The Covid-19 testing has continued this week and the team of staff have refined the process further. They are now experts and I would like to thank Mr. Nicholls and the team for their hard work and efforts to deliver this important programme. To date, we have had no positive tests which is very pleasing.

We have looked at our school calendar and decided to adjust one date at the end of this half-term. We normally finish with a two-day staff conference but, with Covid-19 restrictions, this is not able to happen. So we will be postponing one of the two training days and moving this to the summer term, when better use can be made of the time. This means the following change to the calendar which affects all families:

Half term will begin on Friday 12th February 2021 (not Thursday 11th February as previously published). Please make sure this is adjusted in your diaries. Thursday 11th February is now a teaching day and students will be expected to be completing the VLC as normal.

You may be aware that the DfE are now consulting on the final arrangements for the awarding of outcomes in GCSE, A-level and BTEC qualifications this summer. Almost daily, there are further messages on how things may work and it is important that this is resolved as quickly as possible so that students know what is expected of them. We hope to have some clarification by half term. What we do know now is that BTEC examinations are also cancelled and that an alternative process will be used to make the award of these qualifications.

We have had some indication of a likely direction of travel revealed in letters between the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson and Ofqual.  These suggested that:

  • Grades will be awarded based on teacher assessment using a broad range of evidence whilst seeking to assess what has been taught
  • Ofqual will consider using externally set, but internally marked, tasks or assessments to help support teacher’s assessment of students
  • Non Examined Assessments (coursework) should continue and can be used to inform judgements
  • It is important that students are as taught for as long as possible to give them the opportunity to catch-up 
  • Teachers’ final judgement on students’ grades should be made as late as possible in the academic year
  • Schools will be required to quality assure teachers’ judgements and there will be some external sampling checks to ensure fairness and consistency
  • A review and appeal process will be available for students 

Year 11 students have had a busy week, receiving their trial and current predicted grades on Monday, attending a virtual PTC on Monday evening and then meeting with me for a one-to-one conversation about their current performance and plans for the future. Then on Thursday evening, they, together with a large number of external students attended the live virtual  ‘Into the Sixth’ evening in preparation for applying to join in September. They have been really mature in their approach to the current situation and clearly trust the school to support them through this challenging time. It has been a real privilege meeting them and talking about their aspirations for the future. Well done Year 11.

For the Year 13 students, we have been discussing how best to support them through the final four months of their secondary education, and how to accurately assess their performance. We will need to wait until the national guidance is issued in order to finalise our arrangements, but for now each subject area will continue to teach high-quality lessons and assess progress as appropriate.

The government have finally resolved the national issue over Free School Meal provision with the re-establishment of national Free School Meal vouchers. We have now received details of how we can set up the system for our families and hope that this can be implemented as soon as possible.

Finally, thank you again for engaging with the Virtual Learning Curriculum. Staff have a further training session after school next Tuesday to further improve their knowledge and skills in using the variety of one-line tools available to deliver high-quality remote learning. I would like to thank all the staff for their work to provide this teaching – they have been amazing.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and are able to keep in touch loved ones through virtual means.

Best wishes,

Mr A Gray

Upcoming Dates

05th Feb - 6th Form Application Deadline

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



Adas F7N Science
Cerys M7J Science
Harris Y9N Science
Harry P7H Science
Luke C8S Dance
Michael B9N Science
Sarah O7H Science
Vicente L9N Science



Cameron W10NHistory
Dominick M10EHistory
Fahim R10HHistory
Fleur L10EHistory
George H10HHistory
Jay S10EHistory
Kyle M10HHistory
Megan A10JHistory
Olivia C10HHistory
Rhiannon P10SHistory
Sam P10FHistory
Samantha S10JHistory
Thomas H10SHistory
Toma T10SHistory

School News


Student Success

Congratulations to Lilian S in Year 13 who passed her ARSM Piano diploma exam with an impressive distinction! Also congratulations to Jack P in Year 10 who has passed his Grade 7 clarinet with a merit. We are very proud of the continued hard work, dedication and commitment of our musicians.

Return of the Sandwich Series

Many of you will remember that last year during the first lockdown we ran a programme of pre-recorded concerts - ‘The Sandwich Series’ which were shared with the school community every week. This was a wonderful way to celebrate the musical talents of our students whilst working and learning at home. So we are once again inviting students to submit a video of themselves singing or playing a piece of music on their instrument at home to be included in a new set of recitals. If you would like to be included in the next concert, please send your video to beatone@mysandstorm.org along with the title and composer of the piece of music. I look forward to receiving your videos!


