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Posted on: March 30th 2021

Headteacher's Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we quickly approach the end of this term.  I just wanted to thank you again for all the support you have given the staff since our return.  The last few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind and have not been without their challenges.

I have said this so many times, but it is truly wonderful to have the children back in school.

Their smiles at the school gate each morning, as well as through the day, have lifted the spirits of us all.  We are so tremendously proud of the care that the children show one another, as well as their resilience and thoughtfulness, particularly during these unprecedented times.

Reception Admissions 2020-2021

We received a very high number of applications for our Reception places in September 2021. The School had 162 applications for the 60 places, with 31 of them being siblings. I know the EYFS team will be looking forward to the summer term when we can invite the families to the school.

Easter Mass

We are very grateful to Father Hyacinth for the whole school virtual Mass which summed up the message of Easter. A big thank you to Ms. Antwi-Bosiako for co-ordinating the Mass at the end of such a busy term.   Can we please remind you to pick up a newsletter from Church giving times of Holy Week and Easter Services.  We do hope that the Lenten message continues to be given at home.

First Holy Communion

Our Lady of Grace Parish is finalizing their First Holy Communion programme for this year.  Many thanks to those parents who have already signed their children up to the programme.  The closing date has been extended until Sunday 4th April.

We look forward to seeing as many of our Year 3 children as possible taking part in this special and important sacramental preparation.

Voluntary Contributions

Due to the current climate, the office has not sent out information this year for Parent Voluntary contributions to school funds.  After Easter we will once again be asking parents for a £10 voluntary contribution.  Please note these contributions are entirely voluntary and completely anonymous, so no family should be compelled to pay if it is beyond their means. 

This year we are asking that you pay directly into our school fund account:  Account name:  London Borough of Greenwich Our Lady of Grace School.  Sort Code:  20-98-57 Account Number:  80851000

 

Things to look forward to!

Educational Visits after Easter

As soon as it is possible, we will be organising educational visits and activities.  We have provisionally booked the Seaside trip for Year 2 in June as well Outward Bounds day for Year 6.  More details will follow after Easter.

School Photographs

We have provisionally booked Tempest Photography to come in on 10th May for class photos of EYFS, Year 3 and Year 6 as well as whole school individual / siblings photos.  Also it has been 4 years since our last whole school Photograph, so we have provisionally booked them in for 30th June.  

Sports Day / Summer Fayre / Whole School Performances / Masses

We are all desperate for these school community events to take place once restrictions have been eased.  Please be assured that we will do our very best to make these events happen if it is possible.

Secondary Transfer

Many of our Year 5 parents will be going through the Secondary Transfer process for the first time in October 2021.  After the Easter break, I hope to arrange for some Secondary headteachers to come into school to discuss all aspects of the Secondary process with those parents.  

 

Attendance by class and whole school:

St Francis                       98.6

St Bernadette                 97.7

St David                         99.2

St John Bosco                96.9

St Joseph                       98.7                        

St Gerard                       98.8

St Peter                          99.4

St Martin                        98.1

St Martin De Porres       98.7

St Francis of Assisi        98.2

St Elizabeth                   95.2

St Patrick                       99.3

 

Whole School Attendance Total    98.2

 

Staffing:

I am pleased to say that many of the staff vacancies that were advertised have been filled in readiness for September 2021.  

We have some new support staff working in school, Mr Veel in Year 5 is working part-time and we will have Mrs Senejoa who will be working with a pupil in Year 2 after Easter.  We welcome them both to the team.

School Uniform

When we return, please ensure your child is wearing the correct school uniform and appropriate footwear.

As we all look forward to the summer term and the hot weather, Summer Uniform can now be worn.  Please make sure you provide your child with a sun hat/cap every day. These may be any colour but plain in design. Can you also make sure you apply sun cream to your child before they come to school in the morning.

P.E – the children should be wearing the school PE kit as well as plimsoles or black/navy trainers, plain in design.  If a child wears brightly coloured trainers they will not be allowed to take part in P.E. lessons.

Parking

I would ask you to be mindful of the way in which you drop off and pick up your children and request that you do not park across resident’s driveways or block/mount the pavement – this is dangerous for both pedestrians and parents pushing buggies who have to move into the road to avoid these parked vehicles.

____________________________________________

 

On behalf of all the Governors and staff, we wish you all a Happy and Holy Easter break.

 

Sean Small

Headteacher

 

Living Holy Week following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are most forgotten, those who are the most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love.

Pope Francis

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Posted on: 28/05/2021

Headteacher's Newsletter

Dear Parents, I am not too sure if we can put it down to the wind, but this half term has certainly flown by.  It has been a very productive half term with many children achieving their very best. The Month of May May has been the month dedicated to Our Lady and the children have been doing additional work these past weeks to celebrate Our Lady of Grace. Masses To be held at Our Lady of Grace Church Friday 11th June       Years 5 and 6 Friday 18th June      Year 4 Friday 2nd July        Year 3 Friday 9th July         Year 2 Whole School, Class and Individual Photographs As the lock down rules have relaxed it has been so nice to be able to resume key diary events once more, for example, inviting the photographer back to the school.  It really hit home how big the school had become, as I watched the children file past to position themselves for their photographs. The photographer will be returning on 30th June for the Whole School Photo - let us hope we are blessed with fine weather on that day!   Book Fair Thank you to those parents who supported the Book Fair this week.  Though less busy than previous years, it was great to have it take place. The school is affiliated with Usborne Books because of the variety of books they have for different ages and abilities.  The school receives a generous commission on books sold, which we use to replenish Class Book corners.  They have also organised a children’s author to come into school early in July to  read extracts from her books.  More information will follow from the office in due course. Many thanks to Charlene Riviere, from Usborne Books for running the Book Fair and for organising the Children’s author, Serena Patel. School Trip – Year 6 Year 6 had an early start this week when they went to Bewl Water Outdoor centre. They were not blessed with good weather but after they all thawed out, their reports of the day were wonderful.  Many thanks to Ms Antwi and her team for organising the day.   School Dinners We are pleased to say that with the relaxing of restrictions we will be able to provide hot lunches after the May half-term break.  We are finalising the logistics of how to facilitate hot meals and remain in year group bubbles at the moment.  Year 1 and EYFS have not had hot food at school as yet, so we envisage the first week will be challenging until  a routine is established.  Let’s see how we get on! After-School Provision/Clubs Wrap around care provision with ‘AllKidsCan’ has continued to be a success through this difficult year.  My sincere thanks go to Chris and his team for the enriching environment they provide for the children, their professionalism and the positive relationship they have with the school.  ‘AllKidsCan’ have released a flyer with some additional Sports Clubs to start after half term. Please contact AKC directly if you would like further information on the additional provision offered. Reception 2021 Mrs Adeyemi and her team are busy organising parent open mornings in readiness for our 60 new Reception children in September.  These visits will take place on the 5th and 7th July (more information to follow). Year 5 Secondary Transfer If there are parents of Year 5 children who would like to discuss any aspect of the forthcoming secondary transfer process, e.g. to talk through timescales, schools, the Secondary Transfer system or to discuss any concerns you may have, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment via the office to see me. PTFA- Annual General Meeting The PTFA AGM is on 1st June at 7pm. Via Zoom Meeting ID- 77749329646 Passcode MSV42Y The PTFA are a dedicated bunch of parents who by their time and efforts give much to the ‘special community feel’ that we have within school.  The Committee is made up of parents from across all year groups.  We are always looking for new members who would like to volunteer their services for the good of the school.  If you are able, please attend the Zoom AGM in June.  With a bit of luck  (and help from Mr Boris Johnson) we might have the International Fund Raising Day in July. Parent Helpers As we come out of lockdown and have one eye on the new academic year, we are looking for parents who can help on school trips.  If you would like to be a volunteer please send an email to: sao@ourladygrace.greenwich.sch.uk and the office will be in touch to initiate safeguarding checks (DBS).  It would be great to know we have a pool of volunteers in readiness for the Autumn term. Termly Attendance - Attendance and Punctuality I am pleased to highlight the school’s overall attendance for the Summer term 1 was 98.5%. School Dates Here are the diary dates for forthcoming events after half term for your information.  More detailed, class specific letters will follow closer to the time. June: 7th June   – Children Return 15th June  – Year 2 Joss Bay 25th June  - School Closed- Staff Inset 29th June  – St Peter and St Paul – Feast Day 30th June  – Whole School Photograph July: 2nd July - Year 3 Joss Bay 5th July  – End of Year Reports 5th July  - EYFS New Parents meetings (St Francis + St Bernadette) 5th July  – Parents Evenings (times tbc in school we hope) 6th July  – Parents Evenings (times tbc – in school we hope) 6th July  - Guitar Performance – Steve Mac 2pm + 7pm 7th July  - EYFS New Parents meetings (St Francis + St Bernadette) 8th July  – Children’s Author, Visiting - Serena Patel 10th July – Possibly Summer Fayre tbc 12th July – Year 6 Leavers Performance - 2pm to school tbc 12th July - Meet your new teacher meetings! 13th July – Year 6 Leavers Performance  7pm to parents 21st July – Leavers Assembly – 10am 21st July – Year 6 Water Fight 2.45pm  21st July – Year 6  BBQ/ Disco 6-8pm 23rd July – Year 6 Mass (tbc 9.15am)  To be held at Our Lady of Grace Church 23rd July – 2pm Finish Staffing     I am pleased to say that all the staff vacancies that were advertised have been filled in readiness for September 2021. New Faces:  We welcome Mrs Okudu in St Peter’s class who is currently shadowing Miss Scotland in readiness for starting her maternity leave.  You will be pleased to hear that Miss Stellino has returned home safely and is currently quarantining in a hotel in Darwin.  Her replacement is Ms Huynh who we were lucky to secure and comes with a wealth of experience. Parents will have an opportunity to meet their child’s new teacher before the summer break at our ‘Meet the Teacher’ meeting on the 17th July. Uniform P.E – the children should be wearing plimsoles or black/navy trainers, plain in design.  If a child wears brightly coloured trainers they will not be allowed to take part in P.E. lessons. When we return, we hope the sun will be shining, please ensure that you provide your child with a sun hat/cap every day.  These may be any colour but plain in design.  Can you also make sure you apply sun cream to your child before they come to school in the morning.  Children may also bring in a water bottle with a sports cap top (no screw top bottles please) for during the day. These need to be labelled and can be kept in class. Finally Do have a restful half term, l look forward to seeing you all on Monday 7th June, refreshed and ready to enjoy another successful half-term. Sean Small
Posted on: 23/04/2021

Welcome Back Letter - April 2021

Dear Parents, Welcome back. I hope you have all had a restful Easter and a wonderful holiday. The sunshine has returned and we are all looking forward to our summer term. This Friday is St George’s Day and to mark the occasion we are inviting children to come into school in their own clothes and to donate a £1. Thank you for your donations, we have raised £290.00 which will be given to CAFOD . Voluntary Contributions I would like to thank those of you who have contributed to the voluntary school fund of £10 per term per family. We received many contributions last term and would like to ask parents to begin to make their contributions for the summer term. Whilst we are extremely grateful to those parents who feel able to make a contribution; any donation will be completely anonymous, so no family should feel compelled to pay, if it is outside their means.  Nevertheless, your donations do play a vital role in us being able to fund different aspects of learning that fall outside the current statutory provision, for example, special assemblies and workshops for the whole school. Child Protection in School As part of our Child Protection duty and commitment, we make children aware of the many ways they could find themselves in danger. In school, we discuss e-safety issues, road safety awareness, ‘stranger danger’ and personal safety when travelling on public transport, to name but a few. We do this through assemblies, classroom discussions and also by inviting outside agencies into school. The Governing Body, Headteacher and Staff of Our Lady of Grace, through the implementation of the Child Protection Policy, ensure that all Child Protection issues are adhered to. We are legally bound, in our duty of care, to make referrals to Social Services if there are significant reasons to cause us concern. We are obliged, as professionals, ‘to think the unthinkable’  in order to safeguard our children. For further information on all these issues, take some time to look at the Greenwich Safeguarding website: www.greenwichsafeguardingchildren.org.uk Summer Uniform As the weather is now getting warmer, the children may wish to wear summer uniform: Boys – white shirt, red school jumper, grey/red school tie, grey shorts, grey socks, black shoes Girls - red checked dress (not striped or a playsuit), red school cardigan, white socks. Red or black shoes All items are now in stock at Bailwood Fashions Ltd (246 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6JU) and can be bought straight from the shop or ordered online. As the weather warms up and the sun will (hopefully) be shining, please provide plain coloured soft sun hats/caps (no rigid peaks) for your child to use during playtimes. For health and safety reasons, children must not bring / keep sun creams in their bags. Please could you put a long lasting / 12 hour sun screen on your child before school if it is needed. We look forward to a happy and safe summer. Summer term Mass Friday 30th April - Whole School Zoom Mass - 9.15am (School) Other dates for your diary: 10th May – Tempest Photography: Individual / Sibling / Class Photographs 24th May – Year 6 School Journey ( 1 day) Bewlwater Outdoor Centre 15th June – Year 2 trip to Joss Bay Assessment Though there will be no statutory assessment tasks (SAT’s) for Year 2 and Year 6 this year, these classes will continue to undertake these formal tests in week 5. All other classes will undertake the formal NFER testing in that week as well. Please continue to ensure your child is working hard and check their homework is completed to a high standard.  A few reminders: Parking Outside School We are still receiving complaints from our residents in Lime Kiln Drive.  Please be respectful to residents, and do not park across their driveways, or indeed on their driveways. Please leave yourself enough time to park further away from the school, or walk if you can. Just a reminder that NO mobile phones are to be used on the school premises. Should your child require medicine to be kept in school ie. asthma pumps, epipens etc, can you ensure these are sent into the office as soon as possible. The office staff can only administer prescribed medicine to children and this can only be given once a consent form has been completed by parents. Yours sincerely, SEAN SMALL Head Teacher