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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 131 - 12th february 2021

From the Headmaster:

Half term? How did that happen? I rather fear that someone pressed the fast forward button. Time flies when you are having fun, which I sincerely hope has not been in short supply. Life is somewhat challenging at the moment and I think it fair to say that I saw more than my fair share of smiles on zoom screens across the school this week, laughter was abundant as was a degree of, well, daftness. All carefully designed to lift flagging spirits and see us enter half term in good form.

Thank you for your help, support, good humour and kind words. Our goal is multilayered yet sincere; ensure the highest standards of teaching and learning, keep the sense of care and nurturing and do all that we can to enable you to do your day jobs too. We all so enjoy our conversations with both you and your children. How on earth the Year 3 Sports Science lesson today went from agonist and antagonist muscles to our preferred burger of choice through to interesting company logos I will never know, but sometimes it is important to put to one side the urgency to complete lessons and just talk. Give your time over to simply chat, we are all missing that contact.

Do join us for the Olympic Challenge this half term, go out as a family and cover some ground and talk as you do it. I cannot wait to do just that with my loved ones.

Have a super weekend, don't forget to spread a little happiness and don't forget to show compassion to those around you, we all need some.

Alistair

Happy New Year to everyone celebrating today and this weekend, year of the Ox! My year!

London to Athens

And we're off! Get your roller skates, walking shoes, running shoes, bikes, rowers and scooters out for we are aiming to get to Athens - 2816km away in nine days, all of us, altogether!

Simply post your distance (whole family) on to Tapestry or Showbie and monitor our social media channels to see how quickly we can get there! Yes, I know we will do it, that is not in question!

Latest Information

I am once again grateful for the positive feedback we have received from across the school for both our communication leading up to the start of term and for the most complimentary comments regarding our provision so far.

I am aware that whilst many of our children are now well experienced in their use of Showbie and Zoom there may well be times when things do not necessarily work as you want them to. Therefore, please use Showbie as your route to resolving or clarifying any queries. By the far the biggest feedback we received back in April/May was the 'explosion' on WhatsApp when there was a technical issue or confusion. We want to avoid this happening as this negatively impacts on your own working day. Both I and my colleagues are able to respond quickly to any queries.

Assembly

Yes, I know it is only supposed to be 30minutes long, yes I got told off by the teachers for disrupting their morning lessons, but I hope you will agree that it was very much worth it.

What a privilege it is to focus on the most minute of reactions and emotional responses that, despite their size, shout at volume; the delight at receiving and the genuine pleasure from the whole school at a collective success.

We celebrated the Lunch New Year and the Year of the Ox. Yes, I know, I accept I got a little excited at the prospect of having a good year (1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and now 2021, all tremendous years especially 2009 for me personally) but we all need a little something to look forward to!

Summer Spring Rolls

So many thanks to Oli's mum for her kindness in preparing the various elements to the Year 2 cooking celebration for the Lunar New Year. Absolutely delicious and yes, easy, even for me!

Perseverance, Resilience and Kipling Award

We were kindly joined by Mr David Tidmarsh, Chair of the Advisory Board for Park Hill. He visited our school on Tuesday to observe lessons and see our children and teachers hard at work.

He expressed great admiration for the efforts of our children, their engagement with lessons and technical adroitness. He was also, I am very pleased to confirm, equally as complimentary about the quality of lessons, the high quality of differentiation and time and energy used to prepare engaging and creative lessons.

Perseverance -

steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Resilience -

the ability of a person to adjust to or recover readily from illness, adversity, major life changes

Kipling Award -

Images of the week

Illness & Medical

We continue to abide with the DfE Regulations.

We ensure that anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home.

These are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We would like to remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea) they must be clear for at least 48 hours prior to returning to school. You must inform the school office directly on 020 8546 5496 if your child will be absent that day.

Should your child develop symptoms or receive a positive result from a PCR test for Covid-19 you must immediately inform the school office - secretary@parkhillschool.com

This email is monitored during the school day and at set intervals during the weekend. If our line is busy, we have a backup answer service where an operator can take your message and we, as a school, are alerted accordingly.

We receive daily updates to the regulations every 24hours and this information is reviewed and any alterations to the regulations immediately adopted. We abide by the PHE and DfE advice.

You must never hesitate to seek clarification direct from myself or Nicola to ensure any concern or anxiety is dealt with in the most sensible, efficient and direct manner.

