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15.6.21

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

We have been blessed with some lovely weather recently and I’m sure that for many it has brought some much needed hope and joy. With the announcement from the Prime Minister last night that some restrictions will remain in place for another few weeks, we may have felt some of this hope and joy fade but we have to trust and pray that this decision will make things safer and that with God’s grace there will be an end to the pandemic. I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting a time when you can travel to visit families abroad and have felt the pain of separation so we pray especially for you at this time.

 

First Holy Communion

Congratulations to all those who have made their First Holy Communion over the past few weeks. Year 3 and 4 will be having a class Mass in the next few weeks and any children who have recently made their first Holy Communion will be invited to wear their outfits for this Mass. More information will follow.

 

School Meals

If you child has school dinners, please try to make time to order them online so that you can discuss the choices with your child.

Please be aware that Caterlink will be increasing the cost of a school dinner to £2.25 in September.

 

Eat Them To Defeat Them

We are supporting the national campaign ‘Eat them to Defeat Them’ to encourage children and their families to eat a range of healthy fruit and vegetables. It would be great if you could support this at home too.

 

School Carpark

Please remember that for safety reasons the school carpark is for staff only. Please do not try and follow cars in through the gates. Please also remember that if you are late to collect your child, you will need to park and walk in to the office.

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

We have been blessed with some lovely weather recently and I’m sure that for many it has brought some much needed hope and joy. With the announcement from the Prime Minister last night that some restrictions will remain in place for another few weeks, we may have felt some of this hope and joy fade but we have to trust and pray that this decision will make things safer and that with God’s grace there will be an end to the pandemic. I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting a time when you can travel to visit families abroad and have felt the pain of separation so we pray especially for you at this time.

 

First Holy Communion

Congratulations to all those who have made their First Holy Communion over the past few weeks. Year 3 and 4 will be having a class Mass in the next few weeks and any children who have recently made their first Holy Communion will be invited to wear their outfits for this Mass. More information will follow.

 

School Meals

If you child has school dinners, please try to make time to order them online so that you can discuss the choices with your child.

Please be aware that Caterlink will be increasing the cost of a school dinner to £2.25 in September.

 

Eat Them To Defeat Them

We are supporting the national campaign ‘Eat them to Defeat Them’ to encourage children and their families to eat a range of healthy fruit and vegetables. It would be great if you could support this at home too.

 

School Carpark

Please remember that for safety reasons the school carpark is for staff only. Please do not try and follow cars in through the gates. Please also remember that if you are late to collect your child, you will need to park and walk in to the office.

 

Covid Symptoms

 

Please continue to be vigilant for the symptoms of covid:

 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

Covid Procedures

We are continuing to follow our covid procedures – working in bubbles, restricting visitors, wearing face coverings in communal areas and adhering to good respiratory and hand hygiene. As infection rates are rising, it is important that parents also follow our procedures and we ask that you continue to wear masks whilst on the school site.

Miss Minall is currently self-isolating (as part of track and trace) and teaching from home so will be delivering lessons to Year 3 remotely. The children will be covering the same curriculum content as planned but delivered via video link and purple Mash. They will be supported by Mrs Coyle, Mrs Beaton and myself as well as their own class staff, Mrs Smith and Miss Carter.

 

StudyBugs and Absence

‘Study Bugs’ is software that helps us to track our attendance. It also has a useful application for parents where you are able to notify the school of your child’s absence online rather than phoning or emailing in. Where the notification is written in the form of an absence note, we won’t require the usual letter when the child returns to school.

 

If you do not use study bugs to notify us of absence, or where the notification is incomplete, please always send a letter to explain the absence on the first day back to school.

 

Get the app or register now (https://studybugs.com/about/parents)

 

Punctuality

Thank you to all those who consistently drop their children to school on time and collect them on time. This not only supports your child in their learning and models respect and good manners but also avoids unnecessary disruption.

If your child is one of the few who is regularly late to school and/or collected late, please work with us to improve this.

 

The Big Read

St John’s is a school that loves reading and we are always keen to further explore how to share and celebrate our love of reading. This year our Year 6 children are taking part in an exciting opportunity with other schools in Portsmouth to engage with the author Michael Morporgo. Every Year 6 child has been gifted a copy of the book, ‘The Boy Giant’ that they will read, enjoy and reflect on before meeting the author via a live webinar.

As part of this event, a large sand sculpture of the Boy Giant will be on display in Portsmouth Central library over the summer. I would encourage all families to go and see it over the holidays.

 

Collective Worship

We are grateful to the clergy at the Cathedral for their continued support of our school. This half term, they are celebrating class liturgies and Masses with us. Each class will have a bubble Liturgy or Mass in school. Unfortunately, due to ongoing restrictions, we are not able to invite parents/carers to these celebrations.

 

New Classes

Children will meet their new teacher on the morning of Thursday 15th July. This is an opportunity for them to become familiar with their new classroom, find out a little about the new year group and allay any worries that they may have about moving on from their current class. Mrs Beaton and Miss Stevens will support any children who may need a more comprehensive transition plan.

 

Year R and 6 buddy Programme

At St John’s, every child in Year 6 becomes a buddy for a child in Reception. Both children benefit greatly from the relationship and it is very much looked forward to by children moving into Year 6. This year our buddy system has been disrupted by Covid but we are planning to assign the week of 5th July as buddy week. Year R and 6 will separate from their bubbles and form a bubble together so that they can read together, play together and prepare their liturgy together.

 

School Photographs

Class photos will be taken on Wednesday so please send your child to school in full and correct school uniform – summer or winter uniform. If your child usually has PE on Wednesdays and so usually wear PE kit, please send them to school in uniform with their PE kit in their PE bag.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

L. Park

Head Teacher

 

DIARY DATES

June

Wednesday 16th                                  School Class Photos

Monday 28th                                        INSET Day

 

July

Thursday 15th                                                  Meet Your Teacher Morning

Monday 19th                                        Year 6 Celebration

Thursday 22nd                                     1.30pm Summer Holiday Begins

 

September                     

Thursday 2nd                                       INSET Day

Friday 3rd                                             Children return to school

As part of this event, a large sand sculpture of the Boy Giant will be on display in Portsmouth Central library over the summer. I would encourage all families to go and see it over the holidays.

 

Collective Worship

We are grateful to the clergy at the Cathedral for their continued support of our school. This half term, they are celebrating class liturgies and Masses with us. Each class will have a bubble Liturgy or Mass in school. Unfortunately, due to ongoing restrictions, we are not able to invite parents/carers to these celebrations.

 

New Classes

Children will meet their new teacher on the morning of Thursday 15th July. This is an opportunity for them to become familiar with their new classroom, find out a little about the new year group and allay any worries that they may have about moving on from their current class. Mrs Beaton and Miss Stevens will support any children who may need a more comprehensive transition plan.

 

Year R and 6 buddy Programme

At St John’s, every child in Year 6 becomes a buddy for a child in Reception. Both children benefit greatly from the relationship and it is very much looked forward to by children moving into Year 6. This year our buddy system has been disrupted by Covid but we are planning to assign the week of 5th July as buddy week. Year R and 6 will separate from their bubbles and form a bubble together so that they can read together, play together and prepare their liturgy together.

 

School Photographs

Class photos will be taken on Wednesday so please send your child to school in full and correct school uniform – summer or winter uniform. If your child usually has PE on Wednesdays and so usually wear PE kit, please send them to school in uniform with their PE kit in their PE bag.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

L. Park

Head Teacher

 

DIARY DATES

June

Wednesday 16th                                  School Class Photos

Monday 28th                                        INSET Day

 

July

Thursday 15th                                                  Meet Your Teacher Morning

Monday 19th                                        Year 6 Celebration

Thursday 22nd                                     1.30pm Summer Holiday Begins

 

September                     

Thursday 2nd                                       INSET Day

Friday 3rd                                             Children return to school

 

 

21st April 2021

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

Welcome back! I hope that you and your families had a happy and peaceful Easter. I hope that you managed to find time to celebrate the resurrection and reflect on the new life that Jesus’ resurrection offers to us all.

Starting a new term in the sunshine, with children full of excited energy certainly reminds us all what joy looks and sounds like. We pray that this energy and enthusiasm will also be reflected in our work and our prayer so that we are living witnesses of Christ as we start this new term ‘loving to learn; learning to love’.

 

Living Eggs

We were delighted to welcome 10 living eggs to school on Monday as part of our work on new life. They are currently keeping safe and warm in their incubator in the office but are expected to hatch over the next few days. They will stay with us until next Friday. I am sure that you will hear plenty about them over the next few days!

 

Staffing

I am delighted to welcome back a number of staff members who are returning to school having finished shielding.

There are a few staffing changes to make you aware of:

Nursery: Mrs Brown has moved to be the Nursery teacher.

Reception: Mrs White has moved to teach Reception on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Mrs Ollie is staying in Reception to teach on Thursdays and Fridays.

Year 6: Mrs Bailey is still recovering from long covid but keen to do as much as she is able. Mrs Warren will therefore be teaching in Year 6 as well as Mrs Leaman and Mrs Bailey.

 

Focus for the Term

Since school fully opened in March, the children have responded well and have enjoyed rebuilding friendships, plenty of outdoor play and building their stamina for learning. We will continue to work on these things as we start to lengthen lesson times back to a normal timetable, focus on key skills and move back to year group topics. To support with behaviour expectations, we will also be working on good manners and wearing the correct uniform.

 

Clubs

After school clubs started this week. Since clubs weren’t running for very long before the end of term, it will be the same clubs as last term, with the same children.

 

StudyBugs

At St John’s we have always been proud of our children’s excellent attendance and can clearly see the link between good school attendance, positive behaviours and ultimately children being able to reach their full potential. To support us in this continuous drive for excellent attendance, we are now using ‘Study Bugs’. This software helps us to track our attendance but also has a useful application for parents where you are able to notify the school of your child’s absence online rather than phoning or emailing in.

 

Drop off and Collection

Please make sure that your child arrives on time to school everyday and is collected promptly at the end of the day.

 

Uniform

Children are now able to move to summer uniform. Please ensure that you check the uniform policy and ensure that your child is always in the correct uniform, this includes footwear and PE kit.

Please also ensure that your child has a water bottle with them each day as our water fountains are currently out of action as part of our covid risk assessment.

 

The Big Ask

The children’s commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, is asking all children to complete a short survey to find out what their concerns and aspirations about the future are.

The results from this survey will help her identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve. She would like to hear from as many children as possible through The Big Ask – the more she hears from, the stronger the results will be.

 

Remember that home testing kits are available for all households and all suspected cases should follow isolation procedures and inform the school.

 

Wishing you all a happy and productive summer term and, as ever, thank you very much for all the support that you continue to offer to our school.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

L. Park

Head Teacher

 

                                   

 

           

 

April

Tuesday 27th                                       Year 4 Drama Workshop

 

May

Monday 3rd                                          Bank Holiday

Tuesday 4th                                         Year 1 Drama Workshop                                               

Friday 28th                                           3.30pm Half-Term Begins

 

June

Monday 7th                                          School Opens

                                                            Mon-Fri Parent Meetings

Monday 28th                                        INSET Day

 

July

Thursday 22nd                                     1.30pm Summer Holiday Begins

 

 

31st March 2021

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

This week at school, we travel with Jesus on his journey to the cross: a journey, in which we witness not only the pain and despair that Jesus suffers as he moves towards his death but also the love and hope that some of those on that journey offer him. Let us be inspired by the love of his mother Mary, the tenderness of Veronica and the care of the women who meet him along the way.

