10 December 2021

It has been another busy week and children have showed resilience and enthusiasm despite changes to routines and staff absences. We hope our last week will be enjoyable and a celebration of this term’s achievements.

Sadly, Mrs Flegg will be leaving us after 18 years of dedicated service to the school. She has worked across all key stages and more recently in the capacity of SENCO supporting children and families. Mrs Flegg moved to Cambridge in July and has been commuting to London.

Mrs Johnson (1E) will also be leaving us at the end of the term. She has taught at the school for almost three years and has worked hard to achieve the best outcomes for pupils in her care. Mrs Johnson is taking a break from full time teaching and but will still keep in touch. I would like to thank her for her hard work and always being positive and cheerful making us all smile.

On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank them both for all they have done and their commitment to the school community. I am sure they will always be a part of St Joseph’s family.

From the spring term, Mrs Swain will be teaching 1E and Mr Defty will lead the Nursery. I am delighted to announce that Mrs Langford-Jackson will take on the role of SENCO for the school and continue to teach Year 4 on Fridays and support in other classes.


Infant Nativity plays

Congratulations to all the children in years 1 and 2 for your wonderful performances in the Nativity. You made us also proud with the way you worked together, and retold the story of Jesus’ birth.

Narrators in year 2 led us through the journey, accompanied by wonderful singing from the year 2 choir and all the children. The actors were fantastic and I hope those of you who joined the livestream, enjoyed watching the performance. The video will be uploaded onto Google Classroom. Thank you to Mr. Defty, Mrs. Gallagher and Ms. Allery for setting up the technology.

The EYFS Nativity play will be filmed on Tuesday, 14th December at 10.00 a.m. The link was sent to you in a letter on Tuesday, 7th December. Please contact the office if you did not receive the letter.


5S class assembly

Owing to current restrictions, Class 5S had to deliver their assembly to the school, via zoom. They presented a powerful message about human rights, as part of their current affairs focus. Children shared information, ideas and some of their writing around freedom, respect and tolerance. They linked it to today’s refugee crisis and the importance of valuing everyone.

I think this collective quote from 5S sums it up perfectly:

“Our assembly was important because we helped people understand that they should be proud and know that they are important and everyone has rights. It was important because we wanted to remind everyone around the school not to forget about their human rights and think about others who do not have basic rights.”

Thank you, Ms. Ugbo, Mrs. DeJesus and Mrs. Zengin for working with the children.


News to celebrate

China Wright (Y3) was selected as a winner for the ‘YOUR Crystal Palace’ writing competition, imagining what they would show if the Crystal Palace rose again. Out of the 9 short-listed stories the judges chose China as the overall winner with her outstanding story!

In honour of her creativity and achievement her story is on display at both The Crystal Palace Museum until the end of January and at Upper Norwood Library Hub until Christmas.

On Tuesday 30 November, China and other winners attended a special award ceremony at The Crystal Palace Museum to unveil the exhibition and to share their stories. The Museum guide Richard Watkins told them about the Palace and the fateful fire that destroyed the palace exactly 85 years ago.

At the Museum all the winning stories are being displayed alongside artefacts from the palace include the helmet of one of the firefighters who fought the blaze.

Mr Graham Whitlock was one of the judges and competition organisers and has kindly donated a copy of his book to our school library. The book is entitled, ‘The Crystal Palace Chronicles Star of Nimrod’, a rollercoaster adventure for ages 10+. It is about a teenager who time travels through the maze back to the heyday of Victorian Crystal Palace.

Mr. Whitlock has agreed to present it in person when we return in the new year. I would like to thank him for sharing photographs of the ceremony and the display at the museum with us. Do please see them in our school montage.

Congratulations China, this is an amazing achievement, we are very proud of you.


An audience with Shirley Galligan – author of ‘Munu’

Children across the school joined Shirley Galligan, the author of ‘Munu’, a story about a Rhino who lost his eyesight. It is a beautiful text based on a true story and helps children to understand about disabilities and inclusion. Our children asked great questions including what inspired Shirley to write the book. This is a wonderful story and would make a great Christmas present if you’re looking for ideas for your child.

Do click on the following link for information about the real ‘Munu’
The story of Munu – Shannon Elizabeth Foundation

My thanks to Ms Cathy Slater from Dulwich Bookshop for setting up the zoom meeting and for supporting St Joseph’s in our drive to increase opportunities to read for pleasure. Please do visit the bookshop; it is full of amazing books to inspire both children and adults.


PTA gifts

A big thank you to the PTA for funding Christmas presents for all the children this year and to everyone that donated a £1 for own clothes day today. It is disappointing not to be able to hold our Christmas fair this year, but we can look forward to next year when activities hopefully will be able to resume.


Clubs and other school events this term

As you know, clubs have been suspended for the remainder of this term. Fees paid can be carried forward to next term’s clubs and sessions missed will be made up next term.


Girls only football lessons at St Joseph’s

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Palace for Life Foundation called Wildcats, which is a girls-only after-school club for Years 4, 5 and 6 only, which will start in January 2022.

The club will run Mondays, 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and be managed by Palace for Life but held at St Joseph’s. See the attached flyer and letter for parents. Bookings and payment is done directly with Palace for Life. Each session costs an incredible £1 only due to the Foundation’s support, which is amazing value.

Letter for parentsFlyer


COVID-19 updates

You will have noted from previous correspondence that the numbers of positive COVID cases is rising in Croydon. If your child is unwell, please do keep them home and take them for a PCR test if they show COVID symptoms. If a household member tests positive, PHE have recommended that other members test daily using a Lateral Flow Test and if it turns out to be positive, you will need to take a PCR test.

Letter from Croydon LA and Public Health England 

If you are planning on travelling abroad over the Christmas break, you must check all travelling requirements regarding isolation and testing. It will not be possible to authorise absences during term time for holidays taken.


Support over the Christmas Break

There is support available should you need it, over the Christmas break. If you would like further information, please email me on [email protected]. Information shared is confidential, so please do contact me.

Children entitled to free school meals, will receive a supermarket vouchers to cover the Christmas holidays. It is very important that the office has your correct details and email address. Remember that the school office will close on 17 December 2021 and only reopen when we start the Spring Term in January 2022.


Wellbeing support

Whilst Christmas is a joyful and exciting time of year for many of us, it comes with added pressures, expenses and worries. It is important to acknowledge that the last couple of years have been very challenging and we need to look after ourselves and our mental health. With the demands of a family and work commitments this might seem like an impossible task and something else to add to our ‘to do list’. But this does not have to be time consuming or cost money, there are activities that can be done as a family or alone that are completely free.

Please have a look at the links below for ideas:

Self-Care for Parents and Carers | Why consider self care? | Anna Freud Centre
Self Care, Anxiety, Depression, Coping Strategies | On My Mind | Anna Freud Centre
AFC Crisis Messenger (annafreud.org)
Creative expression of emotion at home – parents.indd (thriveftc.com)

The Anna Freud Centre is a mental health charity that works with children, young people and families to transform and support mental health across the community. Their ethos is to help and support children and families to build on their strengths and to achieve their goals in life.

Wishing all in the St Joseph’s Community, a peaceful and happy Christmas.
Mrs Langford-Jackson
(Wellbeing and Mental health Lead)


Year 6 residential trip

Please respond to Mr Defty’s letter sent out this week relating to the above trip, I hope that all the children will be able to attend. The trip is a fantastic opportunity for children to engage in a range of team building activities that promote wellbeing, fitness and positive social interaction.

Please do email Mr Defty if you have any questions: [email protected]


School history book

Our history book is now ready for collection. If you have not had a chance to order, please click on this link below to place an order. It really is a great Christmas present and piece of history to share for generations to come.


3rd Sunday in Advent

This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent, also referred to as Gaudete Sunday. The third candle is lit on this day along with the first two. It is the Shepherds’ candle, reminding that God sent the angels to proclaim and that He still uses ordinary people today to spread the good news of Christ.

Children have written some wonderful prayers at home to be added to class prayer books. Thank you for supporting your child when they bring home their ‘Posada’.

Click here for this week’s pictures

Mrs L Fernandes


Final dates for this year

Friday, 17th December at 1.15 p.m. – Please ensure your child is collected on time

Wednesday, 5th January 2021


Photo by Gary Spears from Pexels