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Issue 9 - 8th November 2023

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have lots of enrichment events planned this half term starting with our cinema trips for all year groups (free of charge!) Parents of children in Years 4 and 5 will be invited to a fun DT afternoon on 30th November. More details for this will be shared soon.  In the run up to Christmas, Year 3 will perform their Christmas Musical to parents (please look out for information this week on how to book) and children in Year 6 will attend the church (with the school choir) to sing Christmas carols with families invited too.

Next week is 'Feeling Good Week'. Children will take part in daily activities regarding physical and mental wellbeing ending with a performance from musician Natalie Shay which has been funded by school.

We are discussing the idea of moving our weekly newsletter to a Friday and would like to ask your opinion on this. There are two reasons for this, the first being that our newsletters contain lots of information and we feel sending it home on a Friday gives families longer to read and digest the information shared. Secondly, we celebrate achievements on our newsletter on a Wednesday but our Achievement Assembly is not held until Friday sometimes ruining the 'surprise' for the children. Please complete the quick survey below to give your views.

Newsletter Survey

Have a good week.

Emma Fordham,

Key Messages

Parent Survey Feedback

Do you feel that conflict is dealt with appropriately by the school?

We appreciate that this question is more emotive for some parents than for others and people’s experiences will vary but I am pleased that generally, most parents feel conflict is dealt with appropriately and the comments left, have been taken on board by the senior leadership team.  Some parents have commented that the consequences given are not tough enough whereas other parents feel that they are too harsh.  As a school, we are moving in a direction whereby teachers are being empowered to be ‘stricter’ and there is a focus on behaviour. Learning behaviours and expectation are explained to children as they join the school and are referred to during their journey.  We want our children to move on from primary school with the tools they need to be successful in the next phase of their education and into their adult life. We need parents on board to make this successful.  It is fantastic to see that parents like the restorative conversations and peer mediators. The restorative conversation process explores how an incident has made each child feel and the aim is to develop children's reflection, empathy and problem-solving skills. The aim of the peer mediation scheme is to increase the pupils’ understanding that disagreements are a natural but manageable part of life and that they can acquire a range of skills to enhance their ability to deal with emotions related to conflict. Where there are repeated and/or serious incidents teachers will contact parents and monitor for trends. We believe conflicts should be dealt with in social times not in learning time. Currently Year 5 are being introduced to peer mediation by Mrs Hewitt and Mrs Small and parents in this year group will hear more about this going forward.

Parents’ Evening

In light of this analysis we can see that in person appointments remain the most popular option for parents when booking parents’ evening appointments but a significant number of parents value online so we will continue to offer both. However it was quite a juggling act for teachers to move between in person and online appointments so in the spring term, there will be a limited number of online appointments offered at the start of one PTI day and at the end of the other. If parents require an online appointment and they have all been allocated, we would ask you to contact the office directly who will sort this for you.

Cinema Trips and Lunch - Please Read

I hope children are looking forward to the trips to the cinema this month. As children will be arriving back to school when lunch has begun, the kitchen will be supplying a cold packed lunch option on these days (for the children going to the cinema, all other year groups will be offered the normal menu). Please see below for a reminder of the dates and films.





Wednesday 15th November

Early Man


Wednesday 15th November

Early Man


Thursday 23rd November

The Little Mermaid


Friday 24th November

The Railway Children Return

As a reminder, children will need to bring a water bottle, a snack, a coat and clothes/footwear appropriate for the weather and walk. They will not be required to bring anything else. Mobile phones are not permitted on school trips. These will be kept school as normal.

Please note, if your child has asthma or requires an inhaler for any reason, they must have this with them or they will not be able to go on the trip.

FOAH Meeting

Thank you to the two members of FOAH who joined us at our regular monthly meeting yesterday and to the additional parent who attended. It is important to stress that without further volunteers, events such as the present room will not be able to go ahead for all year groups. We are really lucky to have such friendly and welcoming parents on our PTA who would love the help of other volunteers. 


Please note, e-scooters are not allowed at school. Please see the below guidance which has been taken from the government website.

The rules for private e-scooters have not changed. It is against the law to use a privately owned e-scooter. If you use an e-scooter illegally:

  • you could face a fine
  • you could get penalty points on your licence
  • the e-scooter could be impounded

Diary Dates


Whole School - 94%
Year 3 - 94%  Year 4 - 94%
Year 5 - 93%  Year 6 - 94%
Class winners - 3W - 98%

School Dinners

Don't forget to preorder your child's lunches! 
Follow the link below to order. 

You can pre-order from home for the day, week, month or even the term.

Please be reminded, if you have not pre-ordered a lunch from home, the kitchen are only able to offer a cheese sandwich.

House Points

Click the link below to see our house points totals. 

Almond Hill Achievements 

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

Upcoming Friends of Almond Hill Events

Christmas Present Room - Friday 8th December
Christmas sweet jars – details to follow.

In Other News…

TTRockstars Competition
We are taking part in a friendly competition involving schools in England. The competition runs from 07:30 GMT Tuesday 14th November 2023 to 19:30 GMT Thursday 16th November 2023. It's all done online via Children can play in any game mode with every correct answer to a multiplication or division question, earning themselves, their class and the school a point. The Times Tables Rock Stars platform will calculate the class average (the number of correct answers per pupil in the class who play during the competition hours). Winning classes in the school and in the competition as a whole will be the ones with the highest average.

To support player wellbeing, there is a daily time limit of 60-minutes per player. In other words, each player can earn competition points for up to 60-minutes between 07:30 GMT and 19:30 GMT on 07:30 GMT Tuesday 14th November 2023 to 19:30 GMT Thursday 16th November 2023. Once the player goes beyond 60-minutes of play on that day, they will still earn coins but will no longer earn points towards the competition.

Non Uniform Day – Friday 8th December
The Stevenage Community Trust run a gift card scheme every year where they offer £150 vouchers to local families who need that extra support to allow their children to have the best Christmas possible. Last year, they gave a record amount of vouchers worth £150 to 250 families!  To help raise money to support this, they are asking schools in Stevenage to help with fundraising by hosting ‘The Christmas Gift Appeal’ week which will run between 4th – 10th December. They have lots of events planned in for this with schools across Stevenage and hope to raise £5000. Almond Hill would like to help The Christmas Gift Appeal by holding a non-uniform day on Friday 8th December. Payments will be made on School Gateway. We will be not be taking cash for this event.

Poppy Sales
Year 6 Headteacher Assistants will be bringing poppies round to the classes this week on behalf of The Royal British Legion. Children can bring cash to school.

Slap bands £1.50
Wrist bands £1.50
Poppies, zip pulls and reflectors 50p

Year 5 Benchball
Our Year 5 Benchball team represented Almond Hill with such passion and respect at this competitive event; it was a true pleasure to see them working as a team in such a quick-paced environment. After a slow start against the first two schools we faced, we were unbeaten for the remaining seven matches. When scores were announced, we found out that our team were in the top three. The final result went down to goal difference and we realised that one of our wins, 14-3 against Codicote, may give us an advantage in the table. Almond Hill were victorious and were awarded 1st place, with a goal difference of 31 points. Some incredible individual performances but the whole team should be immensely proud of their flying intercepts, their great attitude and their immense teamwork.

Reverse Advent Calendar
Some people don’t have money to afford food, clothes and presents for their wonderful children. Please can you bring in tinned cans, sweet treats or toiletries like toilet roll, shampoo and soap and small toys like books or colouring pens. Drop off your donation to Almond Hill Junior School any time until 28th of November. If you’re wondering where to drop of your donations, it is at your classroom. Only donate if you can.  

Written by Penny and Rocco in 5P 

Diverse Games
Miss Porter (our diversity lead) is trying to expand the games we have for wet plays by including games from around the world. If you know of a game that would be suitable for children to play indoors that is traditional to another country, please email her at :  The games could be card games, board games or games without any equipment. Thank you in advance for your help!

SEND and Pastoral Coffee Mornings
Mrs Birchall and Mrs Burgess will be holding half termly coffee mornings to meet with parents who would appreciate time to have a chat about anything they feel they need support with. This will take place in Holly Room which is accessible from the quadrant between Oak House and Acorn House. The door will be open for you. This is known as the friendship room by your children who could point you in the right direction.