We took prospective Year 7 families on a final tour of the school yesterday – and this time dropped in on some students to ask them for their views of the school. Our website now has a comprehensive package of virtual material to help prospective families learn more about Sandringham from a distance. There is everything from a 360 degree virtual tour of the facilities (Google style), through to the main Open Evening presentation, subject presentations, on-line prospectus and the virtual tours. We thought that this information would be of interest to current families and the link to follow can be found here.


Extra-curricular activities continue to strengthen as we learn to work within the constraints of Covid-19. On Wednesday, for example, the PE faculty held Year 8 Inter House Sports with a large number of students competing in football and netball matches. There are more details on this later on in the Newsletter and I would like to thank the PE faculty for running these activities. Speaking with students afterwards, they really enjoyed the competition.

We are now inside for lunchtimes and students have been informed that they are in ‘family groups’ on tables. This means no more than six per table, and they are to sit in the same place with the same group each lunchtime. We are also encouraging each family group to take responsibility for bringing in a traditional game that they can play when they have finished eating. Many students have already organised this – and it is interesting to see the variety of games that they like to play.

From January 2021, schools graded Outstanding will be part of the routine inspection programme again. It has been many years since these schools have been regularly inspected and this will provide Ofsted with a greater understanding of the breadth of provision in schools across the country. Sandringham was last inspected in 2008 so we expect a visit from January onwards. The school is in a very strong position to be judged highly; however we are always looking to improve and very much look forward to an external review of our work so that we can do even better. Ofsted will notify us the day before they visit, and we will contact all students and families to make them aware of this.

Our Sustainability programme continues to gain momentum. Next month we take delivery of 420 saplings from the Woodland Trust and the plan is for our Year 7 students to plant these around the northern perimeter of the school field. The species of trees are all native to the UK and have been specifically selected to provide habitat for a wide variety of animal species. This is phase 1 of planting. We have bid for a further 420 saplings for March 2021, and if successful, will ask our lovely new Year 12 students to plant these to finish the project. This will provide a wonderful tree line in the future and something that will significantly add to the quality of our physical environment.

Finally, and sticking with the theme of sustainability, I noticed a research paper from Manchester University suggesting that cleaner air around schools boosts learning. According to this research, cutting air pollution in and around school grounds by a fifth could boost children’s learning ability by as much as 6%, which equates to four additional weeks learning time per year. This reinforces our view that we should significantly reduce traffic around the schools in our area, hence the measures brought in to encourage you all to respect an exclusion zone around school entrances. With the vast majority of our school population living within walking or cycling distance of the school there is no excuse for parents to drive their children to school. Can I request that you consider this most carefully and do not use your cars. We have no-idling signs on site and these further encourage users to be responsible in their use of cars. Let’s see if we can set a trend for the minimum amount of traffic around a secondary school. 

Have a good weekend

Mr A Gray

Upcoming Dates

12th Oct - Theme Week: House Debate Week
13th Oct - Y8 HPV Vaccinations
15th Oct - Y7 Flu Vaccinations
19th Oct - Theme Week: Global Climate Emergency
20th Oct - 6:00 PM Y12 Comp Science Computational Thinking Challenge Trip
22nd Oct - Y11 Drama Exams

Absence Line

Phone: 01727 799564

Absence Email: (Available 24 hours) absence@sandringham.herts.sch.uk

Please report ALL absences before 9:15am on the first day of absence and every morning thereafter.

Mr S Kemp
Assistant Headteacher

Headteacher Commendations


Atharva K9HHistory Skills
Chloe B12JHistory
Emilka H7JFrench
Harry J10EEnglish
Henry G9JHistory Skills
James P10JPhysical Education
Joe D9FHistory Skills
Josh S9NHistory Skills
Joshua C9FHistory Skills
Kenzie M9JHistory Skills
Kyran H7JFrench
Mark L9FHistory Skills
Oliver B9FHistory Skills
Olly W9NHistory Skills
Rayan J7NPhil, Religion & Ethics
Rory G9JHistory Skills
Stephanie W10EEnglish
William J10JPhysical Education




Caitlin R10AHistory
Cami H10THistory
Emily R10NHistory
Jack P10THistory

School News


Sandringham School was strongly represented at St.Albans Tennis Club’s annual singles championships on the last Sunday in September. Students from Year 7-13 made it to finals day and needed to battle, not only against their opponents, but also the blustery conditions! 

Remarkably, all three siblings in two families were represented in the finals! The 16U and 18U boys finals were both an all-Sandringham Year 11 affair with Angus taking on George in the 16U final then facing Ivan in the 18U final. Congratulations go to Harrison (12U), Marelie (18U), Angus (16U), and Ivan (18U) who were victorious in their junior events, and Andre in Year 13 for winning the men’s final.

If you would like your son/daughter featured in the Student Spotlight, please send a short article along with any photographs to admin@sandringham.herts.sch.uk


Parents should be aware of a potentially very harmful product which appears to be deliberately aimed at young people of school age due to the nature of its packaging and presentation, and the fact that it appears to be available for sale online and in some off-licences at a cheap price.   This product may be branded as a 'stoner patch' or described as 'edible weed sweets.' There appear to be no laws against selling these products (although the packaging says to keep away from under 21s) and as such, there is no action the Police can subsequently take with shops selling these. This product can have the appearance of jellied sweets and the perception may be that they can be taken without any major repercussions.  However, we have been advised that this product contains one of marijuana’s active ingredients, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), and that consuming these 'sweets'  can make some young people very unwell, to the extent where they may need to be hospitalised.  

We are not aware of the product having been on site but include some images of the packaging below and would encourage families to discuss the potential dangers with their children.


Mr M Nicholls


Find out more about existing vacancies here:


Ms M Holian


House Points: Austen have edged in front this week with a fantastic 949 House Points. Elgar and Fawcett are not far behind.

Tutor (Group) of the week = Mr Mauldridge (10S) Well done for your 10/10 on last week’s quiz, the only tutor group in the school to achieve this! Mr Cracknell will pay you a visit at the start of next week with the House Cup!

Year group of the week = Year 10 Well done to Mr Boak and his Y10 team for their 100% return rate on the House Quiz last week.

House of the week = Newton Well done to Newton who had the biggest leap last week of 321 points from their House Quiz input and the Y8 Inter-house Sport. 

A further write up of the Inter-House Sport is in the PE News and watch this space for more fun House events planned!

Ms M Holian


I8, in the Mathematics Block, is named after Florence Nightingale whom we believe showed Resilience not only in her pursuit of following her dreams of becoming a nurse but also through the changes she implemented in the places she worked.

Nightingale was born on the 2nd May 1820 in Florence, Italy and from an early age wanted to pursue a career in nursing. When she told her parents about these ambitions, her parents forbade her as the expectation of a young lady of a wealthy social stature in the Victorian Era (like Nightingale) was to marry a man of means.

Her father finally allowed Florence to study nursing at a Christian school for women in Germany and by 1853 she was running a women's hospital in London. In 1854 she led a team of nurses revolutionising the way hospitals were used in the Crimean War and became known as "The Lady with the Lamp" for her nightly visits to patients.

In 1883 she was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883. She also became the first lady to be awarded the Order of Merit in 1907 and in 1910, she was awarded the badge of honour of the Norwegian Red Cross Society

“Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it. “

Ms M Holian


During lockdown, Preet Cox organised various initiatives across the district including creative competitions, trails and community window hunts. The group that she founded now has over 2000 members across the district and aims to bring the community together through creativity and inclusion.

Her latest competition is for Black History Month, with the winner receiving a prize in addition to their artwork being included in an article within the Herts Advertiser newspaper.  The competition is free and entries can include artwork, poetry, singing or playing of a musical instrument. Full details can be found on the St Albans Rainbow Trail group if you would like to get involved:



Ms M Holian


As Mr Gray mentioned in his headlines, you can now access all of the Sandringham Virtual videos via our website.


You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel  www.youtube.com/SandringhamYouTube if you like. This will enable us to create and post more live, informative  and exciting content in the future. Many thanks. 

Ms M Holian


On Sunday 4th October, Jane Barnett, Assistant PD and Teacher of Visual Arts Sandringham School, completed her first Marathon for Youth Talk (a charity specialising in supporting mental health for young people.) Below is the article she has written and link to her fundraising page if this is a charity you would like to support. 

"I had hours of training behind me and felt both fortunate and excited to be able to run the 26.2 miles from St Albans to my childhood home in East Barnet on Sunday 4th October. It was a tough day on many levels and the weather was not kind to the 45,000 runners that took part across the world, pounding the pavements and parks towards the finish line! The critical point at mile 21 had me digging deep to overcome the mental challenges and niggly legs that were starting to creep in. Running what is known as ‘The Greatest Marathon in the World’ was such a privilege, and I am over the moon to have raised over £725 so far for Youth Talk, a local charity which supports young people aged between 13-25 with free counselling sessions. My motivation was to give back, especially for a charity that supports the younger generation. If you would like to donate to this I would hugely appreciate it and the link is below. Thank you!" 

Jane- Youth Talks

Mrs J Barnett


We are aware that several of our students in Year 9 and 10 are studying additional languages out of school as native speakers and may be interested in sitting a GCSE later in this academic year. Although the exact timeline and nature of next summer’s exams have yet to be confirmed, we would be grateful if initial expressions of interest could be emailed to mark.nicholls@sandringham.herts.sch.uk stating the student name, tutor group and the language they are studying out of school. A return by Wednesday 14th October would be appreciated. Once we have all the requests, we will work with families to see if we can accommodate the requests. Thank you.

