Park Hill Preparatory School the deerstalker issue 37 - 13th october 2017


From the Headmaster:

When we first started the discussion around Adventure School we wanted the subject to provide our children with unique skills and opportunities. I was therefore particularly pleased that we gave the Year 2, 3 and 4 children the opportunity to complete a first aid certificate and qualification on Monday. As pleasing, in addition to the bandages and recovery position elements, was that the children also acquired the knowledge on how to use a defibrillator machine on a patient - adult or child. We can all relax knowing that we are in good hands!

The highlight of the week was without doubt the football success. A superb and most entertaining game, high levels of skill that belied their experience, both sides should be proud of their endeavours. Do please scroll down to enjoy the images.

I hope you all received my letter that we distributed earlier this week regarding the changing approach to 11+ to safeguard the mental health of our children. A very welcome move. I have included the content of the letter in this edition of the Deerstalker if the email did not make it to your inbox.

It seems that we are about to enjoy a sunny start to our half term. Whether you are travelling or making the most of our holiday camp, I hope your children enjoy a well deserved break and come back ready and refreshed for a busy second half of term.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. - After half term all children should be wearing winter uniform and all children should wear the Park Hill school coat.

Girls Football

What a start! I was at pains to point out during our assembly that the most important aspects of playing any sport is to always enjoy it, always come off the pitch having given your very best and to have supported an encouraged each other. The other wonderful benefit of sport is the making of new friends. I can confidently state that our team of girls very much fulfilled every one of these points.

As you can see from the images above, the girls played extremely well and never stopped running and tackling.

With both schools venturing a little into the unknown with their very first games, Clarence House Girls School brought a strong team and took an early lead. This early goal galvanised the Park Hillians and we started to stamp our authority on the game. A brace of goals and some fine goalkeeping resulted in a final score of Park Hill - 8: Clarence House - 4.

Many congratulations to the team who have certainly set the benchmark high for the next game of the season for the boys team.

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.

First Aid Course

As part of the Adventure School Curriculum, all of the children in Year 2, 3 and 4 completed their first aid training on Monday. In addition to learning how to place a patient in the recovery position, apply bandages and treat wounds, the children also learnt how to use a defibrillator machine and how to attach the pads to an adult and to a child. The qualification lasts for two years. We were delighted to be able to include this qualification as part of the curriculum.

Inter-House Spelling Competition

The first of our inter-house events took place today with the spelling competition proving to be quite a competitive event. As you can see from the images below, the House Captains were challenged, with St. David House being crowned overall champions.

News from the Classes

First Steps

This week we have been very busy.

We are singing our good morning song & saying 'good morning' in different languages. This has had some interesting funny results!

The children have shown a lot of interest in books. Elmer the Elephant, The Gruffalo and Its the Bear have been a few of the favourites. We have been using their interest in these stories to re enact them using the dressing up clothes, home corner play and singing songs using the musical instruments.

We had lots of fun in our music lesson with Mrs Baillie, helping her to sing 'the wheels on the bus' correctly and keeping count of her 'five little ducks'. Finishing off with popping all her bubbles.

Miss Georgina came for a visit this week and she introduced some new music to us and we worked in pairs acting out songs, marching and dancing round the classroom to 'Following the leader'.

We have continued with colour mixing letting the children choose their own colours and seeing what colours they can make and how much.

Second Steps

What an amazing and busy week Second Steps have had! We started of with an adventure during our Woodlands School. We found many different shapes and sizes sticks to create our very own Stick Men. We also listened very carefully to what treasure we had to find and how many we needed to find. It was Holly's Birthday and during Woodlands School we got to celebrate it out in the nature of Richmond Park. For our Early Years Assembly we learnt about Diwali, which is the festival of lights that is celebrated by Indians. We had such fun trying on colourful scarves, bangles and bindi's and even had a photo booth to take photos! We also celebrated Beth's Birthday who had brought in some lovely home made cakes. Second Steps have been learning about different 2D shapes as well as going on a treasure hunt to looks for hidden shapes. Second Steps children had great fun using the iPads and exploring how to use it by creating some lovely pictures. Mrs Patel made some traditional Indian sweets with the children too, what a lovely treat. So as you can see we have had a very busy and fun week!


This week in Reception we have been recapping our ‘Human Body’ topic by naming the bones in our body. We embedded our learning by using the game ‘Operation’ to test our knowledge about the body parts. We thoroughly enjoyed the game, especially when we managed to pinch the objects out of the body before the buzzer alerted.

Following on from this, we enjoyed a wonderful assembly on Diwali, delivered by Mrs Patel. We learnt about the festival of Diwali and why we celebrate it. We watched a story about Rama and Sita and the girls got to wear a bindi. This inspired us to make our very own rangoli patterns in our choosing time.

This week we stayed on site for Woodland School. As a class we voted to create woodland animals such as squirrels, foxes, rabbits and hedgehogs. Please see tapestry for our lovely creations.

We have collaborated much of our learning within our Computing this week and experimented using special apps on the iPad. Book Creator is just one app to name. You can now call us an author as we all made our very own book about a topic we find most interesting. Our friends was a popular topic amongst the class. We used special effects to make our books more interesting such as adding videos, typing messages, taking photographs and recordings of our very own voice. We have had a phenomenal first half term in Reception and we look forward to next term.

Year 1

In Year 1 this week we have been delighted to receive and learn how to use Apple TV. In addition we have enjoyed learning how to airplay videos and our book creator projects on the iPads.

Our iPad projects this week have included creating a book to document our DT work making moving Jumping Jack puppets and using photo and video to create a record of the signs of autumn.

Our Literacy focus has been writing instructions adding a title and using numbers to sequence each step.

In Maths, we have been counting in 2s 5s and 10s from any number to 100 and I was privileged to witness many lightbulb moments from the children as they achieved success in the lessons. By the end of the week all children could identify tens and ones in two digit numbers, sequence in the correct order and count on from any given number.

“It's really fun that Year 1 is working a lot on working hard and working to learn new things, working to get a certificate.” Harris

“I liked doing the book on the iPads, I learnt how to change the font and add videos and make new pages and to send our book to other classes.” Mario

“We made moving bat puppets called Jumping Jacks and I liked making mine move and flap its wings.” Rhea

“We have been writing about our jumping jack puppets and it was really fun and on the interactive board we could borrow to improve our writing.” Gaby

Year 2

This week, Year 2 have been working to complete their DT protects, putting their cars together and adding he finishing touches. Mathematics this week has involved a lot of time (if you pardon the pun), and we have been working to tell the time to the nearest 5 minutes, both on digital and analog clocks. We have also completed our species in Science, designing a baby version of our animals, looking at the features that our babies would have and how they were different to our adults.

The children have also worked, with year 3 and 4, on the iPads to create movies about our very exciting first aid lesson on Monday. They demonstrated the recovery position, what numbers to call when we are in trouble, and how to check that someone is breathing. The movies produced were very good and are still in the final stages of development. We look forward to sharing them with you soon.

Year 3 & Year 4

Monday proved to be quite an exciting day. First Aid training followed by a rather impressive football result started the week off with a real bang!

The children have been using the iPads more and more. Most recently, they designed a movie all about first aid, our science lessons over the half term, and our fantastic shadufs! The finished products were most impressive and we look forward to sharing them with the parents soon.

In English, we are looking at stories from other cultures and learning about pearl diving in the United Arab Emirates, realising that life can be very different in different countries.

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.


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.

After School Activities

Please note: all activities, clubs (including after- school and breakfast clubs and trips will be charged through schoolmoney.

Please follow this link to access the booking forms for after school club and for teacher led activities. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13th September.

Happy Birthday!

Christopher Tse; Alfie Cox; Annabelle Ling & Mrs Hibbert!

We are experiencing a frustrating issue with our website and ability to download key dates. Whilst the dates do not appear on the calendar they do appear when using the search option. We hope to rectify this issue as soon as possible.

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.

11+ Information

Although we prefer to limit the amount of emails and letters sent out during the week and try to include general information in the weekly Deerstalker, there has been a news item that I think is important to share with you.

The news is significant in that it vindicates what I am hearing from colleagues locally and reinforces that we are right at Park Hill to deliver a curriculum that is broad and balanced and that our emphasis on developing cognitive ability through verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and spatial awareness throughout the school is very much to our children’s advantage.

The North London Girls’ Schools’ Consortium have been looking at ways of relieving the stress around the 11+ entrance test and reducing unnecessary pressure on their prospective pupils. From January 2019 the entrance test will be a one hour bespoke cognitive ability test to identify academic potential. This will then be followed by an interview to identify the personal skills and traits valued at these schools. These schools include the following notable establishments - Francis Holland School, Queen’s Gate School, Godolphin and Latymer, Northwood College, Queen’s College, South Hampstead High and St. Helen’s School, Northwood.

On behalf of the consortium, Dr Frances Ramsey, Head Mistress at The Godolphin and Latymer School wrote to me and explained their rationale –

We have been concerned at the growing pressure on young children caused by increased competition for school places, and the perceived need to prepare ever harder for a range of admissions tests….

We are committed to human flourishing in all its fullness, and our interest is the whole child.

We have listened to the pleas from our colleagues in our feeder schools to address the growing crisis in children’s mental health and to act to reduce the scope for excessive tutoring.

We have noted the damaging effect that teaching to the test has, particularly on creative writing and reading for pleasure, and we long for literacy teaching at KS2 to regain its freshness and pleasure.

We believe that this change will reflect our commitment to a dynamic education which nurtures a child’s self esteem and spirit as well as her intellect.

I have had identical conversations with schools leaders at local independent senior schools who are keen to remove the unnecessary stress for our children and put an end to ‘teaching to the test’.

This significant change is very much welcome and one that I am in no doubt will trigger identical response from schools in our part of London.

I am delighted that this supports our approach at Park Hill and that our commitment to promoting self esteem, integrating lateral thinking throughout the curriculum as well as during Forest School activities and Adventure School; the delivery of verbal and non-verbal reasoning lessons whilst retaining a broad and balanced curriculum is entirely the right approach and one that will give our children every advantage when they reach the age to move on from Park Hill at Year 6.

In light of this, at my next coffee morning I will be explaining in more detail just how we deliver the verbal and non-verbal reasoning lessons and incorporate lateral thinking in all areas of the school. In addition to the morning (8.30am-9.30am Wednesday 15th November), I will also be holding a ‘coffee evening’ for those of you who are unable to join me for the morning session from 6.30pm – 7.30pm on the same day.

I am sure you will join me in celebrating the welcome move to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of our children.

Should you prefer to speak to me prior to these dates, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Created By
Park Hill


Alistair Bond

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