A Great Start to 2020

January has been a very busy month in school and in our nursery.

Our pupils and staff all returned after Christmas with renewed energy and drive to make 2020 our most successful year yet.

Alongside a range of learning opportunities within our school day a large number of pupils are also benefiting from our extensive our of hours learning experiences. This is due to the fabulous commitment of our staff (and pupils) who give of their own time both a lunch time and after the school day to extend our children’s talents and skills.

Here’s a wee taster of some of the Come Clubbing @ Cathedral activities:

The Euro Quizzers:

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Our Christmas Storytelling – back by popular demand!

Primary 4 football club:

P4 pupils having fun at the afterschool football club, at come clubbing at Cathedral. Each week we have been focusing on a different ball skills, playing as part of a team and most importantly having FUN !!!:

Let’s get Knitting!

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Cross Country – a well established success in our school:

‘Rain, hail or shine our hardy cross country pupils, staff a volunteers brave all weathers to continue to prepare for the North Lanarkshire Trials.

The cross country after school sessions recommenced on 6th January. The children are building up their strength, speed and stamina as they prepare for the forthcoming trial on 19th February at Dalziel Park in Motherwell. Each week the training intensity increases as the children prepare to be race ready. This week the children were given some homework to help them improve.
This consisted of 2 x10 minute continuous runs before next Monday. Next week we will be working on interval training and hill training to help prepare for the race. Consent letters have been issued to children and must be completed and returned as soon as possible. Parent helpers are required on the day of the race so if you are free please come along and support your child. Spaces are available on the bus.

Celebrating Burns:

Two of our Come Clubbing @ Cathedral are centred around the Burns Competition. On Friday 24th January the children who attend our Burns verse speaking and singing clubs attended the Forgewood Community Centre to perform for the local community at a Burns lunch event.
The children gave a fantastic performance which made the event a huge success. They really looked the part in their tartan sashes.

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A wonderful way to share the talents and skill of our pupils with all in our community. We wish you all well on 18th February at our local Burns competition.

Our Wonderful Choir:

Our choir continues to flourish with this session over 70 boys and girls from P4 to P7 participating weekly. Currently we are preparing for The Glasgow Music Festival Hymn Singing where the choir will perform in The Royal Concert Hall singing All Things Bright and Beautiful (set piece) and Get On Board The Train (own choice). Wish us luck for March!

The above is a taster of what’s on-going in our school day and daily. I am indebted to the huge number of staff, pupils and parent/carer volunteers who give so freely of their own time to ensure we provide excellent learning opportunities to promote our children’s talents and skills. Long may it continue.

January also saw P5 intent on learning new hockey skills in P.E. As you can see, not all P.E takes place in the gym hall. P5a used our dining hall to develop their skills. It is great to have such flexible spaces in our school.

At our very first school assembly of the year we celebrated the success of our Junior Road Safety Officers challenge to all. Our pupils were asked to design a poster promoting safety on our roads. We had a number of children all ‘highly commended’ for their efforts. Here they are with our very proud Junior Road Safety Officers.

We ended January with a superb Primary 3 assembly, all based around ‘Toys’. This was outstanding. Once again, our pupils showcased their learning through song and dance. A thoroughly enjoyable assembly. Well done to all pupils, staff, support staff and parents/carers in P3. Thanks to all who came along to support our fabulous P3 pupils.

It has been a busy month for P3, they also enjoyed their Enrolment for Reconciliation, marking the period of intense preparation for this lovely sacrament of forgiveness. We look forward to celebrating the sacrament with P3 and their parents/carers on Tuesday 10th March in Cathedral Church at 6pm.

Meanwhile, down in the nursery…….

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January has been a fantastic month of learning experiences down in the nursery as it was transformed into a Space Station and Solar System. The children have been learning facts through stories, props, costumes, factual books and action songs which helped them gather information as they learn new words and phrases about Space.
Our Astronaut Cadets have been in training to ensure full fitness before embarking on their trip to the Moon and they have even experimented with powdered food watching it change form as liquid was added. Smash potatoes and Angel Delight have proved popular amongst our young learners.

Throughout the topic the children have been creating rockets and Space stations with 2D and 3D shapes and have even used pens to create their own 2D shapes. What great imaginations our children have!

The feedback from parents about the Space topic has been excellent as the children discuss their learning at home. Here are a few of them.

‘This looks amazing fun! my daughter was so excited to tell us all about it. She has decided we are going to make space helmets by cutting paper plates and she is going to take the family on a mission to the moon. Great activity. Thank you.

‘My daughter has us all star gazing at night through the front window, the moon was very big the other night and she was very excited’

‘He has loved this topic… loved everything about the planets!

As we came to the end of January we celebrated Burns Day with Scottish stories, music and dancing, haggis neeps and tatties and as always welly wanging outdoors. A super Scottish Hoolie was had by all.

This final week we have celebrated Chinese New Year. The children listened to the story of Nian the dragon, performed a dragon dance inside and outside, made dragon masks and explored the red playdough and the sand using chopsticks. In snack all children had the opportunity to taste some Chinese food such as noodles and prawn crackers.

As always, many thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Blog, please leave a comment or two.

Mrs Shields

A November to Remember

Our November began with a fabulous achievement. Mrs Findlay and our ECO Warriors earned our school our 3rd ECO Flag! A fantastic achievement. Coupled with this the ECO Warriors have also affected real change in North Lanarkshire Council. Working with NLC Single Plastic Usage Team our dining school no longer offers disposable plastic water bottles, we have re-usable cups instead. We also no longer have plastic sandwich covers. This is a superb way forward to helping save our planet. Our pupils cheered when they were told of the changes they had requested were to become a reality. HUGE congratulations to Mrs Findlay and her trusty warriors.

ECO WARRIORS. PROUD AS PUNCH!

Meanwhile Primary 4 had a very exciting November, they treated us to an outstanding assembly journeying through Ancient Egypt. The assembly entertained our whole school community and P4 families in song, dance and an incredible range of knowledge. AMAZING Primary 4. The Assembly was the culmination of their Inter Disciplinary Topic. Our children also enjoyed a range of learning in and out of class, we’ve had Egyptian treasure hunts and  sand searches in Motherwell and a wonderful day was spent at Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum where the children met a MUMMY!

