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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 155 - 12th November 2021

From the Headmaster:

Proud. Very proud.

I would challenge anyone to not have been moved by the assembly on Thursday and the solemnity with which the silence was observed by the school at 11am.

It is an assembly that I find challenging to lead, I have no reservation in stating that. The poetry recital, the original verse from our Year 5 authors and the personal stories the children told is equally bewildering and incomprehensible.

We heard from 95 and 97 year old veterans who, at the tender age of 17, went to war. Their stories all the more impactful given their age and emotion all these years on.

The recital of "In Flanders Field" and the juxtaposition of young voices intertwined with those of Mr Sims, Mr Stevenson and Lt. Col. Forsyth left me with a sense of optimism that the responsibility to remember those who gave their today is in good hands.

The full assembly can be viewed below. Do take the time to hear our children read and consider just how impressive they are. Believe me when I say even our very youngest children, our First Steppers, remained silent for the two minutes at 11am, on the 11th November. So proud to be a Park Hillian this week.

Alistair

Year 6

This week, Year 6 have continued with their work on ‘Wonder’. We are now in to the chapter of Via, and have been analysing the different perspectives on the story.

Maths has been the study of the common multiples and common factors. After working out and practicing the method, they were challenged to solve worded problems and difficult questions. Both individually and in pairs, they succeeded in answering these.

Computing involved taking computers apart and researching each component, each piece of hardware, that they discovered.

Remembrance involved the creation of clay poppies, which subsequently ‘blew up’ when fired - only 5 remain. As well, we created stone poppies which were displayed around our classroom.

Year 5

The Year 5 children left not only Mr Sims, but the entire congregation at the Park Hill Assembly this week feelings of immense pride and humility with their delivery of their remembrance poems this week. To shine and succeed in any element of life, frequently the audience only gets to see the polished final output, while often the many hours of hard work which are required to produce just a few seconds of beautiful work remain hidden.

For the Year 5 Deerstalker contribution this week, I would like to share some insight to behind the scenes of our time studying poetry this term. The elements of success which can go without notice or recognition are instances such as when the children are pushing to convince their teacher to let them continue their English lessons through their break and lunch times, or when the children take it upon themselves to utilise their Showbie group discussion to continue their school work at home into the evening. Not only was this used to add final adjustments to their work, but the supportive comments shared amongst the group was beautiful to watch unfold.

The class had a visitor who came to observe our English lessons in action this week. Following their time with the Year 5 children, they left with parting comments to praise the supportive peer to peer relationship amongst the children along with their maturity to both understand and explain the significance of Remembrance Day. Only in such a supportive and nurturing environment can the children really take on and then verbalise the emotions behind something like Remembrance.

The class have nothing but the highest praise from me for this week, the children should feel immensely proud of themselves.

Year 4

It’s been such an enjoyable week in Year. We had lots of fun on Monday at Adventure School in Richmond Park where we mapped out, using a birds-eye view, an area of the park. The class enjoyed another Rugby lesson in the gorgeous autumnal sunshine before coming back to class to begin working on our autumnal non-chronological reports.

The children have been learning about headings, sub-headings, pictures and captions and have been using secondary sources to research autumn topics including: hibernation, deciduous trees, Diwali, Bonfire Night and leaf decomposition. The reports are looking fantastic and when they are finished we will upload them to Showbie for you to read.

Year 3

Year 3 have continued to amaze me with their enthusiasm for their writing, we have moved onto The Abominables for inspiration which is a charming story about a family of yetis. The rich language in the book helps us develop our language as we magpie and further extend the language using similes and look to develop thoughts and feelings.

Maths this week, was learning about the power of arrays to multiply and divide, backing up our times tables knowledge.

In Science we have moved onto our rocks and soil topic looking at man made and natural resources.

We have also enjoyed exploring poppies using Sketches School and started making our own paper mosaics in a Roman style.

Year 2

Year 1

Year 1

Year 1 have had a wonderful week exploring 2D and 3D shapes. We first learnt how to name and recognise them, then investigated their properties so that we could sort the shapes using different criteria and appropriate mathematical vocabulary.

At the end of the week we developed our knowledge of pattern and answered a series of challenging questions about repeated shapes.

In literacy we continue to develop our non fiction writing - darting instructions on fire work safety and also how to write the perfect sentence.

In humanities we developed our map making skills by drafting signpost maps and then describing location using hear, far, close by.

In Science we looked at light sources and answered the question - is the moon a light?

Did you know that a light source is luminous and can be natural and artificial.

Reception

Reception have been very busy this week, we carried on last Friday’s interest in poppies and remembrance by watching CBeebies short animation called “Poppies”. We then discussed how the rabbit felt before, during and after the war. One comment was “the soldier left his helmet behind, the rabbit is hiding under it”. This led us on to using mixed media to create our own poppies which helped us to develop our fine motor and expressive skills as we all created our own poppy, each and every poppy was individual and clearly represented the children’s own ideas. On Thursday the children took part in a loose parts activity to create their own poppy with lolly sticks, bottle tops, glass stones and buttons. The children then talked about how they had made their poppy and why they made it: “to remember the soldiers”. One child showed clear empathy and compassion in her explanation of why she made her poppy: “I made it because I wanted to be a kind girl and I wanted to be nice and I wanted to try and think about all the soldiers that fighted in the war and I want to know who they were”.

In Maths we have been exploring our understanding of the composition of numbers and we began to use Part- whole models to represent addition problems with the answer 1, 2 and 3. The aliens came to help us with this as we had to share out and add up their moon rocks.

The space theme has continued in Literacy this week as we started looking at the next Pie Corbett book “Whatever Next” by Jill Murphy. We discussed how the bear go to space and what we would use to make a rocket. The children said that it needed triangles for the nose (we will explore rocket design more next week). On Friday we then explored list writing as we wrote our own lists to inform us what we would take to space in our own rockets. I was very impressed with the children’s new skills in writing words according to what sounds they heard in the spoken word. Well done Reception, great progress.

Finally I was very impressed with the children’s skills in their first spelling test, they are all applying their learnt sounds to three letter CVC words and they all tried hard to write the words to match the picture. Well done you are all superstars.

Second Steps

I presume we are adding our bits for the Deer Stalker!

Second Steps.

Another busy week in Second Steps.

We started the week by hearing about all the fireworks the children had seen at the weekend. There was lots of lovely descriptive words; colourful, bright, high, pretty, sparkly, multicoloured and loud.

We made more mess than usual, making firework pictures by flicking paint at the paper, creating great effects. We have also been making firework pictures on the iPad.

For science this week we have been flying paper aeroplanes. Learning about propulsion and speed. Learning how to fold the paper and seeing how high, fast and far they can fly. The children discovered the harder we threw their planes the further they travelled. We also experimented with different designs to see which ones flew further and which ones were good at doing loop the loops. This all came from seeing the vapour trails of the aeroplanes flying high in the sky.

The children have been enjoying lots of fine motor skill activities. Using the tweezers to colour sort & count toys. Using the peg boards with the small pegs, creating colour patterns.

In woodland school we looked to see if we could identify different signs of Autumn. The children noticed there were lots of leaves falling off the trees when the wind blew. They saw that the leaves had changed colours, some were yellow and red, some were brown and made a crunching sound when you squashed them. We talked about the birds and what they eat in the winter and realised there wasn’t much food for them so we made Cheerio bird feeders. Threading the hoops onto the string till it was full. We made a loop at the top so it could be hung up in the trees.

We were so proud of how well Second steps behaved in church on Thursday for our Remembrance service holding their poppies and during the 2 minutes silence at 11am.

Well done Second Steps.

Miss Finch, Miss Wood, Miss K

First Steps

This week in First Steps we have been very busy getting creative and learning new things. This week our focus colour was yellow, we learnt a new song about the colour yellow and for Woodland school we went on a hunt for yellow leaves. With the yellow leaves we found, we did a sticking activity and we also made our own yellow paintings at art table. For our cooking session we made banana smoothie which they had for snack and the children got a chance to peel, cut and mash the banana. When using the blender to make our smoothie the children explored the different sounds around us. On Wednesday we all dressed up in something yellow and all the children loved seeing their teachers and peers in something different which links to what we are learning.

Our focus book has been Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the children explored the story through the tuff tray, while they enjoyed feeding the bears with the porridge. The children really loved retelling the story with their peers and teachers.

For Remembrance Day we made our own poppies out of cupcake cases and the children enjoyed painting using two different colours and working on their grip with mark making tools. Also, children stood in silent for 2 minutes with older children at the playground and showed their respects to soldiers who fought for us. Well done First Steps!

Mrs Guniz

Mrs Mousi

Miss Bambi

Physical Education & Games

Key Stage 2 students continued to develop their Rugby skills with a focus on attacking and defending space. The children were given ownership and challenged to think of different ways of altering space, amount of people and equipment on how to make the session harder or easier. In sports science the pupils are learning more about balanced diets and the different nutrients our body needs and where we can get them from. We have also had a sneak peak in different athletes diets and why the consume the amount of food that they do.

Mr McArthur

Climbing

Our first climbing session was incredibly successful, with year 6 and 5 pupil challenging themselves to climb the 15m high wall. They worked together, supporting each other and learning how to belay.

French

Year 6

This week we have followed on with our daily routine theme. Children have learnt about evening routine “La routine du soir” and we have also brushed up on our morning routine from last week.

We used mime and gesture to memorise and understand the language. We carried on with our reading practice with a great focus on pronunciation, digraphs and silent letters

Children have had the opportunity to practise their listening and speaking skills through a game of connect four, they have joined in our “Ma routine” songs and successfully completed their worksheets.

At the end of our session, children have worked in pairs and in turns they had a further speaking practice opportunity where they had to tell their partners about their daily routine. Well done Year 6, bravo!

Maitresse Narjiss

Music

We have sang a moving song From a Distance in Remebrance assembly. Our soloists and choir were excellent especially if taken into account we only rehearsed this song twice.

We are looking forward for Christmas Production as well as festive Christmas Concert.

This year we will have Miss Azevedo joining us on violin.

Ms Tomaskova

Images from the week

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.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond