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.

 

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Primary and Secondary School place deadlines

Beacon Class have all been given information about Secondary school Opening Evenings. Year 5 children also have this list for your information, just in case you want to start looking now!

You can find the list of Secondary Schools by clicking here:

Closing date for applications:

31st October 2017 for Secondary

15th January 2018 for Primary

 

To apply for a school place visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/schools or call 01772 532189 for more information.

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back!

It is great to see the children start the new school year in the bright, beautiful new school uniforms. We welcome Mrs Davies, Mr McGill and Mrs Tyrer to our St Francis family. The new reception and pre-school children have quickly settled  into our school family; we will look forward to a successful year to come.  A newsletter about important dates and further information about what is happening this term is included in the newsletter. If you are not sure about anything, please do contact school. The newsletter is available on the link below.

Many thanks

Mr Gilmour

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If I had to pick the highlights…

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There have been so many highlights of the school year that it has been difficult to choose a few. Our Year 6 class have been exemplary in every way and they have set such a high standard for other children to follow. We had many things going on in and around school in the last few weeks. Year 6 went to The Cottage for lunch, we went on a whole school trip, we celebrated many whole school prayer and liturgy opportunities, strengthened our links with children at a school in Kenya, played football and netball against Year 6, were awarded a Laudauto Si  award from CAFOD, got 3 rabbits for school (courtesy of our Year 6 leavers), created a ‘buddy bench’  (courtesy of Mrs Unsworth) and much more. We have had some incredible support from friends and families of our school and we give thanks for the many talents and gifts we have all been given. The school band are amazing. Mr. Warren will be continuing with us next year and we now have more brass players than ever.

When you have no option but to wait for building work to commence, it can become a little frustrating but we can assure you that we are working alongside LCC throughout the holidays to secure a start on our return to school.

On the last day of term, our leavers did a ‘staffroom sketch’ and it was hilarious. We forget how much children pick up on and they have been very observant throughout the year. It was when Jess walked on wearing a high vis vest, wellies, hard hat and a fishing net that I knew she had to be portraying my life at St.Francis’ and it was worrying!!I feel that I have unblocked far too many drains, rescued far too many bats, birds and toads, cleaned up too many cow pats and fended of far too many sheep! For those of you who have met me, you will know that these typical jobs of a Headteacher ( or my Headteacher role) are all in my bag of tricks and I can conquer most things. I have conquered nappies and car seats and very small children who ping my tights and laugh hysterically as I read them a story.  I have conquered power cut problems when children are about to sit their SATs.

I have yet to conquer creating a ‘rabbit welfare’ group for the holidays. This is a huge hint that we are reaching out to parents who would like to volunteer in looking after our new rabbits next half term holidays. You may think this is very soon in advance but I know what could potentially happen if I do not have a rota firmly in place! Year 6 gave us 3 rabbits and a beautiful 2 tier hutch, with a gold plaque on the door engraved with the names of the Year 6 leavers. I haven’t seen the rabbits yet but I know the children will love them very much.

Below, you will see me trying to get a reoccurring tiny fruit bat off my dress. It seems that, after drinking a lot of water from a wet paper towel, a tiny fruit bat will suddenly come to life! I am not keen on bats but I must do my duty. You will also see what I love about our school-a variety of activities…

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Class pages always show you so much about topics and ‘Learning Logs’ tell you what your children will be learning on a weekly basis but we will be sending you half termly curriculum learning overviews beginning  in September- on paper! These will also have dates for your diaries (particularly relating to your child’s class) and will be an addition to the monthly newsletter.

I cannot believe how much the children grow. Our Year 2 stars will be moving into juniors and our EYFS children will be in Year 1. The time has flown by and we couldn’t be prouder of them all. Our 12 new starters have already familiarised themselves with the classroom and their teacher, Mrs Davies, and we know that our new Year 6 class will be fantastic, sensible and caring in their new roles as children leading children.

We congratulate James Gornall and Libby Riley -our new Head boy and Head girl- and Henry Coupe and Charlotte Coupe as our Deputies. What wonderful role models they will be. Our school is a democracy and we teach this within our British Values curriculum. The children all listened to Year 5 speeches and they all voted to ensure the process was fair. There will be many roles in school for all Year 6 children to lead and use their initiative to further improve school.

Sports teams have been amazing this year, musicians have flourished and the progression and standard of art skills have been outstanding. Children have immersed themselves in Shakespeare and the Beacon Class play was breathtaking. The standard of singing was first rate. The children amazed me!

Children who took part in ‘St.Francis’ Got Talent’ were absolute stars and UFA groups have been thoroughly enjoyed by all. I wholeheartedly thank all staff who work tirelessly in creating and maintaining an amazing learning environment, enriched with active learning opportunities. I thank the parish and parents who continue to speak of our school so positively and thanks to our PTFA. The list could go on. For all volunteers, your work with our children is greatly appreciated and we thank your support.

We look forward to September. Until then, have a safe and relaxing holiday.

Good luck Year 6- enjoy your next adventures and always believe in yourselves.

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Year 6 Mass CHANGE OF DATE

Due to circumstances beyond school control, we have no other option than to change the date of our Year 6 Mass. Fr  Sony can no longer be present on Monday and we have been advised that the Mass must be moved to Tuesday at 1.30pm. We were due to have the very special Year 6 leavers’ Mass on Monday at 1.15pm but it can now only be on Tuesday 18th July at 1.30pm. I can only apologise for this unforeseen circumstance. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility in this matter. A text message has gone out to all Year 6 parents earlier this evening.

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To Year 6-CONGRATULATIONS!!

Preparing children for life is what school is about-this should put things into perspective.  For those of you who know me and understand my philosophy on education, this letter will come as no surprise. It isn’t often that I can discuss my views on education and my views on the testing process and current testing systems. If you walk into our school and visit classrooms, you will find creativity, children being listened to and lots of smiles and active learning. Our Year 6 children didn’t bother at all when it came to taking their SATs because they were thoroughly prepared and had been for some time. Learning didn’t change for them. They continued to thrive on a creative curriculum, where writing is exciting and grammar is taught through songs and dance moves! When children are excited and motivated to learn, they will thrive. Happiness first and all else will follow- under a blanket of excellent teaching, learning and care.

Yesterday, our Year 6 class received their SATs results-and a covering letter…                                                  `

 

To our wonderful Year 6 children,

I write this letter to you all to congratulate you on your wonderful achievements over the past year: you have worked so hard and we are all so proud of you.

Not every skill in school is tested and they cannot all be measured. SATs didn’t test your enthusiasm for animal welfare or how great you are at Judo. They didn’t test your kindness towards others and they didn’t test how good a swimmer you are or what incredible knowledge you have about History. They didn’t listen to you perform in a concert and make us all laugh and they didn’t see you helping the younger children in school. SATs didn’t see your compassion for the elderly and they didn’t ask you what YOUR dreams and hopes are.

You tried your very best and no one could have asked for more. Some of you will have found you have passed all of the tests or passed some. I would like to tell you that not one of you scored ‘below’ (which means that the scores were too low to meet the scale). This is a huge achievement in itself!

We have our own standards and they involve how we conduct ourselves in this world and how we have integrity and enthusiasm to work hard for what we want. Children, you have to believe that you can do anything if you believe you can. The sky really is the limit and you must listen to this.

Keep your unique personalities and spark. Keep your smiles and your kindness. Keep your manners and your exciting hobbies. Keep your high spirits and take these things with you to High School. You are about to have a wonderful summer break and then you embark upon a great adventure.

We couldn’t have asked any more from you and we are all very proud. You are truly amazing.

Good luck on whatever path you choose. Make the right choices and know that ‘If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.’ Always think and BELIEVE you can!

You can find your results on the next page. A scale score of 100 or above means you have met the threshold and passed the test. Anything close to this is brilliant-especially as SATs are now a lot harder than they used to be.

I am privileged to have known such a wonderful Year 6 Class.

Well done all of you!

 

 

For parent information, we are SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE NATIONAL AVERAGE with the following % achieving the expected score:

SPaG =100%      Reading= 90%    Maths= 90%    Writing=80%

Congratulations Year 6!

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Trip to Ribble Discovery Centre

The children are very excited for the trip tomorrow. They will be engaged in a range of ‘At the Seaside’ activities, mud dipping, mini beast explorations and linking lots of scientific learning with practical investigations. All children need to come to school dressed in their school tracksuit (PE tracksuit) so they can be easily and quickly identified. All children must bring a packed lunch because we are setting off after registration. You will obviously not be charged for a school dinner that day if your child is on school dinners. Please be politely advised that the car parks need to be clear of traffic in order for us to maintain the safety of our children whilst boarding the coach. We will have a wonderful day. Thank you to PTFA, who have paid for the transport.

