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Letters Home

The majority of correspondence is sent out via ParentMail.

If there is anything you cannot see please contact the main school office.

Important Reminder for Year 8 High School places for September 2022

Please can I remind you to apply to High School, if you haven't already done so. You can apply online via the following website;

www.worcestershire.gov.uk/schooladmissions.

If you have already applied please make sure that you have received a confirmation email of your application from the Worcestershire Admissions Team.

Please be aware that the closing date for applications to High School is SUNDAY 31 OCTOBER 2021.

If you do not apply by this date you may not get the High School of your choice.

If you have difficulty accessing the website to apply, please contact the Admissions Team at Worcestershire County Council or contact me at school for help.

Jean Gagen, School Admissions Officer.

School Attendance Procedures - 12/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

St John’s School Attendance Procedures

As your child settles back into life at St John’s after lockdown and the summer holiday, we thought it would be helpful to remind you of some of our attendance procedures.

Reporting Absence from School:

If your child is unable to attend school for any reason, you must contact the school on the first day of the absence to inform us. We ask that parents endeavor to contact us before 08.50am so the class teacher can be informed before morning registration. If your child remains unwell, please contact us with an update each day. Where a child is absent from school and we do not receive a reason for the absence, this may be recorded in the register as unauthorised.

If your child is going to be absent from school for any reason other than a planned holiday, please report the absence in one of the following ways:

  • Leave a message on the school absence line by calling 01527 832376 and pressing option 1.
  • Send a message on Parentmail to the absence portal – please include (if known) the absence length.

Please do not Epraise message the teachers directly. They sometimes do not get chance in the morning to check their messages before taking the register - this will also avoid you receiving unnecessary absence messages and phone calls.

Punctuality:

All pupils should be on the school premises on time for their morning registration. If your child is late and the school gate is shut the child must enter via the main office. If it is possible to notify the school of your child’s late arrival, this would prevent an unnecessary call to you from us. However, please can we ask for your support in helping your child to arrive in school on time, as late arrivals not only means your child is missing out on lessons but can also interrupt the learning of others.

Medical Appointments:

Wherever possible, we ask that medical appointments are arranged outside of school hours. However, where this is not possible, please advise the school in advance of the appointment. Absence due to medical appointments will affect your child’s attendance figures so we would ask that you keep these to a minimum.

Planned Absence for Holiday and other similar reasons:

Government regulations make it clear that parents do not have any right or entitlement to take a child out of school for purposes for a term-time holiday. Headteachers are not able to grant any leave of absence during term-time for holidays. In exceptional circumstances pupils may be granted leave of absence during term-time for not more than one week (5 school days) in any calendar year. Parents contemplating absence during school time should complete a request form and first discuss the implications with the school before making any commitments. Should parents decide to still take their child on holiday without authorisation a referral may be made to the Education Welfare Service which may result in a Penalty Notice (a fine of up to £120 per adult per child) being issued. Any absence from school can have a serious effect on a child’s educational progress and can create continued difficulties on their return to school.

Absence for reasons relating to COVID-19:

The DFE have changed their guidelines which affects the way the school needs to record attendance. Previously, the codes given to a child who had symptoms or had a positive case of COVID did not affect the percentage of attendance however, the updated guidance means that we have to code children differently which does have an impact on their attendance as well as the school’s.

We are aware that your child may find this disheartening but please reassure them that they will not be penalised due to being absent because of COVID and any attendance or rewards will be looked at on a case by case basis.

Yours sincerely

Mrs East

Attendance Officer

A Polite Reminder to Parents - 12/10/2021

A polite reminder to parents:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

There have been a few incidents recently involving parents driving into the staff car park.

These have resulted in:

  • damage to staff cars
  • a near miss with a pupil crossing the car park after a club
  • on occasion members of staff have been verbally abused by Parents as they are waiting to enter or leave Watt Close and the school car park

Can I remind you that parents are not allowed to drive into the car park before 4:45 p.m. (unless collecting a child for medical or emergency reasons). The car park is especially busy at the end of the day with teaching staff leaving and cleaning staff arriving.

We realise parking around school is difficult however, we would ask you to please abide by our rules. They are there to ensure the safety of the children, especially those attending extra-curricular clubs who have to exit through the car park, the staff and to afford smooth entrance and exit from school.

If your child attends an extra-curricular club please find alternative car parking and do not use the car park or Watt Close.

We appreciate your co-operation in this matter and understand that the vast majority of parents respect and abide by our rules.

Kind regards

The Office team

After School SPORTS Clubs - 08/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are delighted to announce that we are now in a position to launch our extensive extra-curricular sports clubs. Clubs will begin from Monday 11th October and run for two weeks until half term. We appreciate your understanding and support whilst we have tried to contain COVID outbreaks and ensure our pupils and staff are kept safe.

Unfortunately, due to previously arranged fixtures and staff illness we cannot launch the following clubs as planned next week but they will start the following week. All clubs will then continue after half term.

Clubs that will not be starting next week –

  • Year 6 Dance on Tuesday
  • KS2 Girls football on Tuesday
  • Year 6 Boys football on Wednesday
  • Year 7 Boys football on Thursday
  • Squash Club on Friday

In addition to this we would like to make parents aware that the cheerleading trials on Tuesday 12TH October will be for Year 5 pupils only, and Tuesday 19th October will be for Year 6 and 7 only - This is to allow for a team to be selected. Those selected will then attend training sessions with Miss Kelly after half term.

All children attending clubs must come to school wearing their PE kit.

Please note: leggings are not permitted.

Once again we thank you for your continued support and look forward to a busy few weeks of clubs before the Christmas break.

Mr Cowdery

Head of P.E

Upcoming Dates - 08/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Our Harvest celebration assembly will be held week commencing Monday 18th October. Normally we would hold our Harvest Festival at St John's Church but unfortunately due to COVID restrictions we are unable to do this so we will be holding a virtual assembly to mark this important occasion. If you would like to make a contribution, please could you send in any dried or tinned goods with your child by Friday 15th October. Unfortunately we are unable to accept any fresh food items.

All items will be donated to St Basils, a charity that works with young people who need support to prevent homelessness and to our local food banks.

We are also pleased to announce that extra-curricular after school clubs are able to reconvene from Monday 11th October. We are keen to get these clubs up and running as soon as possible as they are important for children's development and well-being.

Kind regards

The Office Team

Gate Opening Times - 08/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We would like to remind you that our school day starts at 8:50am and the the school gates open at 8:40am, we would encourage the children to travel directly to school without stopping to play in the park.

We are aware of a number of pupils who are playing unsupervised in Sanders Park before school in the mornings. We are particularly concerned about those who are playing football on the courts, as these games can become boisterous and there are no adults present to help in the event of an incident or should one of them become injured.

Kind regards

Mrs N Hine – Assistant Headteacher

School re-opening - 05/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for your understanding during the forced closure of the school due to staff absence. I would like to reiterate school closure is always our last resort, but without a certain percentage of staff in school to look after the children we cannot safely open.

Although we still have a high staff absence due to the COVID outbreak, I am pleased to report that we can safely staff the school for the remainder of the week and therefore we will open to all year groups from normal time tomorrow morning.

During our Outbreak meeting with LORT and Public Heath England we were complemented on the comprehensive and considered list of extra precautions we have put in place during this outbreak. These precautions will remain in place until we feel that the outbreak is firmly under control.

Following the Outbreak meeting, it was advised to request the mass PCR testing of all children and staff. From the 260 results that were submitted to school since this message was communicated, there were 15 more positive cases identified. Many of these positive results were a complete shock to parents, as their child had displayed very mild, or no symptoms and were negative on lateral flow tests. We encourage parents to continue lateral flow testing, but also to err on the side of caution and PCR test children even if they are displaying very mild symptoms. With isolation of positive contacts no longer required, we all need to work together to try and prevent the spread of COVID through our school community, so I ask if your child is at all ill please get them tested before sending them into school.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school tomorrow morning when our school community can once again be reunited.

