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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 124 - 27th noVember 2020

From the Headmaster:

Reasons to be cheerful, Part 3.

Well, whether it is indeed the Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet, cheddar pickle or indeed John Coltrane's soprano we explored reasons to be cheerful during our assembly on Thursday.

I will confess that I rather enjoyed the thirty minutes, a quick reminder of a video from lockdown, a version of the Louis Armstrong song 'It's a wonderful world' narrated by Sir David Attenborough featuring perfect examples as to why it is indeed a wonderful world and then a walk through the school to learn why our children and teachers also believe that it is indeed a wonderful world.

The simple act of walking to school, appreciating this all the more having experienced a much lengthier car journey each morning was one reason to be cheerful. Children making great progress in their class was one teacher choice. Being with their friends after experiencing the 'proper' lockdown (their words not mine) was a choice from Year 6.

All inspired by a simple but utterly pleasurable Adventure School session in the extraordinary space just down the road, Richmond Park. Being outside, amongst trees and exploring the habitats enjoyed by bugs and beasts was a boost to all of us on Monday afternoon. The autumnal sun was warmth enough to bring a glow to cheeks and a good old fashioned yomp was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Now, whether it is the juice of a carrot, smile of a parrot or a little drop of claret that brings cheer (let's face it, taking your mum to Paris is not the easiest thing at the moment) then make sure you do it this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend.

Alistair

Christmas Performance

Yes! We are in full rehearsal mode. The première of this years performance will be streamed 9am, Thursday 10th December via zoom. Expect a ‘Disney-esque’ meets ‘Pixar-esque’ meets ‘Panto’ spectacular. You will not want to miss it!

For my health....

Yes, an unusual heading but a sincere request nevertheless. I also fear that reasons to be cheerful may be about to be contradicted...

I have been contacted by a rather unhappy neighbour of the school who has expressed a frustration about congestion caused by the school in ‘allowing parents’ to park on the zig zag lines directly in front of the school.

She has expressed a concern about road safety as a result of such parking and has suggested that I should be more active in ‘patrolling the parking situation’ and that it takes precedent over ‘temperature checks.’

I would be most grateful if you could avoid parking directly in front of the school. 🙏

From the School Office - Michelle Gambi

We have a request for help from our finance team based up in Stanmore. The Finance team have asked that when making a payment of any kind (Fee’s, after school club etc) can you please make sure to specify your bill payer ref number on each payment along with your child's name.

If you are unsure what your payer reference is please contact me directly. We do have a number of payments that we are struggling to allocate.

Term Dates

As a reminder, term dates can be uploaded to your device from the school calendar page of our website. Without getting too ahead of ourselves, the key dates for Christmas are as follows -

Last day of term - Friday 11th December, 12.30pm (for both nursery and school) for staff training.

Nursery closed - 6pm Wednesday 23rd December.

Whole school, including nursery - start of term 8am, Wednesday 6th January 2021.

Lost Property

We do our very best to return items, do please ensure that al belongings are labelled.

Missing items:

Amber - Grey school jumper

Georgina - Black sports top

Reminder

Flu immunisations on Wednesday 2nd December at 13.30.

Reminders

For the last week of term (w/c 7th December) Autumn term clubs i.e. Creative Arts, Sport squad, Drama club, Running club etc will not be taking place.

Prep Club will be going ahead as usual, however please note that as the school will be closing at 12.30 on Friday 11th December there will be no prep club on that particular day.

Punctuality

The start of the school day is crucial.

It sets the tone for the day and teachers view the start of the lesson as critical in ensuring learning objectives are achieved and realised. Arriving late to school is incredibly disruptive for all. I appreciate that buses and trains and traffic all play their part but we do need your help in ensuring the children gain the most from their school day and that they arrive by 8.30am. Late children must be signed in through the school office.

With all of our children throughout the school having made a terrific start to the school year, the gate will now close promptly at 8.30am.

Illness & Medical

We continue to abide with the DfE Regulations.

We ensure that anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home.

These are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We would like to remind you that if your child is absent from school due to sickness (vomiting, diarrhoea) 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.

Mr Sims - Welfare and Compliance

It has recently been anti-bullying week. The Anti-Bullying Alliance use this week to raise awareness to three important areas of life.

- To raise the profile of bullying and the effect it has on the lives of children and young people

- To create a climate in which everyone agrees that bullying is unacceptable

- To make sure that teachers, youth practitioners, parents, carers, children and young people have the skills and knowledge to address bullying effectively.

Thankfully times have changed with regards to what is acceptable to say and ways to behave. With the understanding of behavioural psychology and for the most part the development a more tolerant society, what was passed off as banter just a few years ago rightfully has no place in the present, or the future.

I often reflect on how sad it is that we are currently unable to have the children’s parents, guardians and other adults on site at Park Hill School, so unfortunately you do not get the opportunity to watch the children learn, play and interact. As we all know, children are not born with prejudices, hate, spite or anything other than a desire to learn and grow through their formative years. Listening to the children expressing themselves and seeing how they rally round to help any of their peers who, for whatever reason have lost their smile, is wonderful. Despite this wonderful atmosphere we have, and are committed to ensuring we are the change we wish to see in the world and have an anti-bullying policy. There are two lines that always stand out for me.

- Bullying is always unacceptable and will not be dismissed as normal or “banter”

- It is harmful to the person who is being bullied, to those who engage in bullying behaviour and those who support them

It can be quite sobering to read these comments, but it fills me with great pleasure to know that at Park Hill, the curiosity and open-mindedness that the children are born with, is nurtured and stimulated to grow. Tolerance, kindness and an empathy towards other humans is evident as you walk around the school.

We look forward to one day welcoming you all to the school site again, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Health, Safety and Medicines at School

Please note the following important points regarding the administration of medicines at school.

Further to recent recommendations and legislation we are no longer allowed to dispense any medicines to the children, with the exception of school provided Calpol, Waspeze and sun lotion and then only when you have signed the medical form agreeing to this procedure.

If your child is taking prescribed antibiotics or other drugs you are advised to adjust the timing to avoid school hours. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor at the time of prescription.

• Asthma: Children who take medication for asthma must have two named inhalers at school. One to be kept in the first aid kit in the classroom the other in the School Office. Please label clearly with your child’s name and hand personally to Miss Gambi.

• Epipens: Please provide two epipens for use in school when necessary; labelled clearly with your child’s name.

• Cough sweets (or any other sweets) are NOT allowed in school as they pose a potential choking hazard.

• Children with a temperature or diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last day must be kept at home until clear of all symptoms for a minimum of 48 hours.

• Head lice - please remember to check your child's hair regularly.

• Contagious diseases: Please inform the school office immediately if your child has been diagnosed with any contagious disease eg: chicken pox, measles etc

• It is imperative that you inform the school, in writing (a quick note will suffice), of any medication your child has received, since midnight, before coming to school.

Thank you for your co-operation. We know you will appreciate that these procedures are for the benefit and safety of all your children.

Uniform

The full uniform list can be found here.

Our Little Adventurers have been ‘adventuring’ once again this week...

Year 6

In English the children have been exploring the topic of instructional texts, looking at how instructions can be structured so that information is shared in clear and concise way and in a manner that can be easily understood. In producing their own instructional texts the children have been given the topic of producing something of a science nature, a mission, a board game or any other topic that is of interest to them.

In Math lessons the children have been studying units of time and how different intervals of time can be expressed in a variety of units including seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

There is a real buzz around the class as the children enjoy planning and preparing their lines and props for the forthcoming Park Hill Christmas production, keep an eye of future Deerstalker editions for information on how to watch the final recordings.

Mr Stevenson

Year 5

On the rugby pitch this week, the drills and practices are starting to make a real impact on our small sided games. The passing is beginning to get quite slick and the children’s awareness of team work and positioning allow them to control the game and apply tactics to attack and defend more effectively. Each week the children have been finishing off their sessions with a friendly kicking competition. Currently the record is 30 lengths of Mr Sims’s size 9 boots, watch this space next week to see if we can improve on this distance over the next few weeks.

It has been wonderful to see the children’s different interests come through in our most recent humanities projects. While studying how British society has changed since the end of World War 2, we have looked at the the pressure to devolve parts of the British Empire. We extended this with how life for the the typical British household had to cope through the post war rationing through to having disposable income and more stock and variety in the shops in the following decade. Needless to say, the thought of National Loaf covered in dripping did not go down well with the children.

Mathematicians are not people who find maths easy, they are people who enjoy how hard it is.

