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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 154 - 5th November 2021

From the Headmaster:

Whilst I enjoy each term for their own distinct events and opportunities I do particularly look forward to this second half of the Autumn Term.

Whilst we have the normal round of inter house events, sporting fixtures and a certain performance at the end of it, I find the Remembrance Day assembly the most moving of all such congregations throughout the year.

Perhaps it is the manner with which our children speak and approach the event, or the levels of respect they display when reciting ‘In Flanders Fields.’

It is always extraordinary to have the juxtaposition between the age and frailty of those who served or gave their lives versus the solemness but also innocence of young voices assuming the responsibility when, at the going down of the sun, to remember them.

Back in the summer, I had the very good fortune to visit the British Normandy Memorial just outside Caen.

To see the ages of the fallen, the ones who we must continue to remember was humbling. Sitting there on the Normandy coast, with the blue skies and endless beaches reaching far out into the distance, it was impossible to imagine just how it must have felt. How it must have been.

This responsibility to remember is, certainly amongst our children at Park Hill, in very safe hands.

I very much hope that you will be able to join us on Thursday for our Remembrance Day Assembly at St. Paul’s Church, 9am. I would ask that children wear their poppy with pride on that day, suited and booted (blazers compulsory) and that we all take a moment to reflect and do what we can to ensure that their today was not given in vain.

Alistair

Used Uniform

I am delighted to confirm that two of our very kind parents have volunteered to organise the used/second hand uniform sales. Lee (mum to Rosie, Beth, Jess) and Rhianwen (Kenzi) have generously suggested that with the support of the School Council that they will arrange for a half termly sale.

They have also suggested that football boots (of which as a family we have many that no longer fit) could also be brought in to ensure continued use despite ever growing feet.

Whilst supplies of the nursery uniform are plentiful we are keen to recycle or upcycle school uniform as potential leavers gifts.

Any donations will be provided to a worthy charity, again one that perhaps as a community and school council can work together to decide.

Many thanks to Lee and Rhianwen for kindly giving their time to this, much appreciated.

Year 6

The week has been quite the whirlwind of events.

‘Wonder’ is filling the children in Year 6 as we explore our new book. New characters with vastly different personalities are being written about and discussed in our class. Our first confrontation between these characters has occurred on the pages of our book, and we have distilled this into a playscript. This was done to challenge the children to consider the emotions and actions of the characters, both written and inferred.

Maths has seen the development of tutorial videos on the topics of addition/subtraction, Factors, Multiplication/division, and place value. Each group, using green screen, iMovie, screen recording, white boards, and their maths books, has developed a video and placed it upon our wall as a QR code; should we ever forget how to solve something, there they will remain or remind us. To finish, we began looking at lowest common multiples and how we can use factors to find these challenging numbers.

Science has begun with a discussion of the universe and what it is made of. Atoms, elements, and our first look at the periodic table was all part of this lesson.

Hardware vs software made of a interesting lesson in computing, and much art was created for remembrance. Clay, paint, and stones were used to great effect.

Year 5

The first week back after the half-term break has been a fun one in Year 5. In English the children have been getting creative with different styles of poetry and enjoying writing Kenning and cinquain style poems about their friends, pets and other parts of their lives which are important to them. For the second part of the week the children have been using their new poetry skills while preparing work which will form part of the remembrance assembly next week.

In mathematics the children have been pushing on with work based on perimeter and incorporating mastery techniques while solving 2 and 3 step maths problems to answer questions based on this topic. It was lovely to see how Rosie had taken her new knowledge home from this lesson to make her own presentation about our next topic which is area.

During our RE lessons, we learnt about Diwali and enjoyed a lovely presentation by Rhea which was supported with a wealth of knowledge by Amara. Rhea kindly bought in truffles for her classmates to help them celebrate Diwali together.

Year 4

It has been lovely to see all the children back in class after half term. We have enjoyed a busy week that started with Adventure School and Year 4 looking at the gradient of the school and how to measure this using map contours.

On Tuesday, the class enjoyed their first Tag Rugby session of the term, which they thoroughly enjoyed in the warm autumn sunshine.

On Thursday the children had a whole afternoon of Art, where we created 3D poppies ready for our Remembrance Service next Thursday in St Paul’s and this afternoon we will be learning about the Festival of Diwali (which was yesterday) as part of our Hinduism topic in our Religious Education lesson.

Finally, the children have all worked incredibly hard on their assessments this week and it has been wonderful to see how well they have risen to the challenge.

