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  • Issue 4 - 27th September 2023

    Published 27/09/23

    Dear Families,

    It was lovely to see so many of you at our parent information meetings last week. For those of you who were not able to attend PowerPoints are available to view here:

    Year 3 Presentation
    Year 4 Presentation
    Year 5 Presentation
    Year 6 Presentation

    Last year, we had a whole year focus on the concept of gratitude and parents will be aware that children are encouraged to express gratitude both verbally and in writing regularly in school. At Almond Hill, we believe this is really important because not only does expressing gratitude have a positive effect on the people around you focusing on the good things in our own lives is proven to make people happier in themselves. I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to some parents who took the time last week to give positive feedback to members of Almond Hill staff. With permission, I would like to share some of the kind words that were sent by parents last week.

    ‘Thanks so much that’s a huge, huge help honestly it’s very much appreciated.’

    ‘I just wanted to send a happy message for a Friday to say that my son has settled in brilliantly to year 4.  He loves his teacher and he has told us very enthusiastically about the Almond Hill “climb” - it’s great that the school are guiding the children to be aspirational in this way. 

    I also think the faith tour that has been advertised today is a lovely idea and is really important for our children to experience. My eldest son still remembers visiting a Gurdwara at school and seeing all the swords!’

    Have a good week.

    Emma Fordham,

    Key Messages 

    Contact with the School
    If there is a change of collection arrangements for children during the day, please inform the school as early as possible. However, to be sure that the message has been seen, parents must ring and speak to someone. Emails may not be seen before the end of the school day which could result in messages not being passed on in time. 


    Parent Survey Feedback

    Over the last 2 weeks I have shared the graphs from last July’s parent survey. In the next few weeks, I will be responding in more detail to specific comments made by parents.

    In response to ‘Do you feel you receive adequate communication regarding what is happening at school?’ the vast majority of parents responded positively. However some parents raised queries that we feel we will be able to accommodate to make our practice even better. It was requested that dates related to clubs could be added to the school calendar and this is something the admin team are looking into. However we are aware that adding too much information to the calendar can make it hard to read so we will monitor this.

    Some parents requested greater clarity regarding transition at the end of the year. It is likely that classes will continue to be mixed at the end of Years 3,4 and 5 as it has proven to be successful the last 2 years. We agree class mix arrangements could be communicated more clearly and intend to improve on this next year.

    Parents thought that a PA system would be useful for sports day and we are looking to borrow one from a local secondary school this year.

    Finally, some parents would like parents’ evening slots to be longer. We have found that 10 minutes is sufficient for many families, however please do contact the class teacher via the year group email if you feel you need a longer or an additional meeting in order to discuss your child’s needs in enough detail. Teachers will always be happy to accommodate this.

    Autumn Parents’ Evenings

    We are planning Parents’ Evenings on Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th October. We are aware that these are the same dates as meetings at Letchmore, and we hope this helps working parents who may need to book time off work to attend.

    Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Richardson will be holding their meetings after half term as Mrs. Campbell will be having an operation before half term and will not be at school for two weeks.  We would like 3C parents to have the opportunity to meet both teachers together and so their meetings will be on Wednesday 1st and Friday 3rd November. 

    In response to feedback from parents last term, we will be trialling a hybrid system for these appointments, whereby it is parental choice whether the appointment is face to face or online for all times offered.  Appointment lengths are ten minutes and teachers will need to keep to strict timings.

    Our booking system opened at 7.00am on Monday 25th September and the booking system will close at 9.00am on Friday 6th October.  Should you wish to make any changes after this date, please contact the school office.

    The system we use for booking these meetings is the same as we recently used for clubs.  Please visit to book your appointment.  Please log in with the following information: your child’s first name, surname and date of birth.

    Please see the email sent to parents on Friday 22nd September for additional information.

    Year 3 Parents to Lunch

    Year 3 parents are invited to have a school lunch with their child so that you can both sample our delicious meals.  Each class will be invited in for lunch to be served at 12.15pm on separate days:-

    Wednesday 4th October – 3C (Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Richardson)
    Deadline for orders Wednesday 27th September 

    Wednesday 11th October – 3A (Miss. Andrews)
    Deadline for orders Wednesday 4th October

    Wednesday 18th October – 3W (Mrs. Ward)
    Deadline for orders Wednesday 11th October

    Please see the email sent to parents on Friday 22nd September for additional information.

    The parent lunch is an opportunity to sample the food served by Herts Catering at lunchtime. Children who usually have packed lunch are welcome to have a school dinner on this day but if not, they will eat their packed lunch with the rest of the year group. Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 will be eating lunch in their classrooms on this day and the options will remain the same.

    Year 3 Seesaw

    I am pleased to tell you that all parents/children with consent have now been added to Seesaw. You will have received an email inviting you to connect to your child’s journal. Should you require any assistance, please contact Mrs. Jones at the office.

    Parent Forum Invitation

    All parents are welcome to attend the first forum of the year with our parent volunteers and Miss Simmons. This will take place in school on Monday 16th October 5:30 - 6:30pm. Please email (FAO Miss Simmons) if you would like to attend.

    Arbor Parent Portal Whole School Roll Out

    As some parents will know, we have begun rolling out Arbor Parent Portal to our Year 3 families. The Arbor Parent Portal gives families access to their child’s attendance information and personal record. Once logged in, parents can request changes such as email addresses, phone numbers of emergency contacts and postal address. You are also able to update medical and dietary requirements as necessary. We use Arbor to store parental consent and parents will receive an alert should they need to give consent for any specific events. We will now begin rolling this out to other year groups starting with Year 6 this week. Once you receive your ‘welcome to Arbor email,’ please log on and check the details held are accurate.

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  • Issue 3 - 20th September 2023

    Published 20/09/23


    Dear Parents/Carers,

    A big thank you to the Year 5 and 6 parents who have joined us for the parent information meetings this week. I hope you have found them useful. We are looking forward to seeing Year 3 parents tonight and Year 4 parents tomorrow. Please can I remind parents that the meetings will take place in the hall 3.30-4.30pm. Parents can access the hall doors in the quadrant.

    Last week, we had our first achievement assembly. We celebrated children’s achievements both inside and outside of school, shared certificates from the Summer Reading Challenge and invited children to play their musical instruments to their peers when entering and leaving the hall. The atmosphere was lovely and I hope children enjoyed it. We are looking forward to the next one on Friday. If parents have any specific questions regarding this, please direct them to Mrs. Small (Assistant Headteacher) by emailing

    The FOAH have lots of wonderful events planned for this term. Please see information below for what’s coming.

    Have a good week.

    Emma Fordham,

    Key Messages

    Parent Survey - SEND Graphs



    I recently wrote to parents about the importance of attendance and have also been speaking to the children about this. In order to keep this high profile and in discussion with the children, I have decided to provide some incentives. The class with the highest weekly attendance (which has always been celebrated on the newsletter) will also receive the attendance trophy and teddy (yet to be purchased!) and an extra fifteen minutes playtime on a Friday afternoon. The logic being that their attendance is so good they can 'afford' some extra minutes of playtime as they have been in school all week. I have explained to the children and please can parents be reassured that the attendance figures of children with significant medical reasons for not being in school, will not negatively affect the class total as this cannot be avoided and the figures can be adapted to remove this impact.

    Clubs – Waiting List

    We know that there were some people who wanted to book onto a club this term who were unable to due to that club being full. We are going to keep a log of those people so we can offer clubs to children on a ‘waiting list’ basis or we could offer those children first refusal on clubs later in the year. The clubs that were full were; multi-sports (Year 3), stop-frame animation (Year 4) and football (Year 6). Please note, we cannot guarantee which clubs will be run each term but we hope by doing this, clubs can be allocated as fairly as possible. If would like to add your child to the waiting list, please complete the form below.

    Whilst on the topic of clubs, please can I remind parents that at Almond Hill, we do our upmost to ensure a fair allocation for all clubs and remove barriers such as cost by making clubs freely available to all. This is facilitated by the school funding Premier clubs and for staff kindly volunteering their time free of charge. Therefore, although we would love to offer even more clubs, we are limited by cost and time. Parents may know that last year, our highly successful football club (who won both the league and the cup) was run by parent volunteers. If there are any parents with specific skills who wish to offer their time to run a club, we would be delighted! Please email FAO Mrs Fordham.

    Abilities in Me – Fundraiser – 25th September

    We are excited to tell you that we will be having a fundraising day on Monday 25th September to raise money for a fantastic charity. As most of you will know, The Abilities in Me Foundation writes children’s stories based on real children with a range of conditions. Money raised goes into: creating more books to help raise awareness, supporting school SEND projects and running family support events which they are looking to expand across the UK. If you would like to find out more, please go to: All teachers will read at least one book from the range to children during the day. For a suggested donation of 50p, children are invited to wear an item of brightly coloured clothing to school on Monday 25th September. Parents of children in Years 4, 5 and 6 will remember that the author of this book series visited the school (free of charge) last year and donated her entire series to our school library. Children were truly inspired by her visit and her books so this is a lovely way to support the charity. Payments can be made on School Gateway.

    Opportunities to Join our Parent Forum

    The benefits of the strong partnership we hold with you cannot be underestimated and it is with this in mind that I would like to extend an invitation for parents to join an Almond Hill ‘Parent Forum’ which was set up by Miss Simmons last year. The aim of the group is to share and discuss important educational issues affecting the school and to get parents even more involved in decision making that directly affects your children.  It is an opportunity to provide feedback, discuss future initiatives and national news related to education.

