Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker - 9TH SEPTEMBER 2016

From the Headmaster:

There is nothing quite like opening the school gate on the first day of term. The sense of anticipation and excitement, not just from the children, is a pleasure to savour. Despite the slightly damp start to Monday the children arrived with great enthusiasm and immediately settled into their routines and lessons. I enjoyed my visit to the classrooms and conversations at break time, hearing about summer adventures, rare whales spotted, friendships renewed in the States and grandparents visited in Somerset. Fortunately, indeed as I type, the blue skies have returned and we continue to be spoilt with what has been a good summer.

I would like to welcome all of our new families to Park Hill and hope that both you and your children have already made good friends. We would like to hold a family social event to welcome everyone back to the start of term. I will be asking for suggestions at the coffee morning on Wednesday, if you are unable to attend this event please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Blower to suggest how we can best welcome everyone back.

My first coffee morning will take place on Wednesday 14th September, 8.30am-9.30am. I am keen to ensure that you are provided with opportunities to support our school and to have a 'voice.' Each coffee morning will have a particular focus to help generate discussion. The first topic, appropriately enough, will be communication. I would hope that we can draw on our collective experiences, to help me understand what works well and what we can do to further strengthen and improve how we communicate with each other. I appreciate that there will be some of you who are unable to attend morning events. Please be assured that I will vary the times to accommodate those of you who are generally only able to attend evening events due to work commitments.

I am very conscious that balancing work and family commitments (let alone finding time to think) is increasingly difficult. With this in mind I have included within this newsletter a list of key dates for this term. I am also conscious that many of you, myself included, appreciate a visual prompt on the refrigerator at home. The list of key dates will be printed and distributed for you next week. Likewise these dates will also appear on the school website which can be uploaded to your tablet or phone. Whilst there may be times that an opportunity presents itself for a trip or visit at relative late notice we are keen to ensure that you receive notification well in advance so diaries can be confirmed.

Finally, I hope that you enjoy the layout and accessibility of the newsletter and that you find it to be bright, colourful and informative. I also hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.

Kind regards,

Alistair Bond

Thursday Church Assembly

Just as I expected/feared, keen to make a good impression I had lined up on my laptop a video to help me reinforce the theme of my assembly - perseverance. As I am sure many of you have experienced with presentations, you should always have a back-up plan. My carefully downloaded video disappeared from my machine causing me to potentially revert to a less than technological set of post-it notes. Fortunately, coming to my rescue was Reverend Coupland with a laptop allowing me to carry on. It was particularly pleasing to see so many of you join us for the assembly and enjoy the tea and coffee beforehand. You are most welcome to join us each week for the assembly. Should your children have come home talking about squirrels and perseverance, please follow this link - https://youtu.be/1jByfWOLmjo

Information from Year 2 and Year 3

This week, year 2 and Year 3 have made a great start, getting to know each other and working hard. In Mathematics, they have been revising partitioning and greater than, less than. In Literacy, we have been reflecting on our holidays and are now moving onto settings.

In Science, we are studying the life-cyle of humans. In Topic, Year 2/3 have been learning about famous inventors, looking at Leonardo Da Vinci and The Wright Brothers.

Information from Year 1

A very successful first week in Year 1.

This week we have been looking at the book Mog the Forgetful cat by Judith Kerr and writing Mog medals for bravery, kindness and helpfulness. In Mathematics, we have been ordering numbers to 20, counting forwards and backwards and thinking about teen numbers. We have learnt about positive thinking and Robert beautifully said “my brain is a rainbow now”.

Information from Reception

This week Reception have settled into life at Park Hill amazingly well. They all look so grown up in their uniforms! We have been focussing on phonics, hearing our initial sounds and blending. In Maths, we have been exploring number recognition and counting an array of objects.

Information from Second Steps

It has been a very busy but enjoyable week in Second Steps. We have been delighted that the children have settled in so well to their new routine. We have had lots of fun playing 'What's the time Mr. Wolf' to get to know our friends and develop our numeracy skills.

Information from First Steps

It has been a wonderful week in First Steps, all of the children have settled well and have begun to make new friends and getting used to school life. The children particularly creating a giant Elmer by gluing and sticking coloured squares. A vey impressive start. Well done, everyone.

