73% of pupils trust parents on online safety, but only 56% talk about it more than once a year’

‘2 in 5 pupils have never told anyone about the worst thing that has happened to them online’

‘But of those who did, 71% chose to tell a parent or carer’

There are constantly new sites apps, downloads, pop-ups etc which will target children (and adults) . Given the real threats which young people face online - it is more important than ever to be having regular conversations with your children about being safe and responsible and talking to you openly about their worries and concerns of items seen online.

RECENT SAFEGUARDING NEWS

This week it has become apparent that some of the children have been talking about or making reference to the 'Momo Challenge'. This is something that is being discussed in the media at the moment and parents need to be aware so that we can all work together to keep children safe on devices.

Please take a few minutes to look at advice on the following websites so that you are aware of what this is and how you can help keep your child safe online.

Parentzone: https://parentzone.org.uk/article/three-minute-briefing-momo-challenge

BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-47359623

It appears that Whatsapp is the main app that has been targeted. Please be vigilant and ensure that you are regularly checking your children's phones, tablets and other electronic devices and ensuring you have parental controls strictly in place. (see above)

As is the case with this ‘challenge’, it is something that has been set up to shock and scare. Such cyberbullying tactics have habits of becoming shocking news because such trends become ‘overhyped’ because stories can spread instantly. As parents and educators we need to talk to children about the fact that such ‘crazes’ are meant to shock and scare by the individuals who make them available - but we serve to make them into a ‘craze’ the more we draw attention to them as being ‘shocking’ and ‘scary’.

If your child has mentioned this at home please could you dissuade them from discussing it with their friends at school to try and avoid unsettling others. Explain that there are often things that happen online that can be misleading or frightening and that some things are designed to get a lot of attention.

Thank you for your support

Posted
Authormelanie Haggerty

In our last few days before the excitement of Christmas, it is worth spending some time reflecting upon the real ‘spirit of Christmas’ - the love that Christ brought to the heart of each one of us!

There is no greater way of seeing that than through our wonderful children - in seeing a child going to help a Reception child with their coat, helping and supporting each other if someone is finding work tricky, holding a door open for someone, or (my favourites!) hearing a ‘Good Morning’, or a ‘Thank You’, or a ‘You’re welcome’. These really are the gifts that Jesus brought us - and hopefully we can spread more of these good manners and good cheer everywhere we go this Christmas!

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The children have really shown their understanding of the True Meaning of Christmas in the wonderful ways they have rehearsed and presented their nativities and concerts. They have made us all so proud!

I am also humbled by the way our whole school community has pulled together to support Amy and her family, during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them. You have all shown your love and care in so many ways and I know the family are truly astounded by all the love you have shown them.

We still have our Fun Run (Santa Dash) tomorrow morning from 8.45am (proceeds going towards Amy and her family/Christie’s Hospital) so we hope as many of you as possible can come to join us on our ‘dash’ around the school field (or KS2 playground - if it’s too wet!) The children are expected to come in PE kits for the day (Trainers definitely needed!) and can wear their Christmas jumpers over the top if they want to! Our PTA and Kitchen Staff are providing a ‘bacon buttie’ & hot chocolate for the children after their run and if parents can stay - their will be hot drinks on sale in the playground!

We have also been given 3 Christmas Food Hampers by St Bede’s… if anyone knows of any families who could make use of one of these, can you please let us know at the school office. They are there ready to be collected - so please take one!

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A last reminder for our mass at 8.15am on Friday 21st December. This would be a wonderful way to come together to offer our prayers for Amy and her family and we will have tea, toast and mince pies after the mass - please come and join us if you can!

We will break up at 2pm on Friday 21st - and there will be no After School Club on that day. We return to school on Tuesday 8th January at 8.45am.

I wish everyone a happy, and joyful Christmas and New Year and my many thanks again for all your support.

M Haggerty

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Posted
Authormelanie Haggerty

The past couple of weeks have seen real acts of kindness among our children and families…

Year 6 led us in a beautiful act of Remembrance on Friday 9th November and then celebrated World Kindness Day on 13th November (You can still see some of the flowers they made with their kind thoughts and actions around the school!)

