End of Term Letter 2017

July 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

Before we break for the Summer holidays we would like to take this opportunity to update you on some developments and new systems that we are introducing in preparation for September 2017.  As we have frequently stated, the positive partnerships between parents/carers and St John’s are key to raising the aspirations and achievements of our students and, with this in mind, we believe the changes will help us to support our young people with their education to enable them to fulfil their ambitions.

As ever, if you feel that you need any further clarification on any of the following, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the points in more detail.

We are pleased to announce that, from September, we are piloting a free parent app called MyEd which will help us to share information with you regarding your son/daughter’s education.  The app gives you direct access to your child's attendance details, timetable, absence records, achievements, and much, much more.

The app will enable us to send you messages directly and remind you of events that are taking place at school.  You will receive a notification if we send you a message and there is no charge for the messages that you send to us.  We believe this will provide an effective and quick means of communication between home and school.  If you are interested in trialling the MyEd app, it is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices and can be found on either the Apple App Store or on Google Play by searching for MyEd.  Once you have installed and opened MyEd, search for St John’s School and Sixth Form College and follow the simple instructions to identify yourself.

Please do not worry if you do not own a smartphone, or would rather not use the app.  We will still provide you with regular feedback and written correspondence regarding your child’s education and events at school.  

Whilst we fully understand the benefits of digital communication, we have a growing concern regarding students bringing/using mobile phones on and around the school site, particularly as it often distracts students from their learning and can lead to misuse.   We strongly discourage students from bringing their phones into school but recognise that, from a parent/carer’s perspective, you may like the reassurance of being able to contact your child when they are travelling to and from school.  In these circumstances, we are prepared to allow mobile phones onto the premises, but they must remain out of sight and switched off until the student has left the premises at the end of the school day.  During the day students’ phones must stay in their bags or be handed into a safe storage area at Student Reception, to be collected at 3.00pm.  If you require any further details regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us and thank you for your support in reinforcing our expectations.

Whilst we have acknowledged the benefits of the MyEd app, the opportunities to discuss your child’s progress in person are invaluable.  Our Progress Evenings will continue from September with our subject staff available to answer your queries, provide details of progress and celebrate your child’s achievements.  From September our Progress Evenings will take place on Wednesdays and will continue in the same format, but will begin at 2.30pm in an attempt to accommodate the majority of families.  On the day of a Progress Evening, the school day will end at 2.00pm with normal transport arrangements in place.  These key dates will be available on our website and via the ‘Key Dates’ section of the ‘MyEd’ app at the start of the new academic year.

We would like to remind you that school uniform may be purchased online from Elizabeth’s Embroidery (www.elizabethsembroidery.com).  Deliveries can be made to home addresses at a charge of £4.95 or to St John’s at a charge of 50p.  Enclosed is a price list for all uniform provided by Elizabeth’s Embroidery.  The dates for collection of uniform orders from school are:  

Thursday, 3 August 2017: 12 noon – 1.00pm
Monday, 14 August 2017: 10.00am – 11.00am
Friday, 25 August 2017: 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Elizabeth’s Embroidery will coordinate these days, notifying parents/carers directly that their order is ready for collection.
Please find attached a reminder of our uniform expectations/standards which have been in place since 2009, with particular reference to trousers and formal shoes.  In recent years there has been a trend by high-street retailers to offer fashion wear masquerading as school uniform.  The most widespread current trend is for girls’ skinny trousers/leggings which are not permitted as school uniform.  Similarly, piercings and jewellery (other than a wristwatch) should not be worn, particularly in light of the potential dangers during Physical Education.  Your support in helping our students adhere to our uniform policy is greatly appreciated and, please let us know if you need any assistance in finding/purchasing the appropriate style of trouser or formal footwear.

Friday, 21 July 2017 will be a non-uniform day for all students and we ask that students contribute £1 which will be donated to our school’s charitable funds including Project Peru.   The school will close at 1.00pm for the Summer break.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and we wish you a very enjoyable and relaxing Summer holiday.  We look forward to welcoming all students back for the new academic year on Tuesday, 5 September 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Byron                    Chris Parker
Headteacher                  Deputy Headteacher