Our Horsmonden family is growing weekly at the moment and I am pleased to say that since the start of the academic year, I have welcomed 6 new children to the school in Years 2, 4, 5 and 6. It is one of the parts of my job I enjoy the most – showing children and parents around this wonderful school. They get to see first hand how well behaved, hard working and enthusiastic the children are in lessons. This doesn’t just happen, but is a credit to the dedication and commitment from all the staff here. I am so fortunate to work with such a fantastic team of people!
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme
For those of you that are new to school, I thought it would be helpful to recap on how we teach the National Curriculum at Horsmonden. The curriculum is mapped out for each year group and is framed by the Primary Years Programme (PYP).
The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, as well as transdisciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry.
One of the reasons we chose to use this particular framework to deliver the National Curriculum is not only because it is a world renowned programme of education but also because of the focus it places on inquiry based learning. Teachers can now teach the National Curriculum subject specific skills and knowledge through their lines of inquiry in the classroom. Each term there are three lines of inquiry that progress to deepen childrens’ understanding of the skills and concepts within. They also encourage children to ‘think big’ about global issues and life beyond Horsmonden.
The benefits of teaching in this way:
- Allow integrated development of cognitive skills
- Enable us to develop a curriculum appropriate to meet childrens’ learning needs
- Develops autonomous and critical learners
- Content can be chosen by teachers but is developed within a concept-driven curriculum to bring coherence across subjects
- Assessment drives learning and teaching positively.
Using the PYP Framework supports our shared thinking to ensure we achieve our mission statement to ‘encourage lifelong learning and develop inquiring, knowledgeable, caring individuals that understand the world around them while demonstrating respect.’
You may remember that we were visited by our PYP Consultant, Sarah Ford in February who confirmed that we are ready for our verification visit. The visit is planned for next week, and if successful, we will be accredited as an IB World School.
Parent Coffee Morning
Parents are welcome to pop in on Monday 26th September for an informal chat and a coffee with me and Mr Alabi. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions, find out more about Horsmonden and share any ideas you have. This time we will be joined by Mrs Kerr, our new SENCo, giving you an opportunity to meet her properly.
Parent Partnership Afternoon
On Thursday 29th September I am warmly inviting parents to drop in for our Parent Partnership Afternoon between 1:30pm and 3:00pm. There is no need to book, just drop in between those times.
The aim of the afternoon is for you to meet your child’s class teacher, see their classroom environment and look through their work. It also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the year ahead.
At Horsmonden, our home learning (homework) is set through Google Classroom. All children have a login for Google Classroom and have access to a virtual classroom that can be used both at school and at home. The only exception to this is EYFS where phonics sheets are sent home in book bags.
Our new aluminium framed glass doors will be installed over half term and be ready for children returning on Monday 7th November.
The work to the EYFS outdoor area started this week as planned and is now well underway. It is shaping up nicely and the children are excited about using it soon. Thank you to parents for your understanding when dropping off and collecting your children – I know that closing the area causes congestion at the gate, but I am hopeful we will be able to return to our one way route next week.
The Year 1 classroom has been redecorated to match the EYFS classroom and has made a huge difference to their learning space with new flooring, new ceiling tiles, freshly painted walls and new sink area with storage. Both EYFS and Year 1 classrooms have also received new tables to complete the look.
The next phase of this project is to redecorate the EYFS and Year 1 toilets. This will be completed at the weekend, ready for Monday next week.
We have received a significant amount of investment from the Trust both in terms of building projects and digital tools which we are all grateful for.
Breakfast and After School Club
Numbers for Breakfast and Afterschool Club are increasing gradually and children who attend are enjoying the new snacks on offer. As a reminder, please see below for session prices and timings.
- Drop off time from 7:45am (Breakfast included)
- £3.50 per session
After School Club
- Finish time of 5:30pm (Snack provided)
- Until 4:20pm – £3.00
- From 4:20 to 5:30pm – £3.50
- Until 5:30pm – £6.50
Any new parents wishing to use this service should contact the school office until your Parent Pay account has been set up.
Horsmonden Primary Academy Facebook Page
For regular updates and pictures of children working at Horsmonden, please check our Facebook page. There are usually new posts every day during term time, however I have been observing the national period of mourning this week by keeping posts to a minimum. Normal activity will resume next week.
Children should be in school every day unless they are too ill, attendance is mandatory, as set out by the Department of Education. We have high expectations of behaviour, learning and attendance at Horsmonden and will use the full extent of our Attendance Policy to support this.
Parents should aim for 100% attendance for their children. When children are not in school regularly it not only affects their learning, but also their behaviour, routines and ability to make and retain friends. We often find that those children that have friendship issues are the same children who have poor attendance. There is also a direct correlation between attendance and attainment. Children have missed out on too much education over the last couple of years and I am asking for your support in ensuring your children are in school every day.
Attendance will continue to be monitored daily, which includes the involvement of other agencies and requesting penalty notices where necessary to ensure all children have the best possible chance of being successful at Horsmonden. Already this term, I have had to refer a couple of families for Penalty Notices and completed a home visit due to not being able to reach a family when their child was absent.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to find me at the gate in the morning or afternoon, or alternatively, make an appointment via the school office.
2022/23 Diary Dates
- Thursday 1st September – Start of Term 1 for all children
- Monday 26th November – Parent Coffee Morning, 8:45am-9:45am
- Thursday 29th September – Parent Partnership Afternoon, drop in between 1:30pm-3:00pm
- Wednesday 28th September – FoHPS Committee Meeting, 3:30pm-4:30pm
- Wednesday 19th October – FoHPS Bangers and Bingo
- Friday 21st October – End of Term 1
- Monday 7th November – Start of Term 2 for children
- Tuesday 8th November – Open Morning, drop in between 9:30am-11:30am
- Tuesday 15th November – Flu Vaccinations
- Tuesday 15th November – Parent Consultations, 3:30pm-5:30pm
- Wednesday 16th November – Parent Consultations, 3:30pm-5:30pm
- Friday 18th November – Children in Need
- Thursday 24th November – Profiles Photography (individual photos)
- Tuesday 29th November – Open Morning, drop in between 9:30am-11:30am
- Friday 9th December – FoHPS Christmas Present Fair
- Tuesday 20th December – End of Term 2
- Wednesday 4th January – INSET Day for staff
- Thursday 5th January – Start of Term 3 for children
- Wednesday 8th February – FoHPS Valentines Disco, 3:20pm-5pm
- Thursday 9th February – End of Term 3 for children
- Friday 10th February – INSET Day for staff
- Monday 20th February – Start of Term 4
- Friday 10th March – FoHPS Break the Rules Day
- Monday 13th March – Class Photos
- Friday 17th March – Fabulous Females Afternoon, drop in between 1:30pm-3:00pm
- Friday 31st March – FoHPS Easter Egg Hunt
- Friday 31st March – End of Term 4
- Monday 17th April – INSET Day for staff
- Tuesday 18th April – Start of Term 5 for children
- Monday 1st May – Bank Holiday (school closed)
- Friday 26th May – End of Term 5
- Monday 5th June – Start of Term 6
- Friday 9th to 16th June – Year 6 Bikeability
- Saturday 10th June – FoHPS Summer Fair, 12pm-4pm
- Friday 16th June – Marvellous Males Afternoon, drop in between 1:30pm-3:00pm
- Monday 19th to 23rd June – Year 6 Residential (PGL)
- Wednesday 12th July – FoHPS End of Year Disco, 3:30pm-5:00pm
- Friday 21st July – End of Term 6