Instrumental Lessons

We are still conducting instrumental lessons, please do contact Miss Menon or Nicola who can help. Now, for a clever set up and just how our piano teacher is able to teach, watch this clever video below.

Year 6

Year 6 have finished the term in style, honing their skills of argument and debate. The children first watched debates in acton, from the leadership debate in 2010 and 2019, before creating their opening statements. Practising and ensuring that they were under a minute long, they set about finding facts and arguments that could back up their points. Finally, a closing statement was devised.

On Friday morning, anticipation built and final preparations were completed before our first debaters were selected. Some stunning arguments were given by everyone, and highly charged language was used. “You are arguing for children to go hungry” and “consider the environmental impact of creating a video games console - now do you really feel comfortable with several?” were just some of the statements heard in our debates.

4 debates later and we had our winners. Apparently, we should ban snow days, ban video games for children, shouldn’t teach cooking in school, and LEGO isn’t the greatest toy ever.

Kiran and Isabella took on Gabriel to answer if Lego was the greatest toy ever. Gabriel emerged victorious for his argument that LEGO isn’t the greatest toy ever, by focusing on the environmental effect of plastics.

Sarah and Chloe took on Rachel and Isabel to answer whether we should ban snow days. Sarah and Chloe were victorious for their carefully planned responses, and focus on learning and digital technology.

Marley and Zahraa took on Luce to answer whether we should teach cooking in primary schools. Luce emerged victorious, successfully arguing that cooking could be successfully taught in secondary school or though clubs.

Yash took on James to find out if video games should be banned for children. James was victorious by focusing his argument on the creation of multiple consoles, and the better alternatives.

Algebra has been the topic in mathematics and the children have experimented with formulas and substitution, first finding the formulas for common shapes and then using them to solve larger versions. For substitution, Year 6 used sequences with the challenge being to find the rule by analysing the terms. Finally, they had missing terms and had to substitute in to the formulas/rules to find their answers.

Throughout all this, we still found time to have some fun, playing a formula board game using 2D and 3D shapes.

Science was a lesson of the time, as it was all about snow. The children learnt and created animations to show how snow is created, why we get different types of snow, and why these snow types appear different when falling. In Computing, the children created cameras using tynker by using broadcast features and different events and conditions, which rounded out our topic on hardware and software by linking the two.

Year 5

n Year 5 this week we have been reflecting back through the different parts of our stories to finally write our story introductions and starters. After spending time breaking down the techniques used in our favourite books and novels that we have enjoyed, we then wrote different options for how to start our own stories which focussing on hooking the reader into wanting to continue reading.

Here are a few examples of the children’s work.

The clouds started to cry, the floor started to do go damp and the flowers started to shiver.

By Emily

I was preparing for the big run on the racing track. The running is about to start. “Running places please, on to the track” said Tom. “Ready, set, GO!” Said the judge

By Dominic

On planet Earth in England in Kingston upon Thames, there was a little girl strolling down the River Thames aiming to get home before 4 pm. This little girl was an intelligent little girl. She was wearing a denim pinafore dress with winter boots.

By Jessica

Why do the strangest things always happen to me? Am I a flashing lights saying “come on, follow me get me into trouble?”

Author Unknown

STEAM lessons have been a source of great fun this week. The children have been developing their understanding of audio manipulation in music to try their skills as Foley artists. The activity was to use everyday sounds which are available at home to create the sound track to go along some classic cartoon clips.

Year 4

Our final week before the Half Term break has seen an excellent effort from all children despite a few tired eyes on camera.

Good progress was made tackling fractions of amounts as we employed bar drawings to visualise our fractions. This was in order to solve problems with increasing difficulty.

In English, our work focussed on using punctuation for direct speech. This was used to good effect along with descriptive writing to describe Victorian pictures of naughty children. The results were impressive and very entertaining to read.

In other subjects we have learnt more about the goods traded globally in the Victorian Empire. This gave us interesting perspective in to where many foods and other products come from and the impact it had on British life in the 19th Century. The theme of perspective continued in art as we spent time working on drawing our rooms at home or in school. The results demonstrated a fantastic progression in our observation and drawing skills.

We finished our week on a noisy note as Year 4 summoned up the energy to produce sound effects for our STEAM project on ‘Foley Sound’. It was amazing to see and hear the inventive sounds placed on top of clips of Tom and Jerry, The Simpsons and Ninjago.

A very memorable half-term with lots of fun despite restrictions. Well done Year 4 for keeping your heads up. Enjoy the week long break; we look forward to seeing you soon.