    Each and every one of you is an expert in what it is like to be a parent at our school and would be welcome.

    Miss Simmons plans half termly meetings to discuss an agenda jointly formed between the school leadership team and parent volunteers. The most important thing is that parents get involved. We would love approximately three parents per year group and with so many new families joining, we wanted to remind you of this opportunity.

    Please email FAO Miss Simmons if you would like to get involved, or even just find out more. This is a really exciting opportunity to further develop the home school partnership.


    We have had some reports of children with headlice. Please check your child’s hair and treat accordingly. Please see the website for advice on treatment:

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  • Issue 2 - 13th September 2023

    Published 13/09/23

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    I hope you are all settling back in to school life and all of our new pupils, parents and staff have felt welcome.

    Before we finished for the summer last year, we asked parents to complete a feedback survey. These responses are invaluable and are used to aid decision making for the year ahead so a big thank you to those who took part. We didn’t have quite as many responses that we have had previously and would urge parents to take the time to complete these surveys when the opportunity arises to ‘have your say’. In our newsletter over the coming weeks, I will share the feedback with you and any actions taken as a result. This week we will begin with sharing the graphs (see below).

    Year 6 will be taking part in a Writing Day on Thursday which is a fantastic day with the aim to inspire children to write. All year groups have a day booked in this academic year.  We have invited visitors from the NSPCC in to speak to children in Year 5 and 6 about safeguarding and ways to keep themselves safe. Look out for information on our newsletter about these visits.

    Next week, we invite parents to come in for their parent information meetings in the hall and hope to see many of you there. This is a great time to ask questions. A reminder of these dates and times can be found below. After school clubs will also begin from Monday. I hope parents found the new system easy to navigate. This is the same system we use for parents’ evening and will use it going forward to book events and clubs.

    Have a good week.

    Emma Fordham,

    Key Messages

    Parent Survey Graphs


    A Reminder of our Uniform Expectations

    My Clothing supply Almond Hill Junior School uniform complete with embroidered school logos.

    Please support us by following our uniform expectations. You will see that skorts have been added to our PE kit if children would prefer these to shorts. Please ensure both shorts and skorts are an appropriate length.

     For our standard uniform we would like all children to wear the following:  

    • Standard red cardigan or jumper*  
    • White polo shirt* (children in year 6 may wear a shirt and tie) 
    • Black trousers or skirt  
    • In summer, children may wear red and white gingham dresses.  
    • Black shorts/skirts
    • Plain black shoes/trainers 
    • Black/red tights preferred

    PE kit 

    • Red crew neck t-shirt (no collar)* 
    • Black shorts/skorts (appropriate length) for summer and black jogging bottoms for winter
    • Children can wear their usual red school jumper or black sweatshirt/hoody
    • Black unbranded tracksuits for PE are preferred

    *items can have the Almond Hill logo on but without is absolutely fine.  

    We run regular pre-loved clothing sales to help keep the cost down. The next one is after school on Wednesday 4th October. Please let us know if you have any issues with uniform or PE kits. Mrs Hukin or Mrs Burgess will be happy to help.

    Stationery and items from home

    Please do not allow children to bring stationery in from home - we have all they need in the classrooms and friendship room and resources for lunchtimes.  It is better for children to all have the same resources as it can cause upset when items are lost, borrowed or broken.  Please send the minimum into school and ensure all items are clearly labelled (I.e. uniform, PE kit and water bottles).

    A message for new families to the school

    Please can all parents log on to Arbor and complete the consent section. Without consent, children may miss out on opportunities throughout the year like local trips/visits, photos, films etc. Parents are of course welcome to decline consent but please do this on the portal.

    Thank you to those parents who have already completed this but there are still lots outstanding. If you need any help with completing the consents on Arbor, please come and speak to us in the office. As previously mentioned, we know parents are keen to get started on Seesaw however this cannot be done without parental consent.

    School Dinners

    Please log onto  to order

    Next week we will be on week 3.

    Please don’t forget to preorder. It can be done from home for the day, week, month or even the term!


    Year 3 – 97%          
    Year 4 – 95%
    Year 5 – 97%          
    Year 6 – 94%
    All students – 96%
    Class winners – 5S - 97%
    The government expectation for attendance is 96

    Diary dates 

    Click the months below to open our calendar.  

    Did you know, you can subscribe to our calendar to keep up to date with the events going on within the school?

    Follow the link below, select 'subscribe' and follow the instructions for your device.

    School Calendar









    House Points

    Click the link below to see our house points totals. 

    Almond Hill Achievements 

    Click the button below to see all the wonderful things our children have achieved outside of school. 

    In Other News...



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  • Issue 1 - 6th September 2023

    Published 06/09/23

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    A big welcome back to you all. I hope you enjoyed the summer holidays (when the sun finally appeared!). I hope our new families are settling in well and we wish you a warm welcome to our school.

