Handcross Park School

NEWSLETTER WEEK 8 - Friday 27th May 2016

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Dear Parents

I would like to congratulate all the children for the manner in which they have approached their school exams this week. I am increasingly impressed by the way they adopt a growth mindset towards these assessments; exams are part of the learning and growing process and it is important that our approach is both supportive and positive. Personally, I think that bringing these exams forward to before half term of the summer is a sensible decision, as teachers can support the children in their preparation, providing the pupils with an opportunity to enjoy half term. That said, I know that Mr Falkus and Mr Clark are always keen to have feedback.

Speaking of feedback, we will be conducting another full and thorough parent survey again next term and details of this will be sent out to you early in the new academic year. The survey is online and very easy to complete. We had a 75% response last time around and I am very much hoping to increase this to above 85%. The survey is one of the most important documents we receive as a school. It provides us with an overview of what you as parents think of us, reinforcing what you think we do well, whilst suggesting ways in which we can improve. As is very much a part of the Brighton College approach, the children also complete surveys at the end of each term and this information is also taken vey seriously. It covers a range of topics, including their learning experience in the classroom, levels of happiness and an opportunity to feedback on areas for improvement.

Just another reminder that on the evening of Monday 26th September, we will be hosting an online digital parenting conference. We really do want all of our families to send a representative and so please do put this in your diaries. Understanding the online world is an essential part of our parental responsibility so we can guide and support our children effectively.

I would like to congratulate all of the Pre-Prep children who performed in the informal concert. It was, by all accounts, a successful event and provides an early opportunity for the children to gain performing confidence. Unfortunately, I was away on Brighton College business this week, but I followed their progress on Twitter and this gave me a flavour of the fun they were all having. I would encourage parents to do the same by following one or more of our Twitter accounts (@Handcross Park is a good starting point).

At the time of writing, the children and staff are all preparing for the triathlon later today. It promises to be another memorable event and one that is a perfect way to bring in half term.

Finally, I would like to wish our Common Entrance candidates the very best of luck in revising for their exams over half term. They are now in the final leg of their learning journey this year and I know they have been well prepared for their exams after half term and we are all confident that they will perform well.

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all of our families a wonderful half term and I look forward to seeing you in a week’s time.

Be Trewe.

Graeme Owton



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Orlagh Guirey, Joshua Hanna, Gabriela Navares, James Coe, Sofia Urwick, Alexandra Moirinho, Ciara Olney, Edward Broadley, Rory Dawson, Katie King, Thomas King, Lily Stonehill, Angus Weightman, Clemmie Lytle


There are still tickets left for The Longines Royal International Horse Show for both Friday 29th and Saturday 30th July. All proceeds from tickets purchased through the School Office will go directly towards the All Weather Pitch Appeal. Please do email headspa@handxpark.com if you would like to purchase tickets stating how many and for which day. The cost will be added to your school bill. Please use link below for further details of the event:



When your child is unwell, we know it can be difficult deciding whether to keep them off school. These guidelines should help.

Not every illness needs to keep your child from school. If you keep your child away from school, be sure to inform the school on the first day of their absence.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is my child well enough to do the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home.

  • Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, keep your child at home.

  • Would I take a day off work if I had this condition? If so, keep your child at home.

Common conditions

If your child is ill, it's likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions.

Whether you send your child to school will depend on how severe the illness is. Use this guidance to help you make that judgement.

Remember: if you're concerned about your child’s health, consult your GP.

  • Cough and cold. A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should stay off school.

  • Raised temperature. If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn't attend school. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better.

  • Rash. Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn't attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.

  • Headache. A child with a minor headache doesn't usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP.

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting MUST be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP.

  • Sore throat. A sore throat alone doesn't have to keep a child from school. But if it's accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home.

  • Chickenpox. If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all their spots have crusted over.

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Mia White for creating fantastic revision notes and mind maps in her own time.

Matthew Garratt for creating a fantastic revision Google Slides Document for the Chemistry modules of Science.

Emily Ball for putting a lot of effort into her revision and making some brilliant resources.

Callum Lindsay for putting a lot of effort into his revision and making some awesome flashcards in his own time.

Freddie Pace and James Thorne for effectively using a variety of revision methods in preparation for the end of year exams.

Samuel Pearson for creating a brilliant online mind map using the Mindmap application.


Teaching and Learning Growth Mindset: Training pupils to push back their comfort zones and into the learning zone.

In order to learn we have to explore and venture out into the unknown. We already know our immediate surroundings, which form our Comfort Zone. In the Comfort Zone things are familiar to us; we feel comfortable and don’t have to take any risks. The Comfort Zone is important, because it gives us a place to return to, to reflect and make sense of things – a safe haven.

Although it is safe to stay in our Comfort Zone, we have to leave it in order to get to know the unknown, learn! It is only in the Learning Zone that we can grow and learn, make new discoveries, and thus slowly expand our Comfort Zone by becoming more familiar with more things.

