Skip to content ↓

Newsletters

Page 1

  • Issue 19 - 1st February 2023

    Published 01/02/23

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    On Tuesday 7th February, we will be joining schools and youth organisations across the UK in celebrating Safer Internet Day 2023.  Safer Internet Day is a global campaign to promote the safe and responsible use of technology, which calls on children and young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers and more, to help to create a better internet. 

    Using the internet safely and positively is a key message that we promote in school and celebrating Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity for us to re-emphasise the online safety messages we deliver throughout the year.  We would be delighted if you could join us in celebrating the day by continuing the conversation at home. To help you with this, the UK Safer Internet Centre have created some free activities and information for parents and carers which are available at: https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2023/parents-and-carers

    Whether you have 5 minutes to start a conversation or hours to spare, there are top tips, quizzes and films which you can use at home with your child. This is particularly pertinent as in the last few weeks, I have several parents contact me about unkind and inappropriate contact via social media and technological devices. As a school, it is our responsibility to educate the children about safe and responsible use of technology but ultimately, we do not have the power to enforce this at home. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that parents remain in control of the technology their children are using. Apart from the fact that misuse can seriously affect the wellbeing of your children both inside and outside of school, an increasing amount of teaching time is being spent dealing with issues that start outside of school and end up affecting the children’s ability to learn in school.

    Please can I remind parents that there is no longer a need to test for COVID-19. If your child is unwell and unable to attend school, please follow our usual absence reporting procedure. You do not need to show proof of a positive test. If someone in the household has tested positive, or has symptoms for COVID, your child can still come to school providing they feel well. The below website may be a usual reference for parents:

    https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/

    I would like to give parents of year 6 children some advance notice of some Easter school provision that we will be running in the holidays. Not all children will be invited and we understand that some parents will have made plans or have other commitments at this time. For a small number of targeted pupils for whom the provision will be suitable, there will be 3 days of Easter school running on Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th April. Each day will start at 9.30am and finish at 2.30pm. With permission, children may come to and leave from school independently and children will be expected to bring lunch each day. Miss Simmons will be leading the provision and further details including the invitations will be sent after half term. I just thought it would be useful to have some advance notice.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 18 - 25th January 2023

    Published 24/01/23

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Strike Information

    You will have seen in the news that some teachers may be taking strike action on Wednesday 1st February, Wednesday 1st March, Wednesday 15th March and Thursday 16th March. As I previously advised, at the moment, we do not have any plans to close the school or any specific classes. The strike is about the level of funding provided by the government for schools and the terms and conditions. The argument is not with our school but we could be affected by the strike. Almond Hill is committed to doing everything possible to ensure school remains open on strike days.

    However, we have no means of knowing for certain which staff are members of the NEU or whether they will decide to take strike action, right up to the morning of the strike days. If we are not able to guarantee the safety of the children on the day, we may need to close some classes that would not be adequately supervised and parents may need to make other arrangements for their children on that day. I know that making alternative arrangements for your children will be extremely difficult for some parents which is why I wanted to be completely transparent with you as early as possible. Further complicating the process, the government and unions are updating their advice and guidance daily and the school is compelled to work within the remits of the law regarding employee rights. 

    At the moment, we remain of the view that all classes will remain open and will advise parents as soon as possible if anything changes. This could be a possibility up until the day of the strikes. 

    Raise Resilience
    We have had a fantastic response to our Raise Resilience online classes for parents and will send further details about how to join in due course. Mrs Burgess, (Pastoral lead), will be contacting further parents next week to discuss why we think your child would benefit from your participation. Initially, we had planned to fund 10 places but demand has outstripped supply which is a truly wonderful thing. We believe that the resilience programme we run in school (which is affiliated to this parenting course) is very effective and teaches skills which are invaluable to a happy journey through junior school in preparation for secondary education. For this reason, we are committed to spending some of the school budget on this. However, if you feel you are in a position to finance this course for yourselves you will have the opportunity to do so in our next communication. 

    Safeguarding and Online Safety

     I have had more than one report already this term about children being unkind on social media. I know it can be difficult to say no to your children especially when it seems everyone else is allowing their children to communicate via social media and apps. However, most primary aged children are not mature enough to fully understand the implications of using social media and this is why they are not recommended for this age group. Not only do they not fully comprehend the hurt and distress they can cause, they also do not understand the risk at which they put themselves by communicating in this way. Once online always online- even if you have taken it down yourself, someone else can have screen shot/video recorded it and shared over and over. We advise parents to go to the police if they believe their child is a victim of cyberbullying as this is beyond the remit of the school. 

    It has come to my attention that some parents have been entering the school grounds via the vehicle gates at the drop off. If the Year 3 gate has been padlocked shut, this is because we are trying to avoid slips. Please use the gate nearest Walkern Road in this eventuality. May I politely request that parents never use the vehicle gate when on foot. This suggests to your children that it is safe and may encourage them to use it when you are not there, resulting in an accident. 

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 17 - 18th January 2023

    Published 18/01/23

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Parents will know as a school we are working very hard with the pupils to develop resilience and stoicism. Work in this area takes place in all year groups as part of our ongoing personal development programme but also as part of the taught curriculum in Year 5. There is more information about this on the website and you might find it useful to look at these resources with your children if you feel they need to develop their resilience. In an ever-changing world, the ability to adapt to the unexpected and manage barriers and difficulties as they arise is one of the most useful skills that our children can develop on the journey through junior school in preparation for secondary education. 

    We have invested in resources to help teach this important life skill in school and as part of this investment have secured some funded places on a programme for parents who are wishing to help their children with this, called 'Raise Resilience'. The course is delivered virtually on zoom and will start on the 16th February running once a week for 6 weeks from 7.30 -8.30pm. Each session is recorded so parents can catch up on demand. Please consider carefully about whether you might be able to benefit from this rare opportunity which is fully funded by school. If your child experiences regular feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed by their learning or frequently falling out with their peers, this could be the course for you.  Children spend far more time overall at home with their carers than at school so anything we are teaching at school is only really successful if it is being reiterated at home. Families have busy lives but this could be an excellent investment of time if you are often needing to support your child at home to help them navigate being happy and successful. Please click here to register your interest with the name and class of your child. Mrs Burgess (Pastoral lead) may also be in touch if we feel this may be of benefit to your child. 

    There are lots of opportunities to get involved with school this term such as Parent Teacher Interviews (there will be increased opportunities for face to face meetings as requested in a recent survey), Sex and Relationships Education Information meeting for Year 6 parents in advance of teaching, a writing afternoon for the whole school where parents can listen to a short talk delivered by our writing subject lead Mrs Cleaves before visiting your child’s class to engage in writing activities. We are also really excited to hold our first parents' forum meeting led by Miss Simmons. Keep an eye on the newsletter and diary dates section for further information. 

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 16 - 11th January 2023

    Published 11/01/23

     

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Welcome back. I hope you were able to enjoy some quality time with family over the Christmas period. I'm pleased to welcome you back to the start of the spring term where our focus will remain on gratitude which is ever important as we reflect upon Christmas and look forward to the coming weeks.

    Safeguarding and Online Safety
    Some children will have excitedly opened new internet enabled devices over Christmas and will be branching out to new areas of the digital world. It is important that parents understand how to set up parental controls on new devices to keep children safe online. We regularly share tips on our website for various devices including Android and Apple as well as tips and tools to help parents navigate this ever-evolving world. Please make sure you are aware of the age limits for certain apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and TikTok as these are not suitable for younger children. Supervising your child’s online use is the best way to monitor their interactions and what they are doing online. We would encourage parents to check WhatsApp and discourage the use of groups as you tell us these often cause problems for children in our school. If your child is in a WhatsApp group, please remind them not to invite people into the group that others do not know.

    At Almond Hill, we pride ourselves on what we feel is excellent safeguarding and are always looking for ways to improve this. We continually work with our children to ensure they know how to correctly raise any safeguarding concerns or worries and help them to develop their network of support using the network hand model.  As adults, we have a duty of care to ensure 'all' children are safe. We are asking you as parents and guardians to take a moment to reflect on whether you know how to raise a concern to ensure we are keeping all children safe. If your gut instinct is telling you something is wrong, please trust this intuition - it is far better to raise or query and it to be nothing, rather than not to take action and it to turn out to be something that has negatively impacted a child or put them in danger. Please continue to be vigilant and have an open mind to 'it can happen anywhere' approach. 

    Almond Hill Pyramid
    We had an excellent day across the school on the first day of term last Friday when all year groups reviewed rules and routines for successful learners. I visited all of the classes during the day and the main topic they seemed to agree on was that too much learning time was wasted in every lesson and this was an area that they felt they could improve upon.  All children were taught the meaning of stoicism at an age-appropriate level which closely links to the mindset of gratitude and skills of resilience that we strive to embed into the curriculum for our children to help them be happy and successful. We also unpicked the Almond Hill Pyramid and what this means in practice. It would be interesting to ask your child the key thing they learnt about and what they will be working on this term to see if they can remember what was discussed. 

    Linked to the concept of stoicism, I discussed the following quote with the children in assembly on Monday (which you might recognise on the window display by the quadrant). "Do not complain; think your way through difficulties.' Children suggested reasons why just complaining was not a good idea - which I recorded on the flip chart in red and reasons for trying to think your way through difficulties which I recorded in green.

    Year 3 and 4 

    Year 5 and 6

     Below is a sample of what was shared in assembly.

    Home Learning
    Parents will notice this week that we continue to work to improve home learning so that it supports the most crucial core learning that we are covering in school and is easy for parents to support their child with. We have kept the most successful elements of reading, writing and maths practice and added in some learning key definitions to help children secure in their long-term memories some of the need-to-know information required as they pass through the school and into Year 7. We have also added a parental engagement box. If you want to tell or ask us something related to home learning, then there is now a space for this. Evidently it is perfectly acceptable to leave this box empty if nothing needs to be said. Across each year group, there is an 'age related' home learning sheet, another separate activity which provides opportunity for further challenge in one of the core subjects of reading, writing or maths for those children that want or need extension and a further sheet which hones in on more personalised and appropriate learning for those children with additional needs.

    All children are expected to complete their home learning and will be given the opportunity to do so in school if not brought in for Tuesdays. This is because we value home learning and it supports what is being taught in school. We do not want any child to get behind or be disadvantaged because they have gaps in their learning as they have not been able to complete their home learning. Please speak to your child's class teacher directly if you need more information or if you need any help with supporting your child to complete their tasks. 

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 15 - 21st December 2022

    Published 21/12/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    I would like to start this newsletter with a huge thank you to the Friends of Almond Hill for their hard work organising wonderful events for the children this term. We have had a silent disco for Halloween, sweet jars, refreshments at our Christmas musicals, a fantastic present room, scratch cards and Christmas cards to name a few! Without their commitment, these events that the children love so much, would not happen. Next term, we can look forward to a present room for Mother’s Day and Easter chocolate jars and movie nights!

