Parent Update (2nd December 2022)

Horsmonden Primary Academy Logo

Dear Parents,

We had a lovely start to the day this morning with a whole school, Christmas themed assembly. Each class made decorations that were hung on our Christmas tree as part of the assembly and it now looks beautiful! Thank you to Ophelia’s grandparents for donating the tree from their Christmas Tree Farm in Yalding.

A girl is pictured hanging a decoration she has made herself onto a branch of the school Christmas Tree in the Main Hall.
A photo of the school Christmas Tree fully decorated in the Main Hall in December 2022.

Christmas Events

The dates for our Christmas events were published in October, giving working parents time to plan their schedules. For a reminder of the dates, please see the diary dates listed at the end of this update.

Tickets will not be required for the EYFS Nativity or KS2 Carol Service, but will be issued to parents attending the KS1 Nativity. Parents of children in Year 1 and Year 2 will receive two tickets for each performance in due course.

On Tuesday 13th December, children in Year 6 will be taking part in a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop kindly led by Marta Lewanska, Max and Kasper’s mum. To help cover the costs of the materials, there will be a charge of £6 per child to take part, to be paid on MCaS. At the end of the workshop, children will have a beautifully decorated, handmade wreath to take home with them. This is always a popular event and one the children and teachers look forward to. Thank you to Marta for continuing the tradition for us again this year.

Christmas Coffee Morning, with Mince Pies!

Our next Coffee Morning will be on Friday 16th December, 8:45am – 9:45am. Following a suggestion by a parent at our last coffee morning, going forward, there will be a focus for discussion at each event.

The focus for discussion on Friday 16th December will be:

  • 2 stars and a wish

I am kindly asking parents to identify 2 aspects of the school that they really like and consider a strength, as well as one aspect of the school that could be improved. Class Reps could be used to collate the views of parents who are unable to make the coffee morning to ensure a wide range of responses. Mrs Mcleish and I will use the coffee morning as an opportunity to listen to how parents really feel about Horsmonden and we look forward to some healthy discussions.

Hovec Christmas Market – Saturday, 11am to 3pm

As part of the Hovec Winter Festival, FoHPS will be running a stall at the Christmas Market on Saturday. If you are able to give any time, please let the FoHPS Committee know.

MCAS (MyChildAtSchool)

Thank you for your patience when transferring over to MCAS. The system is now up and running and we are grateful to all the parents who downloaded the app ready for the change. If you are still not able to access MCAS, please let the office know.


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 every day 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 is 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 9:00am.
  • 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 behind 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 come to 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.


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.

Kind Regards,

Hayley Sharp

2022-23 Diary Dates

Term 2

  • Tuesday 6th December – Open Morning, drop in from 9:30 to 11:30am
  • Friday 9th December – FoHPS Christmas Present Fair
  • Tuesday 13th December – Year 6 Christmas Wreath Making Workshop
  • Wednesday 14th December – Christmas Lunch
  • Thursday 15th December, 2pm & 5pm – KS1 Nativity (Years 1 & 2)
  • Friday 16th December, 8:45 to 9:45am – Christmas Coffee Morning
  • Friday 16th December, 2pm – EYFS Nativity
  • Monday 19th December, 5:30pm – KS2 Christmas Carol Service at St Margaret’s Church
  • Tuesday 20th December – Christmas Jumper Day, End of Term 2

Term 3

  • Wednesday 4th January – INSET Day for staff
  • Thursday 5th January – Start of Term 3 for children
  • Wednesday 8th February – FoHPS Valentines Disco, 3:20pm to 5pm
  • Thursday 9th February – End of Term 3 for children
  • Friday 10th February – INSET Day for staff

Term 4

  • 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 from 1:30 to 3:00pm
  • Friday 31st March – FoHPS Easter Egg Hunt
  • Friday 31st March – End of Term 4

Term 5

  • 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

Term 6

  • Monday 5th June – Start of Term 6
  • Friday 9th to 16th June – Year 6 Bikeability
  • Saturday 10th June – FoHPS Summer Fair, 12 to 4pm
  • Friday 16th June – Marvellous Males Afternoon, drop in from 1:30 to 3:00pm
  • Monday 19th to 23rd June – Year 6 Residential (PGL)
  • Wednesday 12th July – FoHPS End of Year Disco, 3:30 to 5:00pm
  • Friday 21st July – End of Term 6