As we approach the half term break, I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all members of our school community. This academic year has been even more challenging than the periods of lockdown we endured back in 2020 and 2021 in terms of the operational running of the school. With your continued support, we have been able to keep school and all classes open, even though there have been numerous Covid outbreaks across the majority of classes. The continued flexibility and commitment by staff has been amazing and I am thankful for their efforts to continue to provide a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum for our children here at St. Joseph's. I do wish all our children, their families and staff enjoy a well-deserved and happy half term break. I look forward to welcoming our children back to school on Monday 28th February, where we will begin our preparations for the season of Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday (2nd March). Take care and God bless.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the people about how we should treat others. He calls us to do something exceptional: we must love all people and be kind to them. Jesus’ life is a lesson in how we are to be kind to all people – even those people who are not kind to us in return.
Kindness is part of everyday life, particularly family life. Even small, everyday acts of
kindness are most valuable in God’s eyes. Every act of kindness done to someone else
is also done to Jesus, and it will be rewarded accordingly. In this coming week, how
can we show kindness to each other? Perhaps we can: be generous, sometimes giving
people more than we think they deserve; try to be compassionate and patient with others; pray a blessing on people around us – even those who are not very friendly.
Thank you to the parents who attended the final Synodal Pathway Session at St. Joseph's on Wednesday evening. If you have written a response to the questions on either communion, participation or mission, then these can be either returned to school or to Our Lady and All Saints. This is only the beginning of a journey of reflection and renewal as we enter a post pandemic world. There will be further opportunities to share our views and ideas on the Church together as both a school and parish community in the months ahead.
Provisional dates have been set for this term's Parents' Evening sessions. For Reception to Year 5, this will take place on Tuesday 8th March and Tuesday 15th March from 3.30pm until 5.30pm. The meetings for parents of children in Year 6 will be undertaken later on in the term on Tuesday 29th March and Tuesday 5th April at the same times. The school is also planning to hold this as a 'blended approach' whereby one session will be face-to-face and the other remote. This is based upon the feedback received from the Autumn term MAC survey. A Microsoft 'Forms' template has been created for parents to indicate their preferred format. The outcome of this along with further details about the arrangements and booking system will be circulated to parents on Monday 28th February. Please go to the 'Key Information' page on the school website to complete this short survey, thank you.
A Divine Renovation and Alpha UK event is going to held online on Tuesday 1st March, to help us all to be inspired to support the parish in its mission and evangelisation.
March 2022 marks two years since the pandemic hit much of the world. What is God saying to the Church throughout the last two years? What have we learned? What should be our focus moving forwards? As we slowly emerge into a post-pandemic world, mission-minded parish leaders know we have an incredible opportunity to recommit our energies to finding bold and new ways to evangelise. However, there are important questions many are wrestling with: What is the most urgent call for the Church? What have the last two years revealed about the Church and how she is fulfilling her mission? What are we being called to repent of, to turn from, and to turn towards?
Join Fr James Mallon, Bishop Robert Barron and Rev. Nicky Gumbel for a conversation on 'What God is saying to the Church?' This is a free event. To register, please go to the Diocesan website at: Divine Renovation and Alpha online event: What is God saying to the Church? | Birmingham Diocesan Trust (birminghamdiocese.org.uk)
Congratulations to the members of our tag rugby team who took part in a School Games event at Windsor High School on Tuesday afternoon. The children from Years 5 and 6 were fantastic ambassadors for the school in terms of their team spirit and competitiveness. Even though only a small number of schools took part, it was a very close contest which all children enjoyed.
Congratulations to our Year 5 pupils from St. Joseph's and across our schools in Emmaus, for the wonderful performance at yesterday evening's Pyramid Concert at Birmingham Town Hall. It was fantastic to be able to gather together once again collectively to celebrate in the joy of music and song. Thank you to Mr Mallinson and the team at Hagley Catholic High School for organising this year's programme, and also to our staff here at St. Joseph's for supporting and preparing the children so well.
On Thursday 3rd March we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of World Book Day. To mark this event we would like the children to wear their own clothes on that day and donate a book or books that they have enjoyed reading but no longer want for a ‘Book Swap’. All children will have the chance to choose a new book to take home and read as part of the ‘Book Swap’. We would ask that all books donated are in good condition. Books should be sent into school no later than Tuesday 1st March and placed in the boxes in each classroom. Please also look out for a ’20 books to read in 2022’ that will be launched as part of our celebrations.
World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Its mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. The aim is to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.
Suzanne Webb, our local MP, is asking all children in our constituency to take part in a short story competition as part of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations for WBD. The stories are to be set in and around Stourbridge, for children to write about places which are special to them, or to learn more about their area. The letter addressed to Mr Carry with all the competition details has also been sent to parents. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to undertake during the half term break.
For further information please click on the following link:
Congratulations to the following children for being chosen for Good Work or for displaying the Catholic virtues (Curious and Active) this week. Well done to St. Luke's house for gaining the most points too.
|Class||Good Work||Catholic Virtues (Curious and Active)|
|Reception||Willow & Luca VH||Soraya|
|Year 3||Sam||Whole Class|
|Year 6||Isla & Lola||Fenton & Oscar|
I am sure that you are aware of the Government's plan to reduce Covid restrictions further within education settings from Thursday 27th January, including the removal of wearing face coverings in communal areas.
However, further guidance from Dudley MBC has been published in association with the Local Public Health Protection Team, as follows:
The number of cases of Covid-19 remain high across the borough, with the largest number of cases in the 5-19 age group. This is leading to a number of outbreaks in education settings.
When necessary, local authorities can introduce local measures to reduce transmission in settings and help keep students and staff safe.
Therefore, in response to an outbreak in an education setting, Dudley Public Health advise that the following measures are maintained:
1. Facemasks are worn in communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained (this only applies to staff and visitors in primary schools).
2. Any child identified as a close contact by NHS Test & Trace or Dudley Public Health (either within their education* setting or household), should undertake 7 days of Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD). If the result is positive, they should isolate for 10 full days, in line with the guidance. A child can end their isolation period before the end of 10 days by taking an LFD from 5 days after the day symptoms started (or the day the test was taken if the child did not have symptoms), and another LFD test on the following day. If both these test results are negative, and the child does not have a high temperature, the child may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result. *only applicable to those 5 years of age or over
Due to the increasing number of cases and outbreaks in certain classes, we will continue to advise parents on site to wear face coverings and for staff members to continue to do so in communal areas within school. Any visitors will also be asked to wear a face covering in communal areas too. Thank you for your continued cooperation with this matter.
The latest isolation guidance which came into force on Monday 17th January, is as follows:
From Monday 17th January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.
If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
A positive test result is classed as Day 0.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
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.
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.
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.
For religious sisters and consecrated women
We pray for religious sisters and consecrated women; thanking them for their mission and their courage; may they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times.