4 March 2022

It has been a magical week of wonderful activities related to books.

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

Frank Serafini

The dance workshops linked to our school book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ have been amazing! Children participated enthusiastically, showing creativity and flair, bringing the story to life. There are some fabulous hats made for the ‘Mad Hatter’s tea party’ and thank you for your donations.

Dressing up day was a real treat with so many different book characters represented across the school. We hope the children enjoyed the bedtime-reading by their teachers, as well as being read to in class by the sixth formers from our ‘big brother and big sister’ schools, the Cedars and Laurels, respectively. Please do have a look at the montage of photos (at the bottom of the newsletter), Mr Defty has been spoilt for choice for photographs to include.


“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”

I’m sure you have been following the news and like all of us, there is a sense of disbelief watching the events unfolding over the week. We have been talking about the sad situation in Ukraine and discussed it in assemblies. Our children displayed sensitivity and asked excellent questions showing an awareness that it would be wrong to blame all Russians as a result of their President’s actions. There are protests in Russia and around the world against Putin’s actions. We talked about the power of hope and praying for peace. It is a difficult time and it is important for us to continue to pray and hope that peace will prevail.

If your child has questions please do encourage them to talk to you or to us at school and reassure them.

Click here for some ideas on how you can support your child from Croydon LA

It was lovely to catch up with many of you at our parent/teacher contact meetings this week. If you were unable to make the dates, please contact your child’s class teacher to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.


An audience with authors

Sharnette Donacien

Children in the infant school attended a zoom reading session on Thursday with Ms Sharnette Donacien ( a former St Joseph’s pupil) reading her new book ‘Ada’s wash day’ and answered questions. The children loved talking to her and big thanks to Sharnette for making time to be with us. Sharnette has donated bookmarks, which are available to all children as they use the library.

Download information about Ada’s Wash Day


Edward Docs & Matthew Plampin

Children in years 5 and 6 met with the authors of a new children’s book, ‘Swift and Hawk’.

My thanks to Ms Cathy Slater from Dulwich Books for organising the event with Walker books. Ms Slater works closely with the school and has been brilliant at offering us audiences with authors and illustrators, both face to face and via zoom. It really is an excellent book, particularly for older children. Dulwich Books have left a number of copies, signed by the authors, for you to purchase.


Graham Whitlock

China in year 3 was selected as a winner for the ‘Your Crystal Palace’ writing competition, asking writers to imagine what they thought the Crystal Palace would be like if it rose again. Out of the 9 selected stories the judges chose China as the overall winner with her outstanding story!

Graham is the author of ‘The Crystal Palace Star of Nimrod’ and during his visit this week, the children really enjoyed hearing him read a chapter of the book and were totally engaged. My thanks to Mr Whitlock for making time to visit the school and read to the children. Another highly recommended text for the children to read.


Reading with your child over breakfast at school

The junior school hall will continue to be open from 8.30 a.m. if you would like to come in and enjoy a free breakfast with your child / children. Why not enjoy it with a book? It is the perfect time to share a book over breakfast. No need to book, just arrive in the hall and help yourself to cereal, bagel and a coffee. Note that children must be accompanied by an adult – this is not free childcare or a replacement for breakfast club.


St Joseph’s App

I am pleased to announce the winners of £25 supermarket vouchers in our St Joseph’s App prize draw:

  • Nursery: Cressida
  • Reception: Sophie
  • Year 1: Kadel
  • Year 2: Tyler
  • Year 3: China
  • Year 4: Soraya
  • Year 5: Ishaan
  • Year 6: Lara

Letters have gone home with the children today with the vouchers.

From 1 April 2022, all electronic communication to parents will be primarily through the ‘in-mail’ function of St Joseph’s App (and no longer through your email accounts or text messages) so make sure you can log in and be able to check the newsfeed, notices and calendar frequently for developments at school. As a reminder, you can adjust whether you get a notification for every new message or notice we post on your own phone’s settings.

As a school, we do expect you as parents to take responsibility to find out about what is going on at school and your child’s learning via the newsletters and now, through the app. From our side, we will continue to make sure all important messages are placed on the app as soon as practical so you can prepare.


Shrove Tuesday

Mrs Mangan did a fabulous job at organising the races for the children and adults. The rain did not stop the races and children powered through smiling and enjoying every moment. Enjoy the montage of photos.


Reading & Phonics

Please click on the following link for information from Mrs Tope regarding phonics.

Virtual Phonics Classroom letter


Primary Careers Week – 21.3.22 – 25.3.22

We will be organising a careers week commencing Monday, 21st March. There will be guest speakers from different professions, talking to the children about their roles and qualities/qualifications needed to enter each profession.

If you can spare some time to come and talk to the children about your job, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please complete this google form if you would like to help out


Medical information

Please ensure that the office has up to date medical information for your child. If your child goes swimming with the school and needs to use a moisturising cream as a result of a medical condition, please notify their class teacher and kindly send in a note to confirm.



The PTA continue to be active in organising a schedule of events for this year. Their first event will be the PTA AGM on Tuesday, 15th March 2022 at 6.00 p.m. in the Junior Hall.

Please do make an effort to attend and if it is not possible then you can join the meeting via zoom (details will be posted on the school calendar on the website and you guessed it – on St Joseph’s App ).

They will also be holding a second-hand uniform sale on Saturday, 19th March 2022 between 9.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m.  If you have any donations, kindly bring them to the office.

Please do support our PTA. They are a group of volunteers, who work and still devote considerable time to the PTA. ‘Many hands make light work’. The more people we have actively involved, the stronger our PTA will be and ultimately, the children and the school community benefits.


Free School Meal (FSM) eligibility

The Government have made important changes to the eligibility criteria (and how long a child can retain FSM-status). If you are eligible for FSM or think you may be, please make sure to read Mrs Gallagher’s letter below.

FSM eligibility until March 2023 (4 March 2022)


and finally…..photos!

Click for this week’s montage of photos


Mrs L Fernandes



Future dates for your diary

  • 08.03.22 – KS2 Reconciliation services & KS1 Reconciliation assembly
  • 09.03.22 – Girls Football competition (Coloma School)
  • 15.03.22 – PTA AGM
  • 18.03.22 – Red Nose day (details to follow next week)
  • 19.03.22 – PTA uniform sale
  • 21.3.22 – 25.3.22 – Primary Careers week
  • 21.03.22 – Bookings open for summer clubs
  • 24.03.22 – Panathlon (Trinity School)
  • 25.03.22 – Last day for spring term clubs