Newsletter 25th September 2023

Mr J Molyneux
Headteacher

Monday 25th September 2023

 

 

Our Prayer for the Week

Wednesday 27th September is the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul. Many parishes have a St. Vincent de Paul Group (SVP). The group work to understand, support and empower those they serve with love, compassion and kindness. They exist to support anyone in need and seek to help them in whatever way they can. Our school has a younger version of this group known as the Mini Vinnies. This group meet regularly to live out their mission of see, think, do, supporting their school, parish and local community. They turn concern into action by: praying for those in need, making cards for those who may be sick, isolated or lonely, visiting local care homes to share stories with residents, taking part in arts and crafts to share with others, organising food collections for one of our local food banks as well as supporting other children in school.

You might like to pray the Mini Vinnies prayer this week

Dear God, open our eyes that we may see the needs of people.

Move our hands so that we can feed the hungry.

Touch our hearts that they may bring warmth to those who are sad.

Let us share our time and possessions with those in need.

May we all be a source of support and encouragement for each other as we strive to build a more loving world. Amen

 

 

Weekly News and Updates from the Headteacher

Last week we welcomed our Literacy Specialist Teacher from the Jerry Clay English Hub into school. We are very fortunate to be able to work with the English Hub for a second year. The Literacy Specialist Teacher observed our Phonics and Reading Groups in Foundation Stage and Years 1 and 2. They were impressed with what they saw and recognised that we have got off to a strong start. They have also helped us to make our provision even stronger.

This week, we will be having a Safeguarding and Behaviour Review led by Mr. Barraclough, our Trust Director of Standards – Primary Schools. This is a routine review that all BKCAT Primary Schools will experience on an annual basis and will ensure that our Safeguarding procedures and practices are robust and behaviour management systems across school are strong.

Wednesday is set to be a busy day here in school. We will be welcoming the BKCAT Standards Committee into school. They are holding their termly meeting at our school and I am looking forward to giving them a tour of our school so that they can see our children at work.

Also on Wednesday morning is the first of our Parent Coffee Mornings. This is an opportunity for parents/carers to come into school for an hour (9am – 10am) to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and speak to our visitors we have arranged to attend. TAS (Teams Around School) staff from the Stanley Family Hub will be joining us to advertise the excellent work they do and opportunities they offer children and families.

Also on Wednesday, some of our Y5 and Y6 girls will be taking part in a football tournament at St. Wilfrid’s. Good luck girls. Remember to use the Lionesses as your inspiration! My thanks to Miss Balmond and Mr. Laurie for preparing the children for this event.

Calendar of Events – 2023-2024

In last week’s newsletter I wrote about two of my priorities for the year ahead: Phonics and Early Reading and to further improve the partnership between parents and the school. Another of my priorities is to keep parents better informed of what is going on in school. Last week, we shared our calendar of events for 2023-2024 via Class Dojo. Thank you for the positive comments. I hope you find this calendar useful and having information about future events well in advance will enable you to plan ahead and ensure you can be with us at various times during the school year.

Parent Forum

Just a reminder that any parent/carer of children currently at St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School is welcome to join our first meeting for this school year on Friday 29th September at 1.45pm in school for about an hour.

At the meeting we can discuss anything related to improving the school and further developing the partnership between the school and parents.  The meeting will be informal and an opportunity for an open discussion. I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

School outdoor play equipment

Please can I ask all parents to keep children off our outdoor play equipment at the end of the school day. The children do get the opportunity to use this during the school day under supervision. I am not being a killjoy here; I just want everyone to be safe in our school grounds.

Dogs

Please can I ask parents not to bring dogs into the school grounds. Dogs are only allowed on school premises for educational purposes or with pupils, staff or members of the public as a registered service dog. I completely understand that dogs are an important part of family life for many in the school community, and as such are often included in day-to-day activities such as walking children to and from school. However, others may find the presence of dogs in the playground and school grounds stressful, even frightening particularly with younger children, and even well behaved dogs can behave unpredictably when placed in a busy, noisy and crowded environment. As you all know only too well, my most important and significant priority is the safeguarding of your children and my staff. Thank you for adhering to this request.

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 29th September at 2.45pm.

RG: Ruqayya

RS: Zola

1T: Joshua

1/2T: Matida

2B: Ayaan

3CD: Michal

3/4MT: Joshua- Lee

4B: Lilly

5C: Joshua F

5/6C: Amelia

6B: Isabel

 

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 29th September at 2.45pm.

RG: Emevejevoke

RS: Iqbal

1T: Chris

1/2T: Nathaniel

2B: Priscilla

3CD: Ralph

3/4MT: Bendeguz

4B: Joshua K

5C: Lakshmi

5/6C: Leo

6B: Emily

 

Handwriting Award  

Our star handwriters for the last week were:

RG: Immaculate

RS: Evaan

1T: Iza

1/2T: Zoe

2B: Nicolas

3CD: Anna

3/4MT: Phebe

4B: Sara

5C: Maja TG

5/6C: Antoni

6B: Amina

Class Attendance Award

Classes 1T and 2B  were the last weeks attendance winners with 99.33%. These classes will get to spin the wheel.

