Horsted School

Mr Geary's Page

18.11.17

 

Hello Everyone,  

 

Last week was anti-bullying week.  So Monday’s assembly, dealt with some of the issues and concerns around bullying.

 

For your information there is a great Online Safety magazine available for you to read.  It has some really articles about online safety.  The link for this is:-

                                   

http://www.esafety-adviser.com/latest-newsletter/

 

It is a fantastic online newsletter.

 

We have had more parents looking at our lovely school, ready for September 2018 intake.  Last year we had 189 children apply for just 60 places.  All the parents were impressed by our school and lots commented on how well behaved our children were.

 

This week’s blog ends with the sad news that Mrs Roach, our Assistant Headteacher and teacher to Sunflower Class will be leaving us at Christmas.  Mrs Roach has been given a fantastic opportunity in another school.  All of the staff and children will be sorry to see her go and we wish her every success in her new job.

 

Hope you’ve had a good weekend.  See you Monday

 

Steve - Laptop

 

 

 

 

07/11/2017

 

Welcome back to another new term.  We are straight back into fun! With 2 Halloween discos.   Thank you to the PTA for arranging such a great nights.  Great fun was had by all.  All the children looked fantastic in all their Halloween fancy dress costumes.

We are getting all the plans ready for our Christmas Celebrations and Events.  So keep a look out for the newsletter with all the dates on very soon.

Always lots of meetings for me to attend, but been especially busy over the last 10 days, but enjoyed meeting all the parents of the prospective Year R parents.  They were all impressed with all the amazing things that our EYFS Team does.

There is a tag day on  Friday 17 November  in honour of Children in Need,  but please do not feel you have to donate if you have already bought the merchandise that is on sale in the shops

Have a great rest of the week

Steve -   Fireworks

 

 

21st October

 

 

Another non-stop week for us all. 

 

It was lovely seeing so many of you at the Parents Evenings this week.  The teachers and staff work so hard bringing these evenings together.  I hope you are as proud of your children as we are, they are all working very hard.  Keep it up everyone.

 

On Wednesday, I could not attend the Infant Harvest Festival due to an unavoidable meeting but I hear it was amazing.  Well done to all the Infant children for the lovely singing, with a special mention to Sophie Easton who read out a poem that she had written herself and Reception Year, who told us all of the foods that they are grateful for, especially Finley Peake who is grateful for Saveloys.

 

On Thursday we celebrated Diwali  (The Festival of Light).  Reception year, enjoyed some of the traditional foods to sample, samosas, onion bhajis, rice, poppadums, naan breads and chapatis.  Below you will see a photo of the children making a Rangoli pattern, this is traditionally displayed at the front door to welcome friends and family into your home.  Diva lamps were also made.  Great fun was had by all and the children looked lovely in their sparking outfits in honour of the Festival of Light. 

Well done to our football team, who played Hilltop on Wednesday evening, we won and what a great result.

 

On a final note can I also remind you about the School Fund letter that was sent out to you recently.  School budgets are very tight and the £7.50 voluntary contribution has never been more important.  This is used to enrich the children’s learning environment including, subsidising school trips, extra learning activities and projects such as the eggs to chick project, plus many more.  You can donate through the school directly or by accessing the free money website on www.localgiving.org/HorstedSchoolPTA.  Thank you for your continued support.

 

I hope you all have a happy and safe half term.  Enjoy some well deserved lie in’s.  You will need the rest.  Another busy term coming up.  My favourite the Christmas Term. 

 

Steve Geary – onion bhaji

 

 

12th October

 

Dear All

What an exciting week!

The Medway Test results were sent on Monday evening – not quite at the time promised by Medway!  Congratulations to all our Year 6 children who took part.  I am really proud of you all.

Busy week for me this week, lots of meetings including two Governors meetings and a meeting with the lovely KS2 Teacher Assistants.   

I have been showing lots of prospective parents around the school as well this week. They were all very impressed with all the learning that was going on.

Sadly I missed the Junior Harvest Festival on Thursday but Mrs Steer was really impressed with all the singing, poetry and artwork that Year 4 produced.  Well done to everyone involved and thank you to all the parents that donated to the Harvest Festival.

This week we have the Year 6 embarking on their ‘Bikeability’.  Good luck to you all.

Next week we have the Infant Harvest Festival to look forward to on Wednesday 18 October at 9.15am, all the Year 2 parents are invited.

 We also have parents evenings next week. We have one Tuesday 17 and one on Thursday 19 October.  I look forward to seeing you all then.

Have a great weekend and a great week next week.

Steve - Carrot

 

 

6th October

 

Dear All

 

Where is the time going, we have only 2 weeks to go until the end of term, so much we have already done this term and still so much to do.

Reception children had lots of fun on their apple picking day at Pympes Court Farm last week.  It has been lovely to see the children making apple crumble and taking part in other apple activities.  Although I must say that I am still waiting for my taster of apple crumble.

We have also had a visit to Rochester Airport for the Year 2 children, they had great fun looking at the aeroplanes and seeing how the control centre works.  The staff at Rochester airport remarked at how well behaved and bright our children are at Horsted.  Very proud moment for me as a Head teacher, but even more so for you as parents.

We had a Cake Sale in the staff room and raised an amazing £180.00 all proceeds went to Macmillan.  All staff enjoyed the lovely cakes made, especially Mrs Jones’ date slice!

Year 1, 2, 3 and 4 had their flu immunisations on Thursday, so thank you to all the parents for returning all the forms back in time.

I look forward to seeing the year 4 parents at the Harvest Festival for the Junior School on Thursday 12 October at 9.15 am.  The Infant Harvest Festival is on Wednesday 18 October at 9.15 am, so I look forward to seeing Year 1 parents then .  All donations are greatly appreciated and will be given to the Caring Hands Charity, which helps families in need.  Thank you for all your support

Have a great weekend

Steve – Apple Crumble  

 

 

 

25th September

 

Dear All,

Welcome to week 3 at Horsted School. The main event of last week was my birthday on Saturday – I spent the day at Diggerland – the joys of young children!

The other highlight for me was teaching Sunflowers in year 1 on Thursday – What a lovely class!

We had our first governors meeting of the academic year last night – the meeting was very productive as usual. We are looking for another governor to join our merry team. We are specifically looking for someone with finance experience. If you think this might be you please contact the school to arrange a chat.

Parking again has become an issue around the school. Please park safely and do not block residents into their houses.

The reception children are going to an apple orchard on Thursday. I popped into their classes yesterday and they were all very excited.

I am on child protection training on Thursday night so unfortunately I have had to cancel football. It is an occupational hazard I am afraid so I hope the football team will bear with me. If there is anyone out there who would like to help with football training please let me know.

Thursday morning I am going to see Kelly Tollhurst who is our MP to talk about current school funding and the newly formed Medway Headteacher Association which I have been involved with setting up.

The senior Leadership Team has been carrying out lesson observations this week. They have all been going really well you will be pleased to hear.

New parents are starting to visit the school to help them decide where to send their children next year. Horsted Infants is always oversubscribed. Last year we had 140 applications for our 60 places. Both schools are currently full.

Thank you for completing the forms that went out about the Pupil Premium grant. There are a few still outstanding and we really need them in by the 5th October.

Have a good rest of the week everyone.

Steve – Chocolate Cake

 

 

 

16th September

 

Dear All,

We had a good first full week back at school last week. The children settled in really well. I bet you were all grateful for a bit of a rest as well.

We had our first fire drill on Thursday and it went extremely well. The children left the building very quickly and very quietly. The reception children did particularly well.

Some of the clubs start this coming week. My football club for years 5 and 6 starts on Thursday. Due to the nature of my job I tend to have to cancel a few of these sessions due to meetings I cannot get out of. If there are any football coaches out there that would like to help me out I would be extremely grateful. Also, I have always wanted a chess club at school – is there anyone out there that can play chess who would like to run a small club?

As you may have seen in the press budgets are tight in schools at the moment and any contribution you could make to school fund would be gratefully appreciated, letters to follow soon.

The reception children are out on their first trip to an apple orchard soon. I am looking forward to some apple pie when they get back.

We have a fabulous new cook this year. I would recommend the schools dinners – I have one every day!

Just a short blog this week, I’ll make it linger next week I promise.

Steve Geary

Secret phrase is Apple Pie

 

 

8th September 2017

 

Dear All,

Welcome back to another academic year at Horsted Infant and Junior School.

We have had an excellent first week back. The children have settled really well and are already working hard.

Welcome to the new reception children who started on Thursday and Friday. They have made an excellent start to the time at Horsted School. We are looking forward to seeing them grow into independent children as they move through the school.

Year 5 had their WOW event on Thursday – I walked through the junior hall and they were devouring a Roman feast – I must admit I did stop for a while!

The Reception children are going on a trip to an apple farm in a couple of weeks. There will be letters to explain a little more about this in due course.

I know parking is very difficult around the school at drop off and pick up times. Please be careful around these times. We have already had to minor accidents.

I would like to welcome Miss Winfield to the school. Miss Winfield will be teaching year 3 for the year.

I would also like to welcome Mr Webber to the school. Mr Webber has done a great job since he started and the school is looking very neat and tidy.

We are always looking for parent readers at the school. If you have any free time during the week and would like to help us out we would be very grateful. Please see the office or your child’s class teacher.

Have a good weekend

Steve Geary

 

18th June 2017

 

The Blog is back!

Sorry for the lack of blog over the last few months – it is back now! There will be an update every Sunday from now on.

As we enter the last term the teachers are busy writing reports and making best use of the last 5 weeks of the term.

The children’s reports will be coming out on the 14th July. This is where the year 6 and year 2 pupils will find out their SATS results that they have worked so hard for. This is also where the year 1 phonics results will be sent to parents.

Thank you for those people that have applied for our caretakers position. We have set a closing date of next Tuesday for anyone still interested. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr Ellis for all his hard work over the last 13 years and wish him luck in the future.

The year 6 pupils came back from the Isle of Wight last Friday. They had a fantastic time, learnt many new skills and really stretched themselves. There is a letter coming out soon for the year 5 children about their residential trip next year.

It is the school fair next Saturday 24th June at 12.00. Apparently I am in the stocks again which I am really looking forward to!!!

On the 28th June we will be having our year 2 to year 3 transition meeting. This is an opportunity to find out some of the changes that the children will experience in year 3.

We have sports day for the infants and the juniors this term. This is always great fun. We will again be hiring some toilets for the field.

There are lots of exciting things planned for the year 6 in their last term at Horsted School. We have a leavers BBQ, they year 6 play and the leavers assembly.

Have a good week and see you next week.

Steve Geary  

 

 

 

27.1.17

Dear All,

I hope you are all having a good weekend.

We have another exciting and busy week at Horsted this week.

On Monday the reception children are celebrating Chinese New Year with the parents. They have created a fantastic Chinese restaurant in their outside area. Monday afternoon I have a meeting with the year 2 and year 6 teachers in Chatham about the year 2 and year 6 SATS. After school on Monday the Brownies are using the schools hall.

On Tuesday I have a meeting with the chair of Governors to go over school finances and Miss Cordrey has a computer training course after school.

On Wednesday Mrs Thumwood is delivering a “Shoe Box” assembly. There are violin lessons in the Hut and we have a league football match after school against Deanwood.