My final words go to those pupils and staff who are affected by COVID at the moment and wish them a speedy recovery.

Best Wishes

Mrs A Elwell

School Closure -02/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following my previous communication with you regarding the high number of positive COVID cases and the recommendation by Public Health England to ask all pupils and staff to take a PCR test, I would like to thank all the parents who have followed the recommended advice and are working with us to identify positive cases to try and prevent the spread throughout our community.

Throughout the pandemic we have strictly followed National guidelines as set out by the DfE and Public Health England, this includes the guidance that no longer requires individuals with no symptoms to isolate if they are a contact of a positive COVID-19 case, but rather to get a PCR test. I am aware of unfair criticism of the school for communicating this message and would like to remind everyone that we are acting from updated advice on a national level.

I am sorry to report that following the mass PCR testing, we have already received more positive COVID-19 results from staff members. Therefore this means we are no longer in a position where we can safely open the school to children. Consequently the school will be closed to all pupils on Monday 4th October and Tuesday 5th October, this will then be reviewed when we are able to ascertain staffing levels for the remainder of the week.

Remote education will commence on Monday morning and will consist of both Zoom lessons and tasks set on epraise.

  • Zoom links will be added to your child’s classwork section on their epraise account.
  • Lessons will begin at their usual timetabled times.
  • Pupils should set their names on Zoom to reflect their own name, without this they will not be admitted from the waiting room.
  • Cameras should be switched on and pupils will need a suitable working area with an appropriate background.
  • Pupils should wear appropriate clothing, no night wear please.

Attached is a Pupil’s guide to remote learning and the presentation policy.

For Year 5 pupils who may be less familiar with St. John’s remote learning offer, their class teacher will provide a Zoom link on epraise, to access a support and troubleshooting lesson starting at 9am on Monday morning. If you are unable to access Zoom please send an epraise message to your child’s class teacher who will try to assist.

If no Zoom link or epraise task is available for any specific lesson, this will be due to staff illness and therefore Century tasks will be provided as an alternative activity for your child to complete during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause however the safety of the children is our priority at this time.

We wish all our unwell pupils and staff a speedy recovery and we look forward to reuniting as a school community as soon as circumstances allow us to do so.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

 

Advice from Public Health England - 01/10/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We are still continuing to experience a high number of positive COVID-19 cases within school, amongst both children and staff, despite extra precautions and additional measures put in place. Therefore a meeting was held with the COVID Outbreak Team and Public Health England where we were advised to strongly encourage all members of our school (children and staff) to carry out a PCR test as soon as possible.

We were informed that the local testing centre has sufficient capacity over the next few days to carry out these tests. Anyone that has received a positive PCR test result within the last 90 days does not need to be tested again.

When your child has received their result of the PCR, please log this on the form on ParentMail

To book a PCR test please go to: Get a free PCR test to check if you have COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

However, Children aged 5 and under are not be advised to take a test unless they are a contact of positive case within their own household, or they develop symptoms.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness.

The school remains open and providing your child remains well they can continue to attend the setting as normal whilst they are awaiting the result of their PCR test.

We would suggest that you consider taking additional precautions to limit the spread of infection by reducing their contacts with others outside school, avoiding close contact with those who may be clinically vulnerable.

If your child is at all unwell please keep your child at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible. If your child tests positive for COVID-19 they must self-isolate and follow the Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19.

There are still simple things we can all continue do to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

There continues to be additional support for those self-isolating or vulnerable as a result of COVID-19 can be accessed through Here2Help:

https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help or 01905 768053 then press option 3. The Here2Help opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

Accessing Computers After School - 28/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We are looking to offer children the opportunity to access computers afterschool to enable them to complete homework or independent work on Century. Further information will be sent out regarding days and times in due course.

In order to facilitate this, we need to gauge numbers for each year group that would be interested in attending these sessions. If your child would be interested in attending, please complete the form on ParentMail by Monday 4th October.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Moyle - Head of Data, Assessment and Maths

Virtual Learning - 27/09/2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

I would like to thank you for your support in following the guidance and taking children for PCR’s tests when they have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 Case. This is leading to an increase in the detection of other positive cases that might not have otherwise been detected.

Please can I ask you to be understanding regarding the offer of live Zoom lessons to all children currently self-isolating. As a staff body we have also been affected by COVID-19 and many teachers are currently absent. So far we have managed to cover lessons within school however this is becoming increasingly difficult. Please look at epraise for either a Zoom link or a description of the task for each lesson. All staff will now be using the classwork setting for the work for those self-isolating, this will help distinguish between self-isolation work and Homework tasks. We will endeavour to ensure that Maths, English and Science is set regardless of staff absence, tasks for all other subjects will be dependent upon teacher availability. Century Tech platform is available for all children to access should they require extra work. If your child does not know their Century log in details please contact Mrs Moyle who will be able to assist you.

Thank you for your understanding

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

COVID Update - 24/09/2021

Dear Parent/Guardians,

We have been advised that there has been a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 within your child's class. We strongly advise accessing a PCR test for your child as soon as possible and carefully follow the guidance on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To book a PCR test please go to: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

However, Children aged 5 and under are not be advised to take a test unless they are a contact of positive case within their own household, or they develop symptoms.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

The school remains open and providing your child remains well they can continue to attend the setting as normal whilst they are awaiting the result of their PCR test.

We would suggest that you consider taking additional precautions to limit the spread of infection by reducing their contacts with others outside school, avoiding close contact with those who may be clinically vulnerable.

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 please keep your child at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible. If your child tests positive for COVID-19 they must self-isolate and follow the Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19.

There are still simple things we can all continue do to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
wash your hands as soon as you get home
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards


There continues to be additional support for those self-isolating or vulnerable as a result of COVID-19 can be accessed through Here2Help:

https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help or 01905 768053 then press option 3. The Here2Help opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

New Reading Rewards Incentive Scheme - 24/09/2021

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Dear Parents/Guardians,

From this week we will be introducing a new reading rewards system to help encourage our pupils to regularly read. As you know, St John's pupils are expected to read at home at least three times per week (although we would love them to read even more than this). Pupils are then expected to record this reading in their planner and to get this signed by an adult at home.

Every week, your child's class teacher will check their planner and if they have read at least 3x they will be rewarded with a reading point (a type of house point). Each classroom also has a reading reward chart. Each week, every child who has read will also get a tick on this chart. At the end of each term, children who have read every week without fail will be rewarded with their choice of small gift/extra playtime or one free homework pass (subject to conditions).

We hope that this will help incentivise reading as well as continue to build a love of reading amongst our pupils. Shortly we also hope to re-open our school library. Pupils will be given their book band levels (based on their reading ages) and will be given the opportunity to visit the library and select a book at an appropriate level for them. We have been gradually adding to our library stock and have many brand new, exciting books for pupils to enjoy!

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Advice to Parents of Educational/ Early Years Settings – Contact of a positive case - 20/09/2021

Dear Parent/Guardians

We have been advised that your child has been identified as a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 within the school. We strongly advise accessing a PCR test for your child as soon as possible and carefully follow the guidance on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To book a PCR test please go to: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

However, Children aged 5 and under are not be advised to take a test unless they are a contact of positive case within their own household, or they develop symptoms.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

The school remains open and providing your child remains well they can continue to attend the setting as normal whilst they are awaiting the result of their PCR test.

We would suggest that you consider taking additional precautions to limit the spread of infection by reducing their contacts with others outside schoo, avoiding close contact with those who may be clinically vulnerable.

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 please keep your child at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible. If your child tests positive for COVID-19 they must self-isolate and follow the Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19.

There are still simple things we can all continue do to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

There continues to be additional support for those self-isolating or vulnerable as a result of COVID-19 can be accessed through Here2Help:

https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help or 01905 768053 then press option 3. The Here2Help opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

COVID Update - 20/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following on from my recent communication regarding an increase in illness in school and the reintroduction of pupils attending school in PE kits on the days when they have PE, I feel I need to update you on the current situation within school. As of this afternoon we have 20 positive COVID pupil cases and 2 positive members of staff. Additionally, we have 25 pupils who are symptomatic and awaiting results.

As you are aware school is no longer responsible for track and tracing following a positive COVID cases, however we feel that to ensure parents are made aware of possible contact in a timely manner, we will recommence notifications. The advice now recommends that pupils who have had contact with a positive case have a PCR test and only isolate if they are, or become symptomatic. We do ask if your child becomes unwell with any possible symptoms you book a PCR test and inform school as soon as possible. Please do not rely on lateral flow tests if your child is symptomatic, or has been a close contact, as we have seen children test negative on a lateral flow test, yet positive on a PCR test.

I have been in contact with the Worcestershire Local Outbreak Team this morning who confirmed that we are already taking all the necessary precautions that they would advise and that this situation is mirrored in many of the Worcestershire schools.

Following a meeting with the Trust this afternoon, we have made the decision to reintroduce the following measures:

  • Masks should be worn in communal areas by all staff and pupils from all year groups, unless exempt.
  • Extracurricular clubs are suspended until we feel it is safe to resume.
  • Visitors to school should be by appointment only and visitors will be asked to wear masks
  • Gatherings such as indoor assemblies are postponed and will now take place within the form classroom.
  • Pupils are asked to wear school PE kit to school on the days they have their PE lesson to eradicate the need to use changing rooms.
  • Close contact notifications will be sent out via Parentmail.

Please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our school community whilst continue to deliver a high quality education.

As always thank you for your continued support

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

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Illness - 17/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

It has been lovely to return to School and experience some sense of normality however, we are not being complacent and the recommended precautions remain in place and we continue to closely follow all Government guidance.

We have been notified of a number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases over the last few days. Therefore, please can we ask you to be extra vigilant and if your child presents with any of the symptoms, even if they are minor, we would kindly ask that you take them for a PCR test as soon as possible.

As we move towards the Winter months we are going to see an increase in common illnesses alongside COVID-19. Therefore, we kindly ask that if your child is unwell you do not send them into School until they are fully recovered. This means they have been symptom free for at least 24 hours (sickness and diarrhoea 48 hours).

Updated COVID-19 Requirements

We would like to take the opportunity to remind you of the updated COVID-19 requirements, these can be summarised as follows:

Testing

We ask that children in Year 7 and Year 8 continue to do lateral flow tests twice a week.

Positive Cases

Anyone with a positive test result will need to:

Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate.

The School is no longer required to track and trace individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Instead, this will now be undertaken by the NHS, who should make contact directly if your child is identified. However, we still ask for you to inform the School of a positive result as soon as possible, as we are monitoring absence to identify possible outbreaks that may require further precautions being introduced.

Negative Test Results

If the PCR test is taken within the 2 days following a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test and your child can return to School, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.

Self-Isolation

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

 

Instead, NHS Test and Trace will inform affected individuals, children or their parents or guardians that they have been in close contact with a positive case, and advise them to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school who have been identified as a close contact and do not show any symptoms should continue to attend school as normal.

As always thank you for your continued support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

 

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Biometric Finger Print System - 14/09/2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

Biometric Finger Print System

I am excited to inform you that we will be implementing a new biometric finger print system at St John’s Middle School Academy to be used to purchase break and lunchtime items.

This is a technology that has been used successfully by thousands of schools and as a Leadership Team we are convinced that this is the right way forward for St John’s Middle School Academy.

We expect this system to improve the services we are able to offer students and staff significantly, with benefits including:

- Reduction in queuing time

- Reduction in administration time and cost dealing with lost or forgotten cards/passwords/PINs

- Pupils will not have to remember to bring a card

We would like to make it clear that our school will comply at all times with the Data Protection Act and with the guidance given by Becta and by the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding the use of biometric data.

