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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Imagination Doorway…

Here are some pictures taken today. This outdoor EYFS and infant area can also be used by all children in the school. Breakfast and after school club will be able to access this, as will children in every year group. We will use this for UFA groups, as part of our forest school development, and we will tie this in with our Millennium Walk development. It is all very exciting!

Imagination Doorway (in progress)…You can just about see the first little wooden window on the left of the doorway…or will it be the doorway of the Gingerbread House…?

IMG_4305[1]IMG_4303[1]IMG_4306[1]IMG_4307Natural bird screen with hanging binoculars and wildlife exploration area-you know, hedgehog hideaways and bug hotels! The picture next left shows a giant mud pit waiting for the mud dinosaur to be constructed-for deconstructed forest school play!

 

IMG_4313IMG_4312IMG_4308IMG_4317High (2.1m tall) safety fencing will enclose the whole perimeter. The high (2.1m tall) timber fencing separates the boundary and defines our new outdoor area. Paths are being created with a rickety bridge and a rill for water play and investigation. Bamboo will create divides.

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Carol Service and Nativity Arrangements

Dear all,

This is copied from a letter your child will be coming home with today. Please ask your child to give you the letter.

KS2 Carol Service and Infant Nativity Information

Dear families , friends and parishioners,

Key Stage 2 Carol Service –tonight(12th December) at 6.00pm-  This involves junior children only -Fairsnape and Beacon Class

We are looking forward to our KS2 Carol Service this evening. The children have been rehearsing in church and it will be a very special event. Please bring your child to our school hall for 5.30pm. You can go to church and get seated; waiting for staff and children to  process into church at 6.00pm.  As every year, the children will be singing a selection of beautiful songs to celebrate Advent. We hope to see you all there. Children must come to school wearing their full school uniform. Any costumes and props are provided by school. The service will last for approximately 1 hour.

 

Infant Nativity-next Tuesday (19th December) at 6.00pm- This involves infant children only -Pendle and Parlick Class

Next Tuesday (19th December), we will be watching two performances of our Infant Nativity. The first performance is at 2.00pm in church.  Families and friends are all welcome-especially any who cannot make it to see the evening performance. The evening performance is in church at 6.00pm. Children need to meet staff in our school hall at 5.30pm dressed in their costumes.  Costumes are provided by school and children will come home wearing them from the 2.00pm performance. Children will bring their uniforms home in a bag at home time on Tuesday. The Nativity will last for approximately 1 hour.

Important Dates:

12th December: 6.00pm KS2 Carol Service in Church

13th December: 1.30pm Pre-School Mini-Carols around the tree

14th December: 1.30pm Christmas Party-party clothes all day

15th December: Christmas Jumper Day and Carols around the tree starting at 2.00pm (band playing)

19th December: 2.00pm and 6.00pm Infant Nativity in Church.

20th December: School Christmas Lunch-every child invited to have Christmas School Dinner £2.20 for junior

children.

21st December: Break up at 1.30pm-no school bus.

 

 

 

 

 

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Carol singing, amazing structures and a pantomime

I am struggling to contain my excitement at the moment because the outdoor area is really taking shape. Our ‘World of Pure Imagination’ will be finished by the Christmas holidays. I just hope that this weather gets a little warmer for the workmen to see the ground! It is so cold today that the grass is hidden under a blanket of ice and I could barely feel my toes earlier. Please take great care when driving to school.

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The pantomime was absolutely fantastic and we thank Alex Johnson and Preston College for coming to perform for us again. I think these pictures will explain…

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Carol singing at Burey Court, Longridge was a joy. Well done year 6 for bringing so much Christmas cheer!

McCarthy & Stone Sales Support Executive Rachael Hardley, Sales Executive Sharon Robinson and House Manager Joanne Barlow with pupils from St Francis Catholic Primary School. credit:  leeboswellphotography.com

IMG_2247[1]IMG_2256[1]More pictures will be coming soon…

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It’s official…OUTSTANDING!

We are so delighted to be able to share our wonderful news with you all.  The inspectors were such a delight to have in school and we are very pleased that they saw all of the wonderful things we see in school every day. We are very proud of our children and of our school. I am sure you will all agree that this report highlights the effort of staff and our genuine Catholic ethos. Our school has been described as a  ‘unique and special place’.

Please have a look at our Section 48 report…

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A big truck for a small(ish) dinosaur!

Measuring November 2017 452Measuring November 2017 451Measuring November 2017 453Measuring November 2017 454Measuring November 2017 457Measuring November 2017 456Measuring November 2017 458

Yesterday, work began in our exciting EYFS and infant outdoor classroom. I cannot describe how thrilled I am that work is underway. Obviously,  my ‘project manager’ role means that I am highly integral to the whole process-and highly nosey too! Even deliveries of treated soil for our sleeping dinosaur mud pit area must be overseen! Here I am playing a vital role in the soil delivery. The area will be unrecognisable soon. A timber fence will be erected next week and the whole project will completed by Christmas. A rill and rickety bridge are being created, mud pit with natural grass hill dinosaur, bird hide and nature area, imagination door way and land of imagination with wire spool small worlds, reading garden and teepee, sand pit, natural outdoor art studio, bamboo screens and much more. We can’t wait. I will keep you updated with pictures as work progresses.

I have contacted the highways agency, again, to ask that our roads are gritted and PC Banks is helping us in our efforts. Please be careful when driving along the lanes. We are trying our best to be put on the priority list.

There are so many wonderful things going on in school. I love the creativity of our staff. I can safely say that I have never seen angles being taught through ‘dabbing’ before but it really works! Quality active learning+love+ enthusiasm= happy children.

IMG_6195IMG_4946IMG_4935Measuring November 2017 450Measuring November 2017 459

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Rudolf made me cry!

Click here to have a preview of our festive band

I don’t often cry when I hear ‘Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer’ or ‘Jingle Bells’ but I think you can see why I was getting quite emotional in band rehearsal yesterday afternoon. This is a Primary School band with children from Years 1-6 and with mainly younger children. All but three Year 6 children play in the band and what a sound they make. Our infants were rehearsing for their Nativity so they don’t feature in this video. I can’t wait to play alongside the children at the next family mass-10th December-before our Christmas Fair in school. Tell all of your friends and families and come along! If anything will bring Christmas cheer, it is our school band. I can’t describe how proud I am of the children and of the standard they have reached in such a short amount of time. They are all reading music, which is wonderful, and they come together to enjoy a shared talent.

Yesterday morning’s assembly theme was about the Parable of the Talents and the end of today rounded it up nicely. Jesus taught us to use our talents wisely and to use them to serve others. Young children playing in a school band to bring happiness to each other and to the wider community is certainly my idea of this. What a great week we have had.

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy this taster of what is yet to come at next family mass!

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Two little mice

As you know, we had our Section 48 Inspection on Tuesday and I thank you for your support and positive comments. The inspectors were a joy to have in school and they thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our children. They commented on the enthusiasm the children had and said what delights they were. We can let you know the official outcome of the inspection next week.

It is funny how things fall on the same day (when you could do without them falling on the same day) and you have to find creative solutions to difficult problems. Poor Mrs Keenan, our cook, isn’t feeling well at the moment and she was unable to come into school on Tuesday. With hair nets and potatoes at the ready, Miss Taylor and I were ready to  jump into masterchef action. Thank goodness Mrs Jackson was able to step in. Navigating a school kitchen and preparing school dinners-all at the same time-is not something I could cope with. Mrs Keenan certainly has skills that I could only wish for and Mrs Jackson has taken this emergency in her stride.

We are very proud of our links with other schools and we can’t wait for our choir to sing at the Advent Service on Tuesday 5th December at St.Antony’s Church, Fulwood. Children from our Preston cluster of schools will be coming together for this very special service. Our school is also part of the Longridge cluster  and we are in the early stages of a huge project that will be on the same scale as, ‘Forget Me Not’ back in 2013. It will coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War – November 11th 2018 and the children will be performing at Preston Guild Hall. Year 4 (current Year 3) will be involved in this cross-curricular project as a class but music and drama using all of our children’s talents will feature. A key element involves our children and local community knitting thousands of poppies. We need as much red (and some black) wool as we can obtain. Any shade of red will do! Please send wool into school if you have any spare.If any of you could knit poppies in your spare time, we would be very grateful to receive them as a cluster. Maybe you could teach your child to knit and this could become a family project.

Our Christmas Parish and school Fair is on Sunday 10th December in the school hall and it begins straight after our Advent Family Mass. If any of you would like to run a stall or have things to sell, please contact school. We want this to be our busiest school fair yet! I had a conversation with some of our parishioners and it has been brought to my attention that some parishioners are unable to come over to school after mass so we are coming to them. We are delighted that our school band and choir will be performing throughout Family Mass on Sunday 10th December. We will be playing a selection of Christmas songs and pieces throughout Mass and we are even finding room for the drum kit to be played! Please do save this date, especially if your child is in the school  band/choir. We need all musicians to spread Christmas cheer and make the best possible sound. Mr .Warren will be coming on the day to lead the school band and choir in this very special service.

Yesterday brought another emergency and it involved a ‘moving bag’ in the garage. After hearing a scream and seeing Mr. Gilmour running across the playground, I went to investigate. A startled looking Mr Gilmour informed me that there were mice inside a bag at the back of the garage. The garage is far away from the school building and we are in a rural area so little mice obviously like to tuck up inside a warm bag. ‘I am great with animals and little mice’ were the words I had used to reassure Mr. Gilmour and off we went to the garage. For those of you who have followed the animal rescue stories throughout my time here, you will know that I am quite experienced in this field. Small animal removal is usually a doddle task for me but this was different. I can only compare the two mice bobbing their heads up and down from inside the bag like a game at a fair…and they were fast! Mrs. Rossall had come to find some PE cones and was also involved in the commotion. She was as helpful as I was, which was not at all. We decided that the mice must be released together, as they were obviously either related or friends, and it was up to Mr. Gilmour to empty the bag. If I was a mouse, I too would like to sleep in a pom pom. The two little mice have now gone back into a field and the garage is clear.

I have just found some pictures of our youngest children in school that will make you smile. I am in awe of their independence and wonderful social skills. Class pages will be updated tomorrow and our Advent celebration preparation is well under way. All costumes and resources are provided by school.

Our Judo breakfast club is going to begin again in the Spring term following a demonstration assembly in a couple of weeks. Letters will be coming to you all soon.

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Dates for your diaries:

23rd-29th November:                  Book Fair in the school hall 3.20pm-3.45pm

5th December:                               10.00am Choir singing at a local Rest Home.

ADVENT service CHOIR singing 7.00pm St.Antony’s church, Fulwood.

10th December:                             10.30am Family Mass and Christmas Fair

12th December:                             6.00pm KS2 Carol Service in Church

13th December:                             1.30pm Pre-School Mini-Carols around the tree and sharing learning journeys

14th December:                             1.30pm Christmas Party (PTFA event)

15th December:                             Christmas Jumper Day and Carols around the tree starting at 2.00pm

19th December:                              2.00pm and 6.00pm Infant Nativity in Church.

20th December:                             School Christmas Lunch-every child invited to have Christmas School Dinner £2.20 for junior children.

21st December:                              Break up at 1.30pm-no school bus.

 

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A Special Week

We have had such a special week filled with special people and random acts of kindness. Our assembly was all about service and living humbly and I can think of many examples of this that have been noted during our first week back.

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I have not long been back from spending time at ‘Play Football’ where Mrs Hamer and Mr Gilmour are raising the profile of support for Syrian refugees. The teams may well still be playing their tournaments, enjoying being in each other’s  company.

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If any of you have toys or unwanted clothes-especially men’s  clothing, this would be gratefully received. Our refugee community are also in desperate need of baby nappies. Any unwanted men’s trainers would also be appreciated as the Syrian refugees are now fully involved in playing football. I have had the privilege of being surrounded by such polite and respectful gentlemen and I know that links will continue to strengthen. Thank you to Mrs Hamer and Mr Gilmour, who have put so much time and effort into making this afternoon so memorable and enjoyable. Mr McGill played too and it was great to see staff showing support.

My morning began in school for our Remembrance Service Family Mass and our children had created beautiful and poignant poems to display in church. It was when these were being taken up with the Offertory that I realised how much effort goes into each Family Mass. I thank all staff who continue to give their extra time and care for these events. We are looking forward to our next Family Mass, where our school band will be playing at the very end. As I tried to envision where the drum kit and 24 children would sit, complete with instruments and music stands, I decided it best to work out this logistical nightmare another time! I have, however, managed to secure a team of parishioners who are willing to carry the pieces of the drum kit over to church with us. That is half the battle! More information will be coming soon.

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Our trip to the Mosque was amazing and I received a kind email from Amjad, who gave  our children an in depth tour and answered some fantastic questions.  He spoke of how respectful and well behaved our children were. His emails always end ‘with peace’ and this is something the world certainly needs more of.

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We have another exciting week ahead. Mr Gilmour is taking his class to look at Taiwanese Art at UCLAN and the juniors are going to the cinema on Tuesday as part of their film club studies.

Thank you to our fantastic PTFA, who led another successful and enjoyable event on Friday evening. Your work is greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to a septic tank meeting and observing the creativity that exists at St.Francis’ for another super week ahead.

 

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