Mailbag 18 October 2019


Mailbag 18th October 2019

Parents of KS2 children may have heard from them about a robotics workshop they’ve all taken part in over the last few weeks. Five Bristol University engineering students from Robogals (an international student-run organisation that aims to inspire, engage and empower young women to consider studying engineering and related fields) have been bringing in laptops and Lego Mindstorm robots.

The students have worked with the children in small groups, looking at the range of sensors on the robots, including touch and distance sensors, and teaching them how to write some simple block coding to programme the robots to complete a range of tasks. What an inspiring opportunity!

The children have also been inspired by visitors from Axis Trampoline and Gymnastics Club this week. As part of his house captain election campaign, Ollie Howells (Yr 6) had pledged to arrange for motivational speakers to promote sport and well-being. Olly Monro and Oscar Percival (both from Axis) delivered a fantastic assembly about how they became trampolining coaches and competitors. Hillcrest also had the treat of watching Oscar, Ollie Howells AND Mr Boyle do a back somersault! Well done Mr B!


Hillcrest is a nut free school - There are children at Hillcrest with severe nut allergies for whom peanuts or tree nuts (or even being with someone who has just eaten them) could trigger a life threatening reaction.

You can imagine how worrying this must be for their parents, who have to place their trust in the whole Hillcrest community to keep their child safe.

Please be mindful of these children whenever you are sending any food into school - snacks, packed lunches or cake sale contributions. It's not just the obvious things, like peanut butter. Don't forget that many cereal bars, chocolate spreads and biscuits contain nuts and/or peanuts, as does pesto.

Double check for nuts - Keep our school safe for everyone!

Yr 6 secondary school applications must be in by midnight on 31st October. Click here to apply on line.

Gateway payments by card only, please - The processing time for receipts and refunds by bank transfer is just too long. The BACS option will be disappearing from the payment screen.

Chartwell’s Autumn/Winter menu, which starts on 6th November, when we come back after half term, is on the school website here.

Reading - We are delighted that so many parents and children are using our outdoor Bookbarn in the mornings and afternoons; and it is also wonderful to see so many tokens in our Read-o-meter every morning. We clearly love reading here at Hillcrest!

It is so important that the children are reading regularly - do ensure your child is going home with a book in their book bag each day, of the right level.

Please remember to bring our books back though! The Bookbarn is becoming a victim of its own success - we are very quickly running out of books, particularly in the lower levels! Can we ask that every child leaves with just ONE book in their book bag? And if you have any books at home can you please return them?

Yr 6 and Yr 4 children will be bringing home letters today from the school nursing service. Yr 6’s is a consent form for a routine height and weight check; Yr 4’s is a reminder about the importance of eye tests.

Volunteers - Friends of Hillcrest would like to run our usual Christmas Fair on Saturday 7th December. They could really do with someone, perhaps a group of friends, from the school community to co-ordinate the event. The Friends committee will provide plenty of support and guidance on what is needed and lots of parents will muck in on the day, they just need someone to head up the organising. If you fancy getting into the festive spirit and helping Friends deliver another fantastic Christmas Fair please contact Kate Cook.

Safer Route to school - Do you use the Copse Road/Arnos Vale cut through? A volunteer is needed to lock the gate at 4pm on Tuesdays. Contact Cath Atkinson if you can help.

Music performance dates for your diary:

Yr 5 & 6 Rock Band Project will be performing on Wednesday 20th November - Yr 6 at 9:30am  and Yr 5 at 2:30pm in the main hall.

Yr 3 & Yr 4 Ukulele performances will be on Friday 22nd November - Yr 4 at 9:30am & Yr 3 at 2:30pm, again, in the main hall.

Future Stars Holiday Club, a well-established Bristol provider, will be running a club at Hillcrest in the October half term. Click here for all the information. This will be a try-out for Future Stars (with a view to them running clubs at Hillcrest through all the school holidays) so we would appreciate your feedback after the holiday, on their booking system, customer service and the quality of their coaches and activities. Thank you.

Totterdown Children's Community Workshop also have spaces available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at half term. They offer fun activities and free play for children. They will have lots of Halloween fun for the children this holiday. TCCW is an Ofsted Outstanding holiday school club. For any information or to book a place call 0117 9715568 or 07760 724893 or email

Football Match Report from Mr Taylor - Huge congratulations to the Hillcrest Harriers on Tuesday for winning their first match of the season 5-1 on Tuesday against Greenfield E-ACT.

It was a hard fought game and the skill and sportsmanship the boys showed throughout was fantastic.

Our goals came from our strikers and wingers, Josh Musson (2), Reuben Hill, Sam Andrews and Kingston Cardoza. Behind them was a high quality midfield full of running and passing ability in the shape of the likes of Moses Cardoza and Luc Scrimshaw. Finally, we had a rock solid goalkeeper, Ollie Howells, and defence, Marcus Perry and Fin Kelly, who were confident enough not only to block the attacks of the opposition, but also to start our own attacks by playing the ball out from the back with precision and composure.

Special thanks to Marcus’ Dad, Duncan who got to Redcatch Park long before Mr Taylor and the team arrived and set up our brand new football goals (thank you Friends) and corner flags. Our new home pitch was looking top notch.


Term 2 Enrichment - Click here to see our programme for next term.

Booking is open from 3.30 today.

Alongside Early and Later-Gators and current favourites, we have some exciting new activities:

Archaeology Club, Young Creators STEM Camp (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths), Minecraft Club, Maths Challenge with Ms Ackerman, the ever-popular Mad Science AND extra Futsal, Dance and Yoga sessions!

Places are limited so book promptly to avoid disappointment.

The Christmas term is a super busy one for our teachers so Sphero Club, Gardening Club and Bug Club are taking a break and will return later in the school year.

Our current sports squads will be added to Gateway automatically for Term 2, so there is no need for parents to book places for those children. (Membership of the squads is by invitation from Mr Taylor, Mr Boyle, Miss North and Mr McIntyre. Miss North will be holding Netball trials for Yr 4 and any other interested Yr 5 & 6 children at the beginning of Term 4. Yr 5 & 6 children interested in joining the Running squad should speak to Mr Boyle to arrange a trial session.)



Let’s Pretend lunchtime drama lessons

Yr 5 & 6 Rock Band Project performance invitation


Community Notices

Outdoors Project Half Term Activities

SRUFs Wreath Making Workshop - tickets will be available from Sophie (Orlas mum) - Eagle class and Cheralyn (Erys's mum) - Puffin class.      


Look out for your next Mailbag on Tuesday.