I thought we would begin with the second of our eight areas of improvement for this year. The second objective also focuses on Quality of Education and in particular long term learning. We are committed to supporting students to understand and retain the knowledge and skills they are taught at Sandringham. This year, teachers have been engaging in CPD about an aspect of long term learning from retrieval practice to questioning and feedback and have been working hard to implement and embed approaches in their classrooms. Supported by the school’s Professional Learning Team, teachers will continue to build on this work throughout the year. In 2023 we will welcome national experts in long term learning to the school at January INSET and the AAT conference in February. Through student voice activities, we continue to engage with students about their experiences of learning in order to understand how they feel best supported.  In addition, we have developed a new framework for students to help them understand how they can best learn, which we will be launching in the New Year.

Our annual KS4 Awards Evening was held last Thursday, and it was a delight to present Year 12 students with their GCSE and BTEC certificates from last summer and some of them with subject awards. It was a lovely evening, and I would like to congratulate all students on their achievements. I would also like to thank Ms Mouncey and Ms Holian for organising the evening and all staff for supporting our students so well. Those who attended will be receiving a link for the professional photographs taken by Stephanie Belton.

In school news, on Wednesday, Sandringham participated in the Radio Society of Great Britain’s programme during December to promote young people who are interested in amateur radio. This involved using the special callsign, GB22YOTA (Youngsters On The Air). Four separate radio stations were set up and students operated on phone and data modes across HF , VHF and UHF bands. Five of our students are licenced radio amateurs and made over 100 contacts with 26 countries during the morning. More photos on this under STEM News. Well done to everyone involved. 

We are now in the swing of Christmas– with the Fair last week raising over £5000 in the process. Thank you to the Fo$S team for coordinating the event, and to our lovely Year 7 students for running so many activities. Today is Christmas Jumper Day and we have had an amazing selection of jumpers and other Christmas accessories worn. Next Monday is our Carol Service at St. Saviours Church and Tuesday to Thursday we will be serving over 1,000 Christmas dinners to students and staff. There is something for everyone to enjoy and we hope that the run up to the Christmas period is enjoyable for all.

There is quite a bit of illness around at the moment, and, as you may be aware, there are local cases of the Strep A infection circulating in schools. We have circulated information from the Director of Public Health, Jim McManus on what to look for. We hope this is helpful and that we can keep everyone as safe as possible.

Best wishes,

Mr A Gray

Upcoming Dates

12th Dec - 6:30 PM Carol Service - St Saviour’s Church
13th Dec - 1:15 PM Christmas Lunch - Years 7 & 9
14th Dec - 1:15 PM Christmas Lunch - Years 8 & 10
15th Dec - 1:15 PM Christmas Lunch - Years 11, 12 & 13
19th Dec - 7:00 PM Year 14 Reunion
21st Dec - End of Term and Charity Day: School finishes at 12:10pm

Absence Line

Phone: 01727 799564

Absence Email: (Available 24 hours) absence@sandringham.aat.school

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

Mr S Kemp
Assistant Headteacher

Headteacher Commendations


Alex M7J
Ben S7J
Connor L7F
Eliza P7J
Hannah P7J
Isabella U7F
Johnny G7A
Lucas H7F
Lydia S7J
Max W7H
Olly S8N
Phoebe H7N
Tim C7H


Ellen W13H
Ryan L12H


Bea K7A
Conrad L8A
Jayden Y7A
Toby R7A


School News


The Alban Academies Trust are looking to appoint an outstanding Safeguarding Lead. This is a unique opportunity to join us at a key time as we plan & develop our highly capable central function team. To find out more & apply please visit here.

L Lee


First Steps ED delivers specialist eating disorders support to children and young people aged 5 to 17 from one-to-one support with our specialist support officers, or attending any of their weekly CYP support groups and psycho-education workshops. They also work in partnership with other local services to help provide a variety of support options and signposting for families and their children, including our 'Skills for Carers' course for parents, partners and siblings which help people learn the knowledge and tools to be an important part of
supporting a loved one. Referrals can be made by the young person, a parent/ carer, or healthcare professional. To find out more click here.

Emma Coyne


Our annual Service of lessons and carols will take place at St Saviours Church on Monday 12th December at 7pm. This is a wonderful festive event featuring our choirs and small musical ensembles in a celebration of Christmas. Tickets are available via the Sandpit Theatre box office in the usual way but seating will not be allocated. Please visit here for tickets.

Mrs E Beaton


We are always looking for new Careers opportunities for students.  This week we would like to highlight some apprenticeship opportunities at Computacenter, as well as virtual sessions from Next Tech Girls and the Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP).

  • The Computacenter Apprenticeships Team is running a popular apprenticeships information session at 5:45pm on Tuesday 31st January.  First come, first served and free of charge.  This is suitable for any student interested in doing an apprenticeship after completing year 11, year 13 or a university course.
  • On 13th December, @NextTechGirls are running a free ‘Ask Me Anything’ session.  Their aim is to “inspire today’s girls in education to become tomorrow’s women in technology”.  The session is free and students can sign up here. Next Tech Girls Event Form
  • This week HOP are presenting careers in Estate Agency, Hairdressing, the Police, Cyber Security and lots more.  These are virtual sessions and therefore easy for students to access Virtual Careers Encounters (HOP)
Mrs C Eady


Last weekend, the 3rd St Albans Scouts troop chose four of their six members to represent in the Derek Turner Night Hike. These were  Calum W, Jude H, Joe H, and Isaac N who all put in a great team effort. The event is a district wide competition where Scouts work in teams to navigate around a course at night and complete timed challenges at the check in stations.  The course is designed to test team work and problem solving and takes approximately 4 hours to complete.  The team then camped overnight (with night time temperatures approaching freezing!).   

All the members of the 3rd St Albans team were new to the competition and achieved a fantastic 2nd  place out of 22 teams entered from across St Albans and the surrounding areas.  This is one of the best results ever achieved by the 3rd troop and the leaders were delighted to have such great ambassadors for the local Scout movement.  Well done to all involved and for showing all of our Sandringham character traits of Initiative, Confidence, Aspiration, Integrity and Resilience.

Ms M Holian


As we go in to the final weeks of term, Fawcett still lead the charge, but Elgar have had a fantastic week gaining over 377 points. Special mention this week goes to Ben T (7N) with an impressive 15 points, Alex O'N (7N) with 11 and Sorcha T (8S) with 9 points. 7S still have the highest average points and 9F and 8S are not far behind. This week students have voted on who they would like to support as our House Charity this year. Our SLT Charity and Community team have worked hard alongside Mr Keenleyside to decide on a shortlist of a Local and International Charity. We look forward to letting you know soon who has been chosen out of the following:

Local: Herts 4 refugees, Herts Community Foundation, Up on Downs

International: Unicef, Doctors Without Borders, Fauna & Flora

Next week see the Girls House Football for Years 9 and 10 and the highly anticipated Staff Bake off. 

Ms M Holian


It's so fantastic to be able to see shows again! Sandringham Dance were excited to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty in their first Dance trip of the year. Looking forward to more trips in the new year.

Miss A Davies


On Wednesday, student members of the student Amateur Radio group took part in the annual Youngsters On The Air activity day. Students were able to talk to amateur licence holders around the country, broadcasting their radio-wave signals from the school’s aerials on the roof.

The group has managed to make contact with radio enthusiasts beyond the UK, and the postcards pictured represent some of the countries where radio contact has been made.

Students in the group are gaining qualifications which will lead to a full licence, allowing them to broadcast and receive at high power over certain frequencies. A great day was had by all.

Mr D Tattersall


Thank you to everyone who supported Fo$S at the Christmas Fair last Saturday. If you weren’t able to make it on the day or didn’t have the chance to buy a raffle ticket, then there is still time. Tickets can be bought on ParentPay for £1 each by clicking on the link ParentPay.

Each ticket purchased online will be allocated a paper ticket and added to those bought on Saturday. The draw will be made on Friday 16th December and winners notified by email. Prizes include:

Sunday afternoon tickets for Pub in the Park 2023, Panto Tickets for 4 at the Sandpit theatre, Christmas Hamper, Designer Christmas Cake, Trip to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Cut and Finish at Mosaic Hairdressers, Free Pilates classes, Facial or Manicure, 2 months free bootcamps, Meal at Verdis, Take away voucher from Nouvelle Lounge, Headshot Studio Photography session, 5 hours dog training, Wine tasting event, Bottles of Italian Wine, Signed Starfolk books and more!

Every penny raised goes towards supporting the school and its students, so please do get involved. Thank you and merry Christmas

Mrs L Earley


Our Sustainability Club were hard at work at the Christmas Fair on Saturday selling their Christmas decorations made from bottle tops. Thank you for all your donations of bottle tops and for supporting our students buying them!


Mrs T Barrow


It was great to see the students in their festive wear today. If you haven't already paid, a donation of £1 is suggested on ParentPay or you can donate more for Save the Children if you wish. Thank you!

Mrs R Ellis


If your child or teenager is feeling low, anxious, or generally struggling, there are lots of services available to help them all year round. Please always encourage them to talk and ask for help if they need it.  The services listed on Just Talk’s webpage are all free and don’t need a professional referral, so they can be contacted directly by young people and/or their parents/carers. Services listed include Hertfordshire’s new With YOUth Digital Wellbeing Service for ages 5-18, parents and carers and many more, so please take a look here.

Emma Coyne


We have the following vacancies available to work at our fantastic school.

For students, there is also the role of Lettings Assistant on a Thursday Evening. This job is to:

Provide caretaking and cleaning service for the sports facilities, Oversee external lettings for the sports hall and 3 G pitch, Monitor use of 3G pitch to ensure appropriate use including footwear, Conduct pitch checks before and after usage of 3G pitch, Assist caretaking team on the school campus with work as needed

Current Year 12 students are invited to submit a one-sided letter of application to Mr Gray explaining why they would like to be considered for this post.  Applications should be handed in to reception by the closing date of Friday, 16th December. This position will provide good work experience and will be a valuable addition to a C.V.

L Lee


Our Year 12 Young Enterprise company, T K Minimum, have been busy selling their recycled bags and second hand products this week. They won an award for the Best Stall at the Harpenden Christmas market and also had a great set up at the Christmas Fair last Saturday. If you would like to buy one of their products, they are available on the Young Enterprise trading station here or you can notify Miss Griffith in the Sixth Form Centre and a member of the young enterprise team will assist you. They would make a lovely present for secret santa or for family/friends.

The team will be collecting further clothes donations after the new year, accepting any clothes items that are in a good condition. Please bring donations to Miss Griffith’s office, anything that you can donate will be much appreciated. 


Miss K Clifford


This week we feature four Year 10 Sandringham students who showed a wonderful act of kindness towards a stranger recently. In the evening on Sunday 20th Nov, after the Christmas Cracker night in St Albans Town Centre, they assisted a gentleman who had fallen over, cut his head and was bleeding and very confused to where he was. There were other adults who passed by and did not offer assistance but Emily H, Dimitri S, Anaiya T and Max Mc all stayed and got help. They assisted in talking to the gentleman, calling the Ambulance, organising a warm blanket and then informing Security Personnel from the St Albans Council to assist, all of which took over an hour. What caring and considerate students- a real credit to their parents and the School. It is fantastic to hear our students performing acts of kindness such as these in the Community.

If you would like to nominate someone for the student spotlight, please email melissa.holian@sandringham.herts.sch.uk with any details and/or photographs to include.


Ms M Holian


Our Sandringham Sixth Form Information Evening is Tuesday January 10th. This is the main information evening for prospective students with Headteacher presentation's at 6.10pm & 6.40pm, & subject faculty talks from 6.20pm – 8pm. To find out more visit: http://sandringham.herts.sch.uk/sixth-form-admissions/

Ms M Holian


This week’s whole school theme is Christmas Traditions. Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25th as a religious and cultural celebration amongst billions of people around the world. The students received an excellent assembly that educated them about different Christmas traditions that are celebrated around the world. Some of these traditions include the Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines, the Yule Lads in Iceland and the Gävle Goat in Sweden. We ask that students recognise Sandringham’s Christmas traditions of the Christmas Fair, Christmas Jumper Day, Christmas Lunch and Charity Day. We hope that everyone enjoys the celebrations and gets into the Christmas spirit!

Miss K Wills


Well done to everyone who entered last week and got the answer right!  This week's puzzle is shown above.  For every entry you will receive 1 house point, 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 house points!  To enter, simply scan the QR code and fill out the google form.  Good luck! Why not play at home and see who is the quickest to get the answer?

Mr J Hill

Literacy News


FRENCH: Le mot de la semaine: réprimander

GERMAN: Das Wort der Woche: schimpfen

SPANISH: La palabra de la semana: reprender a

Thinking Questions

  • Language is an important part of culture and heritage. What can learning a language teach us about a culture or the heritage of a country?
Miss F Baikie

BOOK OF THE WEEK: 'Norwegian Wood' by Haruki Murakami

When he hears his favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend, Kizuki. He is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past. Isabella B, 13J who has recently read Norwegian Wood, said of the book 'I haven't read a lot of translated fiction and was keen to try this novel by Murakami. I found it an unusual book, sad in parts but also thought-provoking. It will definitely stay with me.' Norwegian Wood is available for Sixth Form students to borrow from the LRC. 


Miss E Critchley

Word of the Week

C is for chide [verb]

Definition: To scold or rebuke.

Example: She chided him for not replying to her messages..

Synonyms: blame, condemn, reprimand

Antonyms: applaud, approve, commend

Etymology: From the Old English ‘cīdan’ of unknown origin.

PE News


Our Year 7 basketball team did brilliantly in their first competitive game of the year against St Columba’s school in the junior NBA. They won with a solid 42-26 victory: Regan & Warren take MVP with 26 points between them. Well done boys!

Our senior basketball team also had a great match against The Perse School on Wednesday. Despite being 12 points down, the team turned things around in the last quarter to take the game to overtime and win overall. Well played boys

Congratulations as well to the U19 Girls Basketball team, who beat a strong SRA in a hard fought game that went to overtime 3 times. PP Hannah G, CPM Liv C

Mr D Keenleyside


Fixtures for next week are above. You can follow @SandringhamPE for all of the results.

Mr D Keenleyside


A brilliant week for our netball teams with wins across the board! 

The U15 Netball team had a great district cup & league double header over Beaumont winning convincingly. OPM - Sophia P & CPM - Emily W

We also had two great netball Performance Squad wins on Wednesday vs Simon Balle. The U16 team won 34-7, OPM - Maddy W, CPM Charlotte H and the U14 team won 23-17, OPM - Katie J, CPM - Liv S. Well done to all involved, playing brilliantly despite freezing conditions!

There was another excellent win for the U15 Netball team 62-19 over Norwich School in the National Cup! OPM - Mimi G & CPM - Maddy W

Not our best performance but a win for the U19 netball team 43-22 over RPS in a triple header for the district league, county league and district cup. CPM - Bryony C

And finally, the Year 7B Netball team (who have shown huge improvements this term) were victorious, in what was a very even match against RPS. OPM Maddison and CPM Isla

Miss K Wills


On Monday, the Year 8 hockey team had their first match this season against very tough opposition, Kingshott School. The whole team defended with real determination, in particular, Micayla and Charlotte, along with some super saves from the goalkeeper, Rose. The team worked hard to pass the ball in to space and did set up some good attacking play and scoring opportunities but were overpowered by a much more experienced team. The Year 7 match & Year 8 match scheduled for this week was postponed due to a frozen astro.

Miss V Borman


Our Year 7 boys had a great game on Saturday in their county cup round 3 match vs KWS. Trailing 0-1 until the final 15 minutes, Holian and Regan (2) managed to score to win the game 3-1, and put us into the quarter finals of the county cup. Well done team!

Mr D Keenleyside


A huge well done to Beckie C, Maddie B, Martha D and Lily T our Senior Girls team, for finishing 13th in the country on Saturday at the School Athletics competition in Leeds.  We were missing Annabel, who was a big part of the team at the County and Regional rounds, and a big shout to Lily on her 22nd place in her last XC cup race for the school. An amazing achievement for our students and we are incredibly proud of them.

Mr A Cracknell


Well done to our Year 7 boys who are showing some superb progress this term, beating Sir John Lawes 4-2 in a match on Saturday. Some impressive rugby with the following scoring tries: Lucas H (2), Toby R & Alp A (1) MOM Toby R and Lucas H The A and B teams also had a competitive afternoon of rugby on Tuesday against KWS ending in two wins: 7-3 for the A Team and 9-5 for the B team respectively. That ends their fixtures for 2022. 

Our Y9 rugby team also emerged victorious over SJL in what was a fantastic game from all involved.

Our U14 boys Rugby team got their County Cup competition up and running this afternoon with a great performance, beating Dame Alice Owens to book their place in the next round.

Mr D Keenleyside

Sandpit Theatre

All the latest performances are on our website, www.sandpittheatre.co.uk, and you can keep up to date with what’s going on by giving us a follow either on Instagram & Twitter or give us a like on Facebook, just search for The SandPit Theatre!


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

Miss A Carter-Downing

Hansel and Gretel – The Pantomime Sat 17th Dec – Sun 1st Jan

A fun-filled, sugar-fuelled, family-friendly pantomime adventure that reminds us ALL not to take candy from strangers (even if they wow you with a fabulous song and dance number!)

Join ‘Hansel and Gretel’ in a new take on an old favourite; with tasty tunes, magical mayhem, and colourful characters (including a 7-foot yeti!) it’s simply not to be missed!

“Absolutely Incredible” – BBC Three Counties Radio

“Hilarious, Modern… an absolute delight” - Bedford Today

Tickets £12.50-£15


Tickets are available now at www.hanselandgretel.co.uk

Miss A Carter-Downing