This is the quote we have on our classroom wall. It was great to see the children claiming that when using that criteria, they are entitled to call themselves mathematicians. This week we have been honing our protractor skills and exploring angles and regular polygons, including trying to use our rulers and protractors to accurately reproduce a range of shapes. Following this, we moved into maths mastery techniques and the children then looked to apply their learning to new scenarios.

Mr Sims

Year 4

It has been a busy week in the Badgers Den as we began to work towards the Christmas production whilst covering important learning from all areas of the curriculum.

Writing play scripts has informed much of our work this week as Year Four co-wrote their scripts using the correct use of bold and italic lettering with appropriate layout of: characters names; their lines and actions too. I was particularly impressed with the children’s efforts as they perfected their lines in small groups of three in class and voluntarily in their spare time.

Our week in English concluded on Friday during their 11+ lessons where we have been exercising our creative talents in story telling. Using the drawings of Harris Burdick, pupils set about creating imaginative and elaborate openings to stories about a mysterious lump in a rug that keeps coming back to aggravate a bald man. As for myself? I was most impressed and entertained by the delightful narratives that were uncovered from ‘Under the Rug’.

Last week in Maths we learnt about perimeter, and so we naturally progressed in to area this week; learning how measuring the number of squares that can fit inside that shape gave us a calculation of that space. We progressed to learning effective methods where the area of rectangle can be calculated by multiplying the width by the length. This will prepare us for next week where we will calculate the area of rectilinear shapes with varying degrees of difficulties. Look out Year 4.

Finally, we ventured in to the world of Humanities and Art (and Maths too) where the theme of the Pyramids stood tall above us (...and on our desks). Our construction of model Pyramids where completed on Wednesday and available in time for making impressive mono prints that showed the light and dark areas that adorn these triangular shaped buildings.

‘Nut’ was the lead character of the BBC film watched in lessons which documented the life of an Ancient Egyptian construction workers employment history. The film gave us an interesting perspective in to the life and progression of Nut’s jobs on the Pyramids.

Our responses where to retell the story from our own perspective talking of how we miss our families, home village, and the extraordinary hard labour put in to cut and haul stones in to place.

Like Nut, Year Four have worked hard and hauled in excellent quantities and quality of work. I’m impressed and look forward to more fantastic progression next week.

Mr Papps

Year 3

Year 3 have been busy measuring in metres and centimetres and working on converting measures. We have measured each others’ heights, comparing results and ordering appropriately.

In English we have enjoyed exploring Rory’s story cube story generator using it as a way of trying to make different stories make sense and how images can’t be randomly added in but have to be worded carefully and explained in order for a story to make sense. With our planning using voice notes on Showbie discussing and sharing ideas in groups, we could then listen to the voice notes to help write out our story focusing on powerful descriptions and emotions.

Our classroom has been converted into Panto Land and Year 3 have been busy learning their words for the productions. I have to say I have seen rather a dashing prince’s costume and I can’t wait till we film next Friday. Beware of all the potions on the door!

Well done, Year 3!

Mrs Bond

Year 2

This week in Year 2 we have really got into the festive spirit. We have decorated our room with the Christmas decorations that the children made at home and have done some beautiful clay work to make a Christmas decoration to take home at the end of the term.

This week in English we have been looking at stories told from someone else’s point of view. We have looked at how maybe a bad character in a story is actually a good character as we have looked at both sides to the story. This has then been linked to our PSHCE lesson on how everyone has a different story to tell. The children then went on to creating their own twist on a traditional tale of their choice. They had to write the story from the bad characters point of view and it was wonderful to see their imagination come to life on the page.

In maths we have been working hard on more complex fractions of shapes and have started to do simple fractions of numbers. The children have worked very hard in teams to play our matching fractions games and it has been lovely to see them all becoming far more confident in recognising a fraction.

Next week we are looking forward to doing a few more christmassy activities in both our Maths and English lessons.

Have a great weekend.

Have a great weekend.

Mrs Kilb

Year 1

This week our focus has been on developing our knowledge of rhyme and applying this knowledge to create our own silly poems.

Poems are not like sums – they do not always easily add up. When reading poetry, it is important to read it aloud because the impact hinges around the conjunction between the meaning and the music. Some of the activities we explored were ... illustrating a poem with images, using colour to underline powerful words and images, reading aloud considering the pace and varying expression and volume.