On Thursday I am teaching in the morning. Mrs Baldwin is out on Family Liaison Officer training and we have football training after school. There is also karate club after school in the Junior Hall.

On Friday the Vicar is delivering the assemblies and I have a Early Years Foundation Stage meeting with Mrs Christopher and Messy Church have the school hall after school.

Another exciting week with lots going on.

Keep up the hard work everyone – today phrase is Horsted Win!

 

 

21.1.17

Dear All,

This term seems to be flying by; I cannot believe we are coming towards the end of January already!

On Saturday myself, Mrs Baldwin and a group of Year 6 children went bag packing at Asda in Chatham. The children were fantastic and worked very hard. We raised £359 towards new books for the infant and Junior library.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week the Buttercups and Daisies are visiting Pets at Home to find out how best to look after their new rabbit and Guinea Pig.

Some of the children have asked me if they can raise some money for new playground equipment, they are torn between organising an old fashioned jumble sale or a sponsored skipping event. Watch this space!

The outside classroom is open. We have a rule that no one walks on the seats. Please can you make sure your children stick to this rule when you are waiting to pick your children up after school?

We are going to be sending a letter out soon asking for reading volunteers. I hope as many as you as possible can help. Reading is obviously a crucial skill and your help really makes a difference to the children’s progress.

We are in the process of organising “Pizza Club” for the year 6 children in preparation for their SATS in May. This is held on a Saturday morning and all the year 6 children are encouraged to attend. The children are taught in smaller groups and we be receiving precision teaching. I really hope as many of the year 6 children can attend as possible.

The year 6 have another football match against Deanwood on the 1st February at the Howard School.

This week there seems to be a lot of information about year 6. I will make sure I cover the other year groups next week.

Have a great week - Todays phrase is Peppa Pig

Steve

 

 

6.1.17

Dear All,

Welcome back to another term at Horsted School.

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year.

Although we have only been back four days we have had a very busy time. The children are straight back into their work. With the year 2 and year 6 SATS looming the children are cracking on with their learning and preparation.

We will be opening the outside classroom on Monday which we are really excited about.

We will soon be starting a Horsted Facebook page where we can keep you updated with all the comings and goings at the school.

The Buttercups and Daisies have just been given a Rabbit and a Guinea Pig. The children have named the Guinea Pig – Rapunzel and the Guinea Pig – Giggles. The children will be visiting Pets at Home to find out how best to look after them.

We now have:

Two tortoises

A few Frogs

Snails

Hamster

Fish

Rabbit

Guinea Pig

 

Some of our gifted and talented year 5 children will be visiting Oaklands School next week to record a Radio broadcast they have been working on.

 

An early reminder of the INSET day on 10th February.

 

Have a good week

Steve Geary

 

18.12.16

Dear All,

Welcome to the last two days of school in 2016. We have had a very busy year and all the children and teachers have worked very hard.

The children have their Christmas Parties Monday afternoon and I am sure they are all very excited. I have also heard that we might be getting a visitor on Tuesday afternoon!

Thank you again for all those that attended the Christmas Fair. I am pleased to say that we made over £2000. Well done for all those that came and well done to the children for the wonderful Christmas products that they made.

Although the Year 6 and Year 2 SATS may seem like a long way away the children are already working very hard in preparation for them. Results from the end of term tests are just coming back and the children have done very well.

The outside classroom with be up and running for the beginning of next term – we hoping to have someone from the council to come and officially open it for us.

We had a full governors meeting on Tuesday where the future direction of the school was discussed in regards to academies. As soon as we have any specific news we will of course let you know.

Please can I remind you again about parking sensibly in the streets around the school. We have had a number of complaints from local residents about people parking over drives and parking dangerously on corners.

We are back at school on Tuesday 3rd January – There is no INSET day.

The next INSET day at school is on Friday 10th February.

I hope you all have an excellent and restful Christmas holiday and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

 

 

10.12.16

Hello All,

I hope everyone is in the Christmas spirit!

We had a fantastic Christmas Fair on Friday. We haven’t had a final count up of the money yet but I will be able to let you know how much we raised next week. We are going to spend some of the money on adding books to the library.

There are pros and cons of having the fair on a Friday but I do think it was a great success. If you have any views either way about the Saturday or the Friday please let me know.

I would like to thank Jane and the PTA for all their hard work leading up the fair and for all their work on the Christmas shop.

We have lots of Christmas events going on this week.

Tuesday 13th December we have the Year 1 Christmas performance at 9.15.

There is a full governors meeting on Tuesday night.

Wednesday 14th December we have the Year R Christmas performance at 9.15.

Wednesday 14th is also the Christmas Dinner day and Christmas Jumper day. We are also celebrating official Christmas jumper day on Friday.

Thursday 15th we have the Junior Christingle celebrations at St Stephens Church at 9.45.

The last day of school is Tuesday 20th December but the teachers are in on Wednesday 21st December (Staff Development Day)

The outside classroom will be ready this week and as soon as we have spoken to the children about it we can start making use of it.

We are back to school on Tuesday 3rd January.

Take care

Steve

 

 

27.11.16

 

Hello All,

I hope you all had a good weekend and are getting geared up for the inevitable onslaught of Christmas!

A quick reminder that our Christmas Fayre is on December 9th from 3pm to 5pm. We usually have the fayre on a Saturday but we are trying out Friday this year. If you have feelings on the change of date please can you let the parent forum or myself know.

I would like to make a public thank you to Jane and the PTA who have done a fantastic job with the Christmas shop again this year.

On Friday the reception children had their first forest school expedition in the woodland walk. They had a fantastic time!

On Tuesday we have a governing body meeting which will focus on finance and the specifically the budget.

On Wednesday we have another football match – this time against Phoenix Academy!

We have Samuel Pepys visiting the infants on Thursday and on Friday it is a tag day to collect things for the Christmas Fayre!

The outside classroom is coming along well, it is taking a little longer than I would have liked but it is going to be an amazing resource when it is finished.

Parking outside the school is getting towards crisis point and as such we have asked for local traffic police to visit us to discuss the issue.

 Today’s phrase it “It’s not Christmas yet”

Have a good week

Steve

 

 

20.11.16

 

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a good weekend. We had some interesting weather last night didn’t we!

We had a good week last week at Horsted. Lots of great learning going on!

I have been showing new parents around the school for the September 2017 intake this week; I love going around the classes from reception to year 6 and seeing the children growing up and tackling more and more complex work.

I have been watching quite a few Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons recently. The teachers are really very skilled at teaching the children moral and social education.

This week is another busy one. I have a Head Teachers meeting tomorrow morning at Gillingham Golf Course. I am hoping to find out more about Medway’s plans going forward in regards to academies. Although the government have withdrawn a specific date for when all schools are to become academies it is still something they are encouraging all schools to do.

On Wednesday we have a 6 a side football tournament in Strood. The ultimate prize for winning this completion and the national one that follows is to play at Wembley! The boys have high hopes!

I am trying to resist Christmas until at least December. School finishes on the 20th December and there is a staff development day on the 21st December.

The outside classroom is looking amazing and I am hoping it will be finished soon.

Looking forward to seeing Murray win the tennis tonight!

Today’s word is Rabbit.

Have a good week,

 

Steve

 

11.11.16

 

Hello All,

The cold winter weather has definitely arrived along with the coughs and colds. We generally wouldn’t see a small cough or cold as a reason not to come to school but of course you are in the best position to make decisions about your child’s health. Please make sure your child comes to school appropriately dressed as we will try and get them outside at break times and lunch times if at all possible.

If you have been in the junior playground you would have seen the outside classroom being built. I am sure this is going to be a wonderful resource and we are looking forward to it being completed. While carrying out the work we noticed a few of the branches did not look as healthy as they should, so we had tree survey carried out and as result there will be some branches removed from the tree on Monday morning as a precaution.

A reminder that the Horsted Christmas fair will be taking place on Friday the 9th of December from 3pm – 5pm.

We will be running a “Dragons Den” exercise with the junior school children. The children will need to come up with a product they want to sell at the fair. They will then need to work out how much it will cost to make their product and how much they will sell it for. They will then work out gross cost and gross profit. A delegation from each class will then make a proposal to the PTA and if they PTA like their idea they will loan the class £30 to get the product of the ground. They will then sell their products at the school fair and the class that makes the most money will win a prize!

Every year there are horror stories in the press about the terrible winter that awaits us. They often fail to materialise however…… if we should have a bad winter we are looking for a group of local, able bodied people who could help dig the school out. If you think you might be one of these people please can you contact the school office and leave your details?

We are constantly looking for ways to improve the practice at Horsted School, if you have any ideas please could you let your school forum representatives know and they will feed back to the school through our very successful school forum.

This weeks code is Horsted Rules!

That is it for me this week. Have a good weekend and take care in the cold weather.

 

Steve Geary

 

16.10.16

Good morning everyone,

It has been another really good week at Horsted.

I received an email from councillor Trevor Clarke congratulating us on our fantastic OfSTED judgement this week, which was very kind of him.

The reception class visited an apple orchard during the week and had a fantastic time. I must say I really did enjoy my apple crumble – thank you.

The year 6 children are working hard towards their SATS –these are really important tests for the children and for the school and it good to see the children working so hard towards them.

This coming week is a very busy one. We have parents evenings on Tuesday and Thursday which I hope you can all attend.

I have a Schools Forum meeting on Monday which is responsible for distributing funding to Medway Schools. I am the primary school representative for Medway.

Mrs Christopher and myself also have a Early Years Foundation Stage meeting with Medway and I have a meeting with the vice Chair of Governors, Mr Bean, about potential building works.

I also have the pleasure of teaching year 4 on Wednesday which I am really looking forward to. Each week I teach a different class in the school. Last week I taught Mrs Thumwood’s reception class which was great fun!

As a school and governing body we are still actively researching the direction we think the school should take in regards to the governments academy agenda. We are determined to maintain Horsted’s independence as much as possible and will of course be asking for your views in due course.

We are working hard to update the junior library at the moment in response to the views expressed at the parent forum. We will soon be adding many more “real” books to the schools reading scheme.

During the October half term we are hoping to have our outside classroom built around the Cherry tree in the juniors playground. This will be for the use of the infants and the juniors.

Today’s secret phrase is – Arsenal for league champions!

Have a good Sunday

Steve Geary

 

 

9.10.16

Hello Everyone,

We are well into the term now and everyone has settled in really well.

We welcome the new reception children and hope they have enjoyed the start to their time at Horsted School. Mrs Christopher, who is the Early Years Foundation Stage Manager, was also new at the start of term and has worked very hard to make sure the children have settled in well. Mrs Christopher has very quickly become part of the team at Horsted. The reception children have their first school trip on Tuesday – they going apple picking at a local orchard.

Our fantastic year 6 children received their 11+ results last week and they have done very well yet again. The national average pass rate for the 11+ is approximately 23%. Over 36% of our year 6 children passed their 11+ which is 13% above the national average.

The soft play area in the junior playground has been repaired as there were a few holes developing in it.

We will be building an outside classroom in the junior playground during the October half term. This will be for the use of the infants and the juniors.

The senior leadership team have carried out learning walks and lesson observations already this term which have all gone very well.

The 18th and 20th of October is our first parents evening of the year. We hope you will all be able to attend and find out in more detail how your children have settled in this year.

We will be sending out all our newsletters by email from now on so please make sure the office has up to date details.

