Please enjoy our latest newsletter.
As autumn tumbles the leaves from the trees, we need to think about preparing our grounds for the winter.Over half term Mr Baynham will be here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and would love some help with the grounds. If you have some time to spare on one of these days between 9 and 3, please come along and lend a hand with weeding, autumn tidying and all those other important tasks.
A huge thank you to the children and staff of Year 4 from St Thomas More in Letchworth who spent the afternoon with our year 4 yesterday.
We shared with them our aim to use Catholic Social Teaching to help us think about global problems. The predicted population growth from 7 billion currently to 9.1 billion in 2050 means the world’s resources for food won’t feed everyone unless changes in food production, distribution and security occur. To put this in context for a child, they were told there was only 40 biscuits and 60 children and they had to decide how the biscuits should be shared at the end of the session.
From a starting point of Feeding the 5000, they undertook a series of tasks in mixed groups to encourage them to “think like a Catholic” in terms of sharing, equality and resource allocation.
All of the adults commented on the quality of children’s thinking and the maturity with which they considered these themes. They discussed the importance of fairness and that we can survive with less if we know our food source is secure for the future.
The children were asked how resources should be distributed across the world by placing ten pennies on a world map where they thought the money for food should go. Unsurprisingly Great Britain would be well fed under these children but it was an opportunity for them to say why. “Because there are still people hungry in London”.
As for the solutions to the biscuit problem:
They ranged from reducing the number of children to waiting until the next visit for a biscuit. Some even suggested taking half each and saving the rest “for future generations”.
I think we have some great social thinkers in our children and as we read in Gaudium et Spes
The future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping (31).
It was great to see the children in bright colours to celebrate Family Fast Day and thank you for all the pounds you brought to support Cafod Harvest Family Fast Day.
We had a staff soup lunch to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. It was also a chance to follow the pathway of our food and consider our Feed the World in 2050 goals.
The pumpkin was grown by the Gardening Club under the guidance of Mrs Jones. It was presented as our school offering at the Harvest Mass on Wednesday.
It was cooked by Mrs Dodds to become a pumpkin and lentil soup and shared by the staff with donations going to Cafod. Recipe available from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/creamy-pumpkin-lentil-soup .
As many of you are aware, this year, to underpin our Catholic Social Teaching, we will be looking at the issues which face us in feeding the World in 2050 when the population is predicted to reach 9.1 billion. Food Security, Equality, Solidarity, Universal Destination of Created Goods, Food Waste, Agricultural Land Use including biofuels and Food Choices are part of our assemblies and activities.
Food Waste is one of our first themes. How can we reduce it? 70% of food waste occurs at household level.
With the shops preparing for Hallowe’en celebrations, we need to remember the pumpkin is an important source of nutrition which we can eat rather than throw away. A food which, in the future, we may not have such easy access to. To encourage the children to eat pumpkin we wish to have a cooking afternoon with a few children where we can make some pumpkin recipes and provide them as St John’s recommendations.
If you have a favourite family recipe please send it into school with your child or email it to me at email@example.com.
We can even use some of our home grown pumpkins thanks to the hard work of Mrs Jones and Gardening Club.
We are very lucky to live in such a lovely part of England and you are all blessed with inspiring children you can be proud of. As such it is really important we remember others with more challenging lives and take steps to help because we are all one in Christ.
In July the St John’s Race for Life raised £900. Thank you all for your support on the day and the funds raised for Cancer Research.
September 17th 2017 saw our own Mr Baynham and two parents complete the London to Brighton Cycle Ride. Mr B was fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital and many thanks to everyone who supported this.
We began this term by thinking about who is St John and how can we live like our patron saint. Clearly surviving being plunged into a vat of boiling oil was not an option but learning to see with different eyes is definitely possible. St John’s gospel, which is generally regarded as later than Mark, Matthew or Luke, includes material which is not found in other gospels, particularly the “I am” verses and the washing of the feet at the Last Supper. The pupils at St John’s considered how the practice of washing feet has changed from being outside of the Mass, to being included in the Maundy Thursday service and how Pope Francis showed it is an inclusive act for all (not just Christian men) as we are all disciples.
Each child from Y1-6 made a feather to respond to what they had learnt about St John and these make up the soaring wings of our eagle in the hall. Each one is unique and important but it is through working together that we can reach new heights.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Next Tuesday we will be taking part in the European Day of Languages. The children from years 1-6 will be swapping teachers and classrooms throughout the day to find out more about other European languages. Watch this space for the exciting outcomes.
The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust, Registration Number 7944160
Registered Office: Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, London, SW1P 1QN