Thank you for your many positive messages about our Road Safety Week activities; the children thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about around Hersham, but more importantly, they learned some crucial skills helping them to stay safe in their everyday lives. From Reception children, learning to cross “the race track” in the playground and Year 1 crossing Arch Road all the way up to Year 5 crossing Molesey Road (among others) and Year 6 thinking about Rail Safety at Hersham Station – all of our children have had an age-appropriate opportunity to think about how they can keep themselves and others safe. “Life Skills” is the first element of our Curriculum Intent (click here) at Cardinal Newman and we are so pleased that our families support us and will continue to develop the children’s skills in this area.
Following last week’s Road Safety memo, I am delighted to make clear that the school strongly applaud the efforts of those families whose children always arrive at school, in all weathers, on foot or by bike / scooter. It is, of course, the best choice for all families who are able to facilitate it, in terms of children’s health and wellbeing, as well as reducing traffic around school and protecting the environment – a win-win situation, though we appreciate it isn’t always possible or practical for all families. In the new year, we will be reintroducing the “Walk Once a Week” (WOW) initiative to support the children’s motivation to come to school under their own steam, so watch this space for more details!
This week has also been Anti-Bullying Week in school (and around the country) and all classes have discussed with the children, in an age-appropriate way, about being kind to others and about standing up for injustice where they might see something which isn’t right. Well done to Violet class for sharing their acts of kindness during their mission week. We were proud to hear a great example of a former Cardinal Newman pupil winning an award at Salesian for stepping in to support a situation like this. We want our children not just to be kind, but also to be brave in supporting others and to know what to do if they find themselves in a difficult situation. This is something we talk about with our children throughout the year, not just in anti-bullying week, and we know our families are great at reinforcing this message at home too. Thank you for your support!
We have been truly blessed this week to have Mass in school for our Year 6 bubble. At a time when Mass is not possible in our places of worship, it is a wonderful privilege for our school community to receive a blessing or receive Holy Communion in school. This is possible due to our school bubble systems and Fr Bill, like any outside visitor, maintains a social distance from the bubble at all times. Thank you to parents who were able to join us for that Mass this afternoon – I hope you will agree that it was a joyous and special occasion for all of us. Thank you Year 6 and Father Bill.
Looking ahead a little, I would like to share with you some of our plans for the coming weeks. These plans come with a huge proviso…. We can’t promise anything! We will do our very best to ensure that the children have as normal a “Christmas term” as we possibly can, but we are living in a very fast-paced and rapidly changing landscape, so do please bear with us if we have to postpone / cancel events at short notice. This could well happen if we have staff or groups of children self-isolating in the coming weeks. That does seem to be the way of the world at the moment, but it does not seem to make it any easier for any of us! But, as we enter the season of Hope next weekend, let us look forward to the best possible end of term we can manage. The plans as they stand are as follows:
Christmas Cheer via Zoom!
We plan that all year groups will perform their part of the play / carol service live to parents via Zoom. The intended dates/times are:
YR – 10am Thursday 3rd Dec
Y1 -1:30pm Monday 7th Dec
Y2 -1:30pm Tuesday 8th Dec
Y3 – 10am Friday 4th Dec
Y4 – 9:15am Thursday 3rd Dec
Y5 – 9:15am Friday 4th Dec
Y6 – 10am Tuesday 9th Dec
We will try to let you know of any changes as soon as we are able to, but please be aware that almost all circumstances are out of our control and so we may be forced to make very last minute adjustments to arrangements.
The plan is for YR, Y1 and Y2 performances together to tell the Christmas story through songs and simple Nativity scenes. Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6 performances will together make up a simple version of our traditional Carol Service.
As well as the live events, our kind Y2 parent videographer will once again be recording the children’s performances and putting them together into a “production” which will be available to purchase. The arrangements for the purchase of the Christmas videos will be sent out nearer the time.
Across Surrey, caterers have been advised not to offer the traditional Christmas Lunch to all children, but only to cater for those who usually have a hot meal in school. This is due to reduced kitchen capacity due to COVID arrangements. Our truly wonderful kitchen staff support our feeling that we would like to enable all our children at Cardinal Newman to participate if we can and we are currently in negotiations with the company about this! As things stand, only children who usually have a hot meal will be able to have Christmas lunch, but watch this space!
Our Panto company aren’t able to perform in the usual way, but every class in the school will be having an “Aladdin” workshop with the actors (in a COVID-safe way). These workshops are funded by the Parent Association and will take place across 3 days on the 10th / 11th / 12th Dec.
Wintershall Nativity – yes, Mary and a donkey on the school field! Wed 16th and Thurs 17th Dec
In a year when there are so many things we CAN’T do, we wanted to make space for one of the best things to come out of the pandemic! We hope you will be enthused by the opportunity for the children to do something a little bit different – in a good way! – this year.
The amazing Wintershall Live Nativity has been persuaded to go on tour and we were the very first school to invite them to come to us! If you haven’t heard of them before, their website is here:
All of our children will experience a live Nativity workshop – not only Mary and Joseph and a live baby, but also a real donkey and shepherds with their real sheep! It is difficult to describe the impact of this very special story-telling but we are confident this is something all of our children will remember for a very long time. After all, how often do you see a donkey on the school football pitch?!
There is obviously a cost to bringing the whole Nativity scene to Hersham and we would like to ask families if they can to please contribute £5 per child or £10 per family. Extra contribution’s would be gratefully received. This can be paid through Scopay.com to enable us to give the children this fantastic experience. School will meet the cost for families who are Pupil Premium and anyone who is worried about the cost should speak to Mrs Burnham who will find a way to support.
The Christmas Gift Giving Scheme will be replacing the Shoebox charitable giving we have done previously and details will be shared on Monday. The Christmas Story competition is attached. There are lots of exciting things happening at Cardinal Newman and we hope you might have a chance during this lockdown weekend to find a creative way to tell the Christmas Story through animation, song, dance, drama or even Lego… The choice is yours!
We wish you all a very happy weekend. Thank you for your continued support.
Year 1 zoom phonics meeting
There will be a Year 1 zoom phonics meeting on the 4th December 4-.00 - 4.30pm. Details will be sent out closer to the time.
Please remember to book school dinners ahead on Scopay.com. Every child requiring a school dinner needs to be booked in (even children that receive a free dinner).
Webinar on Anxiety for Parents and School Staff
Please find a link below to a webinar by Dr Ali D’Amario EP on Anxiety for Parents and School Staff. It focuses on how to support children and young people of all ages, but the strategies all apply to adults too.