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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 90 - 20th sepTember 2019

From the Headmaster:

It is no secret that we enjoy a challenge along with a healthy dose of competition at Park Hill. As you can see from the image above, the training with our indoor rowing team is gathering momentum with technique improving each week.

We do have the straightforward philosophy that we want children to enjoy being physically activity and to continue this attitude through life. It is a very strong feature of our school that we embrace such a variety of activities, whether it be rowing, triathlon, football, athletics or, as was the case today, a hockey tournament for our Year 3 and Year 4 children. The two classes travelled to Wokingham to take part in an event designed for them to enjoy playing the game, receive coaching throughout and then spent time with Ellie Rayer, England and GB hockey player on her experiences (How does it feel?) of playing the sport at an international level. I am afraid that the temptation to join them (in for a penny) was too great so I apologise for not being at the gate this afternoon wishing you a good weekend - I am sure you understand!

Much excitement was evident this week as we conducted our democratic elections for both School Council and House Captains positions of responsibility. The elections ran most smoothly, although nail bitingly close across the board. The official ceremony and presentation of badges will be made at our next whole school assembly on 3rd October.

What stood out was the confidence exhibited and the quality of considered speeches from every child. As impressive was the magnamity in victory and defeat. Hearty congratulations to everyone who took part, certainly the shape of things to come.

As you can see from the image below, we held two parent workshops this week. Showbie was the first workshop on Monday which (hopefully) ironed out any confusion with the various access codes and also clarified how we use the incredibly useful and now essential application.

The Tapestry workshop took place the following day. Again, such an invaluable tool not just for you all, but essential for us too in informing planning and further improving the quality of teaching and learning, everyday.

I hope you have a good weekend, enjoy the sunshine (and the first match of the RWC, what a tournament it promises to be!) tomorrow.

Alistair

Hockey Festival

It didn’t quite coincide with our normal rotation of games, our hockey term being in the Spring, but we snapped up the opportunity to participate in a hockey festival at Holme Grange in Wokingham. Designed to be a first introduction to hockey tournaments, our children equipped themselves well, competing with aplomb against teams from schools of 1000+ pupils. I wouldn’t expect anything less! Certainly no calls to take me home as the children revelled in the idyllic conditions.

GB hockey player Ellie Rayer was incredibly kind and happy to answer questions from the children and sign various items and sticks. She was also kind enough to answer further questions from messrs Bond, Bond and Papps regarding her profession. A superb role model for the children who took time to encourage and support the players. She now has a keen following in South West London.

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

This week in Year 5 and Year 6 children have being investigating how World War II has touched their own families, in class the children have been sharing stories and artefacts that they have obtained from their grandparents and wider circle of family and friends. In science, the children have been designing their own experiments to explore the impact that different materials have in causing friction against moving objects.

On the sports field and supported in their Sports Science lessons, the children have been honing their football skills. The focus for this week was to make a particular effort to communicate on the pitch to enable their team to move the ball more quickly and accurately up the pitch to create more frequent scoring opportunities.

Back in the classroom, the children have been digging deep into the Warhorse novel. While working through the story at a slower that usual pace, the children have been scrutinising character decisions and motivations along with exploring the language and phrases that comes from reading a book set during the outbreak of World War 1.

Year 4

A fantastic week in Year Four that ended on Friday with Mr Bond having to radio ahead for our homecoming arrival late in the afternoon, as we travelled through the bends of the country roads (and M3 traffic). Mr Papps was thankful to Mr Bond who played his favourite album on the way home whilst Year Four were quietly observing the landscape or creatively challenging themselves making comics. We were the tourists in East Berkshire for the regional ISA Hockey festival on the fake plastic grass in Wokingham that proved a great success for our team work skills; leaving us fitter, happier and more productive for the weekend.

We came up against tough opposition; especially the Ballard school who gave a crash course on dribbling and offensive play, where Year Four needed a high rise in defensive organisation.

No surprises for staff, who were certainly not let down as Year 4 responded incredibly well to coaching and encouragement, “sticks down!”. Despite not winning we showed a great spirit and enjoyed the special occasion of playing Hockey under a blue sky and warm sun. Ellie Rayer said to Park Hill, “they’re incredibly lucky to have this exposure so young and should enjoy it.” And we did.

On Thursday there was much electioneering as several members of Year Four put forward their presentations for House Captain. We await all the results, but congratulate them and the rest of the class for their fantastic efforts applying for responsibilities across the school, whilst supporting each other and leaving no one high and dry.

The theme of working as a team and supporting each other was reinforced in PSHCE lessons as we focussed on essential skills for including people, with a calmer police method of listening and applying respect for each other. Our lesson had Mr Papps climbing up the wall, but only to place photos of their key points on team work and group poses upon the classroom displays.

English lessons have again been inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s exceedingly good stories. We have read though several stories ‘Just so’ we can respond to them in our writing next week. We have learnt how the Camel Got its Hump, and also learnt about the Elephant’s Child gaining its long trunk; courtesy of the crocodile who most certainly was a creep. In our writing next week we shall continue to exercise our confident grasp of direct speech rules, using a range of reporting clauses as we plan our own stories on how animals gained their unique features.

