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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 148 - 11th September2021

From the Headmaster:

A very interesting set of emotions on Monday morning this week. That ever present sense of anticipation at the start of a new school year was most certainly evident as we opened the side gate to you all. This is not a wholly unfamiliar emotion for many of us. I have opened a variety of school gates over the last 20+ years.

The unlocking of the gate this year was completed with a second, unfamiliar emotion for this time of year, although perhaps an emotion we have become unconsciously accustomed to.

Always a pleasure to welcome everyone to our school, this year brought a peculiar realisation that we could go back to doing what we do really well and that is welcoming you all back to school, properly. It has been a peculiar time restricting access for so long which felt alien for so long, to then return at the start of the year to what we have always done suddenly seemed so alien. Explain that one?

I am not questioning it but I certainly enjoyed it, as much as I enjoyed opening the gate at the end of the day on Monday and welcoming you back for those all important classroom door conversations and sharing of adventures and escapades undertaken during the day.

I have so enjoyed seeing the smiles and the relief as we relaxed into the new/old routine.

So, welcome back and welcome to many new members of our family. If you read but one thing this week, please note that our first parent social is on Saturday 18th September, 3pm onwards. Simply bring your own and we will have the bbq going all afternoon.

Many highlights this week. The artwork seemingly being displayed within seconds of arrival in Year 3, a lively debate in Year 5 and friction of the scientific type in Year 6.

Enjoy the images. Enjoy your weekend. Don't forget next Saturday, it's been a few years.

Alistair

PS - you will be as delighted as we are to have been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School (again) 2021-2024. A superb achievement very much down to the collective ambition and effective use of technology as a creative tool. Another three years!

Assembly

An al fresco start to the school year as we explored how to care for things that are precious or valuable to us. Whether it is a glass heart from the Isle of Wight, a wedding ring, feline, canine or indeed a postcard from Malaga, take care of it.

Year 6

Year 6 have hit the ground running. Starting their new book, 'Oranges in No Mans Land', we have begun analysing the emotions of our characters and justifying our answers using quotes from the first 5 chapters. We have also used these emotions to write from the perspectives from one of our secondary characters. The children have been immersed in the 1975 Civil war in Lebanon, with pictures, sounds and smells drifting through our classroom.

In mathematics, we have reviewed place value for large numbers and have rounded these numbers, using counters, dice, and tape.

Science has involved revisiting force diagrams and how we can balance forces. We were challenged to keep a ruler balanced whilst placing weights on either side (the beginning of the principle of moments). Computing starts on the important topic of social media and Year 6 are in the process of creating posters to explain the terms and conditions of popular sites to children.

Year 5

In Year 5 this week, the children have been full of smiles as they catch up with their friends following the long summer break. In lessons, we have been studying the classic text Goodnight Mr Tom. by Michelle Magorian. In the book Tom’s accent is shown using eye-dialect, for example

He scratched his head. ‘Bit ‘igh fer you. I’d best put in a low peg.’

The children had fun sharing accents they know with the class before moving on to write a review of Chapter One.

Our first topic maths lessons is the study of place value. By utilising ‘gamification’ techniques and drawing on Year 5 children’s competitive nature, we were able to explore the place value of digits beyond the standard requirements of Year 5 curriculum.

Year 4

A wonderful first week in Year 4. It has been a pleasure getting to know all the children. We have been very busy working on our English where we have written character descriptions and a diary entry as our favourite character from the book Krindlekrax. In Maths we have enjoyed rounding up or down to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000 and we had lots of fun yesterday being the planets in our Solar System and rotating around the Sun - we were all very dizzy afterwards! It has been a busy and hugely enjoyable first week.

Year 3

Year 3 have hit the ground running with our new children made to feel very welcome. After discussing our class rules and expectations on the first morning, we moved onto our lessons. In Mathematics we revised and built on our place value knowledge and introduced our Time table ‘Olympics’ challenge which allows the children to work at their own pace to earn rosettes and medals as they progress through the levels of times tables knowledge, which caused great excitement. In English we have looked at building sentences and short burst writing about a tiger. Art this week was a portrait observational drawing, using our iPads to help look at our own faces in detail to create our own portrait using oil pastels to great effect.

Year 2

A wonderful week in Year 2! With lots of smiles and a positive attitude children have started the school year with great work. We have been looking at nouns, adjectives and verbs for English and we have danced to many songs to help us remember definitions and examples of these words. For Maths we counted in 2’s 5’s and 10’s using a number line and a 100 grid.

Today the class really enjoyed talking about superheroes, their role in the world and their superpowers. Everyone has also made their own superheroes! We spent the afternoon drawing our superheroes and sharing our creations with the rest of the class. It has been an enjoyable first week indeed!

Year 1

The children have had a stunning start to Year 1. We are very excited about the opportunities to make lasting learning memories this year.

So much has happened already in only a few days!

In maths we have looked at numbers to 10 and different ways to represent numbers such as using a tens frame, number line, tally marks and digits.

We expanded our understanding of sorting to sort using different criteria like shape, size, detail and number.

In literacy we focus on recapping Phase 2 and 3 sounds so that we are ready to move on to Phase 4 consonant blends and Phase 5 alternative graphemes.

