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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.

Christmas present ideas for keen readers - 01/12/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

RE: Christmas present ideas for keen readers

I have listed below a few books that fit well with the topics students are currently or will be studying in their History lessons at St John’s for each year group.

If you would like more information about these books, which includes reviews completed by children, please click on the link below. You may however, find that books other than those suggested below take your interest.

https://www.history.org.uk/ha-news/news/3997/ha-young-quills-2021-shortlist

Year 5 - Children of the Benin Kingdom Dinah Orji Dinosaur Books Ltd

Year 6 - Jasper: Viking Dog Hilary Robinson Strauss House Production

Year 7 - The Siege of Caerlaverock Barbara Henderson Pokey Hat

The Great Revolt Paul Dowswell Bloomsbury Education

Year 8 - The Austen Girls Lucy Worsley Bloomsbury Children's Books

I, Ada Julia Gray Andersen Press

The Undefeated Kwame Alexander, Illus Kadir Nelson Andersen Press

I hope you find this list is of value and you have a happy and restful Christmas.

Best wishes

Mr N Edwards - Head of History

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P.E Extra-Curricular Activities 30/11/2021

Dear Parents / Guardians

We are writing to inform you that all of our PE extra-curricular activities will finish on Friday 3rd December 2021, with the exception of Squash club which will finish on Friday 10th December as parents have paid for the use of the courts at Altered Images until then. This is due to staff illness, cold weather and the darker nights.

We hope you understand and support this decision as we must put the health and safety of our pupils getting home safely at this time of the year first.

Please note there will be no clubs going ahead this, Thursday 2nd December, due to it being Parents Evening.

We wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas holiday with your families and look forward to seeing all the children again in January, when clubs will resume.

Kind regards

Mr M Cowdery

Head of PE

Autumn Term Reports - 26/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Autumn Term Reports 2021

Please be advised you can access reports from 12 noon today - Friday 26th November 2021 using epraise as follows:

  • Log into ePraise, click Me at the top of the page, this will direct you to page where you'll see your child. Click on their portrait and then click the Documents link. Your child's report will be found here, this will open as a PDF.

The report can be used as part of discussions during parent’s evening. Please note that reports will only be available to view on epraise for 3 months, therefore if you would like to keep a copy of the report, please ensure you download this before the end of the 3 months.

If you have any queries regarding accessing your child’s report or you require a paper copy, please don’t hesitate to contact school.

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Moyle - Head of Maths

Cross Country - 18/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

A key part of our PE curriculum at St John’s is allowing for all pupils to experience a range of sporting opportunities throughout their time at the school. With this in mind, we intend to deliver cross country lessons during the two PE lessons that the children will have next week (week beginning 22nd November).

We understand that even the mention of cross country can cause anxiety for some children, it is our hope that this message may help to elevate these concerns. Children will be asked to do a variety of activities including challenges in pairs or groups, all of which will be tailored to the needs and abilities of the children involved. Children will not be expected to run without rest periods or for the entirety of their lessons. We aim for cross county lessons to be a positive and enjoyable experience for the children to participate in.

As we are currently asking children to attend school in their PE kit on days when they have PE, we have identified that this may cause a problem if areas of the school site are wet or muddy. For that reason, we are asking that all children bring a change of shoes/trainers/boots and socks on the days when they have a PE lesson. They will be given time at the beginning and end of the lessons to change footwear as required. This will ensure that children do not have wet feet for an extended period, whilst also maintaining the cleanliness of the school building and site in general.

We appreciate your continued support

Mr Cowdery - Head of PE

Christmas Lunch - 18/11/2021

Christmas Lunch

This year our Christmas Lunch will be held at Bromsgrove School, this will allow key stages and teachers to eat together and enjoy a different dining experience. It will also take place on one day and will allow a whole key stage group to eat together in a larger space.

