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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Photography Club

We have an exciting new club to begin after the half term holidays. Please look out for information coming home with your child. This morning, Bruce came to talk to us about the club and he really inspired children to join. There are 22 places available on a first come first served basis. Please read and respond to the letter tonight if you are interested! You sign up online and not through school.


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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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Division 4 swimming champions…


This is the highest ever achievement for our little school! All Preston schools are divided into 6 swimming divisions. We have spent our entire time, since the competitions began , between division 4, 5 and 6. Being one of the smallest schools that take part, we will be going into division 3 next year to compete with much bigger schools, for the first time! We enjoyed swimming with our friends from other local bigger schools and we cannot believe we were placed champions of division 4.

Incredibly, every child ( Gracie, Lizzy, Amy, Katrina, Jimmy, Leo and Vinny) managed to finish in the top 2 in their heat, resulting in all the children reaching the final of their event. The children competed with determination and great support for each other. Win or lose, the children gave it their all and cheered each other to the finish line. They all achieved beyond expectation once again, making us all very proud – picking up the big trophy and a great sense of pride as a result. Well done everyone!  I look forward to assembly to reward the children for their great achievement – well done to the swimming team!

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Well done Year 3 and 4 gymnasts!


Well done to our amazing gymnasts. Once again, we have excelled in this area and we couldn’t be prouder of the children who took part in the Preston competition. Frankie came joint first out of all of the boys who entered (42 from other schools) and our school came 5th overall (23 schools). This is an incredible achievement. Well done Lucy, Kitty, Maggie, Felix and Frankie!

Read  all about this and other sports news on the sports page. Click on the link below.

St Francis’ Sports News

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World Book Day Wednesday

Please send children in dressed as their favourite book character on Wednesday. A reminder that non-uniform day for Easter Bingo is on Thursday. Please bring some chocolate for the raffle. Our PTFA still have tickets for the Spring Social. You can contact school for more details.

Many thanks.

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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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