Using place value in addition problems has been consolidated in lessons as we use our skills to identify missing numbers. Subtraction next week and also to look at using our times tables with multiplication of tens and hundreds.

Mr Stevenson has progressed children’s understanding of the respiratory system, explaining how our airbag lungs inhale and exhale air. For their science lessons pupils have produced animated images showing the flow of air in and out of the respiratory organs.

A mention should also be made for last weeks’ music lesson at the end of Friday. Miss Menon had an inspiring lesson using the GarageBand app where pupils created their own tunes using the layering process of different beats and instruments. Some tunes were incredibly atmospheric and could be used on exit music for a film. We hope you get a chance to listen to them soon.

Finally, again using the Apple iOS devices, (opposed to something that would make Mr Bond paranoid: Android devices) pupils have been producing and designing e-safety comics using book creator. Year Four have really enjoyed this topic in Mr Sims much more than OK Computer lessons.

We look forward to more spirited efforts next week. Great work Year Four.

Year 3

From learning about how the digestive system works with a practical investigation to voting in areas of responsibility and finishing off the week with a Hockey festival, Year 3 have certainly had an action packed week.

Year 3 also managed to further develop their place value skills, build on our descriptive writing, alongside their other lessons timetabled into the week. We also help test the new Kaligo handwriting app with a visit from one of the developers to further fine tune the app. This app is particularly exciting as we have worked with the developers over the last several months using our particular form of continuous cursive handwriting.

A particular highlight of the week was that the children met and chatted with Ellie Rayer GB hockey player at the festival.

What will next week bring?

Year 2

Combining last weeks work on expanded noun phrases, with some work on adjectives, nouns, descriptive writing, and handwriting, Year 2 have begun to create some stores about their boring routine. There were some excellent examples of handwriting, some fantastic adjectives, and lots of hard work. This then carried over into our work on animals and offspring where we are exploring the differences between them and what changes over time. Some great recordings, writing, and ideas were shared.

Adventures are coming and we have been creating books about the 5 W’s - water, wind, wood, warm, and watch out. We created our own W’s out of the objects they represented (water was particularly interesting).

Mathematics has been finishing of place value and doing toward number bonds. By my count, we have 2 in our school.

Computing is always a favourite and it proved so again when we moved on to keeping our personal information safe. It turns out, despite what one pupil thought, teachers are trust worthy enough to share personal information with. Children have been taught to look at that often overlooked document when signing up to something: the terms and conditions.

Year 1

Year 1 have dazzled with their creativity this week in so many different ways.

For instance, we began to study old bears looking closely at their similarities and differences writing as many descriptive words as we could collaboratively. Then learnt how to draw using sketching techniques such as light outline, accent lines, hatching and stippling.

Mid week we created our own Mog stories based on Mog the forgetful cat including voice notes for character voices, video narration and edited images. The resulting stories in Book Creator were breathtaking.

During our mindfulness mediation we roamed through a meadow towards some distant mountains and learnt that all of our meadows were different.

“There was a tiny house in my meadow ... an ant house ...” Theo

“There were fairies and lovely flowers in my meadow, it felt lovely and relaxing.” Allegra

“Mine smells of marshmallows” George

“I climbed up the mountain and there were mountain goats” Timothy

“I went right to the top of my mountain and there were fairies and a treasure box at the top ...” Holly

This helped the children realise that sometimes the same object or concept can be viewed in very different ways but that there is not right or wrong answer. Differences make the world so much more interesting and exciting.

An complex artistic conclusion to the week which needed patience and nimble fingers for cutting and assembling. Using our paper puppet prototypes we designed and constructed felt finger puppets adapting our designs and storytelling with the new felt friends.

We continue to develop our counting skills and strategies, working in classroom spaces which help us concentrate and using different resources to support our thinking. It is wonderful to see Year 1 working independently or collaboratively, sharing ideas and supporting one another ... “ we need to listen carefully to learn and not get distracted” Timothy.

Reception

Reception have had a wonderful week full of outdoor learning and independent creative activities. As part of our ‘All About Me’ topic we have been looking at X-ray pictures. The children were then inspired to create their own X-ray pictures using cotton buds as our bones. You can come and see our wonderful skeletons on our display board, you might even notice some pretty amazing labels that some of the children have written.

In Maths we have been busy using the Numicon to create a superhero number city. We did a printing activity to make some marvellous buildings and super numbers to help us with our number recognition. Next week we are looking forward to becoming intrepid explorers going on a woodlands walk, using our senses to see and hear all the different animals that might live in Richmond Park.

Second Steps

Second Steps children recently enjoyed a walk around Richmond Park and spent time looking at the different coloured leaves and collecting acorns. This lead to a conversation about different types of trees such as oak tree, lemon tree. Children were surprised to hear that lemons grow on trees. After reading a short story about Maisy Mouse makes lemonade, children decided to make lemonade. They enjoyed exploring lemons, squeezing them with different tools and even with their hands. This was a great way to develop their skills in Expressive Arts and Design, Communication and Language and also in Physical development using fine motor skills to manipulate lemons.

They also used lemons to paint/print and made lemon scented playdough.

First Steps

We have had so much fun in First Steps this week.

We have looked at children’s family photos on our family tree. They loved talking about their mummies, daddies and siblings. While looking at the photos, we talked about different feelings such as “happy”, “sad”, “cross” and “grumpy” then children tried to show their expressions on their faces. Using these expressions, we have created our emotion cards. First Steps children loved looking at their emotion cards and talked about themselves

We also have started to learn saying ‘hello’ in different languages and celebrating having friends in First Steps from all around world. We are practising them in our daily life at the school.

The children adapting our daily routines at school well such as helping their teacher to tidying up the classroom or lining up nicely by the door. Well done First Steps.

This week also we welcomed a new friend Gina. She has settled super fast and has started have so much fun already!

In music lesson, children wanted to show their singing skills to Miss Menon and sang beautiful solo songs. I think Miss Menon has been impressed well and going to ask for more solo singing lessons.

Our Dinosaur-land at outdoor area and castle small world with rice crisps were so popular and children used their imagination to create their own stories around these areas.

We are sure that our dollies are shining; children washed them again and again all week. Of course they have been fed and nappies have been changed too.

We are ready to have more adventures next week.

Calendar and Events

I am pleased to confirm that the key dates and events for the coming academic year are now all uploaded onto the school website and can be accessed here.

We do appreciate that it is not always possible to attend all of the various workshops and events held throughout the year. We are keen that information provided at these events is shared. For each workshop we will be producing tutorials and documents that can be distributed and then provide you with a link to either view (livestream) the workshop or participate in an online Q&A style forum with the teacher leading the session.

I have selected some key dates that I would like to draw your attention to for September–

25th September – Individual Photographs

27th September – Parent Workshop – Reading with your child (1st Steps – Reception)

27th September – Family welcome reception and 70th anniversary celebration

30th September – Parent Workshop - How to help at home and progression through the Early Years (Second Steps)

1st October - Parent Workshop - E-Safety workshop for parents

2nd October - Head’s Coffee Morning

3rd October - Harvest Festival

4th October - ISA Junior Triathlon

I may well be the only person not to be aware of a change to the date of the Bank Holiday in May 2020, but please note that the date has been changed to coincide with the anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May 2020.

Seventy Years Old!

I do hope that you will be able to join us to celebrate a rather significant milestone in the history of Park Hill. It seems rather apt that we celebrate the return of a Year 6 class to Park Hill in the same year that we turn 70. We have planned a variety of other events throughout the year to mark the milestone including a little time travel back to 1949.

The evening will be a relatively informal and relaxed affair, with familiar faces from the community also invited.

Harvest Festival - 3rd October

I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming Harvest Festival and a local charity that we would very much like to support. It is important that we encourage children to contribute positively to the lives of others not just within the school but also the local community and wider society. We have been approached by the local Joel Community Charity to help with their work supporting those affected by homelessness in Kingston and New Malden.

In the week leading up to Harvest we would be most grateful if you could make a donation, with boxes and a central location for collection.

Please click on the link below to learn more -

They have provided us with the type of donations they are seeking. We will be joined by their staff at our Harvest Festival who will then, with the help of our children take the donations to the centre and distribute accordingly.

Instant Premium Coffee

Tea bags (PG, Tetley not herbal teas)

Honey, honey, honey! We do not use any refined sugar in our building. We bake with honey, pour on to cereal and use it to sweeten hot beverages.

Squash (no added sugar)

Passata

Tinned Tomatoes

Baked Beans

Tinned Tuna

Tinned vegetables (peas, carrots, sweet corn, kidney beans)

Cereals (non Sugar type like Weetabix and Corn Flakes)

Mini Hand sanitizers (alcohol free only)

Shower gel

Shampoo

Deodorants

Disposable Razors and shaving cream

Toothbrushes and toothpaste (not mouth wash)

Moisturiser – male and female

Sanitary products

Gift cards for supermarkets (topped up with no more than £5 each card)

Gift cards for cafes/coffee shops (topped up with no more than £5 each card) this gives our guests a warm place to sit during the cold winter days

Oyster cards (topped up with no more than £5 each card)

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

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

Images from the week

Uniform

I was very impressed with just how smart our children looked this morning, in addition to their broad smiles as they entered school. I would like to remind you that girls in Prep School should now be wearing the pink and white striped blouse and that the white blouse is no longer part of our uniform.

Games lessons for children in Reception to Year 6 will start next week at KGS Ditton Field, although the forecast looks to be good, will need maroon football socks and football boots for the term. 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.

Useful Links -

The recording artists referenced by Papps this week? Radiohead and their seminal album Ok Computer. Songs by Slade referenced by AB.

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond