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The Diocese of
Westminster Academy Trust

Headteacher's Blog for St Catherine - December

This has been a thrilling week in school, with a real buzz and excitement in the air as we start the countdown to Christmas!

Special Events

Veritas League Finals

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On Wednesday we hosted the first ever Veritas League Final, with teams from Years 5 and 6 competing against Abbots Langley, Tanners Wood and Divine Saviour. It has been wonderful to see the way that the teams have developed in such a short period of time. Increasing the level of competitive sport at St. Cath’s is a major drive for this year and we are already seeing the benefits with the children.


“It has been brilliant having everyone together as a team, as we don’t usually get to play together across Year 5 and 6 at school.” Aiden, 5 Bosco


“I love playing with other schools and getting to know them.” Careis, 5 Bosco.


“We have really been working as a team and have make new friends in Year 5.” Freddie, 6 Lupita.


Given how newly-formed the teams are, we were delighted that they were so successful, with the netballers came third in their league and the footballers runners-up in second place. I was so proud to see their determination, sense of fair-play and sportsmanship – they exemplified our St Catherine’s values throughout. Well done to all who took part and thank you to those parents who came to support home and away matches, regardless of the weather! Your positive comments and tweets were also gratefully received!

Below are photos of our teams.

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Thank you to Mr Atherton for introducing and co-ordinating the whole league.  We are also grateful to the PE coordinators from each of the other competing schools for helping to make his vision a reality. Mr Waters and Miss Dorrian are now hoping to take the whole concept forward.  Next term, we look forward to expanding the Veritas League to include Girls’ Football & Tag Rugby.

Teresa's Reading Breakfast

On Monday there was a huge turn-out for our first ever ‘Reading Breakfast’- a brilliant suggestion which Miss Stanton has brought from her previous school. 2 Teresa loved enjoying a slice of toast while reading a book with an adult from home. We look forward to other classes sharing a Reading Breakfast in future.

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Communication Survey

Thank you to all parents who completed communication survey sent out on Friday. We have received 51 responses in total so far.If you wish to complete this, please click on 'Communication Survey' below:

Communication Survey

Catholic Life of the School

We are now in the first week of Advent and there is an air of joyful expectation in school. The colour purple dominates the prayer area in each class to remind us that Advent is a time of preparation –preparing for the coming of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, at Christmas.
The first candle on our Advent wreath has been lit – the Prophet’s candle, to remind us that Jesus is near.

In Year 5 Bosco, the children created beautiful illustrations of what Marriage means to them as part of their Topic ‘Life Choices.’ 
Miss Bourke has passed on her thanks to the children who took part in Bosco’s Worship last week and to the parents who attended – it was lovely. 
4 Bakhita led the collective worship on Tuesday (photo on the right) which was based on their RE topic ‘Called’. It was a lovely thoughtful service, with many parents coming in to support the children.
3 Drexel have been linking RE and Art together to create art work which illustrates the importance of the coming of Jesus. 
1 Fautsyna are having a worship to end their 'Belonging' topic and are excited to learn about Advent, and the act of waiting for Christmas. In EYFS, the children have been making Advent promises at home and at school to make others happy, such as making our own beds in the morning, loading the dishwasher and setting the table for dinner.

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Teaching, Learning & Curriculum

Christmas Craft Fayre (CCF18) preparations are well underway! The focus for this week has been on design, with many classes creating prototypes and sketching ideas. We do have lots of photos on twitter, so please have look at all their hard work.

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General Class Updates

6 Lupita have been preparing for assessments next week, as well as producing CCF project books. These have been used to research designs for their products and make prototypes.

5 Alphonsa have been sketching their designs for CCF 18 & acted out some fantastic persuasive adverts.

4 Orione - For our Christmas fruit cake, we learned how to use search engines effectively and used a variety of search engines to research how to make a fruit cake. We focused on which set of instructions were the most clear in preparation for making our own Christmas fruit cakes next week. Mrs Sitkowski also came in to work with a large group in the class; one group worked on stitching for our stitched Christmas cards and the other group worked on sewing the fabric for our Christmas tree decorations together.


5 Bosco have been writing persuasive letters to persuade people to not buy products with Palm Oil in them. They did lots of research and wrote excellent persuasive letters. They researched the effects it is having on our planet and our rainforests around the world. It linked nicely to our Science Topic ‘All Living things and their Habitats.’


3 Drexel - We have started designing and making our prototypes for CCF. The class has evaluated these and we have had to change some parts due to teething issues. We also ended our RE topic Promises. We had an in class worship where we reflected on what we have learnt from the topic and wrote our own prayers to thank God for our God parents/parents for keeping their promises at baptism.


1 Faustyna - We have made our prototypes for CCF and have evaluated the positive effects of doing so as we realised a few things we are going to need to change before the real thing! EYFS - We have been writing letters to Father Christmas using our phonic knowledge, blending and segmenting skills.

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Achievements

Junior Leadership Team (JLT)

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After some tough interviews, we are delighted to announce the Year 6 Junior Leadership Team members. 
Congratulations to:


Skye (Head Pupil)Isabella (Deputy Head Pupil)
James S (Deputy Head Pupil)
Nkem (JLT Rep)
Ozzie (JLT Rep)

Their first task was to shortlist the applicants from other year groups and invite pupils to interview.  Well done to those who have been invited for an interview to be part of the JLT! I appreciate it can be disappointing to be unsuccessful, but resilience is a key skill we want to promote in the children.  They should be encouraged by the fantastic attitude of those Year 6 pupils who were unsuccessful last year, but reapplied and are now representing their class and the school on the JLT.

Mrs Griffin has been very impressed with EYFS’s overall assessment in phonics.  Well done to the whole class for their effort and individual achievements.

IXL Award Winners – Year 2 Teresa.  Keep up the brilliant work!

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Physical & Mental Health & Wellbeing

Cross Country Trials – Well done to all who took part in our cross country trials on Thursday 6th December – you all gave 100% effort! Congratulations to those who were successful in the trials, Amadeo, Sam, Alex, Isabella, Patrycj and Nkem will be representing Year 6 and Louis, Keelan, Joshua, Caelia, Natalie and Joanna will be representing Year 5 in the school in Hert’s County Championships in January. Well done to them all. 
KS1 had multi skills this week where they practised their ABCS (agility, balance, co-ordination and speed)
Positive Minds – Last session on Monday. Staff will receive further training in new year. We are also expecting visit from Harry the Hornet during our Christmas Lunch.
Year 1 we have had some particularly fantastic attitudes to the Daily Mile this week, some people have been attempting to do an extra mile in this time or in their spare time like break and lunch time. 
EYFS - We have been focusing on turn taking this week and learning the importance of listening and taking into account what others say.

PTA

On a cold and rainy evening, it was wonderful to have hot drinks, hotdogs and other snacks to boost morale! Thank you to the PTA members who worked at the Veritas League Finals, raising a fantastic Raised £50. Lots of additional work has also gone on behind the scenes to boost the chances that we are successful on our Aviva bid and to obtain freebies for our CCF18 – fingers crossed!

Looking Forward

• Assessments will be taking place in the mornings all next week. I know that there are lots of bugs going around, but it is really important that children do not miss assessments as these form a vital part of target setting, organisation of interventions and inform the class teacher’s planning for next term. 
• EYFS have requested that you please return your order forms for your child's personalised plates so there is no disappointment on the day.

• We are very excited to see EYFS John Paul II’s Nativity Play ‘Busy Busy Bethlehem’ on Thursday 13th for Reception, when it will be performed for EYFS and Year 6 parents. On Friday 14th July, they will be visiting Rosary Priory to bring some festive cheer to the Dominican Sisters there.

 

Below is a list of important dates for the remainder of the term. We have also updated our term dates for the 2019-2020 academic year. These can also be found below.

Date

Event

Year Group/s

Where?

Times

Further information

Monday 10th December

Positive Mind (Final Session)

6

School

During School Day

 

Thursday 13th December 

Nativity

Reception & 6

School hall

2.30-3pm

(P) Reception & Year 6 parents welcome. Please can Y6 parents sit towards the back of the hall. We will be videoing the event if you cannot attend.

Friday 14th December

Nativity

Reception & 6

Rosary Priory

During School Day

School event only - no parents.

Monday 17th December 

Christmas Dinner

ALL

School

During School Day

School event only - no parents.

Monday 17th December

PTA Christmas Disco

ALL

School Hall

Reception - Y3 (5-6PM)
Y4-6 (6.15-7.30PM)

School event only - contact PTA class rep if you would like to assist.

Tuesday 18th December

4 Orione Class Worship

4 Orione 

School Hall

3pm

(P) - Parents welcome to attend.

Thursday 20th December

Christmas Craft Fayre

ALL

School Hall

8am-4pm

(P) - Parents, family and wider community welcome to attend. Free food for over 65s. Bring plenty of money!

Friday 21st December

Advent Liturgy

ALL

School Hall

11am

(P) - Parents welcome to attend. Maximum of 50 parent spaces. Please email bookings@st-catherine.herts.sch.uk to reserve a seat.

Friday 21st December

End of Term

ALL

School

12.30pm

 

Tuesday 8th January 2019

First Day Back

ALL

School

8.45am

 

Term Dates 2019-2020

Term Dates 2019-2020

 

Autumn Term:

Wednesday 4th September 2019 – Thursday 24th October 2019

Friday 25th October – Staff Deanery Day

HALF TERM (Saturday 26th October 2019 –  Sunday 3rd November 2019)

Monday 4th November 2019 – Friday 20th December 2019 (12.30pm)

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (Saturday 21st December 2019 – Monday 6th January 2020)

 

Spring Term:

Tuesday 7th January 2020 – Friday 14th February 2020

HALF TERM (Saturday 15th February 2020 – Sunday 23rd February 2020)

Monday 24th February 2020 – Friday 3rd April 2020 (12.30pm)

EASTER HOLIDAY (Saturday 4th April 2020 – Sunday 19th April 2020)

 

Summer Term:

Monday 20th April 2020 – Friday 22nd May 2020 (May Day Bank Holiday – Monday 4th May)

HALF TERM Saturday 23rd May 2020 – Sunday 31st May 2020

Monday 1st June 2020 – Tuesday 14th July 2020 (12.30pm)

SUMMER HOLIDAY (Wednesday 15th July 2020 – Sunday 6th September 2020)

With love from the family of St. Catherine's,

 

Ms Kane