Perfect love casts out all fear: 1 John 4:18
A message from the Head
Over the past 2 weeks we have been exploring as part of our Christian value Courage, the courage to try something new. Please find here a delightful and encouraging story the children listened to called Jabari Jumps. This can also help you have a conversation around the courage to make the right choice.
Thank you to Byron Year 2 for leading collective worship on our focus value Courage on the 17th January. They were very confident in delivering their message. I hope all who attended this worship left school in a reflective mood.
Anning Year 4 had a fantastic immersion day dressing up in international clothes and enjoying the diverse countries' cuisine represented in the class.
I am pleased to say the children’s punctuality is improving as they are arriving in school at or before 8:45am. Thank you!
NEU Industrial Action
I wrote to you earlier this week about the decision to take Strike Action by members of the NEU across the country. This will result in class or whole school closures across regions in the whole country.
At St John’s, as a result of national industrial action by members of teaching unions, some of our classes will only be CLOSED to pupils on the following dates:
Thursday 16 March 2023: St John's: Nursery, Reception, Year 2 and Year 3 only -CLOSED
If your child is due to attend an external or Bluebridge Buddies after school club, they may still come into school at 3:30pm. Breakfast club and Multisport will be open for those children whose class is open Y1, Y4, Y5 and Y6.
ALL OTHER CLASSES are unaffected and will be OPEN. Pupils in these classes are expected to be in school and will then receive their usual attendance mark.
Please bear in mind that teachers from the NEU have the right to change their minds, and we will update you, as we know.
I do understand that these closures will unfortunately cause some inconvenience for families. We are fortunate to have excellent, dedicated and caring teachers and support staff at our school. At the start of the pandemic for example, all our staff remained working throughout this period to safeguard our children.
Teaching staff across the country will not have taken this decision to strike lightly, but clearly feel very strongly that the Government needs to agree some negotiation around school funding and teacher pay. I hope that, in the long run, we can continue to recruit and retain our high calibre teachers at St. John’s Primary School. Contrary to what you may hear in the media, there is the continuing big issue around the level of funding schools receive in order to provide your children with excellent and crucial service. The Government say that schools are funded properly, but, actually schools have not received the finances to cover inflationary increases or uplifts in staff pay and therefore these shortfalls are taken from the general pot of money which means that pupils have less resources. You only have to listen to the news today to get a sense of how other government organisations feel about funding.
The PSA, of which you are all members, year after year continue to support school by plugging some of the funding gaps. Thank you all for your generous support over the years to help with the following: playground apparatus & equipment, Chromebooks & computers, reading books, class furniture, early years community bricks, sensory/soft play equipment, coach trips, extra-curricular cultural capital experiences, amongst many other items.
The day of striking may mean that one child can attend school whilst a sibling cannot. However, if your child’s class is CLOSED on any particular day, please do not bring them to school as we are NOT able to accept them. Unfortunately, I am not able to authorise absence unless the child’s class is closed.
Portland road is now a confirmed SchoolStreet. This arrangement has been made permanent with the Kingston local authority. Please do take note of the restriction times at the start and end of the school day.
Like many schools in Kingston, St John's has taken refugees from the Ukraine and supported their families during the conflict there. Some of the children have been receiving English lessons outside of school. These lessons are given for free and they need your support to reach more children. One of our parents whose child benefited said:
"When we came to England, it was very difficult for us to settle in at school because of the language barrier. Someone told us about English classes for children that Ms Liubov was teaching. She fund raised for the course and was teaching over 25 Ukrainian children on Google Meet. So, we had classes with her from September till December and it was of great help"
If you feel you can support this brilliant project, even in a small way, then please follow the link and feel free to share it amongst friends and family.
Forest School Half Term Club
Come enjoy the magic in the outdoors, make new friends, create amazing memories with our Half Term club, with plenty of seasonal activities for all primary school aged children, from arts and crafts to real-size tool use and fire-making. What treats could we be cooking on the fire this winter?
St Matthews C of E Primary School & St John’s have agreed to advertise each others job vacancies. St Matthews currently has an opportunity for a 1:1 Teaching Assistant with experience of ASD and ADHD.
Keeping children safe (Safeguarding)
Please find here an excellent Safeguarding Hand-book for primary schools by the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Team. Safeguarding—In Safe hands
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Continues to operate 24 hours a day including bank holidays & weekends. 0808 2000 247
Please remember if you have any concerns or questions regarding Safeguarding out of school hours follow the link.
PSA dates for your diary & Newsletter
You can keep up to date with all PSA events and read their latest newsletter on their page on the school website here.
Please visit the Easy Fund Raising App to easily raise money for the School. Simply visit www.easyfundraising.org.uk, and select St John's School as your chosen charity.
Dates for your Diary
All dates appear on our school calendar on the school website. This includes school holiday dates, inset days, clubs, swimming and parent's evenings. You can find the calendar here: