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Issue 32 - 7th June 2024

Dear Families, 

I hope you all enjoyed the half term break, It is wonderful to see the children back and eager to learn. It is hard to believe we have 6 weeks left of this academic year but what a 6 weeks we have planned!  

I am sure children are still buzzing from our fantastic sports days and of course waiting in anticipation for the results of the house cup.  Once counted, this will be announced in an upcoming achievement assembly and added to our newsletter.  

Next week, FOAH will be hosting our Father’s Day present room (Friday 14th June). Online payments close today. If you would like to make a payment, please do so on School Gateway. Alternatively, they will be taking cash on the day (£2 per gift) but cannot accept IOU’s.  

Please be reminded, we have an INSET and Occasional Day on Friday 21st and Monday 24th June and school will be closed.  

Emma Fordham 
Headteacher 

Key Messages

A Message from Dr. Osborne  

As some of you may be aware, Dr Osborne has been away from school for a while and I am sad to say she has now taken the decision to step away from classroom teaching. She wanted us to tell you how much she has loved teaching the children at Almond Hill (past and present) and that she will always cherish the memories she has made here as a part of the Almond Hill family. I am sure parents and children will join me in wishing Dr Osborne all the very best for her future. 

‘Top of the Hill’ Badges 

If your child would like a replacement ‘Top of the Hill’ badge, this can be purchased online on School Gateway. Once paid, children can collect from Mrs Fordham.

Feedback from Parents  

We hosted a SEND/Pastoral afternoon tea earlier in the term but unlike previous events, the turnout was extremely low. Again, this is the chance for parents to come and talk about all things SEND and pastoral and the team are there to talk to. We had planned another coffee morning after drop off after half term but would like to know from parents if these chances to meet with the team are useful and wanted to ask what the barriers are to attending. Please comment below to let us know if you would like to discuss SEND and pastoral and what the barriers are to coming to the planned events. If we know what they are we can try and work around them.  So far, we’ve only had 2 responses (thank you to those parents) so we wanted to give parents a further opportunity to provide feedback. This will close on Monday.

Therapeutic Thinking Workshops – Tuesday 11th June  

Mrs Burgess, our Pastoral Lead, will be running workshops for parents on Therapeutic Thinking. This is an opportunity for parents to gain an insight into the school's behaviour management approach and how we consider what a child's behaviour might be trying to tell us.  She will be hosting 2 sessions. The first will take place in the hall at 2.00pm and will last approximately 1 hour. The second will take place online (via Microsoft Teams) at 6.00pm. We hope to see as many parents there as possible.  

Click here to join the meeting 

Meeting ID: 329 620 471 472 
Passcode: BSwoGb 

The Next Singing Assembly is Friday 14th June – Lower School  

Please check your payment history on School Gateway to check if you have a space booked. If you do and you can no longer come, please let us know. If you do not have a space booked but would like to come, you may come along on the morning of the assembly and we will of course let you in if there are ‘no shows’ (we really don’t want any empty seats!) but we cannot guarantee this will be the case. 

Year 5 Parent Meeting – Grafham Water Trip - Wednesday 3rd July at 6pm. 

Parent view from our parent forum meetings suggest that Year 5 parents would like more information about Grafham before starting Year 6. With this in mind, Miss Simmons will be holding a Grafham information meeting for Year 5 parents on Wednesday 3rd July at 6pm. Here you will have the opportunity to find out more about the trip and ask any questions you may have. Year 5 children are welcome to attend with parents/carers. 

To gather an idea on numbers and if you haven't already, please let us know if you will be coming by submitting the form below. The form will close on Friday 28th June.

Will you be attending the Grafham meeting on Wednesday 3rd July?

Transition Day - Thursday 11th July 

Hertfordshire’s transition day is on Thursday 11th July. Children in Year 6 will spend the day at their new secondary school, Year 3, 4 and 5 will move up and spend the day in their new classes and our new Year 3 intake for September 2024 will spend the day at Almond Hill so it is a very busy day for all. We know some parents/children find the transition and change of teacher/classes daunting and so as promised, we will ‘announce’ the new class teachers for 2024/25 during that week and before transition day. Families who are joining us from Letchmore will know who their teachers are prior to this date due to additional transition visits taking place.  

End of Term - Monday 22nd July 

The summer term finishes on Monday 22nd July. Please note, as always, there will be a cold option only for lunch on this day.  We understand that Letchmore do not finish until Tuesday 23rd July. Where we can, Letchmore and Almond Hill have the same term dates and INSET days but we are separate schools with different commitments so sometimes, differences can’t be avoided. However, I do not want to put unnecessary pressure on families with children in both schools so we will finish early as planned on Monday (12.30pm) but for those parents who really need it, school will remain open until 3.15pm. Children will be invited to watch a film in the hall and will be supervised by support staff. This will be the last day of junior school for Year 6 and their early finish is a rite of passage that we do not want to take away.  

 

Diary Dates

Uniform Sale 

Our next uniform sales are: 
Wednesday 3rd July
The sale takes place from 3.00pm in the hall.

Book Sale

Our next book sales are: 
Wednesday 26th June
Wednesday 17th  July

The sale takes place during the school day and books cost just 50p!

Almond Hill Achievements 

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

Attendance Matters

Year 3 95.52% 
Year 4 96.88% 
Year 5 92.95% 
Year 6 89.51% 
All Students 93.76% 
Class Winners   5W 98.6% 

Club End Dates and Collection 

Club 

Year group 

Day 

End 

Collect from 

3/4 Football 

3, 4 

Monday 

Half termly 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Gardening 

Monday 

24th June 

Acorn House 

Rounders 

Monday 

24th June 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Reading Fluency Booster 

Monday 

15th July 

Acorn House 

Reading Fluency Booster 

Monday 

15th July 

Acorn House 

5/6 Football 

5, 6 

Tuesday 

Half termly 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Rounders 

Tuesday 

25th June 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Stop Motion 

Wednesday 

26th June 

4L Classroom  

Rounders 

Thursday 

27th June 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Rounders 

5, 6 

Friday 

28th June 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

Mad Science 

All 

Friday 

28th June 

4O classroom 

Athletics 

All 

Monday 

24th June 

Field gate (nearest to the church) 

House Points

FOAH News

With  the hot weather coming, don’t forget FOAH sell baseball hats with the ‘Aim High’ motto on. The caps are £8 each. Please place your orders via School Gateway and we will send them home with your children.

In Other News... 

Healthy Eating

Throughout the week before half term, we learnt about how to make a healthy choice when picking our snack and why this is so important. In year 3, they looked at different types of fruit and vegetables. In year 4, they looked at the different food groups and learnt about what they provide us with and in year 5 they compared different healthy and unhealthy meals. In year 6, the children looked at labels to help us make a healthier choice. The half term homework was then set. Thank you to everyone who sent pictures in - it was great to see them all! 🙂 

Almond Hill vs Shephalbury

Almond Hill vs Shephalbury Another great game of netball played by our Year 5 squad. All seven players showed determination and great sportsmanship on the court today. There were some beautiful passing patterns down the court (even if some were a little too long); lots of fabulous interceptions made for a very exciting game. Shephalbury had a quite a few stron…

Our Sports Captains Supported at Letchmore's Sports Day

Our Sports Captains Supported at Letchmore's Sports Day Our leaders were incredible when supporting Letchmore's Sports Day before half term. Many adults commented on their passion, their kindness and their overall positive attitude. It was great to see our ambassadors helping younger children and encouraging the future generation of Almond Hill. Thanks to Letchmore for their rewa…

Keeping children and young people safe and well this summer 

Please see below a summary of the information sent to us from the Director of Public Health in Hertfordshire. 

Farm visits – Staying safe & reducing transmissions of infections from Animals to Humans. 

Visiting a farm is an enjoyable and educational experience for many children, particularly as we are in lambing and calving season. However, visiting a farm carries a risk of catching infection directly from animals or the surrounding environment.  

Infection can be picked up from the animal’s body, its poo or from areas where animals have recently been. To avoid illness, good hand hygiene and only eating in designated areas is particularly important in these settings. Please click on the link for further information on staying safe whilst visiting farms

Measles– Reducing the spread of measles

Measles cases in the UK and in Hertfordshire are rising and we border other geographic regions that are also seeing a rise in measles cases. Further cases and outbreaks in Hertfordshire are likely as the uptake of the Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccination (MMR) in the county is lower than recommended.   

 Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences, with 1 in 5 cases being hospitalised and 1 in 15 suffering serious complications. Measles spreads quickly from person to person, especially in settings such as schools. Spending more than 15 minutes in direct contact with someone infected with measles is sufficient to transmit the virus. A child with measles will infect almost all unvaccinated children they have contact with.   

Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. For more information about measles and the symptoms, see Measles - NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Scarlet Fever and Strep A – Signs, Symptoms, prevention, and control reminder. 

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the signs, symptoms, and the actions to be taken if you become aware of an outbreak of scarlet fever at your school or nursery.  

Signs and symptoms: scarlet fever is a common childhood infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus (GAS). The early symptoms of scarlet fever include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting. After 12 to 48 hours the characteristic red, pinhead rash develops, typically first appearing on the chest and stomach, then rapidly spreading to other parts of the body, and giving the skin a sandpaper-like texture. The scarlet rash may be harder to spot on darker skin, although the 'sandpaper' feel should be present. Patients typically have flushed cheeks and pallor around the mouth. This may be accompanied by a ‘strawberry tongue’. As the child improves peeling of the skin can occur.  

Infection control advice: In schools and nurseries it is recognised that infections can be spread through direct physical contact between children and staff and through shared contact with surfaces such as tabletops, taps, toys and handles. During periods of high incidence of scarlet fever there may also be an increase in outbreaks in schools, nurseries, and other childcare settings.  

As per national guidance on infection control - Health protection in education and childcare settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - children and adults with suspected scarlet fever should be excluded from nursery / school / work for 24 hours after the commencement of appropriate antibiotic treatment. If a child/adult does not receive antibiotics, they should be excluded from school for the duration of the infectious period, which is between 2 and 3 weeks. Good hygiene practice such as hand washing and discarding of used tissues in a bin remains the most important step in preventing and controlling spread of infection. 

Pertussis (Whooping cough) 

Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but particularly serious for young infants, those that attend nurseries and key stage 1. Vaccine uptake levels in pregnant women, babies and young children have fallen in recent years across England and as such we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of whooping cough. For signs and symptoms see here Whooping Cough - Signs and Symptoms   Vaccination in pregnancy is key to passively protecting babies before they can be directly protected by the infant vaccine programme.  

Getting the whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy is a highly effective way to protect babies in the first few months following birth. 

Given the drop in vaccination levels and the rise in cases, UKHSA is urging parents to check that their children are vaccinated against whooping cough, which is offered to all infants at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age (as part of the 6-in-1 combination vaccine) with an additional dose included in the pre-school booster vaccine. If there is any evidence that the Whooping Cough or the general childhood vaccination is incomplete, advise staff, parents/carers and anyone associated with the school community to consult their GP for catch up vaccines, which can be done at any age. 

 Additional Information for Parents