Newsletter 1 - Spring Term

5th January 2023

St Andrew’s and St Mark’s Church of England Junior School

“I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness.” John 10:10

We have a new look! Scroll down for school news or click on the buttons below for diary dates, community news and local support.

-School News-

Message from Father Robert

At an early stage in my ministry, I remember visiting Dennis, an elderly member of that parish’s congregation, in Lewisham Hospital. When I got to his bedside, he was relieved to see someone; it struck me that he had largely been ignored by various nurses in charge, and he had been poorly treated; however, he wasn’t one for making a fuss, so he didn’t dream of complaining about it. Nor was he so poorly that he wasn’t able to leave hospital a few days later. From the NHS’s perspective, the ward had gone quietly about its business, untroubled by him, and there was nothing the matter.

Dennis was largely typical of his generation; the people that stoically endured the deprivations of World War II, and its aftermath. The phrase ‘mustn’t grumble’ might have been coined for them; certainly, they lived it out. However, even at the time, I remember thinking the NHS would be in trouble once his generation died off, and were replaced by the ever more elderly Boomers, who were used to demanding things and getting what they wanted.

In all the recent debate about the NHS, it seems to me the main focus has been on delivery. How many nurses and doctors there are, how much they are paid, how much social care is on offer etc.? These are important issues and need to be dealt with.

I wonder, though, if the wider issue is as much to do with the ‘demand’ side as the ‘supply’ side. And the ‘demand’ side is where people like you and me come into the picture. What do we expect? Nobody teaches you when it is reasonable to take your child to the doctor and when you should just give them Calpol and soldier on at home; nobody teaches you how serious an injury has to be to merit a trip to Accident & Emergency and when you should just get by at home. It’s just assumed that you’ll know roughly what to do. And I’m not sure that we’re getting it right.

Certainly, it’s perfectly possible to me that people these days are significantly more likely to expect help from a doctor or a hospital than Dennis’ generation was, who didn’t “want to cause any bother”. If that’s the case, then the demands on the NHS will be significantly higher and will grow.

The assumptions of the generation which created the NHS – that people would largely avoid using it unless they absolutely had to – don’t apply any more. And I wonder too about how changing assumptions of people in the school system. This can be from parents, and what they expect a school to do; from government, what they expect schools to do; and from teachers, how much support they expect. Sometimes, these assumptions get spelled out – the government now formally expects schools to do things as diverse as to help prevent terrorism and to ensure children are competent in swimming, for example. More often, these assumptions are unsaid; as a parent, for example, how much priority to give to attending a school sports day; how familiar to be with a child’s spelling list, and so on.

Sometimes, frustration with the way things are comes about because the unsaid expectations of two different stakeholders are fundamentally different. If that’s the case, we may need to reconsider what we assume to be the case and whether that’s the same for everyone else.

Message from the Headteacher

Welcome back and Happy New Year; we hope you and your family have had a restful Christmas break. It has been a joy to welcome our school community back for the spring term.

Schools are dynamic places and this week we bid farewell to Natasha Kennedy. Natasha joined us in 2018 in her role as a Teaching Assistant; she has supported many pupils across the school and I am sure you will join me in wishing her every success in her next adventure at Surbiton Preparatory School.

Christian value for this half term: forgiveness

This half term, we will be focusing on the Christian value of forgiveness. In collective worship, pupils will be using examples from the Bible and the world around us to consider how we are patient when others do wrong to us and how to accept apologies welcomingly. If we can master these skills then we lay down firm foundations for peace, justice and mutual respect in our school and beyond.

Parent/Carer Coffee Morning Friday 27th January, 8.45am - 9.45am

We will be holding an informal coffee morning for parents/carers on Friday 27th January. Sarah Crowther (SENCO) and Emily Woodward (Wellbeing Lead) will be joined by representatives from the Mental Health Support Team (Education Wellbeing Practitioners), Express CIC and ADHD Embrace.

Express CIC and ADHD Embrace are local charities that provide activities, advice and support for families with children with ASD or ADHD. The purpose of the event is to support parents/carers to access these services and for informal conversations to take place amongst and between our families and staff. To help us cater appropriately, please sign up via Google Form.

Please note there will not be any formal presentations at this event.

Scarlet Fever/ Group A streptococcal infection and flu

With cases of Scarlet Fever and flu spiking nationally, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the latest government guidance, which advises pupils not to attend if they are ill and have a fever. Promoting good handwashing and hygiene practice remains key.

Iona Lidington, Director of Public Health for Kingston, writes:

It is important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible so parents should be advised that if their child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has gone. Is my child too ill for school? - NHS

Parents can also support in helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene with regular hand washing at home with soap and warm water, and encouraging catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them and washing hands, which is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.

Flu vaccination uptake among young children remains low. Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. Getting your child vaccinated protects them, and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late to take up the offer:

Has your child missed their flu vaccination? - NHS South West London Integrated Care Board

Friday 6th January 14.30 -16.00 and Friday 13th January 14.30 -16.00

Teddington Health and Social Care, Queens Road, Teddington TW11 0LR

For any queries, please call us on 020-3691-1027 or 020-3691-1042

Maple Road: road safety when dropping-off and picking-up

We have been made aware of several parents and carers stopping cars in prohibited areas (such as zigzags, near junctions and double yellow lines), resulting in several dangerous situations. Please help us to keep others safe and be good neighbours in the community by obeying traffic laws on Maple Road. Our school is situated on a busy road and we continue to encourage as many families as possible to travel to school by sustainable means.

-Repeat notices-

Keep up-to-date with our Instagram page

From DT lessons to a Thanksgiving Collective Worship, follow us at @sasm_school22 to see snapshots of life across the school; you don’t need an Instagram account to see what’s going on. If you would like your child to have the opportunity to be featured on our Instagram page, please update the parental consent on the SIMs Parent App and ensure permission to be posted on social media is ticked.

Sign up to Free School Meals – not automatic and more than just a free lunch!

Please click here for further information. Please sign up to the Free Schools Meals scheme if you are eligible.

Safer Schools App

We would encourage all parents/carers to download the Safer Schools app for free push notifications about online safety and helpful advice. You can download the app using the instructions here:

Safeguarding in 60

This week Safeguarding in 60 is talking about ensuring your child is tech safe.

Do you have concerns about a child?

Adults - you can contact the Single Point of Access to request support, or to report a concern about a child or young person. Click here to make a referral. You can also call for advice. Opening hours: From 8am to 5.15pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 5pm on Friday call 020 8547 5008 (Out of hours, phone 020 8770 5000). If you think a child or young person is in immediate danger call 999. Referrals are not limited to safeguarding: the Single Point of Access acts as a signposting service to other services, including mental health. Matt Gates is our Designated Safeguarding Lead.

-School reminders-

Winter Uniform

Our pupils are looking smart in their winter uniforms this week! From now until the start of the summer term, children will be required to wear winter uniforms .

Winter uniform includes:

  • Grey pinafore or skirt

  • Long or short grey school trousers

  • White long/ short sleeved school shirt or blouse

  • St. Andrew’s and St Mark’s tie (does not need to be worn with

  • blouses)

  • Red jumper or cardigan

  • White or grey socks or tights and black shoes

Trainers, boots and leggings are not permitted.

Please remember that pupils are need to wear a coat to school an are

not permitted to have smartwatches or ear jewellery and For further information regarding our school uniform please follow this link to our school website and our school uniform supplier.

Alternatively, every Friday there is a second hand uniform sale in the office foyer

PE Kit

On PE days children must come to school wearing their PE kit. Please click here to see PE days for each class.


Children can wear watches to school but the wearing of jewellery and earrings of all types is not permitted on safety grounds. Any child wearing earrings to school will be asked to remove them. If they are unable to remove them they will be required to stay inside during break and lunch times and will not be able to participate in any PE or physical activities.

Smart Watches

Fitness trackers without smart watch capability are permitted but St Andrew’s and St Mark’s accept no responsibility for the loss or damage of these items. Smart watches , including iWatches- are not permitted due to their messaging capabilities.

Hair and shoes!

Please remember that all shoulder length hair needs to be tied back for school, even on mufti days. Having your child’s hair tied back, is one of the most effective ways of keeping the nits and lice at bay. With the hair tied back, it makes it more difficult for the lice to hold on to the hair. Please note that pupils are required to wear black shoes (no trainers, boots or footwear displaying a logo).

Lost Property

Please remember to label your child’s uniform, lunch box and water bottle. All named lost property will be returned to your child by the next school day. Unlabelled property will be kept for one week only in the school office.

Break time snacks

These should be full of goodness to keep children full until lunch. Suitable snacks include:

  • Fruit and chopped vegetables

  • Plain rice cakes (not the chocolate variety)

  • Ryvita, crackers or a mini bagel with Marmite / cream cheese / houmous

  • Plain breadsticks

  • Cheese portion – triangle / Babybel

These snacks are NOT suitable for a break time snack:

Road safety for children

If your child walks to school on their own, it is important they know how to cross roads, including zebra crossings safely. Please click here for more information about Road Safety for children.

Unwell and absent children

If your child is unwell and absent from school please contact the school office before 10am. If you need to leave a message on the answerphone please explain the symptoms of your child’s illness. Siblings of unwell children should attend school.

Diarrhoea and vomiting

PHE recommends that children are kept off school until 48 hours after the last symptoms have passed. Whilst this is not enforced by us it is responsible practice by parents/carers.

Raising FREE funds for SASM

Businesses can now register with easyfundraising and raise FREE funds for causes when they make business purchases. From booking travel for work trips to restocking the stationery cupboard, businesses can raise regular and BIG donations for SASM with popular retailers including, Viking, Currys PC World, Euroffice and more.