Hilltop Blog

Friday 21st July

Wow What a week this has been. I will add to the blog over the holidays but I would just like to say a huge thank you for everything the parents, staff, governors and of course the children have done this week to say Goodbye to me. I feel more loved, appreciated and acknowledged than I have perhaps ever felt. A great way to retire. THANK YOU X

Thursday 18th May

Osmington Bay – evening update and the last for today

“We are having an absolute blast on our last night and busting our best moves at the disco! We have lots of hoarse voices from all the chanting and the new songs we have learnt this week (get ready….!) and we have tears from some children as they don’t want to come home! See you all tomorrow.

We are looking forward to Team Hilltop all taking part in Dragon Boat Racing as a whole group as our last activity.” Mrs Johnson 

We are all looking forward to seeing them all back at school tomorrow afternoon. We will give you a text update re timings if there are any delays. Remember they will be tired and emotional; and the children might be too!! Liz Clark


Thursday 18th May

Osmington Bay – late afternoon update

It is all going so well, especially as it is not raining today!. They are all really loving it! 🙂 

Thursday 18th May

Osmington Bay – mid afternoon update

This update has been written by Miss Gladwin’s group:

We’ve been doing lots of different activities including climbing, tunnel trails, orienteering, quad biking and kayaking! Today, Miss Gladwin’s group are entering the PGL quad championships (it’s just quad biking really!) Ellie was up first and did a celebratory dab (we’re allowed to dab at PGL!)

Everyone loved kayaking and splashing in the water at the end. Mrs Johnson, Mrs Crawford-Smith and Mrs Kirby have gone kayaking today and they are bound to enjoy it!

Miss Fancy is walking along the beautiful pebble beach with her group this morning doing story telling, races and a treasure hunt.

The food is amazing and we are all looking forward to eating four cheese ravioli and chocolate brownies tonight. After that, we’re getting dressed up for the team disco!

It’s home time tomorrow and we can’t wait to see you all! We can teach everyone the new chants that we’ve learnt 🙂

PGL Crew 2017


Thursday 18th May

Osmingon Bay early morning update

Everyone slept really well again last night. Mrs Johnson thinks the bedtime stories are doing the trick! The sun is shining, the rain has gone and they are all looking forward to staying a bit drier today! 

Two groups are off Kayaking today, whilst the others enjoy a beautiful beach walk and quad biking. More updates later


Wednesday 17th May

Osmington Bay Update

The children have coped so well with the continuous, torrential downpour all day and have enjoyed activities including Kayaking, Trapeze and a very blustery but thoroughly enjoyable beach walk. Tonight they are taking part in completing a passport ‘Around the world.’ They all have everything crossed for a drier day tomorrow.


Wednesday 17th May

Osmington Bay Update

All the children slept brilliantly last night; all asleep by 9.30 and no middle of the night knocks on the adults’ doors.

It is pouring with rain and everyone is having fun getting wet. Half the group are kayaking this afternoon. 


Tuesday 16th May 2017   late evening

Second update of the day. Everyone seems to  have enjoyed the first full day. Two children managed to lose Miss Fancy during the orienteering exercise but luckily for her she was found!

Mrs Johnson has said the children are being well fed and enjoying the food.

Room inspections this morning resulted in a 2/5 for one room. They are aiming to do better tomorrow!

Tuesday 16th May 2017

Osmington Bay update

Firstly apologies as I attempted to send all the trip parents a text last night via our system and although it was sent, it wasn’t delivered. My words are somewhere!

This morning’s news is that:

  • all the children slept
  • last one finally went to sleep at midnight
  • no children needed waking up this morning !
  • no lie in for the adults…..

Today Mrs Johnson has told me that:

‘All children have enjoyed their first activity, the rain is holding off and we are enjoying being surrounded by beautiful scenery! Activities today include Quad Biking, Climbing, Tunnel Trail and Problem Solving.’

Not necessarily in that order nor at the same time!!

More to come later.