Mrs E Beaton


Pictured above are some of the great books awaiting collection from Student Services between 9.00 am and 12.00 noon on Mondays & Wednesdays.

You can reserve a book through MySandSTORM > Accessit Learning Resource Centre or email Kirbyj@mysandstorm.org

Happy reading! 

Ms J Kirby


The MFL Faculty are holding a whole school Kahoot which can be accessed via the link below.


The deadline to enter is Tuesday 19th January @ 9am and your Nickname must be your full name and form.

There will be house points awarded to the top 10 finishers so do get involved. Good luck! 


Miss F Baikie


With the move to online delivery of the curriculum, we would ask you to continue to inform the school if a student needs to self-isolate due to being in contact with someone who tests COVID positive or if a student themselves tests COVID positive.  You can advise the school by sending an email to the following address: absence@sandringham.herts.sch.uk. Please title your email -  COVID Notification; include the students full name,  tutor group and dates of isolation.  If they have had a positive COVID result please include the date of the test and the date when symptoms first appeared. This email address will be checked on a daily basis.

Mr M Nicholls


C9 in the MFL block is named after Jorge Luis Borges, a coveted writer famed for his short stories and for fighting for political change.

Born August 24th 1899 in Buenos Aires, Borges soon showed his academic flair by translating Oscar Wilde's 'The Happy Prince' into Spanish aged just nine.  After the family migrated to Spain several years later he became part of an anti-Modernist Ultraist literary movement and started writing philosophical and political articles.

Returning to Argentina in 1921, he published his first official collection of poetry, Fervor de Buenos Aires in 1923 and his ever popular collections such as Ficciones (1944) and El Aleph (1949) cemented him as one of the most influenced and greatest writers in Latin America history.

After the coup overthrow in Argentina in 1955, Borges openly expressed his outrage in journal columns and  and despite almost completely losing his vision in 1955, he still wrote many ground breaking books and short stories. In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor Prize (which he shared with Samuel Beckett) and in 1971, he won the Jerusalem Prize.

Borges died in 1986, having established himself as a key figure (together with Joyce and Kafka) who defined 20th Century literature. He died however, without ever winning a Nobel Prize for his work despite being nominated several times (mainly because of his association with Pinochet, the Chilean dictator.)

"Don't talk unless you can improve the silence"

Ms M Holian


Careers Information, Advice, Guidance and Support

Nicky Honeywell, Personal Adviser from YC Hertfordshire, will continue to provide one-to-one IAG support to students in Years 9-13 via a face call through Teams. All calls are private and confidential, but another colleague will sit in on the calls for safeguarding purposes. An email will be sent directly to students with appointment time and direct link to the meeting – please support us by encouraging your child to check their mysandstorm emails frequently, including their spam folder.

Students in Years 9-13 can make an appointment via their tutor or you can email admin@sandringham.herts.sch.uk. Priority will be given to students in Years 11 and 13 this half term, but all students wanting to see Ms Honeywell will have the opportunity to do so as soon as possible.

Virtual Work Experience

Speakers for Schools are currently hosting some incredible virtual work experience opportunities for students aged 14-19. These include BAM Construction and the NHS, both of which have provided amazing work experience and careers talks to our students throughout the years:

BAM Construction: An insight into careers in the Construction Industry

15th-19th February 2021. Students must be 14+ and apply by 15th January 2021.

BAM Construction

NHS Improvement: Meet the people behind the masks: East of England

25th February 2021. Students must be 14+ and apply by 4th February 2021

NHS Improvement

Placements are free, but students will need to apply for each one.

Further information and registration can be found here:

Speakers for Schools


Ms B Tang


Children’s Book Award

Every year Sandringham students take part in the Children’s Book Award. This is voted for by students across the UK. We receive free books on loan every half term, which helps boost our stock and gives access to new fiction. Normally, the award runs each year, but due to Covid, they are combining 2020 and 2021 books into one award.

As usual, there are awards for KS1 category, KS2 category and KS3 category, so if students read to younger siblings they can vote for picture books and KS2 books. Most of our votes are KS3 books.

The votes are simple: vote

A ...  Brilliant!  A Winner       

B ...  Very good indeed – I’d definitely recommend it

C ...  Pretty good, better than most

D ...  Nothing special

E ...  Rubbish!  Bury it in the garden

The picture above also shows some of our new books that can be reserved through Click & Collect. Keep Reading!

