St Augustine's Newsletter december 2023

What an amazing first term of the academic year we have had! It is difficult to reflect on the many wonderful experiences we have had at school so far! So many talents and achievements both within and out of school that have been shared and celebrated over the last term!

During the season of Advent we have been preparing for Christmas through out prayers and reflections in our journey through Advent. The children also reflected on the Christmas story through the KS1 and Reception nativity "Whoops-a-Daisy Angel and KS2 through their Advent Liturgy "Christmas Star". We were so proud of the children, their reading, acting and wonderful singing!

Our mini vinnies have been busy too, meeting Parishioners, preparing hampers for those in need with their reverse calendar and selling Christmas cards on behalf of the Parish SVP.

Thank you to our team in the kitchen for the yummy Christmas lunch and making the day so special for us all! You are awesome!

Thank you to our Friends of St Augustine's who have supported us again this term by raising invaluable funds for our children. We have enjoyed a number of fundraising activities including the Spooky Disco, pre loved Christmas jumper sale, refreshments after the Nativity and the KS2 Liturgy, Christmas Hampers and raffle. Gifts for the children including sweets for the Pantomime and KS1 movie morning, chocolate lollies for the Party afternoon, a contribution towards the Christmas crafts and helped Santa with his gifts for the children in preparation for his visit on Friday! The Friends continue to raise funds for the outside classroom.

Thank you all for your continued support over the last term. Your children are a real credit to you all. Whenever we have visitors in school or are out visiting we always receive such positive and glowing feedback about the children, they are true ambassadors of St Augustine's.

A HUGE thank you to staff for all their hard work, commitment and dedication to the children at St Augustine's. You have all been fantastic, thank you!

From all the staff, children and Governors at St Augustine's we wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Thank you all for your kind messages and gifts, it is all greatly appreciated!

We look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 8th January 2024.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you in 2024!

Mrs K Whitehead 🎄

Reception - Reception have been very busy this half term! We have enjoyed a range of topics including building houses in DT, one more and one less in Maths and Baptism in R.E. This half term children have enjoyed working together as teams, sharing ideas in class discussions and completing some individual writing using our amazing ideas from Drawing Club. Children have learnt a range of sounds in Phonics and are growing in their confidence in reading and writing. Over the festive period, we have done lots of exciting activities, including our wonderful performance of ‘Whoops-a-Daisy-angel’. We thoroughly enjoyed learning the songs and actions ready to share with families, carers and friends. Alongside this, we loved completing the ‘Santa Dash’, festive Fridays, Christmas parties and many more celebrations. We are very proud of the children for their hard work this half term. It has wonderful to create some amazing memories together. We are wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Miss Barnard

Year 1 - What a busy term Year 1 have had! We have enjoyed learning about The Gunpowder Plot in History, Our Local Area in Geography and about naming and sorting 2D and 3D shapes in Maths. We have been particularly creative this term and have made 3D pictures in Art and moving story books in DT. We have shown great reverence in RE and especially during our Be Spirited session and performing our Nativity. We are looking forward to starting new topics in the new year. Mr Kentfield-Wells

Year 2 - Another busy half term! I am very proud of each and every one of the children in Year 2! The fantastic work that has gone on, on top of all the extra things during our busy Christmas period has been truly amazing! The children were true stars in our Nativity and really enjoyed performing for their friends and families! Year 2 have thrived in their Art this half term, looking at collages and painting. They really showed their creative side. In RE the children were very confident, discussing ways we prepare for Christmas. They enjoyed looking at the meaning of the different things we do at this time of the year. In PE, year 2 transformed into dancers, to create their mini beast dance routines! The children have shown a real interest in our English writing too: learning all about owls to create our fact files. They were particularly amazing at recalling facts that they have learned. Lastly, all children have been true scientists, testing and grouping materials, learning about Recycling and suitability of materials to complete our first Science topic. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy a restful break with family and friends. It’s going to be a wonderful and busy 2024! Miss Ford

Year 3 - It has been an extremely busy half term in Year 3 throughout all of our learning. In Year 3 we have performed 'Walk on Tip Toes' by Mozart for the Royal Opera House's 'Create and Sing'. The children sang beautifully and even performed their own actions for the song, their final performance was absolutely outstanding. We have been practising hard in Music where the Year 3 children performed in our KS2 Christmas Star Liturgy. The performance was fantastic with the children working so hard on their acting and singing. In Maths the children have been learning all about multiplication and division where we have focussed on 2, 4 and 8 times tables. We have been learning all about adverbs, similes and tenses in English related to our class story 'Winter's Child'. The children have produced some wonderful letters to Winter's child show casing all of their learning. Science has been especially fun this half term with the children comparing animals diets through exploring the diets of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores by dissecting 'play doh poop' the children were so excited by topic. Well done Year 3 for a fantastic half term as always! Miss Gilliland

