Skip to content ↓

Issue 35 - 28th June 2024


Dear Families,

Last week, we hosted Richard Pomfrett from Stay Safe Initiative for an Online Safety Day. I would like to congratulate families on the wonderful feedback we received from him on the back of this visit. Richard said he was very impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm and attitudes towards the sessions. Following the Online Safety Day, Richard shared some important insights with me regarding the online activities of pupils at Almond Hill. The prevalence of the issues noted are not unique to our school; it's a growing concern in all schools everywhere. Year by year, children are starting their digital journey earlier, and the number of users is increasing. This presents an opportunity for us to address the issues and concerns with you at home and work together to improve children’s journeys as they navigate through the digital world. I have shared the feedback from Richard’s visit below and would urge parents to consider how this may impact their own child/ren at home.  

Emma Fordham 

Key Messages


Social Media Usage: 

All year groups mentioned connecting with others on WhatsApp (13+), TikTok (13+), SnapChat (13+), and some even on Instagram (13+) and Discord (13+). What is concerning is that many Yr5-6 pupils said they have public accounts. This presents obvious risk, as it opens them up to anyone making a direct connection. I urge you to have open discussions with your children about using social media and emphasize the importance of maintaining private social media accounts. This approach is not only safer but also contributes to a more positive online experience. What was also a little worrying, is that some children were not actually sure if their accounts are public or private.  

Online Gaming: 

In terms of gaming, games like GTA (18+) and Call of Duty (18+), along with the usual suspects, such as Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite were mentioned. Worryingly, most gamers (across all year groups) admitted to regularly playing and chatting with people they don’t know. It's highly advisable for parents to fully understand the risks of online grooming and engage in age-appropriate conversations with their children about it. 

Warning Signs (Online Grooming): 

We discussed 4 crucial warning signs that children should be aware of to reduce the risk of online grooming. 

Someone showing an interest: Sharing personal information online (everything from names and addresses, to hobbies and interests) with others could lead them into further conversation and make it easier for online predators to find out more about them. 

Decline gifts: Children should not accept gifts, as adults looking to exploit them might offer in-game currency or online gifts as a way to gain trust. 

Reject private connections: Children should avoid connecting privately with unknown individuals. Adults sometimes try to move public conversations to private platforms like WhatsApp or Snapchat. 

Never meet up: Meeting in person with online friends is obviously highly risky. 

Action Steps for Parents: 

I urge all parents to take the time to fully understand what their children are doing online and the functions available on the apps and games they use: 

  • Can they chat with others? 

  • Can they connect with people they don't know? 

  • What kind of content can they be exposed to? 

  • What are the age ratings of the games and apps they use? 

  • What settings are available to limit risk and encourage a more positive environment? 

Action Steps for Parents and Children Together: 

  • Sit down with your children and explore privacy settings in the games and apps your children have access to.

  • Ask children to show you how they BLOCK & REPORT people in the games they play (lots of children can say you should, but not all know how to).

  • If they use social media, check if their accounts are private or public.

Knowledge is the key to fostering meaningful conversations and sharing ideas on how to ensure online safety at home. If we all (school / parents / carers) work together, we can create a safer online environment for our children.  

The next few weeks ahead...

Unbelievably, we have a little over 3 weeks left of this academic year! I know it can get quite busy and there are lots of things to keep on top of so I wanted to add a little reminder of the key dates for the next few weeks: 

Monday 1st July – some children from Year 6 will be visiting the library during the school day – parents will have been informed today if their child is taking part in this visit.  

Tuesday 2nd July – Some children in Year 4 along with the Sports Captains will be taking part in Path2Paris at Barnwell. Parents have been contacted if their child is taking part.  

Tuesday 2nd July - Year 6 Rounders event (by invitation)

Wednesday 3rd July – Year 4 trip to Shuttleworth. More details towards the end of this newsletter.  

Wednesday 3rd July – Year 3 Rounders at Marriotts School – by invitation.

Wednesday 3rd July – Uniform sale after school – if the weather allows, this will take place in the quadrant.  

Wednesday 3rd July – Year 5 Grafham information meeting hosted by Miss Simmons in the hall at 6.00pm. Children are welcome to attend. Please enter site via the drop-off zone. 

Friday 5th July – Upper school singing assembly – please check your payment history on Gateway to check if you booked a space for this.  

Friday 5th July - Year 3/4 Tennis event in St Albans (by invitation)

Tuesday 9th July – Rocksteady concert in the hall from 10.00am. Please check your emails from Rocksteady.

Tuesday 9th July  - Parents will be informed of their child's class teacher for next year.

Thursday 11th July – Hertfordshire’s Transition Day. We will welcome our new Year 3 children for the day, children will spend the day with their new teacher in their new classes and Year 6 children will attend their new secondary school. A big day for everyone. 

W/C 15th July – Reports will be sent home electronically.

Graduation week – Tickets have been sent home with children. We can’t wait to welcome families to this wonderful event. Please note, you have been given 3 tickets for guests (this does not include your child). We are unable to offer more tickets due to space limitations in the hall. 
Monday 15th July – 6S 
Tuesday 16th July – 6B 
Wednesday 17th July – 6C 

Wednesday 17th July – Book sale  

Friday 19th July – Year 6 trip to Fairlands TBC 

Monday 22nd July – Last day of term  
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 sale is: 
Wednesday 3rd July
The sale takes place from 3.00pm in the hall.

Book Sale

Our next book sale is: 
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. 


Year 3 96.03%
Year 4 96.68% 
Year 5 96.12% 
Year 6 89.26%
All Students 94.59% 
Class winners 4O- 98.6%

Club End Dates - Please check these as most of the clubs are now finished for this term. 

House Points


Please place your orders on School Gateway. Parents are able to order one ice cream each Friday for their child to eat in class. 

Cash will be accepted on the day but please help FOAH to prepare by placing an order online. 

Ice-creams will also be available to purchase after school for anyone who has missed out during the day.

In Other News...

Almond Hill have been shortlisted for an award! 

The award is called the 'SSFT Award' - this award recognises a school which has embraced every aspect of the SSFT provision throughout the academic year which includes the attendance of events, competitions, festivals, CPD opportunities, projects, workshops and all provision available. We have been shortlisted along with another school for this award. 

Year 4 Shuttleworth Trip 

The Year 4 school trip to the Shuttleworth House Zoology Education Centre will be on Wednesday the 3rd of July. The children will travel by coach to and from the venue and the trip is within the normal hours of the school day. Drop off and pick up is normal school times from classrooms. Breakfast and after-school club arrangements will not be affected.

In line with the weather forecast, we are asking children to wear school uniform with trainers or outdoor shoes. As the forecast evolves, children can bring a light jacket or raincoat, sunhat and you may wish to apply suncream for your child before school – we may be outdoors at some points in the day.

Children are required to bring a packed lunch and water bottle. This could be in a rucksack or a disposable bag and bottle (which can be thrown away after lunch). If your child is entitled to Free School Meals, please ensure you have ordered a lunch through the school office if required.

The coach journey is approximately 25 mins. Children requiring travel sickness medication should have this administered at home beforehand. If you expect your child will need medication for the return journey, you must complete the form below (and bring the medication to the office) by 12.00pm Tuesday 2nd July.

Thank you for your support, we are really looking forward to the day.

Olympics Themed Lunch

Monday 15th July - Please book on School Grid. 

Netball Festival

Netball Festival Words cannot express how proud I am of the netballers that joined me at the netball festival on Tuesday 25th June. All staff and parents have been commenting on the improvement they have noticed each time they have watched our Year 5 netballers and the squad attending certainly proved them right. We remained undefeated across the aft…

Sports Day 2024

Information for Parents