St John Plessington Catholic College

End of term letter from the Head Teacher - 22/10/21

Dear families

As we come to the end of this half term, I’d like to update you on a number of important points. This half term has seen all year groups able to return to school and whilst we have been presented with some pandemic related challenges,  our students and staff have risen to meet them. We are particularly proud of how the newest members of our school community, Year  7, have settled. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Information on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing

Thank you for continuing to test twice-weekly at home. This is a key part of reducing transmission of COVID-19 in our school.

Testing during half-term is very important and we would like to emphasise that  testing at home before students return to school will be key to starting back in the best way possible. 

Uniform and Homework Reminder

Thank you for ensuring that uniform and appearance standards are maintained. Please note that full school uniform including school shoes is expected at all times as well as travelling to and from school.  Make up is not permitted in Years 7 to 11, this includes nail varnish, false eyelashes and false tan. Can I also ask for your cooperation in ensuring that your children do not bring energy / fizzy drinks into school. If your child has one of these drinks, they will be confiscated. 

Please ensure that you check your child’s planner regularly to ensure that homework is completed. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact your child’s year team.

Junior Leadership

At SJP, we believe that offering genuine leadership opportunities can help build a stronger school community and empower students. These activities contribute to the sense of pride students feel about their school and enable them to develop leadership skills in preparation for life beyond SJP. Many student leadership opportunities focus on improving the quality of learning and teaching in the classroom. There are a huge range of opportunities for students to become leaders, represent their peers and contribute to the school community. From September 2021, we have moved away from the structure of Head Boy and Head Girl to a more inclusive model reflective of the organisations that our young people will be working in and leading. Students in Year 12 apply for the position of Chair and Vice Chair of the Junior Leadership Team and they are also encouraged to express interest in other positions within the team. Each applicant takes part in a demanding selection process and the successful candidates come together to form the Junior Leadership Team led by the Chair and Vice Chair. The Junior Leadership Team works alongside the Senior Leadership Team to ensure students are well-represented in whole-school decisions. In conjunction with the student council, the Junior Leadership Team ensures that students regularly have the chance to share their opinions about school life, and also receive feedback about changes that have been made as a result of their input. 

Year 7 Welcome Mass

Over the past couple of weeks, our Year 7 students have been working alongside the Diocesan Youth Mission team, in their form groups, learning about the importance of community and how our faith can help and guide us.  This fortnight has culminated in our Welcome Mass led by Father Bernard. Our Year 7 students have been a credit to themselves and their families – well done!

GCSE Adaptations Summer 2022

The consultation process on the Summer 2022 examinations has now concluded and the proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs have been published.  The full consultation outcomes can be found online:

In summary, these decisions mean that for Summer 2022 exams:

  1. There will be optional topics and content in GCSE English literature, history and geography. 
  2. Centres will be allowed to deliver practical work in GCSE biology, chemistry, physics and combined science by demonstration only, as opposed to students having to complete all the practicals themselves. 
  3. Students taking GCSE art and design will be assessed on their portfolio only.
  4. Exam boards will provide information in advance about the focus of the content of the exams for all other GCSE subjects (except GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and geography).  Advanced information will be provided by 7th February 2022, at the latest. This will enable teachers to adapt their teaching in the second half of the spring term, as necessary. 
  5. Students will be given formulae sheets for GCSE mathematics. Exam boards will provide copies of the formulae sheets to be used in lessons and to ensure that students are familiar with it prior to the exams. 
  6. Students will be given a revised equation sheet for GCSE physics and combined science in summer 2022, covering all the equations required in the subject content. 

All our teachers will be sharing specific information about these changes to students in their lessons and there will be an opportunity for parents to discuss the changes and implications in a Year 11 information evening in the near future.


We will shortly be launching our parent app via Arbor.  This will allow parents access to live information about your child’s attendance, conduct and reports. Thank you for your patience while we are setting this up. 

UNICEF Rights Respecting School

Unicef works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive.

Our Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.

There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem.

The difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates, making a positive impact on the whole community.

  • Children are healthier and happier
  • Children feel safe
  • Children have better relationships
  • Children become active and involved in school life and the wider world

Over the course of the next 3 to 5 years, here at SJP, we will be working together to achieve the gold UNICEF accreditation - please lookout for updates via our social media. 


Please park and drop-off  with due consideration for our students, staff and neighbours.  There have been some incidents of careless driving which put lives at risk.  Please do not stop in the bus lane or in front of the student exit gates.

All students will return on Monday 1st November.

Many thanks for your continued support and cooperation. I do hope you enjoy a restful half term break with your families.

Ms Maria Sharratt