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St John’s News 9: January 2022

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17


A message from the Head

A Happy New Year to you all. It is great to see the majority of our children back in school ready to learn. Thank you for your lovely messages and generous gifts to the staff team.

Our Christian value for this half term is ‘Friendship’. This is an undisputed value in our society and indeed school, with children often spending more time with their friends than with family. Jesus tells stories of the heavenly banquet to which all are invited. We will be exploring questions like: What are the qualities of a good friend? How do we make friends? Is there criteria for choosing a friend? Why do we need friends? How can we be/become good friends?

As we start this new year, we like yourselves, are fully aware of day to day uncertainties around our provision of stable learning environment in school. Many of you would know from our approach to keeping school COVID free last academic year how seriously we take this. We acknowledge that we were truly fortunate! The measures we continue to have in place alongside working with our families should reduce the risk to closing classes due to high COVID numbers or not having staff due to ill health.

I cannot stress enough the impact of having staff off work due to COVID as a one form entry small school. Some very tough decisions may have to be made if we find ourselves short staffed. There are no ‘retired teachers’ knocking on school doors for work! We are currently finding it near impossible to recruit temporary staff including agency staff.

Please do bear with us if we insist on following certain protocols to ensure that we have the best possibility of keeping a COVID free school, and in fact, school community. At St John’s we really do not want to move to any form of whole class remote learning! We know this is not right for our children.

  • If you have deemed it pertinent to take a PCR test, please do wait for the results before you send your child into school in order to reduce possible infection of the entire class.

  • Please take regular Lateral Flow Tests as often as possible, and certainly if your child exhibits or complains of feeling unwell.

  • Please continue to wear masks/face coverings around school or on site.

  • Please also minimise any unnecessary contact.​

We have ordered more Lateral Flow Tests for all our families. These will be handed out once we have received them with an accompanying email containing additional relevant information.

Sadly we will be saying goodbye to Sarah Grant Duff, our office administrator, who is moving on. Sarah has been at St John's for the past year and has been a valuable member of the team. We are welcoming Mrs Chelsea Vine who will be working with Miss Clare Fitzgerald in the office.


Applying for a School Reception place

You can apply for a School Reception place for September 2022. For more information please see

The deadline for applying for a Primary School place is 15 January 2022.

Admission arrangements

St John’s CofE Primary and Nursery School, Portland Road, Kingston - are consulting on their admission arrangements for 2023/24. St John’s is currently publicly consulting on their admission arrangements for 2023/24. More details about the proposed amendments can be found on the school’s website The consultation will run until Friday 14th January 2021.


School Street

Cllr Stephanie Archer, Kingston Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport said:

We are delighted to be introducing two more School Streets in the borough, helping to create safer and healthier environments for children and their families on their journeys to and from St John’s and Christ Church Primary Schools.

St John’s has an exemplary Gold Travel plan and along with Christ Church Surbiton has been working hard to promote sustainable travel options and its Bikeability training to pupils, however, both schools are experiencing ongoing issues with through-traffic that is sadly out of their hands.

A reminder: from September, most vehicles will no longer be allowed outside the schools during drop-off and pick-up times, maximising space for families to walk, cycle and scoot safely. This will also help dramatically reduce vehicle idling outside the school entrances, helping improve air quality in the area.


COVID guidance

The main change that happened before Christmas was that adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.

When to end self-isolation

Thankfully due to the vaccinations more people are testing positive but with only mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. Therefore self-isolation advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed. It is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our school family safe.


Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 7th Jan: Nursery first day of term

  • Thursday 13th Jan: PSA meet at the Spring Grove to discuss the summer fete

  • 18th June: Summer fete

Term dates have been updated and more diary dates can be found on our website here


Links to more information

Term Dates

House Points

COVID latest


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