Strike Action - Tuesday 5 July 2016                
Welcome to Horsenden Primary School
Welcome to Horsenden Primary School

Dear Parents and Carers




I am now in a position to confirm what is happening on Tuesday 5 July 2016. A paper letter and a ParentMail letter has been sent out to parents/carers which confirms the following information:

Industrial Action - Tuesday 5 July 2016

There is going to be a strike on the above date by some members of the NUT (National Union of Teachers).

This is just to let you know that THE SCHOOL IS CLOSED FOR CHILDREN ON TUESDAY 5 JULY 2016.

I have given you as much notice as I can for you to have childcare arrangements in place and I am sorry for any inconvenience caused. 

No child will be in school on Tuesday 5 July 2016.

On Thursday 30 June, I will be attending the funeral of Rupa Roy who, sadly, died, on 24 June, 2016.  She was the mother of two pupils who attended here and we knew her well.  

Thanks to everyone who completed the Parental Engagement Survey which was sent out by Miss Harrison. Those collating the information said that the response was very good so we will await the results.

Before I go on to update you as to what has been happening in school, recently, I ought to mention the school Summer Fair which is taking place on Saturday 9 July between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm.  Entry is via the Elton Avenue entrance.  You will have lots of fun there.  If you want to any additional raffle tickets, do come and get them from the school office.  Also, the wristbands for the inflatables are sold via the school office, too!  Let's hope the weather stays fine for the day!  Mrs Pearson has been organising it and sending out letters asking for help so, if you can help in any way, why not pop in to the office and speak to her?  She works every day, apart from Friday.

At the time of writing this, the Year 1 and Year 2 sports day is taking place which means that the only year groups, so far, which need to be re-scheduled are for Years 3 and 4.  Their sports day was 'rained off' on Monday 20 June.  Thanks to Miss Harrison for ensuring that all the children (so far) have had an enjoyable time during their sports days.  The days whizz by and I was just trying to think what had happened at the end of LAST week, remembering the enjoyable Year 2 sharing assembly.  We were worried that the audience would not fit into the Year 1/Year 2 school hall but they all managed to and everyone seemed to be able to see what was going on!  This bodes well for the forthcoming Year 1 sharing assembly which is on Friday 1 July.  I am not here on that day and so will be watching it on the Thursday.  They were busy planning it when I called over to see the team on Wednesday 22 June so it will be well underway by the time you read this.  As we are trying to promote reading in the school, I am trying to mention something about reading each time I update this page.  I want to mention the lovely book 'Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain', by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal (ISBN 978 - 0 - 333 - 35 164 - 2) which was acted out for us, so beautifully, by 2S.  You would love this book!   It is about Ki-pat, a herdsman, who is worried that his cows are thirsty as, although there is a large cloud handing over a plain, in Africa, the rain is not falling from the cloud. Ki-pat makes an arrow from a feather dropped from an eagle and he pierces the cloud by firing the arrow.  The rain falls, the animals can drink and it has a lovely ending! You can imagine the beauty of the whole rhythm of the book when you read this extract:

This is the grass,

  all brown and dead,

That needed  the rain

  from the cloud overhead - 

The big, black cloud,

  all heavy with rain,

That shadowed the ground 

  on Kapiti Plain

On Tuesday 21 June, 61 Year 6 pupils went to watch an international hockey game at the Olympic Park. The game was part of the Women's Champions Trophy and was between Argentina and Australia. Argentina won the match 2-1 and have now reached the final against the Netherlands, to be played on Sunday.  The actual tickets for the game were free and were won through a school's ballot. It was an excellent opportunity for our pupils to see hockey played at the highest level!

While some on Year 6 were out at their residential trip, at Kingswood, near Cromer, we had both the Nursery and Reception Induction Meetings and both were well attended.  Mrs Vowles, from the office, made sure that everyone had what they needed and those who attended were given plenty of information about the curriculum and the routines in place for when their child joined either of the year groups.  It was hearteneing to see such a good turn out, for both meetings.  We did say, at the Reception meeting, that should anyone ever need translators, for anything, they only need ask as we have managed to find translators for most languages.  If you ever need anything translated, do call in and ask.  Most people prefer to get someone to translate, verbally, as opposed to having something written down, and this is a regular practice.  The most commonly asked for languages tend to be Polish, Somalian and Tamil.  The new children, joining Horsenden's Reception from places other than our Nursery, came in for an activity afternoon on Wednesday 22 June and it was reported that all went well for the new visitors...and for those who brought them!

Transition meetings are taking place, now and over the next few weeks, for those pupils in Year 6.  High school members of staff come to the primary schools and have 'handover' conversations with members of staff in primary schools.  Year 6 children are also prepared for the major change of transferring from somewhere known and familiar to a very different environment, in terms of their new high school, and the process is made as smooth as possible for the Year 6 children.  As I write, I can hear the rehearsal of the Year 6 play, taking place, and soon everyone, from Year 1 to Year 5 (as well as the friends and parents/carers of Year 6 pupils) will be able to see what is, clearly, going to be a great show!  The Year 6 presentation to those returning from the school journey was absolutely fantastic and all about two Commonwealth Countries those back here at school had been learning about, connected to the Queen's 90th birthday.  A Community Concert for all the elderly residents in the community, had to be re-scheduled and is now taking place on Wednesday 13 July between 1.45 pm and 3.00 pm.  The parents and carers of the winners of 'The X Factor' and 'Horsenden's Got Talent' are also invited in but, sadly, there is not enough room for everyone to be invited in.  If you do know of any elderly resident, in the community, who might want to attend, do let them know and they would be most welcome to join us.  A few other acts eg the Year 6 song I heard, recently, will also be included in the show...I hope!

We were 'chosen' to do the Year 6 sampling, in Science, so a number of children, randomly identified, sat a variety of Science tests.  Unfortunately, although the Science tests get sent off for marking, the children do not know how well they do on any of the tests.  You will have heard all about the phonics tests that have been taking place, with some Year 2 children and all of the Year 1 children.  

Steve, the circus 'one man show', is going to be running a circus week, during the summer holiday, and he will be sending out details about this, very soon but we still have not had confirmation of the date.  The Chilren's Centre timetable is being finalised soon and you can check what is happening on the Children's Centre tab, on the website.

Many families are fasting for Ramadan and we have asked that, if your child is trying to fast for any of the days of the month, you send us in a letter so that we know who should be going in to lunch and who should not.  Thanks to those families who have already let us know.  Mrs O'Connor (our administrator who sits in the round desk area) set out a helpful calendar, at the end of the ParentMail letter (or paper letter sent to those families who cannot receive ParentMail).  She has some extra copies which pupils (or adults if they are popping in to school) can collect. This makes it easy to indicate which dates a child is fasting.

We are busy preparing the June Newsletter!  Let me know if you would like anything contained in it. There will be lots of information about forthcoming dates eg when the discos are etc.  It will not go out in time to let you know about the parents' meetings on Tuesday 28 June and Thursday 30 June but you should have heard about them, already.  If you haven't, perhaps you have missed a ParentMail or your child has been off or something has gone, ring the school and appointments will be able to be sorted for you!  In the Newsletter, I am hoping that Year 4 (Miss Hannah from Year 4) will tell you about an exciting food growing competition the school won; over thee thousand entries were submitted.  It was connected to promoting healthy eating and 'Smoothies'.


Just in case parents/carers are interested, Miss Borsig gave me a book entitled, 'A-Z of Grammar' and, although it was for teachers, with grammar being such an 'in' thing, at the moment, I thought you may like to order it. There is a copy with Mrs O'Connor, in the office, if you wish to see it BUT...some of you might find it useful...especially if you did not come through a time when grammar was taught!  The ISBN number is ISBN 978-0-00-817292-3.  I thought it looked quite good! When I was young, we actually had been taught grammar at primary school but that was a long, long time ago!

We hope that you will notice the dispays being put together in shared areas and the Key Stage 1 library.  We are trying to promote reading and the displays in these areas should reflect what is being read in the classrooms.  As the open evenings are nearly here, you will be able to wander around the school and see the displays. 

We continue to try and improve the communication in the school and so many of you have said how much you appreciate what is uploaded to the website, by year group teams, as well as others. Miss Holden ensures that the quality of what is on our web site is of a high standard, so thanks to her. It must be wonderful to see what your children are doing, each and every day! We try to find out what we can do to improve and consider all the comments which come to us, whether names or anonymously. I did have one anonymous letter, which I copied to all Year Leaders, saying that children had been seen in just PE kit, on a particular Friday, when the weather was rather cold.  As the information was undated, all I could do was copy it to members of staff so that everyone knew that the concern had been brought to me. Whilst I appreciate why some parents may wish to write in anonymously, it is far more difficult to fix a problem which is non-specific and I am sure that you can all understand why this would be the case.  We are thinking through how we can share some of the policy information (and which policies) to let parents/carers have an input.  This is coming up on our next Resources Committee Meeting, which is soon.  It is really useful if you come up and tell me things directly eg when I see you...or let members of the office know if you think something needs attention.  For example, at the Nursery meeting a parent told me that the newly opened changing rooms, by the pool were never very clean.  Clearly, that should not be the case so I was able to write a note to the School Business Manager and put the information on the cleaning default grid, which is kept in the office.  I was also able to say to the parent that if the issue was not addressed that I would want her to let me know.  (Obviously, if anyone else has noticed that the changing rooms were dirty, I apologise.)

Miss Borsig, our Key Stage 1 Manager, continues to give a really high profile to children NOT kicking, in Year 1, particularly, and I am supporting her in trying to keep the profile high in this area.  All the Year 1 parents will know about this and also why they have received information about promoting the message, at home, with their children.  She has devised a 'kicking' slip to send home so that, if a child is seen to kick, you will receive this slip.  In this way, we will gradually, through talking and explaining how dangerous it can be to kick, stop kicking altogether. The 'non kicking' song the children have learned is hilarious!!!

It will be interesting to see what will happen, regarding attendance, about the recent court case where a parent took his child out of school for a family holiday.  If you have been following this story you will know all about it. The judgement went with the parent and not the authority, which was the Isle of Wight and I think I can say that that is NOT what would have been expected. Watch this space!  As of Thursday 19 May, I have had no updates from the Department for Education!

We continue to publicise the achievements of our pupils outside of school, click on the `Home' tab, followed by the `Achievements Outside of School' tab. Recent uploads to this section include hearing about Muhammad's karate achievements, Tusara's awards from the Ealing Festival and Milly and Carmen's gymnastic achievements.  Miss Holden always enjoys hearing about the marvellous achievements outside of school. Feel free to contact her on and share the news of any achievements. Miss Holden, in turn, will share the news with the rest of the world!  



Mrs Walton :)

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