I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well as we come to the end of a most rewarding and challenging academic year. Whilst we are coming to terms with living with and managing COVID in school, our Y11 and Y13 students have taken the first public examinations since 2019, our Y10s have had their first full year in school since they were in Year 7, we have welcomed the newest members of our SJP community this week and said goodbye to the oldest members of our SJP community at a Y13 Leavers' Dinner last week and we are looking forward to opening our new building of 8 state of the art classrooms in October 2022, to name just a few things! I thank you for the support you have given the school throughout the year.
This year, we have embedded our behaviour policy at SJP. All staff and governors are committed to creating an environment where exemplary behaviour is at the heart of productive learning. Everyone is expected to maintain the highest standards of personal conduct, to accept responsibility for their behaviour and encourage others to do the same. At the core of our purpose as a school is to tackle disadvantage and support our children to become self-respecting, global citizens and we are committed to this. We do this best when we can work directly with the students, role modelling our principles of respect, ready and safe.
Our behaviour policy guides staff to teach self-discipline not blind compliance. It echoes our core values with a heavy emphasis on respectful behaviour, a partnership approach to managing poor conduct and dynamic interventions that support staff and students.
We are trauma informed, attachment aware and strive for the best relational practice at all times. This means that we strive for excellence and believe that through a culture of support and guidance, which is fair and restorative, students will develop and reach their full potential. It is the belief that every child is made in the image of God and should be supported to recognise and self regulate their behaviour. There is a need for rules in order to keep boundaries firm, fair and understood by all. Our school rules or indeed rules for life, are very simple; we should always be ready, respectful and safe.
Can I ask you to spend some time familiarising yourself with our Behaviour Policy by following the link below:
Junior Leadership at SJP
We continue to develop our students’ leadership skills and we have some 120 student leaders across the college. Since 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 Y12 apply for the position of Chair and Vice Chair of the JLT 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 (JLT) led by the Chair and Vice Chair. The JLT works alongside the Senior Leadership Team to ensure students are well-represented in whole-school decisions. In conjunction with the student council, the JLT ensures 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. This includes students from all years who have been trained to be anti-bullying ambassadors. The Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme equips students and staff with the tools needed to tackle bullying behaviour head on, transform our school’s approach to anti-bullying and create a safer, kinder school community. The Diana Award Programme is youth-led, with our students leading their anti-bullying campaign as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
The SJP Experience begins as students join our community in Year 7 and becomes a journey throughout their time at SJP. We want students to acquire and develop the academic, professional and character skills required to be successful in life, so that all students can make the most of their abilities and interests and fulfil their true potential.
With the impact of covid decreasing, we have been able to hold our Experiences weeks over our final two weeks of term and it has been fantastic to see the students engaging in alternative and creative activities. Activities have been centred around the themes of community, diversity and eco. Look out for updates on social media.
A’ Level Results’ Day is Thursday 18th August 2022. Students can collect their results from the college between 08:00 and 10:00.
GCSE Results’ Day is Thursday 25th August. Students can collect their results from the college between 09:00 and 11:00. Following receipt of results, students who are returning to SJP Sixth Form will receive notification, via letter on ParentMail, if they have achieved the grades required to study their chosen L3 subjects. Should there be a concern, a member of the Sixth Form team will also contact you directly.
We are starting the new school year with two staff development days on Thursday 1 September 2022 and Friday 2 September (a day on which only staff attend).
Year 7 will return on Monday 5 September at 08:30 followed by Year 12 students at 09:30.
Year 11 and Y13 will return on Monday 5 September at 11:00.
Other year groups will return to school on Tuesday 6 September at 08:30
We will begin by inviting Year 7 initially to allow them to have some time in school before they are joined by the other year groups. Each year group will have dedicated transition sessions, which allows them to return to school in a controlled manner, experiencing the norms and expectations and having the dedicated pastoral care that they will need after the summer break. Students will receive their timetable, planner and key expectations and information to enable them to start the school year successfully.
Attendance has the greatest impact on achievement. If your child is absent through illness, please notify the school on the first day of absence by telephoning school. I must remind you that holidays should not be taken during term time. Taking children out of school during term time could result in an Education Penalty Notice being issued.
Students should return in full uniform in September. The uniform also clearly outlines expectations on footwear, which must be plain black shoes of a polishable material and with no sports logos. A reminder of our uniform list and PE kit list can be found here. Our uniform policy also clearly states that there should be no false nails, no false eyelashes, nose rings or earrings. Thank you for your support in ensuring that our high standards of uniform and appearance are maintained and allow us to remove barriers to learning. Should your child wish to have a piercing we would ask this be done in time before they return to school so that they are able to remove it during the school day.
In the words of Malala Yousafzai, ‘Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.’ At SJP, we continue to promote a love and enjoyment of reading and we are committed to prioritising the reading journey of every child at SJP. If you read for twenty minutes a day, you pick up 1.8 million words per year, which is equivalent to sixty extra school days per year. As well as having an academic advantage, reading is also known for reducing stress, developing empathy and deepening our understanding of literature and the world around us and generally having fun. We would appreciate your support over the summer in encouraging your child to read for thirty minutes every day, which will prepare them well for the return to school in September and beyond.
In order to support a successful transition for the newest members of our college community, we run a transition summer school for our new Y7 students from 22nd August until 26th August.
Summer schools play an important role in supporting young people’s learning, building new relationships and supporting young people’s wellbeing. Our summer school has a clear focus on literacy, numeracy, wellbeing and fun!. We hope that every child makes many happy memories and enjoys new experiences. We have had a fantastic uptake, with nearly 200 pupils registering their interest to attend and we are looking forward to welcoming them into our community during the summer.
The end of the school year always sees valued staff members leaving SJP to pursue the next step of their careers. I am sure you join me in thanking staff for their service to our SJP community and in wishing them well as they move on.
Finally, thank you again for your support this year. Please look out for our newsletter. Have a great summer!
Ms Maria Sharratt