I was delighted to provide many of you with the plans for the school expansion. It is a most exciting development, one that will benefit all of our children. As I explained, it is all well and good having wonderful facilities including a Science and Engineering classroom, Art and DT, Music and Food Technology rooms in addition to larger sized classrooms for our children but they mean little without high quality teaching and learning and a considered and well planned curriculum. This is an exciting time to be involved in education. Advances in technology are quite extraordinary and there is considerable evidence to support the opinion that we are in fact preparing children for jobs that do not yet exist. What skills and abilities do our children therefore need to best prepare them? If I can steer you to a report published by the World Economic Forum that reflects on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I have provided further details within this edition of the Deerstalker and a link to the report should you wish to read further. I have also provided you with the proposed layout of the new building and development of the main house. I do need to point out that whilst the design of the building most likely will not be changed, the actual use of the rooms will be further refined and 'tweaked' to ensure that the development is a great success.
At the start of this week we held a series of very informative sessions that included the promotion of iPad applications. These included BookCreator, Aurasma, Doink and Padlet. I very much hope that your children have spoken about the books they have been making on the iPads and how we are using Apple TV's to promote learning. The vision is vey much to apply to become an Apple Distinguished School. With continued investment and training I very much look forward to seeing the provision of ICT further develop throughout the school.
As I explained in my letter to you earlier this week, we are all very sorry that Miss Mesa made the very difficult decision to return to Spain to care for her mother. Having spoken with her over the last seven days, this was no easy decision for her to make. She is very hopeful that she will be able to visit the school, bid her farewells to the children and allow us to give her an appropriate send off.
If, like me, you enjoyed the festive season and overindulged and are now trying to repair the damage by being abstemious during January, we would like to offer you some light at the end of the tunnel!
You will be aware of the high standard of food the children enjoy at school. As the first social event of the year for parents we would like to invite you to join us for a wine and food pairing/tasting evening to be held at school. Wined Up Here have kindly agreed to work with us to create a wine menu to suit various canapés and other such appetisers to reawaken the tastebuds on Friday 3rd February, 7pm. We are finalising the various details and will publish them next week. I very much hope you will all be able to join us for what promising to be a most enjoyable and relaxed evening. A deep, dark Rioja with Miniature Beef Wellington anyone?
I very much hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.
New Developments -
The new First Steps classroom will be installed this weekend which will allow us to reduce the demands on the use of the Second Steps classroom. I received a photograph of the new building shortly before it was loaded ready for delivery tomorrow -
As I explained at the two meetings this week, the new plans are very exciting and will enable us to provide the highest standards of teaching and learning to our children utilising the type of specialist facilities that will provide them with broad and rich curriculum. As you will be aware, there will be further consultation before we see the first 'boots on the ground' and indeed further discussion required as a teaching staff and parent body. I know from experience the importance of engagement from all parties when planning school buildings. Whilst these images will provide you with the basic outline, I will be holding an additional information meeting on Monday morning at 8.30am and would be more than happy to meet with you individually to explain more. Please speak with me directly or contact Mrs Blower to arrange a convenient time. I have also produced a 'Padlet' page for you to ask questions/make observations. Please follow this link to gain access - https://padlet.com/parkhillkingston/6su3fitq3qer#
The password to access the page is - ParkHill
Whilst these images provide you with a basic idea of the development and plans, we will be uploading the presentation to the website in due course. To reiterate, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like me to explain in more detail about the plans and thought processes involved with this development.
The link to the World Economic Forum report that I mentioned earlier in this edition can be accessed here -
If I could steer you to page 21, I think it provides considerable food for thought as to just what sort of skills and attributes we must provide our children and what we as a school must reflect upon as part of our curriculum.
Development of Sporting Provision - Kingston Grammar School Scholarship and Outreach Programme
As part of our expansion, it is essential that we establish the very best of relationships with schools that our children will be attending in Year 7. I am delighted that starting from next week, children in Reception, Year 1, 2 &3 will be enjoying their Games lessons at DItton Field, the all-weather water based pitches of Kingston Grammar School. In addition to increasing the length of the Games lessons for the children, the children will also be benefitting from being taught hockey by Mr Mike Williamson, Director of Coaching at KGS and Head of Boys hockey at the school. I am sure you will agree that this is a significant improvement of the provision of physical activity and sport at Park Hill.
Children from Reception to Year 3 should arrive to school in their games kit, with training shoes. Children in Year 2 and 3 will need shin pads and mouth guard. With the games lesson running from 10am to 12pm, Reception and Year 1 children can remain in their kit for the remainder of the day, with Year 2 and 3 children changing into school uniform upon their return.
I am as delighted to inform you that we are also the first school to host youth theatre workshops from the Rose Theatre. It was a pleasure to visit the school this weekend to see various age groups of children, from 6 years up to 13 years taking part in a variety of workshops to develop their acting and performing skills. Many members of the community praise the confidence and ability of our children I am delighted that such a link has been made. Please contact the Rose Theatre directly if you would like your child to attend these sessions and inform them that they attend Park Hill.
Please ensure that all items of clothing are named. This time of year, with increased layers being worn, we do what we can to return lost property. We would be grateful if you could assist us in ensuring that items are labelled.
Mrs Barikor has kindly established a Facebook page where you can request, post, sell and even donate spare items of uniform. Please follow this link to access the page -https://www.facebook.com/groups/159726614471426/