Thank you to everyone who came to Parent Consultations this week. They were very well attended and gave parents the opportunity to understand more about their child’s strengths and areas for development. Parents of children with SEN were invited to share their thoughts regarding their child’s individual provision plan and to understand more about their learning. The next formal opportunity for parents to meet teachers will be in March. Having said that, teachers are always available at the end of the day to discuss any pressing issues that may arise.
One question that came up was about our Feedback and Marking Policy. When looking through your child’s books, you may have noticed that teachers at Horsmonden don’t leave written feedback comments. This is because feedback happens verbally in lessons. We prefer this approach as children can make changes/improve their work immediately following a conversation with the teacher. Leaving written comments that children read the next day has little impact on learning, and a conversation with the teacher in the lesson is far more powerful and has a direct impact on learning.
MCAS – new payment system in place of Parent Pay
Mrs Janes has been busy over the last few weeks learning about our new online payment system MCAS and we are pleased to announce it will go live on Wednesday 23rd November. From this date, we will stop using Parent Pay and all details will have been transferred to the new system. In preparation for this please ensure any debts are settled in Parent Pay and do not add any credits, just pay as you go.
From Wednesday you will be able to pay for school meals and books after school club on MCAS. Having said that, the system is new to us all and I am hoping there won’t be too many teething problems. Mrs Janes has worked hard on the switch, but cannot plan for every eventuality.
In readiness for Wednesday I am reminding all parents to urgently activate their accounts. At the end of next week the school calendar will go on sale through MCAS and anyone who has not activated their account will not be able to order one. It is vital all parents activate their accounts and move over to the new system asap.
The teacher-led curriculum clubs will not be running this term. This is due to us making the switch from Parent Pay to MCAS. Once the new system is up and running fully, we will resume our full offer of clubs. I anticipate this will be after Christmas.
As mentioned before, the number of children arriving late for school (after 8:50am) on a regular basis is growing. School starts at 8:40am and so does learning. The gate closes at 8:50am as all children should be in school learning by then. Consider the following scenario:
Arrives on time everyday at 8:40am
- Starts learning just after 8:45am
- Chats to friends as they arrive together
- Child A is up-to-date and no learning has been missed
- Child A has maintained strong relationships with their peers
Arrives late 3 times a week at 8:55am
- Starts catching up with missed learning at 9am
- Friends are already working and nearly finished with the morning task
- Child B starts the day playing catch-up, and misses 15 minutes of learning every day they are late
- Child B misses the chance to say hello to friends and feels left out every day they are late. If this happens often, it could lead to difficulties maintaining friendships and could result in the child not wanting to attend school
Everyone is late from time to time as unexpected situations can arise that are beyond our control. However, when a child is persistently late, it really does affect their learning as well as their social skills, and in turn their desire to come to school. Lateness has the same negative effect as poor attendance does.
Some of you may have noticed Mrs Collins working with Mrs Janes in the office earlier this week. I am pleased to say that after a successful interview, Mrs Collins has joined our team and will be job sharing with Mrs Janes starting next week. She made a great start on Monday and is a wonderful addition to our team.
Children in Need
Thank you to everyone that took part in our efforts to raise money for Children in Need this year. By children wearing spots and non uniform, we raised over £158.
Yesterday children in Year 5 and 6 took part in another Children in Need fundraiser at the Church Hall where they were taught how to play the drums by professional musician Reuben Turvey. They were encouraged to have a go at playing a full drum kit and keep the drums drumming for Children in Need.
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.
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.
Please see below for diary dates
2022-2023 Diary Dates
Friday 18th November 2022
Children in Need – wear spotty clothes for a donation of £1
Thursday 24th November 2022
Profiles photography – individual photos
Tuesday 29th November 2022
Open morning – drop in between 9:30am – 11:30am
Friday 9th December 2022
FoHPS Christmas Present Fair
Tuesday 13th December 2022
Year 6 wreath-making workshop
Wednesday 14th December 2022
Thursday 15th December 2022
KS1 nativity (Years 1 & 2) – 2pm & 5pm
Friday 16th December 2022
EYFS nativity – 2pm
Monday 19th December 2022
KS2 Christmas carol service at St Margaret’s Church – 5:30pm
Tuesday 20th December 2022
End of term 2
Wednesday 4th January 2023
Inset day for staff
Thursday 5th January 2023
Start of term 3 for students
Wednesday 8th February 2023
FoHPS Valentine’s Disco – 3:20pm – 5pm
Thursday 9th February 2023
End of term 3 for students
Friday 10th February 2023
Inset day for staff
Monday 20th February 2023
Start of term 4
Friday 10th March 2023
FoHPS Break the Rules Day
Monday 13th March 2023
Friday 17th March 2023
Fabulous Females afternoon – drop in between 1:30pm – 3pm
Friday 31st March 2023
FoHPS Easter egg hunt
End of term 4
Monday 17th April 2023
Inset day for staff
Tuesday 18th April 2023
Start of term 5 for students
Monday 1st May 2023
Bank holiday – school closed
Friday 26th May 2023
End of term 5
Monday 5th June 2023
Start of term 6
Friday 9th June – Friday 16th June 2023
Year 6 BikeAbility
Saturday 10th June 2023
FoHPS Summer Fair – 12pm – 4pm
Friday 16th June 2023
Marvellous Males afternoon – drop in between 1:30pm – 3pm
Monday 19th June – Friday 23rd June 2023
Year 6 residential – PGL
Wednesday 12th July 2023
FoHPS End of Year Disco – 3:30pm – 5pm
Friday 21st July 2023
End of term 6