As we journey through this Holy Week, please join us in praying for all those who are currently suffering in body, mind or soul. Let us offer them our prayers but also the love, tenderness and care that Mary, Veronica and the women of Jerusalem offered to Jesus when they saw his pain.

 

As we come to the end of the term, I thank you for all that you have done to make the return to school such a success and wish you a happy and blessed Easter.

 

Covid Cases

Please continue to be vigilant for the symptoms of covid:

 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

From Friday 2nd April until Sunday 11th April, please report confirmed cases to the school coronavirus email so that contacts can be tracked and traced.

coronavirus@st-johns-catholic-pri.portsmouth.sch.uk

 

Asymptomatic Testing of School Communities

Don’t forget that households with children are able to collect lateral flow tests

From 2 sites in Portsmouth.

  • Unit 9, North Harbour Road, Cosham, PO6 3TL
  • Eldon Car Park, Southsea, PO1 2DJ

 

Both sites are open from 1.30pm to 7pm. Do not visit the Portsmouth collection point outside opening hours. You do not need to make an appointment.

 

 

Easter Vouchers

Portsmouth City Council are again supporting families through the school holiday by providing vouchers for those on benefits related free school meals. These will be distributed automatically to email accounts. Please note that those attending the Easter activity club will only have vouchers for the days that they are not booked in, as a hot meal is provided at the club.

 

Easter Activities

This Easter, the school is the venue for an Easter activity club. It is funded for vulnerable children and those on benefit-related free school meals/Pupil Premium. All eligible children were sent the flyer with information and are able to book online.

 

Cycling to School

If your child is cycling to school, please ensure that they are wearing a helmet. Please also ensure that you have spoken to them about how to keep safe when riding a bike. Staff have reported seeing some children endangering themselves through careless cycling. We ask that only Year 6 children ride to school alone, and although we usually require them to have taken a Bikeablilty course to do this – this year we are making an exception as the course was cancelled in January due to the pandemic.

 

StudyBugs

We are pleased to announce that St John’s is introducing a new, more efficient and secure system for reporting your child’s absence due to illness, called Study Bugs.

If you haven’t already, please get the free studybugs app, or register on the studybugs website, and use it to tell us whenever your child is ill and unable to attend school.

Get the app or register now (https://studybugs.com/about/parents)

 

Red Nose Day

Thank you for your support. £221.33 was raised.

 

Parking

I am continuing to have to spend a considerable amount of time dealing with complaints from our neighbours and monitoring the parking around our school. There are still a number of parents who are stopping and parking inconsiderately. We are seeking support from the council over this but again I politely request that you represent our school well, model good behaviour to your own children and allow staff to work on education rather than monitoring parking by not using private carparks, not parking on double yellow lines or in front of garages.

 

Uniform

After Easter, children are able to move to summer uniform. Please ensure that your child wears the correct school uniform, including footwear. We will be monitoring this more closely after Easter.

Please also ensure that your child has a water bottle with them each day as our water fountains are currently out of action as part of our covid risk assessment.

 

Assessment Information

As you know, primary assessments – phonics, KS1 SATs, Year 4 multiplication tests and KS 2 tests have all been cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Children will not be assessed against the full content of the curriculum but against what they have covered this year both in school and remotely. Parent meetings will be held virtually at the beginning of June and school reports will be sent out towards the end of the summer term.

 

Cathedral Easter Mass Times:

The Cathedral remains open for Mass but with covid restrictions in place. You are also able to watch attend Mass virtually via the Cathedral website.

 

MAUNDY THURSDAY: 1 April at 20:00 Mass of the Lord’s Supper. No washing of feet. The Altar of Repose will be set up within the sanctuary area visible over the livestream. Watching with Our Lord will continue there just before midnight concluding with the recitation of Night Prayer. Please do join us online https://www.portsmouthcatholiccathedral.org.uk/live-mass.php

GOOD FRIDAY, Day of Fasting and Abstinence, on 2 April at 15:00. The Solemn Liturgy of the Passion. There will be additional prayer during Solemn Intercessions for the pandemic. STATIONS OF THE CROSS: on Good Friday at 10:00 and at 19:00. These will be led by Bishop Philip.

SWIECONKA (BLESSING OF FOOD): on Holy Saturday 3 April at 16:00. Blessing of Easter Food to be used for Easter. The liturgy will be in Polish and English.

HOLY SATURDAY: Solemn Easter Vigil at 20:00. All gather in the Cathedral. The Easter fire will be lit from the sanctuary.

EASTER SUNDAY: 4 April. Masses at 08:00 (EF Form), 10:00, 12:00, 18:00

 

We look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 19th April when we will also be welcoming the Living Eggs in to school as part of our work on Easter and new life.

 

Have a happy and holy Easter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

L. Park

Head Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

DIARY DATES

                                   

 

April

Thursday 1st                                        1.30pm Easter Holidays Begin

Monday 19th                                        School Opens            

 

 

May

Friday 28th                                           3.30pm Half-Term Begins

 

June

Monday 7th                                          School Opens

Monday 28th                                        INSET Day

 

July

Thursday 22nd                                     1.30pm Summer Holiday Begins

 

12th March 2021

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

Welcome back to a fully open St John’s. As you can probably imagine, this week has been full of laughter, smiles and chatter. The staff and children have been very excited to be back and there have been many opportunities to catch up. Speaking and listening, play and outdoor learning being the key ingredients this week.

 

Covid Cases

Although cases have been falling and the situation has much improved since January, please continue to be vigilant for the symptoms of covid:

 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

If you notice any of the above symptoms, please isolate your whole household immediately and book a test. Children must not attend school if they or anyone in their household has symptoms and/or a positive test result.

 

Asymptomatic Testing of School Communities

As a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a pupil, you can get a twice-weekly test:

  • through your employer if they offer testing to employees
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

 

You can collect 2 packs of home test kits at a local collection point. Each pack contains 7 tests.

Anyone 18 or over can collect.

The collection points in Portsmouth are:

  • Unit 9, North Harbour Road, Cosham, PO6 3TL

Eldon Car Park, Southsea, PO1 2DJ

 

Both sites are open from 1.30pm to 7pm. Do not visit the Portsmouth collection point outside opening hours. You do not need to make an appointment.

Test kits are for home use and cannot be administered on site.

Easter Activities

We are waiting for the final details of an Easter activity club that will run at St John’s for children who are currently eligible for benefits-related free school meals. As soon as we have further information, it will be sent to those eligible for a place.

 

Lent

Thank you to all those who created representations of the Stations of the Cross. We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the work. As well as being on display in school, they are also displayed on the diocesan ‘CASO’ website. The web address is below:

 http://www.casoportsmouth.org.uk/lent/

 

Parking

Despite only being a few days in, I have unfortunately already received complaints from local residents about the inconsiderate and illegal parking of a few of our parents. Some of our neighbours, especially those who are elderly or disabled, really need constant access to their garages and parking bays. They are also rightly concerned about the access for emergency vehicles.

Please only park where you are legally entitled to. Do not park in the private carpark off of Cottage View or in front of the garages at the back of the school. Having to use school staff to monitor parking is really not fair on the children so please always park considerately.

 

SEND Survey

Portsmouth City Council has launched their annual Special Educational Needs and Disability Survey. They would love to hear from ALL parents and carers who have a child or young person (0-25 years) with additional needs - this includes those with and without Education Health and Care plans. The survey will help to shape services and support in the city and it is a really good opportunity to get your thoughts and views heard. You can find more information by reading the attached flyer or by visiting www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org/SENDsurvey2021 .

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

L. Park

Head Teacher

 

 

DIARY DATES

                                   

 

April

Thursday 1st                                        1.30pm Easter Holidays Begin

Monday 19th                                        School Opens            

 

 

May

Friday 28th                                           3.30pm Half-Term Begins

 

June

Monday 7th                                          School Opens

Monday 28th                                        INSET Day

 

July

Thursday 22nd                                     1.30pm Summer Holiday Begins

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