Tuesday 21st March

The last two days have seen a number of our Year 4 children taking part in their Bikeability Training.  It has been lovely to see the children on their bikes both on the school site and for those who were more confident, on the local roads.

This training has meant that our brand new Bicycle Shelter has been put to good use this week. On Thursday the children who have requested and received their Bicycle/Scooter Permit will be the first children to officially use the shelter.


Thursday 2nd March

Today is World Book Day and the majority of adults and children have dressed up as their favourite character. It has been a brilliant day, with a buzzing atmosphere in the classes (and corridors!) Look out for photos on the Website soon.

From a personal point of view I would like to say thank you for all the kind wishes and thoughts that I have received since announcing my retirement. It has been an emotional roller-coaster the last couple of weeks but as I put in my Governors’ Report today I am in awe of how the staff have maintained our usual high focus on the Teaching and Learning of the children.

I think it was a compliment when one of our fathers said that I wasn’t old enough to retire!! I am. To put my length of service into perspective in January this year I celebrated having worked in this profession for 35 years and when I leave in August I will have been Headteacher at Hilltop for 18 years. Today is my eldest child’s 24th birthday; he was 6 when I started here. My daughter was 2! Time does genuinely pass quickly when you are enjoying yourself.


Monday 16th January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our families. We hope 2017 will bring us all success, happiness and fulfilling experiences.  The children have settled back really well into their learning since returning after Christmas.

I’ve spent the morning today looking on line at Tapestry our Foundation Stage on line Learning Journeys. It is so lovely to read your comments and see your uploaded photos of all the learning going on at home. Thank you for doing this it means school and home can truly share the children’s learning experiences, wherever they happen.




Thursday 13th October 2016

This morning whilst I was sitting at my desk, Mrs Johnson arrived at the door with two Year 4 girls in tow and said that she was ‘being made redundant’.  The two girls were grinning so I knew it wasn’t as bad as that had sounded.

I then was told by Eden and Gabby that they had been learning firstly about expanded noun phrases (which they could explain) and then fronted adverbials (which they could also explain). They had been writing about Tutankhamun using both these strategies.

They had then been asked to do a Peer Assessment and give Formative Feedback!

There is no way I would have been able to do this aged 8/9.

Here is the evidence to prove it……

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Thursday 22nd September 2016

It has been a whirlwind return to school for the children and the staff. Miss Lee has co-ordinated and led Home Visits for all our new FS1 and FS2 children and it has been fantastic to see how well they have settled. Not too many tears so far.

All the other children have returned and settled down so quickly and are getting used to their teachers and the routines.

We have our new Head Girl and Head Boy and their deputies in place and tomorrow we will be announcing who has been elected our School Councillors. There was a very democratic atmosphere in the school on Wednesday when the elections took place. Next week it is the turn for Eco Agents to be elected in the same way, by their peers.

The Head Girl and Head Boy have already posted their Welcomes on the Meet the Heads page of this website. Do take a minute to have a look at what they have written.

Friday 15th July 2016

End of Year Summer Disco 2016

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Wednesday 21st June 2016

This week our Residential Trip to Croft Farm in Gloucestershire is taking place. Miss Vinita Bedi is leading the trip with over 40 of our Year 3s and 4s. Although it was pouring with rain as the coach left on Monday morning we haven’t received any further bad weather reports although as the children and staff seem to have spent the first 2 days on stand up paddle boards, kayaking and katakanuing on the lake they don’t seem to be worrying too much about the weather and getting wet!!

Those children who haven’t gone on the trip are having just as much fun with Miss Kinghorn as part of the Hilltop Stars 2016. Yesterday they were out on the playground on scooters, skateboards and heelies although I didn’t see Miss Kinghorn doing the same! These children have got so many exciting things planned for the week including a Teddy Bears’ Picnic; lets hope the weather stays fine for them.

Wednesday 13th April 2016

All the children have returned from their Easter breaks full of energy and ready to learn. We have welcomed 5 new children to the school this week; it has been great to see how well they have settled in and how quickly.

