Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 39 - 10th november 2017

From the Headmaster:

Normal service has now been resumed. A slight hiatus with the technology consumed quite some time last weekend. With these challenges now overcome (nothing like a little perseverance) I am pleased to provide you with the 39th edition of the Deerstalker.

Although the colder weather has resulted in a few coughs and colds amongst the staff and children we have once again managed to fit in six days worth of activity into five.

I was pleased that so many of you were able to join us for our Remembrance Assembly on Thursday. It is arguably one of the most moving assemblies of the year, not least because of the impressive recital of ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ that followed Mrs. Baillie’s performance of Elgar’s Nimrod. It is extraordinary just how quintessentially British this piece of music is.

This same music provided the background to one of the three videos that were viewed during the assembly. I have provided the links to access the sites in this edition.

We have been very occupied further enhancing and developing the computing curriculum and use of iPads to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.across the school. Further details can be found by scrolling down.

It is an impressively busy week ahead of us. We have the RSPB visiting us on Monday; my coffee morning and evening on Wednesday; the hosting of a computing conference on Thursday and our Open House (to which you are all very much invited to) on Friday afternoon. Details of this last event can be found immediately after this introduction. In other words, rest up this weekend!

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


PS - Please do not forget to join me on Wednesday for my regular coffee morning and, for those of you unable to attend, an evening session from 6.30pm on the same day where I will be explaining how we have approached a review of our curriculum to include and promote verbal/non-verbal reasoning and lateral thinking.

Open House

I am aware that whilst we make every effort to keep you updated on all that is happening at school and how your child is progressing, you do not necessarily get the opportunity to see your children in their classroom ‘in action’ and nor do they get the opportunity to show you their work on display and in their books and to learn more about the activities that take place throughout the whole school.

Therefore, we would like to invite you to join us next Friday afternoon from 2pm onwards to not only visit your child’s classroom but also to visit the classrooms across the school. Chef Leon will be busy in the kitchen preparing some tempting delicacies and refreshments to enjoy after your visit. The side gate will be open from 2pm so that you can hopefully join us for the afternoon before starting your weekend.

Drumming at Park Hill

We have a growing number of drummers at Park Hill and I think, judging by these two examples, they are enjoying themselves-

Christmas Fayre

I am delighted to inform you that preparations for our Fayre are in full flight with many of you kindly giving up your valuable time to ensure we all have an enjoyable day.

The committee have asked me to provide you with the following information -

It’s that time of year again… John Lewis and M&S are launching their fairytale adverts, we are being bombarded with present ideas and the Christmas puddings are being piled high in the shops – all of which means it is time to start thinking about the Park Hill Christmas Fair.

This year it is going to be on Saturday 2nd December from 12-2pm.

We held our first meeting on Tuesday morning and enormous progress has been made already towards making this our best fair ever. We want to raise as much money as possible for the extras that make going to Park Hill such fun. In previous years, we have bought robots to programme, dressing up clothes, and toys for the playground. The School Council decides how the money is spent and they always have some really interesting and innovative ideas.

This year Santa will be in his grotto, there will be delicious food and mulled wine, craft stalls, face painting, a nail bar, a Pie-Face challenge, karaoke, a VR experience, cakes and a Mummies’ Beauty Palace amongst many other fun activities on the day.

Your class parent and those running the stalls will be in touch to ask every parent to sign up for at least half an hour on a stall. You may be surprised what great fun it can be and how much class team spirit can be generated raising money for such a good cause. (There’s no official competition between the classes, but …..!)

Please can you also volunteer, if you can, to set up the fair on Friday 1st December between 4-6pm, and to help clear up afterwards.

We would love tombola prizes, raffle prizes, Christmas decorations, so please donate something if you can. And please let your class rep know if you can make cakes for the cake stall.

So make sure Saturday 2nd December, from 12-2pm, is firmly in your diary and please invite neighbours, friends and family for what promises to be a wonderful start to your Christmas celebrations.

Remembrance Assembly

I think we were all moved at the assembly this week.

As I explained to the children, with the passing of time, the responsibility to ‘remember them’ is ours to assume.

We discussed what is meant by ‘When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today’ and how Flanders Fields, in particular the poem by John McCrae has led to us to remember their sacrifice for the last 97 years through the wearing of poppies.

Do take time to view these videos again with your children and, as I said at the time, do allow your children to watch the television broadcast on Sunday morning at 11am to reinforce the importance ‘to tell them of us’.

News from the Classes

First Steps

We have had another great week in first steps.

We have been learning about the letter 'a' and number 1.

We had a letter 'a' hunt around the classroom and in the garden to see how many items or toys we could find. Afterwards counting to see how many items we found.

We found 1 apple, 1 picture of an Ape, 1 ant (it was a bug but the children said it was an ant) and lots of aeroplanes.

While we were counting aeroplanes we saw a butterfly in the garden, then we fluttered around being butterflies.

The children have had a lot of interest in play dough this week. Kit especially, leading the play using the small cake cases to make cupcakes for all his friends.