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Nora Batty

It wasn’t until I sat in my car at 6.00pm on Friday, to go home from school, when I caught sight of my ankles. I had been in Pre-School all day and the amount of times that my tights had been ‘pinged’ around my ankles by little ones had bridged 10. I love ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and I honestly think Nora Batty would have been proud of my incredibly saggy tights!

On Monday, we had a visitor from CAFOD, who came to give school an award for our work on Laudaute Sii (care for our common home) and we learned all about the lack of power (and opportunities) for children in other parts of the world. We have been welcoming Mr Walker from St.Cecilia’s High School for the last couple of weeks and he has been teaching an ‘Electricity’ topic to our KS2 children. All week, I have had little visits from children showing me their torches and playground rides. They were fabulous! Speaking of opportunities, the trip on Thursday is going to be great and I would like to clarify that it is not free for schools. It does concern me to hear that some parents are upset because we are charging for a free trip. We would not do that and I am sure that you know me well enough now to know that that would never happen. I am sure that this has occurred as a simple misunderstanding but you are welcome to see me to discuss concerns. Alot of planning and risk assessments  have to be done before a trip and we have put alot time into this. Again,  being a small school means we cannot share the workload widely so I am sure you can appreciate our efforts.

I hope you managed to download our new APP. I would like to celebrate the amount of communication we now have with parents as this should be noted. Newsletters are monthly, messages can be sent in learning logs and reading diaries, our website is updated frequently, our new APP is available for all, other letters are sent home, as and when needed, to convey information e.g. dates for your diary and we have our text messaging service. If, at any point, you need information about an event, just give us a call and we can quickly advise for your peace of mind. Matters can be resolved in minutes and we are always happy to answer questions/ explain matters. Please keep speaking to us then you have correct information. It is amazing how information can be discussed and changed in conversations and we wouldn’t want unnecessary upset. Our school is a happy place and we value all opinions. Please speak to your class teacher or myself directly if you have queries- even over the phone if you cannot make it into school. We are here early and until 6.00pm (if not later) but you can always leave an answer phone message and we will get back to you.

Our children were amazing in the Talent Show and I will put some pictures on the website soon. We have had a slight disaster with our  website and Mr Gilmour has taken full blame! Unfortunately, he deleted some past pictures from the media library ( to free up some space ) but it removed pictures from webpages and blogs! It will take a while to put these back on but all will be restored soon. Mr Gilmour drove the bus on the Year 6 trip to Knowsley Safari Park on Friday and it took him 2 hours to return the bus in Preston and go back home. It hasn’t been his most finest week at school because he also had to help clean the field on Monday! Three men came to unblock our drains, after I failed miserably at rodding them myself and the septic tank needs fixing. Contractors also came out to see me about the fuse box and my bank of ‘What I didn’t know but I do know now’ knowledge is ever growing.  Miss Taylor and I investigated  a hole in the tarmac behind church and we had it filled in promptly.  I am going to look forward to tomorrow as the beginning of a brilliant new week and I am leaving my wellies at home in an aim to avoid sticky situations.

We have a visitor from LCC, who is coming to see our exciting writing methods and write an article on our school for our innovative approach. I will keep you posted with that. The article will be in an Educational magazine and will be shared with the county. We have our school in the RE scheme of work ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life’ and such recognition is wonderful.

The money we raised through PTA events will pay for the Year 6 lunch trip to The Cottage, the transport for the whole school trip and some funds will go towards the outdoor Amphitheatre for all to use in a variety of lessons and activities.

In September, we will share plans with you for you to see what items we are fundraising for. Children have been making potato salad, from our own vegetable patches, making smoothies, torches, rehearsing for the Beacon Class play, some Year 5 and 6 children have been at the Our Lady’s High School math’s challenge and Year 2 have amazed me with their swimming skills. I forgot to mention that I took the Year 2 children swimming on Tuesday. They are learning retrieval and revival skills and they wowed me beyond belief.

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A huge thank you to Tracey Coupe for donating the fruit for Pendle Class fruit smoothies. The children had a great time!

Don’t  forget the Summer Social, organised by our PTFA. The Year 6 children have been working on a dance, led by Mrs Blair and there are stalls organised by the children too. Thank you for your support.

 

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