Years 5 and 6 (Key Stage 2)

Thursday 16th December

12pm

Years 7 and 8 (Key Stage 3)

Thursday 16th December

1pm

This is a lovely opportunity for children and staff to share in the Christmas celebrations by eating together, singing songs and having fun and we would like to encourage everyone to take part.

The cost of the meal will be £5.45 per pupil and only Christmas lunch will be available on that day as our kitchen at St John's will be closed.

The Christmas lunch will comprise of a roast turkey dinner or a mushroom and vegetable pie as the vegetarian option, followed by festive yule log and assorted fruit jelly. A full menu is attached.

Payment must be made through our online payment facility, ParentMail, by midnight on Sunday 5th December. Your online payment will confirm that parental permission has been given.

We will presume that a turkey dinner will be required for most pupils however if a vegetarian option is preferred or if your child has any dietary requirements, for example allergies, gluten free or halal, please email Mrs Dawn Marshall our Kitchen Manager [email protected] before Sunday 5th December. All children qualifying for Free School Meals will be provided with a Christmas lunch.

It is essential that your payment is made online. If payment is not received by midnight on Sunday 5th December we will presume that a Christmas lunch will not be required. Your child will need to bring a packed lunch from home as no further meals will be provided by the kitchen, they will still take part in the trip to Bromsgrove School so that everyone can eat and celebrate together.

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. Please not that when making the payment you accept that this is non-refundable if your child is unable to attend for any reason.

If you feel you require financial support to pay, 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 or alternatively you can email [email protected].

Bromsgrove School is a nut free site and we ask that this is respected if you are preparing a packed lunch from home for your child.

Yours faithfully,

Year 5 Residential 2022 - 17/11/2021

Year 5 Oakerwood Residential Week 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are excited to inform you that a provisional booking has been made for our Year 5 pupils to visit Oakerwood Leisure on Friday 20th May – Sunday 22nd May 2022 inclusive.  

During the weekend, a range of interesting, stimulating and challenging activities will be offered to the children including low ropes, paintballing, monkey climbing, zip wire and raft and den building. The accommodation consists of wooden glamping pods with bunk beds which have electric lighting and heating for colder months.

The cost of the trip will be approximately £175 which includes accommodation, all meals, activities and use of specialist equipment and tuition. We plan to leave school on the Friday at 9:30am arriving at the campsite by 11:30am. We will then leave the campsite on Sunday at approximately 1:30pm and aim to be back at school by 3:30pm, traffic permitting.

We are initially asking parents to express an interest in their child attending so that we know how many pupils would like to go this trip. We endeavor to take as many pupils as possible, but should demand exceed availability, names will be randomly selected to allocate places. The deadline to express an interest in your child attending this trip in Thursday 25th November 2021. (Please see ParentMail forms.)

Please see below the estimated cost and payment schedule for the trip. Please do not complete the form unless you are sure your child wants to attend and that you are able to meet the required payment deadlines. If there is not sufficient interest, then the trip will not go ahead.

Non-refundable Deposit £32 by Thursday 2nd December 2021 

Second installment - £47.50 by Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Third installment - £47.50 by Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Final installment - £47.50 by Friday 1st April 2022

All payments must be paid via Parentmail

Covid-19 is still having an effect on school life and we have been working closely with Oakerwood and will continue to monitor the situation in school and follow government regulations. Refund requests relating to covid-19 will be considered on an individual bases and proof of a positive PCR may be required for those who cannot attend due to contracting the virus at the time of the trip.

If you require financial support to pay for this trip, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Amanda Lloyd who will be able to see what support can be offered or is available to you or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Kind regards

Mrs N Hine

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Year 7 Residential 2022 - 17/11/2021

Year 7 Oakerwood Residential Week 2022

We are excited to inform you that a provisional booking has been made for our Year 7 pupils to visit Oakerwood Leisure on Sunday 3rd April – Tuesday 5th April 2022 inclusive.  