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On 5th and 6th November our school and nursery  were visited by a number of visitors from across North Lanarkshire. We enjoyed a Validated Self Evaluation (VSE). This was a most positive experience and did indeed validate our own self evaluation. Here are the key strengths as identified in our final report:

  • The strong leadership of the head teacher, which is supporting effective teamwork and the collaborative professional working of all staff.
  • The nurturing, highly-inclusive ethos in the nursery and at the primary stages, which enables all children to feel a strong sense of belonging. This is underpinned, in the school, by gospel values and the diversity within the community and the drive of the head teacher.
  • The teamwork between senior leaders who work well together in fulfilling their roles very effectively, and provide a significant level of support and guidance to the school and nursery community.
  • Relationships which are strong at all levels, with pupils complimenting staff on their approachability and caring nature. Staff displayed a very good knowledge of their pupils and their context.
  • The confident, respectful, articulate children, who are eager to learn and are proud of their school.
  • The wide range of leadership opportunities at classroom and whole-school levels where children were developing skills for learning, life and work.

The learning in our school was highly acclaimed:

  • Almost all children engage positively in their learning, they behave very well and listen very well to their teachers and peers.
  • In the best lessons observed there was evidence of creative, stimulating and innovative approaches that engaged learners and provided challenge.
  • Teacher explanations and instructions are clear and the majority of learners’ experiences are matched to their needs and interests.
  • Almost all children are confident in their use of digital technologies.
  • In the nursery, staff show nurturing relationships and very good knowledge of the children, displaying a warm and welcoming approach to children and families into the setting.
  • Staff in the nursery class and school know the children and families well and understand the socio-economic context of the local community. All staff are committed to promoting equity across learning for all children in an inclusive ethos.
  • The wide range of opportunities through ‘Come Clubbing @ Cathedral’ benefits all pupils and enables them to be a valued part of the school community.
  • There is a targeted approach to ensure that the most disadvantaged children have access to opportunities for wider achievement.

Our next steps moving forward in our continuous improvement include:

  • Introduction of a Nursery Improvement Plan from the beginning of session 2020/21.
  • A focus on Q.I. 2.3 in School Improvement Plan for session 2020/21.
  • Collaborative work with other schools and nurseries.

We are very proud of the outcome of our VSE. One comment from the Lead Officer sums it all up. He stated:

‘If my children were still of primary school age, I would be bringing them to this school’

Well done to every pupil in our school and nursery and a huge thanks to our fabulous staff team, they are amazing.

In November there was great excitement in P5a. Mairead Ross was the proud winner of an E Christmas Card competition across North Lanarkshire. Mairead’s prize included £250 of vouchers for Mairead to spend in Motherwell Shopping Centre, an additional £250 for the school to spend and Mairead was the STAR attraction at Motherwell Christmas Light Switch On.

Mairead proudly took her place on stage accompanied by Provost Jean Jones and ‘Anton’ of Love Island fame. This was a very special occasion. We all enjoyed a lovely evening in Motherwell, a real carnival atmosphere. It was great to  see so many of Mairead’s family there and such a great number of children (and staff) all coming out to celebrate Mairead’s success.

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In the true spirit of Christmas Mairead asked that a substantial sum of her winnings be donated to Motherwell Food bank to help those in need of food at this time of year. What a beautiful gesture, we are so very proud of Mairead.

Meanwhile down in the nursery…..

It’s a pictorial representation of all that’s going on in the nursery, just for a wee change.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing in our great work. If you’d like to leave a comment or two, we’d love to hear from you.

Mrs Shields

 

 

Outstanding October Opportunities

The month of October has been very eventful, even though there was a week’s holiday within this month we’ve still managed to offer our pupils a wealth of learning opportunities, in class, throughout the school and further afield.

Beginning with our October Parent Evening, a huge thanks to all who came along. We were delighted to have 89% of parents/carers come along and hear all about their children’s work and take time to enjoy the wonderful learning environment in which our children learn. Thanks also to Caroline from North Lanarkshire Council Financial Inclusion Team who joined us on the evening to offer advice to parents/carers in respect of finance. A most useful addition to our Parent Evening.

On Tuesday 8th October we all enjoyed participating in our Octagonal October Obstacle Course. This was a sponsored event to help raise funds for our Fabulous Fund Raisers. Every child in school and nursery joined in the fun. A HUGE thanks to all who contributed, we raised an OUTSTANDING £3883.00!!!!!!

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We are indebted to our Health Committee, Mrs Loose, Miss Forsyth, Mrs McCoy and Mrs Duffy for all their hard work creating the course, setting out each event and organising all the timetables on the day. Great fun was had by all.

Following this we asked each of our 9 committees and our House Captains and Vice Captains to seek the views of all of our pupils and staff with regard to how can we best use this money raised to further enhance our school and play ground. Here are all the committees feeding back to our Fundraising Group and myself.

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The committees are:

Health Committee, ECO Committee, Digital Leaders, Enterprise Committee, Junior Librarians, Language Ambassadors, CaFi Council, Playground Patrol, JRSO & House Captains and Vice Captains.

Some of the ideas suggested included:

Sunken trampolines

Flower garden

New footballs

Tyres

Bouncy Hoppers

Basketball nets

New benches

Fruit trees

New bins for our yard

Outdoor chalk board

Comfier seats in class

Hula hoops (not the crispy kind!)

I have passed all the information onto Mrs Munro, chairperson of our Fabulous Fundraisers, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Our Language Ambassadors all enjoyed a very special treat in October, they went off on a field trip to The Glasgow Film Theatre, here’s Madame Ali telling us all about it:

On Tuesday 22nd October the newly appointed Language Ambassadors faced their first linguistic challenge:- a trip to the GFT cinema in Glasgow to watch a French cartoon film. The children had a wonderful time and seemed to understand the humorous storyline despite the fact that it was all in French.

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Well done Ambassadors! A huge thanks to Mrs Robertson (Ethan’s mum) who came along on the day to accompany the children and to Madame Ali who organised this unique learning experience.

On Friday 25th October Primary 5 treated us all to some delicious home baking, tasty tea and comforting coffee. A wonderful coffee morning which raised and amazing £725.88 well done to all who helped with baking, organising, serving, selling raffle tickets, donating prizes and enjoying eating the cakes!

On this morning we made our first draw of the year for our 200 club, three lucky prize winners won £75, £35 & £20.

A Wee Reminder: P5, 6 & 7 will not have an assembly this year as we will be performing an Upper School Show Extravaganza on 31st March and 1st April……..Watch this space for the BIG REVEAL of what our Show will be.

During October many of our classes have taken advantage of the beautiful Autumn weather and changing season to explore outdoor learning. Here’s Primary 2b out and about enjoying the falling leaves (and learning lots at the same time).

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Learning looks so much fun P2!

This week our children have all enjoyed our Hallowe’en Discos courtesy of our Fabulous Fundraisers. All three discos were a great success, thanks to all the Fundraisers and teaching staff who came along on the evening to join in the fun. Special thanks to Mr O’Brien who gave up his birthday celebrations to come along to support his class at the disco, hope he got home in time for cake. Copy and paste the link below to view lots of short videos and photographs of all the fun and the amazing costumes.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!BF9A3KQps18NlBvEJad3frGwR2Gk?e=10bgEc

On Wednesday morning our ECO Committee got to work organising all the Bag2School collections. The team helped to sort the bags and deliver them to the ‘van’. Great work ECO Committee. Many thanks to all who contributed to our Bag2School collection.

We finish our month with some wonderful news. Corporate Communications in North Lanarkshire Council who organise the Motherwell Lights Switch On, in conjunction with Motherwell Shopping Centre invited schools to participate in a Christmas Card Competition. One of our pupils from P5a is the, very deserving, winner! Well done to MAIREAD ROSS, a worthy winner. Mairead’s winning design will be unveiled at the Motherwell switch on she will be invited along to assist with the lights switch on which is on Saturday 16 November in Motherwell shopping centre, car park next to COSTA from 4-6pm. Mairead’s design will be projected onto the side of Pure Gym façade during the event. Mairead has also won some shopping vouchers from Motherwell Shopping Centre, and so has the school. How Exciting!

The organisers were so impressed by our children’s entries they asked:

The work from the children was fabulous, some really good artworks. Because of this we had the idea to use the artwork that the children created for some social media advent calendar posts and some more E-card – this is not confirmed yet. We were wondering if this would be okay?

We said YES! Well done to all who entered and to Mrs McCarthy and Mrs McLaughlan who entered their classes. Here’s the proud winner with her equally proud classmates and teacher:

Next week is a very exciting week for our school and nursery. We will have a Validated Self Evaluation (VSE) which will involve 9 personnel from North Lanarkshire Council coming along to our school community on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th November. The VSE Team will visit all classes and the playroom, meet with focus groups of pupils, parents and staff and spend time looking at all the paperwork which is in place behind the scenes of our wonderful school community.

We look forward to welcoming:

Mr Kevan Egan Continuous Improvement Officer, Mr Brendan Duffy, Continuous Improvement Officer, Ms Pat Scullion, Attainment Officer, Pauline O’Neill, Continuous Improvement Officer, Ms Karen Greechan, HT St. Michael’s, Mrs Bernadette Hunter, HT Greenlees PS, Ms Carrie Nicol, HT Berryhill PS, Ms Jackie Fulton, Head of Centre Forgewood Nursery and Ms Donna McCann, Support for Learning Manager. What a lot of visitors!

In our latest School Improvement Report we graded our school and nursery at ‘5’ which translates as ‘very good’. The VSE process will validate our assessments of our school community. I am confident the Team will be most impressed with our pupils, staff and parents and will love the variety of learning opportunities on offer for our children and their families.

Speaking of the nursery……..it’s all going on down there!

This month the children have been looking at the change in the weather. They listened to the story of ‘Rosie’s Hat’ and the adventures the hat had during a very windy day. Outdoors they recorded the temperature using a thermometer and measured the rainfall using rain catchers. October brought some very wet and windy days and the children were able to fly their kites and use their umbrellas to keep them dry. Each group recorded their findings on a weather chart where they had the opportunity to draw different weather symbols and predict the next days weather. There was a lot of sun predicted but unfortunately their predictions were wrong. Some children recalled their own weather stories and these are displayed on our learning wall.
Our first Forest Kindergarten block started this month and all our nature detectives adventures are recorded in the floorbook in the cloakroom. Please have a look and see what our children get up to exploring the natural environment.

October also brought our fabulous Octagonal Fundraiser which was so much fun, the Health Committee excelled themselves providing fabulous activities that were perfect for little bodies. I’m sure you will agree when you have a look at the photographs.
As the month progressed it began to get darker and creepier down in the nursery as the house corner was transformed into a ‘Spooky House’. The children chose a range of costumes and Hallowe’en resources to put in the house. There were brooms, cauldrons and various sizes of pumpkins to role-play with. As Hallowe’en approached some children had the opportunity to carve pumpkins with scary faces and make ghost from a range of fruit. In art they explored slime and green jellibaff using their senses to describe what it felt like. They made ghost hands, spiders and bats In the writing area they described their costumes which they were going to wear at the party. All children had the opportunity to draw their costumes in the group floorbook. Some children made up a scary story that they proudly displayed on the learning wall.
Outside they took part in a pumpkin throw number game and played ‘ghost, ghost, bat.

Party day arrived and the children were excited to show off their costumes, they played ‘pass the pumpkin, musical goosebumps, spooky statues and sang and danced to some Hallowe’en songs. Before they left they all had spooky snack. Great fun was had by all! What a fabulous end to a very busy month!

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As always, thanks for reading our Blog. Please leave a comment or two.

Mrs Shields

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spectacular September

What a busy month, so many things on-going in our school community.

Throughout the first week Primary One had their photographs taken for Motherwell Times, we celebrated our Feast Day Mass with Fr. Paul leading the liturgy ably assisted by Primary 4. Also, at our Feast Day Mass we witnessed our Primary 6 pupils enrol in The Pope Francis faith Award. This is a two year programme of study designed to deepened, strengthen and guide our senior pupils in their Faith Journey.

This week we welcomed our new Active Schools Co-ordinator, Catriona Shields (no relation), we look forward to working closely with Catriona, already she has begun a programme of training for our Primary Seven pupils training as Young Leaders. This training will equip P7 pupils with the skills to develop and lead physical activities to motivate and inspire our youngest pupils. Pupils leading learning .

We also welcomed all of our parents/carers to our Meet the Teacher evening. On this evening each class teacher presented our new ‘Vision, Values and Aims’ (as detailed in my last Blog). Staff then provided their parents/carers with a workshop all about their class, what their children will be learning and how all parents/carers will be encouraged to be involved. A very industrious week.

The second week of September we held our first Parent Council(PC) meeting of the session, thanks to all those who volunteered to become part of our PC (seven in total), our clerk will be in touch to invite all volunteers to our next meeting.

Throughout this week our Junior Road Safety Officers, John Munro and Lilly Moore, conducted a ‘Hands Up Survey’ detailing how our children travel to school. Thanks to our JRSOs and to Mrs McCoy our new JRSO co-ordinator.

We had opportunity this week to celebrate the successes of our former pupils at Our Lady’s High School Senior Awards Ceremony. What a wonderful experience to see so many of our former pupils gain such great success, we are very proud of each and every one of them. According to Mrs Anne Munro, Head of Service, who attended the evening, we didn’t hide our pride! We cheered and cheered!

John Wilson, our school photographer came in on Friday of this week to take our class group photographs, these will be displayed in the foyer for all to enjoy as soon as they arrive. New staff photographs coming soon too. No more Miss Trunchball.

Our peer elected House Captains and Vice Captains enjoyed a ‘badge count’ this week. They visited each base to see which House could earn the most points for children displaying their House Colours. Here they are discussing who goes where and then setting off. Great team work!

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The following week was a highlight for our Primary Seven pupils – KILBOWIE. A fabulous week was enjoyed by all. A link to all 909 photographs was posted on our App and on a previous Blog, here’s some highlights:

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A HUGE thanks to Mr McMahon, Mr Massetti, Mrs Rimmer, Miss Forsyth, Mrs MM Murphy and Mrs Campbell for giving so freely of their time to accompany the children, although I believe the adults enjoyed it just as much as the pupils!

Throughout September I have enjoyed welcoming so many of our pupils to my office to proudly show off their wonderful work and been invited along to classes to take part in so many different types of learning. As you can see, learning does not stop at 3pm in our school, Come Clubbing @ Cathedral offers something for everyone.

This is the best part of my job, I love seeing our children be such successful learners. Here’s  snapshot of some of our successes:

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At the beginning of this week a number of our P6 pupils were invited along to a very special Mass in Carfin.  As our Missio Champions, Jon, Cassidy, Evan Comerford and Aodhan McPolin accompanied by Miss Cawley represented our school at Missio Mass celebrated by Bishop Toal. Well done to our boys, they are great ambassadors for our school.

As we left September behind and moved forward into October we enjoyed a very special Blessing for our Primary One pupils, Fr. Chromy came along to individually bless each of our newest school pupils. This was a spiritually uplifting service, enjoyed by so many pupils (P1 and their buddies P7, parents/carers and extended family members). Thanks to Fr. Chromy for taking the time to come along and welcome our P1 pupils into our faith community.

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Meanwhile down in the nursery……

Our nursery children have been learning all about Autumn through a range of activities.

They have been listening too and recalling some Autumn stories using the puppets. They have scribed some Autumn words and have been retelling their own stories.

Each group has been out on an Autumn walk to gather leaves for the display. Some children have brought in conkers and acorns for all children to explore. Please feel free to add to this display.

In art they have been busy making Autumn stained glass window pictures which are displayed in the nursery to catch the light. They have looked closely at the leaves during leaf rubbing and have used the leaves as paint brushes.

Our house corner has been changed into a harvest shop and the children have been busy role-playing with real vegetables. In snack the children used their senses to explore the Autumn vegetables and recorded their findings and drawings on a mindmap which is displayed on our learning wall. By the end of this week the children chopped up the vegetables and made a bit pot of healthy Autumn soup. Nearly all of the children tasted it. Thumbs up all round!

In numeracy they have been using the Smartboard to match the different shaped Autumn leaves and have been busy discussing their day and night routines through visuals and interactive boards.

Outdoors the children have been singing Autumn action songs and have made animals from the fallen leaves with hedgehogs being very popular. They have also used cotton buds to create their own Autumn trees. The children are starting to understand that the weather/season is changing.

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As always, thanks for reading and please leave a comment or two.

Mrs Shields

 

 

 

A fabulous start to our new school and nursery year

Please see above our brand new Vision, Values and Aims. Working closely with all stakeholders in our school community (school community includes nursery and school) we have decided what forms the ‘roots’ of our school and how we ‘branch out’ to meet the needs of all pupils, parents/carers and staff in our school community. Across the top of the roots you can see the skyline of Motherwell and in the centre of our trunk are our children, safe in our hands. Can you spot the hands cupping the child’s face?

Our tree has no leaves, this is purposeful. Our children, staff and parent/carers are our leaves. Just like foliage on trees each year we grow new ones and old ones leave us. Each year our leaves will change and adapt to meet the individual needs of all in our school community.

A huge thanks to Mrs McCarthy who has created this wonderful image which really captures the essence of our school community. Please have a chat with your children about our Vision, Values and Aims, I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you all about it. This image is in every room in our school, in our playroom and on display in our front hall.

During this first full week of school our pupils have been enjoying lots of new learning experiences. This year we have four specialist subject being taught, they are:

French/Spanish with Madame Ali

Music with Mrs Devanney

Drama with Mrs McCoy (P5,6&7 terms one and three. P1-4 terms 2 &4)

S.T.E.M (Science technology Engineering and Maths) with Mrs Duffy (P1-4 terms one and three. P5,6&7 terms 2 &4)

Primary 7 pupils are leading the way with ‘active learning’, below you can see them in action working on active numeracy tasks.

