Dear Parent/Carer,

I start this week’s letter by congratulating students in Year 13 who have applied for places at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, courses in medicine, veterinary science, and dentistry. Good luck to all, the SNS community is rooting for you.

Local COVID alert levels and restrictions

I am grateful to you for your prompt communication where a member of your family has tested positive. We do recognise that self-isolation causes disruption to your plans and routines, but I know you will appreciate that in these times there are difficult choices we all have to make. Thank you for your patience in these circumstances.

As you are aware the government announced yesterday that London needs to move to local COVID alert level to high at midnight, Friday, 16 October. The Department for Education guidance of today confirms that: “At all local COVID alert levels, the expectation is that education and childcare provision should continue as normal. The government has been very clear that limiting attendance at schools and other education settings should only be done as a last resort, even in areas where a local alert level is ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

The School remains open for all students. Schools play an essential role in establishing healthy routines and structures together with giving young people a sense of belonging, all fundamental to a young person’s wellbeing. As the rate of infection increases, it is a timely reminder to ensure all in our community regularly wash their hands, adopt social distancing measures and wear a face covering where social distancing is not possible.

Mobile phones and social networking applications

As you are aware mobile phones are banned in the school. If a mobile phone is seen or heard it will be confiscated and returned to the parent/carer by appointment, the following Friday. If there is a social or medical need for your child to have a mobile phone on their journey to and from school, then parents/carers are asked to request this through the relevant Head of School. If permission is granted then these phones must be left in reception.

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you to monitor the use of social networking and messaging apps such as Whatsapp, to ensure your son/daughter is using these in a safe and sensible way. I have quoted below the relevant section from our Behaviour and Positive Relationships Policy (2020):

"Whilst we are aware of the benefits and usefulness of social media, we are also very aware of the negative uses of it. There is much evidence to link online abuse to serious mental health concerns. All students are to be responsible when using social media and use it in a positive way. Inappropriate use of social media or any online platform includes:

  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Threats of violence"

Key dates

Wednesday 21 October | Forum for Parents of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Children 7pm-8pm

Please email my PA, Sophie Preedy on if you would like to attend.

Thursday 22 October | Last day of half term – Non-uniform Day

Please see below dismissal times for each of the year groups for Thursday 22 October, the last day of this half term:

  • Years 7 and 8 - 12:45pm – lunch
  • Years 9 and 10 - 12.15pm – lunch available for purchase – a link to request lunch to follow
  • Years 11 - 1.00pm (Combined Science Students) and 1.30pm (Triple Science Students)
  • Sixth Form - 12.15pm

Thursday 22 October will also be a non-uniform day (stated above). Students are permitted to attend school in their own clothes for a donation (50p), which will go towards our chosen charities: Lawrence Charitable Trust, The Stop Hate UK and the local Hackney based charity Sistah Pace.

Safaplace Conference 2020 | Saturday 21 November 2020

Keynote Speech by David Weaver, President of the BACP

Safaplace, the young people’s mental health charity, is to host its third annual conference online on Saturday 21 November. This year’s theme is Mind Body Soul: Finding your Safe Place. The free conference, which will be hosted on the online platform, Hopin, will explore different ways of maintaining positive wellbeing and mental health, through creativity, staying active and discussion. Tickets will be available for booking soon, so please save the date!

Wishing everyone in our community a restful, safe week. Stay well.

Zehra Jaffer