Back To School

For more details on how we are preparing for a safe return to school this September, read our Back to School Guide.

Head Mistress’s Blog

I hope that everyone had a restful half term, the girls came back full of beans and raring to go.
Some highlights of this week include We have had some lovely events taking place this week,
Reception went to Wilhelmina House to read their favourite stories with the residents; Year 2 were
visited by the Fire Brigade and were able to explore the fire engine, squirt hoses and set off the sirens
as well as learn about fire safety. A team of girls went to the ISA cross country trials and Tien and
Matilda qualified for the nationals. Three Year 5 girls went to Epsom College to take part in a debating
competition. Please do follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more up to date events and pictures
of what is going on at school. Both are @headshipjourney.
Thank you for your support to the school with regards to the coronavirus and keeping us inform if you
have been to or in contact with anyone who has been to areas affected. I know that we have sent out
a number of letters regarding this, but it is an ever-changing situation so prefer to keep you fully up
to date. I am certain that this issue is not going to pass quickly. I’d like to emphasise that the advice
from Public Health England (PHE) is that the threat remains low for individuals, we must not overreact,
but it is important to take the relevant precautions. In line with advice from PHE, we have reinforced
the importance of handwashing with soap, for a minimum of 20 seconds, with the girls. In these extra
ordinary circumstances, if parents wish, we will allow the girls to carry small, named, bottles of hand
gel provided there is a very small alcohol content.
I had a useful meeting with parents on Tuesday, thank you for sending items that you wanted to be
raised with your class reps. The toilets were raised as an issue, and we have asked girls to make sure
that they inform the office if there is a problem so that we can resolve it quickly. School Council had
also raised this in their Council meeting and have prepared a presentation to do in assembly to talk to
the school about how they should look after these facilities. Another point raised was that a couple of
girls were saying that they were hungry after lunch. There is no reason for any girl to be hungry. All
the staff sit in with the girls at lunchtime and ensure that they have eaten their lunch encouraging
them to eat more if there is a significant amount left on plates. We have told the girls to say to Miss
Julia if they are having a “Hungry Day” so she knows to give them a little extra.
School uniform, please ensure that shoes are fitted and fasten either with a strap over the foot or with
laces, pump style shoes should not be worn as there is not sufficient support for feet and ankles and
they come off very easily in play. The school swimming costume was highlighted a while ago a being
cut a little too high at the legs, Hewitts have redesigned it so that it is a more modest cut. We are
also looking at full costumes (with the longer leg) but as yet we are not satisfied with the design. Coats
were another thing that parents wanted to change and Hewitts have proposed a slightly longer black
coat that has a detachable inner fleece. This is softer than the existing coat and can be worn as just a
raincoat in warmer months. We would like to have some feedback from parents about which coat
they would prefer. or the existing one We would also like to
make the Pre-Prep uniform slightly different from the Prep, by introducing the skirt in Year 3 (existing
Year 3 and 4 girls can continue to wear their pinafores until they grow out of them!) And the next feed
back we would like is whether to have pinafore with a white blouse with a revered collar and no tie in
Pre-Prep so that the tie and shirt is introduced with the skirt in Year 3.
Parents expressed that they were pleased that the newsletters, blogs and important dates were
coming out via parent mail each week. Hopefully now people will feel more confident with
The car parking at school has been suboptimal for a while and makes it difficult for parents, visitors
and staff and causes issues with our neighbours. We have had considerable support from Cognita
Head Office about how we can resolve this and work will begin on 9th March and should finish by 20th
April. This will impact on drop off and pick up and I will send a separate letter about those
arrangements nearer the time.
We have spoken to the girls in their forms about the school’s Lockdown procedure, there may be
several reasons why there may be a lockdown may be called: A reported incident such as a civil
disturbance (riot or bank robbery), an emergency services or council warning (factory/farm fire or
flood). A major fire in the vicinity of the school. The close proximity of a dangerous dog or animal, or
an intruder. We have explained different reasons why we may need to go into lockdown and talked
them through what they need to do. We will have a practice on the morning of Monday 9th March.
There is no reason for the girls to be anxious about this but it may spark conversations with parents.
Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog
shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.
Barbara Kingsolver

020 8660 3445