From the Headmaster:

Thanks to the marvels of technology, I have edited the Deerstalker in various locations, invariably within the ‘border’ of the M25 but don’t assume I am always sitting behind my desk!

Well, skirting precariously on what might be a somewhat political edition of our newsletter, I am currently sitting on a rather uncomfortable Berlin Flughafen chair tapping away, with each word immediately saved to the cloud thanks to the marvels of the app we use for this publication, Adobe Spark Page.

Political? Well, I am unsure how many of you have had the very good fortune to visit Berlin, but I strongly recommend that you do. I am old enough, I am actually pleased to say, to have watched and understood the incredible ramifications of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. I recall with absolute clarity, the Berliners sitting astride the wall with pick axe and hammer playing their part in the removal of the barrier and allowing the reunification of families and of a city.

I shall make no comment about the individual currently advocating the construction of a wall especially having visited the memorial museum here in Berlin and seeing the human and emotional cost to such a barrier being erected.

I am in Berlin, as explained last week, to speak with and hear from colleagues and counterparts in Apple Distinguished Schools from Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. A quite fascinating two days hearing about ideas and initiatives currently in action in these schools.

Already lined up are visits to and from such schools in London and pupil digital leaders meeting to share ideas and learning.

My attempt to avoid talk of politics is now truly undermined as I give you the results of our own Park Hill European Elections. Understanding democracy is a compulsory element to the curriculum. Do not underestimate how familiar and how keen our children are to express their political opinions.

As such, Miss Gardner ensured all children from Reception through to Year 5 had a vote. Not just that, the children discussed the manifestos of each party to inform their vote; no mean feat all things considered!

The results?

* Green Party - 29

* Conservative Party - 10

* Liberal Democrats - 5

* Brexit - 4

* Labour - 1

I will leave the political analysis to those more qualified, although it does seem to be a fairly clearcut result. As you can see from Kerem below, our children took the process very seriously. I don’t know who he voted for, although his tie looks like it is a little to the left.

So, a well deserved break for all. Much to look forward to after the final half term of the academic year, I look forward to welcoming you back after half term (assuming I decide to catch the flight back home tonight, it wouldn’t take much encouragement for me to become a Berliner.)

Yours sincerely,


Management Information System (MIS)

Thank you for your help in returning the data sheets for our migration to a new MIS. All but five forms have been returned which is very good, although a few detentions are in the offing.

I think it is important that I clarify some of the permission fields as we have quite rightly had a few queries.

Copyright Permission - Where children create a wonderful piece of work, including where the work is created jointly with a member of staff or another pupil, we may use that work for the purpose of promoting the interests of the School, including exhibiting it, publishing it in the School newsletter or prospectus or putting it or a copy of it on our website.

Internet Access - in addition to a ‘net nanny’ on its highest setting, children are supervised by staff when using devices as well as staff using Apple Classroom to monitor which sites can be visited within the lesson. Should you prefer for your children not to use the internet please let us know so I can explain in greater detail the measures we have in place to secure their use.

School Outings - whilst we ask for your permission through SchoolMoney for every school trip, by ticking this option you give us permission to visit ‘regular’ trips to the Park and Ditton Field.

Photograph Students - should you wish that no photographs are taken of your child whatsoever, for example for classroom displays or indeed for Tapestry, select this option.

Images on Social Media - whilst we use social media as a key communication tool, we avoid using full names of children in posts. We recognise that you may prefer that the face of your child is not published onto social media, in which case we would cover their face on the images or avoid publishing images containing your child.

Sex Education - or more accurately Sex and Relationships Education. We promote through our PSHE curriculum positive behaviour and therefore positive relationships. How to resolve conflict, how to help, how to be a good friend etc. It is only from Year 4 onwards that we will write to you individually to explain how we then teach sex education. This is entirely age appropriate and, once fully informed, ask for your specific written permission at that point.

Data Exchange - this is only relevant to prospective parents. The parent consents to their application being given to another school in our group, if a place is not available at Park Hill.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide you with any further information.


I am hoping that those of you who have already had the need to contact AlleyCatz have been very happy with the service received.

I can confirm that all items of school uniform are now in stock. These include the Prep School summer blouse, new soft shell fleece jacket, games kit, school bag and games haversack.

We are naturally proud of our uniform and are delighted that we are in the position with AlleyCatz to have the confidence that all items are in stock and available.

I would like to confirm that for the summer term-

Girls from Year 3 must wear the grey skort, pink stripe blouse, grey v-neck sweater, blazer with plain white socks.

Girls in Reception to Year 2 must wear the pink striped summer dress, white cardigan, blazer and plain white socks.

Boys from Reception through to Year 6 must wear grey shorts, white shirt, school tie, blazer and grey socks (Year 3 and above - school black cap for sun protection; Reception to Year 2 - maroon sunhat with crest).

Children are welcome to wear the new white summer games t-shirt from this term but as we did not anticipate this being in stock so soon, it will not be compulsory until next academic year.

