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Newsletter - 18th July 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

As we approach the end of the year I would like to recap on some of the things that have changed in education. Not only do we have a new Education Minister but also the curriculum has become trickier, levels for children have gone and we are now using a rigorous system in Southwark directly linked to the curriculum, there is more emphasis on the use of phonics, reading and spelling have become even more of a focus and the SATS tests for Year 2 and Year 6 have changed enormously.  The emphasis is to improve the outcomes for children and this school works tirelessly to do that. We are determined your children will do as well as they can. 

This year nationally at the end of Year 6 53% of children reached age related expectations or above in reading, writing and maths combined and at St Joseph’s this was 48.3%. In Year 2 the SATs are teacher assessed and 59% children achieved reading, writing and maths combined at the expected standard or above.  

Over the summer they must not lose the progress they have made because national expectations are increasing, each child needs to meet these and we do not want them to fall behind in their learning. To this end can I ask you all to try and do the following things over the holiday:   

  • read with your children daily and ask them questions about what they are reading so they really understand it
  • explain what objects are and what words mean
  • follow up the fun things you do with conversations about them
  • use your local library - Join the Summer Reading Challenge
  • practice times tables
  • Take advantage of the free summer activities in the local area
  • Sing songs, draw, play cards and play board games (Monopoly, snakes and ladders, Boggle, Uno – to name a few)
  • Use your home language but repeat it in English

The children have had the chance to do some wonderful things this year.  We have tried to broaden educational and extra-curricular opportunities and do some fun things.  We will continue to do so. 

The children across all years continue to make good progress. As parents you are first educators of your children.  If you feel your child is unable to access the curriculum for any reason then please share your concerns with us.


We say goodbye this year to Mrs Schoeffer who has worked at St Joseph’s for many years.  Also to Mrs Carrion who has worked here for 15 years! We will miss their dedication and support but wish them every success in the future.  Mrs Lacey departs for her maternity leave we wish her and her husband all the best for the safe delivery of their new baby.

New teachers for September

In the Infant School we welcome Ms Carlie Steadman (Reception) and Mrs Sandra Nam (Year1).  I know you will welcome them with warm hearts into the St Joseph’s ‘family’.

 Seaside Trips

The children had wonderful visits to the seaside. There was such excitement as they got ready for the day.  The weather held for the infants and the juniors and although not the hottest days of the year the children were able to enjoy playing on the beach and paddling in the sea. A marvellous effort by everyone!

Holy Mass

Thank you to Father Victor and Father Paul for the wonderful Masses that have been said throughout the year.  The children bring so much joy and vivaciousness to the celebrations with their wonderful singing and responses.  I know they and we enjoy them so much.

Music assemblies

There have been two recent music assemblies where children have displayed their talent on the violin, piano, ukulele, flute, brass, drum kit and guitar. The children are increasingly confident and the assemblies were much appreciated by the audiences. Our choir goes from strength to strength. We have some very real talent at St Josephs.  We have received ‘Music Mark’ this year in recognition of the music standards within the school. Thanks to Ms Jameson for her work on this. Well done everyone!

Extra-curricular clubs

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in an after school club.  We have seen some fantastic street dance and a wonderful presentation at the Blue Elephant Theatre. The cooking club has evolved and pupils are now making some quite complicated dishes. I have had some delicious lasagne, pancakes and desserts! Yoga club has been very calming. Taekwondo continues to give inner confidence to pupils. Sewing and Jewellery clubs have showed children a different way of expressing themselves with the discipline of focused concentration.


Too many children to mention individually have represented St Joseph’s in sporting teams.  We have some true talent.  As the children go through the school you can see this developing. This year we have won many competitions or have come close to winning them.  I know your children are fiercely competitive in the sporting arena.  This is a tribute to them. I would like to thanks all the teachers who take teams throughout the year.  A particular thank you to Mr Higgins who travels far and wide and often comes back quite late from tournaments giving of his time freely.  Next year in the infants Ms Steadman will be concentrating on developing children’s health and wellbeing through practical activities as well as teaching Rainbow.

Summer Works

After many years of trying to organise and fund our windows project in the Junior School window replacement it is happening!  Windows are being refurbished like for like according to the planning regulations. Scaffolding will be erected around the school. Keep a look out to see how they change!

Year 2 and Year 6 Productions  

 Year 2 and Year 6  have treated us to wonderful performances of ‘Oliver’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.  When we get up on the stage it is nerve-wracking and yet we were given such accomplished performances. Thank you for delighting us. Your plays were amazing!

Lastly, but not least, I would like to say a huge goodbye to our Year 6.  Thank you for being a tremendous asset to St Josephs.  I know you are looking forward to going to your new schools but don’t be strangers!

New Term

The children from Year 1 to Year 6 are back on Monday the 5th of September.  Reception classes have been given their specific times of arrival in their parent packs. Don’t forget school starts at 8.45am prompt in the juniors and 8.55am prompt in the infants.

Just to remind you school finishes at 1pm on Wednesday please make sure that your children are picked up on time it is very distressing for them when they are not.

I wish you all a wonderful summer break.  Come back to us safe and sound in September. 

May the Lord look after you and cherish you while you are away from us.

Anita Gallagher

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