Dear Parents,

Firstly let me welcome all of our new families to Horsmonden! What an exciting year lies ahead as we continue to strengthen and develop our new inquiry based curriculum using the Primary Years Programme to frame our learning in the classroom. Please follow our school Facebook page here for regular weekly updates on this when term starts.

Over the summer I am pleased to report that both the Year 5 and 6 classrooms have been recarpeted and are now looking much smarter. The site team have also been busy painting some of the tired looking spaces inside making the school look fresh and ready for the new academic year.  

Work on our new forest school area should commence during term 1 and I have identified 2 members of staff, Mrs Turvey and Mrs Radford, to take part in forest school training to become Forest School Leaders. I will keep you updated as this project progresses. 

Staffing

Before the summer I mentioned that a trainee teacher would be joining Year 2 to work with Mrs Huby and Miss Sanchez until she commences her maternity leave. While this is still the case, a different trainee will be completing her teacher training here who some of you will know. I am pleased to welcome Mrs Lawson to our teaching team and wish her every success on her teacher training journey. 

On another note, there is clearly something in the water at Horsmonden as I am thrilled to announce another Horsmonden baby is on the way, making the total now 3 with Miss Foord and Miss Sanchez both due to begin their maternity leave soon! Mrs Mcleish, Vice Principal, is expecting her third baby in January. 

School Arrangements

As you are aware, all children are due back to school on Wednesday 1st September, 8:40am-3:20pm. The only exception to this is our new EYFS children who will finish at 1:15pm for the first 3 days. 

The one way system will remain in place for drop off and collection. Parents should continue to walk through the small wooden gate, follow the path round the building and through the EYFS outdoor area to drop off and collect their children. 

School will start at 8:40am and finish at 3:20pm. Please note the gates will be opened for parents to come onto site at these times. If they are closed, please wait off site.  Anyone arriving after 8:50am will be registered as late and will need to go through the main office as the wooden gate will be locked at this time.

Parents of children in Year 5 and Year 6 will still be asked to wait off site and children should walk to their classrooms independently. At the end of the day, teachers will dismiss children only when they see a parent waiting by the fence. If parents of children in Year 5 or 6 wish for their children to walk home alone, please email the school office. 

Breakfast and After School Club

You might remember me sending out a survey last year regarding Breakfast and After School Club to provide me with an insight into the number of people needing the service and for how long. At the time, due to the pandemic and lots of parents working from home, only a small minority of parents required a service from 7:30am until 6pm which is why the hours remained 8am until 5pm for the remainder of the academic year.

During our first term back, I will send another survey to parents to see if working patterns have changed now that more and more people are returning to the office. I will use the survey to inform my decision about the future hours of Breakfast and After School Club but for now, it will remain 8am until 5pm. 

COVID Restrictions Update

Parents, staff and visitors are no longer required to wear a face covering when on site and year group bubbles will cease at the start of term. 

Contact tracing for staff and students that have been in close contact with a positive case will be undertaken by NHS Test and Trace. This means that where there is a positive case in school the responsibility for tracing close contacts is with the NHS.  

As of the 16th August only those that have not been fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate. Staff and children are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated;
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months;
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial; and/or
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. I would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

If the guidance changes, or cases in this area rise then I will review current measures as required and update parents as necessary. 

Kind Regards,

Hayley Sharp

Principal