Year 3

Year 3 have had another busy week. In English, we have enjoyed exploring our senses using Bonfire Night as a stimulus, developing phrases into poems. Alongside our poetry Year 3 have been working hard to improve their handwriting, keen to earn their certificates.In Mathematics we have carried on our work on addition and subtraction flipping between the operations. In art our focus has been poppies building up to remembrance. In computing, they designed their own computer games and de-bugged their games with support from Year 5 giving a chance for Year 3 to present their ideas.

Year 2

Fantastic week back after half term! Time has flown by with lots of exciting arts and craft this week that included our paintings of poppies, a bonfire night art project and Rangoli drawing to celebrate Diwali! With more to come next week, we started to discuss about Remembrance Day, looking at why poppies are an important symbol for remembering the brave soldiers.

In Maths this week we have been focused addition and subtraction. With some outdoor learning activities using the number line on the playground to some fun maths games with balloons too maths has been great! We’ve also been practicing our time tables on TTRS which has proven to improve our mental maths skills.

In English we began to look at writing a book review with in depth detail of our opinions and areas we might want to improve. It was lovely to read the creative ideas we came up with to make the story even better!

Year 1

In class our written work continues to develop and evolve, this week through planning and writing our own version of the tiger who came to tea. Changing a few details such as the animal and then writing using joining words at the start of our entrances such as But, So, Suddenly.

In Maths we have been learning how to work systematically, developing our number bond and addition facts knowledge.

In Science we looked at food chains and discovered how all energy comes from the sun and that food chains start with a producer which is always a plant!

Reception

The children have really hit the ground running after half term and came back very excited to share their half term news with everyone.

We have been celebrating Diwali and learning all about how it is the Festival of Lights. The children have been developing their fine motor skills to shape and mould the clay to create their own Diva lamps. These will be painted as soon as they are dry. We tried to make Rangoli patterns using lentils and split peas, this needed lots of perseverance and focus as they were very fiddly to move into position onto the Rangoli pattern outlines. We have also been learning about bonfire night and developing our communication and language skills in Literacy by learning all about onomatopoeia and similes to describe the sight and sound of fireworks. We created a class poem about fireworks and came up with exciting words and phrases such as: “It sounds like drums”, “it sounds like thunder”, they look like “giant booming stars”, “a heart exploding”.

In art we explored how to make salt fireworks, creating shapes with glue and sprinkling salt onto the glue before using pipettes to add watercolours to the salt.

In Maths we have been learning about how to represent the numbers 1,2 and 3 and trying to collect the correct amount of objects, matching the correct dot pattern on dice and dominos and we began to work out out to add two numbers together to make one of these numbers. The children were able to identify how many they had e.g: “I have three”.

In Woodland School we listened to a story about the lifecycle of an oak tree and then we learnt about the parts of the tree, the children were amazed that a big oak tree tree from a tiny acorn. We then went on a hunt around the park to find and identify the parts of a tree (seed/fruit, branch/limb, twig, leaf and bark).

Second Steps

We have had a great week back after half term.

We heard all about the fun the children had from spending time with family and trips away.

The children have been learning about Diwali and Fire works night. Playing and mixing colours and blow painting to create firework pictures. Extending their play by making rockets with the Lego and Mobilo.

We had fun making play dough from scratch. Learning the names if the different ingredients and which ingredients are wet and dry and discovering what they feel like. Then seeing how they change when they are all mixed together. We made our play dough yellow and added lemon essence. The children the started making different fruits with the dough.

The children enjoyed playing the ‘Crocodile in the lake’ phonics game. Focusing on the initial letter of their name and finding the correct letter. Some of the children then used the white boards to write their names and the letters that their friends names begin with and drawing pictures of themselves to go with their name writing.

In Woodland school we went bug hunting and digging for worms. We found lots of worms and a “real real spider that is running away”.

We have begun to introduce the children to Remembrance Day by making poppies, explaining that wearing poppies is a way of remembering the soldiers who help to look after us

Miss Finch,Miss Wood and Miss K.

First Steps

Happy Diwali !!

This week in First Steps the children had a chance to discover and learn about Diwali. We have been learning how to prepare our houses for Diwali such as cleaning, decorating them with lights and diyas. We listened many Diwali songs and danced along to them. As a class we attempted to make our own Rangoli patterns with salt, glue, paint and glitter which is made with the intention to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good luck.

We also made fireworks in many different ways; we painted toast with food colouring at cooking session and used leaf brushes to create more fireworks During these activities we focused on fireworks’ sounds, bam, bing, bong, and the children learnt how to stay safe when watching them. For our woodland school we went on a nature walk and collected long leaves and made them into paintbrushes. We used this to make our own colourful fireworks with paint and glitter. Following this we made our own glitter rockets where we were also learning about colours and shapes like triangles and rectangle.

Finally, next week we are going to focus on the colour “yellow” and we kindly ask children to wear something yellow when coming to school on Wednesday.

Mrs Guniz

Mrs Mousi

Miss Bambi

Physical Education & Games

Great first week back to the second half of this term with key stage 2 playing Touch Rugby. The children were challenged on the basic technique of passing a rugby ball and learning the importance of space away from the 'taggers/defenders' and attacking space to score a try. First steps and second steps revisited their gross motor skills by challenging their coordination and balancing skills by going through an obstacle course. Reception having continued to work in little groups with different team building and invasion games learning to communicate with each other to come up with a plan on how to win.

In Sports Science the pupils are looking at the Healthy Eating and comparing diets of an average person to an athlete.

Mr McArthur

French

For this first week of our second half term, It was a pleasure to see how our French class is progressing and how Year 4, 5 and 6 children are embracing the language and are challenging themselves every week.

This week’s theme was “La routine du matin”.

Children have:

- used mime and gesture to memorise and understand the language presented.

- discovered and practised reading sentences describing morning routine by giving them pronunciation clues to facilitate and encourage them to read in French.

- drilled for pronunciation

- looked at and practised sounding tricky sounds “eille - ille”

- spotted silent letters at the end of French words “t - s - ds - ts”

- reinforced the “en - on - an” sounds

- been introduced to reflexive verbs and reflexive pronouns

To consolidate our learning year, the children have completed a worksheet and joined in our “ Morning routine” song to the tune of La Marseillaise.

Year 3&4

This week, we have discovered our new theme “ Dans mon cartable il y a …”.

Children were introduced to the vocabulary by playing a guessing game. They had to read a word and decide which item in their school bag it was referring to, then we checked and corrected the answers as a whole class. After our vocabulary drilling session, they had to complete a matching activity.

We also sang and signed to our preposition song ( Sur, sous, Dans, devant, derrière , à côté de, entre) and we practised making sentences by telling where the objects were (e.g. La gomme est sur la chaise). We finished our lesson with a worksheet. Children had to practise reading short simple sentences using prepositions and vocabulary introduced over the past couple of weeks to consolidate their learning.

Maitresse Narjiss

Latin

Year 5 and 6 continue to enjoy and learn more Latin. The children learnt very interesting facts about legions, the emperor Trajan and his wars in Dacia. They also, learnt that Latin nouns are said to be masculine, feminine or neuter. Additionally, they used their knowledge of Latin to explain English words such as: notable<notissimus, perilous<periculous, marine<mare and they found many English words which begin with the Latin preposition “trans”, e.g.transport, transportation translation,e.t.c.

Optime Y5,6!

Magistra Latina Nektaria Mousi

Music

Music lessons are focused on Remembrance assembly. We will also prepare a wonderful Christmas show led by Miss Georgina.

Students are learning about voice work. Students will be composing layered music in Garage band. We will then use those skills in aCapella competition, national competition in March. Auditions to build our Park Hill aCapella Bella will be held at the end of November. It is open for the Year Four, Five and Six children. Please see me for details.

Ms Tomaskova

Images from the week

Covid-19 Regulations

You will be aware that as a school we are no longer required to maintain ‘bubbles’ and are no longer involved in the track and trace of individuals. Should there be a positive case, NHS Track and Trace will determine who has been a close contact and inform those people directly. They will be advised to take a PCR test. As detailed in the latest DfE regulations - Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.

They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

The measures we will continue to take as a school is as follows –

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone

2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes

3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases

In light of all of the above information we are delighted that we will once again be able to welcome you into school for the morning drop off as well as for the myriad of events such as workshops and social events. For the first week, as the children settle into their routine we feel it prudent that children in Year 3 – 6 are collected from the front of the school whilst children in nursery , Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can be collected directly from their classrooms. In due course we will review this but given the numbers congregating, we would prefer to take a measured approach at this time.

Members of prep school staff will remain with their class should they have siblings in the nursery or pre-prep who can be collected first. We are delighted that we can have this invaluable contact with you again, the conversations at the classroom door are so important to ensure the very best relationships.

The school gate will be open from 8am-8.05am for early drop off and then open again from 8.15am – 8.30am where you are welcome to walk through with your children to their classrooms. Lessons will commence promptly at 8.30am. Clubs will finish at 5pm, with children being brought to the front of the school for collection and children attending after school club from 5pm to 6pm should be collected from the front door. We shall continue to be alert to any changes in guidance as we head to the winter months and inform you accordingly.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond