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The Diocese of
Westminster Academy Trust

St Catherine of Siena - New Year 2017 Newsletter

Christmas Craft Fayre 2016 
This year’s Christmas Craft Fayre (‘CCF 2016’) was another outstanding event!  Thank you all so much for your incredible generosity.  We were overwhelmed by the number of parents, friends and family members who not only came to see what the children had been making, but left laden down with armfuls of goods!  It was fantastic that so many of you took the time out of the busy pre-Christmas rush to support the school and our pupils. Half of the proceeds from CCF 2016 will go to Watford New Hope Trust.  It was lovely that a representative was able to attend to receive all the pants(!) and talk about the brilliant work that this charity does for the homeless community in Watford. We were determined to open the CCF to the wider community and, as such, we were delighted to receive a group from the Watford and Three Rivers Trust ‘Getting Together’ Club.  The senior citizens enjoyed mulled wine, homemade stew (courtesy of Mrs. Robinson and the Night Owls) and were entertained by Christmas carols from Year 1 Drexel.  We look forward to welcoming them in the future to other various events. Finally, we are grateful to those who took the time to provide the overwhelmingly positive feedback about the project.  It really does mean the world to the staff to know that all their efforts and hard work are appreciated.  There were also some great suggestions which we will take on board for next year.

As part of our Advent preparations, Year 6 participated in a Reconciliation Service on Monday, led by Father David. Another highlight of the Season was Reception’s Nativity celebration, which was held at Our Lady and St. Michael’s Church, to the delight of the parishioners and parents.  Well done to all our budding actors and actresses – they put on a memorable performance, particularly our feisty angels! As many of you may know, St Michael’s School has been fortunate to appoint a new Chaplain – Father Terkura.  Year 3 loved meeting him when they visited the chapel to observe the stained-glass artwork and it was wonderful that he was able to follow this up by visiting the school and attending the Christmas Craft Fayre.  Having spent time talking to him about his plans for his chaplaincy, we are excited by the prospect of working more closely with him in the future. The Sunshine Club appreciated the talents of our Year 5 pupils.  It is always rewarding when the children get the opportunity to engage with the parish and spread a little bit of the St Catherine’s joy throughout the community. Please do contact us if you have any ideas for other ways we can strengthen links beyond the school.
Goodbye Ms Duggan
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Pat Duggan, as she moves on to a new appointment in Norfolk, after over twenty years dedicated service to the school.  We know that you will join us in extending our thanks and deep appreciation for all that she has contributed to St. Catherine’s during this period.  She will be greatly missed by parents, children and staff - both professionally and personally - and we wish her every success in her new role.   She will always remain a part of the family of St Catherine’s.

Creativity Week 
The start to this term has been a thrilling one – staff and pupils alike have relished the opportunities afforded by a week off-timetable.  Although ‘core’ subjects may not have been taught, the learning has been endless!  From life-skills such as tying shoe laces, learning about our democratic system or debating current affairs, to theatre productions and bear-hunts, it was a jam-packed week.   During our English Recount unit, we hope the children will utilise their literacy skills to provide a pupil newsletter/blog telling all about Creativity Week.

Following a rigorous and thorough selection process involving a presentation to the governing body and interview with governors and Diocesan advisers, I am pleased to announce that Daniel Atherton has been appointed Deputy Head of St Catherine’s.   Mrs Wildey and Mrs Taylor continue in their roles as Assistant Heads, with Mr Atherton taking on his new position in February.  Mr Atherton’s appointment to Deputy Head does not alter his existing duties - he will remain the Year 6 class teacher and, along with Miss Kane, he will continue to have oversight of Year 4. We are delighted to welcome two new governors to our Governing Body – Selina Janmohamed (Community Governor) and Vera Woolls (Parent Governor).  The Governing Body of St Catherine’s is the backbone of the school; they are vital to our success and help set the high standards for excellence to which we aspire.  Much of the work carried out by the governors goes on behind the scenes – those involved dedicate hours of their personal time, including evenings and weekends to support and challenge the leadership team.  Mrs Janmohamed and Mrs Woolls both bring a wealth of skills and expertise to the role, which will further strengthen the leadership and management of the school.