If you missed a recent newsletter you can find a copy below. Newsletters will be removed at the end of each term. If there is a copy of an old newsletter you would like please ask at the office.
20th January 2021 - Issue 17
It has been lovely to speak to you, albeit remotely, during our whole school assemblies. I can’t tell you how excited I was on Monday when I could see that over 100 families had joined in. My great thanks to Mrs Brocklehurst, for organising and facilitating all the live sessions so far. All classes have now had the opportunity to engage with a class assembly and the teachers have been really pleased to be able to deliver these and interact with you this way. We hope to be able to continue and extend this way of communicating with you over the coming weeks. I am pleased that we have been able to introduce live sessions and hope the balance between this and our usual Teams assignments has helped families begin to find a manageable way of working through their days.
If you have any questions regarding remote learning, please direct them first to the year group email addresses or Mrs Birchall if your query relates to SEND. I cannot say this strongly enough, every family is different and remote learning can be very stressful and challenging for many people. Do the best you can. Stay in touch via the year group emails, show us what you have been working on at home or let us know if there is anything you are struggling with. For some what we are providing may be too much, so please make sure you prioritise. For others there may be too little, so make use the additional resources on the website for extra ideas.
Thank you to those parents who took the time to complete the survey we sent out last week regarding technology. We have since been able to allocate laptops and place an order for additional devices, data and routers as a result of your prompt response.
I know there has been lots of information in the media about free school meals and what has been available to parents. Currently we are providing care packages but are looking to move to vouchers as soon as possible. We will be in touch with the families that are entitled to Free School Meals in due course.
Keep it Manageable
A reminder that we will send out a booking form every Wednesday by 9.00am which must be completed by 9.00am each Friday for you to book critical worker spaces. If this deadline is missed, then a place will not be allocated for your child.
Teams - Monitoring Your Child's Use
Please ensure children are not using the chat facility during assemblies as it is very distracting for the presenter. We have also noticed some inappropriate use of chat in classes and would like to remind parents (and children) that the chat is monitored and all users can see conversations.
Class chats should be focussed on learning. Additionally, it has come to our attention that some children have used the screenshot facility during live sessions. Teachers will speak to parents of children that are not using it properly.
If you require log in details to access Microsoft Teams please email email@example.com
Stevenage Central Library is open for Ready Reads. You can join, for free, online: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraries
You will receive a temporary membership number which can be used to access the online eBook and eAudio library BorrowBox, Library membership will enable your family to take full advantage of Ready Reads – We select you collect. All you need to do is fill out the online form with details of the type of books required and collect.
For further details visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ready-reads
RSPB – Big Garden Birdwatch
To play your part in the world’s largest bird survey this January, follow the link to the RSPB website and follow the instructions. You can submit your results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch from 29 January until 19 February. The website has resources to help you, including a how to guide and a printable bird ID. This is a great way to bring something new to your daily walks! For fun you can also take part in the ‘what bird are you’ quiz: www.rspb.org.uk/quiz. Let your teachers know how you get on; they would love to hear from you! Virtual School Games events. I am proud to tell you that our Year 6 B football team became overall county winners. Well done!
For additional resources to support remote learning including how to use your game consoles to access Microsoft Teams, please visit our website: www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/resources
Courses for Families
Our website is regularly updated with a variety of courses and programmes that are available for parents, carers and families. Please visit our website to see what is currently being delivered in our area: https://www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/courses
Mental Health and Wellbeing
It is important more now than ever that we look after our mental health. The new government restrictions allow us to partake in exercise once a day and we would urge parents and children to take this opportunity to go outside where possible. We also have lots of information on our website for information and services to help you: www.almondhill.herts.sch.uk/Wellbeing/MentalHealth
With more and more being added to the School Gateway app, including links to parents evening bookings, letters, and other information, it is important for parents to download to the app to keep up to date.
In an effort to save paper we no longer send a paper copy of the newsletter home. You can access the weekly newsletter via the school gateway app or the school website and it is also sent home via email each week.
With our communication methods changing it is important more now than ever that we have an up to date email address for you. If you do not see the newsletter by email on a Wednesday please contact the school office to ensure we have the correct details for you.