25 February 2022

Welcome back and despite the storms and array of cold weather conditions, the children have returned happy and pleased to be back with their friends.

It was lovely to catch up with many of you at our parent/teacher contact meetings this week. If you were unable to make the dates, please contact your child’s class teacher to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.


‘Reading-breakfast’ with your child

The junior school hall will be open from 8.30 a.m. if you would like to come in and enjoy a free breakfast with your child / children. Why not enjoy it with a book? It is the perfect time to share a book over breakfast. No need to book, just arrive in the hall and help yourself to cereal, bagel and a coffee. Note that children must be accompanied by an adult – this is not free childcare or a replacement for breakfast club.


St Joseph’s App

I am pleased to say that as of today, 80% of parents in Infants and 71% in Juniors, have signed in to St Joseph’s App.

As mentioned in previous newsletters, from 1 April 2022, all messages to parents will be via the “in-mail” function of the app rather than through emails or text messages. If you haven’t already, please download the app or log-in, as soon as possible. If you are having trouble logging in, enter your email address and select the “Recover your password” option to have a temporary password emailed to you.


Shrove Tuesday

Mrs Mangan will be organising the pancake races for children next Tuesday, 1st March 2022. If your child would like to take part, please send them in with a pancake and frying pan to take part. Races will start at 8.30 a.m. in the Junior playground. Parents are welcome to watch. If we have enough parents, who knows, there might even be a parents race? We look forward to seeing you there.


Ash Wednesday

This is the start of Lent and children will receive ashes from Father Anthony in school. It is an important time for Christians and Lent ends on Easter Sunday. The ashes come from palms that are burned, the ashes are used on Ash Wednesday when the priest/special minister anoints children/adults by making a sign of the cross on their forehead.

Do make time to talk to your child about the importance of Lent and things they could try to do to help prepare for Easter.

Father Anthony will also be drawing the names for the School App prize draw.


Book Week

Mrs Tope and Ms Bickmore have been busy organising a range of activities that will not only promote our drive to read for pleasure, but give children the opportunity to be creative through the use of drama, art, maths, science and writing.

The timetable is packed with excellent activities and on Thursday we would like children to come in dressed as a book character. Our school focused text is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and as we informed you on the School App, your child is most welcome to come as one of the characters, or just choose their favourite character from their preferred book.

Please see the letter from Mrs Tope and Ms Bickmore


An audience with two authors – Edward Docs & Matthew Plampin

We are delighted to welcome Edward Docs and Matthew Plampin authors of a new best ‘seller, ‘Swift & Hawk – Cyber spies’. They will be speaking to years 5 and 6 next week and will be available to sign copies. Please do have a look at the attached press release and follow the link to purchase a copy online. What an amazing opportunity for our children to not only enjoy a thrilling new book, but have a signed copy as a keepsake.

Please see the PDF press release 
Order your copies online here from WH Smith


Current affairs

Pupil voice is important and time is spent on discussing news and current affairs. Many children are concerned about recent events in Russia and Ukraine, the Government allegedly breaking its own lockdown rules and the situation in Afghanistan after the American withdrawal (amongst many events in the last few months) and children have been discussing information heard on the news.

In today’s assembly, we talked about events to reassure children.

The Place2B is a website that supports children who may experience anxiety.


Pupil voice at its best

Louie (Y5) wanted to interview me about our school’s vision for sustainability. He asked excellent questions and came up with ideas about how we could improve as a school. Do read his report below.

Saving our planet – Louie Davidson
I interviewed Mrs Fernandes to find out why the school had cut down trees on our school grounds. My mum remembers coming to the school when she was young and always seeing the large tree between the junior and infant field. Mrs Fernandes explained that this tree and the one near the car park had to be cut down because the roots were weak and it was rotten. It was dangerous because it could have fallen on the children and caused damage.

I then talked to Mrs Fernandes about my ideas for projects. I think we should plant more trees around the school and in the local parks, especially to replace some of the trees that have come down during the storms. We definitely should start planting trees and flowers for the bees. We should try and set the record to plant 20 million flowers for the Queen’s Jubilee.

Another idea Mrs Fernandes agreed to was to hold an environment day where we can try to save energy and protect the planet. We could spend a day turning lights off if we don’t need them and not use the computers as much. We should also make labels to put near all the light switches around the school to remind people to turn off the lights to save energy.

Mrs Fernandes believes that these are excellent ideas we can take up and has given me the responsibility to form a team to plan where we will plant the flowers and when to hold the environmental day. Look out in Mrs Fernandes future newsletters for information from me and I will also be interviewing other children and adults for ideas next week.


Learning beyond the classroom

Frank in Year 6 visited the Auschwitz-Birkeneau camp during the half-term break and wanted to share his experience. Please see his account of his visit. I’m sure you will agree it’s a wonderful reflection which shows a great understanding and awareness of the wider world.

I would like to share my experience at Auschwitz-Birkeneau camp. As I learned about the Holocaust at school, I was interested and decided to go in person as I had an opportunity. When I first arrived at the camp, I realised how upsetting the lives of the inmates really were. I learned a lot about its brutal history and it goes to show how cruel the Nazi’s were to the ‘unworthy’.

Me and my parents walked around the rotting blocks and we found a few things inside; shoes, bags, beds, mattresses, bed sheets and toys of those from the Holocaust. I couldn’t believe my eyes as the memory of death and grim times pushed its way into my head. I feel like the museum should stay open for generations to come so the memory of those who lived and died during those atrocities will live forever and will not be forgotten.

Many of us here were in disbelief as we all shifted to sadness and grief for these poor people who lived in the inhumane conditions. We should leave the madness of the Nazis behind and honour kindness like a god. I was walking around and found a quote: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Love should remain as a principle for us all to forget the evil strewn over our past.


Primary Careers Week – 21.3.22 – 25.3.22

“Aim high and dream big!”

We will be organising a careers week commencing Monday, 21st March. There will be guest speakers from different professions, talking to the children about their roles and qualities/qualifications needed to enter each profession.

If you can spare some time to come and talk to the children about your job, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please complete this google form if you would like to help out

It is so important to aim high and encourage children to think about their future careers. We have made contact with a former pupil Ms Sharnette Donacien who wrote the book ‘Ada’s Wash Day’ and hope to arrange a zoom meeting with her during book week or carers week. Click on the following link to find out more about the book. Better still read it this half term. It’s fabulous for any age.

How great would it be if some of our pupils choose to be writers and we publish their work in time to come!

Click for this week’s photo montage

I look forward to seeing you over the course of Book week and hope you’ll be able to join us for the reading breakfasts in the Junior Hall from 8.30 a.m.


Mrs L Fernandes


Future dates for your diary

  • 28.02.22 – 04.03.22 – Book week
  • 01.03.22 – Pancake race – Junior Playground 8.30 a.m.
  • 02.03.22 – Ash Wednesday assemblies in school
  • 08.03.22 – KS2 Reconciliation services & KS1 Reconciliation assembly
  • 09.03.22 – Girls Football competition (Coloma School)
  • 15.03.22 – Possible date for PTA AGM
  • 18.03.22 – Red Nose day (details to follow)
  • 19.03.22 – PTA uniform sale
  • 21.3.22 – 25.3.22 – Primary Careers week
  • 21.03.22 – Bookings open for summer clubs
  • 25.03.22 – Last day for spring time clubs