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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 88 - 6th sepTember 2019

From the Headmaster:

The privilege of standing at the school gate on the first day (indeed as it is every day) was brought into sharp focus on Wednesday. Whether it was the audible and collective sigh of relief from parents as term resumed or the broad smiles and eager footsteps of our children making their way excitedly into their new rooms and new class teachers, but it was an absolute delight to hear of adventures had and the world explored.

It also acts as a stark reminder at just how quickly children grow. Children who I welcomed for my first time (more of similar ‘firsts’ later in this edition of the Deerstalker) back in September 2016 are now well established in uniform and a certain individual who was born on the day I arrived made her way past me earlier this week on her way to First Steps. Feeling my age?

Prior to the start of term all of our staff enjoyed four days of professional development, concerned with both safeguarding and child protection training as well as training to further raise the standard of teaching and learning.

Whilst I will address welcome and congratulations later in this publication, I do need to congratulate messrs Renfrew and Stevenson who enjoyed a four day Apple Distinguished Educators conference in Amsterdam during the summer. Both delivered an utterly engaging and frankly brilliant training session where we explored a range of applications to further raise the standard of teaching and learning. Do please visit our twitter feed to learn more about #1564challenge and then become addicted to GarageBand!

I did receive many positive comments about the calm start to the year, with children quickly assuming the routine and excitement of learning. This is very much testament to the hard work and diligence of colleagues who, despite the inevitable hard work and labour in advance of term, have returned refreshed and excited for the year ahead.

The usual class teacher reviews will return in the Deerstalker next week, in the meantime, do enjoy the images that have been captured from the last three days.

It is perhaps a particularly auspicious year ahead. Seventy years in existence (the school that is) and the very welcome return to a Year 6 class at Park Hill. What a pleasure it is to see all of children enjoy spending time with each other, regardless of age, we do enjoy a unique sense of community amongst both pupil and parent body.

Much to look forward to in the coming weeks, details can be found below.

I hope you all enjoy a good weekend and I look forward to welcoming you all to school on Monday.

Alistair

Welcomes and congratulations

Miss Chubb

Many of you will have already met Miss Chubb who joined us and our fully time nursery during August.

I would like to officially welcome Ashley to the whole school. As you can see, she has already built impressively strong relationships with both children and parents alike who have appreciated her open and engaging manner.

Mr Sims

I would also like to welcome Mr Sims, our second new member of staff having joined us at the start of this academic year. Mr Sims has previously taught at a number of prep schools both here in the UK and in Dubai.

Matt has already made a very positive start since officially starting in the last week. I would also like to extend my welcome to his two children who have also joined us. Matt led a particularly impressive and interesting professional development session using the Socrative application for iOS that you may well be becoming increasingly familiar with in the coming months.

Mrs Kilb

Many congratulations to Mr and Mrs Kilb (Miss Renfrew) who tied the knot in August. As you can see, the day was enjoyed by all.

I would like to wish them every health and happiness in their new married lives.

Calendar and Events

I am pleased to confirm that the key dates and events for the coming academic year are now all uploaded onto the school website and can be accessed here.

We do appreciate that it is not always possible to attend all of the various workshops and events held throughout the year. We are keen that information provided at these events is shared. For each workshop we will be producing tutorials and documents that can be distributed and then provide you with a link to either view (livestream) the workshop or participate in an online Q&A style forum with the teacher leading the session. Details will appear in the Deerstalker each week.

I have selected some key dates that I would like to draw your attention to for September–

9th September – Teacher led clubs begin

16th September – Parent Workshop - Introduction to Showbie

17th September – Parent Workshop - Introduction to Tapestry

25th September – Individual Photographs

27th September – Parent Workshop – Reading with your child (1st Steps – Reception)

27th September – Family welcome reception and 70th anniversary celebration

30th September – Parent Workshop - How to help at home and progression through the Early Years (Second Steps)

I may well be the only person not to be aware of a change to the date of the Bank Holiday in May 2020, but please note that the date has been changed to coincide with the anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May 2020.

Seventy Years Old!

I do hope that you will be able to join us to celebrate a rather significant milestone in the history of Park Hill. It seems rather apt that we celebrate the return of a Year 6 class to Park Hill in the same year that we turn 70. We have planned a variety of other events throughout the year to mark the milestone including a little time travel back to 1949.

The evening will be a relatively informal and relaxed affair, with familiar faces from the community also invited.

Head’s Assembly

Best laid plans and all that, I am hoping that despite a slight technological glitch that you all enjoyed the first assembly of the year.

The theme was simply around trying something new, for the first time and the emotions we may feel in the lead up and also subsequently.

We heard of a variety of ‘firsts’ from both children, teacher and parents that ranged from going to Legoland to going to Spain and even a certain family trying landyachting for the first time (you absolutely must try it, it is tremendous fun!)

We also discussed a number of videos of ‘firsts.’ As you can see below, each one different but nevertheless inspiring.

How on earth (sorry) did Tim Peake feel before he stepped aboard the space station? How on earth (sorry, again) did he feel about strapping in to the rocket?

We all do everything for the first time. How many of us recall driving on our own for the first time after passing our test? How many of us remember going to a new school for the first time? It is absolutely fine to feel nerves. It is also absolutely fine to be excited about doing something for the first time. You won’t know if you can do it unless you try.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take...

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Communication

With a myriad of possible methods to communicate with everyone, we are acutely aware of demands on family life and long days versus the desire to build and foster the very best relationships with you all. Therefore personal conversations are best wherever possible, with the ‘open door’ philosophy very much embedded in school life. The Deerstalker is published each week and will (from next week) contain details and summaries of the week from each class teacher (including the now infamous Papps penmanship) as well as key dates and additional information for the coming week.

We do keep the website up to date with events as well as the critical Showbie from Year 1 to Year 6 and Tapestry for our Early Years classes.

Both systems, whilst excellent, do require a little explanation if you are unfamiliar with the systems. As such, we are holding two workshops to help with becoming more familiar with the systems - 16th September for Showbie (8.40am-9.30am) and on the 17th September for Tapestry (8.40am-9.30am).

We do also use social media to provide additional stories and events from the week. Twitter and Instagram are regularly updated.

We are keen to operate a proactive approach in order to resolve any queries quickly. Should you ever have any queries or questions please raise them with us immediately so can can resolve them without delay.

Behind the scenes

Some of you may well have met two of our less well known members of staff, but I think it important to make special mention of John and Noah who, in addition to being absolute gentlemen, work hard late into the evening to ensure the school is clean and polished each evening. This special mention on account of their particularly late night on Tuesday...

Uniform

I was very impressed with just how smart our children looked this morning, in addition to their broad smiles as they entered school. I would like to remind you that girls in Prep School should now be wearing the pink and white striped blouse and that the white blouse is no longer part of our uniform.

Games lessons for children in Reception to Year 6 will start next week at KGS Ditton Field, although the forecast looks to be good, will need maroon football socks and football boots for the term. The full uniform list can be found here.

We do also recognise that the black games shorts can be a little large for children in Reception who are joining us for our regular games lessons at the impressive Kingston Grammar School playing fields. Should you find this to be the case, they are very welcome to wear a plain black pair of shorts until such time they are able to fit the school shorts.

Birthdays

Raven clearly looks forward to his birthday each year!

Hearty congratulations to all of you celebrating your birthday in the coming week-

Images from the week

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond