Friday 17th December 2021

A Christmas Message from Mr Carry

As we draw to the close of another term and calendar year, I would like to take this opportunity in our final weekly newsletter of 2021, to pass on my sincere thanks to all members of our school and wider community.  To all Staff, Parents, Volunteers (including members of the PTA, Governors and Directors) as well as external agencies (Dudley Cleaning and Catering, Learning Support Service, Educational Psychology Service) who have continued to support the children through another challenging year.  The day-to-day running of the school is all about the collaboration of many different people working together and in the case for a small school such as St. Joseph's, this involves a small, close-knit team who work together with the primary aim to better the lives of the children and families whom we serve.  After another period of national lockdown, we were able to welcome our children back in early March.  This undoubtedly has impacted on all our lives but especially on the learning and well-being of our children.  However, they have all shown great determination and resilience and have made great progress due to our well-skilled staff and support from parents and other agencies.  This term again has brought its challenges with the number of positive Covid cases we have faced in school and the measures which have had to be put in place to keep all members of our school community safe.  However, through this all, we have had our faith to encourage and support one another.  As we approach the season of Christmas, we are reminded about the foundations of our faith which started with the birth of a baby boy who would turn out to be the saviour of the world.  During the Christmas break, let us reflect and look back firstly at the positives in 2021 and also the challenges which we have faced and endured together.  We pray that with God's support and guidance, we will continue to ensure that all our children at St. Joseph's grow and flourish to be the young people that God wants them to be.  I thank you all for your support and look forward to the new and exciting opportunities which lie ahead next year.  Take care and God bless, and have a well-rested, happy and Holy Christmas.

PE Days for Spring term 1 2022

The days when your child/ren have PE next half term are highlighted within the table below.  The children can continue to come into school wearing either blue or grey tracksuit bottoms along with their school jumper, with their PE kit underneath.  Swimming for Year 4 will also start on Wednesday 12th January for the duration of the term - for the first week back they will just need to wear their PE kit to school as usual. There will be Top-Up swimming for our Year 6 children during Summer term 2.

Class Day 1 Day 2
Reception Friday -
Year 1 Wednesday Friday
Year 2 Monday Tuesday
Year 3 Wednesday Thursday
Year 4 Monday Wednesday (swimming)
Year 5 Tuesday Thursday
Year 6 Tuesday Thursday

Rainbow Hour Booklet December 2021 Edition

The team at Active Black Country have created a special Christmas edition of The Rainbow Hour booklet.  The Rainbow Hour seeks to prioritise the well-being of all young people across the Black Country by dedicating an hour a day to help address the current national Covid crisis. The campaign seeks to build confidence and strengthen the support young people have had during this time through positive physical, mental, social and emotional companionship, challenge and fun. The seven themes/strands of the Rainbow Hour are:

o Red - Fielding and Striking Activities
o Orange - Ball Skills Activities
o Yellow - Move More Activities
o Green - Outdoor Activity
o Blue - Mental wellbeing and mindfulness activities
o Indigo - Personal Challenges/Multi Skills Activity
o Violet - Celebration and Creative Activities - linked to a theme

The booklet is available on the school website within the 'Our Community - Children's Area - Rainbow Book'.  We hope that you enjoy the activities on offer.

Additional Emmaus CMAC INSET Day

The Directors have agreed the date for our next MAC-wide INSET day.  This will take place on Wednesday 2nd February 2022.  Children will not be in school on this day.  

PTA Christmas Raffle

A huge thank you to everyone who supported our Christmas Raffle. We have raised £1272.00.

All money raised will go to PTA for great causes within our school.

Guidance on the end of Covid isolation periods

The following guidance from the Local Public Health Protection Team regarding the end of isolation periods due to a positive Covid case:

Unless parents have informed NHS Test and Trace of an earlier date for onset of symptoms or a positive LFT then the isolation guidance is for ten full days from the date of the PCR test (test date is Day 0)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

This includes the following:

If you are notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result you must complete your full isolation period, except for certain situations where you had an assisted LFD test which was followed up by a negative PCR test. Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59hrs on the 25th.

We ask that parents inform the school of any information given by NHS Test and Trace regarding the start of isolation dates and to contact 119 to double check the return date to school. 

Dudley Public Health also announced last week that only children displaying one of the 3 classic symptoms will be required to isolate whilst waiting for a PCR test result.  A letter from the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing has also been sent out to parents confirming this information also last week.

Click on the following link to the NHS website for information on what to do if you or your child/ren show the main symptoms of Coronavirus. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms

Gifts from God Assembly

See the source image

Congratulations to the following children for being chosen by their class teachers for either Good Work or displaying our School Virtues (Eloquent and Truthful) this week.    Well done also to St. Matthew's for gaining the most house points. Unfortunately, Time with Ted has been postponed at the moment, but we hope to reintroduce this reward time next term.

Class Good Work Virtues
Reception Emmeline Frankie
Year 1 Isla Seth
Year 2 Darcey Leonardo
Year 3 Elissar Minie
Year 4 Murray Ollie
Year 5 Hattie Esme
Year 6 Isla and Ed CJ

Diocesan Vision on Advent

The Liturgy and Worship Group, which is one of the Diocesan Vision Groups has produced a video on the season of Advent.  

https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/blog/diocesan-vision-the-season-of-advent

Bishops' Statement: Honouring Sundays

During the pandemic, public worship was suspended for a time and there have been restrictions on parish life. As a result, people have been exploring other ways to practice their faith, including Spiritual Communion via live streaming.

As people begin returning to more regular patterns of parish life and following the first face to face meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in Leeds, the bishops have issued the following statement about the importance of honouring Sunday.

Bishops' Statement: Honouring Sunday | Birmingham Diocesan Trust (birminghamdiocese.org.uk)

Christmas Masses at Our Lady & All Saints Church

Christmas Eve Masses will be at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.

Christmas Day Masses will be at 8.30am and 11am.

This year you are not required to book a seat in church but please remember to wear a face mask.  We look forward to welcoming our St Joseph's family to Mass this Christmas. 

Covid Family Support Information

We have all experienced challenges and difficulties during this pandemic, but sometimes we may need support from someone else or know of someone who may need additional help.  Dudley MBC have created a 'Support for Families' leaflet which signposts local services to parents. We have also included an updated list of support for parents via a range of local and national agencies.  These documents can be found within the Covid 19 tab on the school website home page.

Wednesday Word Link

The Wednesday Word can be accessed via following link: The Wednesday Word Primary School Resource | Catholic Church.  Please go through this with leaflet with your child so that they become more familiar and understand the focus of the Gospel each week.

Prayer of the Week - Our Diocesan Prayer

 

Lord God, our light and our salvation,
we praise you for your gifts of life and faith.

We thank you for the desire
that you have planted in our hearts,
our yearning to see your face.

Help us to meet you in prayer,
to walk in your ways,
and to speak to others of our joy
and consolation in your presence.

Give us faithfulness in this present life
so that we may come to know
and praise your beauty,
with all our brothers and sisters,
in the life to come.

We make this prayer through
Christ our Lord.

Virtues Focus - Learned and Wise

Children at St. Joseph's are growing to be Learned, finding God in all things; and wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good.

Pope's Intention for December

Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

https://youtu.be/A2LMlbajZGI

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