Friday 7th January 2022

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

I would like to warmly welcome back all our children and staff, as we begin a new calendar year and academic term together. 

This Sunday's Gospel tells the story of Jesus being baptised in the River Jordan by John.  It was to be the start of Jesus' ministry and the announcement to the people that Jesus was in fact the Son of God.

As we begin this new year, let us reflect on how can we live more like Jesus. Perhaps we can: encourage our children to try to help around the home; remember to start each morning with a prayer and thank God for each new day and for each other; make a new start with church; as a family, resolve to support a charity in 2022; be peacemakers and try to make friends with someone we have fallen out with. You may like to choose something new to start together that will strengthen your family.

Let us give thanks for the opportunities which will arise this coming year and also ask God for his guidance and support in challenging times.

Healthy Snacks at Break Times

In order to support the school in enabling children to lead fit, healthy and active lifestyles, we ask that children do not eat unhealthy snacks at breaktime i.e. crisps, chocolate and cakes etc. but instead to eat either fruit or low sugar based cereal bars etc.  Thank you for your support.

PE Days for Spring term 1 2022

The days when your child/ren have PE this 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, the children are to come in to school wearing their PE kit with blue or grey tracksuit on to keep warm. There will be Top-Up swimming provision for our Year 6 children during Summer term 2 as part of their transition programme to secondary school.

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

Additional Footwear for Key Stage 2 Children

Can children in KS2 (Years 3 to 6) bring into school an old pair of trainers which they can change into at lunchtimes so that they are able to play on the field adjacent to the school when the weather allows.  This will ensure that our school remains clean and tidy after lunch.  This also applies to children on their allocated PE days.  Thank you.

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.  

Guidance on the end of Covid isolation periods

Updated Covid-related information was published by the DfE last Sunday (02.01.22).  Key information to be aware of as follows:

Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.

Health and social care workers, including those working in education settings, should follow guidance for their sector on taking LFD tests on day 8, 9 and 10. For more information, visit COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Children under 5 are not being advised to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under 5 is a contact of a confirmed case, they are not required to self-isolate and should not start daily testing. If they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 they should limit their contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19, and arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible. They can continue to attend an education or childcare setting while waiting for the PCR result. If the test is positive, they should follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

The Synodal Pathway

Synodal-Pathway-News--600x503.png (600×503)

 

Pope Francis has called for the Church to engage in a time of listening, reflection and discernment after an unprecedented time of disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.

Everyone’s opinion is valued and needed, non-judgmentally, as: individuals, families, groups, schools, interest/working groups or other denominations/faiths or none.        

This process is called the Synodal Pathway. All parishes are invited to gather, listen actively to one another and reflect on what is said. This is not a time for discussion but of openness to one another, and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Further information about the themes for reflection and the opportunities to meet and discuss these as a School and Parish are detailed within a separate letter sent out to parents today. This is such an important time for us to reflect on the life of the Church.  Your feedback is important and will be shared collectively with Archbishop Bernard and Pope Francis.

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)

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

Dear Lord Jesus, you are God’s beloved Son. Thank you for the gift of baptism. May we always remember that we too are the beloved children of God. Amen.

Virtues Focus - Curious and Active

Children at St. Joseph's are growing to be curious about everything; and active in
their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.

Pope's Intention for January

January- For true human fraternity

We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.

 

For more information on the Holy Father's Monthly Intention, please click on the following link: Pope’s prayer intentions for 2022 - Vatican News

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