Dear Parents / Carers
What a wonderful last couple of weeks we have had in school as we look forward to Christmas. I am thrilled that we were able to go ahead with the KS1 and EYFS Nativities as well as the KS2 Carol Service. It is so important that the children have these experiences to develop their confidence and performance skills but also to have fun! It was clear to see that the children performed with enthusiasm and pride.
For more photos, please see our school Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/horsmondenprimary/
Alongside the rehearsals, children were continuing their learning and working hard to finish their inquiries ready for the next term. Using the Primary Years Programme Framework continues to strengthen our curriculum by exciting, motivating and inspiring the children to find things out and develop their inquiring minds. Our philosophy, of ‘encouraging lifelong learning and developing inquiring, knowledgeable, caring individuals that understand the world around them while demonstrating respect’ is evident in all areas of school life now and Horsmonden is a great place to be!
Prospective Parents (September 2021 EYFS intake)
Rather than holding specific open days I have invited prospective parents in for a personalised tour, giving them the chance to see a typical day at Horsmonden. The feedback from the tours has been very positive with almost all commenting on how well behaved the children are and what interesting lessons they’ve seen. The closing date for applications is Monday 17th January so if you know any pre schoolers looking for a school place for September, tell them to book their tour by contacting the school office.
Mrs Mcleish, Vice Principal, is expecting her baby in early January which means she will only be with us for a short time after the Christmas break. In her absence, Mr Alabi will be joining us as Vice Principal until Mrs Mcleish returns.
I’m sad to say that after two very successful terms of teacher training, Mrs Lawson will be moving on to pastures new after Christmas. The whole staff team has enjoyed working with her, especially Mrs Huby and she will be missed by us all. Thank you for all your hard work with Year 2 Mrs Lawson and I wish you every success in your new ventures.
Breakfast and After School Club
Thank you to those of you that completed the Breakfast and After School Club Survey, I had a total of 25 responses. A summary of the results are below:
Breakfast Club – currently operates from 8am without breakfast for a cost of £2.50
- What would encourage you to use it more?
- N/A – Not required: 14
- If breakfast was provided: 5
- An earlier start: 4
- A reduced cost: 2
After School Club – currently operates until 5pm without a snack for a cost of £5.00
- What would encourage you to use it more?
- A later finish time: 12
- A reduced cost: 6
- N/A – not required: 5
- If a snack was provided: 2
Since the start of the pandemic I have kept the opening and closing times under review to ensure that I am balancing the needs of parents with the financial viability of the club. This is the second survey I have sent out to parents.
At this current moment in time, there still isn’t the demand there was before the pandemic to start Breakfast Club earlier or to finish After School Club later. I understand that this puts a strain on the handful of you that require a longer service, and I will keep the times under review. Another survey will be sent out in the Summer term.
Particularly at the moment, with the advice from the Government being for office based staff to work from home, I do not imagine the demand to grow over the coming months.
Year 5 swimming lessons have now drawn to a close after having weekly lessons for nearly two terms. Next it will be the turn of Year 4 and a separate letter has been sent to Year 4 parents. Swimming is an essential life skill and is part of the National Curriculum. The aim is for all children to be able to swim 25m unaided by the time they leave primary school.
Thank you everyone for your support over the last two terms with regards to Covid measures in place/plans changing at last minute. It is a constantly evolving situation that can present challenges at short notice, and will continue to do so with the Omicron variant spreading so quickly at the moment. At the time of writing this, none of the children at Horsmonden have Covid and I really hope you are all able to enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas with your families. If anything changes over the break, and further measures need to be reinstated, I will let you know as soon as I am able to.
All that’s left for me to say is that I wish you all a very merry Christmas, a happy new year and I look forward to seeing everyone back on Tuesday 4th January.