Issue 4 - 27th September 2023
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:
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.
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 https://almondhill.parentseveningsystem.co.uk 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 email@example.com (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.
For our full calendar, please click the 'button' link below.
Click here to open the diary dates for next week
27/09/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 4 Stop Frame Animation
28/09/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 5 Bench Ball
29/09/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 6 Football Club
02/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 3 Multi Sports Club
02/10/2023 - 6:00pm – 7:00pmFOAH Meeting
03/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 4 Hockey Club
03/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 5 Netball Club
04/10/2023 - 12:15pm – 1:00pm3C Parent Lunch
04/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 4 Stop Frame Animation
05/10/2023 - 3:00pm – 3:30pmUniform Sale
05/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 5 Bench Ball
06/10/2023 - 3:15pm – 4:15pmYear 6 Football Club
Year 3 – 95.6%
Year 4 – 97.5%
Year 5 – 94.8%
Year 6 – 93%
All students – 95%
Class winners 5W – 99.7%
The government expectation or attendance is 96%
Please log onto http://app.schoolgrid.co.uk to order
Next week we will be on week 2.
Please don’t forget to preorder. It can be done from home for the day, week, month or even the term!
Upcoming Friends of Almond Hill Events
Design your own Christmas card – Please remember, the deadline to bring these back to school is Thursday 28th September so they are ready to be sent back. Parents will then receive a personalised order form with a unique code to review and approve their child's artwork before they order. All orders must be submitted online by parents on the Class Fundraising website.
There are lots of different items to purchase with your child's design on such as mugs, tea towels, puzzles and bags so some lovely gift ideas for Christmas.
Halloween Silent Disco – FOAH will be hosting our Halloween disco on Wednesday 18th October. This will be a silent disco so those with sensory needs will be able to control noise levels.
Please note, there will be NO clubs after school on this day. This does not impact Premier our wrap around care provider.
The times for the disco are as follow:
Year 3 - 3.30-4.30pm Year 4 - 4.15-5.15pm
Year 5 - 5.00-6.00pm Year 6 - 5.45-6.45pm
Children in Year 3 can stay at school at 3.15pm and their teacher will escort them to the disco. If your child is staying here, please ensure they have their costume or change of clothes with them. They will have time to change in class before the disco at 3.30pm. Children in Years 4-6 must be dropped to the hall doors by the main office via the main office gate which will be open. If your child is booked to go to Premier after school club, they can bring a change of clothes with them and will be taken to the disco by an adult.
All children must be collected (from the quadrant) by an adult. As it may be dark when your child is being collected, we will see the children out individually to ensure everybody’s safety. Please form an orderly queue! Please remember, staff and parents volunteer their time for these events so would appreciate a prompt collection at the end of the disco.
Phones are not allowed at the disco so please make sure these are left at home.
Tickets cost £5 and include a snack and a drink. We know in the past children have had pizza or similar at our discos but with a much smaller FOAH group this year compared to previous years, we haven’t got the numbers to facilitate this. Costs have also risen and we did not want this filtered down to the ticket price. I hope parents will understand this.
Online payments for tickets will close on Wednesday 11th October.
Tickets cannot be purchased after this date or children added to the list. This is because risk assessments regarding dietary and medical needs have to be written and shared in advance and this will be done the Thursday before.
Christmas Present Room - Friday 8th December
Christmas sweet jars – details to follow.
In Other News…
Year 6 Sports Leadership Course
Our new Year 6 Sports Captains represented Almond Hill perfectly when attending a leadership course last Thursday. They are now confident in leading activities for groups of children across the school and are looking forward to becoming our first set of leaders here at Almond Hill.
Pre-loved Uniform and Book Sales
We hold monthly preloved uniform and book sales. Please see below for the dates for this half term. A big thank you to Mrs Hukin who runs the sales for us.
Uniform – these sales are held in the hall 3.00-3.30pm and we ask for a suggested donation of 50p per item.
Wednesday 4th October
Wednesday 1st November
Wednesday 6th December
Books – these sales are held during the school day. Books cost 50p each and money raised goes towards new books for our class libraries. We welcome book donations for the school.
Wednesday 18th October
Wednesday 29th November
Wednesday 13th December
Mrs Burgess, our Pastoral Lead would be very grateful for any donations of simple puzzles. If you happen to be getting rid of any, please consider giving them to the school via your child’s class teacher. Thank you.
Lumi Nova: Therapeutic Digital Intervention Gaming App
We wanted to introduce you to the Lumi Nova: Therapeutic Digital Intervention Gaming App currently available in Hertfordshire for children aged 7-12. Lumi Nova is an evidence-based digital therapeutic intervention delivered via a game app called Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage. The game is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and facilitates the most effective components of it.
It is suitable for:
- 7-12 year olds (who require initial support but are not in crisis)
- Children who have some fears and worries that they find challenging
We hope you will find this useful. Please see the flyer for more information or follow the link to view their website.