Please make sure that you stick to the rule about not driving into the school as this can be very dangerous and we have had a couple of near misses in the past. Also please make sure you park with consideration on the road.

That’s it for me for this week. I will be posting every week from now on.

Password is October for this week.

Steve Geary

 

 

 

 

9.9.16

 

Dear all,

 

Welcome back to another academic year at Horsted School

 

We have finally had the report back from OfSTED and I would like to say again we are OUTSTANDING !

 

It is a great achievement and one we shall all be very proud of. Your children were fantastic, I was very proud of every single one of them.

 

I am looking forward to OfSTED returning and grading the juniors OUTSTANDING as I truly believe they are.

 

The reception children have settled in very well and are enjoying their first week at school.

 

I am sure you will join me in welcoming Mrs Christopher to Horsted School. Mrs Christopher has been working very hard during the summer and has hit the ground running.  I am looking forward to going apple picking with the reception children in October!

 

The year 6 children have their Medway secondary selection test on Saturday 17th September 2016.  I am sure they will do the school proud as usual.

 

Mrs Shackleton and her husband and a number of staff worked very hard over the holiday on the friendship garden (in the far corner of the junior playground). It looks amazing and I am sure it is going to be very beneficial to the children.

 

We have had to tape off the apparatus in the junior playground due to the soft flooring coming up and causing a trip hazard. We will be having new soft play flooring laid next Thursday and Friday and then we should be able to open the area again.

 

Mrs Baldwin will be holding her first parent forum of the new academic year on Friday 16th September 2016 at 9.00 am.

 

I think that is it for me for this week, except to say we are OUTSTANDING! I am not sure I mentioned it!

 

 

11/07/16

Dear all,

Sorry this week’s blog is late, it has been a busy weekend.

Last two weeks of term approaches but we still have lots of things to fit in. We have the year 2 and year 6 end of school performance which I am looking forward to. We have year 6 leavers BBQ and assembly; the publication of the Infant School Ofsted report; the school reports to be sent out; the publication of year 2 and year 6 SAT results; I am going to go and see Status Quo on Wednesday night; full governors tomorrow night and the junior school singing competition in the last week of term.

Again, I would like to express my thanks for the parents that have helped and are helping with our revamping of the outside area for reception classes – the digging area looks great. Mrs Driscoll continues to come in and paint every day – thank you so much!

On Saturday the 20th August we are having a day in school where we will be trying to make the outside of the school look a little fresher. We would like to do some painting and tidying up. We are going to have a focus on the quiet area in the juniors as this has become quite overgrown but the benches etc in the infants could do with some paint. If you think you will be able to help please could you let me know so I know how much paint to buy! Thank you!

Last week we had the infant and the junior discos. They were very well attended and always raise much needed funds for the school. I would like to thank those teachers that stayed behind for the discos and the PTA for organising them.

We also have a couple of sad events coming up. As you know Mrs Maynard will be leaving us at the end of term so we will be raising a glass to her before the end of term. Also, Mr and Mrs Webber will be leaving us at the end of term. They have been the driving force of the PTA ever since I have been at the school and many years before. They will be very much missed although I am hopeful I can convince them to pop up at the school every now and again.

Have a good week – today’s phrase is “Well done Andy”

 

Steve

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Friday 1st July

Good afternoon everyone,

The year 5 and year 1 children are off on trips today! It is all very exciting. Year 5 are going to Dover for the day and year 1 are going to Joss bay. The weather is supposed to brighten up this afternoon – let’s hope so.

The year 6 production is well under way and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished article.

As you know we had Ofsted visit us this week – It was all very intense. We had a really good team in. The first day we had one inspector in and she was joined by a further two inspectors the following day. The children were again fantastic and a real credit to the school. There is a 14 day turn around target for the report to be published and as soon as it is we will let you know. The Horsted parents get to find out a few days before the wider public.

Next Wednesday, we have the year 2 infant disco from 5.00 – 6.30 and on Friday we have the junior disco. Year 3,4 and 5 is between 5 and 6.30 and the year 6 leaving disco is between 7.00 to 8.30.

On Thursday I am on a child protection course and on Friday some local schools will be visiting us. Also on Friday, Year R will be dressing up as pirates, mermaids or anything to do with under the sea! They will have a fun packed day, full of pirate activities including a regatta.

Some year 5 children are going on a fashion gifted and talented celebration picnic on Monday.

The year 6 results are published to us next week but I am afraid you will not find out until the reports go out as every year there are a few papers we will find mistakes in that we want re-marked.

The Early Years Foundation Stage outside area is having a bit of a refurbish thanks to the hard work of the staff and some very kind parents. A mud kitchen is hopefully being built next week too.

On the 12th July we will be having the meet your new teacher session where all the children will find out what class they are going to next year.

This week's word is 'Wimbledon'.

Have a good week.

Steve

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Sunday 26th June

Dear All,

First of all I would thank everyone that came to the school fayre yesterday – it was a great day and I am sure we have raised lots of money!

Thank you to everyone that threw wet sponges at me! I have remembered every single one of you and your detentions will follow tomorrow!

Many thanks to our parent helpers who have been busy painting in our foundation outdoor area this week - Mr. Hamblett, Mrs Shead and Mrs Driscoll.  Mrs Sherress has been co-ordinating the changes with the help of Mrs Terry to create our pirate ship.  Mrs Maynard even managed to persuade her husband to build our new storage units too!  It is beginning to take shape now, with more exciting things happening this week.  More information to follow next week in my blog.  Mrs Driscoll is even coming back this week to paint - as she enjoyed it so much!

This time of the year is extremely busy and the calendar is always bursting! This week we had the new reception story sessions; the fayre preparation of course; I had a head teachers meeting on Monday and on Monday afternoon we had Medway visit us to make sure we were grading the children’s work correctly – we were!  On Tuesday the secretary in the infants and the juniors had training on our new email and parent texting service and in the afternoon we had the drummer from Status Quo in to take a drumming workshop in the juniors.  On Wednesday we had the Year 2 to Year 3 transition meeting with the parents which was very well attended.  On Thursday I had a meeting with Medway about academies and on Friday we had the parent forum run by Mrs Baldwin.

This week we have the book fair running all week after school in the junior hall. On Monday we have our weekly staff meeting and have Family Trust coming in to take the Infant assembly.  On Tuesday we have the start of maths observations, this is where the Senior Leadership Term carry out unannounced maths observations in all classes, also on Tuesday evening we have our finance and buildings governors meeting. On Wednesday evening I will be promoting the year 6 residential trip for next year, the meeting starts at 6pm. On Thursday I have an Ofsted training meeting and on Friday Year 1 are going on a school trip to the seaside and Year 5 are going to Dover. So as you can see another busy but exciting week.

I am really excited about the “school comms” – this is a new system which will allow better communication between home and school. There will be more information coming out shortly.

This week’s word is Summer.

Have a great week, let’s hope the sun shines.

Steve Geary

Sunday 19th June

Dear All,

Sorry the blog is a little late this week. I do try to do it on a Friday but I might change it to the weekend as I always seem to run out of time on a Friday!

The year 6 children who went to Devon last week were very excited this week and full of brilliant stories and songs. I am looking forward to seeing some more of the pictures.

On Monday, I have a Head Teacher's meeting at Gillingham golf club (honestly it is a meeting) where we will be hearing more on Medway’s view on academies.

On Tuesday, the Junior school have the ex drummer from Status Quo visiting for the afternoon and carrying out a drum workshop with the whole school. This should be great fun and lots of the adults are getting excited about it!

On Wednesday 22nd June, we have our year 2 to year 3 transition meeting where I will be explaining some of the changes year 2 will experience in year 3.

On Friday, myself and the governing body are carrying out a book scrutiny. We ask the teachers to supply us with some books and we have a detailed look at them to make sure everything is as it should be.

Last week the year 1 children took their phonics tests and Mrs Roach, Mrs Webb and Mrs Rowe would like to say how proud they were of all the children during the tests. Every single one of them tried their best. We do not get the results of these tests for a few weeks and parents will be informed of the results in the children’s reports.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) held a construction afternoon on Friday for Father's Day, which was a great success and the teachers would like to express their thanks to those dads, granddads and uncles who came.

This term is going so fast but we have still loads of exciting things to look forward to, including the infant and junior sports days, the year 6 performance, celebrating our SATS results when they come back and the year 5 trip to Dover Castle.

Today’s word is Eagle

Have a good week

Steve

Saturday 11th June

Dear All,

The first week of term 6 is over and it has been typically a busy one.

Monday was an inset day and the teachers worked very hard on writing the children’s reports. Each report can take over an hour so over 30 hours of work goes into writing all the reports.

On Wednesday, the school council went to the Houses of Parliament. It was a fantastic day and the children were a real credit to the school and to their parents. We had a tour of the House of Lords and stood outside the House of Commons. We couldn’t go in because David Cameron was taking Prime Ministers question time. We went up on the train and walked through London and passed the London Eye. It was very busy - I don’t think I have counted to 17 so many times!

On Thursday I took the children to a Medway football competition. The children played 1 match and did very well. Again, they were a credit to the school.

The year 6 children spent the week in Devon on their residential week away. They had a fantastic time and all came back safely on Friday. Mrs Packman, who led the trip, said the children were fantastic and the instructors at the site were constantly saying what wonderful group of children the pupils from Horsted were and how they looked forward to taking them. Next year we will be going back to the Isle of Wight but this time with PGL.

The Euros started yesterday and England’s first match is tonight. The year 5 and 6 children will be allowed to watch the England versus Wales game in the hall Thursday afternoon (this has nothing to do with me wanting to watch the game) more details to follow.

We are having some playground markings done on Tuesday – A 100 square in the infants and juniors plus a hopscotch rocket ship in the infants.

I hope you all have a good weekend and that England win tonight!

Today's phrase - Come on England!

Saturday 21st May

Dear All,

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that Mrs Maynard will not teaching in reception from September. Mrs Maynard has been with us for over 18 years and has given hundreds of children a fantastic start to their school careers. She will be sadly missed by everyone at the schools and I can imagine by many many children and parents as well. Mrs Maynard and her husband will be starting the process of fostering children. I am trying to twist her arm to come back and teach a day or two a week but this will depend on how the fostering goes.

I would like to announce that we have employed a fantastic replacement for Mrs Maynard who will be starting in September. Mrs Christopher is an experienced Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teacher and experienced EYFS leader. Mrs Christopher will be popping into the school over the next term and will be coming to the school fair. I am sure you make her feel very welcome.

The book fair will be coming to the school during the week of the 27th June. It will be here all week after school and will have many many books for both the infants and the juniors but will be held in the junior hall. We do earn some commission from every book you buy so if you are looking to buy some new books please do it from the book fair. They are also a running on offer of 3 books for the price of 2!

We have finalised a company to come and do some playground markings for us over the half term break.

The school council will be going to the Houses of Parliament the week we get back from the end of term 5 break.

The year 6 will also be going on their residential trip to Devon the first week back – so I should imagine the school will be nice a quiet!

The first day back after the holiday (6th June) is an Inset day, so please don’t come in to school.

One week to go and the children will be having a well earned rest.

Today’s phrase that earns the children a sticker is “Please can I have some more homework Mr Geary”

Have a good weekend

Steve Geary

Saturday 14th May

Dear All,

I hope you are all well and are enjoying the sporadic sun! You’ve got to love the English weather! We had pupils coming to school on Monday with mild sun stroke and on Tuesday coming in drenched through because of the rain!

When it is sunny in the juniors the children have the option of having their lunch outside – it is only an option and they are more than welcome to still have it indoors. For those who want to eat lunch alfresco we have just bought 25 picnic blankets.

SATS for Year 6 finished last Thursday and they did the school proud – every last one of them! They held it together and all tried their very best! What will be, will be now, and we will have to wait until mid July to find out the results. They all enjoyed hot chocolate and the Minions film on Thursday afternoon as a treat.

Mrs Maynard's reception class performed a wonderful assembly on Wednesday – I can’t believe how much they have all grown and developed since September. On Monday we have the 'Talk and Tours' for the new parents whose children will be starting school in September. That first day of school is more nerve-wracking for the parents than it is for the children.

Over the summer holiday we will be spending some money on the Early Years area – we will be trying to build some sort of cover so the children can go outside in all weathers.

Year 2 will be doing their SATS until the end of May. We deliberately try and make it very low key for the year 2 children as we don’t want them to get nervous and worried. At least a third of them have already done the tests and I am not sure most of them know they have!

We have a full governors meeting on Tuesday where the governors will be discussing the recent government white paper on academies as well as many other things.

The year 6 residential trip to Devon is fast approaching! Now the SATS have finished I should imagine the children will start to really get excited.

Today’s secret phrase is “Spiderman is the best”

Have a good week.

Steve Geary

Friday 7th May

Good Morning all,

It has been another very good week at Horsted School.

The children have been working very hard and have been enjoying the sun! Please make sure they have water bottles and sun hats as I think it is here to stay for a while (famous last words).

I went on a school trip with years 3 and 4 to Detling! We all had a wonderful time we milked some cows, saw some sheep being sheared, saw a wonderful bird display and tried lots of different farm crops from around Kent. The children were wonderfully behaved and a real credit to the school as usual.

The football team played a match again Parkwood School and unfortunately lost 3-1 (we were robbed).

The Year 6 children have their SATS tests next week –we are having a SATS breakfast for them at 8.15 so they are alert and ready to do their best.

Saturday is the last of our SATS Saturday clubs – thank you to all the children that attended and thank you to the parents for arranging for them to be there.

A few weeks ago the government announced that all schools will need to be academies by 2020 –then yesterday they announced that now they don’t! So we will wait for the dust to settle before deciding the best course of action for Horsted School. I will keep you informed!

Parents found out if their children gained a place at Horsted infants recently. Again we were hugely over-subscribed with over 120 children applying for the 60 places. We will soon be having our “Talk and Tours” sessions for new parents.

This week’s secret phrase is apple crumble is the best!

I read an interesting article yesterday about the importance of regularly reading at home and how it makes a huge difference throughout the whole of a child’s education so please try and get that 10 minutes in throughout the week.

The School council has been invited to the Houses of Parliament in June – letters to will be coming out shortly.

Have a good week

Steve Geary

 

 

 

Friday 29th April

Dear All,

SATS week is approaching fast!

The year 6 pupils have their SATS the week after next – week beginning 9th May. We will laying on a breakfast for them all during the week and there is one more Saturday SATS club to go!

The year 2 pupils are allowed to take their SATS during the month of May. These tests take longer as they will be carried out in small groups. The year 2 SATS give the teachers another piece of evidence to make a teacher judgement.

The Medway Youth Games team won the Hockey skills competition on Friday against all the other Medway competitors and will be participating in the Kent Games!

The Football team won their latest match 10 – 0 on Friday.

We have a governors meeting on Tuesday night and I am on a school trip on Thursday with the year 4 children – I am very excited about it!

Last week the Family Liaison Officer (FLO as the kids call her – we call her Jane) had another one of her well attended Parent forum meetings – This is a great initiative and will help the school grow and improve.

I have just met with the PTA and we have decided a date for the Summer Fayre this year – 25th June – so keep the date free – let’s just hope it doesn’t clash with England’s March to the Euro glory in France – I think one of the matches is on a Thursday afternoon!

We are still having a big push on attendance – at the moment we are below our target of 97%.

Today’s secret word is snooker!

Have a good long weekend.

Mr Geary

 

Friday 22nd April

Dear All,

Welcome back to term 5.

Term 5 is the test term for years 2 and 6!

Year 2 will have their SATs tests during the month of May.

Year 6 have less flexibility with their tests – they have to be taken during the week of the 9th May.

The government removed levels last year so your children will not receive a level at the end of the year. Instead you will be told whether your child is working below, at or above the expected standard for their year group.

The children have worked very hard in the build up to these tests and I am sure you will join be in wishing them the best of luck.

Year 5 had their WOW day on Monday and all came dressed in Anglo Saxon costumes. We had a brilliant Anglo Saxon speaker that came into the school and really helped to make it an exciting day.

The school catering company, Chartwells, came into the school this week and carried out some really exciting activities with the children. They all had a chance to taste food from around the world and some even had the opportunity to make their own.

Year 3 are visiting Rochester Cathedral next week on Tuesday 26th April.

The School council will be visiting the Houses of Parliament in June.

The Green Team will be visiting a factory in June.

In the Juniors the Friendship Garden will be developed and made into a peaceful reflection area – Mrs Shackleton will be leading this.

Today’s Key Word is Radio – if you come and tell me this word you will get a sticker.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Mr Geary

 

 

 

 

Good Morning everyone,

I had two children tell me the secret word last week from the blog (Tortoise). They both earned themselves a sticker! I am hoping a few more will tell this week’s secret phrase which is “Apple Pie”

It is a strange set up this year with the Easter weekend being separate from the Easter holiday. Again, I would like to re-iterate that this is not something we had any control of.

Next week we have parents evening – I hope you all have your appointments.

The football team did extremely well again last week. We beat Warren Wood 4 – 0 at their ground. We have another match on Thursday.

The Netball team did very well in the Greenacre Sports Partnership competition winning a number of games including a 2-1 win over Balfour and Chattenden 3-1. Well done to them on their first competition.

You may have read in the press this week that every school will need to be an academy by 2020. This is something the governors have asked me to look at prior to this announcement and I will keep you updated progress we make on this issue.

We are going to be doing some improvements on both the Infant and Junior playground in the near future. We are going to be having some new playground markings and some additional seating areas.

Again, if anyone fancies running a chess club at the school or would like to run a gardening club coming into the spring, please let me know.

We also have an Easter disco to look forward to Thursday night!

I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend and all come back refreshed on Tuesday.

Take care

 

 

18TH March 2015

Sorry for not posting last week. We had a computer malfunction – I did try to post something but it wouldn’t upload!

This week has been a very busy but successful week.

On Tuesday KS2 represented Horsted at the Greenacre sports partnership dance fusion competition. There we over 15 schools at the competition and we did extremely well.

I can objectively say we were robbed! We should have at least been in the top three!

On Wednesday the infants represented Horsted at the Medway music festival and were a credit to the school. I have had nothing but positive feedback from all the parents and adults that went to the show.

On Wednesday night the juniors represented Horsted School at the junior version of the music festival – again it was a great night and the children did the school proud once again!

On Thursday night Horsted played a league football match again St Michael’s School and played brilliantly. They worked very well as a team and won 9 – 0. The whole team played some excellent football. You might even say “They turned everyday life into art”. Sam scored a great headed goal to get the scoring going.

We have parents evening coming up on the 29th and 30th March, I hope you will all be able to attend.

We have the complicated holiday dates with the Good Friday and the Easter Monday separate from the main Easter holiday. This is not a decision the school took it was a Medway decision and I know it has caused some difficulty with those parents who have children in Kent Schools.

I hope you all have a nice weekend – In an attempt to get people to read my blog I am offering any pupil a sticker if they tell me the magical word / phrase for the week that can only be found on here!

This week’s word is TORTOISE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 4th March

 

Hello everyone,

Another Friday comes around, it feels like only yesterday I was writing the last entry for the blog.

It has been a lovely week at Horsted. World book day on Thursday was very successful with children visiting other classes in the school to carry out art activities and participating in a very successful book swop event.

Year 5 have their WOW day today and are making a number of things out of rubbish! I am looking forward to popping along today to see how it is going.

The reception children are very excited about their tea party this afternoon with their mums to celebrate Mother’s Day.

A letter went out yesterday about the vacancy we have on the governing body for a parent governor. If you do feel you can spare the time and can make a positive contribution to the school please grab the simple application form from either the infant or junior office.

There is a newsletter going out today which will have lots of useful information on. One item on the newsletter is about parking and contains a police site which you can report dangerous parking to. I would urge you to do this as we will be.

Year 6 Pizza club is taking place on a Saturday – Year 6 children are coming into school to prepare themselves for the year 6 tests in May. Well done for so many children making an effort to turn up and thank you for the teachers and TA’s for giving up their Saturday to teach them.

Parents evening will be on the 29th and 30th March – we have had to put it back slightly from our original date due to fixture congestion!

If any parent fancies running a chess club at the school please let me know – I have always wanted a chess club at the school.

I’m off now to lead the infant celebration assembly – have a good weekend and see you next Friday.

Steve Geary

 

 

Friday 26th February

 

Welcome to my second blog posting ever!

 

It has been a good first week back at Horsted School. As always the children have settled straight back into the school routine.

 

Term 4 is an important term for the children where traditionally we see some of the greatest academic progress. It is an important term for year 6 and year 2 as it is the term before their end of key stage tests.

 

The year 2 tests will be mainly taking place during the last week in May. These government tests are carried out very informally with the children to avoid as much stress as possible.

 

The year 6 tests have to take place during the week beginning the 9th May.

 

For those year 5’s who are taking the 11+ this year we have been told that the date of the tests is Saturday 17th September. As in previous years the tests will take place at Horsted School and for Horsted pupils only.

 

The week saw the year 4 children visit Walderslade girl’s school to see a very professional production of Alice in Wonderland which they thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Next week looks to be another very exciting week at Horsted with book week celebrations taking place on Thursday and the Early Years children having a picnic with their mums on Friday afternoon to celebrate Mother’s Day.

 

I hope you all have a good weekend and come back refreshed on Monday

 

 

Mr Geary

 

 

 

 

Friday 12th February

Dear All,

This is the first of my weekly blogs!

I intend to publish every Friday.

I will be letting you know what has happened during the previous week and anything significant that is coming up!

It has been a good term with all the children working hard and making lots of progress. The Medway Youth Games team has done particularly well this term coming in the top 6 or 7 out of 30 to 40 schools in a variety of sports.

We had two new teachers join us, Miss Winfield and Miss Brooker, who have settled in very well in year 2 and 3 respectively.

All the teachers are in school today for a teacher training day – we are looking at the new assessment system, the new tests that the year 2 and year 6 children will be taking in May, the new writing requirements published by the DfE and holding a series of Pupil Progress Meetings (PPMS) where each year groups sits down with myself and we look at data and talk about the progress the children are making.

Over the break we will be having a new floor laid in the infant hall. It has been coming up in patches for the 5 years I have been at Horsted and has got to such a state that it is now more cost effective to re-relay it.

We are also having a new toilet built in the year 1 area, this will mean the year 1 children will no longer have to wait for the toilet or move out of the year 1 area.

I am now going to see if I can publish this on website! Wish me luck!

I hope you all have a good break and come back fresh for term 4.

Mr Geary.