Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 2 - 16TH SEPTEMBER 2016

From the Headmaster:

I will confess that I find it a little difficult to believe that we are at the end of our second week. Time flies when you are having fun? Well, judging by the range of activities that our children enjoy as I visit classrooms I suspect it could have something to do with it.

It is a pleasure to see the First Steps children enjoying the start of their school career, especially as a number of us were fortunate enough to enjoy the fruits of their labour following their biscuit making; very good they were too!

After school activities began in earnest this week with the children clearly enjoying their football session last night.

In between the myriad of activities and meetings this week, my wife and I enjoyed a visit to Feltonfleet School, kindly hosted by my counterpart Alastair Morrison. The visit was all the more enjoyable thanks to the weather which appears to have been abruptly brought to an end by the thunderstorm and rain which reduced the need for the alarm call this morning!

Finally, you will have the opportunity to read about my coffee morning later in this newsletter, but I would like to thank those of you who were able to attend. It was a very informative and interesting opportunity to speak with you and to ensure the school continues to grow from strength to strength.

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Kind regards,

Alistair Bond

Thursday Church Assembly

Reverend Coupland led the assembly this week. The theme, Wonderful World, included images of the natural world. I think it was fair to say that he was somewhat impressed with the knowledge of our children as they accurately identified each and every image, including the potential location of the volcano or mountain range. The theme extended to celebrating the 'wonderful' achievements of the children who received certificates. I would like to confirm that from this week onwards the parents of those children receiving certificates will be notified in advance. I am also pleased to confirm that tea and coffee will be ready and available from 8.30am on Thursday mornings, allowing you to drop-off your children and head straight to the church. This may well be particularly welcome in the cooler months.

I will be taking over the baton (please excuse the athletics analogy) from Reverend Coupland next week; the continuation of the perseverance theme and some answers as to just how Derek Redmond personifies the important trait. It would be a pleasure to see you there (bring some tissues with you...)

Information from First Steps

In First Steps, our focus was on the letter 'S' sound, the number '1', the square shape and the colour red. The children made red play-dough and using chopsticks they drew the letter 's' and explored their environment to find objects beginning with this sound. Red apples were used for printing and we created rainbow fish using sequins and different colour paints.

Information from Second Steps

In Second Steps this week, we have been enjoying exploring our sense of touch. Children have been describing how different objects feel. Using a senses box, they described cotton wool as being 'like cotton candy.' They will be exploring the sense of sight next week.

Information from Reception

In Reception this week we have been making self-portraits. The children have been using different colours and materials to create some very life like portraits that are now proudly on display in the classroom. The children have also been exploring their senses, enjoying testing their sense of touch by attempting to work out what the material or object was in a box. We shall be exploring our sense of smell next week. Woodland school was particularly enjoyable as the children created their own hedgehogs using different materials and resources found in Richmond Park.

Information from Year 1

This week Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed being nature detectives at Woodland School.

We have been focusing on trees and how to identify them through their bark and leaves. Tree bark varies greatly between different species of trees, so we decided to take a bark rubbing to focus on the different patterns and textures, as well as making a record of a particular tree’s bark. Bark’s main purpose is to protect the tree. While the children made their rubbings, we talked about the properties of the bark, and how they might be beneficial to a tree. Year 1 decided that some trees have "skin like rhinos because the bark is thick and bumpy". We can now identify five trees confidently by their shape, bark, seeds and leaves.

Information from Year 2 & Year 3

Year 2 and Year 3 have had another busy week. We have been celebrating the life and stories of Roald Dahl, on what would have been his 100th birthday. This has involved using excerpts from the BFG to write in our 'dream jars' and learning about his life and inspirations for his stories and tales. In Mathematics, we have been revising partitioning and adding larger numbers. The challenge for the weekend, as we have been exploring inventors and creators, is to design a scooter rack for Park Hill. Get those thinking caps on. We are looking forward to seeing your ideas and hopefully seeing your design come to fruition.

Don't forget Harvest Festival - Thursday 29th September. Each class will be making their own Harvest Box. If you would like to contribute a small number of food items it would be most welcome. Full details in the newsletter next week.

House Captains

There are some rather shiny badges being proudly displayed on blazers this morning. I would like to congratulate our newly appointed House Captains and Vice Captains and I look forward to hearing them introduce themselves to the school at the assembly next Thursday. This will be the formal recognition of their appointment, to which you are most welcome attend.

After School Activities

As I have already mentioned, it was a pleasure to see the children take part in the first week of activities. Spanish has clearly made a great impact as the children left school after their lesson and the footballers looked to have enjoyed their coaching. The link to apply for a place on the various activities can be found here -

If I could remind you that should you wish to apply for a place for after school club next week 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.

Our proud certificate winners from this week.

Certificate Winners

Alex Balding - Outstanding approach to learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Sade Odewale - Performance skills - clear and confident voice.

Elliot Gay - Superb contributions to class discussions.

Jessica Blackburn - Always kind and helpful.

Avery Barikor - Positive attitude towards his learning.

Bemi Ibiyemi - Trying hard with his name writing.

Layton McCormack - Being kind and looking after his classmates.

Ali Taha - Always kind and helpful.

Stella Pirola-Fassene - Excellent enthusiasm at group time.

Genevieve Stamp - Making her name independently with the letter cubes.

Dates for the Diary -

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.

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!

September 9th - 16th - Audrey Tse; Max Verdult; Zara Field; Alexander Balding &Willliam Motigin

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.


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.

Coffee Morning

The first of my coffee mornings took place this week. It proved to be most interesting and thought provoking. The school enjoys tremendous support, with all members of our community keen to provide the children with the very best opportunities. The theme of the morning was communication, in all its forms. As I explained, having read a great deal and worked in a variety of schools, there are many approaches and theories. Ultimately, the key to successful school communication is relatively straight forward; understand what parents want to know and how...

It was very helpful for me, particularly as the dynamics in all schools are different and a 'one size fits all' approach for communication does not work. The tools and methods currently in use were discussed and a very positive discussion took place as to what we can do to further refine these methods. In addition to communication we covered a number of other topics including uniform and activities. The next coffee morning is on 28th September, continuing the theme of communication in addition to how the school is preparing for potential compliance and education quality inspections.

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