Here’s a taste of some of the fabulous learning on-going in August:

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Our library is looking amazing. It is a delight to see it being used for such a variety of learning opportunities. Here we see Primary 3 enjoying some relaxed reading time, with Mrs Gillespie actively promoting reading for enjoyment. We also see our proud ECO Warriors who had opportunity on Wednesday to meet with North Lanarkshire Council Personnel to have their voices heard with regards to Single Use Plastic across North Lanarkshire Primary Schools.

Last session our fabulous eco-warriors had been leading the way forward in the fight against plastic pollution. Recognising the need to reduce single use plastics, they undertook an audit to determine how many plastic sandwich cartoons and straws are used annually in our school and how many this equates to across NLC’s primary schools. Their results were staggering! They shared their findings with NLC’s Chief Executive, Mr Murray, and are delighted that Mr Murray has agreed to engage in tackling this problem.

On Friday of this week we were honoured to take part in a very special Mass being held in Carfin Grotto celebrating the unique opportunity to celebrate the relics of St. Therese coming to Scotland for the very first time. Mrs Jacqueline Murphy, our R.E. Co-ordinator attended the Mass with two of our P7 pupils. Each school was given this 3 person allocation. We are very proud of Caitlin, Taylor and Mrs Murphy who felt spiritually uplifted and honoured to have been part of such a wonderful day. Many of our classes have been studying St. Therese throughout the week. Here’s Mrs McCarthy’s class proudly showing off their wonderful work. We look forward to Jude and Leah sharing their power point presentation with us on Monday at assembly.

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Here’s a resume of the day from Mrs Murphy. Caitlin and Taylor shared this information with all in our school:

Today, we had the honour of attending a very special mass in St Francis Xavier Church Carfin. We waited in the church while the relics of St Therese of Lisieux were carried in by some senior pupils from Taylor High School accompanied by Scottish music played by a piper. The mass was attended by one teacher and 2 pupils from every primary and secondary school in the Motherwell Diocese. The school chaplains and other priests concelebrated mass with Bishop Toal. At the end of the mass we were allowed to venerate the relics by placing our hand on the glass case in which is stored the remains of St Therese. It was lovely to think that St Therese was present with us in the church in such a special way. The relics will be in Carfin until Sunday evening when they move on to the next place of St Therese’s pilgrimage to Scotland. The details of services in the Church will be available on the school blog and we would really recommend you take the opportunity to visit the relics on this unique occasion which might never happen again in our lifetime.

 

It is hard to believe we are only 13 school days into our new school year and so much has already happened. What a dynamic learning environment our staff and pupils have created, superb.

Meanwhile, it is just as busy down in the nursery, once again, our excellent nursery has enjoyed a super start to the year. Here’s all the gossip from Mrs MM Murphy:

We welcomed back all our returning children on 14/8/19 and we couldn’t help noticing how much they had grown over the holidays. They were more than ready to take on the BIG responsibility of being a buddy to our new children. Our new recruits are settling into the nursery routine with the help of their group buddies. The staff are enjoying getting to know our new children as they tell us all about themselves in the group floorbooks.

This week the children have been discussing their own take on the rules by way of a mindmap, all their ideas are displayed on the ‘Learning Wall’ along with some fabulous work. Please stop and have a look.

You can see from the photographs that the children are starting to foll0w some of our rules and routines. They are wearing their aprons to play in the water, washing their hands before snack and tidying up when they are finished.

We have had our first visit from Childsmile and all children have been allocated their own toothbrush. Look out for shiny clean teeth next week.

So far this term we have had a tennis taster session and an athletics taster session. The children listened and followed the instructions given during the fun games. The tennis and javelin proved to be very popular activities testing their hand to eye co-ordination. Move over Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis as we have some budding athletes in our nursery!

As the month has progressed we have ventured out of the playroom and garden to visit the softplay area in Firpark school. The children used the facility well while learning to share and take turns already trying to follow two of our nursery rules.

On Friday the Super Snowdrops graduated from their ‘Play On Pedals’ course with 9 children now pedalling independently. All children received a certificate of achievement. A super result from the Super Snowdrops.

Our lending library will be available soon, details will be issued shortly.

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Thanks for taking the time to read our Blog and enjoy all of our pictures.

Please, please, please leave a comment or two, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Our next Blog is scheduled for the End of September.

Mrs Shields

Jumping Through June

This is my second monthly Blog, last month our inaugural May Blog received very positive feedback, thanks to those who took the time to leave a comment or to have a chat with me about it.

This month, once again, our pupils have been involved in a whole range of learning opportunities in class, in the playroom and all around the school.

On Tuesday 4th June all of our Primary One to Primary 6 pupils enjoyed a ‘Moving Up Afternoon’. Each pupil had opportunity to meet their new teacher and spend time in their new class.

One slight change to our original plan. Miss Antonia Robb has now been appointed to our school, she will overtake class duties from August in Primary 2a. Mrs Devanney will now cover teacher Non-class contact time, with the focus on music across the school.

Nursery Bonanza Day, where our PM pupils experienced a whole day at nursery, on Wednesday 5th June was a great success. Our thanks to all of our nursery staff and our Primary 7 teachers who all enjoyed a wonderful day.

Primary One Assembly was AMAZING! A fabulous journey through recent Primary One learning, all about Water. The pupils excelled through their performance in song, dance, rap and verse. It was a joy to see our youngest school pupils be so confident and successful in their learning. I’m sure as parents you must be very proud of your children’s achievements over their first year at school. Fr. Chromy came along to the dress rehearsal, he was taken aback by the quality and quantity of learning on display. He loved being represented on stage!

Kilbowie week was a triumph. Our Primary 7 pupils had a wonderful week filled with a huge range of new learning opportunities.

Here’s a wee taster of their week in photograph, a previous blog gives the link to all 840 photos!

BNF Healthy Eating Week took place whilst P7 were in Kilbowie, well done to all who tried so hard to ensure a ‘healthy snack’ became their snack of choice. Please continue to encourage healthy snacks each day. Fruit and veg are a fabulous choice. Our Health Committee and our Playground Patrol joined forces to marry together healthy eating with a healthy heart. On Thursday 13th all of our pupils had opportunity to ‘have a go’ at all the active resources available each day in our yard. A timely reminder that PLAY time is for PLAYING! Great fun was had by all. Our thanks to Mrs Loose and the Health Committee and Miss Love and the Playground Patrol. Thanks also to Karen, our cook  and all the dining staff who provided a fabulous plate of healthy fruit and veg for each class.

Staying on a foody  theme. Madame Ali organised a ‘French Brunch’ for a number of our pupils:

Here’s all the info from Madame Ali:

After a month of Mad May Language Challenges, pupils were desperate to find out who was going to be invited to attend the French brunch hosted by our Language Ambassadors. Ancillary staff judged the art challenge entries while the Ambassadors calculated the scores on the various general knowledge quizzes. Finally at the beginning of June the winners were announced and over 20 pupils from P3-P7 received a personalised invitation to brunch in our teaching kitchen. Croissants, pains au chocolat, brioche buns, as well as baguettes with a selection of French cheese and fresh mango juice were all on the menu. But not for long! Délicieux!

Nursery Graduation took place on Friday 14th June, what a fabulous day we all enjoyed. Our pre-school children delighted everyone with their singing and dancing. We were also greatly entertained by their interviews where they inspired us with their hopes and dreams for their future careers. It’s never too early to develop our young workforce in Cathedral!

A HUGE thanks to all in our nursery for their on-going excellent work, what a team!

A separate App message gives a link to all 92 photographs.

We are always in the business of continuous improvement and are very keen to hear what you think, here are the thoughts of our nursery parents/carers:

P5 have been involved in some innovative learning opportunities.  Table Top Presentation!

Here’s what Mrs Carr and Primary 5b thought about their learning:

To finish off our topic on Europe, the children worked with partners to research a country of their choice. On Monday, they had the opportunity to share their new knowledge and understanding with their classmates and children and staff from other classes at our tabletop presentation. Although a little nervous at first, they were soon confidently discussing many interesting facts about their country.

Here is what some of P5b had to say:

I loved everything about the topic, but the thing I loved most was writing all the facts for our folder and talking to others about it. Maya

I liked the presentation because it helped my confidence and my general knowledge grow. Jonathan

I enjoyed this topic. I was encouraged by my team so I was not nervous at the presentation. I learned that Germany has the largest economy in Europe. Jude

I liked when the P7s did our Finland quiz. Matthew

I liked talking to the people that came to our table. They were interested in hearing about Greece. Zofia

I was a bit scared at first, but I really liked it when we did our quiz and lots of other people enjoyed it. Logan

I enjoyed researching and learning about Greece. Lots of people came to our table. Amelia

We are ending our term focussing on our Primary 7 pupils. As they prepare to leave us for High School we are seeing them off in style!

On Tuesday 18th June we all danced the night away at our Leaver’s Disco. On this occasion our P7 pupils also enjoyed pizza and ice cream. A delicious an delightful evening was enjoyed by all. HUGE thanks to our Fabulous Fundraising Group who provided this wonderful opportunity for our Primary Seven pupils.

On Thursday 29th June we celebrated our P7 Leaver’s Mass & Graduation. This was indeed a very proud day for all in P7 and their families. Our whole school community came together in prayer to celebrate Mass, a beautiful, spiritual occasion. Our sincere thanks to Fr. Chromy and Canon O’Mahoney for coming along to concelebrate Mass for our school. At the end of this Mass we presented our annual Charity cheques to a wide range of charities.

Throughout the year, most specifically during the season of Lent, our whole school community come together to raise funds to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Our children and families are renowned for their generosity and this year is no different. Throughout the year we have donated a tremendous amount of money – in excess of £6500

At our Leaver’s Mass with all of our children in attendance we gave cheques to a number of our recognised charities.

• SCIAF ~ £1500
• St Andrew’s Hospice ~ £1500
• Missio ~ £1500
• Gorsilaure ~ £1000
• Let the Children Live ~ £200
• Lepra ~ £200
• Wayside Club ~ £200
• Lanarkshire Cancer Care ~ £200
• Cathedral Kitchen ~ £200

In addition we have contributed to Christian Aid through our choir singing at a local concert which raised over £1700, our staff raised £500 for McMillan through a staff coffee morning.
Our school is also now a partnership school with our local foodbank sending a huge range of required food stuff & toiletries to our locale.

Wow! Well done boys and girls, what fantastic citizens you are helping those less fortunate both at home and abroad.

Friday 21st June we launched our annual Three Day Event. This year, like every other year, this was a spectacular event. Mrs Marie Clare Duffy organises all of this work and what an incredible job she does!

Our cheerleading teams from Primary 6 and Primary 7  entertained us to a fabulous display of gymnastics. Following this our team captains led their teams out to the pitch proudly waving the flag of their chosen country. All 12 teams were made up of pupils from across the whole school. Throughout our 12 sports stations the teams supported and encouraged each other to try their best! The atmosphere was superb, such a  great sense of community. During all of the events we were entertained by a live Samba band. Well done to St. Aidan’s Samba Band who were magnificent. I hope we didn’t disturb the local community too much!

Photographs of the Leaver’s Mass, Graduation and our Three Day Event will follow soon.

As we come to the end of another very successful year may I take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our staff, pupils and parents/carers who contribute to every aspect of our school community.

Living to Learn, Learning to Live

Have a lovely summer.

Mrs Shields

 

 

 

Kilbowie Photographs

Primary Seven Survived!

A fantastic week was had by all. HUGE thanks to Mrs McCoy, Mrs Stevenson, Mrs McDerment, Mrs Rimmer, Miss McAlinden and Miss Wallace for giving up a week of their time to accompany the children.

Please see the link below to the official Kilbowie photographs taken by the instructors.

The photographs are arranged by activity group, each one is identified by the instructor name and/or the group number.

