4 February 2022

Another great week across the school.

Last week Reception went on a protest march around the school encouraging people to ‘Save our oceans’.

Reception class’ Ocean / Anti-Plastic Pollution march

On Wednesday, two teams from KS2 attended a General Knowledge Quiz held at St Cyprian’s School. The children were brilliant and received positive feedback about their behaviour and excellent teamwork. We entered two teams.

I am delighted that one of our teams (Misha, Lotti, Neah-Rose and Josiah) won the competition and will go through to the next round.

Our second team came sixth (Grace, Kieran, Bella & Emmanuel), a total number of 14 teams took part and I both St Joseph’s teams did brilliantly. My thanks to Mrs Barrett and Mrs Parry for accompanying them, to Mrs Gallagher for working with them and to Mr McEvoy for cheering them along. The children were superb.


Bishop Stortford Festival of Literature – via zoom

Children have remotely accessed a range of activities linked to literature. The sessions were engaging and the children attending loved taking part. Pupils attended workshops from a variety of authors and illustrators which included Tom Ellen & Phil Corbett, Katie & Kevin Tsang, M.G Leonard and Phil Earle.

Year 5 attended a workshop run by Emily and Alice Haworth Booth who have written and illustrated a book called ‘Protest’.

Hiyabel said this about the experience, “I found the talk interesting because it had little stories about people protesting. My favourite protest was when people weren’t allowed to protest unless they had a pass. Instead, they put toy teddies and dolls out on the streets with banners. I found this funny as the authorities couldn’t arrest toys. I think it is important we use our voices to be heard in a positive and non-violent way.”

Kyla said, “This week, we had the opportunity to meet Alice and Emily Haworth-Booth. They are sisters who have a passion for protesting. Their passion allowed them to write a book named ‘Protest’ which is about how people came together to change the world. My favourite protest was when Greta Thunberg and other children around the world went on a school strike for climate change. I found the talk fascinating because I learnt about protests that I didn’t know until now. They have inspired me to speak up for myself.”

Click here for the Schools Programme | Festival of Literature


Parent/teacher contact meetings

These will be held the week we return to school after the half-term break.

Meetings will be face to face and as follows:

  • Nursery, Reception, Class 1S, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 & Year 5: Tuesday, 22nd February (3.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.) and Thursday, 24th February (3.30 p.m. – 6.45 p.m.)
  • Year 6: Tuesday, 22nd February (3.30 p.m. – 6.45 p.m.) & Wednesday, 23rd February (3.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.)
  • Class 1E: Thursday, 24th February (3.30 p.m. – 6.45 p.m.)

Bookings will be via St Joseph’s App and bookings will open next week, on Tuesday. Please do not call the office before this date. If you do not have the app downloaded to your smartphone, you can access it via this link as well (you may choose to save it on your computer bookmarks or save to your phone’s home page).


Celebrating children’s work

The best part of my job is spending time talking to children about their learning and seeing the range of work they produce. They are confident and articulate and able to accurately discuss their strengths and areas to develop. Pupil voice is always a big focus in the school and pupils are actively encouraged to contribute their ideas.

I have seen some excellent work around the school and some outstanding homework from the ‘Time to Write’ tasks. Last week Year 3 had to write about the growth and journey of a strawberry in a creative and imaginative way. I was most impressed with Savannah from Year 3. Her use of vocabulary and the effort she put in was just wonderful. Well done Savannah!

She was slithering down the sloping path. She could feel pebbles brushing against her skin below. Looking up she could see bright green trees swaying in the wind, the leaves on the trees looked so inviting. She continued to slither …. what if she fell?

Do make time to watch Reception’s video and check out the photo montage of all the wonderful work this week.


Wellbeing week (7.2.22 to 10.2.22)

My thanks to Ms Ugbo for organising the activities. It’s going to be full of exciting opportunities for children to understand the importance of wellbeing through art, exercise and other creative tasks. We would love you to join us for some sessions if you can.

Click here for the schedule of events and Ms Ugbo’s letter


Book week (28.2.22 – 4.3.22)

Mrs Tope and Ms Bickmore have been busy organising a range of activities that will not only promote our drive to read for pleasure, but give children the opportunity to be creative through the use of drama, art, maths, science and writing.

The theme for the week will be around ‘Alice and Wonderland’ and children will be asked to come in on World Book Day, dressed up as a character from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (this will include all staff!). So, get reading, there are many versions to enjoy which are suitable for all ages from Nursery to Year 6. Children will participate in drama workshops linked to the book.

Click here for the letter regarding the trip to West Norwood Library 

A letter will be sent out next week with details of the other events for this week.


Catering Survey

Please click on the link below to complete an anonymous survey regarding our school catering. For the past two terms, we have been trying several new things on the menu, including having more non-meat or vegetarian options as well as having alternatives to jacket potato such as wraps.

We would like to find out how you and your children are finding this, as well as the pre-order system and generally, what you think of the overall provision.

Catering Survey (January 2022)

Feedback will be incorporated into the Summer Menu 2022.


St Joseph’s App

Thank you to all parents who have logged on to St Joseph’s App. As we have announced in the last three newsletters, we aim to make St Joseph’s App the primary means of communicating with parents and the best way for you to keep up to date with all events at the school.

Already, parents are able to view their children’s attendance as well as submit absences (including adding pictures of doctor’s notes or COVID tests if required), which has been much more convenient. Clubs for this half-term were booked through St Joseph’s App successfully. We are also starting to post more and more news articles and pictures about activities at school through the newsfeed function, noticeboard and also sending letters through St Joseph’s App. Accident / incident reports are now also being recorded electronically and emailed to you through the app. From next week, the only way to book times for the parent contact evening will be through the app.

From 1 March 2022, we will stop sending emails to your personal emails, but instead, we will send it through the School App only, which will be an important step to making the app the primary and central way of communicating with you.  Should you wish to contact the school office, we encourage you to use the mail function on the app to do so (click on the envelope symbol). The office will prioritise reading messages sent through the app and going forward the two office@ addresses will be mainly for people outside the school such as sales and other enquiries.

We appreciate that using an app may be new to some parents (we know for example that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all difficult to use at the start and required a lot of practice), so the following assistance is available to you:

  • You can watch a short video as well as download a guide here
  • Mr Navarro will be hosting a ‘drop-in’ session on Tuesday (8 February 2022), 09:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Garden Hall where you can bring your device or borrow a school iPad and we can show you how to use the App

Lastly, as an added incentive, and thanks to a generous private donation, we will be holding a small prize draw to encourage parents to sign in to the App. Further details are on the app, but if you look under Forms, if you fill in the form called “App Prize Draw”, your child’s name will go into a draw for a £25 supermarket voucher. We will collect all entries on the App and put the names in a hat, for Father Anthony to randomly choose a limited number of winners (there will be one winner per year group). For fairness, each child’s name can only be entered once, but you have to submit the form through the app to be in with a chance. Entries close at midnight on 10 February 2022. Winners will be announced after half-term.

Have a safe and happy week and I look forward to seeing you around the school.

This week’s school photo montage

Reception class’ Ocean / Anti-Plastic Pollution march


Mrs L Fernandes


Future dates for your diary

  • 07.02.22 to 10.02.22: – Wellbeing week
  • 11.02.22 – Inset day: the school will be closed for pupils
  • 28.02.22 – 04.03.22: – Book week