Ms J Kirby


Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal is an excellent resource for students to explore career pathways. They run webinars on a weekly basis which are recorded and added to the website. There is a webinar, next Thursday 21st January at 3.30pm for those who are interested in Architecture. Students will need to register in order to access the free session as places are limited - https://www.hopinto.co.uk/explore-careers/webinars/virtual-employer-encounters/


Mrs J Cavanagh


Another great week from the PE Faculty, getting students moving with their circuit training, HIIT classes and boxercise. Mr Cracknell thought he might get a break after Sandvent but no such luck!

These sessions are a fantastic way to get endorphins flowing and boost your focus for a day of remote learning so they hope you are enjoying joining in. Keep up the great work and feel free to send pictures of the whole family getting involved! 

Mrs H Cracknell


In other LRC news, The Write Stuff Year 7 Creative Writing club is now virtual. We had a fantastic first online session. Well done to Haniyah Y and Emily N for sharing their creative work with the group. We are currently writing stories that involve a time slip or an element of time travel. If you are in Year 7 and would like to write a time slip story or attend The Write Stuff club next week, please email critchleye@mysandstorm.org for more details. 

Miss E Critchley


If you are missing the amazing dance shows and drama produced in our beautiful Sandpit Theatre, we thought we would share a throwback to when the venue was being used for amazing shows. The link below is from 2019 when the amazing energy and talent from the Excel students, along with the Sandpit Theatre's brilliant lighting and special effects made this a show opening people would never forget. Introducing the Excel Performing Arts - 2019 show opener 'Poison'.  Enjoy!


Ms M Holian


Every week the Mathematics Faculty publish a puzzle for you to try.  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


We would like to say a huge well done to all of our artists who worked so hard last week to produce and upload such outstanding outcomes. We have enjoyed all of our live lessons with our students and really loved viewing all of their wonderful time lapses and images that they have shared with us via Google classroom. It is so inspiring to see their dedication to their creative practice at this time and the adjustments that they have made to their home environments to be able to make progress. We would also like to thank parents and carers who have been so accommodating of creativity during this time.

Ms L Kelly


FRENCH: Le mot de la semaine       - le sérieux/ la gravité

SPANISH: La palabra de la semana -  la seriedad/ la dignidad

GERMAN: Das Wort der Woche       -  Das GewichtSp:

Thinking questions:

  • All nouns in German have a capital letter – how might this help learners of German?
  • Sometimes there is not just one translation of a word – how might translators and interpreters choose which one to use?
Miss F Baikie


Theme week is back! This week’s theme is Language and Communication, which is especially important at this time as a large amount of our communication at school has had to move online. Despite the teachers trialling numerous new remote learning strategies, it is extremely difficult for lessons to be as interactive as they would be when everyone is in school. Students are also missing out on talking with their peers and building communication skills during extra-curricular and social activities. Therefore it is essential that we do all we can to keep them talking and thinking about the importance of language - not just on social media! Mrs Baikie, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, produced a ‘Thought for the Week’ that encouraged students to reflect on how their language affects how they see the world. Everyone is under a lot of pressure at the moment but don’t underestimate the power of spending time talking. 

Miss K Wills


At Sandringham, we believe rewarding students who consistently work well, participate in extracurricular activities and generally contribute positively to the school as a whole. With this in mind, every term Directors of Learning nominate a student from each year in their relevant subject whom they believe has worked exceptionally hard. They also nominate a Star Student across all years. 

If your child has received one of these nominations, you will shortly be receiving a letter and certificate through the post. We hope that students are pleased to receive them and that other students are motivated to keep up their efforts throughout the year in order to perhaps gain one next term. 

Ms M Holian


Student Services is open for Resource Collection 9am- 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 

Ms M Holian


During these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your mental health as well as your physical health. One of the ways you can do this is through the use of the Mindfulness App pictured above which is free and can help to calm feelings of anxiety. We will feature more ideas for supporting your mental health over the coming weeks but if you would like to speak to someone at school in the meantime you can contact the Student Wellbeing Manager, emma.coyne@sandringham.herts.sch.uk

Emma Coyne



The Dance faculty have created Dance At Home challenges, activities, performances and live dance classes, which you can all get involved with while at home. If you would like to join the DANCE classroom please head to the student noticeboard where the joining code is displayed. We would love to see students, parents and staff getting involved in staying creative, active and having fun dancing at home. 


Miss C Meeking


If you are looking for something creative for your children to do at home, UAL Future Creatives have the answer. They provide inspiring art and design courses for young creatives aged 7 years plus. 

Their live online art classes provide an exceptional creative education with practical learning through engaging activities. Students learn from our qualified teachers - experienced industry professionals who provide fun and exciting courses.

They offer a range of courses including creating cartoon characters, painting for textiles and creative collage. Through live classes students get feedback on their work from our expertly qualified teachers.Fun and educational!

For further information including course descriptions, dates and booking please visit UAL Future Creatives


Ms L Kelly


Last night our virtual ‘Into the Sixth’ presentation took place, with informative speeches from Mr Gray and Mrs Mouncey and a chance for parents/students to ask any questions. Thank you to everyone who tuned in to watch and we hope that you found it informative.

If you missed the presentation, or would like further information, then you can watch it again on the Sixth Form Admissions section of our website. https://sandringham.herts.sch.uk/sixth-form-admissions/

This link also lots of information on how to apply, subjects offered and general information about Sixth Form life at Sandringham School. The deadline for applications is February 5th.

A huge thank you to Kate Mouncey and the Sixth Form Staff for all their hard work in bringing this together and Christian Turton, Emma Walker, Jonny Downs and Misha Anker for the technical support.

Mrs K Mouncey


If you are in Year 12 or 13 and interested in reading and discussing foreign novels, then below is a link to a reading club that you can join online  https://www.queens.ox.ac.uk/international-book-club-sixth-formers

Meeting every few months, The International Book Club for schools is a chance for students to explore foreign language books which have been translated into English with other like-minded, literature-loving students. No knowledge of the original language is required to take part!

If you have any further questions, please speak to your MFL teacher or Miss Baikie

Miss F Baikie


We  would like to say a special well done to some of our Sixth Form who completed a Tone Drawing Project with the University of Arts London Future Creatives programme. Leila K, Flora M, Isabella S, Scarlett H, Astrid K, Deborah A, Grace O, Isaac C, Jade L, Jessie B, Sam A, Sofia HF, Sylvie F  Penny K and Yukta C all volunteered to take part in an extended drawing project to further develop their drawing skills with a particular focus on TONE. As I am sure you can agree from just a few of the examples below, they achieved outstanding outcomes and so I would like to thank our artists for making such a super effort for this course.

Ms L Kelly


If your child is unwell or unable to attend any of the lessons of remote learning on any particular day, please can you email absence@sandringham.herts.sch.uk informing us that they will not be attending lessons, giving a brief reason for their absence.  Please do not call the absence line as it may not be recorded.  It is essential that we receive this information every day before 9.00am so that we can effectively monitor the engagement of students with their learning.

Mr M Nicholls


This is the final week that you will be able to donate to the Sandvent efforts of Mr Smith and Mr Cracknell. If you joined in, or watched the videos, or would just like to donate you can still do so using the link here. http:// https://justgiving.com/fundraising/sandvent

FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, taking good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and getting it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups. With food supplies in the headlines once again this week, it is evident that food shortage is still a pressing issue so if you are able to donate anything, we are sure it will be greatly appreciated. 

Ms M Holian


A huge well done to Theodore T (9S) who gained a BTEC Certificate in ICT Systems & Principles L2 (IT Fault Diagnosis & Remedy) just before Christmas. He completed 120 hours of online learning at home in just 11 months to achieve this qualification. What a fantastic example of resilience and determination on top of all his regular school work! Well done to Theodore, we are really impressed that you managed to complete this qualification at such a young age.

If you would like your child featured in the Sandprint please email Melissa.holian@sandringham.herts.sch.uk with any details and/or a photograph to include. 

Ms M Holian


The NHS has asked for this message to be sent out to parents.

If your child has any of the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes please make a GP appointment or contact the Out of Hours service. The main symptoms are known as the 4 Ts – Thirst, Toilet, Tiredness, Thinner. If you notice your child is thirsty or using the toilet more frequently, is always feeling tired, or has lost weight recently, please seek  medical advice.

NHS services are very well equipped to look after children safely if they are unwell. Please do not delay seeking medical advice because of Covid-19. There is more information available here:https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/diabetes-symptoms 

Mrs K Dudley

Literacy News

Word of the Week

G is for… gravitas [noun]

Definition: Dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner.

Example: It was a post for which she had the expertise and the gravitas.

Synonyms: Dignity, Poise, Ponderance

Antonyms: Insignificance, Triviality, Unimportance

Etymology: Its root is the Latin word ‘gravis’ meaning serious.