Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 4 - 30th SEPTEMBER 2016

From the Headmaster:

We clearly have some very talented engineers in school. The Year 2 and Year 3 children were challenged to design a storage solution for the scooters that are parked at school each morning. There are some most ingenious designs that are very worthy of recognition. We will be announcing the winning design at the assembly on Thursday and actually turning the design into reality.

As I headed into Richmond Park yesterday for some exercise, I was reminded that the sun is setting quite quickly. As I finished my lap in darkness (I did have bike lights but I still managed to frighten myself as a deer moved across my path) I was reminded that we have ordered and will therefore provide yellow reflective vests for all of our children for when they make their way to woodland school in addition to various other trips that involved them walking on the pavement. These 'school provided vests' will be stored in each classroom.

We are just three weeks away from half term (where has the time gone?) and we will be holding our parent consultation meetings in the final week of half term. A link to make appointments will be made available to you early next week.

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

Harvest Festival

There was a real sense of celebration at our Harvest Festival at the church on Thursday. It takes great courage to stand in front of a congregation and speak, all the more impressive that our various readers did it with such aplomb.

I was also impressed with the quality of the singing and selection of music. Reverend Coupland spoke about our wonderful world and encouraged us all to reflect on how fortunate we are to enjoy such nutritious riches. Various images showed fruit, vegetables and flowers growing quite happily in a variety of conditions, including a flower somehow flourishing in a crack in the concrete. Similarly, an image of cranberries growing in a similar habitat caused some discussion as to their correct name, please speak with Mrs Gardner for details!

As you can see, the children were in good voice and the very pleasing number of you who were able to attend appeared to throughly enjoy the performance.

Christmas Fayre

The sun is shining as I glance out of the window but it is noticeably cooler and Christmas is just around the corner. 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.

ISC Questionnaire

I would be very grateful if you could spare a few moments completing an ISC questionnaire. The survey is designed to help our school and the wider independent school sector understand parents’ decision making process when choosing a school for their son / daughter.

You can access the survey on line using the following link: http://dataportal.isc.co.uk/ParentSurvey/Welcome.aspx?SurveyID=229787. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, but it must be completed at one sitting. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a reliable internet connection when completing it. You will only need your normal web browser.

Please only complete one survey for our school. If you have more than one child at our school, please complete the survey for your eldest child. However, if you have children at another independent school, you may receive a separate request to complete the survey, which you may complete for that school, ensuring that you use the link supplied for that school.

Please be assured that all responses are treated in strictest confidence and your answers will only be used to perform aggregate analysis for our school and the sector as a whole.

If you have any problems accessing the survey, please contact the ISC Research Team (research@isc.co.uk).

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.

Parking

Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking 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.

Second Hand Uniform

In addition to the Harvest Festival, having harvested the substantial stock of second hand uniform from the basement, a most impressive £205 was raised for our charity Momentum through the sale of the uniform at the service on Thursday. I would very much like to thank those parents who kindly organised the sale and who have tackled a much needed task!

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 -https://www.facebook.com/groups/159726614471426/

Coffee Morning

I was delighted that so many of you were able to join me for the coffee morning on Wednesday. The general theme was 'the start of term'. Four weeks in to the start of term seemed to be a good time to review what has gone well and what we can do even better. As it was at the last coffee morning, the discussion was extremely positive and simply concerned with ensuring communication flows and that the children benefit from being part of a school that is thriving.

We have already acted on the suggestion that when sending an SMS to parents that we specify which child the message may concern for those with siblings. Likewise, receiving an alert if your child is due to receive a certificate is a small but well received step. Class parent representatives have kindly agreed to make contact with other parents to begin to update the welcome booklet not just for new parents but also to help the transition into a new year group - 'what would you have liked to have known?' and 'what did you find useful?' will help further improve the packs and literature that we send out to you all.

We are reviewing the 'uniform experience' and ensuring that the list is clear and comprehensive. Similarly, I will be meeting with representatives from Lester Bowden to ensure they are fully informed as to what is required.

We had a very positive discussion about homework which then led onto the suggestion that a homework workshop is held to provide tips and techniques on how to help your child. As an extension to this, we will also be holding further workshops on how we teach numeracy and literacy at various stages across the school as well as an interactive art workshop where you can join your children in learning various techniques and produce a joint masterpiece. Dates will be confirmed in the upcoming Deerstalker.

