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Newsletters

Newsletters will be removed at the end of each term.  If there is a copy of an old newsletter you would like, please ask at the office.

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  • Issue 3 - 21st September

    Published 21/09/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    At Almond Hill, we believe ‘Learning Behaviours’ help prepare our children with the skills to help them adapt to the future challenges they will face in an ever-changing world. Children who are inspired learners have the confidence to recognise that by working hard and focusing on learning these skills, they can achieve success. The way we describe our learning behaviours changes as the children progress from the lower school to the upper school. However, the behaviours stay the same. Our learning behaviours are outlined below along with the key attributes we ask the children to consider within their learning. We actively promote the learning behaviours within the school and encourage you to do so at home and whilst in the wider community. More information on our learning behaviours can be found below. 

    Learning Behaviours

     

    Lower School

    Upper School

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/696E2AA5C0038A957ABE8F18A6415FE9.png
    Have a go

    • Marvellous mistakes – it’s okay to make mistakes and have another go
    • Try on my own but know where to find help.
    • Making mistakes means I’m learning
    • Use my own initiative to find a range of resources.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/2294FFD1ACEB6E0D51D94A7B2699FD53.png
    Being curious

    • Ask questions to learn more
    • Try things out in a different way.
    • Ask questions to extend my learning
    • Experiment with different ideas and choose the best one.


    Enjoy learning

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/501C54A0427203D5E7805D068059DA62.png

    • Show you are interested by sharing your ideas
    • Find out more about things that interest you
    • Be happy to join in.
    • Always be an active learner,
    • Ask to do more
    • Be happy to join in and encourage others.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/F4F0C8B087B5DE05C43BCE146179DF77.png
    Ready to learn

    • Show you can listen to adults and other children
    • Have all the equipment you need for the task
    • Focus on your own learning.
    • Show you can listen and respond
    • Have everything you need for the school day
    • Manage distractions independently.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/F5DB9739348A71D38309DC062F7CFB85.png
    Working together

    • Work with a learning partner and in different small groups
    • Follow class rules and routines.
    • Work in a range of groups taking on different roles
    • Follow class rules and routines with adults.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/_site/data/files/images/auto_upload/BBC6DCCBB8A31C22067E1B6725A60796.png
    Aiming high

    • Feel OK to take on a challenge
    • Know that feedback will help me improve
    • Remember what I have learned before and link it to new learning.
    • Look for ways to challenge yourself
    • Use previous feedback to help in future tasks
    • Make connections between different subjects and transfer to a wide range of situations.

    On Thursday 6th October, we would like to invite you to a 'Reading and Phonics Workshop' where we will outline our aims and expectations for reading and phonics at Almond Hill. During the workshop, we will share the ways in which we teach reading and comprehension, the additional provision that we provide to further develop the children and the information and resources that are available on our school website for you to support at home.

    To ensure that you don't miss out on this opportunity, we are holding three workshops on this day. There will be two in school, the first from 1.45pm-2.45pm, the second from 4pm-5pm and one online from 6pm-7pm. We do hope that one of these times will be convenient for you and look forward to seeing you.

    We will be holding the online meeting on TEAMS and the link for the meeting can be accessed here.

    Microsoft Teams meeting
    Join on your computer, mobile app or room device
    Click here to join the meeting
    Meeting ID: 323 423 924 767
    Passcode: uG3UUe
    Download Teams | Join on the web

    We are really grateful to those parents who completed the parent survey in the summer and as promised, I will be providing feedback over the coming weeks. We had 46 parents complete the survey which is great but we would love to hear from more parents on the next survey.  We were pleased to see lots of positives from the survey which can be seen from the charts below.

    Parent Survey Bar Charts

    This year, we have trialled offering swimming lessons to those children whose parents felt needed swimming lessons rather than the whole year group. Children that did not have swimming lessons had double PE with the Premier Sports coach. 

     

    I am so glad to see that parents appreciate and enjoy Seesaw and take on board the feedback that this is used in some classes more than others. In response to this, all Teaching Assistants will be receiving training this term to allow more people to have access to Seesaw and create posts.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

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  • Issue 2 - 14th September 2022

    Published 14/09/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    As I am sure you will have heard, the official date for the Queen’s State Funeral is Monday 19th September. This day will be a bank holiday and settings that are normally closed on bank holidays have been instructed to close as a mark of respect. This includes schools and so we will be closed to all students on this day.

     The State Funeral may be the first funeral your child has seen and it may open up discussions about bereavement. Winston's Wish is an excellent charity supporting bereavement and this is a link to some specific resources you may wish to look at to discuss the Queen's death with your child. https://www.winstonswish.org/supporting-you/supporting-children-death-of-queen/

    I have already held an assembly with all children this week and will hold another in future weeks to commemorate the life and impact of The Queen.


    Homework has a high focus this year for children to review and practice learning from the classroom. All children are expected to complete it as it builds on what is happening in school and it is vital for the children to remember and make progress. They will be supported to complete at playtime or lunchtime if it is not in on time. Home learning will be set on a Thursday and is due in on the following Tuesday. We will be giving paper copies to children and will upload the tasks on Seesaw so parents always get a copy. If your child experiences any difficulty with their home learning, we ask you to inform the class teacher.  We do not expect children to struggle on with an activity they are not fully sure of. If you have given your child significant support with their home learning, please send a note in to the class teacher.