Fingerprint images will not be stored by the system. Instead, a set of coordinates is translated into a string of numbers and encrypted. The encryption method used by the system is a high level, industry standard method. The data held could not be used to recreate a fingerprint image, nor could it be used in a forensic investigation.

Please now complete the questionnaire by visiting the Biometric Finger Print consent form under the 'forms' section of ParentMail.

We will also offer an opportunity to opt out for those pupils who, upon consideration, feel that they would rather not have their biometric data recorded. If you would like more information or the chance to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs A Elwell

Head Of School

Launch of Autumn Sports Clubs -14/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We are excited to inform you that our extensive Autumn extra-curricular sports programme will commence w/c 20th September 2021.

Please find attached the club timetable to share with your child. If your child would like to attend one of the clubs, please sign them up, but only if they are sure they will attend each week. If they change their minds and decide they do not want to attend, this could prevent another child requesting a place as numbers are limited.

Individual letters will be sent out via Parentmail giving specific details for each club tomorrow, Wednesday 15th September at 1.00pm. Please sign up via Parentmail, the deadline for signing up for each club is Sunday 19th September at midnight.

As places are limited, we are asking parents to sign their child up to one club only to begin with, ensuring as many children as possible have the opportunity to participate. If spaces remain unfilled, we will re-advertise the spaces.

Please note that due to such a high number of pupils attending clubs, we cannot send individual confirmation for each place. If you have successfully signed up to a club via Parentmail, then your child has a place on that club. When the club reaches its limit, Parentmail will not allow any further sign ups. If you cannot sign up, it will be due to the club already having reached full capacity.

If you have any further queries regarding our extra-curricular clubs, please do not telephone the school office, but send an Epraise message to Mrs Jennings who will get back to you as soon as she can.

We are looking forward to a fantastic Autumn of sport!

Mr M Cowdery

Head of PE

Letter to Parents - 17/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

It has been lovely to return to School and experience some sense of normality however, we are not being complacent and the recommended precautions remain in place and we continue to closely follow all Government guidance.

We have been notified of a number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases over the last few days. Therefore, please can we ask you to be extra vigilant and if your child presents with any of the symptoms, even if they are minor, we would kindly ask that you take them for a PCR test as soon as possible.

As we move towards the Winter months we are going to see an increase in common illnesses alongside COVID-19. Therefore, we kindly ask that if your child is unwell you do not send them into School until they are fully recovered. This means they have been symptom free for at least 24 hours (sickness and diarrhoea 48 hours).

 

Updated COVID-19 Requirements

We would like to take the opportunity to remind you of the updated COVID-19 requirements, these can be summarised as follows:

Testing

We ask that children in Year 7 and Year 8 continue to do lateral flow tests twice a week.

Positive Cases

Anyone with a positive test result will need to:

·     self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance (if they test positive at School, you should arrange for them to be collected)

·     book a further test (a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test) to confirm the result

Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate.

The School is no longer required to track and trace individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Instead, this will now be undertaken by the NHS, who should make contact directly if your child is identified. However, we still ask for you to inform the School of a positive result as soon as possible, as we are monitoring absence to identify possible outbreaks that may require further precautions being introduced.

Negative Test Results

If the PCR test is taken within the 2 days following a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test and your child can return to School, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.

Self-Isolation

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

·     they are fully vaccinated

·     they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months

·     they have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial

·     they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, NHS Test and Trace will inform affected individuals, children or their parents or guardians that they have been in close contact with a positive case, and advise them to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school who have been identified as a close contact and do not show any symptoms should continue to attend school as normal.

As always thank you for your continued support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

GL Assessment - 10/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

As you were informed previously we had planned on sending home part of the GL report at the end of the Summer Term. These will be sent home by today, please could you let your child’s form tutor know if you require additional copies. We feel that this will be useful as it identifies the marks that pupils obtained in different strands within Maths and English and is something we are often asked about in terms of strengths and areas to work upon. Century is currently being linked to the new classes and pupils will have access to this shortly, this can then be used for any additional support at home for those that wish.