    A big well done to the upper school and the choir for a wonderful carol concert this week led ably by Mrs. Cleaves who has fought through illness to ensure this took place.  It was lovely to see the church full after so many years and to hear the children sing.  A special thank you to the church warden at St Nicholas who has been so welcoming.

    We will see some changes to our staffing when we return to school on Friday 6th January. Mrs. Barham starts her maternity leave at the end of this term so we are welcoming back Mrs. Geer who will be ‘team teaching’ with Miss Elliott who joined us at the start of last week. We wish Mrs. Barham and husband all the very best with their new arrival in the spring. 

    I would like to wish all our families a restful and happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 14 - 14th December 2022

    Published 14/12/22

     

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    I hope everyone enjoyed some time in the snow on Monday. I appreciated your understanding regarding the school closure and trust you know that these decisions are not made lightly and we know that for some parents, unexpected time off can be difficult. We will use as many ways we can to communicate a school closure including, email/text, Twitter, Facebook and our website – email or text usually being our first method of contact. If you don’t already, like or follow our Facebook page for updates. Thank you to teachers for organising some home learning for children to complete. This was optional but for those that needed it, I hope this helped to relieve some pressure.  I would like to extend my thanks to those parents who expressed gratitude for how well the site was cleared. Mr. Browne worked extremely hard and I have passed on my sincere thanks to him.

    I was delighted so many people came to the reading open afternoon last week where teachers were able share tips for helping your child with their reading at home and everyone got a bookmark and reading spine (booklist) to help with questions and book choices. All children, regardless of whether a parent attended, were given these. If your child didn’t get one, please speak to your child’s class teacher.

    Children in year 3 and 4 performed for their families in their Christmas musicals last week. They were fantastic! I hope parents enjoyed them and well done to the children for their wonderful performances. A big thank you to the year group staff for organising and FOAH for providing refreshments for the evening performances.  

    St Nicholas' Church Carol Services
    A small but significant number of year 5 parents expressed disappointment that we were not able to invite them to the church carol service to be held on Monday 19th December due to their fire regulations. However, with some wrangling and rejigging, I am thrilled to be able to report that we will now be undertaking the carol service at the church both on Monday 19th December and Tuesday 20th December. This will mean that families of children in year 6 and the choir will still be invited on Monday 19th December (the limit for visitors is a maximum of 100 so please only one family member per child) and families of children in year 5 (and the choir) will be invited to attend on Tuesday 19th December with the same limit in place. A separate email will be sent to families of children in year 4 that are in the choir.  We respectfully ask parents not to enter the church until 1.35pm so children can get into position. The service does not start until 1.45pm.  Remember, parking is limited and staff will be assisting over 150 children in crossing the road so please do not park on the bend or approach to the church. For those families who remember, historically, families stand at the back of the church and the children use most of the seating. This is the first time we have been able to invite families since the refurbishment. 

    At the end of both services, children will return to school with their teachers and teaching assistants and can be collected from their classrooms (year 6 can be collected from the quadrant) once they have got their belongings and can be signed out safely. It is not possible to take children directly from the church as it is too congested. We ask parents to stand back so staff and children can exit the church safely first. It will also be possible to collect siblings from other year groups. However, teachers will be in their classrooms until 3.15pm so it is not compulsory to collect your child early. Year 5 and 6 children that walk home on their own will be dismissed at 3.15pm.

    As a consequence of timetabling this additional carol service, we will need to change the day of the upper school film and pyjama government event. Children in year 5 and 6 will now be invited to attend school on Wednesday 21st December in their pyjamas, with their snacks, to enjoy a film morning. Children in year 4 who are in the choir will need to attend school in their pyjamas (with their snacks) on Tuesday 20th December for the film morning and bring their school uniform to change into so they can participate in the afternoon carol service. Please remember that the school government are trying to raise money for Cancer Research and require a minimum donation of 50p but pyjamas are optional – Mrs Fordham won’t be wearing hers. Please consider the weather and send children in what you deem appropriate e.g pyjama top or pyjamas over the top of their clothes, onesies etc. 

    Safeguarding
    Due to the recent incident in the news regarding the loss of life with children playing on ice, please remember that playing on frozen lakes and ponds is a huge risk and I would strongly urge parents to talk to their children about this.

    A parent has reported some unpleasantness that has taken place in a WhatsApp group. We would advise parents to closely monitor WhatsApp groups as people can join them stating they are someone that they are not. This puts everyone in the group at risk from harm which can be unkindness or even more seriously, grooming from an adult.  This is one of the reasons WhatsApp is 16+. 

    PTI Parent Survey
    I recently asked for your feedback on our PTIs. Although not many participated, I am grateful to those who did as it helps us to make decisions about future plans and I am pleased that the feedback was positive. Interestingly, now the world has gone back to ‘normal’ parents’ opinions on PTIs have changed. When we first asked for your preference on face-to-face or virtual PTIs the vast majority said both. Now, parents would like to see a return of more face-to-face appointments. This being said, I understand for some parents, continuing with virtual appointments makes parents’ evening more accessible so going forward, we will include more face-to-face appointments but keep some virtual appointments available should they be needed.

    Our reverse advent was a huge success! A huge thank you to our families for their generosity. It is always humbling to see how kind our community is even when many will be struggling as a result of the cost of living crisis.  The picture shows just a fraction of what was donated.

    I am really sorry that the finish times on Wednesday 21st December with ourselves and Letchmore have not aligned. We feel it would be easier for parents who have children in both schools to move our finish time to between 1.00 and 1.30pm. Any children who walk home on their own,  will be dismissed at 1.30pm. Please ensure you have read your emails regarding the lunch options for the rest of term.


    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 13 - 7th December 2022

    Published 07/12/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Reading Afternoon
    We are looking forward to seeing so many parents at our reading afternoon tomorrow. It is fantastic to see so many people have signed up! The reception pedestrian gate will open at 2.05pm. Please make your way to the hall where you will be met by myself and Miss. Standley to be signed in. A teaching assistant from your child’s year group will take you to your child’s classroom. All children will bring home a bookmark and a ‘reading spine’ with book recommendations for their year group.

    The Almond Hill Pyramid
    We are working with all children across the school to reach the top of our pyramid. The pyramid helps children to identify why they make the choices they do. Is it for reward or positive praise? Is it because they want to avoid negative consequences?  Or is it because it’s just who they are? You will have seen in recent newsletters, children who reach the ‘top’ are celebrated in our weekly assemblies.

    Christmas Dinner
    Next week, children will be having their Christmas dinners. Each year group will have theirs on different days followed by their class parties. If you haven’t already, please help our cook to prepare by pre-ordering your child’s lunch on School Grid. If it is not your child’s Christmas dinner day, they will have the option of a cold packed lunch or jacket potato which can be pre-ordered in the same way. Children can wear their Christmas jumper, Christmas accessories or clothes suitable for a  party – but they will be outside at playtimes and lunchtime so please be aware of the weather conditions.

    Year 3 - Monday 12th December
    Year 4 - Tuesday 13th December
    Year 5 - Wednesday 14th December
    Year 6 - Thursday 15th December

    FOAH Events
    The deadline for online payments for the FOAH present room is today ready for the ‘Present Room’ to open on Friday. Children can bring money in on the day but we cannot accept IOUs. Gifts cost £2 each and there is no limit to the number of gifts children can buy. Please try to provide the right amount where possible.

    Christmas ‘treats’ are available to order on School Gateway until Friday 9th December.  Biscuits cost £1.50 and cakes £2.00. Please use the comment section to state what you would like to order.

    From next week, children can guess the number of Christmas chocolates in the jar for 50p a guess and the winner gets to take the Chocolate jar home for Christmas! This is a cash only event running all week next week.

    Each class has been given a Christmas scratch card where they can guess the Christmas word for £2 a guess. This will run until Monday 19th December. The lucky winner will receive half of the total takings to a maximum of £30.

    Remember whilst you are Christmas shopping online at Amazon you can support us by selecting us as your chosen charity at Amazon Smile. Once you set it up, we automatically are sent 0.5% of the sales. Search for Amazon Smile to set up your account.

    I am sure parents will join me in thanking the FOAH for all their hard work organising these wonderful events for the children. In a recent meeting with FOAH we noted that some of the members are parents of children in year 6 so to ensure that FOAH can run in future years it is really important that more parents get involved. Please speak to a member of school staff or email admin if you are interested in helping out. Even busy parents can help out on a more limited basis.

    Teddy Tombola
    We will be holding a Teddy Tombola after school on Friday 9th December in the quadrant. Tickets are 50p, please come along and support this fundraiser

    Talent show
    Children will be performing or watching the annual Almond Hill talent show on Friday 16th  December. All classes will be invited to audition in preparation for the final show. Children may bring in props (at own risk, please don’t send in anything valuable) and costumes. Please do not buy anything specifically for this. It is always wonderful to see the range of talents and skills that our children have that might not always be evident in the school curriculum.

    School Government Christmas Pyjama Day
    Our newly elected School Government have begun organising their first event – A Christmas Pyjama Day. As you can see from their wonderful poster at the end of the newsletter, they were a little enthusiastic with their planning (watching Christmas films all day) but I am pleased to tell you children can wear their pyjamas (Christmassy or otherwise) on Tuesday 20th December and bring in some snacks to eat whilst watching a film (please remember NO nuts in any quantity).  They are fundraising for Cancer Research UK and are asking for 50p to take part. Please bring cash in on the day. Good luck to the Funky Flamingos on running their first event.

    Booster Classes
    We will be sending out an invitation to booster classes for some children in year 6. These are targeted for an identified group of pupils whom we feel benefit, so not all children will be invited. Please look out for the letter which will be sent soon. If you have any questions about this, please contact your child’s class teacher.

    Please be reminded, we finish at 1.30pm on Wednesday 21st December. The lunch options on this day will be cheese, ham or tuna roll. Please order using School Grid.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 12 - 30th November 2022

    Published 30/11/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Year 3 and 4 Musicals

    The booking form for tickets closed at 12.00pm today. We will be taking some time to look through and will allocate additional tickets. Please note that we cannot allow children on laps. I know some parents are disappointed that we have only been able to guarantee 1 ticket per family but our hall is very small. To put it into perspective, we have 75 children taking part in both musicals and with one parent each, that is already 150 people to fit in the hall. We must follow the fire regulations which allows approximately 115 people as guests (on top of the staff and children we have already accounted for). 

    We try very hard to work alongside Letchmore when planning events as many of the parents at Almond Hill have children at both schools. This can make planning events tricky to ensure we don’t clash and for these events, this only left us with Tuesday and Wednesday. We are also planning for two year groups (6 classes of children) as current year 4 children were unable to perform in person last year due to covid restrictions.

    Whilst videoing the performances feels like a good solution, we have lots of children across the school who do not have permission for their images/videos/voice to be shared online. This would therefore exclude those children from participating.

    Year 3

    2.00pm performance – please can parents arrive no earlier than 1.40pm and enter via reception to be signed in. At the end of the performance, parents can leave through the hall doors into the quadrant and make their way to the year 3 classroom doors for usual collection.

    6.00pm performance – please bring children to their classroom door for 5.40pm where their teacher will meet them. Parents can then walk round to the quadrant to enter the hall. FOAH will be arranging refreshments in the foyer so please bring cash with you. Parents can then exit through these doors at the end and collect their children from the classroom doors.
    Year 4

    2.00pm performance – please can parents arrive no earlier than 1.40pm and enter via reception to be signed in. At the end of the performance, parents can leave through the hall doors into the quadrant and make their way to the year 4 classroom doors for usual collection.

    6.00pm performance – please bring children to the central cloakroom doors in the quadrant (where children exited for the recent silent disco) for 5.40pm where a member of staff will take them to their classroom. Parents to enter the hall via the quadrant hall door.  FOAH will be arranging refreshments in the foyer so please bring cash with you. Parents will exit through these doors and collect their children from the dining room door.

    FOAH will also be selling the Aim High beanie hats at the evening performances which cost £8 each.

    Whole school reading afternoon

    It is fantastic to see so many parents have signed up to our reading afternoon on Thursday 8th December. There is still time to ‘book your place’. The reading afternoon starts at 2.15pm and will finish promptly at 2.45pm to allow enough time for parents with children at Letchmore to collect on time at 3.00pm. Please arrive at school after 2.00pm and enter via reception where you will be signed in. Parents can take children home at 2.45pm from the classroom if they wish but unfortunately, we will not be able to collect and sign out siblings. So, if you have more than one child to collect, you will need to wait until the end of the school day as usual. If you need to collect children from Letchmore, children can wait at school in their classes as usual until you are ready to collect.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/survey

    Year 5 and 6 Church Performance

    The Church have informed us that they are limiting numbers for the church performance on Monday 19th December to ensure they are keeping in line with fire regulations. We can invite 100 guests to attend with the children (this, along with children and staff attending will bring them to full capacity) which means we will only be able to invite year 6 parents to attend and those parents of children in the choir. We see this as an issue going forward and have decided to invite year 6 parents each year to ensure that all parents will be able to see their child participate in the Church service once.

    FOAH Christmas Events

    In the next couple of weeks, we have some lovely events running to raise funds for the school

    Guess the number of Christmas Chocolates 

    50p a guess and the winner gets to take the Chocolate jar home for Christmas. Please bring money into the class (w/c 12th December).

    Present room 2022 – Friday 9th December. 

    Once again, our lovely volunteer elves have been working hard to find some lovely gifts for the children to purchase. Please make payment on School Gateway (by 7th December) for the number of items you would like your child to buy at £2 a gift (cash also accepted on the day) and this year there are also gifts for pets.

    Due to the popularity of the Halloween biscuits, we have an opportunity to purchase Xmas treats. Payment on School Gateway as before (by 9th December). Biscuits £1.50, cake £2.00.

    Guess the Christmas word

    Each class will be given a Christmas scratch card. Guesses are £2. Children can bring in cash between 1st and 19th December. The lucky winner will receive ½ of the total takings to a maximum of £30 – every little helps at Xmas!

    Remember whilst you are Christmas shopping online at Amazon you can support us by selecting us as your chosen charity at Amazon Smile. Once you set it up, we automatically are sent 0.5% of the sales. Search for Amazon Smile to set up your account.

    School Lottery

    Tickets cost just £1 a week. To play, go to:

    www.yourschoollottery.co.uk/lottery/school/almond-hill

     

    As always, if you have any fundraising ideas or would like to help at any events, please do get in touch at FOAH@ALMONDHILL.HERTS.SCH.UK

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 11 - 23rd November 2022

    Published 23/11/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Having worked alongside the parents and pupils of Almond Hill for almost 20 years now, I have come to greatly value the huge contribution that our parents make in supporting our school community. As teachers, we work hard to plan lessons and teach the skills and knowledge our pupils need to succeed in life. However, I also appreciate that the ‘teaching’ does not stop at the end of the school day for it is you, as parents, that instil the key learning about life, behaviour, respect and moral values that shape the individuals that walk through our doors.  

    Recently, I was made aware of an incident that occurred in a school close to where I live:  Two parents had become involved in a physical altercation at the end of the day at the school gates. It was rumoured that the child of one parent had been bullying the child of the other. Harsh words were exchanged which quickly escalated.     

    In stark contrast, an incident occurred recently at our school. One child had been physical with another child. The incident was dealt with and both parents were informed by the class teacher. These parents spoke patiently with each other and encouraged their children to talk what had happened together. The parent of the child that had been hurt understood that there may have been a reason for the behaviour even if it was not kind and both children were encouraged to make up.   

    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 ‘focus group’. The aim of the group would be 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. Miss Simmons will be heading this up and in the first instance I am envisioning a half termly meeting to discuss an agenda jointly formed between the school leadership team and parent volunteers. This meeting could be held at different times/in different ways to ensure parent availability such as during the school day/after school/in person/online. The most important thing is that parents get involved. We were thinking approximately three parents per year group. Please email admin@almondhill.herts.sch.uk FAO Mrs Fordham if you would like to get involved. I think this could be a really exciting opportunity to further develop the home school partnership.   

    ‘Parents are not customers of education but active participants.’
    Andreas Schleicher

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

     

    Read More
  • Issue 10 - 16th November 2022

    Published 16/11/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Last week, we held an open evening for families looking for a school place in September 2023. We asked children in year 6 to represent the school as ambassadors and act as tour guides for families. I was incredibly pleased to see that over 30 children volunteered to take part. Families commented on how fantastic the children were on the night. Children confidently showed families our wonderful school and spoke enthusiastically about what they liked about Almond Hill. On Friday, I received a lovely email from a parent and I would like to share some highlights with you. The night was a huge success – well done to everyone involved.

    ‘I just wanted to send an email to thank Almond hill for a fantastic Open Evening this evening. The school looked amazing and the Year 6 children were clearly incredibly proud of their school. I know *** felt a real sense of achievement leaving the school this evening. *** really enjoyed the chance to look around and our tour guide was fantastic, a real ambassador.  As always, your staff were friendly, welcoming and happy to answer questions.’

    Clubs – Please be reminded that clubs finish w/c 28th November except football club which will finish on Monday 21st November. Football club will be replaced with training for the boys in the football team. Parents will be contacted directly if their child is in the team. I would like to thank the staff members who have volunteered their time to run these clubs and Mrs. George for being willing to run our school’s football club again this year.

    Following our recent parents’ evening, I would like to invite parents to give us some feedback by completing the survey on our website (link below). Your feedback helps us to make informed decisions about what we do in the future so would really appreciate it if all parents could take part.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/survey/?pid=166&form=321

    A huge thank you to parents for taking the time to complete the image consent form that was sent home. We have a handful of people who have not responded and until we receive a consent form, we cannot take photos of your child. This does include the school photographer.

    Year 6 are currently holding their annual election. Children form political parties and generate a manifesto with four pledges. These pledges are focused on improving both school and beyond with fun events, a focus on education and fundraising. The children have presented their ideas and the whole school will have the opportunity to vote next week! You can have a look at their presentations on our website.

    https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/page/?title=School+Government&pid=36

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 9 - 9th November 2022

    Published 09/11/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    This half term, we will be inviting parents into school for a reading afternoon. This is an opportunity to come in and listen to the class teacher read with your child and get tips for how to help with reading at home e.g. asking questions and discussing unfamiliar vocabulary. This will take place on Thursday 8th December 2.15-2.45.pm. Any parents who wish to, can take their children home at 2.45pm after the reading session this allows time for Letchmore parents to collect siblings. At Almond Hill, reading is one of our key focusses and we would love to see as many parents there as possible. Please take a look at our reading section on our website for book recommendations and information from our recent parent workshop. 

    We have received a huge number of orders for CGP books. I am really pleased so see that so many of our parents would like to help support their child’s learning at home and are taking up the extra discount school are able to offer. The payment request for orders will close at 9.00am on Tuesday 15th November. . If you would like to order books but haven't yet, you can do this through School Gateway. Please remember to put the stock codes of each book you would like to order in the comment section. For those parents that have already ordered, we will be placing the order after the deadline to secure the discount.

    I am very grateful to the parents and children who are engaging in our monthly preloved book sale. I am incredibly pleased to tell you that these book sales (which were first brought in by a previous school government) funded the purchase of new books for the classes which were given out in assembly this week. We are dedicated to sustaining and improving our class libraries. I purchased the books from David's bookshop in Letchworth who give us 20% discount and delivery free of charge! It is a really lovely bookshop where I selected some books this month for those more reluctant readers, diverse novels encouraging wider representation and picture books with a moral or personal development message. I hope the children will enjoy reading them. Our next book sale will take place in school on Tuesday 29th November. 

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 8 - 2nd November 2022

    Published 02/11/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Safeguarding
    Last half-term, we had some instances where parents were accessing the buildings at the end of the school day (particularly Acorn House). Some children are still on site at this time attending after school clubs, Premier or boosters etc.  This is a safeguarding concern. As you would expect, it’s important that we know who is in the building at all times. Visitors in school (including parents) must be signed in at the office before accessing the site
    .
    A big thank you to FOAH for organising a fantastic disco last night. The children thoroughly enjoyed it!

    When we ask for payments for activities such as the school disco, there has to be a deadline. For online payments, this is usually around 5 days before the event date. Firstly, our system needs this time to allow for payments to be processed but also and most importantly, we need time to ensure those running the event have all the relevant information about your child such as medical and dietary requirements. They also need to know final numbers to ensure we have the right amount of adults supervising the event and if the ticket includes food, (i.e pizza) we need time to place the order. Taking bookings and payments on the day is not possible as staff and volunteers would not have access to the information they need about your child and this is therefore a safeguarding issue. Going forward, when we run events with online payments, we will not be accepting cash or adding children onto the event after the deadline.  Book sales, uniform sales, fundraising and anything that is generally low cost (i.e., 50p) will usually be cash. It is really important that deadlines are met and I do appreciate some people were disappointed, but it is vital that school puts health and safety first. As a school we will endeavour to make sure that deadlines are really clear and we will send reminders so that people do not miss out.

    Please can I ask that ALL children are collected from clubs especially as it is darker now in the evenings and do so promptly. Staff happily volunteer their time to run clubs but often have other commitments to get to including their own children.  Please also let us know if your child is not going to be attending their club in advance so we are not looking for them on the day of the club.

    We have lots of exciting events planned this half term. On Thursday 10th November, we will be hosting an open evening for prospective parents. We are really looking forward to opening our school up to the community and showing them how wonderful it is. Children in year 6 are invited to be ambassadors for the school which includes being a tour guide for parents and families. Every year, parents comment on what a fantastic job our children do and what a credit they are to our school. If your child is in year 6, please look out for the email inviting them to be an ambassador for the evening.

    To start off our Christmas celebrations, we will be holding lower school Christmas musicals on Tuesday 6th December (year 3) and Wednesday 7th December (year 4). This will be held in school 6.00-7.00pm and we welcome parents to join us. The size of our school has increased over the years but unfortunately the space in our hall has not. This means we can only accommodate two guests per child. More details will be sent in due course including how to book your tickets but thought you would like to put these dates in your diaries.

    The ever popular FOAH present room will be on Friday 9th December. Children will be invited to buy a gift for a loved one (or several) for Christmas. We will share a flyer nearer the time.

    Week commencing 12th December is Christmas dinner week! You can book your child’s lunch via the School Grid app. Please note, if your child’s year group is not having their Christmas dinner that day, they will have the option of a jacket potato or a cold packed lunch. Children can wear a Christmas jumper (or Christmas accessory) on their dinner day. Please check the diary dates for your child’s dinner day.

    On Monday 19th December, children in year 5 and 6 will be going to St Nicholas’ church for the Christmas Carol service at 1.45pm. Parents are welcome to attend. Please look out for more information.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 7 - 19th October 2022

    Published 19/10/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Children in year 6 had their residential trip last weekend and as always, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A big thank you must be given to the members of staff who accompanied them on the trip and helped them create memories that will last them a lifetime. I’m sure the children have been busy telling you all about the fabulous time they had and you enjoyed seeing the photos of them on Seesaw. I would also like to thank parents for the lovely feedback you have given (some of which can be seen here) as this really does mean a lot to the staff.

    Tomorrow night we will be holding our face-to-face parents’ evening. The appointments for Year 3 and 4 will be held in the hall. Please enter school via the main reception gate where you can access them directly through the hall doors. The appointments for Year 5 will be held in the breakout rooms on the Year 5 floor of Acorn House and appointments for Year 6 will be in the breakout rooms on their floor upstairs. The green pedestrian gate next to the drop off zone will be open for easy access to Acorn House. Classrooms will be open for parents to take the opportunity to have a look at their child’s books before or after their appointment.

    Teachers will be speaking with parents about their child’s learning and may make some suggestions of books that can be ordered to support learning from home. If ordered through the school, parents will receive a discount of approximately 50% with books costing between £2.00 and £2.75. Please pay using School Gateway ensuring the stock code of the book you would like to order is added to the comments.

    If your child is currently in year 6, please be reminded that the deadline to make an application for secondary school is Monday 31st October. I know some parents will be waiting to view their desired schools before making an application but it is strongly encouraged that pupils’ applications are received in time for 31st October to ensure their application is considered alongside all the other applicants.

    We are all looking forward to the half ​term break next week but sadly, we will also be saying some goodbyes. Mrs. Brocklehurst, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Bell will be leaving us on Friday. We thank them for everything they have done at Almond Hill and wish them well for the future. As previously advised, Mrs Richardson will be taking on Mrs. Brocklehurst’s teaching responsibilities alongside Mrs Campbell in 3C. The leadership team will be expanding: Miss Simmons will be acting deputy head teacher and Mrs Cleaves will be undertaking additional responsibilities in leading learning, including staff coaching and Miss Andrews will be supporting me in the development of key aspects of the school improvement plan linked to behaviour and personal development, such as the Almond Hill Pyramid. 

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 6 - 12th October 2022

    Published 12/10/22

     

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    I am pleased that the majority of children were able to join the club of their choice this term. We had such a large interest that we had to increase the staffing number for many. For the children who did not get their choice of club, we will keep a list for the spring term. As mentioned, some clubs may be cancelled next week for PTIs. Please see the information below for confirmation.

    • ECO club, computing and art will not be on next week due to PTIs.
    • Monday’s football club will not be on as there is a tournament on Monday 17th October. Those children participating in the tournament have been informed.
    • Year 3 ball skills, year 4 football, year 5 football, year 6 basketball and year 3 and 4 board games will all run as normal.
    • Our Halloween disco will be held on Tuesday 1st November so Year 4 football and Year 3 and 4 Board Games will not run on that day.

    If your child is attending a club, please ensure they are collected promptly at 4.15pm. Staff are volunteering their time to run these clubs. In most situations, we would expect an adult to collect their child at the end of the club especially given the change of season brings darker nights. If you are wanting your child to go home independently, please inform the school office.

    PTIs are next Tuesday and Thursday and we still have some parents who have not made an appointment. Please be reminded, the booking system closes this Friday at 9.00am. We will try to call as many parents over this week to book appointments in. Please visit https://almondhill.parentseveningsystem.co.uk to book your appointment.

    During your PTI appointment, you will be given a 'TTRockstars heat map' of the times tables for your child. The colour corresponds to speed answered (the more red, the more slowly they are being answered by the child - up to over 10 seconds per x table) and the grey ones are those which haven't been introduced to the pupil yet by TT Rockstars (this is as a result of the tables being set automatically by the programme according to each child’s confidence). An example can be found below. We are asking parents to support with the acquisition of times tables at home as well as children learning these in school. Please speak to your child's class teacher if you need their login details.

    This Friday, children in year 6 will be heading off on their residential trip to Grafham Water. I hope they all have a fabulous time and look forward to seeing the photos uploaded to Seesaw over the weekend. I’m sure parents will join me in thanking the staff members for giving up their time to take the children and those who have helped to organise the trip.

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 5 - 5th October 2022

    Published 05/10/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    We are currently processing the club requests made by parents last week. Some clubs are very over subscribed so not all children will get a place this time. The year 5 and 6 basketball/benchball clubs had very low take up so will be put together and will now take place on a Thursday. All children that asked for a place in these clubs have been successful. In response to parent feedback and as a result of putting two clubs together, we are now able to offer a year 5 football club on a Wednesday. Anyone in year 5 who wanted a place in the football club on a Monday will automatically be put on the list. Because we have made some adaptations to our original offer, we understand that some people may not now be able to attend, please let us know if this is the case when we send the confirmation email otherwise we may contact you on the evening of the club to check the whereabouts of your child. Clubs will be confirmed by the end of the day on Friday.

    As part of our commitment to continue to improve provision for children with SEND and to gather the views of parents, there were some questions in the summer parent survey targeted specifically to parents of children with SEND.  As you can see, the feedback from the small group of parents that responded was overwhelmingly positive. An area that remains an issue is ensuring that parents receive a certificate to indicate when their child has met their targets. This has been discussed with teachers and we have agreed that the children will receive a paper copy and this will be photographed and added to Seesaw – just in case they lose it on the way home!

    Graphs

    We are looking forward to welcoming parents to the Phonics and Reading Workshops tomorrow. The workshops at 1.45pm and 4.00pm will be held in the hall. Please use the main gate (on the way to the office) and follow the path around to the hall doors where you will be signed in. There is a further online session at 6.00pm (Click here to join the meeting). Historically, we have not had a huge turn-out to parent workshops but we really believe that the children who achieve and thrive the most are those where school and home are working closely together. This is why we have chosen to put on three sessions and use face-to-face and online opportunities to engage as many people as possible. If you want to attend but are unable to, please let us know what the barrier is via the admin email so we can take this into account when planning future events.

    I am pleased to tell you that this term we will be participating in the NSPCC’s Speak out. Stay safe. online programme. This consists of an online assembly and supporting classroom based activities. Speak out. Stay safe. is a safeguarding programme available to all primary schools in the UK and Channel Islands. It aims to help children understand abuse in all its forms and to recognise the signs of abuse in a child friendly way. Children are taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or to Childline. In the online assembly, the Speak out. Stay safe. messages are delivered in a fun and interactive way with the help of their mascot Buddy as well as special guest appearances from Ant and Dec.  Following-on from the assembly, specially trained NSPCC volunteers will also be delivering a workshop to our years 5 and 6 children next week that will build-on and deepen pupils’ learning gained from the assembly. If you would like to know more about the Speak out. Stay safe. programme you can find information on the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk/speakout

    FOAH have been busy organising events for the autumn term. WC Monday 17th October will see the return of guess how many gruesome chocolates are in the jar for Halloween. The jars will be taken to classes in the next few days and children can pay 50p to guess how many sweets are in the jar (cash only please). The winner will then take the jar home ready for half term! They will also be holding a silent Halloween disco on Tuesday 1st November. A flyer has been emailed to parents this week with the times for each year group. Tickets cost £5 and include a slice of pizza and a drink. Please make payments on School Gateway by 26th October. The next FOAH virtual meeting will be held on Monday 10th October at 6pm. All parents are welcome to attend (link below).  https://teams.microsoft.com/

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 4 - 28th September 2022

    Published 28/09/22

    Dear Parents/Carers,

    Last week, I started to provide feedback on our recent parent survey and this week I would like to come back to you regarding swimming in year 5. For the last two years since we have been able to restart lessons post Covid, rather than taking all children swimming for one term, we have decided to offer parents the choice of swimming or extra PE sessions at school with Premier, if your child was already able to swim 25m (as this is the minimum requirement set by the government). This decision was made after parent feedback that not all children wanted/needed to swim and some parents felt there were better ways to use the time.  Some feedback from the parent survey suggest that the message was not clear and the interpretation for some was that if their child could swim already, then they couldn’t go swimming with the school. Whilst lessons are largely aimed at those that cannot swim well to ensure they are safe in water, if your child wishes to attend swimming instead of the extra sessions with Premier then they are able to. A new swimming group will start in January and you will be consulted nearer the time.

    We already have a staggering amount of lost property this term. We have volunteer ‘headteacher’s assistants’ in year 6 who look through the uniform to find names so they can return items to the rightful owner. However, they are finding that the majority of items are not named. Please check your child’s uniform is named (full name is easiest and adding their class also helps) so if they get lost, we can return them to you. Lost property is kept in the hall so please remind children to check here if they have lost something. Please look out on the newsletter for our popular New2Uniform sales which we will be holding monthly. In these sales, parents are invited to come and purchase any lost property that it has not been possible to return for a small voluntary donation. We believe, these sales are really important as they form part of our wider ECO friendly commitment and also ensure parents have access to cheap/free uniform in these financially challenging times.

    Please be aware that we will be one member of staff short in the office for approximately half a term. This means we may take a little longer than usual responding to queries. Please bear with us. There are many ways to contact the school depending on the nature of your query. You can call the office or send an email to admin@almondhill.herts.sch.uk to report your child’s absence, leave an urgent message for your child’s class teacher or ask for general information. Your child’s class teacher can be contacted via the year group email addresses below. These email boxes may not be checked daily. Mrs. Birchall, our SENCo can be contacted via the email address below. Please try to avoid speaking to teachers at the classroom door for protracted periods of time as they need to be supervising the classes. You can always contact the office to make an appointment to speak with them if a longer conversation is needed. 

    Year3@almondhill.herts.sch.uk
    Year4@almondhill.herts.sch.uk
    Year5@almondhill.herts.sch.uk
    Year6@almondhill.herts.sch.uk
    iep@almondhill.herts.sch.uk

    Emma Fordham,
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Issue 3 - 21st September 2022

    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

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More

Page 1