By popular demand the unwieldy book bag is not being reordered and is being replaced by an ergonomic backpack that is, quite simply put, better for Reception children through to Year 6.

We have been alert to the bulging rucksack on swimming and games days, with items somehow wedged in with all the necessary garments for the day.

This was quite a concern for young spines and shoulders. A more durable haversack for games kit that can fold away when not in use is now in stock for when your child's current maroon rucksack needs replacing. The bootbag remains available, along with a vastly improved waterproof swimming bag which is also now in stock. All these items will be personalised by AlleyCatz when ordered.

Please follow this link to access the order form for AlleyCatz and to view the uniform items for the summer term.

Naming Uniform

We do our very best to return lost property but we do come up against the challenge of nameless items. We would be grateful if you could please ensure that every piece of clothing (including shoes) are clearly labelled, ideally with a sewn in name tag. If possible, please ensure these labels are attached in the neckline of tops/ coats and in the back waistband of bottoms to help with easy identification.

Collection Arrangements - Safeguarding

We would be most grateful if any messages regarding collection are passed at the gate with Mrs Watts or Mrs Blower, emailed or called through to the office and not left with the teacher.

Similarly, we would also be grateful if any last minute changes to collection (from 2.30pm) are called through to the School Office and not emailed to ensure the message has been received.

Social Media


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

STEAM Day Digital Leaders

Our sister school St. Nicholas School travelled south of the river to take part in a rather interesting challenge using engineering skills, woodworking skills and tech to build and face a chariot. Fascinating variety of end products and design process.

Mr Stevenson led the event with great skill and hopefully sparked a few engineering careers as a result.

Key Dates & Notices

Thursday 6th June - Year 2 Camp Out

Friday 14th June - Summer Social BBQ from 3.30pm

Saturday 29th June - Speech and Sports Day St Mary’s University. 9.30am to 1pm.

Thursday 4th July - Summer Performance

News from the Classes

News from Year 4 and Year 5

To assess the last week of our first half of Summer Term 2019 it would be, assessing our progress. However, weaved in between, have been many moments of number investigation, Dada word play and DRAMA!

In Maths, aside from taming the Puma, we have been investigating numbers and using the restriction of using one digit numbers only once to create addition, subtraction, division and multiplication problems. This was in order to create a two digit answer that their teacher (me, Mr Papps) had set them. The investigation encouraged pupils to employ numbers facts such as number bonds and their times tables with the restriction of limited numbers.

Our experiments continued in their English lessons too. After writing our stories with fantasy elements and a tourism brochure to promote a coastal resort, we delved in to the avant-grade world of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich around 1915 (though, it was more 11:35am). We learnt about DADA poetry and it’s influence on culture, namely David Bowie lyrics for ‘Life on Mars’.

To create our poetry we spliced up sentences in to individual words; editing them in to new, odd and obscure sentences with elements of surrealism. We enjoyed sharing our new and weird interpretations, whilst cementing our ability to understand and experiment with words, both familiar and unfamiliar, to construct poetic prose.

It was a dramatic end to the week as our theatrical guest Ciaran, who writes for the Rose Theatre, presented his inventive and inclusive story focussed on Tudor life and theatres across London. Pupil’s took on roles in the story as Ciaran took Year 4 and 5 on a journey starting in Hampton Palace, the Court of Henry Tudor, where a budding young actress strived to perform on the greatest theatrical stages along the river Thames. Ciaran’s story invited us in to heart of London’s performing circles with William Shakespeare taking centre stage. We discovered the details of Tudor theatres and how many stages stood next to the Thames including the 16th Century Rose Theatre.

It was a pleasure to see pupils revelling in the thespian environment and exploring the roots of London Theatre as they themselves prepare for the school plaoy that will be their focus after half term. Until then we hope you shall enjoy creating our kites and relaxing over the half term break.

Fantastic work Year 4 and 5, we look forward to seeing you fresh faced and ready to act next month.

News from Year 3

Another busy week at Park Hill. Year 3 have had an exciting week in Humanities making Viking Longships out of wood using all our new woodwork tools.

Alongside our termly Assessments we have been busy with current politics, voting with a Polling station in the chalet, ably run by Ms Gardner and her Year 4 and 5 helpers.

Another highlight of the week was a visit from Ciaran from The Rose Theatre reliving Roman life and culture, as pupils were transported back to Londinium at the time of Julius Caesar with the domestic problem of fighting against a new straight road being built a cross a farm. Through clever story telling, Ciaran, took them on a journey to the heart of the Roman Empire in Rome. In Rome we found ourselves amongst slaves and Emperors in the Collesueum up against Gladiators and Lions in the arena. Fortunately their story had a happy ending and the road was diverted around the farm.

News from Year 2

This week, the children have been working very hard on their assessments. Reading, writing, maths, spellings, have all be tested - and smell very impressive results have come out. But, even with all of this going on, work has continued. In English, the children have finished their work on instructions, and in maths, our work on shapes is complete.

