‘One of the best projects our school has ever done!’….quote from one of the admiring parents as she viewed the newly hatched chicks recently at St. Joseph’s Primary School in Helensburgh. 11 fertilised eggs had been purchased by the school in the middle of March to bring alive the learning in P3 and P6 as they studied ‘The Owl Who was Afraid of The Dark’ and ‘Animals around the World’ respectively.
Friday 20th March, 2015 saw the post-graduate teacher training students from Strathclyde University revisit St. Joseph’s in Helensburgh to complete their Sciences VIP (Vertically Integrated Project) Option module of their course with P5, P6 and P7 children. The students had first visited in February for an orientation and fact finding visit to see first-hand the progressive STEM teaching in which every pupil is involved at St. Joseph’s.
Ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Hermitage Park were unveiled and the St Joseph’s pupils wanted to make sure that the interests of children just like them were heard.
The SVDP (St. Vincent de Paul) representatives of St. Joseph’s Parish made a visit to St. Joseph’s School last term to ask if we could help advertise the new local Independent Voluntary Foodbank which had opened recently at the Red Cross Hall, 116 East Princes Street, Helensburgh. They informed us that no referral was necessary for anyone to benefit from this new initiative in the town and could we please let parents know of its existence via our next school newsletter.
Friday 16 January saw 7 postgraduate students and their tutor from Strathclyde University visit St. Joseph’s in Helensburgh to begin their VIP (Vertically Integrated Project) approach, focussing on schools’ Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. This new pedagogy, adapted from that which originated in Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA, is an approach used to further students’ authentic STEM study in Higher Education.
A great day was had by all at St. Joseph’s School as St. Andrew’s Day was celebrated in style. Everyone had been invited to come to school wearing some tartan at a charge of £1 per person – an initiative which helped raise funds for the school. Then everyone packed into the assembly hall to watch each class perform a Scottish song or dance. There was quite a genre of singing on offer from ‘Ali Babi’ by the pre-5 children to ‘The Song of the Clyde’ by P6.
Last week the children of St Joseph’s were delighted to welcome to school Craig Munro, a member of the band ‘The Red Hot Chilli Pipers’. Craig was in fact taking part in a partnership programme which had been set up by Mrs McLean who specialises in Technology at St. Joseph’s. Mrs McLean had written to parents and family members to ask if any engineers would come into school and give the children a presentation on the life of an engineer.
Last week St. Joseph’s staff and children were delighted to welcome along to assembly Stacey Cameron of Mission Matters Scotland (Missio). The school has a long standing association with Missio as it is one of the foremost charities we support in any academic year. Stacey gave a very informative and colourful presentation to the children about how Missio’s money is spent to assist children throughout the world.
Recently Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) ran a local competition to name a new housing development in Helensburgh and invited local schools to take part. This month Ms. Collins, Head Teacher of St. Joseph’s, received information from ACHA to inform her that St. Joseph’s had won the competition! The whole school was delighted! A P7 pupil had submitted the winning entry and as a result ‘Duchess Court’ has been chosen by ACHA as the name they wish to submit for the naming of the new development next to Hood Court.
The children and parents of St Joseph’s were delighted to lend a hand to Helensburgh Rotary Club’s Aquabox Appeal last term. This year the children were not asked to bring in small toiletry items etc. as in previous years but to collect money to assist in buying an Aquabox which was already full of essential items for those people in third world countries. St Joseph’s gladly embraced the request and held a non-uniform day solely for the purpose of raising funds for the appeal.
Cardross Primary were the winners at the recent Christian Aid Netball Tournament organised by Mrs Clark from Garelochhead Primary. The standard of play was amazing with St Joseph’s, Rhu, Colgrain and Cardross in the semi-final stages. Cardross were given a tough match against Colgrain Primary in the final. It was a great event and many thanks to all of the players, coaches and volunteers at the event.
Cardross haven’t lifted the trophy since 2001 and we were delighted!
What a result for the netball team of St Joseph’s at the recent Christain Aid Netball Tournament. Under the excellent tuition of Geraldine Wilkie of G84 the team have climbed the ranks from 10th last year to 4th – phenomenal leap which was widely commented upon on the night! The whole school was delighted to hear the news and celebrated the team’s success. It’s onwards and upwards now for St. Joseph’s team!
Primary 2’s from St Joseph’s Primary School had a very special morning when they visited their classmates at The Sunshine Room Nurture Group at Parklands School. The pupils came together for a storyteller event by Bea Ferguson. Bea told some great stories, she told us one about a possum and some fairies who loved cakes, she also taught us some funny songs. All of the pupils and staff had a wonderful morning. Continue reading St Joseph’s Visit The Sunshine Room
What a great day was had by all on Thursday 29 May as St. Joseph’s Pre-5 Unit opened its doors not only to parents but, this time, also to other members of each child’s family too! We were delighted to see grannies and grandas as well as aunties and uncles join in.
After registration the reticent newcomers to the Pre-5 Unit got their sleeves rolled up and joined in with gusto! There were grannies at the sand pit and grandas at the reading corner – a really magical ‘buzz’ of learning and fun was palpable!
Continue reading Family Day at St Joseph’s Pre-5 Unit
One of only two new Family Learning Centres in Argyll and Bute, St Joseph’s Primary School’s Family Leaning Centre played host to ‘Children First’ as they launched their new PSP (Public Social partnership) initiative in Helensburgh today. A number of local dignitaries including MSP Jackie Bailey and Council Lead for Education, Aileen Morton attended the launch as Bryan Evans (Children First Assistant Director) presented information on the new initiative. Continue reading PSP Launch at St Joseph’s Family Learning Centre
St. Joseph’s Pre-5 Unit has been up and running now since August 2013. Following a recent parent survey, the staff were delighted to learn that parents were very happy with the provision, staff and curriculum. One suggestion from parents was to have a regular open afternoon which the staff readily developed. Friday 04 April, 2014 was the first of such events and parents attended in their droves.
The very essence of the first of the four contexts for learning in CfE ‘Ethos and the life of the school’ begins at the school gate of St Joseph’s with janitor, Mr Stewart Maule. Mr Maule is a much loved janitor by the children and his jolly nature keeps all stakeholders smiling. The last day of school this term was a perfect example of this. Each person coming into school was received by Mr Maule wearing his usual smile but, this time, also a large Easter Egg costume!
Monday 31 March 2014 saw P7 children of St Joseph’s welcome a very important visitor to their class, Ms Jackie Baillie, MSP. Jackie was there to bring a personal dimension to P7’s Interdisciplinary Learning Study, ‘The Scottish Parliament’. But if Jackie thought this was to be an easy question and answer session, she was to be surprised! P7 asked several deep and searching questions and their teacher, Miss Claire Boyd, was delighted with how eloquently the children addressed their questions and how they also came back at Ms Baillie on her responses.
Saturday 29 March, 2014 was a ‘first’ for St Joseph’s Primary School choir. Aptly named ‘St Joseph’s Dynamic Diamonds’, the children sang for the first time with LoCCo – Lomond and Clyde Community Orchestra – for the community of Helensburgh at the Victoria Halls.
Entries for the Helensburgh Rotary Club Young Photographer Competition 2014 were judged on 22 March, 2014 and St Joseph’s came out tops….for the second year running! Last year St Joseph’s had two winners in the Junior Category and this year again we had two prize winners in the Junior Section; one child won (age 7) third prize with one child (age 9) taking the top prize.