Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 17 - 24th february 2017

From the Headmaster:

I may have been a little premature in taking a photograph of the first signs of Spring but Storm Doris seems to have blown through leaving us with a clear blue sky, for the time being. The first splattering of colour and buds straining to be released were in evidence in Richmond Park on Tuesday as the Photography Club enjoyed a field trip to take images on the theme of texture. Not only did they take some excellent photographs the deer were also kind enough to make themselves available. We managed to get to three locations around the Park, just beating the sunset. Please read through this edition of the Deerstalker to learn more.

We have taken the first successful steps with parentmoney, feedback being very positive thus far. Again, there is a more detailed explanation of how the system works later in this newsletter.

Finally, I am very much looking forward to World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March. I do hope all costumes are ready. It was always a highlight when I lived in the UAE. Pulling up at multi lane traffic lights and glancing at the nearby cars to see numerous children dressed up as Harry Potter characters, heroines and heroes and the occasional adult also dressed up, desperately trying to look inconspicuous...

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Chess Club

It seems we have some very talented chess players at Park Hill. As you can see from these images, the club has proven to be extremely popular. The challenge, set by Mr. Stevenson, is for you to decide who is victorious in each of the images below -

School Money

We are happy to announce that we are now in a position to offer the facility for parents to make payments online for school activities such as trips, after school club and breakfast club.

This will allow both the school and yourselves to experience a more streamlined and efficient payment collection system in a secure and safe environment.

When a payment is due you will receive an email and/or text message inviting you to access to make a payment for an activity. The password for your child’s account will be sent each time as a reminder and once payment is made you will be sent a receipt. Please note payment details are not stored on the site and you will be asked to enter your card details each time.

To ensure that we all experience maximum benefit for this service, we would ask all parents to notify us if you have recently changed your mobile number and/or email address. Unfortunately, at this time, School Money can only offer us one set of contact details per child. In most cases the accounts have been set up with the mother’s details, if you would like this changed please inform Kate Blower

We are trialling this service for the next few weeks and would welcome any feedback you may have. Breakfast Club and After School Club payments should now be made through School Money only. You will receive a message on Friday asking for payment for Breakfast Club that week. Messages for After School Club will be sent on Monday asking for payment for sessions taken the week before.

We shall be asking for your feedback on the system within the first month as it is important that you all find the system easy to use and more efficient.

Reception Visit to Holly Lodge

The opportunities in and around Richmond Park never cease to surprise me as I was able to join Reception on their trip to Holly Lodge in the heart of the Park. Three very knowledgable members of staff who work at Holly Lodge worked with the children and discussed what life was like 'in the olden days' and what time saving luxuries we enjoy now. The children enjoyed washing clothes by hand, grating soap into the tub and then scrubbing away on the board. They also made their own soap in the pharmacy and experience life in a Victorian classroom. At the risk of showing my age, the smell of carbolic soap brought back many memories as did the sight of cane being swished through the air. These memories, I will confess, being slightly more painful....

The cane is easily recognisable but, for a house point, can you guess what the other two items were used for? The answers can be found at the end of the Deerstalker.

Some willing volunteers...

The visit was extremely enjoyable as the children learnt in a very practical manner just how much technology has advanced and how much time it now saves us.

Photography Club

I did read that the days are now getting longer by four minutes as we hopefully have the winter behind us. The Photography Club benefitted from the good light as they ventured for a field trip on Tuesday evening to Richmond Park. Having learnt the basics of composition and border, the theme we explored was texture. I have been very impressed with the images the children have taken. We also managed a little experiment with various other modes of photography including the images you see below on a multi burst setting. In addition to taking photographs the children have also be using a variety of software to edit their images. We will be holding our very first photography exhibition at the end of this term.