    Our value for September is friendship. Children can always 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 lunch times.

    We have lots of exciting events this term including visitors to the school and school trips (please check the diary dates further down). As well as this, I would like to draw your attention to the parent information meetings that are planned for w/c 18th September. In response to the parent survey (which we will feed back over the coming weeks), we have decided to run these to provide families with information on exciting school initiatives (such as The Climb) and show you where information is on our website to support you at home like the long and medium term plans for curriculum. These will be held in the hall with Year 3, 4 and 5 running from 3.30-4.30pm. Parents can make their way to the hall once they have collected children from class and children and siblings are welcome to stay. The Year 6 meeting will run from 5.00-6.30pm and will run in conjunction with the Grafham meeting.

    Please take the time to read our newsletter as this is our main method of sharing information with you at home. For those of you who don’t know, the newsletter is on our website and is shared with families via email on a Wednesday afternoon.

    Have a good week.

    Emma Fordham,

    Key Messages

    Achievement Assemblies and Summer Reading Challenge

    Mrs. Small, our new assistant head is responsible for physical and mental wellbeing and as such, she will be introducing Friday achievement assemblies starting on Friday 15th September. We will begin with celebrating the children who completed the summer reading challenge over the holidays. If your child took part, please email a photo of their certificate FAO Mrs Fordham (reading subject lead) or they can bring in their certificate. I know children are very keen to be awarded their 5 house points. On this note, we will be inviting children to bring any trophies, certificates, awards or photos from achievements outside of school to share with pupils in assembly (as well as being added to our website/newsletter).  In addition to this, we will be celebrating the musical talents of our children and inviting those who play instruments to play for their peers whilst they enter the hall for assembly. If your child would like to do this, tell them to speak to Mrs. Small.


    Parents will receive a letter this week regarding attendance and I would urge you all to take the time to read the information. With the cost of living crisis and more pressure on families, we saw an increase in the number of holidays taken in term time last year. I would like to remind parents that I cannot authorise time off during term time unless for exceptional circumstances. I understand parents may feel that the time off will not affect their child significantly negatively however the overall education of the class is affected if the teacher has to repeatedly catch up those who have missed prior learning.


    We use Seesaw across the school to share and celebrate the children’s work. New parents will receive an invitation to join the app but only once consent has been given. This has been sent to you via the Arbor Parent Portal. For more information, follow the link below:


    For those of you who don’t know, we have a school Facebook page. We already have 170 of you following but would love to see many more of you including our new families! Please follow the link to follow our page:

    Other Key Apps

    Please download the School Gateway app to receive messages and emails from school. You will need to give your email address and you will be given a PIN number to set up your account. The email address must be the same as the one held on our school records.

    To order and pay for school dinners, you will need to use School Grid.

    Next week, we will be on week 2. 

    Parents of children who have joined us this term will have access to the Arbor Parent Portal. Many of you have already logged in which is fantastic but if you haven’t and need help with this, please contact our office. For all other year groups, this will be rolled out in the coming months.

    Coming to School/Mobile Phones

    School policy allows for children in Years 5 and 6 to bring a mobile phone to school for safety reasons if they travel to and from school independently. Mobile phones must be switched off whilst on school premises and not be used during the school day. There is no need for parents to inform the class teacher/office if their child is walking home independently. I would ask that children do not however bring their phones on school trips or after school events.

    Please can I remind parents, especially those in Year 5 and 6, not to arrive at school before 8.45am. I appreciate some children are keen to get to school but the school grounds are not supervised before this time and accidents can happen.

    Contacting the School

    There will be times, as parents, where you need to contact the school and general enquiries can be made via the school office by phone or email. You can also use the year group email addresses to contact your child’s year group.

    If you have any concerns regarding your child, please make an appointment after school to see the class teacher initially as in most cases they will have the most up to date information on your child. If at this point you still feel you would like to speak to someone at our school, please first contact Miss Simmons, our Deputy Head ( or if your child has special educational needs or disabilities, Mrs Birchall our SENCo (  The Designated Teacher with overall responsibility for Child Protection is Mrs Fordham, with Mrs Birchall and Mrs Burgess as deputies. The deputies (especially Mrs Burgess) deal with day to day safeguarding issues but all cases are shared with the whole safeguarding team.

    Mrs Fordham can be contacted using the admin email address and will respond accordingly. However, depending on the nature of your email, it may be passed on to a more appropriate member of staff for a response.  Mrs Fordham is often unavailable at short notice and an effective and more efficient response is often achieved by speaking to someone else on the team. That being said, Mrs Fordham will always make the time to speak to parents if all other avenues have been exhausted, the matter is extremely urgent or parents have a specific reason why they believe she is the only person who can deal with the matter.

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