Then, on Friday 16th November children and staff brought in lose change to fill up our giant Pudsey. (There are still a few spaces, so any more coins will be gratefully appreciated!) Each year at this time our children usually count up the money and help to ‘bag’ the coins to be taken to the collection points…

At the end of last week, school discovered that a family in school were really suffering due to being given the news of their young child’s life-threatening illness diagnosis. We always use money collected to support ‘Children in Need’ but, would like to ask if there would be any objections to using the money donated for Pudsey this year - to go to support one of our own children in need during a very difficult time.

Please let us know in school if you would prefer your donation to still go to the national organisation rather than to support a family from our own school community who are in great need at this time. Whatever your decision - all our children really need your prayers!

Posted
Authormelanie Haggerty

Our Lady’s has been celebrating Harvest! The children had a special visitor in assembly - Mr Allan; who came to tell us all about the difference our ‘spare’ food could make to local families through ‘FoodBanks’.

Everyone in school has been busy collecting and we are delighted with all the gifts of food which have been donated for this brilliant cause. Thank you to everyone who has sent food items in to school for collection.

We had a lovely assembly led beautifully by the children this morning (we even had the ‘Our Father’ read by Y5 children in Spanish!) The gifts are being gathered and will be taken by Mr Allan to one of the FoodBanks on Tuesday 16th October.

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Hot Chocolate Morning!

School Council held a fabulous Hot Chocolate fundraiser on Wednesday 17th October. Well done to them

(Details and pictures on the Pupil Voice area of our website)

Everyone who supported this event raised a wonderful £149. Well done to all involved!

Hot Chocolate success!

Hot Chocolate success!

Polite Notice - Dogs in playground.

As you will have seen on the gates of school - we ask that families DO NOT bring dogs onto the playground when collecting or bringing children to school.

Some people unfortunately are continuing to bring their dog when collecting after school. I am hoping this is because you haven’t seen our notices and do not know this is school policy. If that is the case then you are politely reminded of this and asked not to bring a dog with you onto school grounds.

Thank you

Posted
Authormelanie Haggerty

The RSC are coming to Blackpool with their First Encounters performance of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and we are very excited that they will also be performing twice in our school hall on the 6th of November. Even more amazing is that a small number of Our Lady’s children will have the opportunity to perform as an ensemble alongside the RSC actors in one scene. This week many of the children expressed their interest in auditioning to be part of the ensemble and took away part of the script to prepare. If your child expressed an interest then please read the attached letter regarding the audition process that will take place next week in school.

Thank you.

Audition letter

Posted
AuthorKay McVey

It has been a great year for our Shakespeare work! 

Since becoming the lead Associate School for Blackpool, we’ve worked in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Grand Theatre leading primary and secondary schools across Blackpool.  Across our Associate Schools, we’ve shared good practice in using active approaches and live theatre to engage the children in the works of William Shakespeare to improve attainment in literacy. 

This year all our hub schools have taught Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In our school our KS2 classes have gained understanding of the play and the characters’ motives using the active approaches and they have produced some amazing pieces of writing. 

In March our Associate Schools each performed three scenes from Macbeth at the Grand Theatre. Twenty-four children in Our Lady’s Shakespeare club rehearsed for months to get ready for their performance. The children were amazing and spoke Shakespeare’s words with such clarity and understanding. DVDs are now on sale for £5 from Our Lady’s school. See the promotional video from the Grand Theatre…

At the beginning of July, our Associate Schools’ hub took part in the RSC’s Playmaking Festival in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Our hub performed four scenes from Macbeth in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre alongside other Associate School hubs from around the country. We chose three outstanding performers from our school - Oliver Fallon, Gracie Frost and Archie Allan-Ford – along with twelve other talented performers from schools in our hub. The children came together to rehearse with such enthusiasm and commitment and were fantastic in their performance. The RSC have given these children the experience of a lifetime - one that they all embraced and one that I’m sure will live with them forever! 

Posted
AuthorKay McVey