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1st December 2023

Dear families,

As we now find ourselves in the months of winter and colder weather, I would like to offer my continued thanks for your support in ensuring such high levels of student attendance, smartly worn school uniform and completion of homework tasks at Stepney All Saints.


This half term we re-established our focus on reading across the whole school.  Students in all year groups have been reminded that a reading book is part of their essential equipment and that there is the expectation that they should be reading for 20 minutes a day. To support this, the library has been relocated in the VLE and is open for students to attend before and after school and during all break times.   Students who read regularly have a broader understanding of the world, have a wider vocabulary and statistically achieve higher in academic examinations.  We would appreciate your support by encouraging your child to read daily.  Offering to read with them is a great way to share the experience of reading as well as supporting their reading journey.  

All students in KS3 have been signed up to Accelerated Reader to help monitor their progress and reading rates.  Students have been set the challenge of earning at least 15 points before Christmas by reading and quizzing on what they have read.  Ask your child to login and show you how they have been doing!


We have a duty of care to challenge poor attendance. Any absence from school is detrimental to a child’s learning – teaching is missed and achievement affected. The national overall absence rate of students not achieving Grade 9 to 4 at GCSE is over twice as high as those achieving Grade 9 to 5. Consequently, attendance is key to your child’s academic success.

It is important to note that The Department for Education only allows an absence/holiday in term time in “special circumstances”. Few requests fall into this category, the majority are refused, and fines can be imposed for taking time off without the school’s permission.

If a family needs to make a leave of absence request, this must be done in writing to the headteacher. Parents will be invited into school for a meeting to discuss the application following which a decision will be made.

I would like to add that if a family’s request for term time absence is refused and a family nevertheless chooses to take their child out of school despite the refusal, a further meeting will be held with the headteacher to discuss the matter. Of course, no one wants this to happen, but we need to be very clear about the issue as the law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time.

I hope you understand the reasons for these rules, and you will support our efforts to ensure the highest standards of attendance and attainment.

Reminder – Admissions consultation (2025-26)

As highlighted in my previously letter we are consulting all stakeholders on the way in which young people gain a place at Stepney All Saints School. For entry in the academic year 2025-26 our admissions policy can be found HERE as well as details on how to share any views.

Reverse Advent

Advent is a season observed in most Christian denominations as a time of waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Christ at Christmas. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and this year it will be observed from 3rd to 24th December. To mark this period, it is a tradition to have an advent calendar on which a door is opened each day revealing a chocolate or another gift item. In our reverse advent rather than receive gifts we wish to donate items to our local food bank. Therefore, to support families and individuals who may be struggling during this winter period we are asking where possible for donations of non-perishable food items to be brought into school. Full details will be shared with students in the coming days.


A variety of enrichment opportunities are on offer at Stepney All Saints and all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 must attend an activity each week. Enrichment allows students to develop their skills and traits like resilience and teamwork. It also means that students stay engaged in learning, and gives all students the chance to try activities they may not otherwise have taken part in. Please ensure that your child takes full advantage of what is on offer. The full programme can be found HERE . Please note that recent additions include skateboarding for Year 7 and fencing.

Key Events for this Academic Year

There are several important dates in the calendar for the coming weeks. Key dates are as follows:

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

Please note that school will close for the Christmas break on Friday 22nd December. Full details regarding arrangements will be shared closer to the time, however please note that students will be dismissed from 11.15am onwards.

I will write again in the coming weeks as we move towards the end of term. In the meantime, please check our website and social media feeds @StepneyAS for updates on what is taking place at our school.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods, Headteacher