Kind regards,

Mrs Moyle - Head of Data, Assessment and Maths

Year 6 Art trip to Witley Court and Gardens - 08/09/2021

Year 6 Art trip to Witley Court and Gardens

On Tuesday 21st September 2021, Year 6 will be visiting the historic house and gardens of Witley Court in Worcestershire, for an Art trip. Witley Court is a Grade 1 listed building as well as being designated as a National Monument, now in the care of English Heritage.

Pupils will be drawing pictures, taking rubbings and photographs. Pupils may bring their own cameras, however, this will be at their own risk and responsibility. The children will travel by coach, they will be picked up from St John’s at 10.30am and return for the end of the school day at 3.15pm. Children will need to wear their school uniform and trainers.

Packed lunches are needed, but if your child requires a school lunch, please advise the kitchen two days in advance.

For this event to run, we are asking parents to make a voluntary contribution of £5.00 using our secure ParentMail online payment system. Unfortunately, if not enough contributions are made the trip will not be able to go ahead.

The deadline to pay for the event is Friday 17th September 2021 at 12 noon. Please note, if you do not meet this deadline, your child will not be able to attend. Once you have made payment, we will take this as a firm commitment to the event and will not be able to offer any refunds.

If you feel you are financially struggling and require financial support to pay for this item, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Amanda Lloyd who will be able to see what support can be offered/available to you.

It promises to be a very enjoyable trip. Please send in a coat for the children to wear just in case it rains and a black plastic bin liner to sit on.

Yours faithfully

 

 

Mrs J Davenport Mrs A Elwell

Head of Art Head of school

 Bromsgrove Middle Schools' Orchestra - 07/09/2021

To all Parents of pupils currently learning a musical instrument (except for keyboard/piano).

Bromsgrove School Middle Schools’ Orchestra

We have a really exciting opportunity this year to join with other middle school musicians, and musicians from Bromsgrove school as the Bromsgrove School Middle Schools’ Orchestra. We would be thrilled if your son/daughter would like to take part. I have attached the poster with more information. Please note that participants will need to have reached a minimum standard on their instrument, and to pupils beginning to learn for the first time this September should speak to Miss Russell before signing up.

The Bromsgrove School Middle Schools’ Orchestra, will held in the concert hall (Routh Hall) on Bromsgrove School’s site. The activity will run every Thursday afternoon from 3.50-4.50pm.

The link to signup is here:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Dxd7Ozk8jkGTiDvrVmk2opWg-EeMiRZAp8ZDleEpesxURFdPNUFDMTkxQVlVNUNMWVBNRU0xRERTMC4u

The first session takes place on Thursday 16th September at 3.50pm. The children will be greeted by welcoming staff, and cake and squash will be served before we set about playing any music!
Best wishes
Miss Russell
Head of Music

Letter from Mr Owen - 07/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope your child had a fantastic first day in Year 5 at St. John's and that any initial nerves are much more settled. It was a pleasure to meet all of the new pupils in their smart new uniforms and watch them enjoy their induction day activities - it was particularly lovely to see those who may have been feeling a little anxious, with big smiles by the afternoon, after meeting their teachers and learning a lot more about the school.

After a little uncertainty with just one or two pupils, please could we ask you to remind all children of the details of their home travel arrangements before school each morning so they are very clear whether they will be walking with friends or meeting someone and where, to help avoid any nerves and needing to call home to check. We will of course check with all pupils that they know who to meet and where, as well as remind them to always speak to a member of staff if at all unsure, who will be glad to help.

Please could we also ask you to help pupils check their new planners and timetables for when their first PE lesson will be to ensure they bring their kit.

Kind regards

Mr. Owen.

Head of Year 5

Welcome Back - 03/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Welcome back to the new term!

We hope you have had an enjoyable summer break and that the children are ready to settle into a new academic year with renewed energy and readiness to learn. We are looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and a return to something a little closer to normal.

During the summer there has been an update to the DfE guidance regarding the safe running of schools during the pandemic. Therefore, we will no longer be operating in Year group bubbles and staff or children are not advised to wear face masks within school. Although face masks are still recommended on public and designated school transport. We will however continue to follow strict hygiene procedures, encouraging regular handwashing and sanitising and reminding children to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. Enhanced cleaning will remain in place throughout the school, provided by our own onsite cleaning team. The latest public health guidelines no longer require children to isolate if they have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, but it is advised that they take a PCR test. Children can still attend school as normal whilst waiting for the result however, any child with Covid-19 symptoms should not attend until they have the results of a negative PCR test.

This year we are staggering the start date for our children to ensure that Year 5 have a designated transition day and the required lateral flow testing of Key Stage 3 can be carried out. The return dates are as follow:

Monday 6th September: Year 5 transition day (this will be class based all day) and 2nd testing for Year 7.

Tuesday 7th September: Normal school for Year’s 5, 6 and 7 and 2nd testing for Year 8.

Wednesday 8th September: All children attend school as normal

From Monday 6th September we will be returning to our normal school hours. Children will be able to enter the school playground at 8:40am, when the gates are opened, ready for registration at 8:50am. The school day will finish at 3:15pm for all children. Please ensure you have communicated with your child regarding home time arrangements and if applicable which gate you are collecting from.

Many thanks to everyone who responded to our survey regarding our school values. These are very important as they underpin the vision of our school and help to shape the mind-sets of our children as future adults. We are pleased to inform you that our new revised values are Forgiveness, Love, Integrity and Perseverance which teachers will often refer to and are proudly displayed around school.

Our children wear their uniform to show that they are a part of our St John’s C of E Middle School family and it is important that we maintain high standards. We look forward to seeing the children looking smart in their new uniforms, although we are aware of a few issues regarding available stock and hope that this will be remedied soon. This term we are returning to children wearing their school uniform to school every day. This decision was made to enable the children to participate in our full PE curriculum offer without the restriction of having to avoid outdoor PE where the children could get wet and be unable to change out of their clothes for the remainder of the day. Therefore, the children should bring their PE kit with them on their timetabled days, which they will find out on their return. We are happy for children to bring their PE bag on a Monday and leave it in their classroom storage area until their PE day. Alternatively, they can bring their PE kit in on the day of their lesson.

We would like to remind you of some key parts of our uniform policy which is also on our school website:

  • School shoes – Black leather shoes. No logos, no heels, no boots, no canvas and no trainer style shoes e.g. Nike air force trainers.
  • Jewellery of any description is not encouraged. One pair of small ear-studs and a watch is the only permitted jewellery. Nose studs and all other types of piercing are not permitted.
  • Make up, nail varnish and false nails are also not permitted. Hair should be kept to a natural colour – no bright hair dyes.

Please ensure that your child attends school every day with everything they need. This includes, a pencil case, blue handwriting pen, pencil, ruler, general note book, a full water bottle (Water only. Squash is not permitted) and their school planner which will be issued on their first day.

We encourage the children to have a healthy snack during morning break. These include fruit and vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, low sugar cereal bars, low fat string cheese, rice cakes, and whole grain muffins or bagels. Processed, less-healthy snack foods such as crisps, sugary drinks, sweets and cake are able to be eaten occasionally but should not be offered every day. We ask that you save these treats as ones you give at home and not at school. If you would like your child to have a small chocolate bar and/or crisps, these should only be eaten as part of their lunch meal.

We understand that many of our children bring a mobile phone to school and would like to remind you of the expectations that come with this:

  • Mobile phones must be switched off and out of sight for the duration of the school day
  • If you need to get an urgent message to your child throughout the school day, please call the school office and do not message or attempt to call your child’s phone. If there is a need for contact to be made with you, the call will be made by a member of staff.

We are very proud of our school and of our children and believe that high standards of uniform, behaviour, being properly equipped and attending regularly, give each one of our children the very best chance of learning well and achieving their very best.

We look forward welcoming the new Year 5 children on Monday and welcoming all Years back next week for another exciting academic year.

Yours sincerely

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School