Wear it Wild Day IMovie…

This week has been great. The children are so helpful and they never cease to amaze me with their initiative and care for others. When I look onto the playground at break times, I see many older children interacting with and being great role models for our younger children. Today has been ‘Wear it Wild Day’ and our children were very keen to make an IMovie to mark this exciting day.

Armed with an iPad and great leadership skills, a small group of children organised others to create this fantastic movie to sum up our great day. Many of you know that I am a huge animal lover and I am so pleased that the children in our CAFOD club wanted to get on board with this super initiative. The children looked great. I on the other hand didn’t-not in comparison to Miss Stewart, who I think was horrified when she saw how other staff had more ‘casual’ efforts. The giant frog costume was indeed ‘giant’ and she was indeed very hot throughout the day! She would win first prize in any dressing up contest.

Last week, we had our PE screen installed and the song ‘Que  Sera  Sera’ stills echoes in my head!

That was the song the installer sang as he connected the wires under my desk 6 hours later from when the work began at 8.30am. Whatever will be will be? Now, I happen to have seen many Doris Day films and I do love the song- however, the electricians had been in and out of my office for 6 hours. One of whom had a very eclectic mix of repertoire. The two men had come from Liverpool to install our curriculum enhancement and I don’t think I have every been in a close space for hours with a person who sings without much rest. I was so excited for the children to have the outdoor resource installed by lunch time that I sometimes found myself humming along to the man as I worked in my office.
It was quite pleasant up until a point! Five hours later and my patience for song was dwindling and I had just about  had enough after 6 hours. The installers payed such attention to detail and ensured we were completely satisfied that I cannot fault the service at all. I think we sometimes get used to our personal space and have a need for stillness-one thing we don’t get enough of.
On the Friday evening, we went to Lancaster Cathedral for the annual education mass and Bishop Michael spoke about St. Bruno. St.Bruno loved stillness and time for quiet reflection.  Mr. Gilmour and I had been to the Catholic shop at Ingol to gather some resources for prayer bags to aid stillness and reflection so it was quite a coincidence that this was a topic that Bishop Michael had spoken about.  Each class now has a prayer bag filled with different resources to aid praying and stillness as a family and these are given out on a Friday and brought back into school on a Wednesday. We do hope you enjoy sharing time for prayer together.
As I write this blog, our children are coming back to school for the disco. Our PTFA have again worked so hard behind the scenes to give the children a real treat. Thank you to all. Team efforts are very much appreciated. We learned about St.Teresa Martin, who did little things with great love and we celebrated ‘Little Way Week’ on our mission to make a difference by our little acts of kindness.  Many people involved in our school and wider community support St.Francis’ by the frequent little acts of kindness and they really do make a difference.
We are all very excited to see our children shine in the music showcase concert next Friday at 10.30am. You are all most welcome to join us.
Have a lovely weekend.

Read More

PE /Information Screen

IMG_2065IMG_2066IMG_2061IMG_2056IMG_2055IMG_2058

We are very excited to have a new outdoor playtime PE resource on our playground.

The screen plays videos/pictures of our children, latest Golden Award winners, school trip pictures and any amazing learning experiences that happen in school. It is an instant celebration resource and informative for you all. Any school concerts and performances will play for you all to watch. It will play informative videos for children and families on E-safety when it is E-safety week and for other special weeks in the Primary school and National calendar-all at a Primary school age related level.

The screen doubles as a parent information tool and an active curriculum tool. The top section displays school messages and reminders and our PTFA will also have information messages for you.

Interactive Dance videos play for all Key Stages at break times. It has ‘wake up shake up’ style videos but it also plays programs that link with all areas of the curriculum. An example of this is Science. A professor pops up to teach the children and, when they know the answer to the interactive quiz, they run to a different area of the playground.

There are many teaching tools on this that are all linked to health and well-being and keeping children active at break times.

A small proportion of our PE Sports funding (which has to be spent on sport, keeping children active and sustaining this) has been used to fund this. We will also be investing in specialist clubs and coaches throughout the year, as we usually do.

IMG_2059

Read More

Seriously…it wasn’t boiled!

Today, Father Sony came to see Beacon Class and Mrs Kerr has been up to her old science tricks again! Father Sony came outside to do morning playground duty with me and all ran calmly and smoothly. Children were playing beautifully together and some were arriving with pretty handheld baskets or other exciting looking containers. A pumpkin passed me on my way out of the door and children were smiling. Mrs Kerr was smiling, as were all staff outside.

The children came in and I took Father Sony to Beacon Class-only to find a problem in the corridor. A rather worried looking pupil was panicking as others looked on not knowing what to do. It was then when it started to seep! When I got to the root of the problem, Mrs Kerr’s class had been undertaking another egg experiment. I was lucky (!) to have caught the broken and unboiled egg just in time for the pupil to stop being upset. I managed to get to the sink in Fairsnape Class relatively quickly, but my dress did need a quick wipe down. Mrs Kerr and Mrs B-M found this all very funny but you know that this is all very typical at St.Francis’!

And then I saw my lunch…

I removed the foil and uncovered my plate to find this…

IMG_4168

I think it was a sign from above telling me to smile. I am not sure if Mrs Keenan created this smiling masterpiece on purpose but it did the job! The sausages were great!

IMG_2017IMG_2023IMG_2033 IMG_2046IMG_2054

I found some recent pictures that made me smile. I am sure you will agree that this has been a busy half term so far. We had a wonderful St.Francis Mass yesterday and the whole day was filled with creation workshops. Mr. Gilmour has added pictures to the RE section regarding the feast day.

We have an INSET day tomorrow. Have a lovely weekend. I do hope to see you all on Sunday for Family Mass.

 

IMG_4166IMG_4117IMG_5339IMG_5521IMG_5592IMG_5572IMG_5653IMG_5643IMG_5677IMG_5718

Read More

Celebration, song and Welcome assemblies…

What a super week we have had.

I have thoroughly enjoyed spending quality time with the children in a new club led by the children for the children. CAFOD Club is the newest addition to the school week, alongside a return of Reading Club and Chess Club. All of these are afternoon clubs but they are the discreet things that make our school run like clockwork.

Miss Taylor has been hiding a big tin from me since I started at St.Francis’ and I was horrified that its contents had not been put to good use-until yesterday!

Inside the tin are many different badges and pin badges for the children to wear. This triggered a discussion for even more new clubs and roles in school. Children are great organisers and they love to do it. Mr.Gilmour is going to arrange sports captains next week and I am excited to be giving more star awards out soon. Children have been creating posters and sign up sheets for the new clubs and I know they will be fantastic at running them. Our Welcome assembly was gorgeous. Year 6 led the assembly and Year 5 buddies gave out certificates to their buddies.

imageIMG_4033IMG_4046IMG_4033IMG_4069

 

 

IMG_4072IMG_4078IMG_4081IMG_4082IMG_4083IMG_4085IMG_4087IMG_4088IMG_4089IMG_4090IMG_4091IMG_4092IMG_4093IMG_4094IMG_4100IMG_4103IMG_4104IMG_4105

The school band were amazing this afternoon and we even had little Dingle Dangle Scarecrows, who sang and performed brilliantly. Well done to children in every year group and well done to readers. Year 5 prayers were wonderful. Thank you to all who donated cakes to sell for Macmillan Cancer Appeal and food donations. We will send the food to Ingol food bank soon.

Yesterday, I took two children to Our Lady’s Catholic High School for our annual Year 7 Welcome Mass. It was great to see the Year 7 children so settled and happy…I also saw staff and children from our small school cluster group. You may remember the Year 3 Open Air Mass we held at our school in 2015. We planned and led a whole day of activities based on Creation and then we had an open air Mass and invited children and staff from eight other schools. Our children still join together with the children from the other small schools. We had a day at St.Mary’s Lea Town not too long ago. This was to learn about world religions and we have plans for every year group to take part in joint trips throughout this school year.

Our Lady's 1 Our Lady's 2

We said a fond farewell to Mrs McDade today. We send our love, prayers and thoughts with her as she embarks on a new adventure in life. She will always be part of our St.Francis’ family.

Have a lovely weekend everybody.

 

Read More

I Was Glad…

Many things in life are a mystery. We can’t always comprehend things because the world is a bigger place than we can imagine. When you play ‘Pooh Sticks’ alongside a river and see a crawfish for the first time as a child, it is special. When you see a baby’s first tooth appear and the same child’s adult tooth appear, it is equally as amazing and special. Many things in life are like chapters in a book and we have begun our new school year chapter. I was fortunate enough to go on holiday this Summer and two words kept coming to my mind throughout: grateful and glad. Hayley Mills played a little girl in a film called ‘Pollyanna’ and she was always glad. She spread her happiness to everyone she met because of her high spirit and positivity. Glad seems to be a word underused these days. John Rutter’s version of ‘I was Glad’ is one of my favourites and I am glad every day I come to St.Francis’ school. I am glad that the new starters have settled in well and I am glad to see so many smiles every day on our playground. I am also glad that my new ‘gritting machine’ has arrived as this will save me a lot of time and heat loss during the frosty months.  Miss Taylor and I were accused of ‘online shopping’  because of my excited ‘ooohs’ and ‘that one looks a great price-let’s buy it now!’  until the member of staff caught sight of the many varied gritting machines! When I say machine, it resembles a wheelbarrow with a hole in the middle, but I’m sure it will be an excellent addition to the school team!

In a world where solidarity, support and kindness are needed more than ever, I hope that we always stand together this school year for the ones who matter the most to us-the treasures that are our children.

Let us keep high spirits and positivity this school year. Every day counts and we always aim to bring sheer delight and joy to our children, staff and community. A Catholic school matters the most because we make Christ’s teaching and love known to all and, because of that, we try to make our world a better place. I hope that we feel grateful and glad for even the smallest of wonders and experiences because they all count and matter. It amazes me how much I know about the children because they tell me so much. School prepares children for their greatest aspirations. Let them be archaeologists, vets, teachers, farmers, hairdressers, comedians, astronauts and unicorn keepers ( just some things they have told me they want to be) . The world needs the greatest variety imaginable but let them do it as wonderful people who care.

For the first time in my life, I have been called a shepherd. Apparently, you just have to command sheep to go back in a stern voice and wave your arms behind them. This strategy clearly works! This is just a typical welcome back to school…

IMG_0311 IMG_0312 IMG_0313 IMG_0315 IMG_0316 IMG_0317

Our new rabbits have settled in and they are being looked after by Pendle Class, Pre-School and the animal welfare UFA group.

IMG_5272IMG_5269IMG_3582IMG_3587

New starters are smiling and all classrooms are busy places again…

imageimageimageimageIMG_5147IMG_5172IMG_4775IMG_4771IMG_5210IMG_2501

Today, Year 5 are on a trip to Cobble Hey, alongside other schools, and we held our Jeans for Genes assembly.

On Monday, new Reception Class parents and families are invited to an official welcome assembly led by Year 6. This starts at 9.15am and all new starters will be presented with a certificate from their Year 5 buddy.

Next Friday, we have our Macmillan/Harvest celebration and food donated will be sent to Ingol food bank. The school band will be playing and Year 6 will be holding stalls to raise money for Macmillan Cancer research. Any cakes for donation will be gratefully received. Please send any spare tinned food and non perishables in next week.

You are all welcome to come into the school hall on Tuesday at 3.30pm for a ‘calculation station’ workshop event. This is informal and you can visit year group tables with examples and information about how we teach mathematical calculations throughout the school-this is for all year groups starting from Pendle class. We have put our calculations policy on our website for you to see the progression with examples of how to do them.

Have a lovely weekend.

 

Read More

Pen Pal friends in Kenya…

You may remember that last year we had a very special assembly delivered by Mr Alan Whelan. Alan is an author, a book editor and a very keen traveller. He has been working to support the development of a school in Kenya and we are helping too.We have gathered old resources and books to send to the children in Kenya, who have very little, and we have become pen pals with the children.

Beacon Class have been the first class to write letters and send pictures to the children and we will be extending this to the whole school. Jesus taught us to share our light and to love our neighbours. The Shalom Academy are trying to expand and provide education for children who cannot access it without support, love and encouragement. Families are too poor to send their children to school, as many schools charge a fee but Shalom Academy provides a service and a right for children in Kenya. A right to an education.

Alan Whelan and his wife are fundraising to help build a new school for children and their dedication is humbling and inspirational. We are humbled to have links with children in Shalom Academy.

Mrs Whelan has come to take the resources directly to Kenya.

 

IMG_4820

IMG_4824

Read More