From the Headmaster:

Hold it...

...flash, bang, wallop, what a picture

Well, the rain just about held off for both our whole school and class photographs on Wednesday. As I may have mentioned, we thought we would be creative with our location for the whole school image. I haven’t seen the results yet, but I think it was a good move.


Stick it in your family album

The phrase ‘When art imitates life’ flashed across my mind as we were preparing for the photograph. Many of us have finally had the chance to get a glimpse of what promises to be a most enjoyable and amusing end of year production based around a whole school photograph. Naturally, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental in the play and everyone was very suitably attired on Wednesday.

I do hope that you will be able to join us on Thursday 4th July 11am to 12pm for what will be a show to remember.

Sports Day and Prize Giving - Saturday 29th June

Sports Day is now just one week away, once again being held at the Sir Mo Farah Running Track at St. Mary’s University. Children should arrive for a prompt 9.30am start for Prize Giving to be followed by Sports Day.

I would ask that children arrive wearing games kit (house t-shirt if they have one or failing that their maroon games top and black shorts/skorts with white socks, running shoes and school cap. They must also be wearing their school blazer for prize giving.

Nursery children should wear their white polo shirt and maroon shorts.

Sun protection is a must as the long range forecast is for similar conditions to last year, bright sunshine and 30+ degrees. You have been warned! (I’m not making it up.)

We celebrate achievements every day of the week, in every lesson, in assemblies, in passing, in the Deerstalker, with handshakes, in writing, on Showbie, with high-fives and with quiet nods of the head. I see it and hear it every day.

I start every Prize Giving in exactly the same way.

Whether you get a prize or not, it does not define whether you had a superb or successful year or not. Each and every individual has worked hard and achieved. If you are fortunate to receive a prize, congratulations. If you don’t? Then see it as a challenge, see it as an opportunity to earn one next year. To show resolve and determination.

As a ‘veteran’ of organising school trips in various parts of the world, I am a firm believer in the enormous benefits such experiences bring to children. The opportunity to learn about themselves away from home, ‘standing on your own two feet’ was a phrase used this week with the Year 4 and Year 5 classes as we put their adventure skills to the test. Children taking responsibility for putting their own tents up, cooking their own food, working out how to clear up and how to delegate various roles were just some of fhe expectations we had for them. What a super experience and how encouraging it was to see children taking responsibility and initiative for themselves.

So, one more Deerstalker to go before the end of term, our now traditional pictorial reflection back on the last nine months. It promises to be a big one. Nearly as big as this one.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Year 4 and Year 5 Expedition

As the children get older, in addition to enjoying the Lulworth Cove trip, we are keen to provide them with additional opportunities to test their Adventure School skills. We took them on an overnight camp along the Thames at Laleham Campsite. Taking place overnight from Thursday 20th June to Friday 21st June, the children enjoyed various activities in addition to the challenge of cooking for themselves and washing up...

Some children made their way via minibus, others chose the more involved bike option. Cycling 21km along The Thames is no small feat and one that they managed with great aplomb. Carrying their own equipment on their bikes added to the experience thanks to the donation of bikepacking bags from the Alpkit Foundation.

As you can see from the images, whether they biked or were bussed, it was a superb experience for all involved.

I feel that this last sentence needs explaining and expanding upon.

I know I talk a great deal about resilience and perseverance but it is not just me who feels that these are essential traits. The World Economic Forum report exploring the ‘Future of Jobs’ identifies them as crucial abilities for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report 2018

When I made the move from PE teacher (you never actually, truly stop being a PE teacher, not really) to more time in the classroom I had the privilege of teaching Year 7, 8 and 9 English during my time in Libya. What may come as a second surprise in as many sentences, is that my favourite topic was exploring the poetry of William Blake. It was further brought alive when the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams visited Tripoli and I had the honour of showing him around the British School.

He paused at my classroom display featuring William Blake to share his very detailed knowledge of the poet and spoke at length with the class about his words and life. Blake was a well known neighbour to Lambeth Palace.

How can the bird born for joy sit in a cage and sing?

If I am allowed to then add another favourite line from Blake?

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings

Such adventures are part of a broader and more important picture. Learning about yourself in unfamiliar territory, finding and developing the ability to think for yourself, to take responsibility for yourself. The decisions you make, the confidence to be yourself. Such adventures grow wings.

Enough of Blake. Just enjoy the smiling faces in these images and look closely, you can see the children all soaring.

Teachers grow wings too through such adventures. We provide such experiences because we believe in them and because the children are a pleasure to spend time with. Such generosity is never taken for granted nor assumed.

My thanks to messrs Papps, Bond, Renfrew, Gibbons and Akoglu for their tremendous hard work and help. It would be hugely neglectful of me not to also point out that such expeditions have a base camp. Mr Stevenson overseeing multiple clubs to enable staff to join the adventure, extra duties to be covered by so many, messrs Blower and Watts preparing medical lists and school money logistics, Chef managing extra catering demands to name but a few. The hidden part of growing wings.

I’ll stop now with the Blake references. You get the point.

Social Media


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

Kite Festival

Well, the kites soared (sorry) over Richmond Park on Friday afternoon. Only the grumpiest and most cynical could fail to allow the broadest of grins to spread across ones face at the sight of parents, children and staff running with kites down the slope with an extraordinary variety of kites, homemade, homespun or off the shelf following them.

Oh, I cannot resist it.

The cage was well and truly open, Blake would have approved. (P3)

Key Dates & Notices

Saturday 29th June - Speech and Sports Day St Mary’s University. 9.30am to 1pm.

Thursday 4th July - Summer Performance

Friday 5th July - Last Day of Term. School and Nursery closed from 12.30pm

Athletics vs Clarence House

We have a very good relationship with our friends at Clarence House and it was a pleasure to be invited to a relatively relaxed athletics meet on Monday with our Year 3, 4 and 5 pupils. It was sunny!

News from the Classes

‘Some great memories where made as the many geese had a gander at our passing peloton, whilst river boat crews saw us barge our way westward.’ Mr Papps (artist and raconteur.)

News from Year 4 and Year 5

An action packed week concluded in Richmond Park where our kites soared and swooped, and looped the loop. Well, most did, but we enjoyed all the fun of trying out our amazing inventive kite creations in the annual Kite Festival. It was also lovely to see the Year 4 and 5 pupils, despite being tired, helping the children in younger years with their kites to enable them the excitement of flight.

Our academic week took off on Monday where we began writing up our newspaper reports on flying frogs on lily pads, ensuring that our layout included paragraphs appropriate to the conventions of good journalism. In the first paragraph, a good introduction with answers to the Who? What? When? And Why?. The middle paragraphs with further details of the story and where we use our new skills in reported speech alongside direct speech, and our concluding paragraph that brings closure to our story and possible future events. Who knows? Pigs might fly?

We look forward to writing our final report next week on the history of Park Hill and interview some former pupils. Watch out Mrs Hanif and Mrs Blower.

Our mathematical challenges this week have seen us use simple formulas for solving fraction of amounts problems. Dividing by the bottom (denominator) and then multiplying by the top (numerator) ensured pupils used their conceptual understanding of fractions but also skills in their multiplication tables and application to division problems. The next stage of learning will be applying our understanding of fractions to worded problems which will test our problem solving skills and deducing which operations are required to find the correct answer.

In other adventures we spent a warm and sunny afternoon in heated races against Clarence House school somewhere in Sunbury. In a slick operation, pupils were quickly involved in 60 and 200 metre sprints, and had many hurdles too in their quest to be victorious against their red, white and blue opponents. We competed with great sportsmanship and determination showing off Park Hill’s great competitive spirit.

Of course, our main adventure of the week began on Thursday midday in our quest to Laleham Campsite. Six cyclists set off around midday, while the rest of the class took the comfort of the school minibus to the tranquil (apart from the Airbus A380s) setting next to the Thames.

The cycle ride encountered meandering paths upstream passing parks, bridges, locks, many boats, one school and the occasional dream houses. The leisurely pace was great for taking in the changing nature of the river. Some great memories where made as the many geese had a gander at our passing peloton, whilst river boat crews saw us barge our way westward.

Pupils (and staff) persevered and showed great resilience to complete the journey to a warm welcome at the campsite.

An evening spent cooking our own meals, setting up our tents and playing many games in the nearby fields and on the campsite proved for an enjoyable evening capped off with a stunning burning flame red sunset.

At bed time pupils retired to their tents along with teddies. A few torches lingered into the encroaching darkness, but we all settled quickly for a peaceful night.

A great day and evening to cap off an adventurous year.

In our penultimate week we continue our practice for rehearsals and prepare for Sports Day, though we will enjoy our final expedition to the Science museum this Monday.

