Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 16 - 3rd february 2017

From the Headmaster:

As you can see from the main image above, the Year 1, 2 and 3 children had a very enjoyable trip into central London this week. As part of their History topic, the children are studying the Great Fire of London and travelled in to visit and climb the Monument and to visit the Museum of London.

I cannot miss the opportunity to praise the children for their behaviour. The teachers who accompanied the children received many complimentary comments from various sources, including kind comments from some of you who work in the area (as well as an uncle!) on how they conducted themselves and how they were excellent ambassadors for the school.

It seems that there is a tech theme running through this edition as we provide you with information regarding the 'Apple Teacher' training we have been undertaking and the introduction of coding using iPads in Year 2 and Year 3. Do please read on and all will become clear!

We have been very busy since September supporting a number of charities. I am pleased to provide you with the following update on monies raised -

Poppy Appeal - £101.23

Christmas Jumper Day - £117.57

Momentum - £623.80 (Autumn Term - end of term collection and uniform)

I am very grateful to you all for supporting us with these charities, particular our school charity Momentum and to those parents who have kindly helped us with the uniform sales.

We have made a slight alteration to the After School Club booking form to now include an option to book a place for Breakfast Club. Please read through this edition for more information.

I look forward to seeing many of you later this evening at the social event and I hope that you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Information from First Steps

This week in First Steps, we have been concentrating on building our fine motor skills. We have been enjoying activities such as: threading pasta onto straws, building structures with play dough and using tweezers to sort the pom pom balls into their colour groups. We also enjoyed a trip to Richmond Park for Woodland School where we made stick men and searched for mini-beasts. Our teachers were very pleased with how we walked sensibly to and from school.

Information from Second Steps

Second Steps have had a very busy week producing some excellent work! We have been focusing much of our learning on The Ugly Duckling story which linked nicely to our letter sound ‘u.’ The children enjoyed listening and talking about the moral of the story. This inspired many children to make nests using junk modelling and in cooking making chocolate nests with shredded wheat. Yummy!

In Maths, we looked at selecting the correct numeral to represent the quantity of ducks.

In Literacy, the children have been practising their letter formation.

Within our challenge area the children participated in activities handling tools such as tweezers, chop sticks, pegs, toothbrushes and paint brushes to develop their pencil grip and control.

Information from Reception

Reception have had a great week this week full of Science and physical activities. We have looked at what has changed in our outside environment and discussed how and why they might be changing. We spoke about seasons, creating our own beautiful season pictures and wrote about them during our Literacy session. In sports this week we started to learn hockey. The children found it great fun, starting off with ball skills and moving on to using the hockey sticks which we loved! We even played a relay game to see which team to get the most points by controlling our ball and taking it to our team mates.

Information from Year 1

In Art, we are learning about colour theory and how to combine and mix colours. We have learnt about; neutral, warm and cool colours, shades, tints, primary and secondary colours. This week we were inspired by the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky and created art using concentric circles using oil pastels. We listened to Jazz just as Kandinsky would when he painted and thought carefully about how each colour made us feel. Did you know that Kandinsky believed that colours had a soul!

In Literacy, our focus book has been 'Where the Wild things are' and we have throughly enjoyed acting out the story, writing our own monster adventure story as well as designing and labelling our own scary wild thing!

In Maths, we explored data and how to organise information using tally charts and bar graphs.

Impressive … another busy week in Year 1!

Information from Year 2 and Year 3

In Mathematics this week we have been revisiting fractions and moving onto fractions of numbers using practical methods of counters and even smarties to help work out their sums.

In Literacy, we have moved on from poetry and started our unit of Non-Chronological reports using their current topics as inspiration. The children are learning about changing the style of their writing to suit the non-fiction genre of writing.

Year 2 thoroughly enjoyed their Museum of London trip, looking at how the great fire of London started and the effects on London as a whole. We found it particularly interesting that St. Paul’s Cathedral was originally gothic in design before it was destroyed in the fire. All the children braved the three hundred and eleven steps of the spiral staircase and most made it to the very top of 'The Monument' to see the grand views of London from above.

Year 3 had an enjoyable trip to the museum this week as well. The children thoroughly enjoyed looking and Roman Britain and how the Romans influenced our great city.

A special thank you to Fred’s Mum, Alex’s Mum and Robert’s Mum for their help making the trip such a success!


This week, Year 2 and Year 3 began coding on the iPads. Using Espresso, the children began writing simple codes to move objects around the screen, and make objects disappear and reappear. They also learnt all about algorithms - a set of steps to solve a problem. They throughly enjoyed this and can't wait to try it all again.

