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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 82 -17th May 2019

From the Headmaster:

I did a quick mental check of the range of events we have enjoyed since the start of term; we can’t be accused of being idle! Trips and visits are such an invaluable opportunity for children to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding away from the ‘classroom.’

A perfect example was the most enjoyable trip to the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Time traveling back to the Iron Age and Stone Age and experiencing first hand what daily life entailed is a perfect extension to topics covered.

Similarly, the Second Steps Trip to the stables provides similar learning opportunities for our children, with expert questioning by colleagues, draws out understanding and comprehension.

Neighbours and your help!

If I may ask for your help with a small number of things I would be most grateful.

We do enjoy good relationships with our neighbours but a significant frustration expressed to us is the parking in the neighbouring driveways and across exit points. Please help us by not parking either in the drive of Dean Court or in the parking spaces of Belvedere Court directly opposite the school.

We have addressed various elements of our after school provision to make collection as straight forward as possible but would be grateful if you might note the following -

Collection of children attending after school activities should be from the side gate at 5pm

Collection of nursery (full time) children should be from the main entrance

Serving the evening meal is quite an involved process, as I am sure you can appreciate! In order to provide a detailed 'hand over' about the day and adventures enjoyed as well as supervising the evening meal, we would be most grateful if you could avoid collection 5pm-5.10pm, if at all possible!

Finally...

Finally, and I know it is one of the many things that you already know, but please don't feel that I only stand at the gate to 'simply' welcome you and your children into school each day.

I am also there to speak with.

It may be the weather, the weekend rugby score or even to double check dates or events with, but I also hope that you feel able to speak with me about any aspect of school life.

We, as a staff, are simply here to give our children the best.

If you are unsure about anything please speak with me; it will only ever be taken in the spirit of making Park Hill even better.

One more week to look forward to before the half term break. The subsequent four weeks promise to keep everyone busy. Camping trips and end of term production to name but a few.

I do apologise to those of you who went to the Rose Theatre expecting to see the Art Exhibition. I am pleased to confirm that with the return to work of the relevant member of staff responsible at The Rose we are aiming to spend a few hours after school Tuesday installing the art. We will confirm that all has gone to plan via SMS, hopefully on Wednesday.

I seem to have spent a large part of this week travelling to various parts of London for 1001 meetings. As well as enjoying the museum trip on Tuesday, I completed my compulsory First Aid at Work training on Thursday and then headed back up to North London for governance meetings. My travel in the coming week (no reflection on the company I kept during what was a very enjoyable two days) is a little more, um, exciting?

I shall be travelling to Berlin on Thursday to share and talk about what we are doing with technology at Park Hill with all other Apple Distinguished Schools in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa as well as learning more from these schools in what looks like a busy two days. The Apple Distinguished Schools Innovation Summit is the biggest gathering of leaders from such schools in the world. We are one of just 35 Apple Distinguished Schools in the United Kingdom. It will be fascinating to speak with colleagues from across Europe and to meet up with former colleagues from the Middle East and to tell them all about our fantastic school, children and staff.

I understand that messrs Papps and Bond more than made up for my assembly absence on Thursday, although I understand that reassurances of a more punctual finish failed to materialise...

Yours sincerely,

Alistair

Management Information System (MIS)

We have started the process of transferring data from our current MIS across to SIMS. It is a system that will bring various benefits to both us and to parents. Elements such as a parent portal will improve communications as well as other modules that will bring additional efficiency.

The first step is to update all of the data we currently hold, including phone numbers etc so that we can be confident that the data is accurate.

Following the email sent to all parents on Thursday 16th May regarding our upcoming move on to SIMS, please complete and return the data collection sheet to the School Office by Thursday 23rd May.

The target is to start the school year with SIMS fully operational. Therefore, I would be most grateful if you could help us in returning the data sheets back to us by 23rd May. This information will then be added during half term to enable us to train all members of staff and ensure the system is working efficiently prior to the end of term.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with the form, please speak with us and we can provide you with help. It takes no more than five minutes to complete the form, I promise!

Future Schools

I trust that those of you able to join me for the 11+ coffee morning found it to be interesting and informative.

I visit each school regularly to speak with my secondary school counterparts and to understand their current position and provision. As I have said many times before, the departure/arrival of a Head, let alone head of department can shift the balance and nature of a school overnight, this is why I feel it essential that I keep in touch with these schools.

I have already spoken with many of you informally and made some suggestions but I would like to invite you, should you wish, to come and speak with me about future schools, particularly if you have a child in Year 4 and Year 5.

I am finalising dates with six different schools for their Head or head of admissions to visit the school individually so that you can ask them direct questions. These dates will be this term.

I would also like to reinforce that I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you individually so I can focus my help and support over the coming months and years.

Uniform

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

#curiousconfidenthappy

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

Reception Moderation

As all children around the UK come towards the end of their Reception year, the judgements made by colleagues on the pupil progress and attainment are reviewed and moderated by the local authorities. It is to ensure that our judgements are accurate and based on sufficient evidence and knowledge. By and large, unless there are fluctuations in the data, the local authority will only visit every three years. It is a very detailed and involved four hours where colleagues are gently grilled on their judgements. As a school, we moderate the data internally, externally within our sister schools and also with a number of additional schools from different parts of London.

What was very pleasing about our moderation at the hands of the local authorities this week was that the significant hard work from many colleagues and in particular by Mrs Gibbons and Mrs Patel resulted in a very positive experience with the highly experienced team of moderators agreeing with all judgments made. They also passed the following comments as strengths of our Early Years and Reception Class -

“All staff, including the Head, know the children well and have a good insight into exploring and active learning.”

“...use of IT for the creative curriculum....know their children well...stick closely to exemplification of early learning goals...evidence of thorough early learning goals opportunities.”

What does this mean? Well, it is a tremendous reflection on the quality of teaching and learning in Reception and Early Years classes and the quality of leadership in the Early Years. I would like to thank everyone involved as well as to Mrs Gibbons and Mrs Patel for their considerable hard work throughout the year and in the lead up to this moderation.

Key Dates & Notices

Tuesday 21st May - Year 1 Curriculum Meeting

Wednesday 22nd May - STEAM Day at Park Hill

Friday 24th May - Year 2 Curriculum Meeting

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

There has been much learning inside and outside of the classroom in our penultimate week before the half term break. Most weeks at Park Hill are memorable and indeed this week had many memories, which may include a video of a cockatoo dancing to Elvis, but I may elaborate on the exciting learning.

A memorable week began with a few protracted lessons drawing and measuring angles on plain sheets of paper. Some pupils warmed to the activity straight away, most were acute to the problems posed with excellent reflex skills; others were being quite obtuse when given the task to colour code the angle according to their type.

Additionally to their angle work, Year 4 and 5 have been developing confidence in times tables, place value and mental addition by solving our 44, 55, 66 and 77 times tables. This is to secure confidence in times tables whilst developing their ability to use two or more steps involving 2 operations to solve mathematical problems.

The process of planning a short fantasy story has been the main focus of our week in English as we read more stories from ‘Tales From Outer Suburbia’ by Shaun Tan. To prepare ourselves for writing our stories we have focussed on correct punctuation and grammar for writing dialogue in addition to practising our modal verbs that may come in handy.

To conclude a busy half term of off-site adventures, years 4 and 5, alongside years 2 and 3, visited the Chiltern Open Air Museum where they could COAM through many ages across history. Our first stop was the Stone Age where their hunter gathering instincts were put to the test in a game of hide and seek. The hides being those of a deer and a wild boar as pupils learnt about tools and foods that were important to humans over 12000 years ago. Using stones and skins as our main tools pupils made paints to daub on trees, but mainly their faces. Jewellery and shelters were made and sparks flew as they created fire with flints and flammable objects from the forest.

Moving forward only a few thousand years in time we entered the Iron Age. Pupils stood and looked in ore (and awe) at how this natural resource could be used. Our guide informed us on Iron Age life and how iron production radically changed life. As she handed out iron tools it was a case of ‘who smelt it, dealt it’. Work for Iron Age people was a daily grind as pupils lived their lives making bread from wheat flour, taking it in churns to create butter and pottering about with clay to make bowls.

The museum was a wonderful experience in the realistic environments of history and gave a perspective on life and made us consider how life has changed through tens, hundreds and thousands of years ago.

A fascinating trip and another week filled with intrigue and wonder. Fabulous work year 4 and 5 and we look forward to more wonder next week

Chiltern Open Air Museum

News from Year 3

We have had another busy week in Year 3. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Actually living history and experiencing life in the Stone Age and Iron Age with a chief in character made a memorable day. In The Stone Age the children experimented hunting and gathering, using flint to light a fire, animal skins to create shelters, making a bone bracelet and using charcoal and fat to make face marking and tree markings. After a lovely packed lunch in the grounds, we then moved on to the Iron Age experience where we learnt what life was like as a child in the Iron Age, the jobs they did and how they cooked. The children experienced how to make bread, butter and clay pots. We all got to actually sit in a real round house just like they would have done hundreds of years ago with a working fire pit.

News from Year 2

We all enjoyed the wonderful trip to Chiltern Open Air Museum. Who knew that our school minibuses had a time travelling feature (Mr Bond assures me that he regularly goes back to the 80’s).

Bringing our history topics to life, Year 2 thoroughly. Enjoyed their Stone Age roles, experiencing first hand how to light a fire, using flint, how to build a shelter using animal skin and how to make skin and territory markings using charcoal and fat.

The children impressed me with their recall of facts and understanding throughout the day, they also enjoyed making clay pots, flour, bread and butter as they would have done in the Iron Age.

All this was done alongside a visit to an actual round house.

The children returned to school and enjoyed reflecting on their experiences and appreciating just what a challenge life would have been like for children during those times.

News from Year 1

This week Year 1 have become archaeologists, cartographers, geographers, explorers and designers.

We have assumed these roles through our active learning both in and outside Park Hill school.

At Woodland school we put our maths knowledge, about direction, into action using compasses to orient our way through the woods.

Once we had reached our location we began our woodland learning digging and investigating in the soil to find traces of the past. It was very difficult working slowly and cataloging all our finds but well worth it. We have even started a museum in the classroom.

At the end of the week we began a mini project about parks and have been drawing maps of Richmond Park from a birds eye view and using Venn diagrams to compare the features. We then began to plan a design for our ideal playground.

Our focus in literacy has been letter writing, a skill that the class have really enjoyed and will continue to practice.

In RE we learnt about the Ten Commandments and wrote our own rules to promote moral behaviour and make the world a better place.

‘Do not hurt others

Do listen to these rules

Do not lie tell the truth

No anger, no shouting, help people’

Molly

‘Don’t lie to your mum and dad

Respect others

Do not shout

Help others

Do not waste water.’

Matilda

‘Use your manners

Do not hurt the animals’

Stella

‘Be the best you can be

Be respectful to the environment

Save the world

Believe in your religion’

Abbie

News from Reception

Outdoor learning has been a key focus this week. We have been driven by the vision of discovery, experimentation, learning about and engaging in adventure activities. We have learnt about road safety, using the big cars, scooters and traffic equipment. The children made links and noticed patterns in their experiences; “when the traffic lights turn red the cars stop” Max. “When it turns yellow you have to get ready and when it’s green the cars can go” Holly. “The zebra crossing usually has a lollipop lady who helps you cross the road” Timothy. “There is a little camera in the traffic lights and when people press the button to cross the road the traffic lights will change colour” Chloe. The children discovered that Winnie didn’t have a kennel at school so a group of children designed and built a dog kennel using the mega bricks. This then linked to den building in the playground. Everyone planned, made decisions and used their creative and critical thinking skills to review ideas as a group. We tested a number of approaches and challenged ourselves, persevering and being resilient. See tapestry to see full observation.

During woodland school the children showed pleasure making ‘grass people’ using mud paint and many natural resources to create people. The children were highly involved maintaining focus on this activity. The children learnt about caring for the environment too. On Monday, baking and decorating biscuits reflected the development of mathematical language, shape, space and measure. We hope you enjoyed the biscuits, chef Leon even approved! Outstanding work, well done.

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.

We started the week by doing Phonics Workshop, parents got a chance to see how Phonics is taught within First and Second Steps. Thank you for all those who were able to attend, we hope what you learnt was informative.

“I enjoyed playing with the soft play, we created a big castle.”- Zachary

“I had fun at the stables, the horses were really big and the stables were a bit smelly”- Kit

“I have enjoyed playing with my friends.”- Rameez

This Term our Topic is “ Under the Sea”, we have been learning different types of creatures that live in the sea and for Art and Craft, they enjoyed creating some very funny Puffer Fish.

“I had to use the fork to scrape the paint onto the plate ”- Kassius

“I used the colours red, yellow and orange .”- Vicky

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.

“ I think that sea animals look beautiful, they have many different colours under the sea”- Mary

“ I wonder how they breathe under water.” -Benjamin

For Woodland School, the children had so much fun, going to a different part of the park. They explored the den’s which were created by different people. The children were able to use their imagination to create a story about the den having special treasure hidden by some scary monsters that lived in a really dark area of the tree which had fallen down. The children displayed some amazing climbing skills as well as problem solving skills. They were able to climb quite high on the tree that had fallen down, when they got to the top they tired to stand on the tree trunk and balance themselves while walking!

The children had a great time exploring the open fields and watching the Deers graze, they noticed that some looked different from each other but also they looked similar. The children enjoyed sitting in the sun eating their snack , while the Deers grazed in the background.

“Look Miss Menon! There are so many Deers over there, how many do you think there are?”- Gisele

“We are going to go deep into this den and look for some hidden treasure”- Kit

On Wednesday afternoon, we took a walk to the stables that are close by. Going into the stables, the children could not help but notice a rather pungent smell. Some children noticed the compost area which had well only hay and Horse manure.

“Oh I did not know that Horses have a toilet area and eat while going to the toilet.”- Kit

“The Horses are really really big!”- Harry

The children absolutely enjoyed brushing the Horses, touching them as well as learning about Horses and why they are such magnificent animals. All the children were well behaved and were great ambassadors of the school. They asked really good questions as well as were able to answer questions asked by the instructor.

“Each Horse looks different, some are really big while some are much smaller.”- Christopher

The children have enjoyed playing with the pirate ships and creating their own narrative stories. It was lovely to see how they were able to contribute ideas, carry them out as well as come up with ways on how to solve a problem. Well done Second Steps for all your hard work this week!

News from First Steps

What a busy week First Steps have had! The children showed big interest on mountains last week and we tried to make mountains out of clay this week. Mrs Mousi used soda and bicarbonate to create eruption. Many children have had a go to add bicarbonate and experienced the ‘eruption’ in the class. Then we looked at some volcano videos and children created their on volcano paintings at art table.

The children practised retelling the Gingerbread Man Story at tuff tray an on Friday cooked our own Gingerbread man and put raisins to create for his buttons and eyes. We were very lucky and our gingerbread man didn’t run away!

Looking at the mirror and drawing their self portrait was one of the popular activity in the class this week. Children loved looking at their reflection in the mirror and they paid attention to details very well.

Our new fairyland small world area at outside was quite busy. First Steps children tried to sort out the animals by number and had so much fun!

At Woodland School, we discussed about the signs of spring and the children looked for the signs around the school. When they found their favourite sign they used iPad to take photo. Blue sky, green leaves and blossom were children’s favourite spring signs.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond

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