Year 3

Year 3 have had a noisy week learning about onomatopoeia and how to use it to good effect in their writing, along with exploring peformance poetry. The class were particularly impressed with Niamh’s father attempting to be a rapping gran!

In mathematics we have been building on our understanding of fractions, working out equivalent fractions then moving onto fractions of numbers.

Year 3 enjoyed creating their viking boats in humanities some were even life sized! The end of the week was a real highlight with us being Foley artists, finding creative ways to make soundtracks to silent cartoon clips using objects around the house.

Year 2

We have had a wonderful creative week this week. We have learnt all about Chinese New Year and how people in China celebrate this special time of year. We got creative on Wednesday morning and created some wonderful Chinese New Year sculptures, some children made ox’s, some made dragons and some made other animals in the Chinese zodiac.

In maths we have been looking at fractions of numbers this week, we worked hard to share and divide large numbers, using our times tables to help us.

On Thursday we had such a treat as Oli’s mum helped us create some delicious spring rolls. The children followed the video, chipped their ingredients and worked hard to create these little treats.

The creativeness continued into Friday when we created some fabulous valentines days card to give to our loved ones.

Have a wonderful half term.

Year 1

This week we developed our knowledge of the alphabet answering a series of difficult questions about alphabetical order.

At the end of the week we wrote a collaborative class poem called what is love?

Here is a little sample of our amazing poem...

What is love?

Love is like warm hot chocolate with marshmallows on a frosty day.

Love is like being thoughtful.

Love is like soft and furry cuddles.

Love is like my furry cat purring.

Love is like protecting people.

Love is like being helpful.

Love is like a cute puppy with a cute nose and adorable eyes.

Love is like playing with snow.

Love is like having all the Lego.

Love is like having a genie to grant wishes.

Love is sweet and tastes sweet like Haribo.

In maths, we focus on counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. Learning that zero is our hero because he makes numbers bigger.

We learnt how to recognise and add equal groups.

In humanities we designed house of the future and I was especially impressed with the creative ideas. Innovative designs and sustainable gardens with underwater houses and even houses on wheels!

Well done.

Reception

This week Reception have been learning about Chinese food and Chinese New Year. We have created fact sheets in topic to write about the foods they eat in China. Then in Literacy we read the story of The Great Race and ordered the animals. We drew a picture of what we remembered from the story and wrote a sentence about it. The children loved finding out about what animal they are according to the Chinese Zodiac. We found out that they are monkeys or goats in Reception. They were also very keen to find out what Chinese animal Mrs Gibbons was too.

In Maths we have been looking at halving and sharing across two groups and making sure that both groups are found. We found out odd numbers can’t be shared fairly. They worked well with their partner to share an orange fairly between two groups.

We have been making Chinese dragons using paper folding which the children all engaged with the technique.

We have also been thinking about who we have missed in lockdown and made a Valentine’s card for them and we made bath bombs on Friday to give them to someone we love this weekend.

Our beans have also been an area of interest with the whole class and we have had great conversations about our observations of the plants each morning. I wonder who’s much they will grow over half term?

Thank you Reception for a fabulous half term and making me so welcome as your teacher. Have a lovely rest of your half term holiday, spend some time away from the screens and enjoy lots of time outside.

Second Steps

We are all so happy to back where we belong.

We have had a great week. We have been learning about Valentine’s Day and talking about all the people we love and why.

Jess said “I love my mummy because she makes me nice food”.

Sophie said “I love my family, we all have cuddles”.

Lucy said “I love my brother”.

The children asked if they could make another Winter Wonderland at school so we discussed what we could use. We found some shredded paper for the snow, filled up ice cube trays with water to make icebergs.

We talked about how water turns into ice when we make it really really cold and how we can turn it back into water by holding it in our hands and warming it up. The children used the wet shredded paper and ice cubes to build igloos for the Inuits.

We have been learning about Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the Ox.

We looked at what years the children were born in to find their Chinese zodiac animal. We have a mix of monkeys and roosters.

Sophie showed us some beautiful Chinese dancing and singing. The children have been looking at how Chinese numbers and letters are written, then with a little help wrote their own name. They did so well.

The children all had a turn being a Chinese Lion, wearing the costume and dancing to music.

Miss Finch, Miss Wood

First Steps

Please note: given the current regulations, please help us by ensuring that children do not bring in toys from home, thank you!

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

He’s done it again. I feel like I am his muse...or amuse....
Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond