jelly fish have no bones or ears.

As the children’s focus was on jelly fish we made our own giant jellyfish that is now swimming around in our classroom. Second Steps being decided to spontaneously make their own jellyfish by cutting and gluing with amazing results.

To continue their under the sea interest we made the sea with the sea animals. Using cornflour, water and blue paint, the children felt the different ingredients before we mixed them, describing how they felt, soft, smooth, wet, cold, blue. They watched it become a semi solid liquid and they were swirling the blue water and cornflour to make swirls.

For our STEM activity we have been learning how to use the Robot Mouse, setting up the maze using the prompt cards to see if he can find the cheese. He he wasn’t very successful but we have plenty of time to work it out.

Happy 4th birthday to Bethan.

Well done John and Louis on their certificates this week.

*if you have any cardboard tubes ready for the recycling could you please bring them into school for junk modelling. Thank you.

Miss Finch,Miss Wood and Miss K.

First Steps

First steps deerstalker

First Steps have found there feet around the classroom and are all slowly settling in getting more comfortable on a daily basis. They all thoroughly enjoyed their PE lessons the children were crawling inside the tunnels with Lego obstacles. They also had a chance to practice their throwing and catching skills again with the beanbags and compared to last weeks PE lesson they all have improved and have a stronger catching and throwing technique well done everyone! They have also been practising their balancing and they are more confident to give new things a try with the support of adults.

First Steps spent a lot of time In the sensory tray this week, they spent many hours playing with the wet couscous and filling the plastic numbers with it. For cooking this week children made their own pizza breads and had it for snack. They loved this as they got a chance to make their own snack and do small jobs like spread the sauce on bread and sprinkle the cheese. We also started making our flower portraits to decorate our big classroom tree. We first started by making our handprints and then we took happy smiling photos of the children and stuck their hand prints around their face so it became a beautiful happy flower tree with our first steps children portraits. Well done!

Mrs Guniz Mrs Mousi Ms Bambi

Physical Education & Games

The year 5 & 6 this week in P.E worked on overload in a 2v1 and 4v3 situations where the attackers had the advantage and were challenged in making fast and accurate decisions on when to dribble and when to pass. In Sport Science they were exploring the physical, mental and social benefits of physical activity and how different sports may affect these categories differently. The Year 3 & 4 have explored the reasons on why we should exercise and the positive effects it has on our physical and mental well being and what is meant by staying healthy. It has been brilliant to see pupils embrace the values of sportsmanship from last week and continued to share good examples of treating one another with kindness, fairness and respect.

Mr McArthur

French

Year 5 & 6 had a revision session this week covering both week 1&2 topics. Children had to complete a French greeting puzzle after which they completed a worksheet where they had to name and count several objects around the classroom.

For sentence writing, children had to chose which sentence writing challenge they would opt for: easy - challenging - very challenging. I was very pleased to see them go for the last option, challenging themselves to the task and assisting their peers to help them complete their work.

Year 5 Were introduced to our new topic for next week “ Dans Ma trousse il y a …”. Children had to work in pair and research the French translation for classroom supplies.

They then compared and checked their results and we concluded our session with a correction.

Maitresse Narjiss

Music

We have an exciting Evening of Music coming up on the last day of term, Friday 15th of October. Parents are invited to join us for a refreshment in the playground at pick up time, the show starts at 4 pm. Students from each year will perform favourite tunes from musicals and movies. We will also have Mr Joe Reece on drums to join us. If your child would like to perform on an instrument, please contact me, Magdalena Tomaskova (magdalena.tomaskova@parkhillschool.com to be put on the program. I am thrilled to be working with incredibly talented students at Parkhill and wonderful Miss Georgina, who performed in many West End musicals. We will enjoy the music and put on a great show! Violin lessons will start after half term - we still have a few places available. Afterschool choir has started on Thursdays. We are looking for more children from reception - year 3 to join us. Yesterday we had lots of fun with Abba songs and learning how to breathe and sing in harmony.

Ms Tomaskova

Images from the week

Key Events

I am delighted to confirm that we are able to return to our St. Paul's Church assemblies every Thursday morning.

Tuesday 5th October – E-Safety Parent Workshop, 8.45am (also through zoom)

Thursday 7th October – Harvest Festival

Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th October – Parent Consultation Meetings

Covid-19 Regulations

You will be aware that as a school we are no longer required to maintain ‘bubbles’ and are no longer involved in the track and trace of individuals. Should there be a positive case, NHS Track and Trace will determine who has been a close contact and inform those people directly. They will be advised to take a PCR test. As detailed in the latest DfE regulations - Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.

They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

The measures we will continue to take as a school is as follows –

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone

2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes

3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases

In light of all of the above information we are delighted that we will once again be able to welcome you into school for the morning drop off as well as for the myriad of events such as workshops and social events. For the first week, as the children settle into their routine we feel it prudent that children in Year 3 – 6 are collected from the front of the school whilst children in nursery , Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can be collected directly from their classrooms. In due course we will review this but given the numbers congregating, we would prefer to take a measured approach at this time.

Members of prep school staff will remain with their class should they have siblings in the nursery or pre-prep who can be collected first. We are delighted that we can have this invaluable contact with you again, the conversations at the classroom door are so important to ensure the very best relationships.

The school gate will be open from 8am-8.05am for early drop off and then open again from 8.15am – 8.30am where you are welcome to walk through with your children to their classrooms. Lessons will commence promptly at 8.30am. Clubs will finish at 5pm, with children being brought to the front of the school for collection and children attending after school club from 5pm to 6pm should be collected from the front door. We shall continue to be alert to any changes in guidance as we head to the winter months and inform you accordingly.

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

Indulge me….

I don’t hide my admiration of Sir Fiennes and will confess to being a little star struck a few years ago (the young lady in the picture is a little taller now…) but an absolute gentleman. A certain young lady still has his autograph carefully stored away.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond