Issue 14 - 15th December 2023
A week of Christmas dinners concluded with Year 6 today with some very strange looking staff! It has felt very festive around school this week with Christmas jumpers and class parties!
Our Rocksteady bands performed for their parents this week and what a fabulous job they did! Well done everyone. Our choir visited Hampson Park to sing for a wonderful community group and they sounded fantastic! I accompanied them along with some other staff and felt tremendously proud of their beautiful voices and wonderful behaviour. I would like to say thank you to Mrs Cleaves who gives up numerous lunchtimes to practise with the children regularly in order to achieve such excellence. I also believe that the singing that they indulged in on the walk back from Hampson Park to school entertained the local community at large!
I would like to say a big thank you to the FOAH volunteers who have arranged some lovely events for the children this term such as the silent disco, sweet jars and 'Design a Christmas Card'. Not only are these events really enjoyable for children to participate in, they raise funds for the school that we use to improve the experience of all children whilst they are here. We are currently working on a project that will see the very popular jungle gym almost double in size. Watch this space…
Next week, we are onto our final few days of the autumn term. Year 6 children and our school choir will go to St Nicholas’ church on Tuesday for their carol service which is one of our favourite Almond Hill traditions. It is always a lovely service and a real pleasure to be a part of. If you are attending, please remember, space in the church only allows for two parents per child. Please don’t arrive until 1.30pm to allow children to arrive and get organised. We would also ask, to ensure all children are kept safe, that you allow children and staff to leave first and return to school. Parents are then welcome to collect children early from their classrooms. They must be signed out by their teacher first. As normal, to help parents with siblings in other year groups, you may collect them from their classrooms too.
Mrs Lyons and Miss Simmons will host our very popular Christmas Talent Shows on Tuesday too. Teachers have been running auditions for children who want to take part and they will be informed by their class teacher if they have been successful. They may bring special props or chosen outfits for their performance. Children in the upper school will perform in the morning and the lower school in the afternoon. Good luck everyone!
That brings us to our final day on Wednesday. Please be reminded, our cook is preparing cold options only on this day and we will finish at 1.00pm.
All that is left for me to say, from all of us at Almond Hill, we hope you have a very happy Christmas with your families and look forward to welcoming you back to the Spring term on Monday 8th January.
Dates for the Diary for Next Term
- Wednesday 10th January – Uniform Sale 3.00-3.30pm
- Tuesday 16th January – FOAH Meeting at 5.30pm via Microsoft Teams
- Tuesday 30th January - SEND/Pastoral Afternoon Tea 12.30-1.15pm
- Wednesday 31st January – 50p Book Sale
- w/c 5th February - Feel Good Week - Environment Theme
- Monday 5th February - Year 3 visit to North Herts Museum
- Wednesday 7th February – Uniform Sale 3.00-3.30pm
- Monday 19th February – Half term
- 29th February 2024 at 7.00pm – Parenting in the Digital World virtual session for parents.
- Thursday 7th March – World Book Day and back by popular demand – children may dress up!
Parent Engagement Feedback
Thank you to the parents who took the time to give feedback on our engagement events. I am pleased so many of you enjoyed the DT afternoon. We had some suggestions on how to make this particular event even better next time and I agree there are things we can do to achieve this. This was our first afternoon of this kind and appreciate the feedback. It seems the most frustrating part of the afternoon was the queue for the hot glue guns. Unfortunately, we have found that normal glue (Pritt stick/PVA) is not sufficient for these types of projects but for health and safety, hot glue guns are not allowed in the classrooms and must be supervised on a 1:1 basis. I liked the suggestion made by one parent of completing the toy assembly in advance to allow families to focus more on the craft element of the project. It was also suggested that the day still finished at normal time when running afternoon events. We are in a unique position as a junior school as many of our families have children at Letchmore and therefore need to be there to collect them at the end of the day. Leaving early makes life easier for these families and stops the need for them to go back and forth.
Arbor Parent Portal
We now have 91% of parents who have logged onto the Arbor Parent Portal. THANK YOU! This is fantastic. If you have not yet logged on, please do as we will be using Arbor more and more over the coming months. If you need support in accessing the portal, please contact our school office.
For our full calendar, please click the 'button' link below.
Click here for next week's events...
19/12/2023 - All DayTalent Shows
19/12/2023 - 1:30pm – 2:30pmY6 and Choir at the Church
20/12/2023 - until 1:00pmLast day of term - finish at 1.00pm
20/12/2023 - 12:00pm – 1:00pmCold lunch option only
21/12/2023 – 03/01/2024 - All DayChristmas Holidays
04/01/2024 – 05/01/2024 - All DayINSET Days
08/01/2024 - All DayFirst Day Back to School
Year 3 - 93.72%
Year 4 - 95.06%
Year 5 - 95.39%
Year 6 - 98.83%
All students – 94.5%
Class winners 5W - 98.7%
The government expectation for attendance is 96%
Almond Hill Achievements
Click the button below to see all the wonderful things our children have achieved outside of school.
Upcoming FOAH Events
Potential Spring Term Events
· Movie Nights
· Quiz Night: for parents to be held out of school
· Family Photo Shoot
· Valentine sweet jars
· Mother’s Day present room
· Father’s Day present room
· Easter baskets (similar to sweet jars)
The current committee are finding it hard to organise events with the number of volunteers they have. To ensure we are able to offer these events, we need more volunteers. Even if you are only able to commit to specific events, we would be exceptionally grateful for your support. If you are able to volunteer for any events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Next meeting: Tuesday 16th January at 5.30pm via Microsoft Teams
In Other News…
Celebrating Hanukkah in Year 5
Children in Year 5 celebrated Hanukkah this week with Mrs Start. They enjoyed some yummy food like doughnuts (which have a particularly special meaning to Jewish people) and chocolate money to symbolise the Gelt. A big thank you to Mrs Start for 3 wonderful afternoons.
Year 3 Enterprise Sale
Please be reminded that children in Year 3 will be selling their moving Christmas cards that they are making for their DT/enterprise project from their classrooms at the end of the day on Monday 18th December (cash only). Please do come along.
Almond Hill and Stevenage Better
Take a look at the @stevenagebetter Instagram page. They have made a post with some of the work children from Almond Hill have created. It looks fab!
Jack and Alex in Year 6 visited Jubilee Court this week to deliver Christmas cards to the residents there.