Also the children were cutting the dough to share with friends, rolling it out with their hands to make snakes and ants.

We have been learning how to put stamps on letters and posting them in the post box.

The children were writing letters to their friends and taking it in turns to be the postman to deliver them.

I'm sure this will soon turn into letters to Santa!

Second Steps

A busy week for Second Steps, we started off by exploring Richmond Park. We had to find specific colours and find items for those colours. We then stuck the items under the given colours. Second Steps have been learning Sign Language (Makaton) and have been practicing how to sign the song “Sing a Rainbow”. We have also been learning the importance of caring for each other. Second Steps have enjoyed learning numeracy and quantity 0-10 and had great fun forming a line for each given number. We have been exploring the bark area, making lots of mud cakes, mud biscuits and other yummy food! Second Steps have been learning how to use the iPads and carry out simple tasks.


Reception this week have done some amazing pattern work in maths. Not only have they taken the information and applied it to their independent learning but they have also been busy creating their own unique patterns on keynote. It was amazing to see them confidently changing the images and colour to suit their desired pattern. This week in circle time we have been discussing Remembrance Day and made some beautiful poppies which are on display on the main staircase.

Year 1

Many exciting projects for Year 1.

In Woodland School this week we have been using our iPads to photograph and video local plants and trees. Our next step is to identify each plant and create a book using book creator which can be accessed on iBooks.

Year 1 learnt this week all about Remembrance Day and considered all the reasons we remember and wear poppies. In Literacy, they wrote some perceptive and thoughtful comments, shared with Showbie.

In Maths, we look at 3D shapes and their properties. An exciting adventure into environmental shapes awaits.

Year 2

This week Year 2 have been working on their imaginative writing and have created some lovely display work in thought bubbles. We have improved our work from last week with the use of connectives which has been our focus for this week. This weeks maths we have focused on multiplication and division and have learnt how to solve tricky times tables and divide by two and three. Continuing our theme from last time the children have begun designing new cars which we hope when completed will be able to be taken home as toys. We finished this week with our first lesson on coding where the children learnt about inputs and conditions.

Year 3 & Year 4

Year 3 & 4 have had a busy week looking at money and how to work out the change. They have also been learning about instructions and how to lay them out clearly so they can be easily followed. As they have been busy making Egyptian Cats over the last few weeks, we are now looking at writing up the instructions clearly in Pic Collage or iMovie. The children are becoming efficient using Showbie and managing their workflow online independently, which is a great achievement. Please download the app at home as the children and parents will be able to log in to set work folders shortly.

In Science, we have just started a new topic looking into Space. We started with understanding the order of the planets and how a solar system works.

Computing Curriculum

Extraordinary strides have been made over the last few years with the development and delivery of the computing curriculum. We are a 1:1 iPad school from Year 1 upwards, with a minimum of five devices in each early years classroom. In addition to this, each member of staff has very recently been provided with an iPad as their main device to bring far greater flexibility in being able to deliverlessons as well as capturing and sharing examples of work produced by the children.

Where we have a 1:1 provision, those of you who have children in these years groups, will have access to Showbie. This is, put simply, a portal for exchange of work and the saving of work by the individual child and their teacher, whether at home or at school. You may have noticed that photocopied sheets for homework are increasingly a thing of the past....

The critical day in our application to become an Apple Distinguished School is this rapidly approaching - Thursday, 16th November. Three representatives from Apple will be joining us for a computing conference for ILG schools and nurseries and then conducting a learning walk to assess our suitability. This would be a tremendous accolade, recognising us as a centre of excellence for computing at a national level.

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

In order to ensure we can obtain accurate numbers for Breakfast Club each day we have adapted the form currently used to book a place for the after school club. If you wish to apply for a place for breakfast club for the next day or coming 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. These bookings will need to be made each week and will be 'online' from 3pm each Friday afternoon for the consecutive week.

Full Time Nursery

With the end of the Autumn Term fast approaching we have started looking at nursery provision (run by Miss Avalon Rabey) over the Christmas holiday break. In order for us to be able to put the correct provision in place we need to have confirmed numbers as soon as possible.

The below google form has been created. If you are interested in childcare over the break please can you complete the form as soon as possible, ideally by Monday 20th November.

For those with older siblings, I’m afraid that holiday camp for the older years will not be running. Care is on


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 or across driveways for the safety of all of our children.

Woodland School

Could I ask that you ensure that waterproof trousers, Wellington boots and coats are brought into school on the relevant day (regardless of the forecast) so that we maximise our use of Richmond Park.

After School Activities

Please note: all activities, clubs (including after- school and breakfast clubs and trips) will be charged through schoolmoney.

Please follow this link to access the booking forms for after school club and for teacher led activities.

Happy Birthday!

Molly Sutterby, James Fielding-Smith & Miss Menon!

Certificate Winners -

Class Certificate Winners
Choir Certificate Winners
Silver Quill Awards
Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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