Miss Lee and Miss Sidhu have also completed this term’s Home Visits and 7 new Nursery/Foundation Stage children have visited today and yesterday prior to starting officially tomorrow. The good news is there were hardly any tears!!

Bluebell class achieved the highest attendance off all the classes for Term 4 with an impressive 98.2%. They are currently deciding what treat they would like as their reward.

Friday 11th March 2016

We have had a real WOW experience at Hilltop today. All the children have graduated from their University Degrees that they have been studying for over the last 5 weeks. We began and ended the day with special Graduation Ceremonies giving us all the chance to see, hear and watch what the individual degree courses have achieved.

Our focus this time round has been Spoken Language which we thought was a real challenge when we put Spoken Language under the WONDERSCOPE. We shouldn’t have worried as the adults and the children have really risen to this challenge and achieved so much.

We were entertained by written stories, singing, acting, and reciting of favourite poems. I am really looking forward to hearing a whole class learn and recite Eleanor Farjeon’s poem – Cats Sleep Anywhere and to the whole school learning the Haka in the playground. Ihope Arya and Monty are able to help us with this.

Well done to everyone for your hard work. Today’s celebrations have been the highlight of my day, if not my week!


February 12th 2016

We have come to the end of a very long term ( next term is very much shorter), I’d like to wish all our families a restful and fun week off.

February 5th 2016

Miss Kinghorn and I have spent nearly three days this week visiting the classes and observing the quality of the teaching and learning throughout the school. It is always a privilege to spend this quality time in the classrooms looking at the main purpose of a school, the teachers teaching and the children learning. We were particularly impressed with the fantastic behaviour for learning and the attitude of the children. The level of engagement and perseverance in their learning was impressive. We were also impressed with the teachers’ passion for their teaching  and the determination they show that every child will make progress.

A visitor to the school recently commented that they haven’t visited a school before that is so child centred, which was particularly pleasing since this is out main ‘driver’. Our school ethos is displayed in the main entrance and states:

It is all about the children.

The children are at the centre of everything we do.

The only people who have a right to be here are the children.

January 22nd 2016

It’s raining and extremely miserable outside in the playground. Despite this, the Celebration Assembly this morning was filled with celebrating the successes of a large number of children who achieved something this week.

We celebrated:

  • some of our 4 and 5 year olds learning about symmetry; they know that one side has to be ‘exactly the same as the other side’.
  • Jenny’s use of language in her cold and hot pieces of English work, which had been highlighted by the other children in her class when a prospective parent visited the class
  • 5 and 6 year old children learning about the essential components of a Fact File
  • two 5 year olds’ birthdays
  • a child teaching his peers some Sign Language
  • Castle class winning the Attendance Award clock with a very impressive weekly attendance of 99.3%

It was also great to hear the teachers talking about the valuable conversations they had had during this week’s Parent Teacher Consultations.

Teachers, you always work so hard and show such commitment but this week you have ‘gone that extra mile’ with at least 2 very late nights. Thank you.

January 15th 2016

Today we had an early lunch in order to watch history in the making, live! At 12.55 Major Tim Peake became the first ever ‘official’ British astronaut to do a spacewalk.

I’ve put ‘official’ in inverted commas as apparently Michael Foale became the first Briton to carry out a spacewalk in 1995 but flew under a US banner with Nasa.

Major Tim Peake and Nasa astronaut Tim Kopra were today repairing a faulty component outside the International Space Station (ISS).

I hope that the children will remember this day in the way that I recall being woken up early by my dad in 1969, when I was 11, to watch Neil Armstrong become the first man to walk on the moon.

In assembly this morning we listened to David Bowie singing Space Odessey. Sadly David Bowie died this week.

January 2016

Happy New Year to all our families and welcome back to school.

The teachers held a very successful training day on Monday based on Leadership. We hope you enjoyed the extra day’s holiday.

