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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL & nursery THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 101 - 10th january 2020

From the Headmaster:

I hope you all had a really good Christmas and a very peaceful and happy start to the New Year.

2020 does seem to have somehow crept up upon us, it feels like yesterday (it was actually more like 2010) that I was sitting in a conference watching a '2020 Vision' video about the future of education.

A somewhat brief 101st edition of the Deerstalker. It has been just a few days back but, dare I say it, a very calm start to the term. Perhaps particular mention should be made of all the new children who have joined us this term. I did feel my age on Wednesday as younger brothers and sisters joined our 1st Steps class and their older siblings. The very same children who I have seen seen grow from new borns to now dressed in uniform.

Much to look forward to this term, do join us for all of our events but especially our quiz and social on Friday 7th February.

Alistair

PS - The school calendar has been updated with assembly dates, please download the new calendar to your device, the link -

Key Dates

Whilst all of the various dates and events can be downloaded from our website, I would like to draw your attention to a number of key dates that will be of particular interest.

Mr. Stevenson will be leading a Science workshop for parents on Monday 13th January, 8.30am – 9.30am in the dining room where you can not only learn more about how science is taught but also learn more about our prestigious Science Quality Mark.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Chinese New Year assembly on 23rd January followed a few days later by the second parent workshop exploring assessment at Park Hill.

A new event is taking place on Friday 7th February. Accompanied by good food and refreshments we would like to invite you to join us for our first quiz night at Park Hill. I would suggest that you start to organise your teams (6 max) for the quiz.

We shall also be enjoying Random Acts of Kindness week from 10th February through to the end of term, with a special assembly for the whole school on Thursday 14th February.

I do hope that you will be able to join us for these events in what is clearly going to be a busy term.

Drumming

Finally, I am absolutely delighted to confirm that we shall be restarting our drum lessons this term. The rather talented Mr Joe Reece will be joining us each Thursday to provide lessons to our children. Depending upon his time I am also happy to extend this opportunity to any parents who have confessed a desire to also learn. Please contact Miss Menon to express interest for your children and for yourselves. I suggest doing so promptly.

To learn more about Joe, you can see him in action here -

Assembly

I did have quite some fun in the assembly on Thursday. Studiously avoiding the predictable (although by studiously avoiding the predictable am I becoming predictable?) first assembly of the new year 'resolutions' type message, I though that too frequently our resolutions can tend to focus on practical matters rather than perhaps the more suitable resolution of personality or character traits.

Rudyard Kipling's 'If' is a poem that resonates powerfully with me.

Not least the two lines -

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.

And the second line -

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you.

Now pause for a few moments and think about the weight of that line. To have the courage of your convictions in the face of overwhelming opposition? To 'stick to your guns' at any age takes confidence, self belief and strength of character. Now imagine having that strength aged 10.

This was the focus of the assembly as we reflected on our resolutions for the year ahead.

Yes, by all means attempt to keep your room tidy, help out more around your home, but can I encourage you to listen to John Hurt reading 'If' and set yourselves some alternative (proper) resolutions and keep them for life?

Visitors...

A wonderful feature of my job is the variety. I can go, as I did this week, from lengthy discussion about the latest health and safety directive affecting schools, to logistical arrangements about swimming pools and then to a visit from children sharing with me their wonderful work. Benjamin was a welcome distraction from health and safety discussions this week. What a super piece of writing.

Swimming Lessons - Kingfisher Pool Closure

Many of you will be aware that the Kingfisher Leisure Centre is closed, as we understand it, for at least for the whole of January.

Miss Adamidou has faced the challenging task of attempting to find alternative swimming pools to ensure that we can continue with our provision. I cannot understate quite the logistical challenge this closure has caused. These challenges include quite unsociable times offered, limited space/lanes in the pools and increased travel time.

Whilst we have secured some time at Richmond Pool, the times available have regrettably impacted on our normal swimming provision.

Despite the very best endeavours of Miss Adamidou and Mr Stevenson, we have only had two times made available to us - Monday morning, 10.30am-11am and Friday afternoon, 2.30pm. In both cases, we have just two lanes available to us. We are keen to ensure that the progress in swimming all of our children have made continues. Therefore, to ensure that all of our children receive lessons this term without negatively impacting on their curriculum, swimming lessons will be as follows –

Year 1 and Year 2 – Swimming lessons on Monday 13th, 20th and 27th January, 3rd and 10th February.

Year 3 and Year 4 - Swimming lessons on Monday 24th February, 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd March.

Year 5 and Year 6 - Swimming lessons on Friday 17th and 31st January, 7th and 14th February.

It is frustrating that we are unable to exactly replicate our provision at Richmond Pool but with so many schools in the area also competing for limited space the perseverance of Miss Adamidou has at least ensured all of our children will experience swimming lessons this term.

I am hopeful that this will indeed prove to be a short term measure and that the Kingfisher Pool will be back in action very shortly.

We have faced even greater challenge in finding pool space for our swim squad. We are determined to find a suitable pool for this session and will write to those of you with children in the squad once we receive any updates.

Images

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Uniform

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.

Dates and Reminders

ILLNESS

Can we please remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea and temperature) they must be clear for at least 48 hours prior to returning to school. You must inform the school office directly on 020 8546 5496 if your child will be absent that day.

Useful Links -

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Park Hill
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Credits:

Alistair Bond