Mr M Nicholls


Written by Jacob Head from the Senior Executive team

This week, we have been celebrating Black History Month. Black History Month was established in the UK in 1987 by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo to help combat racism and develop a sense of pride in Black heritage. On top of a student-led assembly, we also collaborated with the student newsletter, The SandPost, to lead the October issue with articles on three important events in Black British history. It has been great to see students develop a wider understanding of their history and current social issues. We encourage you to read The Sandpost to find out more! 

Miss K Wills


This week, Year 13 students have written and delivered the whole school assembly on the theme of Black History Month. Equality is a topic which our students feel very strongly about, and it is a theme or area which the senior committee have been very keen to promote and work on this year.

The assembly covered the background to Black History Month, why it is important to educate people about black history in the UK and highlighted some significant people in black history, with an outline about their stories. Alongside this, students wrote the October edition of their student newsletter ‘The Sandpost’, which had articles about significant stories in British black history as well as a look at mental health in young people, conflict in Syria and the progress with the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a fantastic read and we would encourage all students to take a look!

Year 12 have been applying for leadership positions on the Senior Leadership Team and the Young Enterprise have entered their first online competition - check out their launch Tiktok video on our Twitter feed @SandSixth.

Mrs K Mouncey


This week, we have been preparing for a whole school assembly just before half term, focusing on the global climate emergency. One of the best resources and visualisations used to understand the issue can be found here: https://showyourstripes.info/

Created by Professor Ed Hawkin from the University of Reading, each stripe that you can see in the picture above and represents one year and the colour indicates the global average temperature compared to the average over that time period. There is a clear pattern showing the hottest years have all been recorded towards the end of the 20th century and post 2000. This picture has gained a lot of attention around the world, offering a very clear representation of global climate warming. There is now little dispute that climate warming is definitely happening, and that human actions are causing it. In the week of the 19th October, during the assembly focus on this, we will be asking all students and families to consider individual actions to help in the fight against continuing warming. Small actions can definitely make a difference!

Mrs K Mouncey


Every week the Mathematics Faculty publish a puzzle for you to try. You can find the puzzle in the Sandprint or on the screens around school. For every entry you will receive 1 housepoint, if you answer correctly you will win 2 housepoints and if you are the fastest person to answer the puzzle correctly then you will win 5 housepoints! To enter, simply scan the QR code and fill out the google form.  Good luck

Miss H Fryer


It has been brought to our attention again that some parents are still not adhering to the parking restrictions around Sandringham School. As Mr Gray suggested in his Headlines, please consider walking to school or if that is not possible, please can we ask that you are considerate to local residents when dropping off and collecting your children. This is in order to ensure the safety of everyone. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter. 

Ms M Holian


We received some impressive entries for the World Class schools essay writing competition. Following much discussion, the panel agreed that submissions from Keerthana Appandairaj, Helena Dawes and Livia Klag-Horne would be entered into the national competition. Freya Barker, Melissa Graham and Bea Kite also received recognition for the quality of their work. Well done to all students who entered!

Mrs A Nicholls


We are delighted to be a creative hub for The University of Arts London. We host their Future Creatives St Albans sessions for children and young people who love art and would like more opportunity to take part in additional enrichment opportunities in school.

All levels of skill and experience are welcome – from absolute beginners who want to explore their creativity and learn the basics, to seasoned creatives who want to take their work to the next level.

There are free taster sessions and full courses which take place on a mixture of after school weekdays and Saturdays. No two courses are the same, with expert teachers delivering new content and fresh new concepts for every single class. Previous classes have covered everything from punk-inspired weaving and sketching to portrait painting and performance, and there’s plenty more unique sessions in the pipeline. 

Please visit https://www.arts.ac.uk/subjects/fine-art/short-courses/teenagers/future-creatives-st-albans-7-to-11-year-olds for more details

Ms L Kelly


FRENCH: Le mot de la semaine            une aberration

SPANISH: La palabra de la semana      una anormalidad

GERMAN: Das Wort der Woche           die Abweichung

Thinking questions:

  • The French and English are very similar. What might the reason for this be?
  • This noun is feminine in all 3 languages. English nouns don’t have a masculine/feminine. Why could this be?
  • Why is the German word capitalised?


We have been completely overwhelmed by the truly outstanding efforts of all of our artists with Drawing week 2020! Students participated through lesson times and Google meets during the week in order to develop their own personal response to this year’s theme ‘A Climate of Change’. We are currently reviewing and responding to all of the stunning pieces of artwork which have been submitted and will be collating these into a virtual exhibition which will be published in the Sandprint. As a taster of the beautiful work submitted, please see these stunning pieces by Nico C and Lauren D. I would like to thank all of our students for their outstanding participation and to all of the Visual Arts staff for their wonderful teaching to support such a creative range of outcomes.