Our topic this term is Toys and we have begun by learning about teddy bears comparing old and new and using Keynote to draw an old bear from 1907 filled with sand and with wooden eyes.

Reception

The children in Reception have had a wonderful first week in Reception and they have welcomed each other into the class with confidence and smiles. We have all been getting to know each other this week and developing new friendships with each other. After only a few days they have all begun to cooperate well with each other in play, focused lessons and when completing daily routines such as tidying up. (They love our Tidy up Tango song).

We have done so much this week. In Maths we have been been exploring numbers 1-5 and learning how to guess the shape of the Numicon that represents each of the numbers, we have then put these numbers in order and they have been so amazing at missing number games on a number line 1-5 using the Numicon shapes that we have expanded our knowledge and recognition to include numbers 6-10. We have then begun to represent a chosen number in different ways either through drawing, cubes or other methods.

The children have prepared the cover for their challenge passports by drawing a portrait of themselves after looking in the mirror, they then tried very hard to copy and write their names and a number to show how old they are. We will use these passports with weekly challenges.

The Colour Monster Self-registration station has been well used as the week has progressed with the children pegging their named peg onto a picture of how they are feeling and then they have been talking about why they are feeling that emotion.

Finally we all enjoyed a walk to Richmond Park for Woodland School where we were able to identify acorns after finding them and we learnt that they come from an oak tree. Some of the children were fascinated to find bits of bark and they tried to compare them to the bark on the oak tree. They then discussed their findings.

Well done Reception, an amazing first week and I am sure all our laughs and giggles will last all year. I hope you have a restful weekend, you all deserve it.

Second Steps

What an amazing first week in Second Steps.

The children have come in happy and excited to see their friends and keen to get involved.

Welcome to Louisa, Rafael, Lara, Amal and Aryen who are new to Park Hill School but have settled in very well.

The children have been busy making new friends, discovering and exploring their new classroom, painting their self portraits, making pizza with the play dough we made ourselves, dressing up as superheroes, splashing in the paddling pool and using the binoculars to search for birds of prey flying in the sky.

We met Mr McArthur and had great sports lessons. We all sang along with Mrs Tomaskova in our music lesson and of course Miss Georgina was back for performing arts.

Happy birthday to Louis who turned 4 this week.

Miss finch, Miss Wood and Miss K

First Steps

First Steps have had a lovely first week at nursery. The children have been so brave leaving parents and we have loved getting to know them all! This week we have spent time learning teacher’s names and our friends names, we also learnt about our class routine and what rules there are to follow. The children also really enjoyed the cooking lesson this week where they made sandwiches for snack. We all made most of the beautiful sunshine by having two afternoon snack picnics in our garden!

For arts and crafts this week we have been making our own pictures using crayon balls and colour pencils. We have also started practicing our cutting and have been doing some decorating and sticking. The children have loved the P.E lessons this week where they have been learning and practicing different ways of moving. They have been jumping, crawling, throwing, kicking bouncy balls, running, walking and some balancing. For Performing Art and Music lesson, we have been doing a lot of singing and dancing following different rhythms. The children have been slowly getting more confident each day to participate, contribute and have fun!

Have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Guniz Mrs Mousi Ms Bambi

Physical Education & Games

Reception all the way to Year 6 were delighted to return to Ditton fields on Tuesday and resume PE where they will be working on multi-skills and football. At Park Hill School, First and Second Steps have been challenged to use their larger muscles by travelling in different ways to develop their gross motor skills. Years 3-6 are delving deeper into the Social cultural influences in Sport Science and learning the differences between Sportsmanship and Gamesmanship. It was lovely to see how students began to apply and identify sportsmanship values during break time with a simple game of tag.

Mr McArthur

French

It was a pleasure welcoming Year 5 and Year 6 back to our French class this week and seeing how keen they are about learning French. The focus for this first week was on:

- Understanding classroom language and rules.

- introducing ourselves

- Learning to use the correct question form to enquire about someone’s name, age and how they are doing.

- The sound “ on - an -en”, “ç” and “oi”

- Conjugating the verb “S’appeler ” in the present tense using the personal pronouns « je, tu, il, Elle » and applying them correctly when talking to or about someone.

Oral communication and authentic interactions between the children helped achieve this goal. Children showed great enthusiasm when carrying oral activities, both in pairs and in small groups. They took part in a dialogue role play and joined in our French greeting song. Finally, to consolidate our learning children have completed a worksheet to show their understanding of the Language presented to them this week.

Maitresse Narjiss

Music

Dear parents, we are pleased to offer individual music lessons for piano, vocals, drums and newly guitar. We might also start violin if we have at least 4 students. Please register your interest by Music teacher Magdalena Tomaskova, email magdalena.tomaskova@parkhillschool.com.

There are 10 lessons per term, each 30 min. The price is £195 per term. Students will have a chance to perform at concerts and assemblies throughout the year. The students rotate their lessons on a set day to make sure they won’t miss out on academic subjects.

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 on a Thursday morning, starting next week. They will still be live streamed through zoom. Details at the conclusion of this edition.

Monday 13th – Y1 and Y6, 14th – Y2 and Y5, 15th – Y3 and Y4 and 16th – Reception - Curriculum Information Meetings, class teachers will confirm details through Showbie.

Friday 17th September – U9 Hockey Tournament

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.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond