2013 – 2014 Events
During the year we have been redesigning the school web site which has meant that specific events have not been included. I am however, pleased to be able to add the following information regarding the various activities that have taken place during the year. This is a general overview, further information can be found on past editions of the Rose Vine. I appreciate and thank you for your patience.
Being a Catholic School, faith is very important and comes across in everything we do. As well as celebrating our Catholic faith we also learn about other beliefs and their celebrations. We have this year celebrated a number of masses both in school and at St Mary & St Joseph’s Church. At each mass the children have participated fully through processing, reading and offertory. It has also been lovely to see so many families able to join us. The Candlemas Mass at the church for example left standing room only. Alongside mass Father John has visited school for the Stations of the Cross and on several occasions for blessings, e.g. Easter Gardens, 14 Stations of the Resurrection. The staff and children really do appreciate the time that Father John spends with us. Nursery parents were invited to join their children in prayer sessions before collection and Mrs McGregor and Mrs Lampey took four Year 2 children to the Good Shepherd Mass at Westminster Cathedral. They presented the Bishop with a cheque for the ‘Catholic Children’s Society’, money collected during Lent. Our last mass was for our Year 2 Leavers and their parents. Many may think this to be a solemn occasion but in fact it is a celebration of the children and their achievements whilst at St Rose’s.
St Rose’s is a small part of a much larger community both physically and emotionally. Part of our role is to show the children how, what we do personally or as a group affects others. We demonstrate this in a variety of ways, the first one being our Harvest Celebration. After the Harvest Mass our Year 2 children deliver a Harvest parcel to every resident at William Crook House. As a school we have for many years participated in Operation Christmas Child where shoe boxes are decorated and filled with small gifts suitable for children around the world who may be in hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters etc.. This year we sent 119 boxes. After each Christmas Performance we hold a collection for CAFOD. Shortly before this years performances the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Haiyan. The children felt that the CAFOD Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal was a suitable cause for the £263 raised. There are a number of occasions when children from other local schools are invited to join us for enjoyable activities. In addition to the usual wreath making and music festival, other schools joined us for Easter Gardens this year.
As the children progress through the school we encourage them to develop their leadership skills to enhance their ability in communication. We have this year introduced two programmes ‘Eco Council’ and ‘ROCKETs’. Each class nominates two people to be a member of the Eco Council for half a term. They are known as Eco Warriors and collectively choose a target eg. switching off lights. The aim is for the whole school to be more environmentally aware. ‘ROCKET’ training is a playground leadership programme for 7 year olds. Each week our Year 2 children had the opportunity to be a Rocket Leader and have been role models for how to play well together. The Rt. Hon. Mike Penning MP spent an afternoon with our Year 2 children discussing his role as an MP. He described to the children what it is like in the Houses of Parliament and that he receives 300 emails and 800 letters a day from people who would like his help/advice.
Physical Education has been a focus this year and the children have been given a number of opportunities to experience and participate in a number of different activities. Year 2 visited JFK School to watch their Gym and Dance Display. Each year group has participated in inter-school sports fayres at Sportspace and attended a number of workshops held at school, including Circus Skills, Watford Youth Football and Leverstock Green Tennis. We have also had ‘Fun Fitness’ sessions once a week during lunch time and ‘Gym for Schools’ & ‘Pop Dance’ classes have been run after school. We of course must not forget ‘Fun Sports’ morning where the children showed off their sporting ability just before parents and staff participated in races. Music
St Rose’s is very fortunate to have Mrs Hayes who not only provides music and singing lessons but also co-ordinates several events. This year our Year 2 children took part alongside a number of other schools in the Dacorum Music Festival at St John’s Church, Boxmoor. They also, earlier in the year, visited William Crook House to perform a Christmas Carol Service and finished off the year by hosting a Music Festival for a small number of local schools.
Cross Curricular Themes
During the course of the year there are a number of different themes either running throughout the school or a particular year group. These themes are reflected across all curriculum areas and involve a variety of activities. This year we have had Year 2 experiencing Victorian times and spending a day in school wearing Victorian clothing and participating in different activities. Year 1 have learnt about Castles and visited Windsor Castle; Butterflies and visited Butterfly World; Pirates attending a Playfeet Pirate Workshop. The Pirate theme was also used a basis for the staff’s Book Character outfits – Peter Pan. Reception celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus by coming to school in non-uniform, wearing the colours that reflect Easter, some wearing their own tie-dyed t-shirts. They also cared for the eggs that then hatched into extremely cute chicks. To support the themes and curriculum we arranged two visits from a theatre group. Their first performance was Treasure Island and their second Pinnochio. We also bring to the children’s attention national events, for example Remembrance Sunday. During the month of November staff and pupils took part in a number of activities to remember not only the brave service men and women but also the family members and friends who have died. Our Reception classes visited the war memorial in Boxmoor to say prayers. During Maths week this year all children participated in a Tetrahedron workshop and ‘Smarties Day’ which I believe was the highlight of the week.
Without the help and support of parents our jobs would be more difficult. It is for this reason that where possible we like to include them. Before children start in Nursery and Reception, parents are invited to an information meeting where the Teachers introduce themselves and discuss the daily routine. At the beginning of each year we hold Curriculum Information Sessions where the Teachers from each year group discuss with parents the curriculum that their child will be covering and provide any materials that may help both parents and children. These resources are also available on the school website in the ‘Our Classes’ section. Parents also have the opportunity to ask any questions. This year we also held a ‘Reading for Meaning’ session run by a Hertfordshire Literacy Adviser. Once during the year each class hosted a Class Assembly where parents were invited to join us. The children used this time to show what they have learnt about a particular subject. Parents were also invited to an Open Afternoon in June where the children proudly showed you their own classroom and the remainder of the school. To improve communication between school and parents we have this year introduced a fortnightly newsletter, the Rose Vine. We include details of activities the children have already taken part in and forthcoming dates.
We are continually working to improve the school facilities and resources to benefit the children’s learning. This year we have installed a new computer network and systems which enables each child to login and have access to the variety of software and resources from anywhere in the school. We have developed the outdoor areas outside Nursery, Reception and Year 1. This gives the children the opportunity to participate in additional activities and experiences. The school grounds have be redesigned and developed to enhance cross curricular learning. All year groups have benefited from the Woodland area in a variety of lessons and have enjoyed the grounds further by having class picnics.
At St Rose’s we are lucky to have such an active PA. They are a vital part of school and have since January 2014 raised a fantastic £4,750. Without this money we would not be able to purchase additional equipment which benefits the learning of all the children. To raise these funds the PA arranges a number of functions. This year they have included; the St Rose’s Bake Off, a Quiz Night, a Christmas Fair, Bedtime Stories for the children, a MetaFit Session for parents, Bingo, a family Barn Dance, a Gruffalo Hunt, Ice Cream sales when the weather allows, Refreshments at various events and an end of term Disco for the children. They are already planning for next year, so if you have any ideas or spare time please contact the school office.