Simply Sensational…that’s all I can say!

 

These videos speak for themselves. Our children really are sensational stars. We couldn’t be prouder of our children and I am sure that you will all agree that they have put so much effort into all of the performances. Our band were absolutely wonderful and we had brilliant soloists, duets and audience participation! I have to say that I have been excited all week waiting to see our Glee club debut and it was a treat. After only four rehearsals of an Annie medley, children were so animated in their performance. When I saw the delight on our Year 1 children’s faces as they performed, I couldn’t help but see some future actors and actresses.

I thought about the whole concert later on in the day and I realised that I had taken for granted the amazing behaviour of the whole school and also from our Nursery and Pre-School children. They sat in awe of our older children performing for almost an hour-hardly moving a muscle. It was a lovely atmosphere and I thank our staff who put hours of preparation, creating arrangements and backing tracks etc for our children to enjoy and shine in performances like today.

This afternoon, Mrs B-M got a phone call and I went into Fairsnape Class to take care of her UFA group as she took the call in my office. Ironically, I opened the door quickly and almost fell into the classroom, who were in the middle of a First Aid training group. One little boy wore a sling that had been perfectly assembled by another pupil. I was pleased that Mrs B-M came back quickly as I have had terrible first aid training experiences in the past involving slings. I have never been able to master the art of putting on a sling but I am willing to join Mrs B-M’s future first aid for children UFA group to improve.

I had a horrendous evening in school on Wednesday as our Mad Science after school club literally made me quite mad! Accidents happen but a messy accident it was! Oil and water mixed was spilled on the hall floor and walked all over. I haven’t dealt with oil and water combinations on wooden floors before and I don’t ever want to again. Some parts were like an ice rink. It isn’t what you need at 5.30pm on a Wednesday evening. Luckily, after a phone call to our cleaning company, buffers, water hoovers (I think that is what they were) arrived with two men who looked like they meant business. Within half an hour on Thursday morning, our hall was restored to our usual slip free surface. Accidents happen. It reminded me of the time when the ink bottle exploded in Mr.Gilmour’s classroom in the middle of an art lesson. He came out of the room with a blue beard and a smurf like appearance. I will not say any more.

Mrs Hamer met Prince Harry this week. Genuinely kind people are treasures and Mrs Hamer is one of these. She has set up a football club for Syrian refugees and she instigates and undertakes many fundraising initiatives to help them. Mr Gilmour plays football. Apparently he is semi famous as he once showed someone video footage of himself playing in a match. He and Mrs Hamer have joined forces to create a wonderful experience for the Syrian refugees. They will be playing a series of matches together -Mr Gilmour’s friends and the Syrian team at Tulketh on Sunday 12th November  starting at 2.00pm. We will be having a clothes, baby nappies and toys collection that week in school to help the refugees. More information will be coming soon.

Thank you to members of our PTFA who have been helping in school this week. It is very much appreciated. Our Open Afternoon was successful and it was lovely to hear so many positive comments.

Mrs Rossall has mastered the art of uploading videos onto our website following a masterclass from Miss Stewart. I thank her for taking the time to put these videos from today onto this blog. More will follow when I master the skill!

I wish you all a lovely half term break. We return to school on Monday 6th November.

 

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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.

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PE /Information Screen

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Maths Calculation Policy

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Mathematics is an integral part of primary school, where children learn and expand their understanding of a range of objectives, all under the umbrella of ‘Maths.’ At St Francis we are flexible in our approach to support, engage and develop each child’s ability in the subject. As the way maths has been taught has changed through each generation – we are having an after school maths seminar – which will aim to show you how the core teaching of calculations, at each stage of primary school, is taught at St Francis’. See the links below for the Busy Ants Calculations Policy and the Supportive Calculations. We follow the Collins Busy Ants Maths Scheme, as well as using Lancashire’s Maths Scheme. This gives us the overview for the year and supports  the planning, teaching and assessment for each aspect of Maths. Further to this – we use an additional policy (taken from the government funded NCETM)  to support the learning of maths through different means (concrete, abstract and pictorial). This can be used to engage children in a variety of learning styles through the many dimensions of maths. We look forward to welcoming parents on Tuesday 26th September, from 3:30pm. Any questions or queries please do come in to speak to your class teacher.

Busy Ants Maths Policy – BusyAnt_CALC

NCETM Supportive Policy – Calculation policy

Thank you

Mr Gilmour

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