The Stone Age was the topic of history this week, and the children looked and compared their experiences at the chiltern open air museum, to some facts they were given. They even tested out some carving on bars of soaps.

A STEAM activity was played out this week against St Nicholas’ school. The year 2 digital leaders formed part of the park Hill school team and we took them on in a series of woodworking challenges. After creating our chariot, we competed in a many races, and almost came out on top. Well done digital leaders for putting on a brilliant show.

News from Year 1

Another action packed week for Year 1.

At woodland school we continued our exploration of the area Kings copse and discovered a herd of deer, numerous unusual mini beasts and a treasure trove of pine cones.

We engaged in mindful drawing of the trees and environment around us and really enjoyed listening to the sounds of nature whilst we drew with charcoal and graphite pencils.

In class we have been practicing our writing skills looking at information and story writing. Year 1 wrote some fantastic retelling of the little red hen.

Our mental maths skills continue to improve and we can now answer place value questions quickly and understand varied mathematical vocabulary.

We continue use to look at special books and why some books are precious and have begun to read classics such as Beatrix Potter.

News from Reception

Reception are thoroughly enjoying swimming and I feel lucky to be present in such a lovely activity. Over the past three weeks the children have increased in confidence and it is a delight to see them make phenomenal progress. Following on from our topic ‘Construction,’ and based on Yusuf’s interest for diggers, the children learnt the different names and their uses: Excavator - a shovel truck, bulldozer - shovel to scrape and move dirt, dump truck - back can tilt to dump, cement mixer and a crane. The children then created their own shape truck in maths using 2D shapes.

In science we looked at magnetism, looking at both south and north magnetic fields. We experimented with the attraction and repelling force, and also what materials are magnetic and non magnetic. We then made pictures using iron filings which we were all amazed by! The children’s faces were a picture and in great ore.

In STEM this week the children built their own marshmallow towers, spinners, museum scarecrows, eagles, fairgrounds and 3D shapes. See tapestry.

The mystery reader has began with triumph. Thank you for your interest, the children have got their detective hats on! Firstly, we looked at what the word ‘mystery’ means; “it means when you don’t know something so you try to find out, like the time thief” Timothy. “It’s like when someone walks up the path but has trodden in raspberries and leaves a raspberry trail so then you work out who has left the trail” Max. Brilliant answers. We highlighted that there will be some mystery readers visiting, but it’s a TOP secret. This week it has been Mrs Motigin and her clues was a little tricky but the children managed to work it out in the end. It was an incredible experience for the children to be exposed to Russian language and listen to the story in dual language. Thank you again.

News from Second Steps

This week has been another fun packed week, filled with many activities and exciting experiences. The children have thoroughly enjoyed their learning throughout the week. We asked the children what they enjoyed the most about their week.

“I enjoyed creating mud monsters at Richmond Park.”- Zachary

“I had fun playing with the mud kitchen in the hot sun”- Kit

“I have enjoyed golden time.”- Rameez

As part of our Topic “ Under the Sea”, we have been learning different types of creatures that live in the sea and for Art and Craft, they enjoyed creating star fish sandwiches.

“I had to use the knife to spread the spreads onto the bread ”- kit

“ I put honey on my bread, it was yummy .”- Lizzy

Throughout the week the children have been exploring the Sea Life trays, using their sense to investigate the items in the trays. They have enjoyed listening to classical music with a Sea Life background.

For woodland school, the children had so much fun, creating forest friends using mud clay and items within the environment.

“Look Miss Menon! Do you like my butterfly, I just need some more wings.”- Gisele

“I had to flatten the mud clay and I stuck some leaves and a twig on it.”- Kassius

We have enjoyed the sunny weather and have been working as well as playing outdoors for majority of the week. The children have enjoyed playing in the mud kitchen, cooking some yummy food for their teachers and friends. We have been focusing on our balancing skills using the tyres, logs and balancing beam in the bark area.

Have a lovely half term!

News from First Steps

First Steps children has worked as hard as bumble bees this week. The children created many bee pictures at art table painting being yellow circle then adding black stripes on it. We discussed how bees make honey and who likes eating honey for their breakfast.

We planted different seeds to help bees to make honey at Woodland School. We dig the soil then put it our pots and made a hole. Children enjoyed putting the seeds in the pots. Then watered them with our spray bottle.

Following children interests we have created a plane using a box and many chairs. The children have created their own tickets and passports to get in the plane. The Princess Airline was so popular and landed its passengers to a beach at Barbados.

Dinosaur land was very popular at our outdoor and held many bottles and stories. We used dried pasta and pipe cleaners to decorate bracelets for mummies. Used our scissors to cut the grass.

The children rolled, pinched and pat the play dough to create bee’s missing stripes and cat’s whiskers. We also talked about how do we feel when we help other people and animals.

Smelling mint leaves, squeezing oranges and lemon slices helped children to use their senses and make lots of juices for their friends and teachers.

At PE lesson First Steps children practised coordinating their lower and upper body running and spinning their arms.

Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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