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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 149 - 17th September2021

From the Headmaster:

It may have just been a second, to me it felt like a good minute, but my favourite moment this week was a pause.

Someone far wiser than I once said that 'life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'

Well my 'pause' took place just before greeting everyone at the whole school assembly on Thursday. It has been a few years since we last held our assembly at St Paul's. I am going to suggest that it was 12th March 2020.

It may have been relief or it may have been simply going back to what we do well and that is being together, celebrating and smiling and singing. The expressions on many faces in the audience on Thursday will linger long in my memory.

My mind went back to around 2010 and a Year 7 English topic I was teaching in a previous school about William Blake, a metaphorical cage over these last eighteen months was certainly unlocked as the children stood, shoulders back and sang.

This sound could only have been beaten when I walked around the school and heard the sound of guitar and voices drifting across the school, brilliant.

A busy week, captured in our colourful and vibrant Deerstalker, although perhaps for many, the highlight is still to come. Bring your own tomorrow, BBQ will be in full flow, families welcome for the first of our parent socials. I look forward to seeing you all from 3pm here at school.

Alistair

Hockey Festival - Holme Grange School

As you can see from the images, a super afternoon of sport was enjoyed by all as we traveled to Wokingham for the perfect blend of coaching and competition. My thanks to Mr McArthur for organising the event and to Messrs Bennett and Sims for giving their time for the children and for sport.

Assembly

We all accept challenges in our daily lives. Someone faced the challenge of actually going back to the office this week. A little trepidation? Well we discussed that feeling of needing to get somewhere when it is a little intimidating and requires a little determination. These four images capture such challenging paths that many people have to take in order to get somewhere. The question is, what links them all?

The answer as correctly identified by Miss Gardner was that they are all children making their way to school. I hope that whatever path is challenging for you right now will be smooth and overcome.

Year 6

[Yesterday 17:29] Philip Stevenson

Oranges in no mans land continues in Year 6. The children are now 4/5 of the way through the book and have discussed the differing perspectives of Dr Lelia and Ayesha. The author paints vivid pictures with her phrasing and vocabulary and we have been using these in our diary writing this week.

Maths has been all about negative numbers and their link to temperature. We have solved and then created our own temperature questions, before creating our own weather forecast using green screen.

Science was all about Newton and his three laws, and there was much excitement find investigations to test these three laws (a few of us need to work on our aim).

Year 5

In Year 5 this week, the children have been using their time in their Design Technology lessons to look at the work of Médecins Sans Frontières. After spending time exploring how the team of medics have assisted people across the globe, the children have been using the creativity of Technic Lego and Junior Mechano to build models of new equipment which can be of help to the Médecins Sans Frontières team.

PE this week saw some committed footballers brave the first of the autumnal rain storms to work on their first touch with a football before moving onto small sided games. We finished the session with a penalty shootout competition, Emily and Lexi pushed hard throughout the competition with a series of powerful shots, but a final penalty low to the goalkeeper’s left allowed Mario to claim overall victory.

Willy has finally uttered the famous words ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ in our English lessons, this has started a lovely conversation about how despite living through the doom and gloom of World War 2, kindness and compassion can still shine through to make the difference to a young boys life.

Year 4

Year 4 have been engrossed in our exciting book titled Krindlekrax. Can Ruskin save Lizard Street and become the hero in the school play? The children have written some wonderful descriptions of Lizard Street and all of its residents.

In Maths we have been focusing on rounding up or down to the nearest 1000 and 100 and have been applying the rules in various different ways.

The children have been continuing to create their fabulous Ancient Egyptian artwork - which will soon adorn our classroom walls and have also created some artwork based on our Science topic - Planets.

It’s been a lovely week with the Year 4 children - who are all working incredibly hard.

Year 3

This week Year 3 enjoyed reading First News and finding out what is happening around the world. We also made a start on The Iron Man, using the wonder descriptions Ted Hughes uses to inspire our own writing. In mathematics, our Times Tables Olympic challenge is well on the way with many children keen to do more than expected!

We enjoyed our Performing Arts session back in the church followed by our first live assembly for what seems forever.

To end the week we thoroughly enjoyed an ISA hockey festival.

Year 2

Continuing with our description of character writing this week, we created wanted posters with great adjectives to describe the big bad wolf! Some of us have been very creative with our drawings and descriptions!

Maths has been all about place value and we used cubes to help us create visualise or groups of 10’s and 1’s. With practice in Kahoot and a board game to solidify our understanding, maths has been fun this week.

In Science we looked at animals and their offsprings. We enjoyed learning the names of baby animals and looking at the life cycles of some of them too!

During Adventure school we looked at first aid kits and discussed the useful materials that it contains and how to use them! We enjoyed taking pictures of the kit and creating a book of useful information with labels to help us remember what everything is!

Year 1

This week in Year 1 we have been exploring subtraction and finding the difference. Learning about the language of maths and how to solve bar model investigations.

In literacy we are developing our phonics skills both in reading and in our phonics sessions. We continue to revisit phase 3 sounds and tricky word with a marked improvement in pronunciation and recall.

Our story focus is The snail and the whale and we used our sense to imagine what it might be like to travel on the tail of a whale and why it would be good.

In Science we have answered the questions what is an animal and what is a plant. Both challenging questions which Year 1 sought to answer in depth .

They were fascinated by the different animal groups as well as what makes a plant a plant. Do you know what makes a plant a plant? One of the reasons is they have a cuticle, a waxy layer to help keep moisture inside the plant and stop them drying out!

