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Issue 20 - 16th February 2024

Dear Families,

Wow! Our school government organised a wonderful bake sale this week which could not have happened without the support and generosity of our families so thank you! Cakes were 50p each but as mentioned on our most recent newsletter, families were able to donate more than this if they would like. We were not in a position to offer change however, if you feel you gave more than you had wanted and were expecting change, please contact me via  Once counted, we will let parents know how much money was raised for charity but so far, they have raised over £150!. The government are already looking forward to their next event which is focussed on writing.

In October, we were invited to take part in a video created by Stevenage Borough Council to promote the '5 Ways to Wellbeing'.

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing films form part of Stevenage Borough Council’s work to address mental health within the town. The films aim to increase awareness of ways young people can improve their mental health and wellbeing. 

I am incredibly proud to share these videos with you in this week's newsletter and would like to say a huge well done to the children who took part - it certainly was no mean feat! I was also really pleased to see some Almond Hill alumni featured in the videos too!

Emma Fordham

Key Messages

Dates for your diary after half term
I would like to give families advance warning of upcoming school events that will be taking place after half term. Children are invited to dress up for World Book Day on Thursday 7th March.  We will be doing a ‘sponsored read’ from Friday 8th March – Friday 15th March to raise money for books for our class libraries. This event will be introduced to the children once we return from half term.

To recognise British Science Week, we will be inviting parents into school  on Thursday 14th March to take part in some exciting science activities. Following feedback from parents, this will take place in the morning. Parents will be asked to join us at drop off and the activities will be completed by 10.20am. I hope with some advanced notice many of you will be able to come along.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

The 5 ways to Wellbeing are a 5 step framework that people can use to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Implementing each of the 5 ways to wellbeing into an individual’s life can help them feel happier and be able to get the most out of life. Each way to wellbeing helps foster a good mental wellbeing while also improving other areas of their physical wellbeing and improve the community they have around them. 

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. To found out how you can implement them into your life makes sure to watch each of the videos on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

5 ways to well-being video (05:46)

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This video focuses on all of the 5 ways to wellbeing, and the importance of them. It also outlines feel good week.

Connect (03:42) 

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This video focuses on the importance of connecting with others. It outlines ways young people can connect with one another to better their mental wellbeing. Connecting with other people, forming good relationships and friendships are important for wellbeing as they help build a sense of belonging and self-worth, gives an opportunity to share positive experiences, and allows you to get emotional support yourself while allowing you to support others.

 Be Active (03:30) 

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This video focuses on how being active boosts a young person’s mental health. The video explores different ways young people can be active. Being Active can improve mental wellbeing by increasing self-esteem and helping you to set and achieve goals. Being active also causes chemical changes in the brain which can help to positively improve a person’s mood. Aside from the positive improvements to mental wellbeing, it is also great for physical health and fitness.

Take Notice (03:13) 

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This video focuses on taking notice and how it can help improve young people’s mental health. The video explores all the ways and all the different things young people can take notice of. Taking notice improves mental wellbeing by helping you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. Being more mindful of the current moment can enhance your mental health. This involves being aware of your thoughts and emotions, connecting with your body, and appreciating the surrounding world.

Keep Learning (03:22)

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This video shows why young people should keep learning and how it can boost their mood. Learning can improve mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and increasing self-esteem. Continuous learning is a natural, ongoing process that often occurs unconsciously. Experiencing a sense of growth and development can positively impact your self-esteem.

Give (04:40) 

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This video focuses on how giving can improve a young person’s mental wellbeing. The video showcases different ways young people can give. Giving can improve mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, giving a feeling of purpose and self-worth, and helping to connect with others.

Website Link:   

Online Safety

It was recently brought to our attention that a video, which was deemed inappropriate, was recorded on a child's phone and subsequently circulated among Year 6 pupils. Parents of children involved in this incident were contacted directly but I wanted to remind parents that as a school, we take matters of inappropriate behaviour and the misuse of technology very seriously. This is an ongoing issue for children in our school and we are contacted by parents to report incidents of this nature. I would like to remind you of the school policy regarding the use of mobile phones on the premises. Phones should not be used during school hours, and any breach of this policy can result in the removal of this privilege.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include:

  • spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos or videos of someone on social media
  • sending hurtful, abusive or threatening messages, images or videos via messaging platforms
  • impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf or through fake accounts.

Face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other but cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.

Cyberbullying in itself is not a crime and is not covered by a specific law in the UK. However, by committing an act of cyber bullying, a person may be committing a criminal offence under a number of different acts.

I would urge parents to monitor the use of their child's phone and have a conversation with them regarding the appropriate use of technology.

Please follow the link to view the HfL online safety newsletter

Diary Dates


Year 3 - 96.27%
Year 4 - 95.64%
Year 5 - 93.44%
Year 6 - 90.38%
All students – 93.97%
Class winners - 4H - 99.2%
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. 

House Points

Upcoming FOAH Events

Mother’s Day Present Room – Friday 1st March
Friends of Almond Hill will be running a Mother’s Day present room on Friday 1st March, if your children would like to do some shopping for the special ladies in their life. All gifts are £2 and there will be a great selection of items - so they are sure to find the perfect gift.  Present(s) can be purchased on School Gateway up until Saturday 24th February. What will your little one choose for you?
Movie Nights: possibly Tuesday 16th April (year 3 and 4) and Tuesday 23rd April (years 5 and 6) – subject to enough parent volunteers. Please contact if you can help with this event.

Sports Hall Athletics
A group of 24 Year 6 athletes headed to Barnwell for a Sports Hall Athletics Competition on Tuesday 13th February. All children competed in a range of track and field events, including relays, long jump, triple jump, vertical jump, chest push, speed bounce and javelin. Some good performances from our Almond Hill pupils with the sportsmanship being shown a true joy to see. Unfortunately, our athletes didn't place in the top three but all enjoyed participating and cheering each other throughout the event. 

Regeneration Visit
It is a shame we had to cancel the regeneration visit for Year 5 this week but as it is a local visit and the weather was predicted to not be very nice, we decided it was best to reschedule so that children can have the best time possible. We will let parents know as soon as possible when a new date has been agreed.

Writing Awards
We have just completed the North Herts and Stevenage Schools writing project based on the picture book, 'Here We Are' by Oliver Jeffers. The children wrote some fantastic poems and also produced some excellent art projects. On Thursday 8th Feb, pupils from all year groups proudly represented Almond Hill at the awards evening held at the Broadway Theatre in Letchworth. Congratulations to everyone but a huge well done to Danny in year 5 who won runner up for best writer and Aahana in year 6 who won best writer.

Wellbeing Visitor

This week, Year 6 were very lucky to have a visit from Carol Lilley who is an Emotional Well-Being Trainer. She works for Herts Mind Network, Children and Young People and she delivered an 'Emotional Well-Being and Coping Strategies workshop' to the children. 

The key aspects of the session were to explain;

  • what mental health and well-being are
  • how the brain develops and functions and how this effects our emotional regulation
  • what coping strategies we can all use to regulate ourselves if we're feeling angry, upset or anxious
  • Lots of suggestions for positive steps that we can take to look after our emotional well-being 

The children were all very engaged and asked a lot of questions, contributing their ideas and feelings.

As caring for our mental health is (very rightly) high on the agenda at the moment, we hope that the children found these sessions both informative and useful. There were lots of ideas shared and signposts to sources of support given.

Jungle Gym
The jungle gym transformation is well underway and I am sure the children are excited for its completion. Here are some progress shots of the work...

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SEND Information

Improving the quality of EHCPs

Please see below an update from the Quality Assurance Team with information about the work going on to improve the quality of EHCPs.

The Hertfordshire SEND partnership are committed to improving the quality of EHCP’s for children and young people in Hertfordshire; ensuring plans are of high quality and meaningfully capture children and young people’s: views, experiences, needs and outcomes, and specify provision.

To support with achieving this aim, there will be regular multi-agency audits of EHCP’s. These multi-agency audits involve professionals from education (school representatives, specialist advisory teachers, educational psychologists and members of the statutory SEND service), health, social care, SENDIASS and the Herts Parent Carer Involvement coming together to audit the quality of a random selection of EHCP’s. Professionals then work together to identify areas of good practice and areas where learning is required. These events are crucial for supporting improvements in practice across the system.

This may therefore mean that your child’s plan could be selected for audit and shared with the above professionals for auditing purposes. All professionals involved in multi-agency audits of EHCPs are required to comply with Data Protection legislation and confidentiality duties, which restrict the sharing of information pertaining to your child's EHCP outside of the auditing activity.

If you wish to opt out and do not wish for your child's EHCP to be included in our quality assurance audits, please email the Quality Assurance Service at: