This Term’s Virtues
This term we are trying hard to be
Learned & Wise
From Our Headteacher
Dear Parents & Carers,
It has been lovely to watch the Tigger and Fir Class Nativity and the Acorn Nursery Class Christmas performances this week. I am looking forward to Bay and Willow Class Carols by Candlelight on Tuesday 14th at 6.00pm – fingers crossed for dry weather. Thank you to the PTA for providing refreshments before each of the performances.
Year 6 have led some wonderful Advent Collective Worship across the school over the past two weeks and I have been very impressed with their maturity and confidence when doing so. Throughout school, we have been talking about how Advent is a time of preparation and in Key Stage assemblies, we have spoken about ways that we can prepare our hearts this Advent through prayer, kindness to others and reconciliation.
I was pleased to share our OFSTED Section 8 outcome with parents and the school community earlier this week and I would like to extend a thank you to the pupils and parents who spoke to the Inspector and also to our school staff for their continuing hard work and dedication. Please find the recent report on our school website HERE.
We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Miss Bellamy and Mrs Holloway who are both retiring at the end of this term.
Mrs Holloway has provided support to children and staff alike in her role as an HLTA at St. Aloysius’ over the past five years. She has worked across the year groups from Year 1 to Year 6. She will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best for the future.
Miss Bellamy leaves behind a legacy and on a personal level has provided invaluable support to me in my role as Acting Headteacher during the past year. I am sure that she will be remembered by pupils and families, past and present, for her dedication and enthusiasm, her sense of humour and her inspirational teaching. We wish Miss Bellamy a very happy and well-deserved retirement!
I look forward to welcoming children back to school on Wednesday 5th January 2022.
If I do not see you before the end of term, I wish you and your families a peaceful and joyful Christmas, full of hope, love and laughter.
With very best wishes, Hannah Duncan (Acting Headteacher)
We now have a Twitter presence and would love to boost our followers! Fly on over and have a look … @AloysiusSchool
Sadly, our neightbours have had to contact us yet again. A parent in a red Hyundai Kona type car was photographed actually parked on the pavement on the corner of St. Margaret’s Road and Woodstock Roads (next to the red postbox). This is very dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. We understand that parking in and around school during busy times can be challenging. However, there is plenty of parking in St. Margaret’s Road (on the opposite side of Woodstock Road) and in Polstead Road. Please do not leave your cars parked dangerously.
School Meals – next week we will be swapping lunch days – on Wednesday the options will be cheese & tomato pasta or jacket potato and then on Thursday we will be having our Christmas lunch. Also, on Wednesday 5th January 2022 we will be serving pizza/jacket potato options.
Extra Curricular Clubs – Art and Ceramics Clubs will resume in January and from February we are planning to start hockey and football clubs after school. More information will be sent to parents in the New Year.
Online Safety Newsletter for Parents – please click HERE to read the latest newsletter from our school management system partner, Scomis.
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 – we are planning for swimming lessons to resume in January for Year 5. A letter will be sent at the start of term.
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.
Breakfast and After School Club
NOTE: NO AFTERSCHOOL CLUB ON FRIDAY 17TH DECEMBER.
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!
Just a reminder that you can donate clothes, shoes, etc. at our Aspire collection point located in the rear car park.
This Term’s House Point Totals
Radcliffe are the Autumn Term House Point winners!
Christ, come into our world of darkness. Light up our lives with your coming. Fulfil all our longings with the joy of your birth. Strengthen our resolve to work for change in our world and to share the hope of your birth that each Advent brings. Amen.
Please click on this link to read our recent OFSTED report.
Section 48 Report
Please click on this link to read our recent Section 48 report.
Dates For Your Diary
Christmas Lunch – Thursday 16th December (all classes except Nursery)
Autumn Term Ends – Friday 17th December @ 1.00pm
No Afterschool Club on Friday 17th December!
Some Future Dates
INSET day – Monday 4th January 2022
Additional Holiday – Monday 6th June followed by INSET day Tuesday 7th June 2022
From the start of the Spring term (January 2022) we will be returning to original school day timings.
Children in Reception to Year 6 should arrive between 8.35am and 8.50am via the same classroom door they are currently using. This time will be spent completing retrieval and practice tasks. Doors will be closed and registration will be at 8.50am prompt. If your child arrives after 8.50am they will be marked as late and will have to enter school via the school office.
From January, the school day will end at 3.05pm for all pupils in Reception to Year 6. Please ensure that you collect your child promptly from their current classroom door.
Nursery sessions will continue to run 8.45am to 11.45am and 12.15pm to 3.15pm.
Art & Ceramic Clubs
Art Club is run by a professional artist and invites children who love creating. We will be learning new inspirational techniques of painting, drawing, making pictures and craft using different materials and techniques. Art Club is for children in Years 2 to 3. Sessions start on 10th January with the last session on 14th February (6 sessions). Mondays, 3:15 to 4:15 pm in The Courtyard. The cost is £72.00.
Ceramic Club is run by a professional ceramic artist and is for anyone who likes playing with clay and enjoys making their own ceramic art. It is a great way to express yourself and to develop a new skill. We will be hand-building and decorating cups, bowls, vases and small decorative pieces, which will be fired in my kiln. The after-school club is for children in Years 4 to 6 and will be on Tuesdays between 3:15–4:15 pm in The Courtyard. There will be 6 sessions starting on 11th January with the last session on 15th February. The cost will be £90.00.
If you would like to see who our governors are and that they do, click HERE.
Applications for primary schools (Reception) for September 2022 can be made now. The closing dates for applications is 15th January 2022.
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
Acorn Nursery Class
It has been a very busy few weeks in Acorn Class as we have been practising for our Christmas singing performance! The children have really stepped up to the challenge and made a huge effort to learn the songs and actions and I am particularly impressed with the efforts of those children who do not speak English as a first language – I could not be more proud.
We have been learning about Advent and preparing for Christmas by making our own Advent wreath, role playing a Christmas post office with The Jolly Postman and writing letters to Father Christmas. We continue to strengthen our knowledge of numbers 1-5 through learning about ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ as well as matching the correct number of objects to the correct numeral. We have been building on our early phonics skills by exploring rhythm and rhyme in group games and will be continuing this after the holidays in smaller groups.
Acorns have really excelled themselves this term in what they have achieved, they have made huge steps in their development and I hope they all enjoy a well-earned holiday whatever they are doing! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Tigger Reception Class
In Maths, we have been looking at using and understanding positional language. We are continuing to use numbers 1-5 to look at maths concepts, concentrating on more and few and understanding how to check our answers and to be able to explain what we see and understand. We looked closely at number five and recognising patterns in a die frame and using our fingers to represent five, learning that 5 and 5 makes ten.
We have been looking closely at how numbers are made up and looking at the concept of something having parts of a whole.
In Phonics, we have been reinforcing the sounds we already know, reading cvc words and extending to short captions and some of us have attempted longer sentences. We have also been including our red words. Learning l and h also.
We looked closely at the story of the Bear Hunt, this helped with our positional language and repeating refrains. The children made some excellent story maps that included multimedia pictures and they did some great labelling. The children did a great job of extending the indoor role play area adding more elements of the story. The children used the outside space to build obstacle courses to go on the bear hunt using the large equipment to represent the different terrains.
The children looked at the artist Eduardo Paolozzi and made some great robots which we have displayed in the classroom, they also planned their robots and used their phonic knowledge again to label their drawings
In RE, we have continued with our people who care for us topic and we heard the story of the wedding feast at Cana and we learnt how Jesus loved Mary and preformed a miracle for her. Mrs Feller demonstrated this by turning the water into wine – which was all disposed of safely!
We have made our own class advent wreath and looked at the different elements and their meanings. The children painted pictures of advent wreaths too. We also made advent promises.
The children have enjoyed playing in the role-play manger in the classroom and have done a great job of keeping the hay in place. The children have used their phonic knowledge to write sentences about parts of the Christmas story.
The children worked so hard on the Christmas Nativity play and we are sure you will agree that it was an excellent performance.
All the staff in Tigger wish you a Merry and Peaceful Christmas.
Mrs Hendry and Mrs Feller
Fir Year 1 Class
We have been very busy in Fir class! We have been reading ‘Stickman’ in English. We noticed how the story rhymes and has some new words! Our word of the week, chosen from Stickman, is ‘beware’. We are trying to use it as much as we can in our writing and our speaking! We made signs for the stickman on his journey back to his family tree to help him be careful! We had lots of great ideas and loved sticking the signs up on the signpost. We made red pepper and tomato soup for the soup kitchen and talked all about how to safely cut the vegetables because the knives are sharp. It smelt so good! We have been practicing subtracting numbers to 20 in Maths. We use number lines and Numicon to help us because counting backwards can be tricky! We have done lots of rehearsals of our Christmas play with Tigger Class which has been great fun. The parents came to watch us in our costumes!
The Year 5 children came and read to us in The Courtyard. Fir Class children were paired with a year 5s who then read their story to us. It was great to hear and talk about their stories.
The children have really enjoyed Outdoor Learning this term supported by a core of stoical parents… so thank you to you all. Their walking speed has really improved! The children have become much more confident in their climbing and balancing when going up the mud mound and walking along the top and now they really don’t mind getting wet and muddy. It is lovely to see their sense of achievement. They’ve also become great explorers and have found a variety of mini-beasts which they put in their pots and look at through the little magnifying glasses. The children have collected different fallen leaves and then begun to learn about the different tree names and looked at how the leaves have changed over the last few months. Some of them enjoyed making leaf necklaces and also drawing pictures of what they’ve seen during their afternoon. We are looking forward to next term’s sessions.
Fig Year 2 Class
Last week in Fig Class we made vegetable soup for The Gatehouse. The children were all very sensible and chopped all the vegetables themselves and then added the other ingredients. It was lovely to see them working as a team. This activity linked well into thinking about Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas and remember people who are less fortunate than ourselves. Fig Class have also been working hard on their English writing, basing it on the film The Polar Express and the grammar they have been focusing on is the apostrophe of possession and contraction. The class have also virtually visited all the different countries in the UK learning about their different physical features and developing their map skills.
In Maths the focus continues to be number work. The children have been drawing and interpreting different arrays of numbers and linking them to multiplication questions. These activities have been done using a variety of maths equipment. Finally, the class have begun to make a few Christmas decorations to hang on our class tree.
Oak Year 3 Class
Oak Class have shown great creativity and enthusiasm this term. The class have really enjoyed our topic on the Rainforest, finding out about the animals, plants and people who live there and the impacts of deforestation. In Maths the children are currently exploring multiplication and division, representing and solving calculations using arrays, bar models and resources. In English, the children have written information texts based on deforestation in the Rainforest. The children have enjoyed learning about Light in Science, showing great enthusiasm in creating and performing a puppet show in groups. The class really enjoyed designing and creating their own tribal headdress in Art. In RE, we have been looking at Advent, exploring stories and parables from the Bible and finding out about the Jesse Tree.
Ash Year 4 Class
This week in Ash class the children have been preparing for the second coming of Christ each day through our advent routine. Each day the children take it in turns to open our advent calendar which contains a good deed we must try to complete (written by the class). We then check what day it is on our Jesse tree and read the related scripture so that we have a greater understanding of Jesus’s ancestors. The children have been really enjoying this, and as part of our good deeds we recently made a delicious minestrone soup for the Oxford Gatehouse Charity. We also visited the Natural History Museum last week as part of our topic on adaptation – the children were amazed by all the creatures we saw and could not believe that all the specimens were real! Even getting caught in a huge downpour on the way home did not dampen their excitement for their learning!
Bay Year 5 Class
This week’s newsletter is reported by Aoibhe, Olenka, Philip and Tyrone.
Over the past fortnight in Bay Class, we have been learning about limericks in English. We wrote limericks about space and have decorated a background to fit each limerick for display in our classroom.
We have been learning about limericks,
Which always have five lines never six,
But the first, second- and fifth-lines rhyme,
As do the third and fourth lines,
That is how you write your limericks.
We have also been learning about how to use brackets, dashes and commas that show parenthesis in our writing and have been planning stories based on a story starter called ‘Doors’ imagining how different doors have their own story to tell. What noises we could hear coming from the other side as we placed our ear against a door. What noise would each door make if we opened it. What does each door tell you about who lives inside, and where they live and where each door may lead as you step over the threshold?
In our classroom, we have been learning about Advent and have each written an Advent promise on a candle so that we can help others during the time of Advent. Each morning, we take it in turns to pick a candle and share the promise for us to follow that day. We also all drew around our hands on green paper and wrote Advent prayers on them to collectively make a large Advent wreath for our RE display in class. Following this, we did an activity that taught us how to give and receive compliments. Each of us had to write down a compliment to one classmate and then in return each of us then received a compliment from another classmate. We then put them into the classroom post box and the teacher read them out one by one. None of us knew who wrote the compliment to us but everyone in class had huge smiles, felt happy and special. It was an exciting, positive experience and can’t wait to do it again!
Last week, we made soup for the Oxford Gatehouse to support the homeless during our winter months as an Advent gift. The soup we made was Spiced Carrot and Red Lentil Soup and the ingredients included were carrots, onions, red lentils, chilli flakes and cumin seeds. It smelled amazing and some of us got to sample a taste to ensure it was spiced just right! It tasted warm and delicious, many of us took the recipe home for us to try and cook it for our families too.
On Tuesday, each of us had an exciting opportunity to read a children’s picture book to a Year 1 child in the library. It was so much fun and the Year 1s really enjoyed listening to us and talking to us about our books. We are looking forward to doing it again soon!
We have been busy practising our Christmas carols and we are going to perform a carol service on Tuesday 14thDecember. We cannot wait for you to hear us sing!
Bay Class were fortunate to attend the Hockey Tournament event at St. Edwards School on Wednesday. The class were an absolute delight to take. Three teams took part playing 3 to 4 matches each, with each team sharing some defeats and victories. All children received medals and a large scrumptious chocolate muffin for showing great enthusiasm, determination and respect. A BIG thank you to the parents who came to watch, support and cheer on our Y5s in the chilly weather.
Willow Year 6 Class
The class have been researching and planning their persuasive arguments on deforestation this week and have used a system that makes for a strong argument (point, evidence, evaluation). We have revisited rhetorical questions, emotive language and formal writing to make this stand out from an ordinary persuasive text.
In Maths, it is fractions, fractions and more fractions. We have worked hard on simplifying, adding, subtracting and multiplying, we have also worked on division! There is a lot for the children to understand and they will need to remember which process is needed for each type of question, so practise is still needed.
Music and singing has been all around school recently. Year 6 have harmonised well with Year 5 and I am extremely happy with how they are performing. I hope they will make you proud at next week’s performance.
Lastly, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.