Another super action packed week Year 4 and 5. Let’s keep up our energy levels to succeed in our final challenges. We can do it!

News from Year 3

Year 3 have have enjoyed working using co-ordinates in maths to find treasure and paths, remembering to ‘go along the corridor and up the stairs’ when reading the co-ordinates. In French they recapped counting and looked at naming classroom objects. The rehearsals have been building for our end of term productions and the children are getting into character. The week was complete with a lovely Kite festival in Richmond Park, where we all enjoyed racing around getting our home made kites flying. Year 3 buddied up with some of the younger children to help them fly their kites first, before trying their own. It was a delight to see the children working together and having fun.

News from Year 2

English this week as been a a combination of stories and persuasion. We started with completing our letters to Mr Bond to persuade him to take us somewhere special for our next trip. A good revision of letters, as well as an excellent start to learning to persuade and convince. I do not take any responsibility for anything they may convince you of.

We also have completed stories based in real life using pictures and a single sentence to start us off. Really good work.

Addition and subtraction were this weeks work and the children revised addition using borrowing, and subtraction using grouping.

More performance practice is going on and I’m am assured that it is going to be amazing.

News from Year 1

In French we learnt about le visage (parts of the face) and Year 1 practiced conversational French and how to label using French words. We rehearsed the key vocabulary using the song ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’.

We continue to inspire the children with learning outside the classroom - the kite festival was a huge success and we are already evaluating our designs and planning next years creations.

At Woodland school we investigated animal life among the woods floor “litter”. Year 1 were amazed at the diversity of life under the leaves, tiny creatures that we examined with magnifying glasses.

We have been designing snail habitats and looking at the food that they eat or where they like to rest.

This week our literacy has focused on SPAG skills and we have learnt how to use the -ed suffix for past tense and to describe how some one may feel using -ed and what may be making them feel this way using -ing.

For example

‘The girls was worried. The rusty red dragon coming over the hill was worrying.’ Matilda

News from Reception

After last week’s adventure meeting Sophie the seven year old T-Rex, 🦖 Reception have learnt so many new facts about the herbivore and carnivore creatures. Thank you for brining in all of your books into school and learning new facts. In phonics we have been focusing on consonant blends beginning with the /bl/ sounds. The children were really good at thinking of words and applying it into a sentence. In French they made clay caterpillars recapping the colours in French. Finally to end our terrific week, the children had great fun flying their kites in Richmond Park. It was great to see how they helped each other and showed each other how to fly their kite, working collaboratively as a team. Well done!

News from Second Steps

Second Steps have had another great week full of creative activities. We continued our preparations for their new Reception class and I hear that Mr Bond has placed them into their new Houses all ready for the start of competitions next year.

We also enjoyed spending time with Mrs Hanif on our phonics and sounds.

Still so much to look forward to in the last two weeks of term and a rather special performance at the end of term production.

So many wonderful kites also made their way into school with just enough wind to ensure most, if not all kites making it into the sky. Thank you to all of our parents who helped with this rather special homework, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

News from First Steps

What a lovely week we have had in First Steps! The children were amazed with the Dinosaur Workshop from last Friday and we kept focusing on dinosaurs this week. Dinosaur foot prints, making fossils using play dough and seashells and searching for fossils in the sand tray were some of children’s favourite activities.

The children helped Ms Finch to make play dough and they wanted to have purple play dough. Then we ended up picking lavender up from our front garden to added our play-dough creations.

At Woodland School we have mixed soil and water and created mud then we let the dinosaurs jump into the mud. Then they came out the mud and we followed their muddy foot steps. It was so much fun!

The children enjoyed retelling the stories about tigers at our outdoor tuff tray. They used different props to create new stories and to enrich their imaginations.

In the PE lesson, we practised throwing tennis balls up and forward. The children followed the instructions very well. It has been a great pleasure to see how much they have grown over the academic year and ready to join Second Steps very soon!

Kite Festival was star of our week. The children was proud of their kites and tried their best to fly them at the play ground and at Richmond Park. Well done Everyone.

Sadly we said bye to Ayaah who is relocating in new city. We wish all the best to her and her family. It was a pleasure to having you in First Steps, Ayaah!

Certificate Winners


A certain individual also received a blessing, although she won’t remember it as she was still three months away from being born.

Useful Links -

A PE teacher quoting Blake? Make mad the roaring winds...

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Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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