As promised, this week, we’ll have a quick look at what Years 3-6 have been up to.
For Year’s 5 and 6 it’s been an exciting but tiring week, as they’ve been swimming every morning and will be doing the same next week. This meant empty plates and second helpings, at lunchtime, and one or two tired pupils by home time.
On top of swimming Year 6 found time to write setting descriptions in Language work and explored ratio and loop cards, outside, in Maths. Their new topic this Term is ‘Our Changing World’, and they’ve started by learning about recycling.
For Year 5 the new topic is ‘Out of this World’. This week they have learnt about our Solar System and why the invention of the telescope was so important. They've also started to transform their classroom by creating a space themed display and hanging the planets from the ceiling.
Children in Year 4 have been busy learning about timelines in history and people who help us, in their Come and See RE work. They’ve also been carrying out hand washing experiments!
Finally Year 3 have been learning to recite ‘Stori Dewi Sant’ and listening to the Snowdon Overture by Gareth Glyn. They then had to interpret and reflect on the music in pictures and/or words.
It’s been another busy week and our ‘Criw Cymraeg’ also had time to introduce resources to ensure everyone is ordering their lunch in Welsh. Da iawn pawb.
So, let’s dive head first into the Spring Term with a look around the Foundation Phase classrooms.
Nursery’s new topic is Nursery Rhymes. They made New Years resolution stars, created stars in the Twinkly play dough, sieved the sand for hidden stars, completed dot to dot number constellations, wrote ‘s’ for star on the whiteboards and made stars on the light board.
The new topic in Reception is fairytales and their first story was the Three Little Pigs. They built houses outside for the pigs, created different parts of the story in play dough, stuck the correct materials on labelled houses and wrote key words.
Year 1 took a stroll through the seasons, kept warm with their Hot Chocolate stand, made woolly hats and enjoyed other Winter themed activities. It was a great first week back and the staff were delighted to see the children.
Year 2s new topic is ‘Weather’. They created tally, bar charts and used J2e to create pictograms of their favourite weather. They designed, built and evaluated snow forts made using marshmallows and sticks (They showed great team work) Finally, they researched snowfall in Wales and the amount of snow on Snowdon.
As you can see, children and staff in Foundation Phase have been very busy, already, this term. Next week, we’ll have a look round Key Stage 2.
It should not have ended like this.
Today, we rushed through, as best we could, but much of the ‘CoVID-Christmas plans’ had to be abandoned. This was beyond our control but left us very sad. Of course, as the pictures show, there was still some beautiful craft, cards, Christmas gifts and a final assembly. But it wasn’t enough.
We will see some children next week in our childcare and the rest on Teams. I know that we will all try our best to make it work - parents, pupils and staff. I ask one thing of anyone who happens to be reading this - If someone tries to tell you that we closed because staff wanted a longer holiday, please consider challenging them. I cannot speak for all the education staff in Wales, but I can speak for ours and they would have preferred to carry on, as normal, next week. Mainly, because it’s their job - a job they love and to which they are committed. But also, as anyone who has tried it will tell you, it is far easier to teach (and celebrate Christmas week) with 30 children in your room, than it is to do it with 10 in the room and the other 20 at home!
From myself and all staff, thank you for your gifts and cards. Thank you to the PTA for the ‘Elf Postal Service’. Most importantly, thank you for your continued support. If I do not see you in the next week, I hope you all keep safe and have a joyful Christmas.
Mr J Wilkinson
As we progress through Advent we talked about Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Our preparations are now ‘full steam ahead’ - carols can be heard from every room, the shepherd costumes have been dragged up from the cellar and our Christmas Post Box is full to the brim. It was a strange Christmas Dinner Day, on Thursday, with a temporary team and the absence of familiar faces but there were still many beaming smiles. Thank you to all who cooked, served and cleaned to make sure everyone enjoyed their sprouts safely.
Friday was Christmas Jumper Day and it was fantastic to see the joy that this day brings for many children (and staff). We raised over £135 for Save the Children. There was also the opportunity for Year 1 and 2 families to see some Come and See work, at Friday Coffee, and chat to teachers. Thank you to staff, pupils, PTA and families for making this event a success.
We know that our long journey through advent, following the star, will end with a special baby in a manger. But half way through one special baby has finally arrived home after a long journey. Congratulations to Miss Copp, Tom and Baby Grace.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in school. Our week began with the first candle lit on our Advent Wreath and, in assembly, we talked about ‘getting ready’. We know that the lights and decorations are all just reminders that WE must be ready. We talked about being kind in school and at home.
By the time we ended our week together, on Friday afternoon, the lights were up in the hall, the nativity scene set in the corridor and our tree shone brightly through the hall window. But the brightest lights, as always, were the children. One shining moment, was the little ones heading off (in Christmas hats and hi-vis vests) to deliver their letter to Santa. Other bright lights were the classmates who helped our newest children, who have joined our school from Pakistan with little or no English, to settle into school life.
Throughout Advent, we will continue to use the lights, carols and decorations to remind us all to be ready for the gift of Jesus this Christmas.
As the Catholic Church’s ‘Year of St Joseph’ draws to a close, our school celebrated with a special day of work, rounded off with a wonderful collective worship. Throughout the day children had been learning about the importance of St Joseph, as the protector of Mary and Baby Jesus. There was church building, prayer writing, craft making and lots of fantastic art work to show. Several staff commented on the joy they felt at seeing and hearing the children’s contributions. (In fact, during the afternoon worship, we had to explain that sometimes adults cry because they are so happy!)
We learnt about the way that St Joseph looked after Jesus and Mary and today we said goodbye to two people who have looked after everyone in St Joseph’s for quite a long time. Both Mrs Graham and Mrs Chan served their last school dinners, today. Mrs Graham has worked in St Joseph’s for 23 years and has probably served more than 300,000 dinners in that time. We said thank you to both staff today, with flowers, cards, gifts and by finishing everything on our plates!
Thank you to all our children, Mrs Graham and Mrs Chan, for making us smile and cry.
Friday afternoon’s assembly focussed on Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’. We talked about how his guidance, for his disciples then, has been truly followed by our children this week.
It began on Monday in odd socks supporting National Anti-Bullying Week. In classes we learnt to celebrate difference, say NO to bullying and treat everyone with respect and kindness.
By Friday, we were dressed in yellow and raising money for those less fortunate than ourselves. In support of BBC Children in Need, we raised more than £350. This included donations from those who attended Friday morning coffee, where some beautiful Year 5 and 6 Religious Education work was on display to parents.
Thank you to children, parents and staff for their contributions to a week of kindness, where we have all ‘Grown in Love’.