Going into our Learning Zone means embracing challenge and different experiences. The journey into the Learning Zone is more effective if we have developed an attitude of discovery and trust among the children. They must trust each other and understand that mistakes are part of learning and should be learnt from not mocked.

Naturally, one might think that the Panic Zone should be avoided at all cost, but this is not the case. If your Comfort Zone is easy to return to and you reflect effectively, the occasional trip is not harmful. Problems might occur when there is prolonged exposure to excessive challenge, with no way of returning to the Comfort Zone and reflecting.

The range of activities that HXP teachers use to move people into their challenge zone are highlighted below:

- Classroom discussion, Getting pupils talking about points they feel passionate about or to act in roles determined by the teacher can allow movement out of the comfort zone rapidly.

- Collaboration: In class we regularly use Kagan Strategies that promote pupil interaction and deeper thinking but in a safe manner.

Leadership roles These are role cards that are given to pupils as they enter the class, they requires them to think in different ways by taking on roles for the class. e/g/ NUMERACY AMBASSADOR Looks for any way we can use parts of the lesson to improve our understanding of numbers.LITERACY AMBASSADOR Looks for any literacy mistakes or keywords or brilliant vocabulary to celebrate. LEAD GREETER meets any visitors and explains what learning is taking place. WAGOLL the person that explains to the class “what a good one looks like.”

We are also encouraging more spoken communication. Every child should take on at least one spoken communication challenge every term, debate, assembly, give a talk, teach a part of the lesson, present a video, coach a friend, give a reading, chair a meeting, lead a tour of the school, present to parents. All of these activities will promote greater challenge and therefore faster learning.

Richard Clark

Head of Teaching and Learning


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Effort: Princess Andrea

Dining Room Etiquette: Samantha Lopez

Courtesy: Harry Prescott


Effort: Poppi Spivey

Courtesy: James Glover

Dining Room Etiquette: Sofia Urwick


The children had a brilliant time doing theIr sponsored ‘walk for water’. It was lovely to see the Handcross Park community come together. The children have raised £815.40 for the Kids for Kids charity.

The Charity Council are currently in the process of choosing what they would like to get from the wish list for the children in Darfur!

Many thanks for all your support! Miss Mantle

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The Green Goblin racing team from Handcross competed in the ‘Banjo Road’ event in Littlehampton at the weekend. They represented the school giving a fantastic display of driving. This is the third time we have attended this meeting and the team performed extremely well winning several drag races and clocking good times in the slalom race. In the final races Handcross were drawn against the eventual runner up in their heat and narrowly missed out on a grand final position.

The children have had a wonderful time building the kart and learning some engineering skills along the way. Alex Els, William Carrington, Dylan O’Brien, Clemmie Lytle, Maya Loder, Briony Martin and George Melik made up the team this year but unfortunately George was unable to make race day.

The atmosphere was ‘electric’ according to one of the team which sums up the day, this is apt as all the karts are powered by electric motors. This is a day that will last long in the memories of the children.

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300 House Points - Silas Marwa, Princess Andrea, Samantha Lopez, Mia White, Matthew Garratt, Gennady Vilinov

400 House Points - Reece Appadu, Elena Stiglitz

500 House Points - Daisy White, Amelia Owton


300 House Points - Gracie Bentley, Sam Lytle

400 House Points - Lysander Whale

500 House Points - Xavier Combe-Law, Hermione Boyle


50 House Points - Maria Butuzova

300 House Points - Nathan Frost, Romeo Wang, Isabel Carter

400 House Points - Luca Long, Georgia Millar-Smith

500 House Points - Olivier Moseley-Davis

600 House Points - Saffron Clarke-Walker


300 House Points - Lily Rose Musgrave

400 House Points - Poppi Spivey, Albert Sheldon

500 House Points - Oscar Wiseman, Jack Groves, Cecilia Subinas


Hugh Crocker's blazer has been missing for two weeks, please could we ask parents to check at home that your child has not picked it up by mistake. The blazer is named. Many thanks!


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Reception have had another busy week with a range of activities and projects. They have continued with their fundraising ideas for Homestream House. The children completed a sponsored run at the end of last week and are now looking forward to a horse riding event kindly hosted by one of their parents. Finding numbers hidden in our environment, ordering numbers and exploring shapes inspired by Mondrian’s abstract painting have also made for a mathematical themed week of learning.

Year 1 have been thinking about the seaside this week and how, in the past, holidays at the beach were very popular! We found out that people used to drink the sea water because they thought it would make them healthier, and they wore lots of clothes even when it was hot! We wrote postcards describing a Victorian beach holiday, made up our own Punch and Judy inspired puppet shows, and described all the things we like best about the seaside! We have also been exploring place value, creating algorithms for instructions and sorting materials.

