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Farewell Speech from Mrs D'Netto at Leavers Mass July 2017

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It has been an honour to work alongside the parents, the governors, priests and staff, to serve our children, their families and the community of Havering in these last six years.

Some may say it has been a tumultuous journey, definitely a challenging one, but we can now say that St Ursula’s Catholic Junior School is a stronger, better organised, more ambitious and more effective organisation than ever before. (And some may even call us “OUTSTANDING!”)

I also know that whatever the system throws at them our new school teaching team, under the leadership of Adam Wilson, will continue to make sure that the children in our school are happy and able to achieve their full potential.

The privilege of working alongside some of the most talented teachers and governors in the country has taught me some valuable lessons, and I thank every member of my team for helping me to steer St Ursula’s to become an outstanding provider.

 

And of course you, my wonderful children, I thank you for what you have taught m. The importance of hard work, of fun and I thank you for reminding me constantly of my role, as your head teacher to always have time for you, to always listen to you and to create a precious, safe and amazing school for you.  

If I may leave you with something that may help in the months to come ….

“We all have our strengths and weaknesses; situations where we shine and situations where we struggle. It is far better to be yourself at your best than a mediocre imitation of someone else. Figure out who you are, figure out how that fits in to the needs of where you are in your life, and build structures and support to help you in situations where your natural instincts may not be the correct ones. Always pause and listen to God, trust the Holy Spirit to guide you.”

With this top tip, you may be able sail more serenely through the turbulence that comes in the future with the changes that we all must face.

As Mr Wilson is often telling me, whilst a boat is safe in the harbour, it was not made to stay there – it is our time to go out into new oceans – on new adventures.

Continue to celebrate God in all you do, follow the 5 star code of conduct and your adventures will be full of success.

And finally,          “May the Lord bless you and keep you,

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Thank you.

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Lego - STEM

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Year 6 have had great fun this week using our new Lego equipment to look at different principle models relating to design and technology and science concepts.

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Online Safety Week

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The Online Buddies have been learning lots about Online Safety this year and how to stay safe online. As part of Online Safety Week they completed a survey with their class. They would like to share some of the findings with you:

1. Have you been contacted by someone you do not know?

58% said yes (Over one half)

2. Have you ever chatted online with someone you do not know in the real world?

34% said yes (One third)

3. Have you ever been asked to meet someone you do not know?

10% said yes. (One in ten)

Please see our Online Safety page to find out more information to help keep your children safe online.

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Choosing a Catholic School: A Practical Guide

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If you are considering sending your child to a Catholic School then may we recommend that you read "Choosing a Catholic School: A Practical Guide" by Sr Judith Russi SSMN, Redemptorist Publications, 2ISBN-13:978-0852314616.  

A recent review of this book in Networking - Catholic Education Today (Volume 18, Issue 2, Spring Term) said...

"This is one publication, which, if it reaches that audience (parents), will ensure that the choice is fully informed and all the more secure for all that."

The first chapter is "What should I look for" and "allows a very articulate parental voice to emerge, demonstrating that there is a discerning body of people, who exercise their parental prerogative with an intuitive understanding that education has more to offer them and their children that that which is measurable by the cruder instruments operating within what passes as popular discourse."

Chapter 6 offers a view of "expectations of parents and carers of children in Catholic schools".  A chapter that if you are considering sending your child to a Catholic school you will find most illuminating.

Happy reading, and we hope that once you have read the book you will feel secure in your choice of school for your child. 

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Homework at St Ursula's Catholic Junior School

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Homework at St Ursula’s Catholic Junior School

“Work hard and become a leader;

Be lazy and become a slave”

Proverbs 12:24

Have you ever felt like you are spinning your wheels when it comes to helping your child with their homework? Maybe the work is too hard and you can’t figure out what your child is supposed to do and how you can help them, so you just give up.  Maybe your child has a hard time staying focused, so the work just piles up and you feel you are drowning.  Maybe the work is too easy for your child and you don’t see the point in them doing the work.

At St Ursula’s Catholic Junior School we have met with parents who have experienced these events. We have run workshops over the years to try to find a range of homework activities that will impact positively on your child’s academic and pastoral development as well as not causing you to give up with the mountain of homework.

We know that you want to help your child to diligently do the homework assigned. We know that you want your child to do well and therefore we have created a homework programme that we believe balances these expectations with your busy lives.

Basic skills like reading, spelling and mental arithmetic must be practised daily at this age if the children are to have these facts embedded as second nature. So we offer no apology for expecting daily practice. 

MATHS HOMEWORK

For the more complex mathematical functions that we cover in class we set homework online where we offer a free tutorial for all homework activities for every child and every family. All online homework set has a support tutorial for parents and carers to access.  Children can work with you or you can set them the tutorials to complete prior to starting their homework task.  Their homework is marked instantly so that they get immediate feedback and can re-do the homework if necessary.

GRAMMAR HOMEWORK

English grammar rules can be very complex, especially if English is not your first language. At St Ursula’s we provide every child in the school with a grammar homework book.  Each book also contains the answers at the back of the book; we have left them there for adults at home to use to support their children.

CREATIVE LEARNING CURRICULUM (CLC) HOMEWORK

Before your child starts any CLC unit of work at our school they will receive an A4 page with a variety of homework options. These tasks have been carefully chosen to enable your child to get the most out of the lessons.  We call it “flipped curriculum homework” because the children learn about the new topic before the teacher starts to teach it.  This type of homework ensures that the children enter the classroom engaged, full of questions and ready to be challenged.  They then move further in their learning than could be otherwise expected.

 

CLC homework offers a range of activities. It could be making something with your child - this gets different generations talking, sharing information and skills.  Building positive learning relationships within the family will point children in the right direction.  Alternatively, it may be a visit somewhere or a piece of research, things that the family can do together.

SPANISH HOMEWORK

Once every half term we ask that you engage in helping your child with learning another language. The benefits of learning other languages are well known and at St Ursula’s we pride ourselves on the progress that children make in learning Spanish.  We teach Spanish in small groups allowing children greater teacher, child ratio.  Homework could be researching about Spanish speaking countries, cultures or even watching programmes in Spanish. 

 

We hope that our approach will reduce any difficulties that you might have faced when completing homework. However, if you have any problems make an appointment to speak with your child’s teacher or teaching assistant.  The only way your teachers will know you need to be challenged more is if they see your completed work.  

Prayer:

Lord, help me to be diligent when helping my child with their homework. When they are struggling, show me how to be calm and to help them.  Lord, show me the right person to go to for help. Give my child the determination and willpower to be consistent in their work.  Amen.

 

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