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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 130 - 5th february 2021

From the Headmaster:

'If you can keep your head whilst all around you are losing theirs....'

This line from the Rudyard Kipling poem was never far from my thoughts this week.

Testament to the resilience and perseverance of our children and staff and the simple human response of compassion we find ourselves just one week from half term. Certainly a challenging half term for all but one where many challenges have been overcome and confidence in the most important of human traits, compassion, restored or perhaps reinforced, on the whole.

I will save you all a lengthy introduction to the Deerstalker, save it to express my thanks once again for ensuring our Park Hill family is the force it is, with compassion for one another at the very heart of it.

This weekend would have been our annual wine and cheese/food parent social along with a good old fashioned chat. In place of that, I hope you enjoyed the disco. Whilst I personally missed by annual pilgrimage to Teddington Cheese for the selection, I was delighted to see the full range of dance moves on display (I trust even my dad dancing wasn't too unpalatable) and that our reputation across our group of independent schools for being the 'fun' school is very much intact.

Do please click on the link to the assembly video, great fun and smiles aplenty.

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

Chloe, Year 6
Photo credit - Mr Sims

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.

The message this week was about expressing yourself, to be confident in doing so in a variety of ways. Images will be shared in this newsletter next week of the remarkable artwork produced.

Perseverance, Resilience and Kipling Award

Many thanks again to Lizzie Cronin from St. Pauls Church, who kindly agreed to present the awards this week.

Many, many congratulation to Isabella (Resilience), Timothy (Perseverance) and Darcey (Kipling) who are well deserving recipients of the award this week.

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.

Year 6

This week, year 6 have worded incredibly hard to create a book of free form poems. Some of these are outstanding and, after a short introduction on Tuesday and hearing their efforts, it was quickly decided that these poems cannot be left in Showbie. Challenged it create illustrations for them, and organise their 2 pages, the pupils worked brilliantly to come up with everything required. I will add a photo of the completed book once it arrives.

Year 5

This week in Year 5 the children have been learning how to apply a Scale Factor to a range of measurements, then apply this to make scale drawings of other items. After initially making a scale drawing of their rooms at home, the children then went on to make enlarged scale drawings of some of their toys.

In Humanities, we have moved on the study the life and impact of Nelson Mandela. It is a beautiful part of being a teacher to see the children’s reactions as they hear stories about how life has not always been a simple as perhaps they know it. The maturity and compassion with the children approach these lessons are fantastic, they show a level of maturity well beyond their chronological years.

Across the school this week we have had multiple activities which focus on giving the children an opportunity to express themselves, this has also been the case in Year 5. The children have been sharing their passions with their peers, so far we have had lessons on computer coding, boxercise, the ‘Among-Us’ game character artwork and baking.

Year 4

The chain reaction of events from our learning concluded on Friday afternoon’s STEAM lesson as Rube Goldberg Machines inspired Year Four’s engineering skills to create intriguing contraptions.

In the lead up to these events there has been a focus on the construction of descriptive sentences employing adverbials and fronted adverbials too. This allowed pupils to deconstruct sentences into the main clause, in order to attach adverbials that described the time, manner, place, frequency an possibility of events.

The product of our Maths learning focussed on understanding factors of numbers. Using our knowledge of times tables and investigation skills we set about finding all The possible factors of A range of numbers, whilst some endeavoured to search for prime numbers between 1 and 100.

Our historical adventures took us on a tour of the world as we learnt of all the countries absorbed in to the Victorian Empire. The shades of pink on the world map showed off the vast rule of British imperialism; tinged with some dark realities.

Precision skills in draughtsmanship informed our art lesson as we investigated the underside of our chairs. These observations from unusual angles allowed pupils to execute their impressive skills in drawing perspective and use of shadows.

Our Friday RE felt flat in the morning as we learnt of the importance of Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and Lent, in the lead up to Easter. Year 4 are unwilling to make sacrifices, but if forced, chose to give up chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, pizza, peppers, cheese and certain combinations of tortilla wraps.

A lovely week with Year 4 as we prepare for our last week of the first half of term.

I look forward to seeing you all next week.

Year 3

A busy week in Year 3, learning about Data Handling in maths, from pictograms, Venn diagrams to bar charts, solving problems and learning how to interpret data.

English this week, has been learning about the different fronted adverbials and how we can use them in our writing to enhance our sentence structure and make our writing more interesting.

In art we continued our study on chairs and looked at drawing them in perspective from different angles. Year 3 are really enjoying developing their observational skills and more mature 3D drawings.

In Steam we have had a engineering focus using Rube Goldberg machines as inspiration. A complicated contraption to achieve an ordinary task! The children have certainly been busy testing and refining their ideas in order to create a working prototype.

Year 2

This week in English we have been writing letters to our loved ones and friends, we even posted them and are hoping to have a reply in the coming weeks. We have raised each other’s spirits by exploring what has made us feel proud and what has happened to just make us feel happy. In Maths we have been focusing on measuring, we have measured objects, distance, capacity and weight through lots of activity problem solving activities.

In science we have been busy creating an investigation to test what materials are going to work best to keep a cup of warm water the warmest for the longest.

Next week we are looking forward to testing out our materials and celebrating Chinese New Year.

Year 1

This week in English we have been developing our sentence writing skills. We have learnt about the four sentence types and associated punctuation and written extended noun phrases to improve our descriptions. A highlight this week was the unexpected discovery of a strange egg shaped objects at school! Hopefully next week( with the help of Year 1’s amazing descriptions), the Natural History Museum will tell us what it actually is!

In Maths we have been focusing on measuring, looking closely at capacity and solving measuring and comparing questions.

In Science, we have been busy learning about the Earths layers and creating models and diagrams to demonstrate our understanding.

Reception

This week reception have been looking at kindness and bucket filling in PSHCE. We have been discussing how we can be kind to our friends and adults. They have been encouraging each other and have been working hard to fill their buckets with Pom poms.

In maths we have been using mirrors to help us work out double numbers. The children worked hard to use different objects to place in front of the mirror and then we counted them altogether to find out the double of that number.

In topic our beans have been a great fascination and the children have been very excited to see what has happened to them in the week since we put them in the jar. We have been trying to predict what will happen next and talking about our observations of them. They have described the roots as “spiky”. The children have been documenting their observations in their bean diary, both handwritten and on Book Creator. We wait with anticipation about what happens to them next.

In woodland school we thread cheerios onto string to make a bird feeder. We also combined bird seed and lard to make bird cakes. The children liked to talk about the lengths of their bird feeder.

Finally on Friday we got creative with feathers and paint to develop our knowledge of the “er” sound. We were trying to create the marks a bird makes in the sky using this quote to inspire us: “If birds made marks with their tail feathers as they flew, think what the sky would look like.” The children experimented with the feathers and made large swirly marks, dots and scratches in the paint using the opposite end of the feather. We then made cloud dough using conditioner and cornflour. This helped us explore the changes to materials.

Second Steps

This week in First Steps we had loads of fun! We started of the week with our PE lesson where children were pretending to be animals from the jungle and were asked to move around the garden as that animal. All the children responded very well and followed all instructions given, they we demonstrating different ways to move such as jumping like a kangaroo and rolling like a snake. We also got quite creative in first steps this week we made and decorated our own jumpers on card and decorated the first letter of our name with pasta (penne or spaghetti). Through this the children worked on their fine motor skills and were encouraged to trace over the letter to get familiar with the formation of it.

During this weeks circle time as it was well-being week for children we spent time discussing our feelings and emotions and ways to deal with them. We spoke about how things make us feel for example what makes us happy, angry or sad etc. We then discussed the new calming box we introduced which includes items to help children to calm down and relax. We were talking about what we can do when we are feeling sad, upset or angry. For example from the box they could be encouraged to smell the flower or blow the candle which is a breathing and calming technique to help them feel better.

First Steps

This week in First Steps we had loads of fun! We started of the week with our PE lesson where children were pretending to be animals from the jungle and were asked to move around the garden as that animal. All the children responded very well and followed all instructions given, they we demonstrating different ways to move such as jumping like a kangaroo and rolling like a snake. We also got quite creative in first steps this week we made and decorated our own jumpers on card and decorated the first letter of our name with pasta (penne or spaghetti). Through this the children worked on their fine motor skills and were encouraged to trace over the letter to get familiar with the formation of it.

During this weeks circle time as it was well-being week for children we spent time discussing our feelings and emotions and ways to deal with them. We spoke about how things make us feel for example what makes us happy, angry or sad etc. We then discussed the new calming box we introduced which includes items to help children to calm down and relax. We were talking about what we can do when we are feeling sad, upset or angry. For example from the box they could be encouraged to smell the flower or blow the candle which is a breathing and calming technique to help them feel better.

Mrs Guniz Mrs Mousi & Miss Bambi

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

Music

Reception have enjoyed waking up their muscles to song and dance. We listened and tapped different beats and rhythm. Today we went on a special adventure to Dinosaur Land, where we saw many different dinosaurs, we used different instruments to creat different sounds and had to play really softly when we saw some scary dinosaurs!

Year 1 and 2 this week have been using different music applications to create their own music. For example one task was to create dungeon music,creating different beats to the drum and much more. They children were able to apply their knowledge and skills during this lesson and they created some lovely music pieces. Year 2 have been learning about the great fire of London and this week we also sang and danced to song related to this topic.

Year 3 and 4 have been working on their mythical creature stories, creating and editing their work as well as creating short stories for their mythical creature project. The children presented some lovely music pieces and I was impressed with all their work!

Year 5 and 6 have been expressing themselves through music as well as working on their Stop Motion picture for their mythical creatures. I am looking forward to seeing all their hard work and watching their short stories.

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

Can you spot me? Camouflage yourself on zoom. I'll give you a clue, I'm not in the Peppa Pig bag...
Delighted to be immortalised in a Papps original.
Created By
Park Hill
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Credits:

Alistair Bond