St John Plessington Catholic College

October 2022 Half Term Letter from the Headteacher

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 the newest members of our community settle into life at SJP. As I write, they are coming to the end of a two week retreat where they 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. After half term, we will come together at St Anne’s church for our Mass of Welcome - more information to follow.

Uniform standards 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. After half term, all students must wear a school jumper and blazer at all times. 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. These drinks are not allowed. If your child has one of these drinks, they will be confiscated. All students must bring a school bag every day. Please contact your child’s year team should you require any support with uniform, you can do this via email or phone.

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.

Behaviour and Attitudes

Our behaviour policy, with an emphasis on recognising and celebrating positive behaviour, is encapsulated in the three words - Ready Respectful Safe - which we use as our reference points for celebrating the positive behaviours and in guiding our students to self-regulate when behaviour has fallen short of expectations

I would ask you to please use the Arbor App to both celebrate positive recognition of your child and to challenge poor choices that some may make. Poor behaviour not only disrupts your own child's learning but also that of others in their class and will not be tolerated.

I wrote to you on 30 September to update you on a serious incident that occurred which disrupted the good order of our community. The incident occurred as a result of something that had been happening in the local community, about which we were unaware, and it continued in school. All of the students involved have been dealt with according to our behaviour policy and following the government guidance on school suspensions and permanent exclusions. In school, we have had assemblies to reiterate and reinforce standards and expectations at SJP. Please support us in ensuring that all children meet those expectations and sanctions where appropriate. Expectations begin with being on time for school and lessons, having the correct equipment at all times, being ready to learn, wearing the SJP uniform with pride and following instructions at all times. If a child fails to meet these expectations, there will be consequences in order to maintain an environment where good learning and personal development can take place.

Mobile Phones

As per our school safeguarding policy, mobile phones should not be used on school sites. Please remind your child that mobile phones should not be used on the school site. As per our policy mobile phones will be confiscated and will need to be collected from reception by a parent / guardian.

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 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 13 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.

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 31st October.

Please take some time to read through our latest newsletter where you will gain a flavour of some of the wonderful things that are going on in school. Many thanks for your continued support and cooperation. I do hope you enjoy a restful half term break with your families.

Ms Maria Sharratt