29th March 2024

Dear parents/Carers,

We have had a wonderful end of term. We held a special Stations of the Cross Service in both the Infant and Junior Schools and our prayer leaders and Y6 led the services with reverence and confidence. We reflected on Jesus’ journey to the cross and the sacrifice He made for us. We discussed why God thought that we are worth dying for and our unique and special characteristics. We reflected upon Jesus’ resurrection and what this means to us in terms of having, hope, faith and resilience. Next year, we will look at ways our parents and school community members can share in this special service because we know you will be equally proud and uplifted. A huge thank you to Mrs Phillips, Mrs Swain and Miss Bickmore for organising.

On Tuesday, Year 3 were magnificent in their Easter Production and put on a show retelling the Easter Story with brilliant, acting, singing and narration. As we do Christmas productions and an end of year Y6 production, it was important that we did one for Easter, the most important hold day of the year. It also provides our children with another opportunity to develop their oratorical and performance skills.

It was amazing to see so much parental support and the children really rose to the occasion of performing the school’s first Easter play for a long time. The play was one I did with my Year 3 class in my NQT year many moons ago. Bringing it to St. Joseph’s and seeing our children perform it so well, was a full circle moment that filled my heart. It is clear to see that we have many budding Westend performers and singers of the future. Sebastian did a wonderful job as Jesus, Nathaneal as Barabbas had us captivated and dominated the stage and Noah, Jemima, Ezekiel, Juan, Teniola and Persephone did brilliant solo performances. Well done and thank you to all the Y3 children, Miss Longford-Jackson, Mrs Steen-Plomer and Mrs De Jesus!

Did you know that  Stagecoach Performing Arts School is based at our school and has a club that runs every Saturday morning? There is research to support that children engaging in performing arts helps them to develop academically  and socially. If you would like more information on the positive impact of performing arts on children’s development please read this article. If you would like information about joining this Performing Arts School please click this link, they also offer a 2 week trial.

I am delighted to announce that we have been successful in recruiting a new Premises Manager to the school, Mr Teles. This is a position that has been vacant for some time. Whilst he didn’t officially start with us until this week, he has been working at the school since last half term. You will have already noticed the positive impact that he is having on the premises of the school. The the infant gates have been painted and the infant entrance uplifted. The work will continue thought the holidays and the entrances will have received a makeover. Mr McEvoy has been working on this too and I have given them a few projects that will enhance the school premises.

In addition to this our new School Business Manager, Juidith Almieda will begin after the half term. As you know, Mrs Standen retired at Christmas but due to her commitment to the school she has been supporting me with the financial aspect of the SBM role until Ms Almieda started. To ensure a smooth transition, Mrs Standen has agreed to continue this support the school which is really positive for the school.

I am sure you will join us all in welcoming Ms Almieda and Mr Teles into our school community. We know that they’ll be great additions.

We also had a advert out for a new Assistant Headteacher to join our team from September and be a part of our Senior Leadership Team. We had a large number of high caliber applicants and interviews will take place the first week back. This is a exciting time for St. Joseph’s development and because of the hard work we are doing on culture and wellbeing, people want to be a part of our team!

With sadness, I am letting you know that Mrs Kelly’s husband passed away on Tuesday evening. Mrs Kelly is based in our nursery and is such a loving and well respected member of our school community who has added joy to generation upon generation of children and colleagues at St. Joseph’s. As a team we prayed for Mrs Kelly, her family and her husband. We mourn this loss with them and pray that they gain strength and comfort from the memories that they shared.

Today, I went to Virgo Fidelis for Good Friday Mass with my family. It was well attended and at the end of Mass the congregation was invited to see the Pieta statue created in the 1880s. The statue powerfully depicts the magnitude of pain, loss and sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Thanks to Fr James for this service and all his help and time given to us throughout this Lenten period.

I am looking forward to seeing you safe and well after the Easter holidays on 15th April.

I pray that you and your family have a wonderful Easter that you remember how much God loves you and that you’re worth dying for.

Mrs Ashley and the St. Joseph’s Team