During the weekend, a range of interesting, stimulating and challenging activities are offered to the children including low ropes, paintballing, monkey climbing, zip wire and raft and den building. The accommodation consists of wooden glamping pods with bunk beds which have electric lighting and heating for colder months.

The cost of the trip will be approximately £175 which includes accommodation, all meals, activities and use of specialist equipment and tuition. We plan to leave school on the Sunday at 9:00am, arriving at the campsite by 11:30am. We will then leave the campsite on Tuesday at approximately 1:30pm and aim to be back at school by 3:30pm, traffic permitting.

We are initially asking parents to express an interest in their child attending so that we know how many pupils want to go on the trip.  We endeavor to take as many pupils as possible, but should demand exceed availability, names will be randomly selected to allocate places.  Please see below the estimated cost and payment schedule for the trip.  Please do not complete the form unless you are sure your child wants to attend and that you are able to meet the required payment deadlines. If there is not sufficient interest, then the trip will not go ahead. The deadline to express an interest in your child attending this trip is Thursday 25th November 2021 via ParentMail forms.

Non-refundable Deposit £64 by Thursday 2nd December 2021

Second installment – £55.25 by Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Final installment - £55.25 by Wednesday 2nd March 2022

All payments must be paid via Parentmail.

Covid-19 is still having an effect on school life and we have been working closely with Oakerwood and will continue to monitor the situation in school and follow government regulations. Refund requests relating to covid-19 will be considered on an individual bases and proof of a positive PCR may be required for those who cannot attend due to contracting the virus at the time of the trip.

If you require financial support to pay for this trip, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Amanda Lloyd who will be able to see what support can be offered or is available to you or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Kind Regards

Mrs N Hine

Year 8 Residential 2022 - 17/11/2021

Arete Outdoor Centre Residential Week 2022

We are excited to inform you that a provisional booking has been made for our Year 8 pupils to visit Arete Outdoor Centre in North Wales on Monday 23rd – Friday 27th May 2022 inclusive.

During the week the children will take part in activities including Rock Climbing, Mountain   Walking, Abseiling, Coasteering, Canyoning and Gauge Walking. For full details, please visit www.aretecentre.co.uk .   Please note that mobile phones will not be permitted on this residential

The cost of the week will be approximately £300, which includes accommodation, meals at the centre, all activities and travel to and from the park. We plan to leave school on the Monday at 9:30am arriving in North Wales at around 1:30pm. We will then leave the Centre on Friday at approximately 1:00pm and aim to be back at school by 5:00pm, traffic permitting

We are initially asking parents to express an interest in their child attending so that we know how many pupils would like to go on this trip.  We endeavor to take as many pupils as possible, but should demand exceed availability, names will be randomly selected to allocate places.  Please see below the estimated cost and payment schedule for the trip.  Please do not complete the form unless you are sure your child wants to attend and that you are able to meet the required payment deadlines. If there is not sufficient interest, then the trip will not go ahead. The deadline to express an interest in your child attending this trip is Thursday 25th November 2021 via ParentMail forms.

Non-refundable Deposit £80 by Thursday 2nd December 2021  

Second installment - £72 by Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Third installment - £72 by Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Final installment - £72 by Friday 1st April 2022

All payments must be paid via Parentmail.

Covid-19 is still having an effect on school life and we have been working closely with Arête and will continue to monitor the situation in school and follow government regulations. Refund requests relating to covid-19 will be considered on an individual bases and proof of positive PCR may be required for those who cannot attend due to contracting the virus at the time of the trip.

If you require financial support to pay for this trip, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Amanda Lloyd who will be able to see what support can be offered or is available to you or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Kind regards

Mrs N Hine

Update - 17/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Firstly, please can I thank all those that went for a PCR test over the weekend following receiving notification confirming close contact to a positive COVID-19 case. Following this testing, multiple positive asymptomatic cases were identified and are subsequently isolating.

To keep the school community as safe as possible we have continued to implement enhanced control measures, which include wearing of face masks in communal areas, increased hand sanitising, reduction of external visitors to school, virtual assemblies and the postponement of higher risk activities such as singing. Consequently all of our Year 5 Choir, Year 6-8 Choir and Advanced Choir rehearsals will be postponed for the next two weeks. We hope to be able to resume them as soon as possible.

Please can I remind you that Zoom lessons are for children who are isolating due to COVID only, including waiting for PCR results or are positive and have no symptoms, not for children who are absent due to non-COVID related illnesses. If children are not well enough to be physically present in school, they should take the time to rest and recuperate so we can welcome them back into school as soon as possible. Whilst teaching staff endeavour to commence Zoom lessons as soon as possible for children that are absent from school due to COVID, it does take a day for the Zoom links and work to be arranged.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

Anti-Bullying Week - 14/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Monday 15th November is the start of Anti-Bullying week, as a school we will be following the theme of ‘One Kind Word’. During this week, if an Anti-Bullying Ambassador sees your child doing or saying something kind to another student, they will be awarded a raffle ticket. There will be prizes drawn at the end of the week.

To promote Anti-Bullying week , as well as other activities being carried out in school, we will be taking part in ‘National Odd socks day’.

National Odd socks day will be on Monday 15thNovember, if your child would like to support this great cause then please wear odd socks on this day – the purpose of the day is to remind us all to take the time to think about our words before we say them and their effects they may have on others.

There is no charge for children to wear odd socks on this day.

Kind regards

The Office Team

Update on Illness - 14/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

The School have been closely monitoring the number of cases of COVID-19 within the school and looking for patterns in transmission. We have informed those that have been identified as close contacts of positive cases however we feel it sensible to make the whole school community aware that the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases has increased over the last few days.

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. We also request that parents remind their children to attend school with a mask for communal areas and ensure they have the required stationery to reduce the need for sharing of resources.

As the Winter months are now upon us, we are going to see an increase in common illnesses alongside COVID-19. Therefore, we kindly ask that if your child is at all 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 would like to reiterate the importance of children in Year 7 and Year 8 completing 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.

We ask for you to inform the School of a positive result as soon as possible, as we are closely monitoring the number of positive cases.

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.

If you need any further guidance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

As always thank you for your continued support.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

Parents Evening + Reports - 11/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Term 1 Parents Evenings 2021

We will be holding parent’s subject evenings on the following dates:

  • Monday 29th November - 3.45pm-7.15pm
  • Thursday 2nd December - 3.45pm-7:15pm
  • Monday 6th December - 3.45pm-5pm

This is an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s subject teachers to discuss their attainment and progress so far this academic year.

In order to keep everyone safe and well these meetings will be held virtually using Zoom. The bookings can be made in the normal way via epraise.

Simply login to epraise and under the Community tab at the top, select Parents Evenings. Select the date you wish to book an appointment, your child’s subject teachers and the time.

In order to meet demand, appointments will be released in stages:

  • Stage 1: English, Maths and Science for all years from 6am on Monday 15th November
  • Stage 2: All subjects for all years from 6am on Monday 22nd November.

A link will be provided on epraise (in the Room tab at the top of your booking schedule) which will take you to a waiting room, staff will then admit you at the designated time.

In order to accommodate demand, appointments will be limited to 5 minutes. Certain time slots do fill up quicker than others so please book as soon as possible. Bookings for Evening 1 and 2 will close on Sunday 28th November and Evening 3 on Thursday 2nd December.

Before Parents’ Evening, you will be able to access your child’s Autumn term report using epraise as follows:

  • Log into ePraise, click Me at the top of the page, this will direct you to page where you'll see your child. Click on their portrait and then click the Documents link. Your child's report will be found here, this will open as a PDF.

This report can be used as part of the discussions during parent’s evening and will show, end of year targets and end of year predictions based upon work completed so far in school. We will send a further ParentMail notifying you when the reports are available to view.

Year 5 pupils have completed a baseline GL assessment in reading, SPAG, mathematics and science which forms part of the report and further details are explained in the report.

Yours faithfully

Mr R Upwood, Assistant Headteacher

Mrs L Moyle, Head of Maths, Assessment & Data

Photography Workshop - 11/11/2021

Photography workshops

I am pleased to let you know the popular photography workshops, delivered by Education in Focus, will be recommencing for another year!

The children have been made aware of the workshops and what is involved in a recent assembly. The club will run afterschool on Mondays from 3.15pm – 4.15pm at a cost of £30 for 6 sessions. The club will commence after the Christmas holidays.

To reassure you that Education in Focus do not have access to any photographs taken by the children, their strict Safeguarding Policy prevents them from supplying cameras to the club members. Therefore, children should provide their own devices (which may include smart-phones, iPads/tablets or compact, bridge or DSLR cameras) and all equipment should be clearly labelled with your child’s name and class. On the mornings of the club, all equipment should be put into the art cupboard until the start of the workshop.

However, for those keen photographers who don’t have access to their own devices, the school will be able to provide a limited number of iPads for them to use.

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 pupils, however to make the running of the club financially viable we will need a minimum of 10 pupils to attend. The total cost for all six sessions is £30.00 per child (payable in advance). If you would like your child to attend, please complete the expression of interest form within the forms section on ParentMail by Friday 19th November 2021. We do not require payment at this stage.

If we have sufficient interest in the Workshops, you will be advised further information including how to make payments and the dates when your child’s course will run.

We are very much looking forward to running the sessions again, I’m sure they will be a fun and fruitful learning experience for all.

Yours faithfully

Mrs J Davenport

Head of Art

Children's University - 11/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We are pleased to announce that we will be re-launching our Children's University programme in school this academic year. The programme will work in association with The University of Worcester.

Children's University is a fantastic way for our pupils to feel empowered by tracking and validating their after-school activities. These will be tracked on a pupil’s learning passport and stamped monthly, allowing pupils to progress through different levels of recognition for their efforts. These hours of extra-curricular work are calculated at the end of the year and your child will be invited to attend a ‘graduation ceremony’ at the University of Worcester with their classmates for a day of celebration.

Your child has been supplied with a Powerpoint in school to notify them of this programme and what it entails. There is no requirement for your child to participate in Children’s University, however if you do wish for your child to take part, the registration fee is £5 - you can pay this through Parentmail. This will include your child’s passport and online learning passport, which will be issued in December.

If you feel you require financial support to assist with payment please contact the school office and ask to speak to Amanda Lloyd.

If you require any further information about the Children’s University programme, please refer to our school website or contact myself via e-praise.

Kind regards

Miss A Kelly

Children’s University Coordinator

Book Club KS2 - 10/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Book Club

We will be running a KS2 book club after school on a Wednesday 3.15pm until 4.00pm and the first session will take place on Wednesday 17th November 2021.

The book club is aimed at both keen and reluctant readers to promote and engage students in reading and allow them to share their love of reading for pleasure.

If your child would like to attend this club please complete the form in the forms section on Parentmail.  

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and the places are limited.

Miss R Sedgwick

Year 6 Class Teacher

Book Club KS3 - 10/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Book Club

We will be running a KS3 book club after school on a Tuesday 3.15pm until 4.00pm and the first session will take place on Tuesday 16th  November 2021.

The book club is aimed at both keen and reluctant readers to promote and engage students in reading and allow them to share their love of reading for pleasure.

If your child would like to attend this club please complete the form in the forms section on Parentmail.  

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and the places are limited.

Miss R Sedgwick

Year 6 Class Teacher

Year 5 English Sets - 05/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

This is a message to inform you that on Monday, Year 5 children will be moving into their new English groups. Since the pupils arrived in September, they have been taught English in their form classes. This has allowed them time to settle in and has enabled us to get to know them and their abilities. As we now have a better idea about their abilities, pupils are ready to move into groupings specifically designed to suit their ability. On Monday, the children will go to English as normal and then will be told who their new English teacher is.

We will continue to monitor pupils' progress throughout the year and there will always remain some flexibility for a pupil to move if it becomes apparent that they would be better placed in a different group.

Kind regards,

Karen Devey (Acting Head of English)

STEM Club - 05/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

STEM Club

We would like to invite your child to attend our STEM club.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (and computing) and our club intertwine the topics, with members of staff from all subjects contributing to the club over the academic year.

The club will take place after school on Wednesday evenings from 3.15pm until 4.00pm, with the first session commencing on Wednesday 10th November 2021. Students will begin by undertaking the CREST Bronze Award which will be completed over the next 10-15 weeks.

We will be inviting visitors from scientific backgrounds and STEM Ambassadors to several sessions to enrich the learning experience of the students. This will lead to visits and trips related to the topics and work within the local community. 

If your child would like to attend STEM club please could you complete the form in the 'forms' section on Parentmail by Tuesday 9th November 2021

Yours faithfully,

 

Mr. M. Field                      Dr. J. Dowler                     Mrs C Stables                    Mrs. A. Elwell

Head of Science               Class Teacher                    Class Teacher                    Head of School

Drama Club - 02/11/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We will be starting an after-school drama club which will be open to all year groups and will run on Thursdays until 4.15pm.

The club will start on Thursday 4th November.

This club will provide pupils with the opportunity to take part in drama games and work on their improvisation skills. They will also get the chance to perform mini plays in front of the other pupils in the club.

If you would like your child to attend, please complete the form in the forms section on Parentmail by 3pm tomorrow - Wednesday 3rd November. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and the places are limited.

Please note: This club is free of charge

Kind regards

Miss K Devey and Dr Dowler

Homework Club - 01/11/2021

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We still have places available for homework club and would like to open this to any pupil, even if you did not originally request a place.

We can now also open this up to more than one night for those that have already applied for a session, however this will still be on a first serve basis.

There is a maximum number of pupils per session due to ICT facilities and the following nights have been allocated to the two Key Stages:-

Monday and Wednesday – Year 7 and 8

Tuesday and Thursday– Years 5 and 6

To book your child’s place please complete the form on Parentmail by 4pm on Wednesday 3rd November.

It is expected that your child attends each week on their allocated day. If at any time you no longer require your child to attend homework club please could you let Mrs East know in the office so it can be allocated to another pupil.

The Homework Club will run until 3:55pm and pupil will leave via the main reception. Please can you confirm that you will make the necessary arrangements for the collection of your child at 4:00pm or for them to walk or wait for me at an agreed place.

Homework club for all pupils will commence the week beginning 1st November for those that have already signed up and the week beginning 8th November for any additional pupils.

Kind regards

The Office Team

Year 8 Christmas Roller Disco - 25/10/2021

We are pleased to inform you that we have booked a trip for our Year 8 pupils to attend a roller-skating disco at the Ryland Centre during the afternoon of Wednesday 15th December 2021. The disco will be hosted by Skaters Club who will be providing the skates, teaching pupils new skating skills and leading games.

The children will walk to the Ryland Centre with adult supervision. All pupils will need a packed lunch on this day. Pupils who receive free school meals will be able to order a packed lunch from the kitchen the day before the trip. If your child requires a school lunch, please advise the kitchen two days in advance. On this day the pupils can wear their PE kit to school.

For this event to run, we are asking parents to make a voluntary contribution of £4.65 using our secure ParentMail online payment system. This is to cover the cost of hiring skates, the company’s supervision and hire of the venue. Unfortunately, we can only go ahead with this trip if the requested voluntary contributions are paid.

The deadline to pay for the event is Friday 5th November 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. Please note that when making payment you accept that this trip is non-refundable if your child is unable to attend for any reason.

If you require financial support to pay for this trip, 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 or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs A Elwell Mrs N Hine

Head of School Assistant Headteacher

Year 7 Christmas Roller Disco - 25/10/2021

We are pleased to inform you that we have booked a trip for our Year 7 pupils to attend a roller-skating disco at the Ryland Centre on the morning of Wednesday 15th December 2021. The disco will be hosted by Skaters Club who will be providing the skates, teaching pupils new skating skills and leading games.

The children will walk to the Ryland Centre with adult supervision. All pupils will need a packed lunch on this day. Pupils who receive free school meals will be able to order a packed lunch from the kitchen the day before the trip. If your child requires a school lunch, please advise the kitchen two days in advance. On this day the pupils can wear their PE kit to school.

For this event to run, we are asking parents to make a voluntary contribution of £4.65 using our secure ParentMail online payment system. This is to cover the cost of hiring skates, the company’s supervision and hire of the venue. Unfortunately we can only go ahead with this trip if the requested voluntary contributions are paid.

The deadline to pay for the event is Friday 5th November 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. Please note that when making payment you accept that this trip is non-refundable if your child is unable to attend for any reason.

If you feel you require financial support to pay for this trip, 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 or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs A Elwell Mrs N Hine

Head of School Assistant Headteacher

RE: Year 6 Christmas Trip to The Palace Theatre, Redditch - 25/10/2021

RE: Year 6 Christmas Trip to The Palace Theatre, Redditch.

We are pleased to inform you that we have booked a school pantomime trip for our Year 6 pupils to see Jack and the Beanstalk on Thursday 9th December at The Palace Theatre, Redditch.

“Oh no we haven’t…. Oh yes, we have… “

We will leave school at approximately 9:15 am, travelling by coach. We will be returning to school for a late lunch therefore all pupils will need a packed lunch on this day. If your child requires a school lunch, please advise the kitchen two days in advance. The children should wear school uniform and may bring one small packet of sweets or chocolate as a treat for during the performance, if they wish. The children will be required to wear a mask whilst travelling on the coach, unless they are exempt.

The pantomime is a great opportunity for the children to see a live performance in a theatre.

For this event to run, we are asking parents to make a voluntary contribution of £16.60 using our secure ParentMail online payment system. This is to cover the cost of the tickets, coach travel and includes an optional tub of ice cream whilst at the theatre. Unfortunately we will be unable to go ahead with this trip if the requested voluntary contributions are not received.

The deadline to pay for the event is Friday 5th November 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. Please note that when making payment you accept that this trip is non-refundable if your child is unable to attend for any reason.

If you feel you require financial support to pay for this trip, 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 or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs A Elwell Mrs N Hine

Head of School Assistant Headteacher

RE: Year 5 Christmas Trip to Malvern Theatres - 25/10/2021

RE: Year 5 Christmas Trip to Malvern Theatres

We are pleased to inform you that we have booked a school pantomime trip for our Year 5 pupils to see Peter Pan on Tuesday 14th December 2021 at The Malvern Theatres.

“Oh no we haven’t…. Oh yes, we have…”

We will leave school at approximately 9:15 am, travelling by coach. We will be returning to school for a late lunch and so therefore all pupils will need a packed lunch on this day. If your child requires a school lunch, please advise the kitchen two days in advance. The children should wear school uniform and may bring one small packet of sweets or chocolate as a treat for during the performance, if they wish. The children will be required to wear a mask whilst travelling on the coach, unless they are exempt.

The pantomime is a great opportunity for the children to see a live performance in a theatre.

For this event to run, we are asking parents to make a voluntary contribution of £20.25 using our secure ParentMail online payment system. This is to cover the cost of the tickets and coach travel and unfortunately will only go ahead if the requested voluntary contributions are received.

The deadline to pay for the event is Friday 5th November 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. Please note that when making payment you accept that this trip is non-refundable if your child is unable to attend for any reason.

If you feel you need financial support to pay for this trip, 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 or alternatively you can email to [email protected].

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs A. Elwell                                                                            Mrs N. Hine

Wellbeing Champion/Sports Crew - 21/10/2021

Dear Parent/Guardian

We are thrilled to inform you that your son/daughter has been selected to be a Wellbeing Champion. They will be joining other middle school pupils in the local area as part of a wider Health and Wellbeing project run by the All Active Academy CIC through funding awarded from the National Lottery.

The health of our young people is a national priority. 1 in 10 young people between the ages of 5 and 16 will experience mental health problems (that’s three pupils in the average school classroom). This Health and Wellbeing project was conceived in confidence that preventative early action in the school environment will develop a far greater awareness of mental health issues.

The roles and responsibilities of the Sports Crew and Wellbeing Champion are to:

  • Promote and champion mental health and wellbeing in their school and raise awareness

  • Promote activities and opportunities within school that support wellbeing

  • Provide opportunities to talk and share with their peers

  • Signpost peers to adults that they can talk to

  • Be friendly and approachable

  • Develop leadership skills

  • Adopt practical examples to embrace a growth mind-set

  • Promote sporting activities within school

As part of this role we invite your son/daughter to attend a Wellbeing Champions training session which will take place on Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 13:00-14:30pm, at Bromsgrove School.

If you would like your son/daughter to take part in this activity, please complete the form in the forms section on Parentmail.

Kind regards

Mr Clements

Commonwealth Themed Festival of Sport 2021 - 21/10/2021

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Commonwealth Themed Festival of Sport 2021

As you may be aware, the Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham next year. Your child has been selected to take part in a multi skills afternoon at Bromsgrove School on Wednesday 3rd November 2021. This will involve pupils learning through the fundamentals of movement, balance, co-ordination and aiming.

The children will walk to Bromsgrove School at 12.30pm and return to school at approximately 2.45pm. Children should bring a packed lunch on the day and this will be eaten at school, before the children leave for the event.

Your child will need to wear their P.E. kit to school on the day, bring a snack, drink (non-fizzy) and a waterproof jacket in case of inclement weather.

If you would like your child to participate in this event, please complete the form which will be available in the forms section of ParentMail.

 

Mr M. Cowdery

Head of P.E.

Squash Club -21/10/2021

Dear Parents / Guardians

We are pleased to confirm that squash club will start on Friday 5th November and will run until Friday 10th December (6 weeks), the cost of this is £3.00 per session. Please may we ask that total payment of £18.00 is made in cash directly to Bett Dryhurst (squash coach) at the first session.

Your child has signed up to the club, which has limited spaces - if your child no longer wishes to attend, then please let me know as soon as possible so we can fill the space as there is a waiting list.

Please note the club is held at Altered Images, Bett Dryhurst will collect the children from school reception at 3.15pm and will walk the children to the venue. Please arrange for collection of your child promptly at 4.30pm from there.

If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via epraise or email.

[email protected]

Kind regards

Mrs Jennings PE Dept

Homework Club - 18/10/2021

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Thank you for your response regarding homework club, we are extremely pleased that there has been such a high interest shown.

In order to accommodate the maximum number of pupils, in the first instance we can offer one session per pupil each week on a first come, first serve basis.

The following nights have been allocated to the two Key Stages:-

  • Monday and Wednesday – Year 7 and 8
  • Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – Years 5 and 6

To book your child’s place please complete the relevant form for which day you would prefer within Parentmail by Wednesday 20th October.

Please note: The number of spaces available is limited, if you cannot submit your form online, it is because the club is full.

It is expected that your child attends each week on their allocated day. If at any time you no longer require your child to attend homework club please could you let …… know so it can be allocated to another pupil.

The Homework Club will run until 3:55pm and pupils will leave via the main reception.

Kind regards

Mrs Moyle

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