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15th September


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posted Nov 7, 2016, 2:35 PM by Stephen Fallon

4th November 2016

Latest News including dates for future events...

posted Sep 25, 2016, 6:29 AM by Stephen Fallon   [ updated Sep 25, 2016, 6:30 AM ]

Dear Parents & Carers,

Thank you to all of the parents who supported the Ten Ten Theatre Company assembly. The plays were produced by the company to support the ‘Year of Mercy’ and were very poignant. Each year group’s play had a different focus and the children’s responses were very interesting and their questioning mature and adult-like. The day offered useful reflections about how we can show ‘mercy’ and ‘forgiveness’ in school. As a follow-up to some of the messages that were communicated to us on the day, all year groups will be participating in the diocesan ‘spirited arts’ competition. We are hoping to enter art work, liturgical dance and poetry into the diocesan competition.


School Councillors:

We would like to thank our ‘outgoing’ school councillors for all of the hard work and commitment they have shown (particularly with our healthy tuck shop) over the course of the last year. In conjunction with our studies of British values and democracy, elections have been held in each class, and new school councillors have been voted ‘in’. We wish them every success in their very important roles and welcome their new, creative and fresh ideas!

Our school councillors are also eager to commence the reopening of our ‘Snack Shack’ next week. Due to timetabling demands, we are only opening Snack Shack for pupils in Years 1 to 6. As you will appreciate, Reception already receive milk and a healthy snack and we wouldn’t want to overload their tummies with food – especially as they’re settling into eating the delicious dinners which are on offer at lunchtimes. Thank you for your understanding.

Key Stage 2 North-East Music Co-Operative:

A huge thank you to Mr Docherty for his excellent demonstration of the brass family instruments this afternoon. We currently have spaces for brass and woodwind instruments. Should your child wish to participate in music tuition, then please contact the school office, who will ensure that you receive a copy of the NEMCO expression of interest form. Please return the form to NEMCO – not the school office. The children who participate in the sessions really enjoy them and they are exploring additional gifts and talents that may have otherwise remained undiscovered. We are particularly encouraging Year 3 pupils to commence tuition.

School Mass:

We warmly welcome Fr. Martin Morris to his role as parish priest of St. Aidan’s, Benton and St. Teresa’s, Heaton and know that many of you will have already met him at church. Fr. Martin has offered to say Mass for us in school, on October 7th at 9:30am. Mass will be offered for harvest-time (see below for more details). A meeting for prospective parents, who wish for their child/ren to commence the sacramental preparation programme for receiving the Eucharist, will be communicated with parents of pupils in Year 4 over the coming weeks.

Harvest Festival – Friday 7th October:

Once again, harvest-time is drawing near and we are fundraising for two charities: a local charity – ‘The Peoples’ Kitchen’ and a global charity, ‘CAFOD’.

Therefore, we will be collecting physical food donations both in advance and on the day. In addition to this, children will be able to donate the price of a small snack (e.g. 50p) to the CAFOD Family Fast Day. The idea of CAFOD’s Family Fast Day is for children ‘fast from their snack’ and donate the money that they would have spent on a snack, to a worthwhile cause. Through our participation in this project, we hope that we will be raising pupils’ awareness of the terrible difficulties of hunger both in our local area and worldwide.

Attendance at School:

Pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. Please note that the submission of a holiday request form does not mean that the request will be automatically authorised by the school’s governors.

We ask that all GP and dental appointments are arranged for outside of school time - but we appreciate that it is difficult to do this for hospital appointments. Where this is not possible, your child should only be out of school for the minimum time necessary. We will ask for evidence of your child’s appointment e.g. hospital card/letter for pre-planned visits.

Should your child’s attendance fall below expectations, then you may be subject to a penalty warning notice from the local authority’s education welfare officer.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

A timetable for extra-curricular activities has been devised and is always subject to change. We are in discussions with external bodies to help us to deliver more clubs as the year progresses. Your child/ren will be receiving invitations ASAP.


Holy Island/Breakfast Club:

On Monday morning, breakfast club will open at 7:30am for the children in Year 5 who are attending Holy Island. We understand that their siblings may also wish to attend breakfast club at this time too.

Please remember that the bus will depart at 8:00am. We are unable to wait for late comers because of the tide times, so punctuality is a must!

Mini-Vinnies:

A number of pupils have participated in Mini-Vinnies during the last three years and we are tremendously grateful for their contribution in developing the spiritual life of the school. This year, we have decided to make Mini-Vinnies responsible for: improving the Catholic life and spirituality of school. They will also help to run our charitable giving for different causes. Letters asking for three participants from each Key Stage 2 class, will be sent out and we look forward to having a Mini-Vinnie council who can help us with raising money for good causes including: Children in Need, Harvest Festival, Dog and Cat Shelter, Shoebox appeal and the Lenten ‘Soup shack’!

Dates for the Diary: As always, dates are subject to change!

Monday 26th September – Wednesday 28th September – Year 5 Pilgrimage/Residential to Holy Island (Breakfast Club open at 7:30am for those children and their siblings who are attending Holy Island and require breakfast)

 Thursday 29th September – Tyne and Wear Fire Service Safety Talk for Year 2/Year 5 PM sessions

Thursday 6th October – Awards Assembly – 9am

Friday 7th October – Harvest Festival Whole-School Mass (in school) – 9:30am

Thursday 20th October – Awards Assembly – 9am and PTFA Halloween Disco after-school (time TBC)

Thursday 10th November – Awards Assembly – 9am

Thursday 24th November – Awards Assembly – 9am

Thursday 29th November – Mr Taylor Bible Story 1pm

Thursday 1st December – SCHOOL CLOSED TO PUPILS FOR INSET DAY

Thursday 8th December – Friday 9th December – More Than Dance Liturgical Dance Workshops

Friday 16th December – PTFA Christmas Fayre (time TBC)

Welcome back.....

posted Sep 8, 2016, 2:25 PM by Stephen Fallon

Dear Parents & Carers,

Welcome back! 

We hope your summer holidays were filled with many happy memories and exciting times. The children all look very smart in their new uniforms and have been very eager to learn and meet their new teachers. I know that you will give a big welcome to the three new members of our team: Mrs Wootten (Year 2 teacher), Miss Kelly (Year 4 teacher) and Miss Celardi (School Business Manager), who already feel like they’ve been with us for a long time!

We have had some fantastic weather this week and it is still quite humid outside. Therefore, we ask that all pupils have a water bottle in school, which is filled with fresh water (from home!). A couple of things to mention: some children are bringing in very large bags. We ask is that your child’s PE kit is in a drawstring bag (which is left in school Monday to Friday) and that they have a reading folder, which contains their reading book/s and their new home/school yearbook. The reading folder should be brought into school on a daily basis.

As part of our drive to improve standards and communication between home and school, we have purchased new home/school yearbooks for the pupils from Reception to Year 6. First and foremost, these will be used as reading diaries – and we ask that you write in your child’s reading on a daily basis.

We will also endeavour to use the yearbooks for other purposes e.g. recording spelling test results etc. as the year progresses and the children become familiar with their use. In the back of the booklet, you will also find some handy hints and tips for helping your child with their learning at home. We are sure that there are many times when you have the typical ‘end of day’ conversation with your child:

Parent: “What have you done today at school?”

Child: “Nothing much!”

Teachers find nothing more disheartening that hearing the words “Nothing much!”; however, the handy questions on the back of the home/school yearbook help to eliminate the possibility of the “Nothing much!” answer! There are questions to ask e.g. ‘What did you learn today that you didn’t know before? Was there anything that you found difficult at first? If so, how did you overcome it?’ to turn your two sentence response into a productive dialogue.

Additionally, on the inside cover of the yearbook, there is a mini-consent form: we ask that all parents read the consent form, tick the appropriate boxes and sign the agreement slip. Once completed, school staff will record the outcomes on a centralised sheet. Please note that there is a ‘walk home’ agreement inside of the booklet for Year 5 and 6 pupils. On the inside back cover there are also reading prompts, and additional mathematics information to support your child in their learning at home.

 We would appreciate that you sign the inside covers as soon as possible.

As you are aware, we have subscribed to the Wednesday Word for many years and there are lots of fun activities for children to do. The home/school yearbooks help to support your child’s faith and spiritual development too. There are small activities and reflections that your child can do at home, to remember and engage in the Gospel story of the weekend. We would love to see children from across the classes completing the activities, but we ask that they don’t do them all at once! Please stick to one activity per week!

 In the inside pages of the yearbook, there are also some prayers for you to pray with your child; it would be fantastic if all pupils engaged in learning the prayers and teachers will be referring to them at points during class prayer time, and pastoral care sessions.

 School have made a considerable investment in the home/school yearbooks, so should your child lose their book, they will be asked for a contribution of £5 to purchase a new one.

 

Ten Ten Theatre Company Assembly:                                                                                                                             

Pope Francis declared 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016 a Year of Mercy. As part of our plan for the Year of Mercy, we have invited the Ten Ten Theatre Company into school to deliver workshops to parents and pupils alike on Tuesday 13th September.

Ten Ten Theatre is an award-winning theatre company working in primary schools, secondary schools, young offender institutions, parishes, community venues and theatres throughout the UK. Established since 2007, the charity has produced a programme in Relationship Education for children in primary schools, young people and teenagers in secondary schools, their parents and teachers. Ten Ten Theatre has an underlying Christian ethos rooted in the Catholic tradition. The name 'Ten Ten' is derived from the scripture passage John 10:10, "I have come that you may have life, life to the full."

St. Stephen’s have asked the Ten Ten Company to come to our school to deliver workshops to all pupils in phases (e.g. Reception, Years 1&2, Years 3&4, and then Years 5&6) with a focus on building positive relationships in school and at home.

We are also inviting all parents to attend the introductory opening assembly (this will be for all year groups) at 9am, which will take place prior to the children’s plays and discussions.Some of our parents and pupils have worked alongside the theatre company at the diocesan festival at the Emmaus Youth Village at Allensford and described the experience as inspiring and breathtaking. So please, come along and find out about the Year of Mercy and how our children can be involved.

 

Extra-Curricular Activities:

A timetable for extra-curricular activities is currently being devised and will be sent out to parents in due course.

 

School Admissions for Reception for September 2017 - 2018:

From Friday 9 September 2016 you can apply for your child’s school place online. You must apply to the Local Authority where you pay your council tax. Only North Tyneside residents can apply on the North Tyneside online system.  You can apply for any school in any area using the online system.

 

Offer Day:

17 April 2017 for First and Primary Schools

If you requested to receive your school offer by email log back into www.northtyneside.gov.uk on the right hand side of the home page you will see a button click on view and accept your child’s school place.  If you requested to be notified by letter this will be sent out 2nd class on the offer day.

For applicants of Voluntary Aided School or Church of England Schools

You cannot attach your child’s baptismal certificate or a letter from the priest with the online application these must be either emailed to school.admissions@northtyneside.gov.uk or sent in the post to: The Access Team, Quadrant West, Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. Please state your child’s name and date of birth on any correspondence.

 Inhalers:

We have a number of children who have asthma, but have returned to school without an inhaler. If your child suffers from asthma, could you please speak to the class teacher/school office and ensure that an inhaler for school use is given to the class teacher and secondly that the school office have been made aware of your child’s condition. https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/child/manage/well suggests that a spare inhaler (reliever only) and spacer should be kept in school in case of an emergency. In the past, some children have brought in inhalers, without an adult in school being informed. When a child has asthma, it is important that the office are informed so that your child’s medical details can be updated and information passed onto the relevant staff members. 

The new school year has got off to a good start. We have many new developments planned for the year ahead, all of which will enhance your child's learning experiences at St Stephen's.

Best wishes

S.Fallon

Newsletter Friday 13th May

posted May 16, 2016, 12:59 AM by Stephen Fallon

Please note that there has been a change to our Mass calendar.

 

First Holy Communions:

Our First Holy Communicants have their final liturgy on Sunday 15th May. Our First Holy Communion celebration is due to take place Sunday 22nd May. The parish of St. Aidan’s have kindly arranged a buffet for the children, who have made their First Holy Communion, in the parish hall after Mass. Please ensure that all pupils who are making their First Holy Communion, bring their ‘I Belong’ books to the session. These will be collected in and presented in church during the session.

 

Pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Cathedral:

The Bishop has invited all KS2 (Years 3-6) pupils to participate in a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Cathedral. Please return the consent form ASAP. Please note that Years 3 and 4 will attend the pilgrimage together on Tuesday 17th May, and Years 5 and 6 are due to go the following week, on Tuesday 24th May. Please ensure that all consent forms are returned to the school office. We hope that all pupils will arrive back at school for 3:20-3:30pm. Art club will still be on, for those children affected.

 

PTFA:

Our PTFA and School Council are asking pupils to design a poster for the impending summer fayre. There will be a Reception/KS1 winner and a KS2 winner, with posters being displayed locally. Final entries are due on Monday 23rd May, so please start designing!!!

 Our PTFA would also like donations of any scrap or remnants of material, so that they can make bunting and decorations for the fayre. Please send any donations to the school office.

I AM INVICTUS:

We sent our support to parent and ex-soldier Gareth Golightly, who has participated in wheelchair basketball at the Invictus Games in Florida. He is a huge inspiration to our school community and we are very proud of his achievements.

 

End of Key Stage Assessments:

In addition to being proud of our parents, we are incredibly delighted with our Year 6 pupils, who have shown resilience and a huge amount of emotional maturity as they participated in their tests this week. Many reported that they enjoyed the challenge of the tests and the class were full of smiles yesterday afternoon! Well done to the children and thank you to all who have been involved in preparing them for the assessment week.

 Year 2 are due to participate in their assessments in small groups over the next two weeks; however, this is nothing to be worried about! We make this as easy as possible for all pupils concerned. Pupils work in small groups with the teachers at this time and we use the information to help inform our ‘teacher assessment’, which will be reported to parents at the end of the year. Most of the tasks are similar to the learning activities that children have already completed. Teachers ensure that this is a calm and positive experience for the pupils and we always make it stress-free.

SVP Holy Island:

Would you like your child to have a week’s holiday without you?! Would you like them to meet new children, of the same age, and a have a fun-packed activity holiday? The Saint Vincent de Paul society have been in touch to let us know that there are some spaces for the six week holiday camp during weeks 2, 3 and 4 of the summer holidays. The camps run Saturday to Saturday, for 7 nights, with a suggested donation of £85; however, if you are in financial difficulty, then you could apply for a sponsored place for your child. It would be fantastic for a group of children to go together and experience the wonderful place of Holy Island. Ask Mrs Swaddle for more details or the visit http://www.svpholyislandcamp.co.uk/

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