A REAL artist, Steph Slater, bouncy castles and a million other things!

We have been inspired by the talent of one of our parents this week. Mrs. Harwood (whose art is commissioned under the website name Angela Wakefield) has given two full days of her time in order to paint our greenhouse wall. The children were in awe when each class looked at her website and saw her beautiful paintings. Here are just a couple….


We wanted every child in school to ‘make a mark’ on our mural and indeed they did! The children gave Mrs Harwood a selection of ideas to put their vision into reality. Mrs Harwood has gone above and beyond to create this stunning piece of art work. If you look closely, you can see the little finger print flowers and animals, created by the children! I wish I could say that spending last Friday painting the whole wall with PVA glue was fun (it was an awful job) but I can’t. Poor Mr McGill was battling on with a broken arm and painting with his left hand! Unbelievable! We only painted the wall white on Monday and the whole mural was nearly finished by the end of Tuesday. What an incredible turnaround. Thank you so much Mrs Harwood, Mr McGill and children for giving our school such a beautiful and long lasting gift.


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Whilst all this was going on, I had The Wizard of Oz in my head. I decided to make some sign posts for the outside area. We have so many zones out there now that I had to enlist the help of our builders, who were not so happy to help at first, but then saw the great vision and couldn’t resist. The Tysons team have been wonderful and instrumental in attaching all of the rustic pieces of wood I found around the school grounds. We moved the big sink (herb garden), created Rabbit Kingdom and much more. Rabbit Kingdom is a wonderful new addition to school. I think the smiles of our ‘Animal Welfare’ UFA group children say it all. I love how our children are so caring towards our chickens and rabbits. After all, they are part of our school family too!


We had a Lenten visit from Christine, who works for CAFOD and regularly comes to work with school. We also had a visit from PC Banks, who did not expect 20 2,3,and 4 Pre-School children to be joining his road safety talk…with electric cars! You will have to visit the Pre-School page for more pictures. Science Week was fantastic and Mrs Gornall came to inspire our young scientists with a forensic science talk. Following this visit, I was a suspect for a robbery and even had to give my finger prints! Have a look at the Beacon Class page for more forensic fun! Don’t forget, each class blogs about learning and you can find many pictures and more information about your child’s learning there.


The Bouncy Castles, to start our Sport Relief Week, were wonderful and all children had so much fun! Mr Gilmour will be blogging about the Sport Relief fun on our Sports page. You will find lots of pictures of all children taking part is a variety of activities. Once again, our Football and Netball teams represented school brilliantly and their behaviour was impeccable. Well done to all children who took part!

It was inspiring, as always, to listen to Steph Slater speak passionately about sport. We thank her very much for coming to school on Monday to officially open our Sport Relief Week. A huge thank you to all the donations for the Sport Relief merchandise – which resulted in four extra trips to Sainsbury’s to keep up with the demand. Also for the donations on the JustGiving page and  for all the change collected in school.


As we nearly reach the end of Lent, we kindly ask for any ’40 Days, 40 Items’ challenge bags for Kenya to be sent back any time before the end of next week. We are collecting the bags in our school hall. We look forward to class Easter assemblies every morning next week and our Palm Liturgy this afternoon. We do hope you can join us.

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The ‘James Henry’ ukulele band…and Supertato!

I am just glad to be back to normal this week…well, as normal as things can be when you are in the middle of a building project. School is going to look amazing and the works will hopefully be completed ahead of schedule.

Not having an office space is quite interesting because I am doing a lot of walking around school and learning about the building process. Yesterday evening, I tasked a group of children with assembling two sit on diggers and we JUST managed to complete one (and that was only because Mrs Kerr came to the rescue). The site manager has taken control of this today and the children will be able to sit on diggers to dig the mud in our mud pit.

It is amazing how children carry on through disruption around school and still manage to organise clubs and various meetings.

Yesterday, I joined a new club. I have named it the ‘James Henry Ukulele Band’ because James and Henry have taken the time, and initiative, to teach other children the ukulele every Thursday lunch time.

Obviously, I had to get involved in this and I am their newest recruit! I am very proud of the boys, who organised music and taught the beginners new chords. We have 14 members and Mrs Kerr will be the 15th! Children have taken the ukuleles home but please look after them and remember to send them back into school on a Wednesday, ready to prepare for the club on Thursday.

Henry James

I took register in Pendle Class and noticed a comical book on the table. I also noticed jelly and peas in a tray and knew this could only mean one thing…Supertato. For those of you who do not know Supertato, he is a brave potato who saves the vegetables from the evil pea. I sat down to take register and told the children I loved the story of Supertato and I was immediately corrected! The different pronunciation had caused uproar in Pendle Class. You see, I said potato and they said potaaaato. So I said tomato and they said tomaaaato. You can see that this is heading into the song ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’ sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong or Astaire and Rogers in the film ‘Shall we Dance’. It was when a little boy in Year 1  started singing along with me that I realised someone actually understood what I was talking about. This is rare but it does happen from time to time! I thought he must have heard the song from a grandparent or an advert but it tuns out it was from me last year.



World book day was fantastic and the children looked amazing. Thank you for the effort made. It was wonderful to see the children mixing from all year groups and enjoying learning and reading together.

We have two children dressed as Wally. Have a look at the pictures below… Where’s Wally?



We have four baby rabbits in school: Dunkin, Donut, Ronald and Burt. They have settled in very well already. Tomorrow, members of the Deakin household will be building ‘Rabbit Kingdom’ next to our greenhouse. I do hope it will be as spectacular as it sounds. We have plenty of wood, space and high expectations so I am sure it will!

Fr Sony has passed on information about Easter Masses. You will receive another newsletter on Monday to inform you of special services for Holy Week and Easter. Our Eco Warriors have written a newsletter, which will be on the back of the Easter newsletter so please look out for that.

Times are as follows:

22nd March: KS1 Palm Liturgy in Church at 2.30pm –families and friends all Welcome!

 28th March:  Family Easter Bingo 6.00pm start at Whittingham Social Club

Families and friends are all invited to attend our very special class assemblies and Palm Liturgy. Class assemblies are as follows:


26th March:   9.00am:   Pendle Class assembly                 The Last Supper

27th March:   9.00am:   Parlick Class assembly                 Garden of Gethsemane

28th March:   9.00am:   Fairsnape Class assembly          The Stations of the Cross

29th March:   9.00am:   Beacon Class assembly              The Resurrection of Christ


29th March – Maundy Thursday – Mass with foot- washing ritual in St Thomas Apostle Church, Claughton at 7 pm


30th March – Good Friday – 3 pm Commemoration of our Lord’s Passion at St Francis Church, Hill Chapel


31st March –  Easter Vigil – Mass in St Thomas Apostle Church, Claughton at 8 pm


Ist April – Easter Sunday – Mass at 10.30 am in St Francis Church, Hill Chapel


Parishioners at St.Francis’ Hill Chapel have kindly asked for more volunteers to serve refreshments after Mass. If any of you think you can help, please contact school.

We are looking for more volunteers to help with children’s Liturgy on a Sunday. Full guidance and resources will be given. Anyone interested can contact Mrs Rossall.

To all ladies and mothers out there, have a lovely day on Sunday. Mothering Sunday Family Mass is this Sunday at 10.30am. It would be lovely to see you there.

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Beauty and the Beast…(from the east)

Dear families and friends,

We thank you very much for your patience today.

Since starting at our school, I have contacted the Highways Agency and County Council every year about our roads. As you are all aware, Horns Lane is treacherous in freezing conditions but I am always told that our roads cannot be gritted because they are remote. Councillor Wilkins and the police have tried to help us but we are constantly refused attention to the road leading to our school. If you have any time to spare, please could you write a letter, send an email or phone the Highways Agency to lodge a complaint and ask that something is done for the safety of our children, familes and staff?  You can find information on the Lancashire County Council website. We are mindful of children who need to use our breakfast club in the morning  and we aim to inform you all whether or not school is open tomorrow morning by 7.30am.

I took the time to walk round an empty school today and thought it might be worth posting some pictures of our striking classrooms for you all to see. The ‘Beast from the East’ may be causing disruption but the ‘beauty’ of our school continues. I always think you know when teachers really love teaching because they take such pride in classroom appearance. Visiting our classrooms (usually with the children in) is one of my favourite things to do. It is exciting to see new displays and organised working areas created for the children that change on a regular basis. Every inch of a classroom should be all about the children and all about extending, challenging and celebrating learning. You really never know what you will find inside a St.Francis’ classroom and that keeps the excitement alive! The project work that our children have been undertaking is absoutely stunning and it speaks for itself.


The past month has been quite a busy one. Clearing the attic hasn’t been the most pleasant job I have undertaken so far but orchestrating the outside project and observing the progress has been amazing. It was unbelievable how many hats we found in the attic. Obviously, I had to try on each hat as I found one and I favoured this Laurel and Hardy ‘Sons of the Desert’ hat. Worryingly so, a good friend of mine had found a picture of me back in my Deputy Head days and it seems I haven’t changed-still wearing a variety of hats and wellies…



The outside area is wonderful and we will invite you all to see it when all of the new resources have arrived. It has been another interesting project with a range of finishing timescales. Again, the weather has added delay. We will be creating a new tarmac and  colourful path leading up to the cottage door, planting colourful flowers and removing the over flowing water butt, which now seems such an eye sore!


I was delighted to add the final few pebbles to the rill. You won’t believe that they are the only ones that didn’t settle into the concrete but it certainly hasn’t detracted from the overall effect. The children have been busy retelling traditional tales and engaging in puddle play. Big ‘sit on’ diggers are on their way for the mud pit and the painting window arrived yesterday.

Internal building works continue and all is progressing well. The corridors were plastered on Sunday and new secure door frames have been installed…


A  ‘Rabbit Kingdom’ is being constructed for our new little friends and the children will look after them alongside the chickens in our animal welfare UFA group. This animal care area will form part of our new outdoor classroom project.


You will find a new section on our homepage that tells you all about the Longridge Cluster ‘ WW1 Armistice Project’ led and directed by Simon Wallis from Barnacre School. Please support this in whatever way you can. We desperately need knitted poppies. These can be dropped off at school or at ‘Sew Crafty’ in Longridge. Any families interested in sponsoring the project can find information by clicking on the link to the facebook page. From September, our Year 4 children and school band will be involved.

We are having a non uniform day on Thursday 8th March for our PTFA Chocolate Bingo event. Tickets for the Spring Social are still available from school. We really do value your support with these events. I believe that we have nearly reached our goal of raising £6,500 for the outdoor amphitheatre with shade sails. This is absolutely incredible!

Please be alert to Groupcall text messages in the morning and thank you, again, for your understanding.


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Half term dates for you diaries

Welcome back! Building work is well under way and we thank you all for your patience. We have many exciting trips and visitors planned for this half term, including a photography club assembly! Band, choir, CAFOD and Glee club resume next week and all usual day time enrichment clubs led by children will continue within the school day. New UFA groups have been organised and UFA remains every Wednesday afternoon for Key Stage 2. We will inform you all about Summer term after school clubs provided by staff and specialists by the end of this half term.


21st February:           Year 5 at Longridge High school for a taster day

21st February:           KS2 Gymnastics competition-Year 3 and 4 only

27th  February:         Police visit infant classes with riot van

28th February:         Year 5 at Cobble Hey all day

1st March:                    World Book Day- Dress up as your favourite character

Glee Club begins after school

2nd March:                  Christine Dewhurst from CAFOD visit day-workshops for KS2 and working with CAFOD club at                                               lunchtime

5th March:                    Year 6 at Longridge High for Safety Town all day

11th March:                 Mothering Sunday Family Mass

12th March:                 Science week begins

13th March:                 Photography club assembly for children (in preparation for photography club to begin on 17th                                                  April)

19th March:                 Sports Relief Week

22nd March:                KS1 Palm Liturgy in Church at 2.30pm –families and friends all


Families and friends are all invited to attend our very special class assemblies and Palm Liturgy. Class assemblies are as follows:

26th March: 9.00am:   Pendle Class assembly The Last Supper

27th March: 9.00am:   Parlick Class assembly The Garden of Gethsemane

28th March: 9.00am:   Fairsnape Class assembly The Stations of the Cross

29th March: 9.00am:   Beacon Class assembly The Resurrection of Christ


Holy Thursday-Break up at 1.30pm

Children return for Summer Term on Monday 16th April



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Goosnargh Concert Videos 2018

On Angels Wings

Wade In The Water


Band 2

Choir 3

Glee Club

Glee Club 2

Just when you think you have seen it all, our children amaze us ….again! Click on the links above and you will be able to watch our little stars perform at the Goosnargh Showtime concert. Thank you so much to parents for bringing your children and thank you to everybody who came to support the children and school. We have had so many positive comments about the standard of performances. One member of the public could not believe that our 22 young band children were playing different parts, reading music and playing in time. This is a huge achievement and it is not an easy thing to do at all. Children in the choir had such a beautiful sound and they performed three songs brilliantly. We finished with our Glee club, who left us speechless, in tears and in awe of the perfect timing, drama and song.  I think we all needed reminding that this club had children from Reception Class performing! Thank you to Mr Warren and Mrs Davies for arranging the music and leading such enjoyable and successful clubs. Well done children and thank you for representing our school in such a positive way. Our stars were certainly shining on Sunday!

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Our Stars Shine Brightly…


I often refer to our children as stars because they shine in everything they do. Even when things are difficult, they sparkle because they always try their very best. One of our governors emailed me to congratulate our league table success as one of the top performing primary schools in the country. I had forgotten about this because we are so used to our natural  ‘sparkle’ at St.Francis’ that we sometimes take it for granted that we do well. Results can change year on year and different circumstances affect score boards but I do know that our children are very talented and kind individuals and our staff are highly skilled and dedicated. This week, we won £100 and were presented with a cheque from Furness Building Society on behalf of OJ’s charity. Some of our children filled Smartie tubes with money and we found out that we raised the most out of all other primary schools. Our head girl, Libby, had promoted this throughout school and we thank her very much.Following or huge gymnastics success last week, I couldn’t believe that our ‘small’ school had managed another win. Whatever we do, we do well because we do it wholeheartedly and that it what always makes the difference.


I have had a lovely week being with the children and watching them thrive in a variety of lessons and curricular activities. We have some very small Judo experts, fencing naturals and even more musicians joining the band. I can’t wait for the Goosnargh concert on Sunday 4th February. This is going to be our biggest yet because we have so many children involved. Mrs Davies is going to be there with her Glee Club and Mr Warren will be coming to lead the school band and choir.  Come along if you can and bring your families and friends to support our children. I took a couple of pictures around school and I think they speak volumes about the happiness and sheer joy that exists in and around our school. I do love walking around (that isn’t all I do) and getting involves in activities. I have lost count of how many children have visited my office to wow me with their work and I can see such a positive work ethic in all classrooms. Digging around in mud when you are 2,3 and 4 years old is absolutely what it is all about. Digging in mud is a very technical skill that is not to be underestimated. For little people, it is a time when friendships are forged and problems are solved. Many concepts are involved and much joy is had. A small world castle filled with giant puppets and writing frames develops vocabulary and sparks imagination. A simple book creates laughter and opens worlds of learning and runaway chickens cause unrest! Our gymnastics teams gave us a demonstration in assembly and they were amazing! Well done for such confidence and wonderful skill!


National story telling week begins next week and the infants are going to visit a castle-some will be going on their first ever school trip!


Have a lovely weekend.

