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Welcome back.....

posted Sep 8, 2016, 2:25 PM by Stephen Fallon

Dear Parents & Carers,

Welcome back! 

We hope your summer holidays were filled with many happy memories and exciting times. The children all look very smart in their new uniforms and have been very eager to learn and meet their new teachers. I know that you will give a big welcome to the three new members of our team: Mrs Wootten (Year 2 teacher), Miss Kelly (Year 4 teacher) and Miss Celardi (School Business Manager), who already feel like they’ve been with us for a long time!

We have had some fantastic weather this week and it is still quite humid outside. Therefore, we ask that all pupils have a water bottle in school, which is filled with fresh water (from home!). A couple of things to mention: some children are bringing in very large bags. We ask is that your child’s PE kit is in a drawstring bag (which is left in school Monday to Friday) and that they have a reading folder, which contains their reading book/s and their new home/school yearbook. The reading folder should be brought into school on a daily basis.

As part of our drive to improve standards and communication between home and school, we have purchased new home/school yearbooks for the pupils from Reception to Year 6. First and foremost, these will be used as reading diaries – and we ask that you write in your child’s reading on a daily basis.

We will also endeavour to use the yearbooks for other purposes e.g. recording spelling test results etc. as the year progresses and the children become familiar with their use. In the back of the booklet, you will also find some handy hints and tips for helping your child with their learning at home. We are sure that there are many times when you have the typical ‘end of day’ conversation with your child:

Parent: “What have you done today at school?”

Child: “Nothing much!”

Teachers find nothing more disheartening that hearing the words “Nothing much!”; however, the handy questions on the back of the home/school yearbook help to eliminate the possibility of the “Nothing much!” answer! There are questions to ask e.g. ‘What did you learn today that you didn’t know before? Was there anything that you found difficult at first? If so, how did you overcome it?’ to turn your two sentence response into a productive dialogue.

Additionally, on the inside cover of the yearbook, there is a mini-consent form: we ask that all parents read the consent form, tick the appropriate boxes and sign the agreement slip. Once completed, school staff will record the outcomes on a centralised sheet. Please note that there is a ‘walk home’ agreement inside of the booklet for Year 5 and 6 pupils. On the inside back cover there are also reading prompts, and additional mathematics information to support your child in their learning at home.

 We would appreciate that you sign the inside covers as soon as possible.

As you are aware, we have subscribed to the Wednesday Word for many years and there are lots of fun activities for children to do. The home/school yearbooks help to support your child’s faith and spiritual development too. There are small activities and reflections that your child can do at home, to remember and engage in the Gospel story of the weekend. We would love to see children from across the classes completing the activities, but we ask that they don’t do them all at once! Please stick to one activity per week!

 In the inside pages of the yearbook, there are also some prayers for you to pray with your child; it would be fantastic if all pupils engaged in learning the prayers and teachers will be referring to them at points during class prayer time, and pastoral care sessions.

 School have made a considerable investment in the home/school yearbooks, so should your child lose their book, they will be asked for a contribution of £5 to purchase a new one.


Ten Ten Theatre Company Assembly:                                                                                                                             

Pope Francis declared 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016 a Year of Mercy. As part of our plan for the Year of Mercy, we have invited the Ten Ten Theatre Company into school to deliver workshops to parents and pupils alike on Tuesday 13th September.

Ten Ten Theatre is an award-winning theatre company working in primary schools, secondary schools, young offender institutions, parishes, community venues and theatres throughout the UK. Established since 2007, the charity has produced a programme in Relationship Education for children in primary schools, young people and teenagers in secondary schools, their parents and teachers. Ten Ten Theatre has an underlying Christian ethos rooted in the Catholic tradition. The name 'Ten Ten' is derived from the scripture passage John 10:10, "I have come that you may have life, life to the full."

St. Stephen’s have asked the Ten Ten Company to come to our school to deliver workshops to all pupils in phases (e.g. Reception, Years 1&2, Years 3&4, and then Years 5&6) with a focus on building positive relationships in school and at home.

We are also inviting all parents to attend the introductory opening assembly (this will be for all year groups) at 9am, which will take place prior to the children’s plays and discussions.Some of our parents and pupils have worked alongside the theatre company at the diocesan festival at the Emmaus Youth Village at Allensford and described the experience as inspiring and breathtaking. So please, come along and find out about the Year of Mercy and how our children can be involved.


Extra-Curricular Activities:

A timetable for extra-curricular activities is currently being devised and will be sent out to parents in due course.


School Admissions for Reception for September 2017 - 2018:

From Friday 9 September 2016 you can apply for your child’s school place online. You must apply to the Local Authority where you pay your council tax. Only North Tyneside residents can apply on the North Tyneside online system.  You can apply for any school in any area using the online system.


Offer Day:

17 April 2017 for First and Primary Schools

If you requested to receive your school offer by email log back into on the right hand side of the home page you will see a button click on view and accept your child’s school place.  If you requested to be notified by letter this will be sent out 2nd class on the offer day.

For applicants of Voluntary Aided School or Church of England Schools

You cannot attach your child’s baptismal certificate or a letter from the priest with the online application these must be either emailed to or sent in the post to: The Access Team, Quadrant West, Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. Please state your child’s name and date of birth on any correspondence.


We have a number of children who have asthma, but have returned to school without an inhaler. If your child suffers from asthma, could you please speak to the class teacher/school office and ensure that an inhaler for school use is given to the class teacher and secondly that the school office have been made aware of your child’s condition. suggests that a spare inhaler (reliever only) and spacer should be kept in school in case of an emergency. In the past, some children have brought in inhalers, without an adult in school being informed. When a child has asthma, it is important that the office are informed so that your child’s medical details can be updated and information passed onto the relevant staff members. 

The new school year has got off to a good start. We have many new developments planned for the year ahead, all of which will enhance your child's learning experiences at St Stephen's.

Best wishes