After School Activities

You should have all now received information regarding the After School Activities. We have looked to make the application process (both now and ongoing for After School Club) as straight forward as possible. The link to apply for a place on the various activities can be found here - https://goo.gl/forms/KKIVxldDMvPPCTti2

As promised, we also have a second link should you wish to request a place in the After School Club during the week or on the day itself. Theses 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. https://goo.gl/forms/2KxdpmMIGgE6fICV2

Food, Glorious Food...

Whether it was Napoleon or Frederick The Great who said an army marches on its stomach is still being argued about, I think it would be correct to apply the same saying to Park Hill. The food is of the very highest standard (the noodles were particularly good this week) and I am very impressed with the etiquette and manners of all of our children and just how quickly they clear their plates. Details of the menu can be found on our website and in the noticeboard by the side entrance.

Each day, children who have personified our Park Hill Values are invited to join me at the Headmaster's Table. It proves to be a very interesting time where we discuss what we can do to make the school better and I get to hear how well they are doing in their lessons.

Dates for the Diary -

Monday 12th September 2016 - After School Activities Commence.

Wednesday 14th September 2016, 8.30am-9.30am - Coffee Morning.

Saturday 24th September 2016, 10.30am - 12pm - Open Morning.

Monday 26th September 2016 - Individual Portrait Photographs. Please contact the school office if your child does not normally attend school on a Monday to arrange a suitable time.

Wednesday 28th September 2016, 8.30am-9.30am - Coffee Morning.

Thursday 29th September 2016, 9am at St. Pauls Church - Harvest Festival.

Monday 3rd October - Flu Vaccination (Years 1-3, optional).

Tuesday 11th October - Year 1 Visit to Kingston Museum.

Wednesday 12th October 8.30am-9.30am - Coffee Morning.

Thursday 13th October - Year 2 and Year 3 Visit to Madame Tussauds.

Tuesday 18th October - Football vs St. Christopher's.

Wednesday 19th October - Parent/Teacher Consultation Meetings, 5.30pm - 8.00pm.

Thursday 20th October - Parent/Teacher Consultation Meetings, 5.30pm - 8.00pm.

Friday 21st October - Staff INSET. School closed for half term.

Monday 7th November - Term Resumes.

Monday 7th November - Year 1 Visit to the National Gallery.

Tuesday 8th or 15th November - Football vs Weston Green.

Thursday 10th November - Future Schools Evening - Shrewsbury House & Notre Dame.

Wednesday 16th November - First Steps & Reception Class Visit to Chessington Garden Centre.

Wednesday 16th November - 6.00pm-7.00pm - Coffee Evening.

Thursday 17th November - Second Steps Visit to Chessington Garden Centre.

Monday 28th November - Football vs Westbury House (A)

Wednesday 30th November - No Swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Thursday 1st December - Choir singing at Galsworthy House.

Saturday 3rd December - Christmas Fayre, 11am - 2pm.

Wednesday 7th December - No swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Wednesday 14th December - No swimming, cancelled due to pool closure.

Thursday 15th December - Christmas Nativity 11am. Last Day of term.

Term resumes - Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Happy Birthday!

August - Oliver Blower; Jason Vu; Harris Kane; Mario Pearce-Kulyk & Zara Nelson.

September 1st - 8th - Eliza Obaidullah; Aadhrith Sarvesh; Leo Jabourian; Krisha Karavekar & William Pawsey-Persaud.

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.

Parking

Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking their drives when dropping off or collecting your children.

Staff In Service Training

Prior to the start of term we held two very interesting and engaging sessions for all Park Hill staff on the vision, mission and values of the school. The second training session was kindly faciliated by Mrs Susan Blackburn and involved Mr Chris Begley from Kingston Council. We are the first school in Kingston to have engaged with the local authorities to develop our emergency planning procedures. It proved to be a highly informative session as we discussed a range of scenarios and how we can best be prepared to respond to them. This will be a focus of a coffee morning discussion later this term.

Certificates of Achievement -

Second Steps, Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 each received certificates for starting the term with such aplomb. Holly Yap for singing with such confidence.

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