Year 4 - We can’t believe that the end of the Autumn term has come around, what a term we have had in Year 4, we have been working so hard and learning lots of new things as well as developing new skills. We have enjoyed learning about the River Tees and the effects flooding can have on the environment in Geography, we have looked at the lives of the people of Ancient Greeks and the conflicts that they encountered as well as their beliefs and customs. We have explored how our digestive system works, looked at human teeth and how the teeth of animals vary depending on their diets! In PE we have had great fun exploring the events of Sportshall Athletics and have also been lucky enough to have been coached in Tennis by Sporting Futures, we developed our team building and ball skills, and we have some real good tennis players amongst us. Our music skills have continued to grow and we performed our very first ukulele concert including a festive song the children wrote. We have also had great fun painting, looking at how we can use shade and tints to make an image look 3D only by adding white and black paint to our base colour! Wishing you all a very joyous Christmas filled with love and peace, Miss White and Mrs Coates

Year 5 - Wow, what a fun filled half term this has been. The children have worked so hard throughout and have taken part in some amazing events, from a Lantern Making workshop from Diwali to our Christmas Liturgy. The children have taken everything in their stride and have put their all into everything they have done. Well done year 5, you have been a credit to yourselves and you all truly deserve your break over Christmas. I hope you all have the most amazing time with family and friends and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Mr. Cummins

Year 6 - In the second half of the Autumn term, Year 6 have continued to show that there is time for learning and for fun. Our English work has been based on the book Star of Hope, Star of Fear. This has provided opportunities to investigate more detailed descriptions of setting and character, adventurous vocabulary and how to use speech as a tool to create tension and to move the story forward. Our class book, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was chosen by the children after they had read an extract in a comprehension lesson. We have enjoyed listening to adventures from Narnia, where it is always winter and never Christmas. In maths, we have continued to practise our arithmetic and have focussed on applying this to fractions. Year 6 have persevered with this tricky topic and can now add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions in a variety of calculations. Thank you to everyone for getting your times tables up to speed- this is really helping with our daily maths lessons. We have come to the end of our history unit on Black History. The children have learned about a number of famous individuals and have considered how their stories have changed the course of history. Our geography unit on Migration has also come to a close, with children exploring the effects migration has on communities and on the reasons for people moving across the globe. Our Religious Education has supported our understanding of advent and the true meaning of Christmas. At such an exciting time of year, the class have shown sensitivity and respect in their work and in our collective worships. Most of all, this half term has been full of creativity, fun and performances, from Christmas crafts, carol singing, and creating cards to readings and the Christmas Star liturgy at St. Augustine’s. Thank you to all the parents who have supported in so many different ways and well done to Year 6. You really have been Christmas stars! I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the new year. Mrs. Tucker

Christmas Celebrations -The children have thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations in the lead up to Christmas. A huge thank you for all of your support with 'Festive Fridays' - this was a huge success and enjoyed by all the children.

KS2 had a wonderful trip to Darlington Hippodrome to see Snow White, while KS1 enjoyed festivities in school, watching a Christmas film and enjoying festive treats.

KS1 and KS2 thoroughly enjoyed their Christmas Parties, with entertainment being provided by the fabulous' Party Boppers'. Children danced and sang and enjoyed Christmas party games, drinks and treats.

We all enjoyed a very exciting visit from Santa - children visited Santa in his grotto and put in any last minute requests, before he takes to his sleigh for his busiest night of the year!🎅

Wraparound Care - Our before and after school club runs from 7.30am - 8.45am and 3.15pm-6.00pm. Breakfast club is £3.00 per child and after school club is charged at £8.00. Bookings can be made through your MCAS account. Children are offered a variety of games and activities in these clubs and we will always welcome and encourage new ideas! At morning club, breakfast is provided and after school club children will receive sandwiches and snacks.

School Uniform is available to order directly through our supplier, Elizabeth's Embroidery. Just click on the link below to go to their website, this will take you straight through to the page to start the ordering process.

Parking - Just a polite reminder that parents, carers and families are asked not to park in the school car park, use the car park to turn around or park in the resident permit parking spaces around the school or on the yellow zig zag lines. Only family and friends who have a parking permit will be able to use our staff car park on drop off and collection.

Nut Free School - another polite reminder that we are a nut free school. No items containing any kind of nuts should be brought into school - thank you for your continued support with this.

MCAS Accounts and overdue payments - Could you please bring your MCAS accounts up to date and ensure that any outstanding payments are made before the start of the New Year. We will be unable to offer places to children in After School Club and Breakfast Club if outstanding debt is not cleared.

Due to the large amount owing for School Lunches on some accounts, as of next term, if accounts are not brought up to date, you will be required to send your child into school with a packed lunch in order to prevent this debt becoming unmanageable. We fully appreciate that the cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on families. If you are having difficulty making payment, please speak to school in total confidence to see how we can support you. If you think that your child may be entitled to Free School Meals, please speak to the school office for an application form.

School Lunch Menu - Below is the lunch menu which will continue after the Christmas break . If you require the Halal option, could you please let the school office know in advance.