“The Queen wouldn’t be very happy and neither would Miss Deakin!”

“The Queen wouldn’t be very happy and neither would Miss Deakin!” (quote from an infant child)

I have not been considered in the same league as the Queen before but obviously, to a child, I somehow seem to have similar importance-this has never happened before and probably never will. No, I am not very happy at all about the recent events in London and I know that the Queen isn’t either. To a child, such dreadful things are understood more than we think and it was clear that the little girl in our school, who was so upset by the terror attacks, found this worrying. Children pick up more than we know and more than they sometimes show us. I always come back to the need for a listening ear and taking the time to chat about anything and everything in order to explore thoughts and feelings. We are all as busy as the world in which we live and it seems hard to make time to sit back and reflect.

As we continue our journey through Lent, we consider the impact we have on one another. Jesus wants us to live life in its fullness and in order to do that we must consider our thoughts and words.  Positivity breeds positivity and that is how we like to spend each school day! All staff at St.Francis’ want the very best for your children. Teachers spend their evenings revisiting plans for the next day so  children can have maximised learning opportunities and that is after they have spent their holidays and weekends considering groups of learners, individual learning styles and completely new topics and strands of learning in Maths, English and all curriculum subjects. When you train as a teacher, you don’t know all subject content for Science of History but you soon learn!  The very art of teaching four lessons per day with never less than three differentiated activities in each lesson really is a skill.  Within each lesson there is an introduction, success criteria, active learning, main part, mini plenaries, peer learning and a final stage to recap and address misconceptions. Resources are carefully chosen for different groups of learners and then there are children who remind me of me when I was at school who still said “I don’t get it” but kept trying their very best until it clicked the next day or week! It really is a treat but when I nag about keeping classrooms tidy, exciting and purposeful, the tidy part is sometimes lost due to the other two having much more importance!

I am pleased that we are having a ‘deep clean’ this holiday period in school and everything will be spic and span-just how I like it! I will be jet washing the chicken area myself and I think the mole hills will be tackled. Last Friday morning, I arrived to find our Ground’s Maintenance team mowing the grass ready for the children to safely play. I am not sure at all where the terms are going but I can’t believe that we are fast approaching the Summer Term.

When I first arrived at St.Francis’ I was asked if the school uniform would be changing because the brown colour was ‘a bit much’. I have a heartfelt connection with St.Francis as my thoughts on care for the environment, eachother and animals are connected. I would not dream of changing the brown colour-which is a direct representation of St.Francis -I also think it is different and makes our uniform stand out. We all want our identity and tradition to stay. What I do like though is to see children in colour. Children have colourful personalities and I have already asked the whole school what they think of our uniform. It seems that children would like colour so I showed them a prototype to compare our current uniform and a possible new one. When I say ‘new one’ I mean the colour of the jumper and cardigan changing to green. It will mean we are still ‘earthy’ being at one with our beautiful outdoors environment and still representatives of St.Francis but it does break up the full brown colour. The new colour is an absolute hit with children and staff and we aim to introduce the new jumper over time. We would begin with the new Reception Class starters wearing this in September and any other children in the school who would be buying new uniform. We do not want to add extra cost for you, especially those of who have more than one child. I understand that buying uniform is costly but when it is time to replace the brown jumper, a green one would be bought. We are considering to introduce a white polo-shirt underneath the green jumper-which can be bought in most supermarkets. Girls would wear their usual brown dress or skirt but wear a green cardigan/jumper instead of brown.  The emblem on the jumper will read ‘St.Francis’ Catholic Primary School’ and look similar to the Pre-School jumper but without the rainbow. I am sure you will agree that it looks smart! We will be happy to hear your views on our return to school.

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I wish you all a blessed and Holy Easter.