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We have made a great start to our Spring term. In a huge event, at the City of Preston Gymnastics Centre, close to 200 gymnasts were present, with the competition lasted close to six hours, with some of the biggest schools in Preston taking part. St Francis were represented by two girl teams and one boy team (made up of Amy Peacock, Gracie Holden, Katrina Grixti and Maggie Luke – as the first team. Grace Davies, Lizzy Moran, Libby Riley and Kitty Rossall as the second team. Liam Hamer,  Leo Briggs, Frankie Rossall and Felix Spinks as the boys team.) The children had spent the last two weeks preparing their routines, in school and and at home.  Our girls first team, came first overall, out of 32 teams, made up of 128 individual girls. Making St Francis, the Preston Schools Gymnastics Girls CHAMPIONS! Amy Peacock,  won the individual award, as the most outstanding gymnast in the girls category. Gracie, came 4th overall with an incredible routine.  The boys team, made up of two children who are new to gymnastics, came third overall, out of 16 teams; an incredible achievement.Frankie and Leo finished 5th and 6th respectively, just missing out on the medals.

We are very proud – well done children! You can see how professional they came across from the pictures below. Thank you very much Miss Stewart, Mr Gilmour and parents for preparing the children so well. Not only did they perform really well, they had a great day out also.


In other news, new topics have sparked new inspiration and there seems to be a theme of bones and wildlife running throughout school. Our Wednesday animal welfare group found two mice in the greenhouse and this triggered a lengthy rescue mission. It seems that the wooden planting area was causing little birds to become trapped and unable to fly out. The remains were taken to Fairsnape class to be investigated and we removed the bench so this wouldn’t happen again.

We are busily preparing to perform at ‘Showtime’ on 4th February. Please note that the concert time has changed and it will begin at 1.00pm. Our band, choir and Glee club are all performing and you are all welcome to come and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of entertainment.


I have had so many children coming to show me their wonderful work that I have had to order more exciting prizes and praise rewards. It really is a highlight of every day to see such a wide variety of work. Children in every class amaze me and I can see how much pride they take in their achievements. Fencing has started in Beacon class,  children are enjoying Judo, owl pellets are bringing the curriculum to life and Pendle class are flourishing. The big bird watch continues in Parlick class and our outside area is coming along slowly but surely. The cold weather is still preventing the area to be finished but that cannot be helped at the moment. Work will begin again when it is possible.

Have a lovely weekend.


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Memories for every parent…

As I sit here and write another end of term blog, I think about all of the wonderful things we have already accomplished in such a short space of time. I cannot believe that another term is over and we will return on January 8th to a new Spring Term. The children have continued to amaze us and we are very proud of them all.  I am pleased to tell you all that Infant Nativity song DVDs will be available to buy for £6.00 after the Christmas holidays. These will make a wonderful lasting gifts for your loved ones to cherish forever. We will be selling them to raise money for outdoor resources for our new EYFS and infant area. Due to the very cold weather, work will continue after the Christmas holidays and will be finished within the first fortnight back. We need some round wooden picnic tables, a wooden shed for storage (or even better-a large Wendy house for role-play), an outdoor perspex painting easel, large weighing scales and other outdoor curriculum enhancements. It is all very exciting! We thank you all for your kindness, support and dedication in making our St.Francis’ family so strong. Everything really is about communication and positive relationships. Our Outstanding Section 48 Inspection validated that we are a dedicated, highly skilled and caring staff team. It truly is a blessing to come to our school every day and watch your children love learning and thrive. The relationships between our children are a constant reminder of the values that underpin all aspects of our school. Kindness, thoughtfulness and love between every member of our school community permeates throughout. With our beautiful 2 year olds through to our exemplary Year 6 class, St.Francis’ continues to be a place of warmth and success. I thank all teachers and staff for working tirelessly and all children for always trying their best and being so considerate.

Here are some videos for you to watch until the DVDs are ready for sale. We wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas. Christmas Eve Carols begin at 6.00pm in Church and Mass begins at 6.30pm.

Pre-School Mini Carols Around the Tree and jumper day


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Infant Nativity

‘Don’t wake the baby’

‘It’s a long way on a donkey’

‘Don’t worry Mary’

‘Knock, Knock, who’s there’

‘Wake up shepherds’

‘We are camels’

‘A new day dawning’

‘Born in the barn’

‘The finale’

KS2 Carol Service and songs

Click blow for the links…

We three kings’

‘See him laying on a bed of hay’

‘One bright star’



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Click here for the year 6 nativity 2 song

A song from the year six children for you all to enjoy…


Christmas dinner

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