Autumn Term Blog 2014-2015

Week Commencing 15th December 2014

What a Busy Term, Mr Johnson, Headteacher

Well what a busy term this has been, busy and exciting.

We could list a great many things since September. Firstly, well done to all the children who contributed so well to our Advent Season and Christmas preparation. The EYFS Nativity is always a special production, with all the children showing great confidence to be on stage at a very young age. The Year 1 and 2 performance on Tuesday was also fantastic as was the singing of Key Stage 2 in our carol concert. Thank you to all the adults in school for making this a memorable occasion for all the children.

Over the last two weeks we have also had a party day, a pantomime, Christmas lunch, Freddie Fit and Christmas craft days. I have spoken to the children about striking the balance between the work time and the Christmas activities of the last two weeks. I think the children have done very well and you can be very proud of them, as we all are!

The Masses and Advent liturgies were beautifully observed and in the New Year we will have our new Chapel for the children to use. It will be a truly special place. Thank you to all the builders who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the building was completed in time.

Overall, 2014 has been a very good year. The results were excellent but also as I stated in the newsletter, we are much more than our results and the activities we undertake within our school and community enrich the children’s education. The following list is not exhaustive – Residential Trips for Year 5 and 6, School Productions, Lego Workshops, St Raphael’s Day Mass and the MacMillan Coffee Mornings, School Retreats and Living History Days, The welcome we all give every day and the warmth within school.  St Raphael’s Catholic Primary School is a true community.

I hope that you all see school like this. I want St Raphael’s to be a school where we all play a part. I remember a few Christmases ago, my daughter received the wonderful book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was made into a film. I read the book that Christmas and I was struck by one passage,

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be    here for some reason, too.”

At St Raphael’s I want everybody to know they are a significant part of the school family.

In this forthcoming Christmas Season, please ensure that you all have a break and enjoy the special time with your family. I know I will.

All blessings, Mr Johnson.


Week Commencing 15th December 2014

Young Voices 2015, Update, Mrs Delsoldato

What a busy term singing, singing, singing!  The YV choir has just performed live for the first time in our final assembly of 2014.  Well done and thank-you for all the hard work to both the children (for learning so many words and dance moves) and to parents (for your on-going support and encouragement).  Nearly there – it WILL be worth it!

To keep the excitement of the music going over the holidays and to ensure your children will be prepared for the concerts, a Choir Resources has been created just for them.  It is on the YV website,   under Resources/Choir Resources. If you cannot see it initially, scroll down. This has all of the lyrics, music, and choreography to keep your children practising at home. The username and password is youngvoiceschoir.

Our next YV rehearsal will be Monday 15th January, 2015.  That is our second week back in school. There will NOT be a rehearsal in the first week.

As always, the safety and care of St Raphael’s children is uppermost in our mind.  The school is currently planning and preparing the risk assessment for the evening. We are developing the safest means of evacuating the Arena at the end of the concert.  More details of this will follow.    All children will be given a Hi-Vis vest to wear, they will be provided with a fluorescent hat so that they can be easily seen and key adults will have a banner to hold so that they can be easily followed.  We have booked a coach and the cost for this is £7.50. This money can be sent into school as soon as possible.   At the arena, we will supervise our children at all times including toilet visits.

We also have the timings for the day:

13.30 Choirs arrive at the Arena and are seated.
14.15 Rehearsal starts.
17.00 Rehearsal ends. One hour break to get supper, use the toilet, stretch legs.
18.00 Arena opens for parents.
19.00 Concert commences.
21.15 Concert ends. Further details of procedures to follow.

Enjoy the Christmas break and we look forward to working extra hard in the Spring Term, ready to raise the roof of the Phones 4U Arena in March.

Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year

From Mrs Delsoldato and Miss Gavin


Week Commencing 8th December 2014

Hoity Toilty Angel, History and Fun Reading, Year 1

In year 1 this half term, we have been busy getting ready to perform our KS1 nativity – The Hoity- Toity Angel. We are looking forward to performing it for the whole school and families and friends.






The first term of school for us together as a class has been extremely busy, but very rewarding. (I hope for the children too!)

We have learned all about Florence Nightingale and our bodies, how to tell the time to the hour and half hour, 2D and 3D shape and lots of problem solving.

I think the children have enjoyed learning about Florence Nightingale and Andy Warhol best, but they have had great fun this week searching for Grandma Kranky from George’s Marvellous Medicine and making medicines to make her disappear. I think we might just have managed it, as she hasn’t been spotted recently!





In the New Year, we will be learning all about traditional tales and penguins, so be prepared to hunt for books and information about penguins and don’t be surprised if the children tell you they have ‘hot- seated’ the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood!







The children have worked extremely hard this term and I am sure, continue to do so as we enter the spring term.

Week Commencing 1st December 2014

Pen Pals, Authors and Problem Solving, Year 3

Class 3 have made a fantastic start to the year and we are very excited to share some of our learning with you…

Meeting our PenPals!

Class 3 have taken part in an exchange with a primary school in Longsight, Crowcroft Park Primary School. The children were very excited to receive letters in the post from their new buddies and were eager to reply to respond to their questions and find out more about their buddy. In this letter, the children invited their buddies to join in some fun at St. Raphael’s and the children took part in a day exchange.

We had planned a walk through the hills with our buddies but, unfortunately, the rain had other ideas! Instead, the buddies made their own landscape pictures which were brilliant!

Later that day, we travelled to Crowcroft on a coach and joined our buddies for lunch! After that, the buddies joined in lots of fun activities such as playing sports, decorating biscuits and taking selfies to make posters!

The children have kept in contact with their buddies since and our thoroughly looking forward to future exchanges….

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We are Authors!

Every child in class 3 worked extremely hard to produce their very own books based on the Dick King Smith book ‘The Hodgeheg’. We made our very own clay Hodgehegs, based on Max from the story…

We also had a go at describing some everyday (familiar) objects from the Hedgehog’s point of view…. Can you guess what the descriptions are of? We have given you some picture clues to help…

Once we had completed our stories, we took them to Class 4 to read and they loved our books!

Clay Hedgehogs 2 resizedClass 4 reader 2 resizeClass reader 4 resize









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We are Problem Solvers!

In maths, we explored how to solve problems systematically (finding the most important clues to start).  Then, we created our very own problems and challenged the year 4 class to solve them….

Problem Solving 2 resizedProblem Solving 4 resized









Week Commencing 24th November 2014

Lovely to See You and Christmas is Coming! Mrs Fletcher and Mrs Heywood, School Office

We have a had a very busy start to the year in the school office, September is one of our busiest times as we start the new academic year and are making sure that we not only have all our new children set-up on the schools databases but are also making sure all our management systems are ready too.

However what we love most about coming back to school is seeing all the children after their summer holiday, meeting the new children that we are welcoming into school and most importantly trying to remember everyone’s names… I think we have just about got there!

We like to keep busy though and as the resident Christmas Fairies we are starting to get very excited about Advent and Christmas celebrations in school and are resisting the urge to get our Santa Hats and Christmas Jumpers out.

We sent the Christmas Newsletter home with the November Newsletter to give everyone plenty of time to get the important dates in their diaries, don’t worry if you can’t find it a copy is on the website here.

We have lots of fantastic activities planned for the Children starting with the Christmas Dinner and Pantomime on Wednesday 11th December and continuing until the end of term on Friday 19th December – please don’t forget that school will close at 1.15pm that day. There is a lot to remember so please make sure you have seen the newsletter and have the dates for performances, non uniform days and support for the Christmas Fair.

We will also be fundraising for Willow Wood Hospice during Advent and the children will be able to buy Christmas Beanies at £2.00 each and Reindeer Antlers with Flashing noses at £2.00 per set. All the money we raise from our sales will go to Willow Wood Hospice, a cause which benefits so many of our community.

If you are unsure of anything – Christmas or otherwise – or need to tell us something you can always pop into the office and say hello, email us or give us a ring on 0161 338 4095. We also keep the website up to date with lots of information about all aspects of school life – the FAQ’s page is particularly helpful for parents – please take a look.

Week Commencing 17th November 2014

Cycling, Scientists and Centenary work, Year 5

Welcome to Class 5’s first blog-we are very excited to tell you about the exciting things that we have been doing this half term.


We really enjoyed the Tameside Team coming to St Raphael’s to show us how to keep our bikes in a safe condition and also teaching us how stay safe when riding.







Collective Worship

Class 6 are doing a great job of leading us in our Collective Worship. They are preparing the readings and prayers and we all choose a pebble and thought about a special person in our lives.

Maths Fun

Big Maths on Friday is really challenging us to work together to solve Maths investigations. The sense of achievement is great when we rise to the challenge and solve the problems.






Scientists for the day!

We had great fun working with Scientists from the University of Manchester. We did lots of exciting experiments and even wore lab coats and safety goggles-don’t we look fantastic!

WW1 Centenary

As part of our Remembrance work on WW1 we learnt about the life of a WW1 soldier. John Mallam dressed as Corporal Fred Horsnell. He read letters sent home from the war and showed us medals and other artefacts. We then wrote empathy letters imagining we were in the War and were writing to loved ones at home- it really helped us to think about how soldiers in the First World War must have felt.

Remembrance Day

Class 5 felt very proud to be leading the school’s Remembrance Assembly this year. We enjoyed singing some First World War songs. Our beautiful painted poppies looked great and we read some WW1 poems. We then led the school and our parents and families in prayers for everyone affected by War.

Week Commencing 3rd November 2014

Outdoor Project, Autumn Walks and World War 1, Reception

We have had such a busy half term in Reception it’s going to be hard putting it all into this blog! Where did the time go?

In EYFS we are currently working on improving our outdoor area, so together we started with a big clean! We got on our wellies and started scrubbing!

We worked really hard together as a team to make it look all shiny and clean. We used so much soap it looked like it was snowing!

Big cleanClean up





After the big clean it was time to start with the bigger jobs! We worked together to fill the tyres with different materials, we used bark, soil and gravel. Now we can use them to play with the dinosaurs and small world toys!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us with our project by donating different things. We are still very grateful to anyone who is able to donate anything.

Outdoor ProjectOutdoor Project 1





The children love exploring the outdoor environment and really enjoyed going on autumn walks. We looked for signs of autumn and collected these for our autumn table.

We looked closely at the different leaves and made observational drawings, leaf rubbings, autumn collages, clay hedgehogs and some tricky autumn labelling!

Autumn WalkAutumn leaves





This week we have had a visit from a soldier from World War One! He showed us his uniform and spoke about his medals. He let us try on his jacket, it was so heavy!

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Thank you for reading our first blog!

Week Commencing 20th October 2014

Violins, Smelly Science and RE, Year 4

IMG_1865Welcome to the Year 4 blog. We have been having a very exciting and musical term.  Not only are most of our class singing in the Young Voices Choir, all of us are learning how to play the Violin on a Tuesday afternoon.  We have worked so hard, we can now play by using the bow.  In addition to this, we have been studying the Abba song, Mamma Mia.  Soon, we will be having a special assembly where you can come and listen to all our hard work!



In our Science lessons, we have been learning all about the Digestive System. Here are some of the photographs taken during our investigation lessons.  We investigated how the digestive system works by using bread and a plastic bag and we learnt what damage certain drinks do to our teeth.  Instead of teeth, we used eggshells.  However, Katie brought a real tooth in too.  Now we just try to drink water or milk in Year 4!!   Ask Year 4 to explain why.







We followed instructions in Literacy and made our own jelly and then wrote our own recipes for Monster soup.  We made a graph of our favourite flavours.







In RE we have been learning about The Bible. We made some Bible covers of our own. Here they are on display in class.



Week Commencing 13th October 2014

New Friends, God’s World, Nursery Rhymes and Autumn, Nursery

01We have had a wonderful start to the new school year in Nursery; all the children have settled well and have been busy learning new routines, names of new friends and developing their skills through play and directed activities.