A busy week in Year Two – what is new?! But straying from our journey through Ancient Greece to other important life-enhancing experiences: rehearsals for our summer play (Spielberg’s ‘BFG’ movie will be nothing compared with our exploration of Roald Dahl’s writing!), an informal concert featuring both instrumentalists and vocalists, and finally the much-anticipated ‘Aquathlon’ in the Prep School on Friday! Will the children have the stamina to reach the finish line? Watch this space!

The Pre-Prep Informal Concert

A special afternoon took place this week where children from Pre-Prep shared their musical talents in our yearly informal concert. It was a delight seeing so many children willing to share their skills in front of an audience. Once again every child amazed me with their confidence performing, all delighting in the opportunity to share what they have all clearly been working so hard on in school and at home. From cellos to violins, from singing to drums – it was wonderful to see (and hear) such a wide variety. Well done to all the children who took part who should now all be feeling rather pleased with themselves. Keep practicing and we look forward to hearing you again soon!


Tree of Achievement

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Lucas Hawes, Olivia Smith, Zachary Stein, Lucy Ball (x2), Max Dinning, Charlie Holman-Hedley, Eleeha Makeem, Ciara Olney (x2), Charlie Bendall, Emmeline Davis, Arianne Docherty, Sabastian Sheldon, Constance Whale, Amelia Crocker, Emily Groves, Jemima Hirons, Subhan Khan & Benjamin Smith

Team Totals

BLUE 183


RED 171



Reception - Amelie Whitehouse

Year 1 - Edward Bower

Year 2 - Kevin Cheng


RS - Alexa Spivey

RM - Charlie Holman-Hedley

1W - Danielle Ikhide

1D - William Shelton

2L - Benjamin Smith

2R - Oliver Winterton


RS - Honey Holmes

RM - Lucy Ball

1W - Henry Williams

1D - Emilia Lynch

2L - Oliver Salamon

2R - Harry Irving

BRONZE STARS - Oliver Winterton


SILVER TIMES TABLE CHALLENGE - Subhan Khan, Hannah Bushell, Annabel Skerrett

GOLD TIMES TABLE CHALLENGE - Sebastian Sheldon, Rosie Dobbs

LITTLE OWLS..........

This week our focus has been on transport. Our Role Play area has been transformed into a cabin on an aeroplane, complete with a trolley serving food and beverages! This has stimulated lots of lovely conversations about family holidays and personal experiences of flying.

The children have also enjoyed floating boats in the water trough and using diggers to scoop rice into containers, counting as they go!

A definite favourite this week has been our group game What’s the Time Mr Wolf?”. The children have had lots of fun counting steps to correspond with the time. They have shown patience and kindness by taking turns and totally enjoyed the thrill of being chased by Mr Wolf.

Wise Owls........

With our Sports Afternoon fast approaching, we have been delighted to see some sunshine as we have been practising our Wise Owls races. We have enjoyed learning about the concepts of running within a ‘lane’ and remembering to ‘tag’ our friends when taking part in a team ‘relay race’.

Our Wise Owls have continued to show a growing interest in our ‘Buildings’ focus and this week they have enjoyed bringing in photographs of their houses or other buildings they have visited. We have been looking at these pictures to see if we can find any of our geometric shapes and have been busy recreating both pictures and 3D models of buildings. We have also been learning about the job of an ‘architect’ and how buildings are constructed from their drawings.

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A note from the Chair

There was running, cycling, swimming and cheering in abundance today during the Triathlon. The support and enthusiasm that exists at school for these events run by the School and The Friends is quite something. It translates in so many ways, be it helping to organise or run an event, being on a Committee or providing ad hoc help on the day. So much so, that I thought I would send out a reminder before half term about the Summer Fair on 11 June with a continuing request for help and donations as previously requested. I am also taking the opportunity to let you have some further information on what will be happening.

We have a variety of stalls including face painting, photo booth, arts and crafts, bottle and jam jar tombolas, Zorbs, guess the number of balloons in the Headmaster’s car, cakes, doughnut dunking, Hook a Duck, nerf gun shooting range, plants and sweet cones.

As in previous years, items and turns on stalls will either be by way of pre-paid tickets (you can buy these on the day as you enter) or with cash. Typically things will cost 50p an item/turn.

Whilst most of the stalls are being run by the Year Groups, the face painting and the photo booth will be provided by an external supplier. The year group organizing the face painting have funded payment of the person attending through their own donations and any money raised on the day will go to The Friends. The year group running the photo booth have funded payment for a professional photographer who will bring props and equipment. Photos can be purchased at £5 each. The money paid for the photos will go to the photographer. Any money raised for the arts and crafts activities that will be carried out alongside the photo booth will go to The Friends.

I would like to say thank you to everyone for their support in advance at the Summer Fair and also to everyone who has bought their Ball tickets in advance. Details on food and drink will be circulated shortly. If you have not bought a ticket for the Ball it is still possible to do so, but at a slightly higher ticket price.

Finally, enjoy the break over half term.


Newells School Trust Registered in England No. 932584 Registered Charity No. 307038

A member of the Brighton College Family of Schools