7 January 2022

I wish you all a happy new year and on behalf of the staff thank you for the many Christmas wishes, prayers and gifts, which we really appreciated. I think our school community have been brilliant and shown fantastic resilience.


 “Every moment is a fresh beginning”

T.S. Eliot

Safety measures in place

The children have made a good start to the term and settled into routines. As explained in my letter on Wednesday, we are continuing with phase group bubbles, staggered breaks and lunchtimes. Sadly, we will not be able to hold whole school assemblies so they will be held in year group phases.

Please ensure you wear a face mask on-premises and leave as soon as possible once you have collected your child. If your child is unwell or displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, do please have them tested and follow all government guidelines. If they are unwell, work will be uploaded onto Google Classrooms for them to access if they are able to.

In the event of staff absences, we will make every effort to cover classes with our own staff and where appropriate staff will be able to deliver sessions remotely via zoom to pupils in school. We hope that everyone will keep well and safe and ask you to work with us to ensure the best outcomes.

Classrooms and other areas are well ventilated and each classroom has a carbon dioxide monitor to ensure ventilation is sufficient. We are also going to apply for DfE-funded air-cleaning devices.

We hope to arrange class trips and other events in a few weeks, once the DfE has shared further information. Please ensure the office has up to date contact details and that you have notified them of any changes to medical or other personal information.

Click here for the latest COVID isolation flowchart and FAQs


P.E. days for Spring Term are as follows:

Nursery: Tuesday
Reception: Wednesday
Year 1: Friday (Please note that this was originally set for Wednesday but has now been changed to Friday)
Year 2: Tuesday
Year 3: Wednesday
Year 4: Thursday
Year 5: Tuesday
Year 6: Friday

Temperatures have dropped considerably and children must have a school coat when they come into school. As internal areas are well ventilated, children may wear their coats or fleeces in class if they need to. Remember if you need spare uniform, we have a large stock of donated / second-hand uniform (including jackets), which you are welcome to have, free of charge (just inform the office and they can help you).

Remember that the latest P.E. days and term dates information is always on the school website.



Mrs Gallagher is in the process of organising clubs for the spring term. Owing to restrictions last year and staff absences, not all sessions were delivered. We will aim to make up for the lost sessions and if it is not possible, money will be refunded. Information will be shared with you shortly.

Some clubs run by external coaches will resume next week:

  • Saturday, 8th January – Gymnastics club (Junior Hall)
  • Monday, 10th January – Palace for Life Wildcats (Girls Football)

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


PTA Christmas gift

Thank you again to the PTA for organising a Christmas gift (recorders) for the children – we have started sorting these into class groups and so you should have received them either today or early next week. Those in early-years received their gifts before Christmas. Sadly, there was a delay in the delivery of the recorders for the other years and they could not receive their gifts in time. So, it’s a lovely surprise to return to school and have them now.

I’m sure the children will enjoy serenading you.


School meal price increase

Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to increase the prices for school lunches. This will be effective from 1 April 2022. As you have no doubt noticed, due to a combination of factors (including Brexit, COVID, wage and fuel increases), food prices have been steadily rising for the last two years.

We can no longer afford to absorb the price increases from our suppliers, but we have tried to limit the impact to you to the minimum we require to break even in our catering operation.

Letter regarding school meal prices (from 1 April 2022)


Be part of your school’s 150th anniversary

This is our school’s 150th anniversary, so why not get into the spirit of it and buy some memorable keepsakes of this event, while helping your school and community?

There are various ways you can do this:

  • You can buy a composite picture of all pupils and staff in its 150th year from Kittle (please refer to the card your child brought home from Kittle for the Photo ID and Password). A proportion of photo sales do go to the school;
  • You can also buy the official history book of the school’s 150 years (buy directly from the school via this paypal link for a very reasonable £5); or
  • Make a donation to the school’s charitable foundation here (making sure you sign the Gift-Aid declaration to increase your gift by 25% at no cost to you)

You may have seen staff wearing the official 150th-anniversary fleeces and gilets (“St Joseph’s  – Founded 1872”) on school trips and while representing the school in competitions, as well as our new caps with the school motto “Together We Can” (proudly worn by Mrs Mangan in the London Marathon in 2021).

Why not be part of the team? Adult fleeces, gilets and caps will soon be available to buy from School Wear United on Crown Dale – they have supported the school by helping us offer free school jackets to new Free-School-Meal pupils, so please check them out.

Finally, if you are on Instagram and have pictures of events from the school’s history, or just want to share memories of this year’s events, make sure you follow us and/or tag us with #SJF150.


UK GDPR, Privacy Notices and Policies

A reminder that all the school’s privacy notices and policies regarding data protection, including details of our Data Protection Officer (DPO) are available on the website here or under Existing Parents > Parental Support > UK GDPR.


Contacting the school / information for parents

Since launching the new school website a year ago, we have placed considerable effort into making sure all key information is easily accessible for parents and visitors, including having school letters and newsletters on the site, and ensuring the school calendar is up to date with key events.

However, if you are a new parent to the school, you may find the following links useful. Remember your first point of call for information should be the Existing Parents tab (on the right-hand side if viewing on a computer or a tablet):

Existing Parents > School newsletters 

Existing Parents > Whole school letters

Existing Parents > Parental Support > School Policies and Documents

Existing Parents > Parental Support > Online Safety

Whom to contact at the school  – email addresses and phone numbers

Please also remember to check your child’s year group page on the school website (under Existing Parents > Classes). Here you will find the names of the staff who look after your child, the class email address to contact the class teacher, useful weblinks for learning, as well as year group specific letters and documents to download.


Staying positive

As I said at the start of my newsletter, the children have begun the term well and as a school community, we have come together to support each other. We still have a number of food items left, so please do email me if you would like to collect them. My email address is [email protected]

I look forward to the new year ahead and to seeing the children continuing to grow and thrive with your help and support.

One or two of you may have noticed that the many daffodils and bulbs (as shown in our cover photo above) that staff and pupils have planted over the years have started to come through now – surely a lovely sign of the different season we are entering into. Please do give these plants room to grow and guide your children not to step on them or pull the flowers off, so that others may enjoy them too.

Staff continue to work hard and have been fantastic in covering during absences. At St Joseph’s we have a dedicated team that place the children at the heart of all that we do.

Have a healthy and great week.

Mrs L Fernandes