It was great for Miss Kinghorn and me to be on the school gate on Tuesday morning to meet and greet you. We were overwhelmed by the positive and energetic greetings we received by both the children and the families! Some adults seemed delighted the new term was beginning.

The children have already this week decided on the focus for the next round of University Degrees; it is all about performance.


November 9th 2015

I wanted to highlight just how amazing the most recent H2H exhibition was last Friday. I took time to wander around the hall at what was an awe inspiring collection of projects. Some of the items were just so creative. I was particularly taken by some of the Winners’ entries, especially the ones that had won the certificate for the ‘most independent’. These showed how much care and commitment children can put into producing their projects. I was still in the hall when the Foundation Stage children came to visit the Exhibition. I overheard a little boy saying ‘Awesome!’. I was in total agreement with him!





Today, Tuesday 14th April there was an extremely exciting event at the school and sadly none of the children were on site to see it. The new build has started and the first task was to move the large canopy from the quiet area to outside Secret Garden. It was amazing and I managed to capture it on video. Looking forward to showing the children on the big screen.

Today, Thursday 2nd April 2015 we have finished school, ready for the Easter holiday. It has been such a hard working term for the children and the staff.

Today in our final Celebration Assembly of the Spring terms we talked about the children being the very best behaved that they have ever been, to help their families over the next two weeks. Every child gave a thumbs up to say that they could achieve that so lets hope they are right!!

We would like to wish everyone a calm and relaxing holiday.


Today, Monday 20th October we are waiting for the wind and rain to arrive over night. The Hilltop flag has been tethered down just in case and the toys in the Foundation Stage playground have been secured!

Huge thanks to all those parents/carers who were able to attend last week’s Parent Teacher Consultations; we hope you found them useful.







It is Monday 29th September and this term is already rapidly disappearing. Huge thanks to those parents who were able to attend last week’s Meet the Teacher. Thank you so much for all the positive feedback and the EBIs (Even better ifs!). We will ensure those are in place for the next meeting of this type.

Spelling Groups have started today. So many children are doing well, although a number of the children need to continue to work hard on spelling and practise at home.





Today the date is 2nd of June 2014

This is the first day of Term 6, the last term of the academic year.

Plans are being organised for the end of the year. Miss Bedi is busy organising Sports’ Day, whilst Miss Artis is organising the next round of university degrees. The university degrees for this term will have an art theme, and there will be an opportunity for parents and carers to get involved.

All the teachers are still busy writing the children’s reports for the end of the year. Parents and carers will received these in July.



Today the date is 14.3.14

It is another sort of special date as it is a sort of palindrome – it works the same backwards!!

My challenge is to blog regularly and frequently – not just when there is a special date.

Today I had the privilege of walking around the school during the last of the “Around the World” University Degrees which have been happening all this week to raise Cultural Awareness. Huge thanks to all the staff who contributed and to Miss Lee who co-ordinated the whole event.

Look out on our University Degree page for pictures and a collage on the next newsletter.





Today the date is 11.12.13.

The three numbers are consecutive numbers. This comes around very rarely and in fact I have read that it will be over 90 years before it happens again.

We celebrated this phenomenon today by holding the second of our ‘Christmas under the Wonderscope’  performances. We hope you enjoyed it if you were able to attend. The children were fantastic, even more confident than yesterday.  Although I prepared the children for any potential disappointment that Father Christmas might not make it to Hilltop for a second day running he did in fact turn up and at exactly the right time as well. Very impressive!! The looks on the children’s faces were great to see. The chances of him making it three days in a row are slim I suspect, but then you never know………


Welcome to the first entry on the Hilltop Blog. I know this is quite late as the website has been up and running for a while!

I intend to update the blog whenever something exciting happens in school – which is quite often, so watch this space………………….

Today – Monday 9th December the children put together the one and only Dress Rehearsal for Christmas under the Wonderscope which has its first performance tomorrow afternoon.



Hilltop First School
Clewer Hill Road

Tel: 01753 863502