Published September 3rd, 2021
Firstly, we’d like to extend a very warm welcome to all of our new families – it’s been a pleasure this week welcoming your children into our community, and they have certainly made a great first impression! We’d also like to welcome back all of our families after the summer break – it has been excellent having a full school again with pupils learning, laughing and “doing their best and minding their manners!”
Here’s hoping for a more ‘normal’ this year where we can really get back to doing what we do best with minimal disruption!
Welcome New Staff
We’d also like to extend a very warm welcome to a number of excellent new staff who have joined us this week:
- Mrs Martin – Head of MFL
- Mr Inglis – RE teacher
- Mrs Reynolds – RE teacher
- Mr Thompson – Science teacher
- Mrs Sheeley – English teacher
- Mrs Parratt – Learning Support Assistant
- Mrs Waters – Learning Support Assistant
They have all made a great start and will be excellent additions to our dedicated staff team.
It was a real sense of pride seeing all the pupils in uniform this week – it had been a while since we had seen the whole school in uniform due to the measures we took last year. It was excellent to see everyone looking so smart! A couple of reminders:
- Earrings should be simple stud earrings
- Black Nike/sports branded trainers are not school shoes
- Pupils will be expected to wear full school uniform on the days when they do not have PE
- Pupils will be expected to wear the school PE kit for days when they have PE.
Next week, we will share this year’s homework timetables.
We will also be issuing Satchel One (Show My Homework) login details to all new pupils. Parents will also have a login for this app so that you can be fully informed on homework.
HW club will run Tues – Thurs until 4:30 each week and is open to all pupils.
PE clubs will be starting next week, and the following will be on offer this half term:
The Drama team would like to put on a production in early December 2021. This will be for students in year 8-11 and will be the short but funny play called ‘Free’ by David Grant. There are 23 speaking parts,and they will also be needing a backstage team. More information will be given in Form folders next week!
We’ve been busy improving the school premises over the holidays; there are new carpets in the reception and downstairs area of the school, the corridor of values has now got photo frames for the pupils who consistently show the values, the changing rooms have been extended and also a new improved PE office has been built. We have also created a new tarmac area for pupils and refurbished the girls’ and boys’ toilets.
The investment this summer was over £150,000! We could not make these improvements to the school without your help and in particular the gift aid donations (which can be made via the school gateway app).
Coming soon will be new perimeter fencing around the school playground. We’re also looking to secure some outside seating and covers for our outside areas to enhance the break and lunchtime experience for the pupils.
We have also made some adjustments to the school day:
- We have switched our assembly time to the morning meaning that morning form times are now 20 minutes long and afternoon form times are now 10 minutes long.
- In order to enable us to provide a longer lunch time for pupils whilst also continuing with two separate sittings for lunch (one KS3 and one KS4) we have slightly altered the structure of the school day for KS3 – they now have 2 lessons, break, 1 lesson, lunch and 3 lessons after lunch to finish the school day. KS4 remains largely the same structure.
As you will probably be aware from the news, bubbles are no longer a necessary measure for school to employ in the battle against Covid. This obviously impacts positively in terms of lessening disruption to learning as the days of bubbles being sent home would appear to be a thing of the past.
We are still being careful and vigilant in school though:
- All pupils will have had the opportunity for two lateral flow tests by the end of next week providing consent was given.
- Subsequent to this, more home testing kits will be distributed to the pupils to take home to continue twice weekly testing
- there are multiple hand sanitising stations in school and we encourage healthy hand hygiene
- whilst we do not enforce the wearing of masks, it is our preference that they are worn in corridors
- KS3 and KS4 are kept separate at lunchtimes and Year 7&8 have a different entrance to the school to Year 9 -11.
The Power of Positivity
Here at St Joseph’s we love to recognise and reward the positive!
I’ll report on the achievement points race next Friday once we have completed a full week at school – the signs are very promising though with 100s of achievement points having being rewarded already!
Mr Ford and Mr Bartel will also be continuing with the wheel of prizes and Happiest Moment of the Week each Friday afternoon!
Points mean prizes and potential visits for reward trips are being discussed!
What’s coming up?
Thursday 9th Sept – Yr9 Parents Evening – online appointments with subject teachers to help inform options meetings and choices (more information provided in a separate email today).
Abseil down the Spinnaker in Portsmouth – This Sunday, 2 pupils in Year 11 and 2 Staff (Mrs Snell & Mr Rooney) will be taking part in this special event courtesy of Alabare.
Sports Day – scheduled for Tuesday 14t Sept. Fingers crossed for good weather for the postponed summer event! All year groups will be involved!
House Competition Day – scheduled for Friday 17th Sept. Another postponed event from the summer – it promises to be a great day of different competitions for the children to participate in!
Virtual Excellence Evenings for parents and pupils, week commencing 20th Sept – more details to be forwarded soon but this will be your chance to start the year fully informed about your child’s year in school!
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