Please can I remind you that all teachers have a list of adults who you have entrusted to collect your child from school. If you would like to amend these names, please make sure that you speak to the class teacher to ensure that records are kept up to date.
It is school policy to only allow these named adults to collect your child on your behalf. If there is ever an occasion when you need another adult to collect your child, please can you inform school by talking with the teacher in the morning or letting the school office know before 3pm.
Some of our upper KS2 children are given permission to walk home. Please can you make sure you confirm this in writing; again to ensure that records are kept up to date.
Over the past year we have seen a growing number of parents waiting outside the school grounds with dogs or in cars. Please could you ensure that someone from your named adults list collects your child at the end of the day. If you are allowing another parent to escort your child to the school gates, where you are waiting, please make sure this parent is on your list.
These protocols are in place to safeguard all the children and your continuing support is greatly valued.
I hope you've all enjoyed a lovely Easter with your families; all the staff have had a well-deserved rest and have arrived back at school ready for the new term. The children too have bounced back into school and are clearly ready for their new challenges! On Tuesday we gathered together to rejoice in the Easter message and share Jesus' good news, which we will all attempt to spread over the coming weeks. Many of the children have been sharing their holiday experiences with me and clearly there were a lot of holy families over Easter! Not to mention plenty of chocolate enjoyed afterwards!
This week has been one of welcomes and 'au revoirs' - Mrs Neves, our new Teaching Assistant has joined our team in KS1 and we are delighted to have her working with us. Today, Mrs Moore has commenced her maternity leave and our thoughts and prayers go with her for the safe delivery of her new baby.
This week we commenced the second part of the programme as the children are slowly preparing to receive the Eucharist for the first time. All catechists said that the children returned back to the programme with great enthusiasm and again shared their many thoughts and questions.
I'm sure everyone has been been deeply affected by the children’s portrayal of the events of our Holy week in school. Each morning we've been moved as the children have interpreted, with great sensitivity, each stage of Jesus' journey towards the Cross and then His Resurrection. We began with our Year 2 children sharing the excitement of Palm Sunday which really illustrated the joy felt by the crowds. Following which we celebrated the solemnity of the Last Supper with Year 3. From there we experienced a sense of anguish and loneliness in the Garden of Gethsemane with Year 4, who powerfully demonstrated the ability of movement to evoke an emotional response. We then shared the agony of the Crucifixion with Year 5 as they told the story through moving drama. Today we had a wonderful sense of being the Easter People with Year 6 as they shared the truth of the Resurrection in such a reflective, mature way; it was deeply thought-provoking and reminded us all of our responsibility to serve and take the Good News of Jesus to everyone. It is hard to believe that children so young can teach us so much through their heartfelt portrayal of Jesus' Passion and Resurrection even, in the case of our older children, writing their own words. Each step on the journey has been so movingly depicted by each class, with great creativity. At special times like these we are all asked to reflect and challenge ourselves; the children have definitely asked us to do so and sharing these moments as a community gives me such joy and also confirmation that together we are growing and making a difference.
We've reached Holy week in School and tomorrow our Year 2 children will be sharing their depiction of Palm Sunday with us. This is a time of joyful celebration but also a time when we all think ahead to events which will follow.
Our journey through Holy Week will then continue next week as our Year 3 children will share the Last Supper on Monday at 9:15am. This will be followed by Year 4 with their depiction of Jesus and disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane on Tuesday; Year 5 will then take us on the sombre lonely journey of desolation that is the Crucifixion on Wednesday and finally on Thursday, our last day of term, Year 6 will lead us joyfully into the glory of the Resurrection. Parents and families are very welcome; all our Assemblies will begin at 9:15am.
Already we are beginning to amass a large display of Easter Eggs; thank you so much. Every year as you know, we collect donated Easter Eggs for our much awaited annual Charity event; proceeds this year will go again to our local children’s hospice, Brian House. If you haven't yet managed to send in an egg yet, please do for this worthwhile cause.
As we approach the journey we make together through Holy Week we are all reminded of the journey Christ made. This is always such a special time in school when the children and staff contemplate the sacrifice Jesus made: "No greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends".
All classes are busy preparing for their assemblies which commence on Friday 31st March at 9:15am with our Year 2 children sharing their depiction of Palm Sunday. Following this on Monday our Year 3 children will be celebrating The Last Supper and on Tuesday our Year 4 children will be sharing the turmoil of the Garden of Gethsemane. The week will then continue with Year 5 depicting the despair of The Crucifixion and Year 6 will finally share God's promise for eternal life with us all on Thursday 6th April, our last day of term. You are all most welcome to join us.
Today was our last Mass in School for Lent and it was lovely to see so many of you there. I need to say a thank you to all the children who have shared the mass and give a special mention to our Year 6 children who have joined us every week, giving up their time to make a commitment to their developing faith; it really has been a joy to see and hopefully other year groups will follow their example next year.
“Forgiveness is surely the greatest gift we can give to others because it is the most costly. Yet at the same time, it is what makes us most like God.”
This time of the year always makes us stand back and reflect on our own lives. It is a time of prayer and fasting as we try to be the people God wants us to be. In school we are supporting children as they go on their own journeys trying to find those moments of stillness which help us all to open ourselves to prayer and essentially God’s love. Our early morning masses have been so well attended and our Year 6 children have made a special effort as almost two thirds of them have attended each week, playing an active role, altar serving, reading and bringing the gifts to the altar. This morning Father Peter reminded us of the prayer of St Patrick which you can read for yourselves here.
Last night our children made their first Confession, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation for their First Holy Communion in May. It was such a beautiful service and it was lovely to see so many of the children overcoming their initial nerves to almost skip back from the altar; touched by the forgiveness of Christ. Their beaming smiles were truly a sign of God’s pure love. It was also great to see some parents using their newly learnt sign language; thank you! Please remember the children in your prayers - this is such a special time for these children and their families.
Learning has continued to blossom and throughout school the joy of reading has been visible within classrooms and in the corners of the playground. The Book Fair has energised children to choose new books, discuss plots and explore characters. Thank you for supporting this event; we will let you know next week how much we have raised to spend on books! This valuable skill of reading is one which can transport us to lands near and far and importantly, unlocks the door to many other areas of learning. I am sure you have experienced many magic moments at home together as you have found yourselves lost in a book! If you haven’t yet visited the book fair there is still time after school on Monday evening to get a last minute bargain.
Exciting news on the book front! Our Scholastic Book Fair arrives in town tomorrow and we will be running it in the Hall from 3:30 onwards. It will be open during Parents' Evening too which will give you chance to browse and find that perfect read. Hopefully there will be something for everyone.
We're running the Fair on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday, straight after school and will be there until 4 o'clockish, depending on demand. As we are in the process of looking at our library again, we would love to make some commission at the Fair which could be spent on books to add to the library shelves.
Next term, we are hoping to replace our whole school reading scheme; never a cheap process! As part of this we are hoping to organise a Book Aid scheme whereby we create a wish list of all the books class teachers and assistants feel would be of benefit to the children in the hope that when old pupils, visitors and friends wanted to make a gift to school, they might choose a book on the list, buy it and donate to school and we'd insert a bookplate with the donor's name on. We so want to make our library a really inviting place with a great selection of exciting, inspiring books - the love of reading is a priceless, lifelong gift and it can change lives!