    Following some queries last week, I would like to remind parents where to drop off/collect children. Children in year 3 and 4 must be taken to their classroom by an adult and should be collected from there too. Children in year 5 and 6 may walk to school independently with their parent’s permission. Children in year 5 should go to their classroom door via the basketball playground and children in year 6 can enter via the rear main doors to Acorn House. They do not need to be accompanied by their parent. Year 5 parents, if you are collecting your child, please meet them on the basketball playground and year 6 parents should meet in the quadrant. Children who have not been collected promptly, will be looked after by Mrs Burgess the Pastoral Lead so parents should come to the main office to sign their child out.

    If a child is regularly absent or late for school, they may fall behind with learning. This makes attendance fundamental in making sure young people become successful learners. When children attend school consistently, they are more likely to do well in their work but also build strong relationships and feel connected with the school community.  Good attendance also demonstrates reliability which will help prepare children for life beyond education and looks positive to future employers. For all of these reasons listed, myself and the governors have placed an even higher focus on achieving good attendance for all pupils this year. I think we can all agree that children have lost enough learning over the last few years and we need to work together to ensure that children have the opportunity to have the best chance to maximise the opportunities school provides.

    Children should not be absent from school to go on a family holiday. Only in exceptional circumstances may the Headteacher give permission for a child to be absent for this reason. If your child is absent from school because of a holiday which has not been agreed, this will be classified as an unauthorised absence. A fixed penalty notice may be issued when unauthorised absence exceeds 15 sessions within one academic year.  A whole day is made up of 2 sessions, a morning and afternoon session in accordance with Local Authority guidelines. Please consider this before completing a request for absence during term time. You can view our attendance policy on our website.

    In the spirit of moving on with normal life, I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming events planned for parents and children this term.  Please see the diary dates below for information about trips and visits planned for children and 3 opportunities for parents to come into school to find out more about what children are learning in school and how they can be supported at home including further information about the fabulous year 6 residential.

    Emma Fordham,

    Headteacher

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  • Issue 1 - 7th September 2022

    Published 07/09/22

     

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Welcome back! I hope you had a lovely summer and enjoyed the weather. A huge welcome to the families that have joined us both in year 3 and across the school.

    I am excited to announce that Mrs. Barham in year 3 is expecting a baby. I am sure you will join me in congratulating her and her husband.  Mrs. Barham will be with us until Christmas and I will inform parents of her replacement in due course.

    We do have some members of staff leaving us. Although he has only been at Almond Hill for a short time, Mr. Glynn is relocating and will be leaving us before half term.

    Mrs. Brocklehurst our deputy head will be leaving at half term. 3C will continue to be taught by Mrs. Campbell who will be joined by Mrs. Richardson as a job share.

    A message from Mrs. Brocklehurst: ‘It is with great sadness that I have to leave the Almond Hill family a lot sooner than I ever thought. After half term, I will be relocating further North to support my family. I will miss the staff and families that I have been fortunate to work with in my short time but Almond Hill will certainly stay in my heart for many years to come.

    We are very pleased with the success of the breakfast bagels and I am happy to say this will be continuing this term. We are very keen to ensure no child is hungry and this is an opportunity for those children that may have missed breakfast at home. The bagel bar will be open to all children on a Friday as a treat and will remain open Monday-Thursday for those children that need it. Whilst it is important that all children have a good, healthy breakfast, it is equally important that this isn’t used as a chance to have a second breakfast as over eating is also unhealthy. Please speak to children at home about this as we genuinely are happy to feed any child that has missed their breakfast for whatever reason and do not want anyone to feel that they cannot ask. If we notice the same children attending daily, we may contact parents to check that everything is okay.

    Our value for September is friendship. With children moving classes this year or indeed moving school, friendship continues to be important. Children can help others by offering to play with everyone and not leaving others out. We have a friendship bench on our lower school playground where children can go if they are struggling to find someone to play with. We also have a friendship room which is for children who may find social times particularly hard. This is run by our pastoral team and they offer a range of activities for children to do to ensure they enjoy their lunchtimes.  

    In addition to our monthly values, we will be having a whole school focus on the concept of gratitude this year. The dictionary definition of gratitude is: the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. ​

    It is more than just being grateful, or polite or kind. It’s all these things rolled into one. Showing gratitude is really important!  Gratitude is a powerful positive force. It has real impact on physical health, emotional wellbeing, motivation, engagement and belonging. This is both for the people that show gratitude and receive it. ​

    Gratitude is also the root of happiness. It tends to focus you on what you have and replace a sense of what you might be lacking. According to some philosophers, you can’t feel both grateful and unhappy, so when your mind focuses on all you are thankful for, you’re more likely to feel joy. This is the information that has and will continue to be shared with the children.

    Thank you to those parents who completed the parent feedback survey at the end of last year. I will share the details of this over the next few weeks.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

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