Reception

Reception have begun to explore their first Book on the Pie Corbett reading spine this week. We began to look at the book: Owl Babies. During our literacy sessions we were able to identify the cover, the title, the characters and where the book was set. As a whole class we discussed how Percy, Bill and Sarah were feeling at the beginning and end of the book and why. The children were then able to act out these emotions as they pretended to be owls. This led to us to begin to look at story maps and we created a whole class story map of the events in the story.

In Maths the children have shown confidence in their knowledge of the Numicon shapes as they have been using them to create pictures and they have all been able to identify which numbers that they had used. This has enabled the children to develop their subitising skills.

During phonics we have recapped our understanding of rhyme and we have been able to sort objects into their correct rhyming families. We specifically looked at words with the ending “og”, “at” and “ake”.

During games the children have been learning to work as a team to get to one end of the playground to the other without stepping outside of their hoops. I was very impressed with their level of communication as the game progressed to enable them to successfully complete this challenge.

Second Steps

We had a lovely show and tell this week, Maxi brought in the most amazing book about the different sea creatures and a crab that he made. He told us which ones he liked and all the things he learnt about the sea creatures. Sebastian told us about his fishing trip with his dad, the fish that he caught and showed us photos. He also went on a little adventure around the Harry Potter studies. Evdokia showed us her new bike and told us how her new bike had pedals and ribbons.

For the first time Second Steps joined the rest of the school at the church for assembly, the children walked over with Year 5 and Year 6. The children sat wonderfully and enjoyed watching people walk over the timber, which some children said they looked like pirates walking the plank.

In Woodland School, Second Steps went mini beast hunting, we looked in the trees, through the bushes and went digging in the mud. Second Steps found loads of wiggly worms, a tiny slug, a ladybug and two centipede.

Part of our phonics we have been looking at rhyming words, we are reading A Squash and a Squeeze and using the small world play to retell the story. As well as Tiddler, it is an amazing rhyming book and perfect for the children to be repeating key phrases from the book. There is a part in the book where the other fish don’t believe Tiddler and say ‘oh no he didnt’, to which the children reply ‘oh yes he did’.

First Steps

First Steps children enjoyed learning new songs this week. They have used our props to practise singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Bar’ song.

The art table was very busy as usual; the children made some printing using different materials to produce creative art works.

Using tennis rackets to hit the balls was one of the most exiting activity for children this week. They showed great enthusiasm and perseverance to improve their hand-eye coordination.

We have read the story ‘Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear’ which helped children to pay attention to animal sounds.

We also practised our hygiene routines in the class. This week we mainly focused how to cover our mouth when we sneeze.

Mrs Guniz Mrs Mousi Ms Bambi

Physical Education & Games

In PE this week despite the weather the pupils showed great resilience on Tuesday and gave it 100%. Years 3 & 4 put the football down this week and picked up a hockey stick in preparation for this Weeks Mini-Hockey Tournament. With focus on developing dribbling skills with and without opponents before moving on to a small sided games and going over the different rules. In Sports Science this week pupils were asked to put into practice their Sportsmanship and Gamesmanship knowledge by recording their own examples and showing it to the other groups where they had to analyse and explain which category it fell into.

Mr McArthur

French

For our second week, we have discovered the objects around our classroom. Children were introduced to classroom objects vocabulary. We drilled for pronunciations, children had to match the word to the picture, and we then played a memory game to further practice the language presented.

For the grammar part, we have brushed up on “Masculin & Féminin” after which children had to sort the classroom objects according to their gender. To conclude our lesson, children have practised forming sentences using the form” Dans la classe il y a …”

Maitresse Narjiss

Music

Instrumental lessons are starting up again with piano, drums, vocals and guitar. We are looking for the violin teacher. Students are excited to play and soon they will perform in the assemblies. We still have a limited number of spaces for Choir after school club on Thursdays, which is geared up for younger students from reception to year 3. Older students will be singing and preparing for competitions in Performing Arts club on Wednesdays.

Ms Tomaskova

Images from the week

Key Events

I am delighted to confirm that we are able to return to our St. Paul's Church assemblies every Thursday morning.

Saturday 18th September – Parent Social and BBQ, 3pm onwards…(Yes!!!)

Friday 1st October – ISA Junior Triathlon

Tuesday 5th October – E-Safety Parent Workshop, 8.45am (also through zoom)

Thursday 7th October – Harvest Festival

Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th October – Parent Consultation Meetings

Covid-19 Regulations

You will be aware that as a school we are no longer required to maintain ‘bubbles’ and are no longer involved in the track and trace of individuals. Should there be a positive case, NHS Track and Trace will determine who has been a close contact and inform those people directly. They will be advised to take a PCR test. As detailed in the latest DfE regulations - Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.

They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

The measures we will continue to take as a school is as follows –

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone

2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes

3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases

In light of all of the above information we are delighted that we will once again be able to welcome you into school for the morning drop off as well as for the myriad of events such as workshops and social events. For the first week, as the children settle into their routine we feel it prudent that children in Year 3 – 6 are collected from the front of the school whilst children in nursery , Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can be collected directly from their classrooms. In due course we will review this but given the numbers congregating, we would prefer to take a measured approach at this time.

Members of prep school staff will remain with their class should they have siblings in the nursery or pre-prep who can be collected first. We are delighted that we can have this invaluable contact with you again, the conversations at the classroom door are so important to ensure the very best relationships.

The school gate will be open from 8am-8.05am for early drop off and then open again from 8.15am – 8.30am where you are welcome to walk through with your children to their classrooms. Lessons will commence promptly at 8.30am. Clubs will finish at 5pm, with children being brought to the front of the school for collection and children attending after school club from 5pm to 6pm should be collected from the front door. We shall continue to be alert to any changes in guidance as we head to the winter months and inform you accordingly.

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

Thank you….

As a special reward for those of you who diligently read through to the end of the Deerstalker, enjoy this short video -

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond