Parent Update 9th February

A girl smiling at the camera while writing on a whiteboard.

Dear Parents

In light of Safer Internet Day this week, all Trust Academies have launched a new piece of online monitoring software to strengthen the level of monitoring we have in place and to ensure that all users of LAT devices are safe online.

We are working in partnership with Smoothwall to ensure that all school accounts and devices are appropriately monitored. Smoothwall is a real-time, digital monitoring solution that flags incidents as they happen. Monitoring both keystrokes and screen views, safeguarding staff are informed, through a variety of means, when users try to view or type any content that could be harmful.

It is aimed at protecting all users from risks of online bullying. Data from student accounts is never seen in its entirety but identified risk words and phrases are reviewed and risk assessed by Smoothwall and will be passed onto the school safeguarding team if they meet set thresholds of concern or risk. This is an important strengthening of our safeguarding arrangements to protect our users as we increasingly operate in electronic forums as part of our wider digital strategy.

Technology is an amazing resource that enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge.

World Book Day – Thursday 2nd March
Once again this year, we will be celebrating World Book Day and invite children and staff to come to school dressed as book characters. As usual, the day will feature book themed activities for the children to take part in and enjoy. It is always a lovely, fun filled day where we celebrate books together and encourage a love of reading.

Please remember we are a nut free school due to there being a number of children with allergies to nuts. This means that peanut butter sandwiches, cereal bars containing nuts and birthday chocolates with nuts in (e.g. Celebrations) are not permitted in school.

The clubs for next term have been finalised with teachers and will start the first week back. Please see the extended curriculum page for details on the clubs on offer in term 4.

Short Story Competition
I am excited to share with you a Short Story Competition for all the children to take part in. Look out for the flyer given to the children today explaining how they can take part. They will have a picture as a stimulus to write about. The picture can be interpreted however they wish. The story should include all the skills they have been learning in class. There will be 4 categories of winners with one child winning from each category.

The categories are:
Year 1 and 2
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6

Completed entries should be given to Mrs Mcleish by the end of Tuesday 28th February and announced on World Book Day. Good Luck!

Trainee Teacher
After half term, I am pleased to inform you that Mr Holliday will be joining the Year 1 teaching team until Easter. Mr Holliday is a trainee teacher who will be completing his 6 week placement at Horsmonden Primary with the teacher training provider, KMT. He will be working alongside Miss McCulloch and Mrs Lewis, following the same teaching sequence as usual, allowing the children of Year 1 to receive more support/challenge as necessary.

Careers Day – Wednesday 8th March
On Wednesday 8th March, we will be having our first ever ‘Careers Day’. Our aim is to inspire children to aim high and give them the opportunity to learn about the wide range of careers available to them in their future lives. To help bring the day to life, I am kindly asking for help from parents.

I am looking for working parents to volunteer a small amount of time for the day to come in and speak to the children about your chosen job/career. You could explain the path you took to get to your job, what your job is like day to day and share any further career aspirations you have. I am keen to show children a range of careers that parents have, so any time you could give on the day would be greatly appreciated. No career/job is too small, so please do get in touch if you can spare the time.

For more information, please contact the school office.

Leigh Academies Trust Parent Survey
The Trust survey is still open and will close at 4pm on Friday 10th February.

As mentioned previously, the survey results are used at Trust level, as well as by me to further improve Horsmonden for all children. Thank you to all of you that have completed the survey so far.

Click here to complete the survey

The school website was redeveloped shortly after we joined LAT. Since then, I have kept it up to date with relevant information for parents, visitors and prospective parents. A while ago, I signposted the news and uniform sections of the website and now I would like to highlight the curriculum section of our school website. On these pages you find information about the Primary Years Programme and our Curriculum Map.

Thank you to those parents who have supported us again, by ensuring your child is in school every day and doesn’t take time off unnecessarily. Today we handed out 73 certificates to children who have 100% attendance this term. Next term 100% attendance certificates will combine attendance and punctuality, so for every child that attends school on time every day in Term 4, will be celebrated at the end of the term and receive a certificate.

As we close today for half term, I would like to wish you all a lovely week with your families and thank you for your continued support of Horsmonden Primary Academy.

Kind regards,

Hayley Sharp

Revised diary dates below

Thursday 9th February

End of term 3 for children

Friday 10th February

Inset Day for staff

Monday 20th February

Start of term 4

Thursday 2nd March

World Book Day

Wednesday 8th March

Careers Day

Friday 10th March

FoHPS Break the Rules Day

Monday 13th March

Class photos

Tuesday 14th March

Parent consultations, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Wednesday 15th March

Parent consultations, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Friday 17th March

Comic Relief / Red Nose Day
Fabulous Females afternoon, drop in between 1:30pm – 3pm

Friday 31st March

FoHPS Easter egg hunt
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

Monday 8th May

Bank holiday – school closed

Friday 26th May

End of term 5

Monday 5th June

Start of term 6

Friday 9th – Friday 16th June

Year 6 Bikeability

Saturday 10th June

FoHPS summer fair, 12pm – 4pm

Friday 16th June

Marvellous Males afternoon, drop in 1:30pm – 3pm

Monday 19th – Friday 23rd June

Year 6 Residential – PGL

Thursday 29th June

Year 5 activity day at Bewl Water

Wednesday 12th July

FoHPS end of year disco, 3:30pm – 5pm

Friday 21st July

End of term 6