This Term’s Virtues
This term we are trying hard to be
Learned & Wise
From Our Headteacher
Dear Parents & Carers,
It has been another busy few weeks at St. Aloysius’. The children have settled back in to learning after the half term break and have been keen to share their work with me. I was particularly impressed by some of the Remembrance Day prayers and artwork created by pupils in Year 5 and 6. It was also lovely to see the children dressed as saints and community heroes on the 1st November. Key Stage One pupils enjoyed their trip to the Story Museum last week and were excellent ambassadors for our school.
This term our virtues are ‘Learned and Wise’. We have spoken about the importance of these virtues in assemblies and class collective worship, talking about examples of when pupils have been learned and examples of when they have been wise both at school and at home and in the community. We have also linked this to our school patron saint, St. Aloysius, who demonstrated wisdom and faith through his actions. As usual, our Friday certificates are based around Learned and Wise this half term.
Parents Evenings will be held online next week and are a great opportunity for teachers to discuss your child’s progress with you so please make sure that you have signed up for an appointment. If you have any difficulties, please contact the school office and the information can be re-sent.
Although it is lovely to read about what each of the classes have been up to in the newsletter fortnightly, please remember to follow us on Twitter @AloysiusSchool for more regular updates.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome Eileen Quigley to our school. Eileen began working a few days each month at the beginning of November in an advisory capacity, working alongside myself and the Governing Body on a number of priorities including school improvement and leadership development.
Kind Regards, Hannah Duncan (Acting Headteacher)
We now have a Twitter presence and would love to boost our followers! Here is an example of two of our tweets. Fly on over and have a look … @AloysiusSchool
Sadly, we have had numerous complaints from our neighbours regarding inconsiderate parking. We rely on our neighbour’s goodwill but above that, we should all be considerate towards others. The parking in and around school during busy times can be tricky. There is plenty of parking in St. Margaret’s Road (on the opposite side of Woodstock Road) and in Polstead Road. Please do not block our neighbour’s drives, even for just a minute.
If you would like to see who our governors are and that they do, click HERE.
Breakfast and After School Club
Breakfast Club is now open every morning from 7.45am until start of school. Booking is essential and should be made online via the Schoolgateway (bookings can be made up until the day of the session). This is important to ensure the right staffing, bubble planning, etc.
After School Club is open Monday to Friday until 5.00pm. Again, booking is essential, online via the Schoolgateway, to ensure correct staffing, bubble planning, etc. Bookings close at 2.00pm on the day of the session. PLEASE COLLECT YOUR CHILDREN ON TIME – staff finish at 5.00pm.
Thank you for supporting our After School and Breakfast Clubs!
School Meals – The Let’s Eat Together menu has been updated and can be found under our INFORMATION tab or by clicking HERE. If you wish, the school to provide a lunch for your child (all year groups with the exception of Acorn Nursery Class). The new menu will still come in the form of a packed lunch and eaten in the school hall. School meals must be pre-booked and paid for in advance preferably per half-term. The cost of a school meal is £2.40 per day. All payments must be made via the Schoolgateway (for more information please click HERE). If you had an outstanding balance owing (or credit) from last term it will be carried forward. You can also check your child’s balance and make payments via the Schoolgateway app. Please note, if you want your child to have a school meal and you do not have any credit in your account, you will receive a telephone call from the office asking you to provide a packed lunch for your child. If you have any queries regarding school dinner money or require a statement, please email Mrs. McIntyre HERE.
Class Topic Overview and Knowledge Organiser – these can now be found under the CLASSES tab where you can easily click on your child’s class. Acorn Class Curriculum Information can also be found there.
Swimming – swimming lessons are currently postponed due to the Ferry Pool being closed for urgent maintenance work.
Payments to The School Office – PLEASE NOTE we can no longer accept cash or cheques as payment and have moved to a CASHLESS system. All payments should be made via the Schoolgateway (click HERE for further information). Permission slips can be either emailed or bought into school with your child and handed to the school office.
Just a reminder that you can donate clothes, shoes, etc. at our Aspire collection point located in the rear car park.
If you are visiting our school site, please always wear a facemask, follow the one-way-system and observe social distancing. HANDS – FACE – SPACE.
Updated Guidance for Parents and Carers
What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term can be found here
Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline
Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687 Email: DfE.email@example.com
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
This Term’s House Point Totals
Sheldonian are the Summer Term House Point winners!
Lord, In the midst of Winter, when the days are cold and a bitter wind blows, remind us of the warmth of your love. In the midst of Winter, when days are short, dawn comes late and dusk arrives early, remind us that in the darkness your light still shines. Lord, Remind us that Spring is but a short time away. Amen.
Section 48 Report
Please click on this link to read our recent Section 48 report.
Dates For Your Diary
OPEN MORNING (for Reception 2022) – Tuesday 30th November @ 10.15am. Email the school office for more details.
Children’s Flu Immunisations – Monday 6th December (Reception to Year 6)
Robin Hood @ The Playhouse Theatre – Wednesday 15th December (all classes except Nursery)
Christmas Lunch – Thursday 16th December (all classes except Nursery)
Autumn Term Ends – Friday 17th December @ 1.00pm
Some Future Dates
INSET day – Monday 4th January 2022
Additional Holiday – Monday 6th June followed by INSET day Tuesday 7th June 2022
The graph below has been circulated by Oxfordshire County Council with regards to the impact of children regularly arriving late to school. We know that Oxford traffic can be difficult, however, too many children are missing the start of the day on a regular basis. Children in Years 3 to 6 are required to arrive between 8.30am and 8.45am and children in Reception and Years 1/2 are required to arrive between 8.45am and 9.00am (see table below). During these 15 minutes, children complete retrieval and practice tasks to consolidate key knowledge and skills. If your Key Stage 2 (Y3-6) child arrives at 8.50am every morning, they will be missing up to an hour and 40 minutes of consolidation of learning each week and it is disruptive to class learning.
We are holding another Open Morning on Tuesday 30th November at 10.15am.
Applications for primary schools (Reception) for September 2022 can be made now. The closing dates for applications is 15th January 2022.
Acorn Nursery Class
We have had a busy start of the term and the children have returned to class happy and confident. They have really shown how much they have grown already through more settled carpet times and making good choices during group activities as well as during play. Our topic this term is People Who Help Us and we have been exploring what it would be like to be fire fighters, police officers and doctors! The children have enjoyed these different role plays so much, particularly fire fighters. It has enabled them to transfer and extend their knowledge into each new role play and their vocabulary and friendships have really developed as a result.
We celebrated Diwali by making diva lamps from salt dough. For Remembrance Day, the children made poppies and learned about their significance, observing the two-minute silence together. Their creative activities go from strength to strength and last week they enjoyed making their own gingerbread men as we have been reading the story and learning how to act it out with puppets!
We are continuing with the foundation skills for phonics – listening and tuning in to different sounds, learning how to listen to and match different instrumental sounds and how sounds and actions can be fast or slow, loud or quiet. In Maths, we have been counting up to and within 5, number recognition, learning how to count accurately by counting sounds and movements as well as exploring different 2d shapes. Somehow, in the midst of all this activity, we need to find time to fit in a little singing practice for our Christmas performance! I am sure, as ever, Acorns will rise to the challenge!
Tigger Reception Class
On the first day of term, the children made a great effort coming to school as their chosen saint. We had three Mary’s, a St. George (complete with a dragon) and a St. Francis (our class saint complete with a handy bag of animals).
We have been talking about bonfire night and have created some large firework paintings. We worked as a team using different tools to paint the fireworks in response to music. We have continued to practise our writing using the sounds we know, writing words to describe the fireworks. We learnt about fire safety and rules for the bonfire, making our own safety poster. We lit our own bonfire and toasted marshmallows which we then ate with lovely hot chocolate. We also studied popcorn cooking on the fire. We have continued our cooking making and decorating firework biscuits.
In RE, we have been learning about people who care for us, and weddings. The children dressed up and role played the wedding and learnt that two people promise to care for one another and start a family of their own after they have married in a church. The children drew some great pictures of a bride and groom and used their phonic knowledge to label their drawings.
The children have started to learn and think about Jesus and his early life and how it was different to and yet the same as their own lives. In Maths, we have been working on our core skills, ensuring a deeper knowledge of counting, with the help of Mr Maths. We have looked closely at pattern and repeating patterns as well as the structure of numbers 3 and 4.
We have been helping to develop our outside area, making a bug hotel and planting flowers and some bulbs ready for spring. There was much excitement at the refilling and re-opening of the giant sandpit, which the children are really enjoying.
In phonics, the children have continued to learn new sounds, putting them together to make new words to read and write. The Tiggers have also started to learn red words, I and The. Remembering “You can’t Fred a red”.
Mrs Hendry and Mrs Feller
Fir Year 1 Class
Miss Ment has been unwell this week and Mrs. Brookes has kindly written the Fir Class news.
The children have been learning all about prayer in RE. They know how they need to behave when praying and the different types of prayers. English has included lots of phonics and language. They have been using different stories including The Gruffalo, The Surprise Monster and The Runaway Iceberg. Other activities have included number “eye spy” up to 20 and collage monsters. Singing number songs has help reinforce their knowledge. A highlight this week has been Outdoor Learning with Mrs. Kempton. The children climbed up and down mud mounds, collected worms in a bug pot and gathered sticks to build pretend fires.
Fir Class have impressed me with their hard work and friendly, cheerful welcome.
Fig Year 2 Class
Fig Class have had a busy start to the second half of the Autumn term. The highlight of the first week back was our trip to The Story Museum. It was so exciting to be learning about different stories in a variety of ways from visiting the specific story rooms such as Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh then moving onto creating our own short stories in small groups through drama and finally listening to oral story telling in The Wild Woods. The children were really well-behaved and extremely sensible whilst at the museum and also as we walked through town. In English at school this week, the class have been writing letters to Greta Thunberg inspired by her story book and the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. In Maths, the children have begun learning column subtraction and addition with a focus on using bead strings to help them bridge a 10s number. In RE, Fig Class have looked at how Jesus chose his disciples and thought about what traits Jesus might have been looking for! The children have written their own intercession prayers following learning about our class Saint. As a class, we have completed reading Paddington and are now reading Fantastic Mr Fox. Finally, it has been amazing to watch them grow in confidence during our PE lessons where they have had the opportunity over the last few weeks to use the big apparatus.
Oak Year 3 Class
The class continue to show great drive and engagement in our topic on Rainforests, exploring tribes of the Amazon and investigating why we rely on the Rainforest. In Maths the children continue to explore addition and subtraction, using the written column method to estimate and solve problems. In English, the children are enjoying learning poetry and are planning and writing poems based on Rainforests. The children are enjoying our new topic on light in Science, investigating light sources and reflective surfaces. The class show great creativity in Music using instruments to investigate pattern and rhythm. The children enjoyed creating poppies on Remembrance Day in Art.
Ash Year 4 Class
During the past few weeks in Ash Class the children have enjoyed learning about the river’s journey from source to mouth. We have made clay models of the journey, written diary entries as raindrops, read story books following the journey and even written haikus about the three different courses of the river! In Literacy, the children have moved on from narrative writing to looking at poetry – they learnt about the tight structure of a haiku and now we are progressing to learning about free verse so that we can compare. In Maths, we have completed our unit on addition and subtraction and have started looking at measures – I encourage the children (and parents) to start measuring everything possible at home to practise (time, weight, lengths, temperature – the list is endless). In Art, we have begun to study Georges Seurat and the children really enjoyed mixing different shades of the same colour using colour wheels as inspiration. Check out our school Twitter for some photos!
Remembrance Day Poetry
Life in the trenches,
soldiers battling in the war,
Gravestones in a line.
(By Aoife and Gabriel)
Red as blood poppies,
we remember those who fell,
they raise their flag high.
(By Jose and Eve)
Bay Year 5 Class
In Bay Class since half-term, we learnt all about the phases of the moon in Science and how it orbits the Earth and one of the ways we did this was creating the eight phases with Oreo biscuits and Jaffa cakes. It was a very tasty and delicious lesson! In Maths, we have tackled multi-step addition and subtraction problems which have involved a number of different calculations to reach the answer. We have been developing resilience by understanding that we may take longer to solve more complex problems! We then progressed to learning to read and interpret line graphs as well as draw our own line graphs. We also did this in Science by drawing a line graph to show distance from the Sun to various planets. In English, we have been typing our own news reports using Microsoft Publisher related to our class book Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy. We prepared for this by role-playing to get into character. In Art, the planets have inspired us to create 3D solar system mobiles, chalk and pastel sketches and drawings of the moon and planets. In RE, the class has been looking at different pilgrimages including Lourdes, Walsingham and Knock as well as the seven Sacraments. Europe is our topic and we have been researching landmarks, European flags and learning about the difference between human and physical geography. This has been very enjoyable!
In PE, seating volleyball has been our main focus using balloons and beach balls to help us learn the skills involved in this Paralympic sport. Also, every Monday afternoon Oxford Hawks Hockey Club have given us the opportunity to learn new and helpful hockey skills for later life team sports. Recently, we have begun creating book reviews every week and presenting them on Wednesdays. Each week it is a different pair of children sharing their book review using PowerPoint. So far, we have been introduced to some exciting books such as, The Boy at the Back of the Classroom by Onjali Rauf, An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo, Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo and The Highland Falcon Thief by M G Leonard and Sam Sedgman.
Willow Year 6 Class
Willow Class have been doing mock SATS this week, which unfortunately is not the most exhilarating work but they have done this positively and should be commended.
Aside from this, in English, we have been honing our skills on inverted commas and the punctuation that is needed in order for this to be correctly written. We did some drama based on The Journey which is a book about a family trying to flee from a war. The drama and link to speech not only helped them have correctly punctuated speech but also to know how to use it effectively to move the action on in a narrative.
In Maths, we have moved on to a new unit: fractions. We have looked at equivalent and simplifying fractions, knowing the importance of the highest common factor to help us with these. We have also revisited the terminology of what a numerator and denominator is and now understand exactly what they represent.
Our topic this term is the Maya civilisation. This week they have started building a topographic/3D map to show where they settled.
In Science, we have started a new unit on electricity. I have tasked the children with a Dragon’s Den type challenge where they will be working in teams to create a prototype of a festive light. Their project will then be pitched to me and another dragon teacher.