Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 15 - 27th january 2017

From the Headmaster:

Xin Nian Hao!

The children in Second Steps were kindly visited by Mrs Dong and Mrs Lin who provided the children with a very interesting and informative explanation on the story behind the Chinese New Year celebrations. The children were also kindly given envelopes with freshly printed bank notes as is the tradition. Judging by the number of questions posed by the children they certainly enjoyed the story. I very much hope all of you celebrating Chinese New Year this weekend have a very enjoyable and happy time.

I am pleased to confirm that Miss Lucy Rose Menon will be joining the school on Monday as our new Second Steps teacher. Miss Menon has considerable experience of working in a number of schools both in the local area, as well as four years experience working in an international school in Singapore. Miss Menon will also bring with her considerable musical talent as she is able to play both piano and flute and is currently learning to play the guitar. Earlier this week, she spent time in the Second Steps Classrooms working with the children and meeting with Miss Dixon and Mrs Burn to ensure the good foundations laid by Miss Mesa continue to be built upon.

Social Evening - Awaken the tastebuds!

With the excesses of the festive season a somewhat distant memory and Spring just around the corner we thought it only right and proper that we awaken our tastebuds with the first Park Hill social event of the year.

A degustation menu created by Chef Junior Lopes accompanied by a selection of wine courtesy of Charlotte Dean (Wined Up Here) is almost certainly going to ensure a good time is had.

The intention is for the evening to be enjoyed by all, you are more than welcome to arrange tables of your friends and fellow class parents. The emphasis is on it being a social evening; enjoying good food, wine and company in a relaxed setting.

If you would like to join us for the evening, please follow this link to sign up -

It promises to be a most enjoyable evening and I look forward to seeing you next Friday.

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!

Do please read through the Deerstalker to learn more about the introduction of SchoolMoney - a system that I am aware many other schools currently provide that streamlines the payment of clubs, trips and visits.

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. - For your information, I shall not be in school on Monday as I am attending a Health and Safety Course in North London.

Information from First Steps

This week in First Steps we have been very busy and showed a great deal of interest when learning about Chinese New Year. Some of the activities we took part in included creating dragons and Chinese fans which we all enjoyed.

Also this week, we have continued our topic of opposites and have taken part in activities for learning about big/little, long/short and happy/sad. Furthermore, we enjoyed ballet with Miss Georgina followed by a cooking session where we decorated biscuits. Yummy!

Information from Second Steps

Seconds Steps have had an exciting and varied week at school. Our main theme for the week was 'Chinese New Year'. The children made colourful Chinese dragons, which we have put up on our display board in the small room for all to see! Kevin's and Alex's mums kindly offered to come in on Wednesday afternoon to tell us all about Chinese New Year. We learnt many things, such as, red is a lucky colour and 2017 is the year of the rooster. The children were delighted that they were also given some tasty snacks to try and money in special red envelopes!

Another highlight of the week was looking at the technology homework. The children brought in their favourite toys with buttons and levers, using their communication and language skills to explain to the class how they worked. There was such a variety of different items, from cameras to remote controlled trains! Thank you everyone!

In Performing Arts on Thursday, the children enjoyed acting out their favourite songs with Miss Georgina and Mrs Baillie. In Phonics we have looked at the ck sound and in maths have ordered items by length. Next week we are looking forward to our new story focus of the Ugly Duckling story while our sound of the week will be the letter U.

Information from Reception

What a very exciting week Reception have had. We have made some edible frog spawn using some green jelly and raisins. We managed to eat some of it and the rest we used in our messy tray to feel and experiment with. We also had an extremely exciting art session where we got to paint Receptions book corner into a ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ theme. In Literacy, we have been writing about what we would have at the top of our beanstalks and what we would do when we climbed to the top. In Maths, we have been looking at symmetry, making symmetrical shapes and even symmetrical butterflies in our art area.

Information from Year 1

This week in Year 1, we have continued to develop our knowledge of traditional tales, concentrating on Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. We had lots of fun in our BIG WRITE lesson writing our own traditional tale with wicked characters and brave heroes and heroines.

At Woodland School, we focused on Science looking at the world around us to identify signs of seasonal change and winter. We used the iPad to take photographs and discovered what a drey is… Do you know what they are?

"A drey is a football sized squirrel nest made from sticks which looks messy” - Zara.

The children have also made amazing progress in Maths, learning about partitioning and place value. So good are Year 1 that we have been taking on Year 2 level work and looking at 3 and 4 digit numbers, WOW!

Information from Year 2

In Year 2, the children have enjoyed planning an investigation. This week, we looked at waterproof materials, performing an experiment to find out which materials were waterproof - with some surprising results!

In Maths, we have been doing a lot of work on 2D shapes, naming and discussing the features of them. In addition, Year 2 began to look at right angles and which shapes contained them.

Both Year 2 and Year 3 enjoyed their trip to Richmond Park, where we took rubbings of various trees, leaves and sticks, in preparation for some fabulous art works - Thanks to Bernadette for accompanying us this week.

Information from Year 3

Year 3 have been carrying out many investigations over the last few weeks in Science linked with light and shadows. This week, we have been learning about transparent, translucent and opaque materials and their effect on shadows.

In Literacy, we have been learning about rhyming poetry and making up our own poems. We have been heavily influenced by Spike Milligan and thoroughly enjoyed making up our own versions of in the ‘Land of the Bumbley Boo.'

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 £1,476. 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.

School Money

I am delighted to confirm that we will very shortly be in a position to offer the facility for you all to make payments online for school activities such as school school trips, after school clubs and school photos, to name but a few!

It is no small administrative task collecting and keeping track of what payments have been received for the many events and trips that take place throughout the academic year. This, combined with the challenge that you may experience in either finding the correct change or writing a cheque to pay for your child’s activities can at times be frustrating.

Our new facility will enable us all to experience a more streamlined, secure and efficient payment collection system.

Once the various elements have been completed, you will receive a text message from the school inviting you to access a website as an option to make a payment for an activity. You then have the option of paying for this activity through

To ensure that the relevant details are entered accurately, we would ask you to notify us if you have recently changed your mobile number and/or email address.

We anticipate completing the various elements to enable us to use this service prior to half term. Once complete, I will write to you in advance of our return on Monday 20th February to provide you with the necessary details. Having spent some considerable time researching the various similar systems available and speaking with other schools in the area who utilise this method, I am confident this will make life just a little easier....

New Development

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

I am pleased to confirm that a Half Term Holiday Camp will be held at Park Hill, Monday 13th - Friday 17th February, organised by Premier Sport. As Premier Sport are experienced in delivering such camps I feel confident that they will match our standards and expectations. The cost will be £40 each day/£25 for children aged 3 years old for half a day. Please follow this link to make a booking -


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)

13th - 17th February - Half Term Holiday Camp

23rd February - Open Evening 5.30pm-7pm

24th February - Reception Class to The Holly Lodge Centre

2nd March - World Book Day

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

30th March - 12.30pm Easter Holiday

Certificate Winners

Congratulations to: Zahra Alyacoby; Sarah Bakhouche; Henry Blackburn; Jessica Blackburn; Elena Greenaway; Leo Jabourian; Layton McCormack; Amelie Blower; Zara Nelson; Barnaby Salmon; Lucas Tasche; Elena Vasilikostas & Zachary Warner.

Happy Birthday!

Ayoub Rahman

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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