School Council Members 2016-2017

School Councillors

Although not quite on the same scale as Trump and Clinton and the election fever across the 'pond', we have our very own democratic processes here in school. We have seven very proud school councillors wearing their blue badges following the assembly. They will be playing a vital role in discussing and proposing a range of ideas and topics to further improve the school. I was particularly pleased to hear that they are keen to address the availability and type of playground equipment currently on offer. I very much look forward to hearing more of their suggestions in the coming weeks.

Information from First Steps

This week in First Steps, we had a very exciting visit from Story Storks. This involved an interactive workshop consisting of singing, dancing and acting out the story of Little Red Riding Hood. We all loved it. We also got to play instruments! It was wonderful and very funny!

Additionally, we helped create a Harvest festival box to put all of the food inside that we collected from our lovely parents. We took this box to church on Thursday and some of us received certificates for some wonderful work that we had completed this week.

Our teachers are very pleased with how well we have settled into the school and with how happy we seem!

Information from Second Steps

Expressive Arts and Design has been high on the agenda this week in Second Steps. On Tuesday morning we enjoyed and joined in with a wonderful Story Storks performance about Jack and the Beanstalk. This incorporated our topic of the senses.

Miss Georgina had a fun Performing Arts session where we imagined using our senses again, to smell, listen and feel things at the seaside. We hope you all enjoyed our singing and actions for our Harvest festival song, Red Big Combine Harvester. We certainly loved performing for you!

Alongside this we have worked hard on our letter of the week 't' and carried out lots of practical maths investigations. In all, a busy and enjoyable week.

Information from Reception

Reception have really enjoyed learning about Harvest and the story of Harvest Festival. We have also loved talking about our family portraits that were brought in from home. This generated much discussion about who we care for and why they are special to us. In Mathematics, we have been learning about 2-D shapes where we created our shape dinosaurs. Next week we are looking forward to leaning about the properties of 2-D shapes and also 3-D shapes.

Information from Year 1

This week Year 1 have continued to develop their artistic skills. We were inspired by the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and our objective was to use sculpture to develop our ideas and imagination. We designed and created environmental art at woodland school using only natural objects; leaves, twigs, pebbles and acorns to make people, squirrels, fish and hens.

In Literacy we have been exploring another fantastic story; Handa’s surprise and Year 1 decided to write their own surprise stories set in Britain for our Big Write!

In Mathematicss, we have been measuring and exploring centimetres and metres to find out how big our school is!

Information from Year 2 and Year 3

This week in Owl Class we have been learning about the multiplication and division family of facts. We particularly enjoyed making use of the lovely weather and working outside doing some physical Mathematics.

In Literacy, we have been continuing to develop our independent skills along with our comprehension. We have been looking at Proper Nouns doing our SPaG lesson. Please continue to point these out to children on signs around your local area. The children are really enjoying their Art lessons which has linked in lovely with our topic of 'Famous for more than 5 minutes.' This week, we have explored the work of Vincent van Gogh and created some wonderful sunflowers using a variety of water pastels.

After School Activities

The link to apply for a place on the various activities can be found here - https://goo.gl/forms/KKIVxldDMvPPCTti2

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. https://goo.gl/forms/2KxdpmMIGgE6fICV2

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

Certificate Winners

Demi Ibiyemi - Persevering with his maths activity.

Anjali Gupta - Perseverance in maths - adding and taking away using a blank number line.

Zachary Warner - Perseverance - learning 100 high frequency words.

April Williams - Persevering in Literacy by correcting her mistakes and solving the problem

Pascal Barikor - All round positive attitude.

Eva Liu - Excellent communication in stay-sing and play and for settling well into First Steps.

Abigail Lewis - Independently cutting and naming 3-D shapes.

William Pawsey-Persaud - excellent participation and vocabulary during Big Talk and, eager participation and confident and enthusiastic performing.

Holy Yapp - Always participating enthusiastically and singing beautifully.

Mahya Rutasikwa - Exceptional participation in both music and ballet.

Molly Sutterby - Joining in all the songs with confidence.

Mitah Verma - Excellent participation and singing.

Jennifer Kemp - Fantastic solo rendition of 'Big Red Combine Harvester.'

Jago Jones - Lovely and enthusiastic singing.

Krisha Karavakar - Excellent listening and confident singing.

Dates for the Diary -

Monday 3rd October - Flu Vaccination (Years 1-3, optional).

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

Thursday 13th October - Year 2 and Year 3 Visit to Madame Tussauds (tbc*).

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.

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

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 - 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.

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!

September 24th - October 5th - Gabrielle McLean, Rachel Lewis, Sophie Felton & Zahraa Alyacoby.

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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