Breakfast Club

In order to ensure we can obtain accurate numbers for Breakfast Club each day we have adapted the form currently used to book a place for the after school club. If you wish to apply for a place for breakfast club for the next day or coming week, these requests can be accommodated up to 2pm each day, with the form being taken off line at 2pm to ensure we can make the necessary arrangements. These bookings will need to be made each week and will be 'online' from 3pm each Friday afternoon for the consecutive week.

News from First Steps

What a wonderful first week back at school it has been. Our introduction to our new topic of Growth has been very successful. Our focus this week was the story of Jack and the Beanstalk; I’m sure the giant has been mentioned at home! We planted beans to grow our own beanstalks which are now placed on our back window so that the sun can reach them. The children absolutely loved this activity and cannot wait to see their bean grow! Next week, we will be exploring The Very Hungry Caterpillar story and very soon we shall hopefully be welcoming five tiny caterpillars into the classroom to explore their life cycle!

News from Second Steps

What a very exciting week Second Steps have had.

In Literacy, our focus book has been ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and we have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the story. The children were excited to see some giant footprints leading up to the bark area where they found some extraordinary clues in search of the giant! They all enjoyed helping each other solve the clues using excellent language and imaginative vocabulary. We have made a BIG talk display of the child’s voice so please do come and see it next week. With all the enjoyment, it has been a great stimulus for children to write letters and messages to the giant. I am sure the giant will make his visit in the near future.

At Woodland School, we focused on looking at the world around us to identify signs of seasonal change and Spring. We made some bark rubbings and discussed the patterns we could see. We used the iPads to take photographs of the work so please do check Tapestry for these observations. Thank you to all parents who accompanied us this week and those who have signed up for the upcoming weeks.

In Maths this week, we have been revisiting number quantities and using the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects.

In Music, we have continued to learn our Teddy Bear Rap so please do encourage your child to learn the song ready for our assembly.

News from Reception

Welcome back after a lovely weeks rest. We have really enjoyed hearing all about what the children got up to during our Circle Time and in our Literacy lessons. Reception have been on an amazing trip to Holly Lodge where we did a ‘Then and Now’ experience. The children got to look at different activities during the Victorian times, we got to wash some clothes using the wash board and the soap flakes, we then visited the old school classroom where we were lucky enough to try and write our name with the ink pots and old ink pens. We drew a picture of ourselves on the old slate boards! To finish off the morning we visited the old pharmacy. The children made their own soap using soap flakes, oats and lavender infused water.

News from Year 1

Year 1 have come back to school full of enthusiasm and energy. We have had many exciting discussions this week about empathy and developing a positive mindset. Our new star of the day certificate made its debut, much to the delight of the class and we have enjoyed celebrating a range of successes in Art, Maths, Literacy as well as in all other curriculum areas.

Our topic lesson this week focused on fossils and we sought to gather information about dinosaurs through their skeletons. We explored Paleobotany which explores history through fossil plant remains.

In Art, we explored neutral colours and cave art drawing wonderful images of prehistoric beasts such as the Sabre Tooth Cat and Wooly Rhino.

In Literacy, our focus has been on grammar and learning more about nouns (common and proper), pronouns, verbs and adverbs. Year 1 are becoming a new species of dinosaur- the Grammarsaurus !

News from Year 2

This week, Year 2 have enjoyed their work on dragons. Continuing on from last term, the children planned stories all about their dragons meeting... and the chaos that causes. In addition, Year 2 learnt about gravity and how it effects us on earth. Unfortunately, we were unable to go to Richmond Park this week due to the strong winds. However, this meant that the children were able to develop their coding skills through the use of "Espresso Coding".

News from Year 3

This week, Year 3 have been looking at different methods of division. Using arrays and their times tables, the children can share equally and work out remainders. In Humanities, we have been looking the physical geography on each of the seven continents of the world. Year 3 have also been busy block coding in ICT using time dependent commands.

In Art, we are learning about the life and works of LS Lowry. Each of his matchstick men can tell their own story. Can you find some of his masterpieces online and work out what is going on?


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 -

Boot bags and the new games kit (Year 1 upwards) are now available from Lester Bowden. All items can be ordered directly through their website.

We're Going on a Giant Hunt...

There is an explanation behind this image. The children in Second Steps went on a very exciting giant hunt on Thursday, following the footprints up the main path to the bark area and up a tree. His 'wife' can be seen here attempting to retrieve his shoes (it seems that keeping healthy is important to giants). I am led to believe that the giant himself will be visiting school on Monday....

Drop off and Collection Arrangements

The side gate is open each day from 8.00am-8.05am for early bird drop off. It will then be opened again from 8.15am-8.30am for drop off, and 3.30pm - 3.40pm for collection. Early bird drop off is for children only and you should leave your children with the member of staff on duty.

If you are running late, please inform Mrs Blower so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Breakfast Club

You are welcome to bring your children to breakfast club which opens its doors at 7.30am. £5 per session.


Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking in their drives when dropping off or collecting your children.

Please do not park on the yellow chevrons directly in front of the school or across driveways for the safety of all of our children.

Woodland School

Could I ask that you ensure that waterproof trousers and coats are brought into school on the relevant day (regardless of the forecast) so that we maximise our use of Richmond Park.

Don't forget, this weekend…

Sainsbury's Active Kids Vouchers - Collection box by the side gate.

World Book Day - Who is your favourite character? Prepare your costumes!

After School Activities

The link to apply for a place on the various current activities can be found here -

If I could remind you that should you wish to apply for a place for after school club, these requests can be accommodated up to 2pm each day, with the form being taken off line at 2pm to ensure we can make the necessary arrangements. Places for after school club are restricted to children who are at least 3 years old.

Dates for the Diary -

23rd January 2017 - Reception trip to Porter's Grocers

30th January 2017 - Years 1, 2 & 3 trip to The Monument and Museum of London

3rd February - Wine tasting & food pairing evening with Wined Up Here (a social event to celebrate the end of 'Dry January' - details to be provided in due course.7.30pm

9th February - School Council Bake Sale

10th-17th February - Half Term holiday (10th February school is closed for staff INSET)

13th - 17th February - Half Term Holiday Camp

24th February - Reception Class to The Holly Lodge Centre

28th February - Headmaster's Coffee Morning, 8.30am

2nd March - World Book Day

7th March - Second Steps visit to The Crafty Cafe

7th March - 9am-12pm Reception Class to Pizza Express

7th March - Inter House Cross Country Relay (Y1, Y2 & Y3) Richmond Park 10.30am - 12pm

8th March - Headmaster's Coffee Morning, 8.30am

8th March - First Steps and Reception visit to The Crafty Cafe

10th March - Parent Workshop - Phonics (2nd Steps), 8.30am

15th March - Parent Workshop - ICT @ Park Hill, 8.30am

15th March - Parent Teacher Meetings

16th March - Parent Teacher Meetings

21st March - Inter House Hockey @ Ditton Field 10.30am - 12pm

21st March - Giant Wiggle Walk - 1st Steps, 2nd Steps and Reception

22nd March - No swimming - pool closed

23rd March - Mother's Day Assembly

24th March - Red Nose Day

27th to 30th March - School Photography Club Exhibition

30th March - 12.30pm Easter Holiday

Certificate Winners

Congratulations to: Lucas Tasche, Yusuf Ozkan, Felix Buss, Oscar Young, Sophie Felton, Rosie Walsh, Layton McCormack, Henry Blackburn, Ela Akoglu, Isabel Fielding-Smith, Tristan Oliver

Happy Birthday!

Arlo Mumford, Mr. Fielding-Smith & Mrs. Stamp!

Answers to the corporal punishment questions - the wooden board was used to prevent slouching (the back board held with the arms of the poor pupil looped around the two ends to keep it in place) and the second item was to stop fiddling. Fingers inserted into the holes and then tied behind the back. Extraordinary....

Please do not hesitate to contact the school office if you would like to obtain a copy of an image of your child that is included in the newsletter.

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Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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