Newsletter 18th September 2023

Mr J Molyneux
Headteacher

Monday 18th September 2023

 

 

Our Prayer for the Week

During the month of September, we are invited to pray with Pope Francis for people living on the margins of society, in inhumane conditions; may they not be overlooked by institutions and may they never be considered of lesser importance.

All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognise that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

 

 

Weekly News and Updates from the Headteacher

Foundation Stage – Class of 2023-2024

Our new Foundation Stage children completed their first full week with us last week. We held our welcome assembly with them on Wednesday morning and they also attended our weekly Celebration Assembly on Friday afternoon. Their behaviour was amazing. I am looking forward to getting to know them and will be dropping in to their classrooms on a regular basis this term.

Phonics and Early Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

In Foundation Stage and KS1 classrooms the working day begins with our Phonics and Reading groups. We do this because we want every child at St. Austin’s to be become fluent readers and writers. We try to make sure that nothing gets in the way or prevents the daily phonics and reading groups from happening. Since September 2022 we have been and will continue to be relentless in our pursuit to have every child reading fluently by the time they leave KS1 – ideally sooner if possible. This is why we now have a Phonics and Early Reading Team of 12 staff who are timetable to deliver Phonics or lead a reading group every morning between 9am and 10am. Miss Tickle is our Phonics and Early Reading Leader, and supported by the Jerry Clay English Hub she has responsibility for coordinating our approach, training staff, monitoring pupil progress as well as attending weekly training provided by the Hub so that we remain at the cutting edge of Phonics and Early Reading Development.

As Phonics and Early Reading are my number one priorities, I spend the first hour of most mornings observing these sessions taking place, working with reading groups and providing feedback to Miss Tickle to help her shape future training sessions. Put simply, we take our responsibility to get every child reading fluently as soon as they possibly can very seriously.

Further information on our Phonics programme can be found on our school website.  https://sites.google.com/sa.bkcat.co.uk/st-austins-curriculum/core-subjects/wandle

 

Parent Forum

Another priority of mine this year is to further improve the partnership between parents and the school. One of the ways I intend to do this is through the termly Parent Forum Meetings. These are a valuable way to share ideas, views, concerns and make suggestions for improvement. These meetings will give provide an opportunity for parents to meet with me and have their say on what the school is doing well, and suggest ideas of how things could be improved.

The aims of the Parent Forum will be to:

  • work together to improve the education provided for our children
  • share information, knowledge and skills
  • meet in a mutually supportive environment
  • further improve communications between parents/carers and staff/governors

Any parent/carer of children currently at St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School is welcome to join any parent forum meeting and our first meeting for this school year will be on Friday 29th September at 1.45pm in school for about an hour. Each term the Parent Forum meeting will be held at different times to try to enable as many different parents to attend who wish to.

  • During the Spring Term, the meeting will be held one morning after school drop off.
  • During the Summer Term, the meeting will be held in the evening at 6pm.

At the meetings we can discuss anything related to improving the school and further developing the partnership between the school and parents.  The meetings will be informal and are on opportunity for an open discussion.  It is not the forum to discuss concerns or complaints involving individual children, families or members of staff. These meetings are in addition to the Parent Coffee Mornings that Mr. Laurie is introducing this year to support mental health and wellbeing of our young people and their families.

 

School Uniform:

The vast majority of our parents and children take pride to uphold the school’s name and reputation – this is often seen in how smart our children look each day.  Please keep this up and check our uniform list if you are unsure of what colour or clothes your child should be wearing. https://www.sa.bkcat.co.uk/parents/school-uniform/ Remember to put names in all items of clothing – it is much easier to return if names are available!

When your child has PE, they should attend school in their PE kits. We no longer change for PE during the school day. On days when your child has their PE lesson they MUST wear the following items. We will be contacting parents who do not send their child to school wearing the correct PE uniform.

*Plain dark shorts / black jogging trousers and black jogging top (no logos).

*Plain white polo shirt (no logos)

*Trainers must be worn for all outdoor PE lessons.

Please be reminded of uniform expectations for our school particularly around hair and jewellery.

  • Children may not wear jewellery to school. Anyone with pierced ears should wear one pair of small plain silver or gold stud earrings except on PE days. The Association for Physical Education’s (AfPE) Safe Practice in Physical Education recommends that all jewellery should be removed for PE. No jewellery including clear plastic retainers must be worn on PE days. If children cannot remove their own earrings, this should be done at home on the day of PE. Parents will be contacted if children come in earrings or retainers and cannot remove their own.
  • Make-up or nail varnish is not allowed in school.
  • Long hair should be tied back with either a discreet headband or clips. These should be of a single colour, green or gold, to complement the school uniform. Large headbands and bows are not part of our uniform – please save them for the weekends!
  • Extreme haircuts, hairstyles and hair dye are not allowed.