RS: 93.68%

RG: 98.95%

1T: 99.33%

1/2T: 92.91%

2B: 99.33%

3CD: 97.18%

3/4MT: 97.33%

4B: 95.00%

5C: 97.41%

5/6C: 96.67%

6B: 97.65%

Diary Dates
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

Updated Supervision Features for FB Messenger and Instagram

In June 2023 Meta rolled out some new parental features for FB Messenger and Instagram. As of 30th August these updates are now available globally.Specific updates for Messenger:
  • View how much time the child spends on the app.
  • Updates on their contact list.
  • Notification if the child reports someone.
  • View who can message their child.
  • View who can see their child’s stories.
Specific updates for Instagram:
  • Before being able to message someone who doesn’t follow them, people must now send a text only invite to connect (in other words, no more unwanted explicit photos from people you don’t follow). No further interaction can take place unless the recipient accepts the invite.

In all these are quite positive steps, there is further information HERE.

Discord Family Center

Discord used to be popular with gamers, now it’s hugely popular amongst non-gamers too. Historically Discord has been very lax regarding features that are available for parents to help keep their children safe, but this has recently changed, albeit the changes are a minuscule step in the right direction, at least it’s something.Essentially, like many other apps, Discord now has a Family Center. Once set up parents can see:
  • What servers (chat rooms) their children have joined or participated in.
  • Everyone they’ve messaged.
  • New users they’ve connected with.

You can read more about these functions and limitations HERE, and THIS page will show parents how to set up Family Center.

General Updates

Dolce

If your child has paid school meals and is in Years 3 to 6 , parents must ensure that their child’s school meal account is in credit BEFORE ordering a meal. If your account is in payment arrears, your child’s order will NOT be submitted to the school kitchen despite them making their selection in the classroom because there are insufficent funds on your child’s account. As school meals are prepared to order only to avoid food wastage, this can cause significant issues for kitchen staff and may result in your child not being offered the meal they would have chosen.  Last week a total of 44 meals were not preordered, which is exceptionally high for kitchen staff to have to react to once lunchtime has started. We would politely request that  you do ensure your child’s school meal account is paid before ordering. If you are experiencing financial hardship , please do speak to the school office in confidence; staff may be able to assist you with a free school meals application to the local authority. Alternatively, you could use this link to complete the form directly or contact Citizen’s Advice for money advice.

https://forms.wakefield.gov.uk/Forms/schools/freeschoolmeals.aspx

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/

Dolce staff have further requested that parents who pre order meals from home for their children do discuss the orders they are placing with their child. Occasionally a child will state they do not like the food choice that has been selected for them. As meals are cooked to order, it is not possible to offer children multiple alternatives.

 

School Council

The results of the school council votes will be announced to classes early this week. There were some fantastic speeches and children thoroughly enjoyed participating in voting. We know they are eager to hear the results!

Asthma and Inhalers in School

This is a polite reminder that it is the parents responsibility to ensure that the inhaler that you provide school with is in date. When providing school with this medication, make a note for yourself and create a reminder to ensure you supply school with a new one before the expiry date please.

Attendance

Wakefield schools work together with the Education Welfare Service to promote and improve school attendance. Wakefield as a whole would like to aim for 100% attendance. The local authorities vision for attendance across our district is:

‘Every child has a right to an education, and for the vast majority this education should take place within our schools. We and our partners are fully committed to this. Together, we will initiate and forge a cultural shift within our families, schools, communities and services to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for the attendance of Wakefield’s children. We will jointly aim for 100%. No excuses.’

The local authority has produced a quick guide for parents, carers and schools. Please use the link below to familiarise yourself with the Wakefield Attendance Strategy.

https://securefile.cloud/MTg2MTI/schoolattendancestrategy-summaryleaflet.pdf

PTA News

The first  PTA meeting of the new academic year took place last Friday and we welcomed a new member to our PTA team. Ideally we would love parent representation from every class in school so that ideas can be heard for all year groups as to what events take place but also how raised money is spent in school. The PTA do work hard to arrange fun activities that benefit all children in school, but can only continue to do so with parent helper support.

The next PTA events will be the Children in Need disco on Friday 17th November and the Christmas Fair on Friday 8th December. If you would like to help out at either of these events, even if you cannot attend meetings or planning preparation but can help out on the day on a stall, please get in touch via Contact Office on Class Dojo.

 

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

Miles, class  3/4MT achieved his 10 meters Breaststroke in swimming and took part in a super seminar at his Martial Arts school to work towards improving elements of his technique. Well done Miles!

 

 

 

 

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