In addition, the children began to use 'Swift Playgrounds', the Apple coding app, which the class used to move the character 'byte' around the screen. Year 2 and Year 3 hope to be able to share more of their coding with you in the weeks to come.

For more information please follow this link; why not try it for yourselves?

Apple Teacher Qualification

Some of you may have noticed that underneath the short biography for each teacher on our website there are increasingly numbers of this image -

Messrs Renfrew, Stevenson, Meade, Dixon, Bond (R) and Bond (A) have all completed the various modules and tests to become Apple Teachers. The eight modules explore the use of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie and two further modules on their cross application (iBook and iTunesU) specifically for the classroom environment. In our advantage is the fact that all staff members receive a MacBook on arrival and that ICT and the use of technology to enhance support teaching and learning is a school improvement priority. I am delighted that iPads are in great demand across the school and children are using applications such as BookCreator, Doink (green screen) and Padlet to develop alternative methods of recording information.

The intention is very much that further investment takes place in iPads across the school and we undertake the process of applying to become an Apple Distinguished School. Exciting times ahead!

I would like to congratulate all of our Apple Teachers and look forward to providing you all with further information in the coming weeks.

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.

School Money

I am delighted to confirm that we will very shortly be in a position to offer the facility for you all to make payments online for school activities such as school school trips, after school clubs and school photos, to name but a few!

It is no small administrative task collecting and keeping track of what payments have been received for the many events and trips that take place throughout the academic year. This, combined with the challenge that you may experience in either finding the correct change or writing a cheque to pay for your child’s activities can at times be frustrating.

Our new facility will enable us all to experience a more streamlined, secure and efficient payment collection system.

Once the various elements have been completed, you will receive a text message from the school inviting you to access a website as an option to make a payment for an activity. You then have the option of paying for this activity through

To ensure that the relevant details are entered accurately, we would ask you to notify us if you have recently changed your mobile number and/or email address.

We anticipate completing the various elements to enable us to use this service prior to half term. Once complete, I will write to you in advance of our return on Monday 20th February to provide you with the necessary details. Having spent some considerable time researching the various similar systems available and speaking with other schools in the area who utilise this method, I am confident this will make life just a little easier....

New Development

It is all well and good having wonderful facilities including a Science and Engineering classroom, Art and DT, Music and Food Technology rooms in addition to larger sized classrooms for our children but they mean little without high quality teaching and learning and a considered and well planned curriculum. This is an exciting time to be involved in education. Advances in technology are quite extraordinary and there is considerable evidence to support the opinion that we are in fact preparing children for jobs that do not yet exist. What skills and abilities do our children therefore need to best prepare them? If I can steer you to a report published by the World Economic Forum that reflects on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I have provided further details within this edition of the Deerstalker and a link to the report should you wish to read further. I have also provided you with the proposed layout of the new building and development of the main house. I do need to point out that whilst the design of the building most likely will not be changed, the actual use of the rooms will be further refined and 'tweaked' to ensure that the development is a great success.

The new plans are very exciting and will enable us to provide the highest standards of teaching and learning to our children utilising the type of specialist facilities that will provide them with broad and rich curriculum. As you will be aware, there will be further consultation before we see the first 'boots on the ground' and indeed further discussion required as a teaching staff and parent body. I know from experience the importance of engagement from all parties when planning school buildings. I have also produced a 'Padlet' page for you to ask questions/make observations. Please follow this link to gain access -

The password to access the page is - ParkHill

Whilst these images provide you with a basic idea of the development and plans, we will be uploading the presentation to the website in due course. To reiterate, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like me to explain in more detail about the plans and thought processes involved with this development.

The link to the World Economic Forum report that I mentioned earlier in this edition can be accessed here -


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 are now available from Lester Bowden. All items can be ordered directly through their website.

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 to be paid on the day.


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 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.

Half term starts on Thursday 9th February - school is closed on Friday 10th and reopens on Monday 20th February.

After School Activities

It appears we have a number of budding Chess Grandmasters and talented photographers in school. The first week of activities were enjoyed by all. 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

23rd February - Open Evening 5.30pm-7pm

24th February - Reception Class to The Holly Lodge Centre

2nd March - World Book Day

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

22nd March - No swimming - pool closed

24th March - Red Nose Day

30th March - 12.30pm Easter Holiday

Certificate Winners

Congratulations to: Stella Pirola, Felix Warner, Connie Li, Gbeminiyi Ibiyemi, Rosie Walsh, Adrius Parchment, Robert Felton, Oscar West, Ela Akoglu, Joshua Field, Ollie Blower.

Happy Birthday!

Matilda Bergefall

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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