Skip to content

13th December 2022

Dear parents and carers,

We now find ourselves in the season of Advent and moving closer to the Christmas period. This is a time for bringing hope, change and fulfilment into the Advent of our lives. As we prepare for the end of term and for the New Year, I am writing to you with a number of important updates.

Scarlet Fever and Group Strep A Infections

You may have seen in the news that there are more cases of Group A strep this year than usual. These bacteria can cause infections, including scarlet fever and impetigo. In rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A Strep. While still uncommon, it is important that parents are on the lookout for symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.

There are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs circulating, which should resolve themselves without medical help. Talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection. Full guidelines can be found on the following link – CLICK HERE.

Flu vaccination

The flu vaccination will be offered to students in Years 7, 8 and 9. A date is yet to be confirmed with Vaccination UK and we will advise all parents once this has been scheduled. In the meantime, please find out more about this vaccination, and complete the consent form here – It is anticipated that the offer will be rolled out to students in Years 10 and 11, depending on vaccine stock levels. Again, we will inform parents once confirmed. If you have any further questions, please contact Ms A Ahmed our Medical Coordinator.

Charity Events – December 2022

A number of charity events are taking place this month. Last week we supported the National Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children. In addition, we are supporting Cancer Research with donations of unwanted clothes, books, toys. Items must be clean and suitable for donation. In addition, we are supporting the St Dunstan Church Food Bank (non-perishable foods only). Items should be taken to the Head of Year’s office during morning registration and any donations will be gratefully received. Even the smallest donations can make the biggest difference.

Year 13 exams

I would like to remind our Year 13 students that, whilst we expect them to enjoy the Christmas holiday, it is essential they also make time to study and revise as they prepare for exams in the New Year, which start on 5th January 2023. We know that many have been applying for university places and their hard work now will help them be successful and secure the places they deserve. Students in Years 13 and 11 must also be using their time productively to prepare themselves for the demands ahead. I would like to congratulate these students on the efforts so far and remind them to remain focused on study for the final few months ahead.

Christmas vouchers for those eligible for free school meals

Tower Hamlets have announced that all students eligible for free school meals will be receiving a barcoded voucher which can be redeemed from the Post Office. Once we have received further information from Tower Hamlets we will let families know how to collect the vouchers.

Staff Update

We say goodbye and thank you to the following staff who will be leaving us at the end of term. I would like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication during their time with us. The staff are:

On behalf of the whole school community, I would like to thank them for their contribution to school life and wish each of them continued happiness and success.

Key Dates and Events

This is also a busy time with a number of key dates in diary for the coming weeks as follows:

The full set of term dates for the academic year are available on our website,

End of Autumn Term Arrangements 

School will close for the Christmas break on Tuesday 20th December. Arrangements for the 20th are as follows:

Periods 1 + 2:     Normal lessons

11.00am:              Students return to their form room for tutorial time

11.15am:              From 11.15am onwards the students will be dismissed by their Head of Year

It is anticipated that all students will have left the school premises by 11.45am. Full uniform must be worn as normal.

Students eligible for free school meals are able to order a packed lunch form their form tutor by Friday 16th December. These will be distributed to students during form time at 11.00am on Tuesday 20th December.

There will be a staff INSET day on Wednesday 4th January 2023 and the school will be closed to students. All students will return to school on Thursday 5th January 2023

To remain up-to-date on what is happening in school, click HERE for our latest news articles and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @StepneyAS for a wealth of content from students and staff.

I look forward to seeing all students back refreshed in school in January ready for the term ahead. I hope that you have a very peaceful and restful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods