Newsletter 11th December 2023

Mr J Molyneux
Headteacher

Monday 11th December 2023

 

 

Our Prayer for the Week

The second week of Advent

 Merciful God,

You sent John the Baptist to preach repentance.

Forgive us for the time when we have done wrong,

When we have hurt other people and damaged our earth.

Lead us to make a change to live differently,

preparing a way and making your paths straight.

Amen

Weekly News and Updates from the Headteacher

Advent 2023

Advent is well underway here in school. Fr. Chris was in school on Monday afternoon and blessed each class’s Advent Wreath. These are lit each day when we spend some time in prayer together. This week, the focus is on repentance and preparing ourselves to be ready to receive Christ into our hearts this Christmas. Our KS2 children will attend a simple Penitential Service followed by an opportunity for the children who have already received the Sacrament of Reconciliation to go to confession. This will not be available to our Y3 children as they have only recently received the sacrament of reconciliation and went to confession for the first time just over a week ago.

Running alongside our Advent liturgies are the preparations for Christmas. The trees and decorations are up around school, we had our Christmas Jumper Day last Thursday and have already had our Christmas lunch.

This week, our Foundation Stage and KS1 children will be presenting their Nativities on Wednesday and Thursday. In the meantime, KS2 children are continuing to rehearse for their Carol Service which will take place next week.  The week will end with our classroom Christmas Parties on Friday afternoon. It is very much beginning to look a lot like Christmas now!

Don’t be late through the gate!

The dark and wet (and more recently very frosty and icy) mornings that we experience each year in the winter months don’t make it easy for families to keep to their busy morning schedules, but nevertheless, it is vital that we all do keep to these routines, even if we are feeling tired as we near the end of term.

The school gates open at 8.40am and we expect everyone in class ready to start learning at 8.50am. The number of children arriving late each morning has significantly increased over the last few weeks. Our children don’t like being late for school and often feel quite self-conscious about walking into a classroom where their friends have already started learning.

Also, we have a number of interventions taking place every morning between 8.50am and 9.00am, such as Daily Readers, one-to-one spelling, speedy sounds (Phonics), Reading Plus to name just four bespoke opportunities that the teaching staff know will make a big difference to some of the children in their class. Sadly, it is often the children who need these most who are late into school. We want every child to reach their true potential and we intend to do whatever it takes to get them where they need to be. We also need parents to help us with this by getting your child to school on time every day. Every minute of learning is vital.

Leave of Absence during term time

Following on from my comments in the paragraph above regarding every minute of learning being vital, this is why I urge all parents not to apply for leave of absence during term time unless for exceptional circumstances. Please consider the impact taking time away from school has on your child.

For example, if a KS1 child is taken out of school for two weeks (and I have recently had requests for this… and longer!) they will miss out on: 10 Phonics Sessions, 10 daily English lessons, 10 daily Maths lessons, 6 intensely focused teacher led small-group guided reading sessions, 4 PE lessons, 2 RE lessons, 2 Science lessons, 2 History/Geography lessons, 2 Art/DT lessons, 2 Music lessons, the opportunity to take home and read 2 reading books and 10 days of time away from their peers with whom they are forming strong working and social relationships with.

Often it is the personal relationships element that many children struggle with when they return after an absence of two weeks as their peers have moved on in the friendships with others and the child who was absent finds it challenging to re-establish themselves back in the classroom and social groups at playtimes and lunchtimes.

It is impossible to replicate the offer we provide each child with via online learning or worksheets sent home. We all know this only too well after the Covid lockdowns – the like of which we all hope never to see again. It is also impossible for two weeks of lost learning to be caught up when a child returns to school.

We will always support any pupil who has had time away from school due to unforeseen illness, but when parents choose to take a holiday during term, please do not be offended when school take the decision not to send work home either prior to or after your child being taken out of school.

Final Celebration Assembly for this term is on Friday 15th December at 9.00am

One of the highlights of our week is being able to gather together in the KS2 Hall for our Celebration Assembly. As December is a very busy month with lots happening in school, we have changed the time of the celebration assemblies. This means that this week’s Celebration Assembly will be held at 9am. The list of names of children receiving rewards still feature on the newsletter but the assembly will be at the earlier time of 9am.

 

As always, I thank you for your continued support. Mr. Molyneux

Awards

 

Virtues Award

The following children have demonstrated in school that they are living by this virtue and have been recognised by their class teacher. Parents of children who win the virtue award are invited into school to watch the Celebration Assembly on Friday 15th December at 9am

RG: Aleeza

RS: Joseph A

1T: Elena

1/2T: Skaiste

2B: Malachi

3CD:Liliana

3/4MT: Lavanya

4B: Anabel

5C: Saira

5/6C: Amelia G

6B: Lorenzo

 

Headteacher Recognition Award

The following children have been chosen by their teacher to receive a personalised letter from our Headteacher, Mr Molyneux .  Parents of children who win the Headteacher award are invited into school to watch the Celebration Assembly on Friday 15th December at 9am.

RG:  Devanshi

RS: Aniqa

1T: Aiden

1/2T: Izza

2B: Haroon

3CD: Nikodem

3/4MT:  Julia

4B: Sebastian Bi

5C: Ali

5/6C: Jewel M

6B: Julia

 

Handwriting Award  

Our star handwriters for the last week were:

RG: Henry

RS: Manasseh

1T: Arman

1/2T: Freddy

2B:Oliwia

3CD: Michal

3/4MT: Floyd

4B: Iqra

5C: AIra
5/6C: Jasmine

6B: Alexandra
Class Attendance Award

Class  3/ 4MT  was the last week of terms attendance winner with 98.71%. This class will get to spin the wheel.

RG: 91.58%

RS: 97.89%

1T: 95.67%

1/2T: 96.67%

2B: 95.33%

3CD: 94.00%

3/4MT: 98.71%

4B: 95.67%

5C: 89.03%

5/6C: 95.33%

6B: 97.59%

Diary Dates

Monday 11th December – Year 3 Christmas Sporting challenge at St Wilfrid’s
Wednesday 13th December – 10am Reception Nativity performance
Wednesday 13th December – Years 1 and 2 Nativity performance 2.15pm
Thursday 14th December – Years 1 and 2 Nativity performance 9.30am
Thursday 14th December Reception Nativity performance 2.15pm
Friday 15th December – Christmas Party afternoon.- – NON UNIFORM
Monday 18th December – KS2 Carol Service 2.15pm
Tuesday 19th December – last day of term, school closes at 3.15pm

Safeguarding Updates

Resource for 9-13 Year Olds – Tell Someone You Trust

This is a short, animated video which was released at the end of 2015 in 21 languages to inform children aged 9-13 about sexual violence committed in the circle of trust and how to speak against it. Although the resource isn’t specifically online safety, it can be used as part of a wider talk with children including online aspects. You can find the video in all 21 languages HERE.

WhatsApp – Locked Chats

Did you know that you can hide conversations and lock them away in WhatsApp? This was a feature introduced in May 2023 and was easy to spot (if you knew how), but WhatsApp have updated the feature which makes it much more difficult to find. In the original update you had to swipe down in the ‘Chats’ window to see locked chats, then input a code, fingerprint or Face ID to unlock (see THIS 1-minute video on YouTube). However, this meant that other people (parents, teachers, partners) would be able to see that you have got locked chats, even if you can’t see the content. WhatsApp have just updated this (being rolled out worldwide from the beginning of December) and locked chats can now only be viewed by entering a secret code into the search bar, meaning that you will not be able to tell if there are any locked chats without knowing the code which WhatsApp briefly explains HERE.

 

General Updates

After School Clubs

This week is the LAST week for all After School clubs (except Melodica). A new list of After school clubs will be launched later this week for next half term so please look out for this on dojo. As usual places will be limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. As advertised at the beginning of term, the Christmas Crafts for PTA afterschool club (For years 4 – 6) will NOT be on this week as the Christmas Fair preparations have now finished.

Christmas Nativities – Reception, Year 1 and 2 – 13th and 14th December

As advertised on Class Dojo, please ensure you book your tickets for the Nativity plays for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 only.
You will be able to book x2 tickets per child per day ONLY. Tickets are FREE. Please book your tickets by the end of the day TODAY.
We will hold a raffle on the day so please bring cash if you would like to enter. By entering the raffle it allows school to keep the cost of the nativity free and helps raise funds for school equipment.
Please visit the link to book – www.ticketsource.co.uk/staustinsDoors will open 15 minutes before the showing, please make sure that you have your tickets available on the day (with the QR code) and arrive on time. Entry may be refused if you show up late.
For health and safety reasons you will only be able to enter the show if you have booked a ticket.

Christmas Parties – Friday 15th December

Each class will have a Christmas Party in the afternoon on Friday 15th December (during the school day). Children are invited to wear NON UNIFORM on this day. Children will still be playing out at breaktimes, so please ensure clothing is suitable for the weather. No heeled shoes or strappy tops please.

 

Attendance

If your child is absent from school please call and leave a message on the answer machine or send a Dojo to Contact Office BEFORE 9am. The registers are a safeguarding measure we have in place and every child must be accounted for. Office staff should not have to call parents to request a reason for absence, this can delay other important duties from being fulfilled by having to chase parents for this information.

PTA News

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who attended and contributed to this years Christmas Fair. The event was a great success and enjoyed by all. The fair managed to raise a staggering £1467.64! This money will be added to PTA funds and will be used to directly benefit children in school.

A special thank you must be given to our very hardworking and dedicated team of parents on the PTA. They have worked so hard preparing for this event and giving up their own time and resources. We have welcomed some new members as well!

Thank you also to our wonderful staff who gave up their own time to help make the fair a success!

Finally thank you to all of you, our very own school community for donating items for the toy stall, bottle and gift tombola, chocolates for the chocolate tombola and cakes and freshly prepared Asian food for the refreshments stall.  Thank you!

                                                       

Extra-Curricular Activities

If your child in involved in clubs or sports teams outside of school and you would like your child’s efforts to be recognized by our school community, please email a brief description and a photo to: admin@sa.bkcat.co.uk.

 

 

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