Let us run with perseverance the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. Hebrews 12: 1-2
A message from the Head
Welcome back after a well deserved half term!
We will be exploring the Christian value ‘Perseverance’ this half term. For children some applications of this value are most obviously applied, by taking and preparing for assessments or tests; working on a class project over several weeks; raising money for a good cause; training for sports day success. Our thoughts and discussions will be around the messages try, try and try again; sticking at a task; keep on keeping on; seeing a job through to the end; exhibiting endurance.
The staff have been planning many exciting activities for children this half of the summer term. Some of which are related to St John’s 150th birthday celebrations, and other activities are linked to their class topics.
You will be aware from local press communications that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) case rate has been rising in Kingston for several weeks. Within this rise, the greatest increase in case numbers in Kingston has been in school age children and young adults - with a significant increase in outbreaks and cases in schools over the last two weeks of May. Data suggests that our rise may be linked to the national rise seen in the new ‘Delta’ variant (first identified in India). This variant of the COVID-19 virus is even more highly transmissible.
Kingston is taking prompt and additional actions to control the spread of COVID-19. There will be a special 3 week whole-borough plan with Public Health England (PHE) and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The plan (8th - 29th June 2021) has a focus on increased targeted testing and surge vaccination.
We are asking all staff and families to continue their twice weekly lateral flow rapid testing at home. Testing is a key component in breaking the onward chains of transmission, so we need staff and the wider school community to continue to be vigilant, and to keep testing at home. St John’s will continue with our own class bubble arrangements in school, in order to reduce risks of infection. Our staff will continue to have the option to wear face covering in spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. Only essential visitors will be allowed on school premises.
Over halfway already!
Please donate and share. This will be created by WeAreSkyHigh. A mosaic will also also be produced by a local artist, Philippa Adams, to commemorate our school's birthday. Our children will be involved in these projects. Can you please support us in raising £4000 towards these projects. Please donate to our JustGiving Crowdfunding Page, and help us share this link on your social media platforms
Birthday celebration week timetable
Monday 5th July Sports Day (in school) followed by a picnic lunch
Tuesday 6th July Victorian Day: Victorian farm, Victorian fancy dress, design a t-shirt activity
Weds 7th July Church service blessing the new mosaic
Thursday 8th July Time capsule, virtual interviews with school alumni
Friday 9th July Carnival day with magic shows and procession to Bedelsford School and back
OWL & Forest School News
Forest Schooling UK is to start running its new holiday club “Woodland Warriors” during the summer holiday. The club will be at St John’s and is only open to St John’s children who will be in KS2 from Sept 21. Dates, prices and further information will be announced on their social media in the next week.
Please follow them if you’d like to find out more.
Congratulations to Stephen who has won a grant of £1,100 from School Food Matters to continue to develop our Forest area, with a new water harvesting system.
The children and staff did a brilliant job dancing to raise funds for our partner school in Malawi.
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported this worthy cause and sponsored the children - with your help we have raised an amazing £2462!! This is a tremendous amount - thank you again.
Our Partner School in Malawi has been badly affected by the pandemic. Schools in Malawi have only recently reopened and only children with masks can attend.
New playground equipment
Year 6 have enjoyed testing out the new KS2 playground equipment this week!
Year 2 have been on holiday to St Lucia!
As part of their topic 'Sun, sea and sand' Byron Class had a very exciting excursion to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia! They packed a case suitable for the visit and dressed accordingly on the day. With passports, tickets and boarding passes ready they strapped in safely for the journey (which included in flight entertainment!). On their return they have been learning poems and stories from the Caribbean together with lots of work on map skills.
Congratulations to the wonderful Year 2 children for fully embracing all the learning experiences on offer to them.
Inset Day - Monday 14th June
Please do not forget that Monday 14th June school will be closed to children for a staff INSET day.
Don't forget your t-shirt!
Could every child please bring in a plain white t-shirt by Friday 2nd July. They will use them to create their own designs during our birthday celebration week.
Class pages on the website
We hope you are enjoying the new school website. Don't forget to check your child's class page for latest photos and updates of what they are doing in school.
A reminder that if your child is unwell or will be absent from school for any reason, please inform the school office before 8.30am. You can call, email or contact us through School Comms. Thank you.
Please don't forget to sign your child's reading diary every week. Thank you.
Bikes in school - we are still asking parents not to bring these to school yet unless you have been given explicit permission to do so. Our playground is still quite tight due to keeping bubbles separate. Thank you for you support.
Litter outside school
Please help keep our school tidy and make sure we keep the area outside school litter free.
Dates for your Diary
Monday 14th June: Inset Day
w/c 21 June: Year 5 and 6 Bikeability
5th-9th July: 150th Anniversary celebrations
Wednesday 7th July: Hollyfield Secondary School induction day for year 6 pupils
Wednesday 21st July: Nursery last day of term
Thursday 22nd July: School last day of term at 2pm
St John's Foodbank
Thank you to all who still donate to St John’s Foodbank through generous monetary and item donations. Those that use this facility are extremely grateful for this continued support. This outreach goes to our local community and as far out as Croydon. Please remember we are happy to support anyone you know that is in need. You can approach staff discretely or send a message at any point. We hope to run this till the end of the school year. A big thanks goes to Paul Hemmings, our Site Manager, for running this.
House points are regularly updated and are displayed on the front page of the website as well as on each individual class page.
Please help support this wonderful charity who support many families across the borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.
DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF THEY SHOW ANY OF THE COVID SYMPTOMS OR ARE UNWELL.
Update from Director of Public Health, Kingston Council:
Thank you for your ongoing work to help Keep Kingston Safe from COVID-19. Unfortunately, cases of COVID-19 in Kingston are starting to rise again, with cases mostly being found in young people and young adults in Kingston in the last two weeks. I am writing to you with some actions for your consideration and messages that we would be most grateful if you could take forward to help us turn around the increasing case rate:
Getting tested is key to helping us stop outbreaks in their tracks: We are very much aware that the hayfever season has started and colds are also being reported. However, we ask you to remain vigilant for COVID-19 symptoms, and for anyone (staff and students and their household members) with a high temperature; new or continuous cough; or loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste, to self isolate (together with the rest of their household) and arrange a PCR test. Everyone in the household must self isolate while awaiting results for someone with symptoms - and all in household must continue to self isolate if anyone has a positive result. By identifying cases as soon as possible, we can support these cases and their contacts to self isolate, as well as consider other measures to stop any onward spread. Please continue to test twice weekly with the lateral flow home testing kits to detect asymptomatic infection and report their results. Family members and other members of our community can still access free ‘Rapid’ (LFT) testing (for people without coronavirus symptoms). These are available at locations across the Borough or they can access home test kits that can be collected from some test sites and pharmacies, or via home delivery. Full details about how to access testing and home test kits can be found on the Kingston testing webpages.
Special round of PCR Testing: We will also be asking all staff in primary schools to take a PCR test at home during the week commencing 14th June 2021. Kits will be for: all primary school staff, including contracted staff (e.g. cleaners, lunchtime staff) and club/activity staff. Anyone who has had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days does not need to take a test unless they develop new symptoms.
Face coverings: Parents should continue to wear face coverings and socially distance when dropping off and picking children up at the start and end of the school day. With variants of concern spreading nationally, it is important we all continue to follow government guidelines, even once vaccinated.
Help is available for anyone who must self isolate: Help is available if you have been asked to self isolate, whatever their income. If they need urgent help to get their shopping or medicine delivered, or other support, they can contact the Kingston Council ‘Kingston Stronger Together’ hub. There is also some financial support available for eligible households. The contact details for more information are:
www.kingston.gov.uk/Covid19-needhelp or 020 8547 5000. Registering staff, parents and carers as ‘contacts’: Some school staff, parents and carers may be eligible for a one-off Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 or a local support scheme. Staff identified as close contacts of a positive case will require an NHS Test and Trace Account ID number (CTAS number) to be able to claim a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment. Parents and carers of children who have to self-isolate
should be provided with a letter confirming that the student has been asked to self isolate to support their application for payment, but will not require an NHS Test and Trace Account ID number (CTAS number).
Thank you for continuing to help Keep Kingston Safe.
As part of our healthy eating status, we discourage the sending in of sweets and cakes to celebrate birthdays. If you would like to celebrate your child's birthday you can purchase a book for the school library. We will add a citation inside the front cover.
Keeping all of us safe
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline Continues to operate 24 hours a day including bank holidays & weekends 0808 2000 247
Crimestoppers have launched a campaign encouraging the public to report concerns about family, friends and colleagues who may be experiencing Domestic Abuse while self-isolating.
Please find here an excellent Safeguarding Handbook for primary schools by the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Team. Safeguarding—In Safe hands