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Issue 1 - 6th September 2023

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.

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
As a reminder, it was the GREEN team that won last year's house point battle! Who will win it this year?
Remember, we are relaunching our house points system this year and introducing new ways to earn points for your house.
Almond Hill Achievements 

At Almond Hill, we celebrate our successes. We love to hear about what children are doing outside of school. They may have won an award in their chosen sport or learnt a new song on their instrument, we want to hear all about it. Please send us an email to with a picture of your child and some details about what they have been doing and we will include this on our newsletter and school website.

In Other News... 


I’m delighted to confirm we have achieved our ECO Schools Green Flag Award! Our application was considered over the Summer Holidays and we received some glowing feedback – thank you to everyone who has been involved in the process. This is a whole school achievement and we are really grateful to every member of our School Community who helps to make Almond Hill a more environmental-friendly school. I would also like to say a special thank you to all of the past and present members of the ECO Committee for all their hard work and enthusiasm. There will be lots of new activities this year and keep an eye out for out Green Flag when it arrives.

Once again, a massive thank you to all of you and remember, even ‘One Little Thing’ makes a difference.