8 May 2021

It has been a fantastic week.

We celebrated World Portuguese Language Day on Wednesday, engaged in P.E. training on Thursday and planted trees on Friday, whilst continuing with our normal teaching and learning.

Our new playground equipment has come in and we have met with companies regarding developing the junior playground.

We have experienced a range of weather conditions from hail, wind, rain and sunshine and come through smiling, living out our motto… ‘Together We Can’.

Click here for this week’s pictures


Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May) – Connecting with nature

Next week is Mental Health awareness week and Mrs Langford Jackson (Wellbeing Lead) has organised a range of activities, including a ‘Nature photo competition’. All you need to do is take a photograph of an aspect of nature that means something to you. Encourage your child to talk to you about it and work together with them to take the photograph.

Please email it to me at [email protected]  with your child’s name and class by Monday, 17th May 2021. If you are unable to email it, then print out a copy and kindly hand it in to the school office.

Mrs Bailey (Chair of Governors) and Mrs Langford Jackson will judge the entries and prizes will be awarded. We would like to create a display of all the photographs entered.

Click here for more information on Mental Health Week

To launch mental health week, our year 1 class have recorded a video of the ‘Feelings’ song. Their message is powerful and beautifully delivered.

Invitation to parents from Mrs Langford Jackson

It is generally accepted that exercise is good for our mental health but sometimes it is not always possible to fit it into our busy lifestyles.

After you have dropped your children off in the morning, why not stay a while and complete the daily mile with Mrs Mangan and Coach Lutchman? It involves walking (or jogging) around the junior playground- out in the fresh air enjoying the company of others in a socially distanced way.

If you are interested, join us on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. If enough people are interested, our two wonderful PE teachers are happy to keep this going throughout the summer term- weather permitting!


World Portuguese Language Day (5 May 2021)

Children participated in an interactive quiz, testing their knowledge of facts about Portugal. They researched information to create fact files and inform their knowledge and understanding.

My thanks to Ms Figueiredo for leading sessions and to Miss De Melo for coordinating activities across the school. Children came to school on Wednesday, dressed in the colours representing the Portuguese flag.

The day was very successful and going forward we have plans to incorporate celebrations of different national days as part of our curriculum.

Interview with Isabel Stilwell

The children had the opportunity to interview Isabel Stilwell, a leading Portuguese author and journalist, via zoom. Isabel lives in Portugal and often travels to London. She spent time talking about her life, interests, hobbies, and the books she has written.

Our children asked excellent questions about why she wanted to be a writer, what inspired her and some of the challenges faced as a writer. Isabel has promised to try and visit St Joseph’s the next time she is in London.

It was a wonderful opportunity to extend children’s understanding of the world.

Click here for Isabel Stilwell’s biography


Portuguese school at St Joseph’s

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we are working with the Portuguese Consulate and the Camoes Institute to organise a Portuguese school at St Joseph’s for families who would like to access this provision.

Click here for the letter from Miss De Melo and to register your interest


Time to write and reading for pleasure

Thank you for the support you continue to give your child with the ‘Time to Write’ activity at home. I have seen some excellent work and will include examples in future newsletters. It has helped with handwriting and led to many pupils achieving their pen licences. Excellent work and I look forward to seeing more to come!

Reading for pleasure continues to be our focus. Thank you again for your donations to our library. We launched our official fundraising drive this week, through Parentpay, with a target of raising £5,000 to pay for new books and resources for our children. We would like to invite you to donate an amount between £5 and £50 to reach our goal.

Log on to your Parentpay account to help us reach our fundraising goal! 

Please also contact me if you would like to volunteer your time as we are always looking for parents who wish to get involved in setting up displays or reading to the children. In the meantime, do take a look at one of our amazing young infant readers who just loves to read and wanted to share his views with you. Simply the best!


Tree planting – Mrs Tope (Outdoor learning Lead)

Representatives from each class planted trees on the school grounds as part of the Woodland Trust’s ‘Trees for Schools’ project. The trees planted are in honour of the resilience shown by all staff and pupils throughout the past year.

Thank you to the Woodland Trust for donating the trees. They will continue to serve as a reminder for future generations.

My thanks to Mrs Tope for organising the planting and to Mr Navarro and Mr Picoe for preparing the area for planting.

Staff development

School was closed to pupils on Thursday as it was used as a Polling Station. Thank you for supporting your child with the activities uploaded onto Google Classrooms; please ensure that your child turns in their work as staff will mark work completed and give feedback.

Though the school was closed to pupils, staff came in to take part in a training session on the delivery of the PE curriculum. Mrs Mangan has been leading sports for many years and her enthusiasm and commitment has led to the school achieving the Platinum level for the Sports Mark for three consecutive years. This is a tremendous achievement and not many schools achieve this level.

Mr Abraham is now leading P.E. in the Infant school and together with Mrs Mangan in the Junior school, they make a powerful team. P.E. continues to be a high priority and promotes a healthy lifestyle, giving children and staff access to a wide range of sports and activities.

The training sessions were practical and engaging. The dinner supervisors have planned to incorporate some of the activities during the lunch break, to further improve opportunities for children to be active, healthy and have fun.


School environment

Thank you for the many positive comments acknowledging the work that has been undertaken to improve our school environment. We are pleased to report that the works to replace the retaining wall by the main office have now been completed; you will note we have a new planting area which Mr McEvoy assures us will be filled with a bouquet of flowers to coincide with the school’s 150th-anniversary celebrations. Can you guess what he has in mind?

Our gardens are thriving and we hope in the future to have another ‘Big Dig’, where we can invite all of you into school to help with projects.

Looking to the future, we need you to help out with projects which we are happy to run on a weekend as we know many parents and carers work during the week.


School office and phone numbers

Thank you for your patience while we completed the upgrade of our phone systems. Both school numbers are now fully operational. Remember, all key school contact details are on our website here.

If your child is late, you will need to buzz through to the Junior gate on Woodend and they will let you in via the Junior entrance. We only have one school office now, accessible via Woodend. Please do not come to the pedestrian gate on Crown Dale expecting to be let in or seen  – you will just be redirected to the Woodend entrance.

Thought for the week

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”

Helen Keller

Have a happy and safe week and I look forward to seeing you at the school gate. Do remember to send in your photographs for the ‘Nature Competition’

Mrs L Fernandes


Important dates for your diary

Monday, 17th May 2021 – School Photographs
Please note that advance warning has been given and the date has been up on our website. A text reminder will be sent shortly before the date, but it will be the parents’ responsibility to remember.

Monday, 31st May 2021 – Friday, 4th June 2021– Half term / School is closed

Friday, 18th June 2021 – Inset day
School will be closed to children, but staff will be in for professional development training sessions

Thursday, 22nd July 2021 – End of the academic year
Please note that this is a day earlier than previously advertised as the school was open to pupils on Friday, 12th February (it was not used as inset day).

All important dates are on the school calendar on our website – click here to view