Weekly Update: 18th February 2022

Published February 18, 2022

It seems strange to say this after having Year 9 working from home on Monday and school being closed today due to storm Eunice, but this week has felt much more like school did pre-pandemic!

We had two wild wellbeing activities this week (a KS4 archaeology trip on Tuesday and the KS3 New Forest outdoor activities happening on Thursday), a Yr10 GCSE drama visit to Salisbury Playhouse, Bath Spa in school talking to Year 11 about study skills, a mass for Yr7 on Thursday, Yr7 and 8s cooking apple crumbles and macaroni cheese respectively, and all the clubs running after school and at lunch time too!

When we return from the half term break, there’s also lots to look forward to in the first week: Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, World Book Day on the Thursday and The Big Sleep on the Friday!

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent and is the day where Catholics all over the world received ashes upon their foreheads. These ashes are made from the burnt palm that were blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The ashes are sprinkled with holy water, usually fragranced with incense and blessed using four prayers that are thousands of years old. By receiving ashes and keeping them on, we publicly proclaim our intent to die to our worldly desires and live even more in Christ’s image, which we focus on during the season of ‘rebirth’ that is Lent (a Latin term for ‘Spring’).

Pupils will have the opportunity to receive ashes on their foreheads in school on Wednesday 2nd March.

World Book Day

We love to embrace World Book Day at school and we will be promoting reading in each and every lesson and form time during World Book Day (5 minutes each session contributing to a total collective read of 40 minutes).

We have carefully chosen our books this year to tie in with The Big Sleep (happening the day after). Year 7 & 8 will be reading ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ and Year 9-11 will be reading ‘Stone Cold’. Both books are related to homelessness and we’re confident they will encourage our pupils to think more deeply about the issue of homelessness and to recognise the dignity of all in our community and world.

We’ll also be encouraging staff and pupils to dress as a favourite character from a book!

I hasten to add that this is free of charge and totally optional and pupils not wanting to do so are expected to attend school in their full school uniform – it is not a non-uniform day!

I also want to stress that the staff embrace this with fantastic enthusiasm so please do not be alarmed if you see some strange outfits on Thursday 3rd March!

The Big Sleep

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the response from pupils and staff alike. At the time of writing, we have 38 pupils signed up to do the Big Sleep and 7 staff – this is by far the biggest group we have ever taken and we’re thrilled to be able to do so and raise money for Alabare and the work they do.

Each pupil, by committing to take part, has pledged to raise £50 for Alabare and we’ll be doing numerous activities in the first week to help the pupils achieve their pledged totals – most notably a non-uniform day on the Friday.

We’d welcome a donation of £1 per pupil and payments can be made via the school gateway app from Monday 28th Feb or cash donations can be paid to Year 11 prefects on the day. In addition, if you are able to and would like to donate to the SJCS Big Sleepers team donations can be made here.

Latest Covid Guidance

This is the latest guidance:

If you have tested positive on a lateral flow test you should submit the result via the government website.

There is now no need for a confirmatory PCR test if you are not displaying symptoms but have tested positive.

Please do forward notification of a positive result to attendance@sjcs.org.uk and also covid@sjcs.org.uk.

In terms of isolation, your positive test notification will give guidance on dates but the latest is:

  • 5 days isolation 
  • Take a lateral flow test on days 5 & 6. If both are negative, then isolation can end.
  • If not, then keep lateral flowing until you have two consecutive days of negative results (up to 10 days).

Call for Invigilators

With the return to public exams in the summer, we are looking to recruit exam invigilators.  If you are interested in this role, please contact exam66731@sjcs.org.uk for more information.

Achievement Points Race:

  • 1st Place: Margaret House with 32,197 points
  • 2nd Place: Vincent House with 30,305 points
  • 3rd Place: Teresa House with 28,945 points
  • 4th Place: Francis House with 26,119 points

Have a lovely half term break!

Kind regards,

Mr Rooney

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