02We have been talking about God’s World and how to care for one another, our families and our school. We listened to the Rainbow Fish story and how happy he felt sharing his scales.






The children have also enjoyed some traditional tales and nursery rhymes; we made porridge for Goldilocks, performed puppet shows staring ‘The Three Little Pigs’ to our reception friends, and made Humpty Dumpty and a wall for him to sit on.

















The children love to explore the outdoor environment and we have particularly enjoyed the glorious September sunshine….and the October rain!










The children enjoy playing in the outdoor area building site; we can see who the site manager is!07










08We have been looking for signs of Autumn and have enjoyed talking about the things the children have bought in from home. The children have been on an Autumn walk and had great fun scrunching and stomping in the leaves and singing our Autumn songs under the trees.





09Also this week, we had an exciting time turning the home corner into a tree house for the woodland animals!







10The children enjoy dancing with the scarves and twirling round like Autumn leaves.







Thank you for all your donations towards the Mud Kitchen project. Everything is gratefully received….

Week Commencing 6th October 2014

Life in Year 6, Collective Worship, Portland Basin and Crucial Crew, Year 6

Thank you for reading our first class blog, we have already done so much in these first few weeks as Year 6. Writing is a priority in our class, so I have asked the children to help me write this; therefore you can read about things from their perspective.

Life in Year 6 by Alex, Jessica R, Ameerah, Rhys and Tamika

During Year 6 so far we have had a wonderful time, we especially enjoyed our challenging maths lessons (see picture). We have used factors to multiply numbers which makes multiplying easier.

Also, in Science, we have been researching Carl Linnaeus who was the man who helped classify living things. In one of the photographs below we are classifying living things.

Leading Collective Worship by Katie, Ethan, Bradley and Ciara

Once a month, on a Monday afternoon, the Year 6 children split up into groups and go to different classes round the school to lead worship. We use these short amounts of time to reflect on a particular focus and thank God for those we love. As the oldest in the school, we take responsibility to let the younger children experience this.

Portland Basin by Ellen, Aisha, Emaan, Chelsea, Michel, Marshall, Daniel and Megan

As a class we went to Portland Basin to improve our knowledge of our Geography topic. Eventually we arrived, wanting to see what was inside. The class split into two groups, one group completed a trail with answers hidden around and the others went downstairs and saw canal boats and a huge model of transport with things for us to read.

Crucial Crew by Aime, Ksawier, Fabian, Charlie, Jessica H, Callum and Dillon.

On Thursday the 18th September our class went to Crucial Crew to learn how to stay safe both at school and at home. It was fun and really interesting. Whilst we were there we completed 9 fantastic workshops, one of the best was from the Police because we saw a play and got to be in it!

(Elizabeth was unfortunately not well when we wrote these but I think I would be alright to say that she too enjoyed all of the above!!)

One final note from me is just to say that the first few weeks in school have been as busy as ever with everyone, staff and children, working hard. The children have written some excellent reports on a variety of topics, from their own personal brand of footwear to the numerous microorganisms that are on our teeth right now!

I feel the year has begun in just the way I would have liked and that if the children maintain this superb attitude to their work then there is no reason at all why this important year won’t be both enjoyable and rewarding!


Week Commencing 29th September 2014

St Raphael’s Day Mass and Macmillan Coffee Morning, Miss Taylor, Year 2

On 26th September, St Raphael’s came together as a community to celebrtate St Raphael’s Day and support the Macmillan Coffee Morning. The service sees our new children welcomed into the St Raphael’s Family with a special blessing from the parish priest where they are supported by their Year 6 buddies. We also announce our head boy and girl, school councilors and house captains.

Parents and children then came together after the service for the 2nd year in a row to raise money for a cause that is dear to our hearts and one that has affected us as a school family.

Thanks to the generosity of our parents and children, you have helped to raise over £400! to support Macmillan. A great big thank you from all of us at St Raphael’s.

Take a look at the short videos put together from images captured during the morning. We hope you enjoy!