The link has all 840 photographs which will allow every parent/carer the opportunity to share the wonderful experience with your child.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Al9A3KQps18Naa5MuKJ2FtLChSk?e=bcj18O

Enjoy.

Mrs Shields

Marvellous May

Welcome to our first monthly Blog.

Throughout the month of May we have been very busy:

Encouraging our pupils to stay safe, our Primary 6 & Primary 7 pupils enjoyed a Road Safety Show aimed at promoting safety for those young people who are out and about on their own. A wonderful way to promote personal safety.

During this first week in May Primary Four hosted their first ever Coffee Morning. A super time was had by all and they raised a very impressive £503.67

On May 9th our Primary One pupils excelled themselves by leading their first ever Mass in school, and what a beautiful Mass this was, well done to all of our Primary One pupils ( and their teachers).

Primary Four enjoyed a beautiful sunny Saturday in may to celebrate their First Holy Communion, this was the first time we had opted to host both Masses on the same day. It was a very successful venture and will be repeated next year. First Holy Communion 2020 Masses will be held on Saturday 16th May at 11.00am and 2.oopm. As always parents, carers select which Mass they would prefer. All parents/carers were requested to forward this information using our ‘forms’ in our App by 31st May.

Madame Ali has, once again, enjoyed great success at the North Lanarkshire Council 1+2 Awards. Four pupils attended the award ceremony with many more receiving certificates of excellence. Well done to all:

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Our choir was asked to participate in the annual Christian Aid Concert, this was a wonderful celebration of talent across Motherwell all coming together to help a very worthy cause. The choir sounded exceptional on the night and thanks to the huge number of supporters we played a key role in raising the amazing amount of £1783.00. WOW!

Clyde in The Classroom Competition Winners!

As part of their recent Clyde in the Classroom topic, P5a entered a video competition which was based on ways to help save our local rivers. Fortunately for P5a, all of their hard work paid off as they were the sole winners of the competition, competing against schools all across Scotland.  As a prize, P5a won a ‘Meet Your River’ experience run by the River Clyde Foundation.
The children set off on their adventure down to the South Calder, accompanied by 5 scientists. To start off the day, they got to witness how scientists sample a river using electrofishing. More importantly, the children got to see a close up view of some of the different species of fish in our river.
The children were then challenged to identify some of the different trees growing in our park by using their leaves. This was followed by an exciting mapping experience, whereby the children had to map out an area of the park. Then the most favoured activity of the day took place: kick sampling. The children got to walk around in the river and collect some invertebrates which were later brought back to the classroom to be classified.
The children had a spectacular day and were commended by the scientists for their wonderful enthusiasm and participation. It will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon!

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Once again our pupils had opportunity to take part in the major cycling event hosted in Motherwell. Our cyclists enjoyed a lovely sunny day and organisers commented our pupils were the ‘best behaved pupils’. Well done to all involved.

Here’s some snaps of the day:

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The month of May welcomed our newest pupils and their families to our school. Our Primary One Inductions were a great success. Parents/carers commented most favourably on the presentations from staff and (most importantly) from our current Primary One pupils. Well done and thank you to Oliver Yardley P1a, Charlie Hughes P1b and Cillian Colbert P1c. All three pupils were excellent ambassadors for our school.

Primary 2 assembly entertained everyone as they took us on a journey ‘Under the Sea’. A fabulous learning opportunity and a great chance for all in Primary 2 to show off their many talents and skills. Great work Primary Two, you made us all very proud.

A wee sneaky peek:

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Following on from this a HUGE range of pupils entertained parents and carers with their wonderful musical talents at our Magical Musical Morning. This was a great display of the on-going work in our school. Congratulations to:

Here are some picture highlights:

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Our bi-annual school disco took place on Tuesday 28th May, once again a great success and enjoyed by all. Shorts ‘n Shades was the theme, although in true Scottish style we had to add a wee jumper or two!

On Thursday 30th May we celebrated the great Feast of the Ascension with a wonderful Mass in O.L.G.A Cathedral Church. Well done to our Primary Five pupils who led the liturgy with reverence and respect.

On-going within our school are a large number of after school and lunch time clubs. One of the ‘hot favourites’ just now is our STEM lunchtime Club where older pupils have opportunity to lead the learning and develop skills for work, here’s Jack’s view:

Primary 4 S.T.E.M Club With Mrs McDerment

Who can build the strongest bridge?

Connor Brennan and I helped the primary fours to build robust and durable bridges across a gap and ones that were able to hold up a car! After seeing the final product the two bridges had a lot of similarities but also lots of differences.

The bridges could support different weights. The bridges could hold 1 or 2 cars. The bridges the children created took 15 to 20 minutes to make. The children had very different ideas. They made a few bridges and some of them didn’t work at first but they kept trying and then succeeded. The children were very co-operative and listened to advice from Connor and me.

Jack J.Dobbin

Our final event in May was our annual CaFi Football Presentation. Our football is a joint initiative with our friends and neighbours in Firpark. Our fabulous Friday footballers were commened today for being ACE:

A = Attitude

C = Commitment

E = Enthusiasm

The recipe for a perfect team.

A huge thanks to Mr Martin Miller, Football Academy Coach, who came along to motivate and inspire our footballers. Thanks also to Mr McBirnie (Willie) our wonderful football coach.

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Moving On…….

During the month of June our children will have opportunity to spend an afternoon in their new classes with their new classmates and new teacher. The children will come home with a not of their class and their new teacher.

In August we say a fond farewell to three teaching staff members:

Mrs Carr will leave us after many years of excellent service to our school. Mrs Carr has worn many ‘hats’ in our school, initially as a parent and a member of the support staff and laterally as an outstanding class teacher.

Mrs Blaney will also leave us after many years of wonderful service to our school, Mrs Blaney has been class teacher since 2001. Over the last year Mrs Blaney has been teaching marvellous music across the school.

Both Mrs Carr and Mrs Blaney have been exceptional staff members who will be sorely missed by all. As a school we offer grateful thanks for their work and their dedication to inspiring the pupils in our school. I am sure you join me in our thanks.