I will be ensuring that uniform is worn with pride and checking that the correct uniform is being worn on both uniform and PE days.

Have a good week everyone.

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 22nd September at 2.45pm.

RG: Devanshi

RS: Aithen

1T: Mila

1/2T: Anaya

2B: Amelia M

3CD: Kacper

3/4MT: Ethan

4B: Nikita

5C: Eva N

5/6C: Niamh F

6B: Danika

 

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 22nd September at 2.45pm.Customise

RG: Aleeza

RS: Efrain

1T: David T

1/2T: Jandrei

2B: Sumayya

3CD:  Pola

3/4MT: Evelyn

4B: Natan

5C: Emilia G

5/6C: Ramah

6B: Adaam

 

Handwriting Award  

Our star handwriters for the last week were:

RG: Colm

RS: Aniqa

1T: Arman

1/2T: Rosie

2B: Rayyan

3CD: Emmeline

3/4MT: Azaan

4B: Rahima

5C: Maja TG

5/6C: Jasmine

6B: Heizel

Class Attendance Award

Class 6B were the last weeks attendance winners with 99.67%. This class will get to spin the wheel.

RS: 91.58%

RG: 97.85%

1T: 99.32%

1/2T: 94.48%

2B: 99.00%

3CD: 97.14%

3/4MT: 98.33%

4B: 99.00%

5C: 91.29%

5/6C: 97.33%

6B: 99.67%

Diary Dates

Wednesday 20th September – BKCAT boys football tournament at St Wilfrid’s for 10 pupils
Thursday 21st September – Reception ‘Mastering Number’ workshop @ 3:30pm (please register for free)
Wednesday 27th September – BKCAT girls football tournament at St Wilfrid’s for 10 pupils
Wednesday 27th September 9-10am Parent Coffee Morning – Wakefield Teams Around School will be available
Friday 29th September – Parent Forum Meeting 1.45pm
Monday 2nd October – 31st October – Travelling Rosaries out to families
Friday 6th October – Foundation Stage, Years 1 and 2 Harvest Assembly
Friday 13th October – 9 -10am Parent Coffee Morning – Eastmoor Community Centre and Lightwaves will be available for parents to speak to.
Thursday 19th October – Individual and sibling Photographs – Tempest Photography
Thursday 19th October – Last day of term, school closes at 3.15pm
Friday 20th October- INSET DAY School closed
Monday 30th October – School reopens after the half term
Friday 3rd November – 9-10.30am Parent Coffee Morning – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service speaker will be available to discuss ‘Anxiety’

Safeguarding Updates

Children Using AI to Bully Others

Sadly, it had to happen sooner or later. Although reports are currently coming from Australia it stands to reason that this is going to be happening everywhere.The Australian eSafety Commissioner has called on companies to step up protections around generative AI which is being used by children to bully others by creating sexualised images of their peers. Although the report refers to ‘bullying’ I would say it is much more than this. If the person being depicted is a child (AI generated or not) then it is illegal (in the UK).A small number of young people may see this as harmless fun, a laugh, but the trauma to the victim and the consequences to the perpetrator could be significant.
You can read more in THIS news report.

Fake Calculator Apps

Fake calculator apps, or what I prefer to call vault apps, are apps on a device that look like one thing (e.g. a calculator) but are actually something else. They have been around for many years with the calculator app being the most popular as it looks like just an ordinary calculator. The difference here is that you can enter a code and you will be presented with data that you have hidden, e.g. images and videos. 
On occasion you may need to search a device, I have to quite often to search for illegal data. It’s pretty rare to come across a vault app but unless you know what they are you won’t know what to look for.

There’s a good explanation from Qustudio HERE along with a few examples HERE.

General Updates

Class Dojo is a FREE app and is the most important way that school can communicate with parents and parents can communicate with school. The app is completely FREE and parents should not be charged any additional fees to use it. The app does have some ‘add on’ features that can be accessed by upgrading and paying this additional charge, but remember, it is not a requirement and we would not recommend paying this additional charge.

 

Attendance

Within our school over 30 different languages are spoken by our children. We have children originating from a wide variety of countries, many of whom have attended educational settings abroad. Undoubtedly, families will notice differences around how schools operate and in particular with reference to attendance.  As a school we regularly draw parents attention to our Attendance Policy which does highlight our expectations for your child’s attendance. Much of the content of our policy is driven by Government guidelines. Please use this link to further familiarise yourself with school attendance procedures within the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence

PTA News

We are always looking for enthusiastic parents and carers to join the PTA. Our next meeting will be in school this Friday 22nd September at 9am , new parents are encouraged to come along!

 

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

Jacob (class 2B)  played with his football team this weekend , Wakefield Juniors. He was given man of the match and scored two goals helping his team win 7-2! Well done Jacob!

Congratulations to Oliver (Class 1/ 2T) who was baptised at St Austin’s Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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