14 January 2022

We have made it through the first full week of term and staff have worked hard to cover colleagues whilst they have been off school.

As stated in my welcome letter, we will continue to make every effort to cover absences by redeploying our own staff. Sessions will be delivered via Zoom where teachers have to isolate, but are well enough to teach.


Spectacular homework

Congratulations to all the children who completed their reading challenge of trying to read as many books as they could over the Christmas break. I have seen some amazing work from our Year 5 pupils around reading for pleasure. They have been incredibly creative not only with their writing but have used art to present their ideas.

“During the Christmas break, we were asked to make an informative, creative and imaginative poster based on a book we chose to read. The poster had to encourage people to read the book. Most of the books were enjoyed by a lot of people. Now a lot more people are reading these books and they are really enjoying them. This is the list of some of the books we read: ‘Journey to the river sea’, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’, ‘Orphans of the tide’, ‘Wolf rider’, ‘Running wild’, ‘The Island at the end of everything’ and the ‘Cradle of all worlds’. We hope you will try and read these books because we guarantee you will love them”

– Kyla, Owen, Holly & Idally


Reading for pleasure

 “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed”

Oran Pamuk

This continues to be a big focus for us and I am delighted to see a rise in pupil engagement and thirst for finding new texts. Our library has helped to promote a love for reading along with the many high-quality texts children read in class and the way they are used to also promote effective writing. Please do encourage your child to visit your local library. Follow the links below for further details.

West Norwood Library
Upper Norwood Library
Oxford Owl: Ten ideas to inspire your child to read more


National Breakfast Programme

Our free breakfast offering will re-commence next week. If you would like your child to have a free breakfast at school, please come to the gates on Crown Dale, which will open at 08:30 a.m. Pupils can then make their own way (unaccompanied) to the Infant Hall where we will have cereal and toasted bagels available for them. Once they finish their breakfast they can then make their way to class.

The intention of this programme is so that no pupil comes to class hungry – this breakfast is available to ALL pupils and is 100% free.


Invicta Academy – online courses

Invicta provides online courses to support children’s learning. Many of the resources are free but some incur a charge. Please do visit the website below for further information.

Higher Ability English Programme (Invicta Academy)



I am pleased to say that clubs will continue this term. They will commence on 24 January 2022 and will run for 8 weeks.

Please click on the following letter from Mrs Gallagher for more information

Bookings will commence on Monday, 17th January 2022 through our new school app (see below for further details). Refunds will be given for sessions missed the last term.

If your child has a sport after school or lunchtime club, please do send them in to school in their PE kits.


St Joseph’s ‘App’

We will be launching our very own school ‘app’, next week. The intention of the app is to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ where you can access all relevant information for your child and where we can share information with you in an efficient way. As you know, currently, we send you information via email, by text, on the website, via google classrooms, via physical letters etc and it can get overwhelming and confusing, and important events get missed.

Early next week, you will be sent an email as well as a text message (as backup) with instructions early next week. From there you will be asked to enter an activation code and create a unique password to complete your registration. You can then go to the apple or android app store, download our school app (search for “St Joseph’s Federation”) and log in.

If you do not have a smartphone, the app is accessible on any computer or tablet, as a normal web page. A dedicated page on the school website has been added as a handy reference point as well as a link for easy access. Look for Existing Parents > Parental Support > St Joseph’s App.

We will start gradually opening up features and adding content to the app, but the first thing you will be able to do is to sign-up for clubs.

Over time, the app will have the following:

  • School policies and useful documents for parents to read and download
  • News / events
  • School calendar, including events specific to your child / family
  • Notices & messaging
  • Consent and data collection forms
  • Registers & Absence reporting
  • Accident reporting
  • Attendance record
  • Relish Meals including pre-order
  • Booking and payment for clubs and trips
  • Parent / teacher video conferencing (through School Cloud)
  • Homework reminders
  • Money / payment for items (we will use Parentpay for the rest of this academic year, but next year we will transition to SQuid, which promises to be a better and cheaper system for handling payments)

We will continue to keep the website up to date with the latest information but by having the app, we can make it specific to you and your child’s class, as well as reduce our dependence on expensive text messages (and therefore have more to spend on resources for your children).

We will provide you with as much help as we can with the log in process and there will be a helpline number to call as well. As with most things IT and software, it may not always work the first time, so we ask that you be patient with it (and us). This is the first we have embarked on a project like this and we are also learning. But remember our motto, together, we can!


Music lessons

Mrs Chamberlain-Kent is pleased to be able to offer music tuition for a violin or cello. If you are interested please click on the letter below and return it as soon as possible.

Letter regarding violin and cello lessons


Enterprise events

We are hoping to reschedule these events this term, pending advice from PHE relating to restrictions.

Year 5’s Disco and Y6’s film night will take place, with dates being confirmed as soon as possible.


Giving back to the wider community

Mrs Luri, Mrs Mangan and Mrs Phillips will be taking part in the London Winter Walk to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. The walk will take place on Saturday 29th January 2022. The walk is a Half-Marathon (13 miles or 21km) beginning at the Oval. The route will take them eastwards through the streets of London over Tower Bridge and to the halfway point in Southwark Park, then back along the Thames to finish back at the Oval. Please see the links below if you would like to sponsor the ladies.

Mrs Phillips’s justgiving page
Ms Luri’s justgiving page
Mrs Mangan’s justgiving page

Mrs Mangan continues to be an inspiration to all of us, not just for her sporting achievements but because of her continuous encouragement and enthusiasm to help everyone to try to keep fit and healthy. She has not only had a huge influence on pupils but motivated staff to take up walking, running and many other activities. Staff have nominated Mrs Mangan to be a Baton-bearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay team carrying the torch for the Commonwealth Games in August 2022. It is a testimony to her dedication that she has received this nomination.


COVID update

Latest Government guidelines from Monday 17 January 2022 states that people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.

If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.

Click for further information


May half-term break

I am delighted to inform you that we have an extra day to add to our holidays as a result of the Queen’s Jubilee. The Governors have agreed to add this extra to the end of the May half-term week.

The May half-term week shall therefore be from 30 May 2022 to 6 June 2022. The school will reopen on Tuesday, 7th June 2022.

Click here for this week’s pictures

Mrs L Fernandes


Future dates for your diary

  • 17.01.22 – Bookings for clubs open
  • 24.01.22 – Clubs start
  • 02.02.22 – Quiz competition (St Aidan’s School)
  • 07.02.22 to 10.02.22 – Wellbeing week
  • 11.02.22 – Inset day : the school will be closed for pupils