Miss Coughlan has been with us for two years, this has been her first two years of teaching and in this short time she has shown herself to be a skilled staff member who has motivated and inspired her pupils. Miss Coughlan is returning home to Ireland, we’re really sad to see her go but her mum is delighted to have her daughter home!

In August we welcome Mrs Carroll and Mr O’Brien to our school as new staff members. We hope they enjoy working with our fabulous pupils in our wonderful school.

Such a busy month!

Meanwhile down in the nursery….. here’s what’s been happening this week:

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This month has been a busy month as children learn all about Spring and the life cycle of a plant. After a very successful Groundforce day the children have been busy planting a range of flowers and vegetables both inside our greenhouse and outside in our big planters. They continue to nurture them and are busying recording their growth. From these activities the children are confidently naming the different parts of a plant and recalling what they need to make them grow.

They have used a range of collage and paint to make flowers for the big display and even made their own personal plant pots which are proudly displayed on our learning wall. In snack they used fruit and vegetables to create the various parts of a plant and then had the opportunity to eat what they had made.

In numeracy they have been exploring new life on the farm and have been matching the animals to their young while expanding their knowledge and language skills.

In literacy they listened to the story of ‘The Little Red Hen’ and used the props to retell the story. They expanded on this by creating their own pictures to make a big story book. These are available to read each day in the story corner.

The final Forest Kindergarten block finished last week and we had a record number of parents/carers who attended the graduation in the forest. The parents/carers who attended all added their own comments to the forest floorbook in the cloakroom. Please take a minute to read their fabulous comments.

We have had some new loose parts delivered and the children are using their imaginations and their creativity to design their own artwork using them.

Outdoors we have also had some new resources delivered. A brand new sandpit and a new bridge have been added to our existing outdoor resources and the children will have the opportunity to explore them in the coming weeks.

Watch out for our special ‘Challenge of the week’ stickers as we challenge all our children in the last few weeks of their learning.

A reminder that ‘Big Bonanza Day’ takes place on Wednesday and letters have been issued to inform parents/carers of the format of the day.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading our new monthly blog, please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment or two.

Mrs Shields

 

Another Exciting Week in OLGA Cathedral

CHANGE IS COMING:

This will be our last ‘weekly’ Blog. Taking account of the views of our parents we have decided to Blog on a monthly basis from next term. Our school App is providing regular updates of our school successes and events allowing the Blog to focus more on summarising monthly adventures in school and nursery and on what’s coming up for the following month. 

Monday morning assembly was a little different this week. We were treated to a presentation from SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund), focussing all children on the big screen Kathleen, from SCIAF, posed questions, stated facts and educated our whole school on the good work their donations are doing. We were introduced to a family who have had their lives transformed through SCIAF. This was a super presentation which ensured our pupils were left in no doubt about the good work they are doing helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Our grateful thanks to Kathleen for coming along to present to our school.

On Wednesday Mrs Tominey headed off to Motherwell Library with our Reading Quiz Team to compete in North Lanarkshire Annual Reading Quiz. Congratulations to Jack Dobbin, Isla Donnelly, Jessica Donnelly, Nicole Mullen, Anna Queen and Chelsea Simpson who earned a super 3rd place. Well done to all in the team.

Primary One pupils enjoyed a super afternoon on Wednesday working with our local Fire Service. The boys and girls had great fun learning all about being a part of the Fire Brigade, they drove the truck (sort of), sounded the siren, put out pretend fires with the hoses and had a wonderful time talking to all the fire fighters. Thanks to our Fire Service for giving of their time, this is much appreciated.

Wednesday evening was a wonderful highlight of our school year. 125 of our Primary 6 & Primary 7 pupils were confirmed in O.L.G.A Cathedral Church. The Sacrament was conferred by His Lordship, Bishop Toal who was accompanied on the altar by 6 additional clergy. A truly memorable event in the faith lives of our pupils, our staff and all the families. Huge thank to all who contributed to Confirmation, our teaching staff, our support staff, our children’s families and most importantly, our fabulous pupils. Wednesday evening was a very proud moment in the life of our school.

On Thursday we welcomed Tony and Julie from Forgewood Housing. They came to school to find out the views of our young people living in Forgewood. Well done to all involved. It is great to see the views of our young people being given priority within the local community.

Friday morning our football team headed off to North Lanarkshire Council Active School Football Tournament. They returned victorious. Celebration photographs on the App. Congratulations to Willie, our fabulous coach, and all the team. The trophy has pride of place in our trophy cabinet, come in and have a look. I’m sure you’ll be impressed.

On Friday we held our annual Lenten Charity Sponsored Event, again specific information on the App. An amazing £3650.40 raised. This is an outstanding display of generosity, thanks to all who contributed.

Special mention to Miss Love and our Playground Patrol who braved the weather all day long to ensure all pupils in school and nursery enjoyed their playground games, playing safely and fairly.

Last Friday our donations to Motherwell Foodbank weighed in at over 600kg! Again, absloutely amazing. Motherwell Foodbank has posted a lovely tribute to our school on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, along in the nursery, as always, they’re busy, busy, busy.

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A big thank you to all parents/carers who were able to attend parent’s week. We appreciate your continued support.

This week as we come to the end of our ‘Body’ topic the children have been making their own obstacle course outside to improve their balancing skills. During our Friday fundraiser they used their bodies in many different ways. Have a look at the photographs to see what they have been doing.

Outdoors they have started to play some ring games listening for the words that sound the same.

In Literacy they have been singing traditional nursery rhymes and reading the story ‘Cheer up, Chicken.’ This story challenges the children to spot the rhyming words in the story.

In numeracy they have been listening to some nursery rhymes on the Smartboard and participating in number sequencing games.

Last week in snack smoothies were very popular and they were the request of the week especially the banana ones. Yum Yum!

Spring has sprung in the art area where the children made chicks from their own handprints. Spring and Easter will continue over the next few weeks.

Play on Pedals continues as the Bluebells gain more confidence in their balancing skills.

As always, thanks for reading. Please leave a comment or two.

Mrs Shields

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