Over the weekend a variety of decorations appeared in the hall, including a very large Christmas tree, which was beautifully decorated. We have our suspicions that a group of elves were very busy - a wonderful scene to walk into on Monday morning! Those intrepid elves even placed our lovely carved Nativity figures in the worship area together with a marvellous display of our community Christmas tree and Year 6 children's work; we're still trying to work out how they found the backing paper! What clever creatures they are! It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
Advent has most definitely arrived and within class the children are beginning to think about the world beyond themselves thus fostering an awareness of the darkness which needs the light which Jesus shares with each one of us. We're all going to try and find time within our busy lives to pray more. All our children have been turning these thoughts into Advent promises which have now been hung on the Christmas Tree display at the front of the Hall.
The whole school seems to be filled with the sound of music as our children are rehearsing for their Nativities; it is a joy to hear their voices raised in song. I'm sure you will each be moved as you join the children on this journey. We keep reflecting, so tiny the Baby, so huge the miracle and we are each one of us touched by the story anew and it helps us focus on what truly matters.
Each new day at school brings a variety of learning opportunities which provide fresh and exciting challenges. Watching the children exploring and discovering their world is so precious and there is no greater joy than to see a child suddenly grasp a skill or concept and begin to apply knowledge and understanding when working out a problem. Then there are those magic moments when you stand back with pride to see independent, self-assured, confident children achieve great things; I enjoyed such a moment on Tuesday! Watching our dancers light up the stage as they performed at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool was a true delight. After weeks of rehearsals under the expert guidance of Mrs Moore and Miss Bassett, they really did steal the show as they danced with great joy, excellent timing and quality movement which thrilled the audience. There were so many of our parents watching and I know you were all amazed at the professionalism of our dancers. Thank you children for making us all feel so proud! It was also lovely to see some of our former pupils dancing alongside their new friends, as part of the St Bede’s dance, choreographed by one of their pupils; Grace, Sam and Gabi, you were brilliant too! Why not take a look at our dance following the link. https://player.vimeo.com/video/192961483
They say that a true learning community can only flourish with a desire to grow and openness to share and last night it was a complete joy to see so many families learning alongside the staff; problem-solving, exploring and reflecting on how important language and communication is to one’s development. I enjoyed many conversations about the importance of speaking and listening and I know many of you were impressed with how the children were able to entice an audience in through, in the case of Year One, the retelling of a simple story (oh those dinosaurs!), and in Year Five through the performance of Hamlet - everyone seemed to get out alive! I know many of you found walking from year group to year group really instructive; seeing where the journey begins in Foundation and ends in Year Six, gave everyone an insight into future learning.
They also say that children reflect how successful the learning process is and, once again, our pupils were our greatest learning ambassadors last night. I would like to thank all our wonderful children who helped in any way or accompanied their parents in looking round. In particular, I would like to thank our Year Six children, the leaders of the school, who operated all the learning activities in the hall. They were truly a great reflection of independent learning at its very best.
Welcome back to the second half of our autumn term. We hope you have all had a lovely holiday with your children, who've all ‘bounced’ back into school ready to learn. Once again, Parents’ Day ran very smoothly and the teachers have asked me to thank you for all your support and encouragement. Days like this enable us all to work together to provide the children with every opportunity to shine.
On Tuesday we were treated to a slice of Shakespeare as our Year 5 children performed a section of Hamlet. I’m sure if you were able to share this, then like ourselves, you will have been incredibly impressed with the children’s performance. The ease at which they delivered their lines, with such great passion, was thrilling to see. The atmosphere they created was eerie and tense. If you want to see more, they will be performing at our Curriculum Evening next week. On Thursday Year 3 and 5 settled into class and watched a live streaming of Hamlet, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
To complete the week Joseph and Isabel welcomed the head boy and head girl from St Peter's this morning to receive the pilgrim statue. They all shared a liturgy together and then placed the statue in the worship area. This afternoon the rest of the school then made their own pilgrimage into the hall, led by Year 6, to welcome the statue. We are now looking forward to a week of prayer and liturgy when we can all consider Pope Francis' call to live lives full of mercy.
On Friday our school choir joined with Heyhouses Community Choir to entertain a packed church. The whole evening was delightful and gave our children the opportunity to be part of a real concert! Talking to many of the children on Monday it was clear that they all enjoyed the opportunity and it has given them a thirst to do more!
It was lovely to see so many families in church supporting the children, and we managed to raise a spectacular £440.40, which has been donated to Brian House; such a worthy cause. Thank you for being so generous and helping us to live out our charitable mission. I know Brian House will appreciate every penny.
Next Wednesday we arrive at the end of our first half-term and what a lovely seven weeks it has been! The children have all grown into their new roles and each class has been immersed in learning and exploring new concepts. Many classes have managed to visit new places to enhance their curriculum and the children have truly benefited from these experiences; I think that the parents who accompanied classes have also enjoyed the trips!
On Tuesday our Year 3 children shared their scientific research with us during their assembly. They spoke with knowledge and authority, giving us all an insight into their study of birds. Who knew there were so many species?! Year 3 even dug up several parts of the field in the name of science! Thank you children for speaking out with confidence.
We are hurdling towards half-term, and I have to say, enthusiasm and hard work are apparent in all areas of the school life as children are striving to reach those challenging targets. Our Year 6 children have been focused on achieving new skills through the IXL program, which is proving tricky at times but then, they are certainly up for that challenge!
On Tuesday I was invited into Year 5 to experience 'Hamlet in 20 minutes'! After surviving the many eventful deaths and the turmoil of deceit and subterfuge, I was overwhelmed by the confident delivery of Shakespeare’s language and the emotive use of body shape. I hope you can all manage to experience this first hand at our Curriculum Evening on 17th November; a date to put in your diary.