We even used our developing knowledge when adapting our Christmas song!

In maths we focused on place value - ordering numbers using our knowledge of odd and even.

We revisited our addition and subtraction strategies to solve a range of problems to 20 independently and have begun to skip count in 2s.

Miss Gardner

Reception

Reception have been in full swing making Christmas crafts this week; fairy wands, elf hats, wreaths, Christmas trees and snowmen. ⛄️ It has been so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit!

In maths we learned about estimation and explored many different items making ‘smart guesses.’ We looked at different photos of the astronomy and recognised that we couldn’t count the stars because there is too many to count which is why people estimate. Your child’s homework has been uploaded onto tapestry which is a practical task this week.

Phonics this week has involved learning the ‘ee’ digraph in words and also been introduced to the tricky words: ‘you,’ ‘and’ applying it into sentences.

Did you know that there are 28 days until Christmas Day! We have been on a countdown, finding out how many days are left, with Father Christmas speaking to us through the Alexa! Ho, ho, ho 🎅🏼! This has helped us apply our subtraction skills, counting down 1 each time. Next week the children may have a little visit from someone special... there will be a great amount of opportunities to write our Christmas list and continuing to learn our song for the Christmas play! Well done everyone!

Have a lovely weekend.

Happy weekend!

Mrs Gibbons

Second Steps

Christmas has well and truly exploded in Second Steps this week.

We have been really lucky to hear a special message from Santa every day.

In woodland school this week we were discovering autumn and winter colours. After identifying the colours we experimented with colour mixing brown, orange, red and yellow. We created some nice printed patterns.

The children have enjoyed our Letters and Sounds by finding which of our favourite stories have rhyming words. The best ones were ‘The Gingerbread man’ and ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’.

Part of our Christmas art work was making maths snowmen. We had to count out how many buttons our snowmen had to have, also how many eyes, arms, hats and carrot noses. Then we had to stick them all together. They are great. We were then talking about more and less. Counting and comparing which snowman had more buttons and which one had less.

Our sports lesson this week we had lots of fun doing yoga, pretending to be Jungle animals. Stretching out leg high like a tall giraffe, curling up like an armadillo and waving our knees like a butterfly.

In performing arts with Miss Georgina we have been practicing our songs for the Christmas film. I’m sure you are hearing these at home by now. Second Steps are so good at singing.

The children have shown a real interest in puzzles this week. They have been working in small groups to complete them. Puzzles are so good for children’s hand eye coordination, problem solving skills and perseverance, shape recognition, concentration and a real sense of achievement when they have completed it.

Have a nice weekend!

Miss Finch & Miss Vari

First Steps

This week our learning was based around the story “Dear Zoo” by Rob Campbell. “I wrote to the zoo to send me a ...”

The children enjoyed watching a series of animals arrived from the zoo in different containers but there was something wrong with each of them. The camel was grumpy, the monkey was too naughty and the snake was too scary.The children loved the repeated phrase “ so they sent me a...” and learnt some simple descriptive words. Additionally, they had fun playing the animals’ sounds listening game and practiced their listening skills.

In Woodland school, we searched for the hidden animals and children tried to find right size box for each animal to send it back to zoo. We extended this activity to our outdoor area and children practised using their positional language.

We also, created cages for the zoo animals using playdough sticks. And some children have experienced using ruler to draw cages for animals.

The children loved opening wrapped puzzle pieces and place them to right place. It helped children to practise their turn taking skills also we discussed the shape, colour and size of the puzzle pieces. Great work First Steps!

In PE lesson with Miss Adamidou they practiced following instructions and tried to throw the balls into the bucket.

Have a nice weekend!

Mrs Guniz Mrs Mousi

Images from the Week

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Useful Links -

And the link to the introduction...

Did you know? -

The song was inspired by a near-fatal accident involving a lighting roadie. Roadie Charley almost got electrocuted in Italy by a microphone stand while leaning over a mixing desk. Another roadie saved his life, hence 'no electric shocks' is included in the song's lyrics. The song was written in the band's hotel during the aftermath of this, and a fight that broke out at the venue when the band were forced to cancel the show because of the safety issues.

It won't be the juice of a carrot for me this weekend...

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond