Newsletter 18th December 2023

Mr J Molyneux
Headteacher

Monday 18th December 2023

 

 

Our Prayer for the Week

The third week of Advent

 

O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

Weekly News and Updates from the Headteacher

Christmas is fast approaching now. This time next week it will be Christmas Day. Last week our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One children impressed us with their amazing Nativity plays. Foundation Stage gave two brilliant performances of ‘Wriggly Nativity.’ The acting was superb, the children sang beautifully and the dancing sheep made us all smile. The Christmas story was told so well and I am sure the children will remember their first Nativity play for many years to come.

Our Key Stage 1 classes gave us two equally brilliant performances of ‘A King is born.’ The Christmas story was narrated with great clarity and acted out in a moving and meaningful way. The singing was tremendous and the look of happiness on all the children’s faces made me a very proud Headteacher. My thanks go to the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One staff who made all of this possible. Thank you also to the parents who were able to join us for these performances.

Over the next two days, the children in Key Stage 2 will gather together for a simple Advent Carol Service, the whole school will celebrate Mass together as we bring the Advent season to a close and then we will finish with our Christmas Assembly of readings, carols and Christmas songs.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the staff of St. Austin’s who have made our Advent and Christmas preparations so special this year.

Tomorrow at 3.15pm, school will close to all pupils for the Christmas holiday. This marks the end of the Autumn Term. The Autumn Term is always the longest of the three terms in the school calendar – 71 working days to be precise! There is so much to be proud of, including the Ofsted report which was issued following our inspection back in October.

I am immensely proud of everyone at St. Austin’s and feel very privileged to be the Headteacher of this wonderful school. The staff work so hard to provide the children with the very best learning opportunities, personalising the learning so that each child can reach their true potential. Your amazing children are our inspiration – they are polite, well mannered, always smiling, eager to please and keen to learn. Your ongoing support is always appreciated and your feedback will always be acted upon.

We began the school year by trialing a new venture – the Breakfast Club. This has been a great success and as you will have seen from the Dojo post last Friday, from the 4th January 2024 we will be opening at the earlier time of 7.40am and the club will be operational for the remainder of the school year. This came about through a discussion with the five parents who attended the Autumn Term Parent Forum Meeting.  As you can see, great things can and will come out of these meetings. I urge more parents to get involved with this next term and to give you plenty of notice, the date of the next meeting is Wednesday 21st February.

The children finish for their Christmas break tomorrow afternoon, but the staff will be in school on Wednesday for in service training. We will then be taking a well-earned break with our families, as I hope all of our school community will be doing. We return on Thursday 4th January, ready and refreshed to begin the Spring Term together.

As always, you have been incredibly generous with your kind gifts and Christmas cards. These are never expected, but your kindness and generosity are much appreciated.

From everyone at St. Austin’s – our Academy Council, Management Team, Admin Staff, Teaching Staff and Teaching Assistants – we wish all our families a very Happy and holy Christmas.

For those families who wish to attend Mass on Christmas Eve / Christmas Day, here are the times of Masses in our parishes.

 

St. Austin’s / English Martyrs Churches

Sunday 24th December

6.00pm (Vigil of Christmas) at St. Austin’s Church

10.15pm Carols, 11.00pm (Mass during the night) at St. Austin’s Church

Monday 25th December

9.30am Christmas Day Mass at English Martyrs Church

10.30am Christmas Day Mass at St. Austin’s Church

SS Peter and Paul’s Church

Sunday 24th December

5.00pm Vigil Mass of Christmas

7.30pm Mass during the night

Monday 25th December

10.00am Christmas Day Mass

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds,

and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,

and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,

and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven,

for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

–Robert Louis Stevenson

And from me personally, I thank you for your continued support. I wish you and your families and very Happy Christmas.

Mr. Molyneux

 

Awards

There are no awards this week. Awards will re commence week commencing 8th January.

Class Attendance Award

Class  3CD  was the last week of terms attendance winner with 99.00%. This class will get to spin the wheel after the half term break.

RG: 89.47%

RS: 88.95%

1T: 88.67%

1/2T: 90.33

2B: 96.33%

3CD: 99.00%

3/4MT: 97.74%

4B: 95.35%

5C: 93.64%

5/6C: 94.67%

6B: 96.96%

Diary Dates

Monday 18th December – KS2 Carol Service 2.15pm – ticket entrance only
Tuesday 19th December – last day of term, school closes at 3.15pm
Thursday 4th January – School re opens after the Christmas break.
Friday 2nd February – NSPCC Numbers Day

Safeguarding Updates

Little Digital Helps Toolkit

This is a really useful toolkit for parents/carers who may be unsure about what parental features are available on their children’s devices. Put together by Internet Matters and Tesco it takes around 8 minutes to answer a few questions and then receive a tailored toolkit. All details about the toolkit can be found HERE.

For Parents – Roblox Checklist 2023

With Xmas just around the corner this is a useful resource to share with parents, particularly as Roblox is one of the most popular games out there.
Roblox and SWGfL have collaborated together and created a checklist for parents which includes:

  • How to report abuse.
  • How to block users.
  • Setting up a parent control pin.
  • And more.

The resource can be downloaded HERE.

General Updates

After School Clubs

After School Clubs for next half term are NOW OPEN! The following after school clubs are available to book now via your child’s School Money account by visiting www.eduspot.co.uk
Afterschool clubs will begin during week commencing 8th January 2024 (this is the second week back) and will end in the week commencing 5th February. Each club is charged at £2 per session – total £10.00 for 5 weeks.
Mondays – Film Club Years 1 and 2
Mondays – Creativity Club – Years 3, 4, 5 & 6
Wednesdays – Handball Club with Elite coach – Years 3,4,5 &6
Thursdays – Mini Games club with Elite coaches – Years 1 & 2
Thursdays – Film Club Years 3, 4, 5 & 6
Fridays – Choir – Years 3,4 ,5 & 6

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Uniform

There does continue to be variances from the  standard school uniform that are seen across school. Staff will be monitoring children’s uniform more closely after the half term break and will approach parents where children are repeatedly failing to meet the uniform requirements.

A reminder of what does constitute a correct  winter uniform:

  • Grey trousers, green skirt or green pinafore
  • White collared shirt (NOT polo shirt) with a school tie
  • Green jumper or cardigan
  • Black school shoes
  • Grey socks with trousers, white or green socks with a skirt or green tights
  • PE kit is  PLAIN black jogging bottoms, with a plain black jumper / hoody and a white plain polo shirt
  • Plain Stud earrings only (no hoops)
  • Subtle school coloured hair accessories (no oversized bows, clips, headbands).

Common incorrect uniform items that are seen and will be questioned include:

  • trainers instead of school shoes – Plain black sensible school shoes only please with no high heel
  • Sports clothes instead of PE kit – PE days are not non uniform days. The PE kit is a plain black jogging bottom, a plain white polo t shirt and plain black hoody or jumper. PE kits should be purchased from the same stores as uniform, namely,  the uniform section of supermarkets such as Asda and  Sainsbury’s; the uniform section of Marks and Spencers, Matalan  and Primark etc.
  • No tie – the tie is an essential part of the uniform and should be worn every day (with a winter uniform). Ties can be purchased via your child’s School Money account for £3.50. Place your order and pay online and the tie will be delivered to your child’s class the next working day.
  • Hair accessories – such as unicorn headbands or colourful character hair bobbles. Long hair should be tied up in a sensible ponytail or plait. Hair accessories should be plain (black, brown or school colours, green).
  • Earrings and jewellery – for health and safety children should not wear jewellery to school.  A simple plain stud earring is permitted on non PE days. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, smart watches are not permitted.
  • Polo t shirt instead of a white collared shirt. Polo shirts should only be worn for PE.

 

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

The winner of the giant teddy at the Christmas Fair was Joshua (class 5 C) who guessed  correctly that the teddy’s name was Cookie.

The winner of the cake was Thandi (Class 5/ 6C) who correctly chose the weight of the cake to be 2.6kg.

                                                     

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.

Chloe (class 2B) was awarded the highest award at her Rainbow’s club, the gold award!

She has completed all the 16 theme badges and will be able to start Brownies after Christmas.  Well done Chloe!

Well done to Niamh , she has completed her grading for her red belt at karate and also got her 100m badge at swimming.

Jacob played for his football team Wakefield city juniors and he scored three goals and his team won 8-3.  Well done!

 

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