Ms L Kelly


Performing Arts Club

We have been amazed by the fantastic work from all three clubs so far and can't wait to see what you'll come up with next! There are still spaces left in the Year 9 Drama Club. We'd love to see more of our talented Year 9's take part and learn to develop their characterisation and devising skills outside of their lessons - particularly those students who have opted for module!

Mrs C Hardacre


Trinity College Cambridge is working with World Class Schools to offer free online masterclasses for Year 11 students. This is an exciting opportunity for mathematics and linguist students who are predicted grades 7-9 and who would like to improve their skills whilst engaging with other like-minded students. They are both year-long programmes via Zoom and provide a chance to build confidence and explore opportunities for further education in the relevant subjects.

Easy As Pi  is a "Women in maths online masterclass programme"  and more details can be accessed here. Easy as Pi

Love languages  is "designed to bring language learning to life and make learning a language exciting for young people." More details can be accessed here Love Languages

We hope that you are able to take advantage of this fantastic service.


Free Trial Woodwind Lesson!

We are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic team of instrumental and vocal teachers that come in weekly to teach our students. This week, I would like to introduce you to Laura Bookbinder who is our woodwind expert. If your son or daughter is interested in beginning lessons on the flute, clarinet or saxophone, please click here to register your interest in a free trial lesson. They would be able to meet Laura, see the instruments and try them out to get an idea of whether this is something they would like to pursue. We are very keen to build up our numbers of students learning these instruments. Look out for information about brass instruments soon!

Mrs E Beaton

Literacy News

Word of the Week

A is for… aberration [noun]

Definition: A departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one.

Example: They described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration.

Synonyms: Anomaly, Deviation, Divergence

Antonyms: Normality, Conformity, Averageness

Etymology: ‘Aberrare’ is the Latin root word meaning to stray.

PE News


Thank you to all of the Y8 tutors for arranging the Y8s for Wednesday afternoon’s festival of House Sport. It was enjoyable to see so many Y8s participating and excited by, what felt like, a normal afternoon of sport. Well done to Austen for their triumph in the house netball and Elgar’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory in the football. Future house sports are being planned and we’ll update you on this.

Sandpit Theatre


We hope everyone is keeping well. Through October and November we have lots of exiting screenings coming to The SandPit including, Frida Kahlo, Uncle Vanya, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. We look forward to opening our doors again safely and seeing you all again.   

 Following Government guidelines, you must wear a face covering while attending The SandPit Theatre unless you are exempt as stated in these guidelines. If you do not wear a mask you will be refused entry and your ticket will be forfeited. Our café will be during these screenings for drinks and snacks but please note we will only be accepting card payments.


The box office is open from 11.30am – 3.30pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can call us on 01727 799565 or visit www.sandpittheatre.co.uk



Miss A Carter-Downing

Sat 12th December – Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – 7pm

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a thrilling and evocative love story set in London during the Second World War. The internationally acclaimed choreographer’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together for just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. Matthew Bourne’s vivid story telling has never been more heart-stopping and touching and will take the audience into the heart of Prokofiev’s magnificent score. Tickets £13.50/£10

Miss A Carter-Downing

Sat 14th October – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – 7pm

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake comes to cinemas with a fresh look for the 21st century and is “as bold and beautiful as ever”. This thrilling, audacious and witty production is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered convention, turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm. Collecting over thirty international accolades including an Oliver Award and three Tony’s on Broadway, Matthew Bourne’s powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved tale is still original and still unmissable.  Tickets £13.50/£10

Miss A Carter-Downing

Tues 27th October & Sun 1st November- Uncle Vanya – 7pm

Following its critically acclaimed opening in London earlier this year, Uncle Vanya was abruptly halted as the world went into lockdown. Uncle Vanya’s exquisite ensemble overcome the considerable challenges of working in a global pandemic, returning to the Harold Pinter Theatre to film the ‘perfect’ production, which is currently nominated for four Oliver Awards. Full of tumultuous frustration and hidden passions, but brimming with hope and optimism for the future, Uncle Vanya is a must-see event for our times. Tickets £16/£13

Miss A Carter-Downing

Sunday 25th October – Frida Kahlo – 3pm

This highly engaging film takes us on a journey through the life of one of the most prevalent female icons: Frida Kahlo. She was a prolific self-portraitist, using the canvas as a mirror through all stages of her turbulent and, at times, tragic life. Guided with interview, commentary, and Frida’s own words, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN uncovers that this, however, was not a life defined by tragedy. Tickets £7/£5 

Miss A Carter-Downing