No. 211

12 February 2021

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

This week has been a great way to finish this first half of term! Thank you once again for your ongoing support of your child’s learning; despite the challenges of home-schooling, you’ve been amazing - juggling all of your other responsibilities and keeping in good spirits. Well done to all! As we reach the half term break, I’m so proud of the whole school community - children, staff and parents. I know that the teachers are looking forward to a break as much as the children! I’ve been so impressed by their adaptability, their speedy acquisition of new skills, and their determination to be undaunted by learning a whole new approach to education; like so many of you, the staff have had to completely adjust the way they live and work. I want to publicly acknowledge and thank them for their hard work and tireless enthusiasm! I’m so glad to hear that so many of you have been in touch to thank them – those encouraging messages make a real difference.

The week has been full of exciting learning opportunities, and the children, both in school and at home have demonstrated excellent “zest for learning and love of life”. In Year 1, they rounded off their traditional tales topic with an imaginative and creative dress-up day. Year 4 provided an interested audience for a science lesson with Dr Clare, and Year 6 continued their topic on living healthy lives, with some having the opportunity for an early morning e-twinning lesson with our partner school in Aguilar, Spain where they shared the importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Year 3 were delighted to welcome Bishop Jo, the Bishop of Dorking to our weekly assembly – she found it really encouraging to see that the sense of school community was still so apparent and that the children were still flourishing and hopeful.

Promoting a screen-free afternoon to end the week came from our staff who’d noticed that not all children are keen on Zoom lessons. Some of them talk about how tired it makes them feel. We’ve also realised how much time children use screens, online games, social media and television to help pass the time. Great technology has been an amazing tool to help us through the pandemic, allowing us to interact with others and to have fun, but being encouraged to take a break away from electronic gadgets has been shown to improve wellbeing. As we head into the half term holiday, it would be great to give the children as much time off screens as possible. As always, we’d love to hear that the children have had the chance to get lost in a book, have time to explore the outdoors and even had to solve the problem of what to do when bored!

Wishing you a restful and hopeful half term break.

With love,

Thought of the Week: Love is not proud – do you blow your own trumpet too much?

Whole school notice:

Roadworks in Harvey Road
Work on the gas main replacement in Harvey Road (between Addison Road and Chesham Road) will now start on Monday 22 February, and take approximately five weeks to complete. During this time temporary multi-way traffic lights will be in operation. On Monday 8 March for approximately two weeks Chesham Road will be closed at its junction with Harvey Road. A signed diversion will be in place via Warren Road and Cooper Road.

House Photography Competition
Half term opportunity – we’ve decided to hold a house photography competition to refresh the art work that’s on show in the junior school staff room. Take a look at the flyer and encourage your child to take part. We’d love to showcase some of the most creative and eye-catching photos, as well as celebrate how our school values are lived out at HTPD.

National Children's Competition - Good Morning Britain
We have been made aware of a national drawing competition which will be judged by Ben Shephard (Good Morning Britain). It would make a fabulous half term activity for children to complete.

The competition is called ‘Bottle Moments’ and asks children to draw their bottle moment – the one thing that they would most like to do again once everything is back to normal. It is really easy to enter a parent just needs to upload the picture to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #bottlemoments adding a short description of the picture (if social media is not an option to enter parents can

The winning entries in each of the age groups (Under 5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-16) will have their picture drawn by Bottle Moments cartoonist Rob Murray, printed on a special mug presented to them by Ben Shephard.

Please see the Bottle Moments website for further information. It would be fantastic if a child in one of the partnership schools were to win!

Research Project
We have been contacted by a research team working at University of Surrey looking into the effect of lockdown on maths learning. If you’re interested, do take a look at the flyer.

“Our project aims to obtain a better understanding of the impact of distance learning through technology, and parent-supported home schooling for mathematics learning for children aged 5-14 years. We would therefore appreciate it, if you would be able to complete a survey (advert attached). The survey also includes optional online computer-based mathematics questions for children to answer, which have been matched to age related and curriculum level expectations. Overall, we anticipate the survey and online task to take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

The study has faculty level Ethical approval from Liverpool Hope University (S 29-04-2020 NJ 001: granted 15th May 2020). And can be accessed using the link below, where further information about the study can be found alongside consent information.

Upon completion we will share our results on our websites see and


Hello everyone,

In case you missed the ParentMail, FOPS is running a sponsored read during half term to help raise money for the school to refresh its supply of books across all year groups. Starting Monday 15 February, ending Sunday 21 February, children are invited to read anything with words or spend time being read to. Sponsorship is based on the number of minutes read during the week - it's amazing how quickly £1/£2 raised by each family can accumulate into something meaningful for the school so do take part if you can. Please see ParentMail for further details, including how to transfer the total sponsorship by PayPal Pool.

Thanks a lot for your support and Happy Reading!

Kate, Debbie and Sophie - the FOPS Committee

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