Thank you again for bearing with us as we prepared the school ready for opening on Tuesday – the virtual learning system seems to have worked well and provided a good continuity of learning whilst we were at home on Monday.

The kitchen staff were in on Monday, preparing for the Christmas dinners. Over 1300 dinners were served on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, and I would like to thank the canteen staff for not only delivering these special dinners, but for also serving hot food in the new canteen at the same time. An amazing effort and, with the cold weather, very much appreciated.

On Tuesday evening, we held our final Governing Body meeting of 2022. One of the governors had spotted the Times Newspaper annual Best Secondary School listings for 2022. It appears that Sandringham is ranked 9th best comprehensive school in the UK which is nice to know. Our performance was better than many selective and independent schools and demonstrates that the state education system can provide an outstanding quality of education for young people. Well done everyone – something to be really proud of.

On the same evening, we also had our first live staff bake off. More of this under House News, but there were some fantastic creations. Thanks to Mr Keenleyside for arranging.

We had to re-arrange the Carol Service from Monday evening to Thursday in the SandPit. Thank you to Mrs. Beaton for overseeing this at such short notice. Despite not being in a church, and performing with the Christmas Pantomime staging behind them (oh no it isn’t!) our students put on a wonderful concert to get us even more in the mood for Christmas. Well done and I hope you enjoyed it as much as the audience. Thank you also to the theatre staff for rearranging their schedule of rehearsing. Talking about the pantomime, if you would like to see Hansel and Gretel, tickets can be obtained from the SandPit Box Office here. 

I would also like to highlight this week the amazing work that our Year 12 students are doing at the moment. As part of Sandringham School’s community programme, more than 40 Year 12 students have volunteered at Skyswood, Wheatfields Infants’ and Nursery School and Wheatfields Junior School this year. Collectively, the students will give over 1200 hours by each spending just one hour per school week as a helper. Tasks range from supporting children prepare for their first nativity performance to regularly hearing readers. Sandringham actively encourages students to volunteer. Alongside being a rewarding experience, it helps them gain more confidence and learn new skills. You can read more about the breadth and variety of our Sixth Form Enrichment on the website here

Next Monday evening we welcome back our lovely ex-Year 13 students for the Year 14 Celebration Evening. Most of them have been away at university so it will be great to hear their stories of life beyond Sandringham. We will report on this in the new year.

We finish term next Wednesday with the annual Charity Day activities and students leaving the site at 12.10pm. Students are encouraged to come in fancy dress or non-uniform (with donations to our chosen charities, Herts for Heroes and Unicef, via Parentpay) .Students are encouraged bring in some change for the sweets and activities organised by the Year 12 students.  More on this under Charity Day News. It is a great way of finishing the calendar year, so thank you to them in advance for preparing for this.

This is the last newsletter of 2022. We look forward to seeing everyone back on Friday 6th January 2023 (8.20am on site). I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and New Year with your family and friends. Stay safe and enjoy.

Best wishes,

Mr A Gray

Upcoming Dates

19th Dec - 1:40 PM Year 7: Quantum Theatre presents A Christmas Carol (in Sandpit Theatre - finish 3pm)
21st Dec - 12:10 PM End of Term and Charity Day: School finishes at 12:10pm
06th Jan - 8:20 AM Students return to school for Spring Term
09th Jan - Year 13 Trial Exams start
10th Jan - 6:00 PM Sandringham Sixth Form Open Evening
16th Jan - Year 11 PTC

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


Ameera A11E
Carmel F7N
Charlotte B7N
Clarissa E11T
Emilia F7N
Jamie K7N
Nell M7H
Phoebe H7N
Sarah H11H


Abby A7F
Isaac N9N
Isabella U7F
Max B9A



School News


The Maltings Art Prize is an annual competition with a top prize of £1,000 for the winning child’s school art department, and £250 for the overall winner. Centre manager Phil Corrigan said: “We ran this initiative for the first-time in 2019 and had such an overwhelming response that we have continued to run it every year since!  We are always looking at ways of engaging with the local community and the Maltings Art Prize really hits the spot.”

The Awards Presentation evening was held on Tuesday 13th December at OVO at the Maltings Theatre.  Family and friends came to view the artwork in a fantastic exhibition. Each finalist was given a medal and there was an overall winner for each age group. The Art Department is very proud of all the finalists . These were Christopher G and Kiana Y from Year 7 and Thomas B, Katerina V, Sadie B and Daniyal K from year 8.

The overall winner of the 10-13 age category was Thomas B with a beautiful acrylic painting of a squirrel and its reflection. Well done Thomas and well done to everyone who entered. We look forward to running the competition again in the new year.


Mrs S Gidden


On Wednesday 21st December, we have our annual Sandringham School Charity Day. This year’s theme is fiction books and students can either come dressed up in a fiction book themed fancy dress for a suggested donation of £1 or come in non-uniform for a suggested donation of £2. This donation can be made online via ParentPay. This year we have dedicated the day to raising funds for Herts for Refugees and Unicef.  These fantastic charities were voted for by students last week, from a shortlist selected by the Student leadership Team and we look forward to supporting both Herts for Refugees and Unicef on Wednesday and throughout the year.  

We are also asking students to please bring in some change to donate on the day to join in with the fun activities that we have planned. Each student will be given one free token but there will be the opportunity to purchase more to play games, support events and buy sweets in a Sandringham style Winter Wonderland- with the proceeds going to our charities.


Ms M Holian


Lost Property

The cupboard is bursting with unnamed coats, trainers, PE kits and water bottles – please can you ask students to check for any lost items before the end of term. Anything not collected by Wednesday 21st will be donated to charity or disposed of. Please where possible clearly name items so they can be reunited quickly with their owners. Many thanks.

Flu Vaccinations

Nasal Flu Vaccinations will take place in school on Monday 19th December 2022 for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. To confirm or decline the vaccination for your child, please click on the link in the attached letter sent out yesterday.


Mrs G Lovett


We would like to congratulate all of our artists in Year 7 for their excellent efforts on their decorations which will feature in the One World Christmas Tree Festival at St Saviour’s church. The students all worked hard to create a decoration for the event where they explored the theme "Artists of our World" and are featured in the pictures below. The charity event at St Saviours Church is a beautiful event in aid of the church and local charities Centre 33 and Open Door. The event runs from Friday 16th December and Thursday 22nd December with free admission so, if you are able to, please do visit the event to see our artist’s endeavours.  Details are in the picture above or here.


Ms L Kelly


A huge thank you to Mrs Beaton, the Music Faculty and all of our fabulous performers on Thursday. It wasn't ideal to have the concert cancelled last minute due to the snowy conditions but all of our students did brilliantly to perform in a new venue (the Sandpit Theatre) at short notice. We hope that everyone enjoyed the songs and music and wish you all a lovely festive break when it arrives. 

Ms M Holian


This week’s whole school theme is Materialism. The snow at the start of the week has given us all some festive spirit and I hope that you are looking forward to the Christmas break with as much excitement as we are at Sandringham. However, every year there seems to be more pressure to make Christmas a materialistic event. Around Christmas we are dazzled by advertisements of shiny new mobile phones, fancy beauty appliances, the latest gadgets and so on. We understand that students are going to be excited about the presents they are going to receive but we also want them to understand the difference between need and want. Therefore, we encourage them to think carefully about what they truly need this Christmas and not ask for gifts they won’t use, could place their family in a difficult position financially and/or are unsustainable. To an extent, we can’t escape the consumerism in our society, and we don’t want students to feel needlessly guilty, however, being a little more compassionate and a little less spoilt goes a long way. Merry Christmas!

Miss K Wills


DSPL7 supports parents and carers, staff in early years settings, schools, and further education colleges by ensuring there is a range of provision and support services within the St Albans and Harpenden area for children and young people with additional needs. Each term DLSP7 produces a booklet that outlines the courses that are being run by external providers to support parents and families who have a child or children with additional needs.

Please use the link here to access DPSL7’s parenting support booklet for Spring 2023.

Miss C Durrant


If Strictly hasn't inspired you to put on your dancing shoes yet, perhaps this will. Last week, Conrad from 8A took part in his first friendly dance competition in Grays, Essex. The regional competition saw kids from around twelve dance schools gliding across the floor, with Conrad picking up awards for his Cha Cha and Waltz solos. He will now work towards his first partner competition which he is looking forward to very much. Well done for showing such confidence and willingness to participate! 

Mr A Cracknell


Over the last few days Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue have attended water and ice incidents where people have been at risk of falling through frozen lakes and rivers due to rescuing a pet or not seeing the dangers of such activities. Children and pets are particularly at risk when tempted to play on the ice formed on open water, and adults can find themselves at risk in attempting to save them. Taking a nice walk in cold weather with your family, friends or dogs in tow can be really refreshing, just make sure you know some simple tips on how to stay safe in winter.

Here are some useful tips to help you know what to do in an emergency:

Teach children not to go on the ice
Don’t go on the ice to rescue a dog
Keep dogs on their leads
Only use well-lit areas
Keep back from the edge

Please visit the RLSS website on this link, to see useful tools on how to get your children talking about winter water safety.

Mr A Gray


On Wednesday evening Mrs Sweeney, Mrs Baikie-Gaines and some of the Year 13 French students headed to the Odyssey to watch Zazie dans le Métro, a film directed by Louis Malle.  A fun evening was had by all, even if the film did leave us with many unanswered questions!  Thanks to Year 13 for joining and if you would like to follow more of what the MFL faculty are up to you can do so on Twitter @SandringhamMFL

Mrs H Sweeney


The award-winning vocal group, ORA Singers, has launched its fourth national Young Composers' programme – a free scheme aimed at developing the skills of composers from UK state-schools. The programme sees 10 Young Composers each receive 10 hours of one-to-one mentoring with professional composers, who will help them write a new choral piece which will be performed and recorded in concert by ORA Singers. During the scheme, Young Composers have their ideas and sketches workshopped by ORA Singers, who offer specialised tips and advice along with a guest composer. 

The 2023 Young Composers scheme will also see up to 40 Apprentices fast-track their skills in composition through a series of online, in-depth workshops, and will gain invaluable insight into the world of professional composition by hearing from industry experts.

Applications are now open: https://www.orasingers.co.uk/young-composers

Deadline to apply: Monday 6th February 2023

Mrs E Beaton


A reminder that it is our Sandringham Sixth Form Open Evening at 6 pm on Tuesday 10th January 2023. Further details are on our web site here. We look forward to meeting you all then. ⁦Other key dates which may be of interest are:

25th & 31st  January 2023. 9am – 10.30am: Open morning tours for external applicants.

3rd February 2023: Deadline for Sixth Form applications

28th & 29th June 2023: Compulsory Sixth Form Induction

Ms M Holian


Our first ever LIVE staff Bake Off took place on Tuesday evening. It was a fantastic event with staff really showing their creative skills. The eventual winners were Newton and Austen. Thanks to all who came along. 

In other house news, we end 2022 with Fawcett still in the lead. Special mention goes to Erin R in 8A with the highest points this week and Newton with the highest overall. 

We still have House Choreography and the Photography competition ongoing. And Year 9 and 10 Girl's house football TBC coming soon. More updates in the new year!

Mr D Keenleyside


If you are interested in becoming a teacher and would like to find out more, then you can join the Alban Federation virtual information session on Friday 6th January from 11am-12.15pm.

You can register  here or call 01727 799560 EXT 4217 or email afgtpenquiries@Sandringham.Herts.sch.uk for more information. 

Mrs J Cavanagh


This weekend, there are two virtual conferences taking place for students interested in a career in Veterinary Science or Medicine.  Read more here

Aspiring vets can register for 17th December here. Medic Mentor Vet Conference 17 December

Aspiring medics can register for 18th December here: Medic Mentor Medicine Conference 18 December

Year 10+ students interested in Civil Engineering might like to read about this Springpod opportunity.  Students can apply now and the programme takes place mainly over the Easter holidays in 2023: Civil Engineering Programme (run by Springpod)

Mrs C Eady


Thank you to everyone who donated to Save the Children for Christmas Jumper Day last Friday. We raised an impressive £1062.50 which will go towards helping children in the UK and around the world get the medicine, good food and education they need. If you would like to find out more about what the charity does, you can do so here.

Mrs R Ellis

Literacy News

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

A fragile young teenage girl is held captive: locked in a cell by The Reestablishment - a harsh dictatorship in charge of a crumbling world. This is no ordinary teenager. Juliette is a threat to The Reestablishment's power. A touch from her can kill - one touch is all it takes. But not only is she a threat, she is potentially the most powerful weapon they could have. Ava L 8F who is has recently read Shatter Me says 'This is a gripping, action-packed story. The characters are all interesting and the dynamics between them work well. I also really enjoyed the romance sub-plot. I would give this book 10/10 and I am now reading the rest of the series.'

Miss E Critchley

PE News


Well done to the Year 10/11 badminton team who finished 5th in Hertfordshire! A great achievement against some very strong schools.

Mr D Keenleyside


A special mention goes to the Year 8 rugby team who produced their best performance of the season last week and picked up their first win against SJL 8 - 5. Some big improvements shown for this team with some immense defending and much better movement of the ball. Well done team. Here is a picture of them in less snowy times!

Mr K Hartnell


The Year 7 ‘B’ team faced a very strong Ashlyn’s side last week. Unfortunately they were beaten, ending their run in the ESFA cup for this year. Well done to all involved in the ‘B’ team national cup this year!

It was also great to see Liv and Eda playing the Herts U16 Girls vs Norfolksch in the SEESFA Group Stage #2 match at the weekend. A positive and energetic team display with a final score of 1-1. Well done girls! 

Mr D Keenleyside

Sandpit Theatre

VELOCITY - Thurs 2nd- Sat 4th Feb

It's back and it's bigger than ever. Buy tickets for this must see Dance Show here.

Ms M Holian

HANSEL & GRETEL- 17th Dec- 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! Buy tickets hereTickets £12.50-£15

“Absolutely Incredible” – BBC Three Counties Radio

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

Ms M Holian