20th October 2023

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week we have shown our true resilience as a team and dedication to you and your children even in challenging times.

Thank you to those of you who attended Meet the Leaders on Tuesday, we hope you found it informative and useful. It was wonderful to see such a great turn out and be able to talk to Parents/Carers about our ambitions for the school and answer your questions face to face.

My Induction Mass on Wednesday was a truly uplifting and joyous occasion. It was our first whole school mass of the year and it just happened to fall on the Feast Day of St. Luke, the patron saint of students- how fitting! Bishop Phillip led the mass and I officially received the keys to the school. The children and adults read so beautifully and the children’s singing highlighted their talent for uplifting others through song. The whole celebration was a showcase of the excellence of St. Joseph’s and the staff were all so proud. I will be forever grateful to our children, the team and all who attended.

Year 1, 2 and 3 enjoyed coaching sessions from a Brazilian Football Coach this week, they were excited to try to play football with a smaller, but heavier ball. Hopefully  this will help them to improve their accuracy when playing football. Thanks to Mrs Lopeman and Mr Abrahams for organising.

Today, we all wore red to support the charity ‘Show Racism the Red Card!’ and affirm our stance as a school that promotes equality and everyone having their basic human rights respected regardless of their race or colour. The children took part in debates and art to explore this theme further. It was great to see children working in collaboration with their peers to learn and reflect.

This week we successfully appointed an Intervention teacher who will be based in the Juniors but undertake SEMH support across the schools (social, emotional and mental health). They will be starting after the half term.

We also appointed a fully time SENDCo who will be starting in January, after the Christmas break. These appointments will enable us to strengthen our SEND provision and our inclusive practice.

With an extremely, heavy heart, and upon our dear colleague Mrs Tope’s request, I am sharing some very sad news with you all. Two weeks ago, Mrs Tope’s beautiful, baby son Teddy fell suddenly unwell. As a team we have been praying for Teddy and the family; for God to strengthen them all and in the hope that Teddy would get better.

On Monday, God decided He didn’t want Teddy to suffer anymore and made him an angel in heaven. Teddy was nine months old. If you had the pleasure of meeting him, you’ll remember his bonny face, wonderful eyes and calm demeanour – a true credit to his mum and his family. Our hearts, love and support go out to Mrs Tope, her husband Luke, their children and family. Rest in peace Teddy, we will all miss you.

Out of respect for the family at this difficult time, please do not make contact with them. But if you wanted to send a card or condolences, you can bring it to the school and we will pass it on. Mrs Tope and I have been in regular contact and she has been showing great strength which she accredits to everyone’s prayers and support. Please join us in praying for the family that they find comfort from the memories that they shared with Teddy and the joy he bought to their lives.

Remember how precious your loved ones are this half term, hug them, spend time with them and pray with them. I hope to see you all safe and well in a week’s time.

God bless,

Mrs Ashley and the St. Joseph’s Team