Welcome to Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School

Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School,

83a Ramley Road,

Pennington,

Lymington,

Hampshire

SO41 8GY

 

 

Tel - 01590 672711

adminoffice@olsjschool.com

 

Executive Headteacher - Gerida Montague

 

Head of School - Eleanor Prince

 

Admin Assistant - Hazel Reilly

 

Inclusion Leader (SEND) - Kate Knott

 

Head of Strategy & Operations  - Joanna McNicholas

 

END OF TERM AND SCHOOL YEAR: We wish our teachers, pupils/families, Governors and all involved in our schools a good summer break after a difficult and challenging year. May they all stay safe and well and come back refreshed in September. Fr David

  22nd April 2021

Our Lady & St Joseph Primary school

                     Executive Head Teacher: Gerida Montague MA                      School Senior Lead: Eleanor Prince BA PGCE

A letter to parents from the Governors

Dear Parents

I am sure I speak for everyone when I say what a relief it is to have our children back at school. 

I wanted to write to all of our families to give a brief outline of the work we have been undertaking alongside Mrs Montague and her team in order to secure a safe, strong and bright future for all of our children. At the beginning of January, I was meeting Mrs Montague on a daily basis as we struggled to keep track of Government policy on the reopening of schools.  In the end, we decided for ourselves that the sensible course was to keep our children, their families and our staff safe by not opening on the first day of term.  We were vindicated the very next day when the government decided the safe course for the country was for all schools to close again. 

I know from the messages of support you sent the school at the time that you agreed with our safety first approach, but I have no doubt that the following two months were extremely difficult for you all.  We are hearing a lot nationally about the effect of the pandemic on children’s education; I don’t for a moment belittle the likely damage to their social and emotional well-being and the wear and tear on families. However, I believe any negative educational impact has been minimised by the rapid steps taken by our school team to instigate ‘livestream zoom teaching’.  It has been part of our role as Governors to track the remote learning offer on offer for our children. Our children have received a full curriculum via livestream teaching over this lockdown period and it is heartening to know that both our key worker and vulnerable children in school have been learning alongside their peers at home.  There has been a real equality of access for all of our children. Governors have dip-sampled lessons and the teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly and have been superbly supported and led by a dedicated senior team who have made certain that no child is overlooked.

In fact the work of the school has continued pretty much as usual. Your Governing Body has continued to monitor the performance of the school virtually, which is why I can say with confidence that standards and outcomes for our children have remained the focus throughout.  We have recently had a Local Authority inspection visit that has agreed with that assessment. 

An important source of information for us were the reports we got from our parent governors who described:

•          the lengths to which the school went to ensure all children had access to IT devices, loaning out laptops as necessary.

•          how foundation subjects and the full wider curriculum were taught each week, including music, history, geography art, PE and PSHE.

•          key worker/vulnerable children joining in the Zoom classroom, therefore receiving the same teaching as their peers. 

•          supporting teaching materials available on the Partnership Learning Platform

•          ‘break out’ rooms enabling small group teaching/extra support

•          teaching assistants completing weekly calls to children to listen to them reading.

•          teacher’s seeking direct feedback from the children on how they were finding the live teaching sessions, and the children also able to feed back to school leaders via a virtual school council meeting

Other governors have ‘dropped in’ virtually on Partnership book sampling sessions specific to a particular year and curriculum area. One such session involved teachers from all 5 schools discussing and moderating standards of Year 3 writing. Pupils’ writing skills and the teaching strategies employed were being analysed in detail to help progress and share good practice.  It was clear from this meeting that the children are encouraged to take an active part in assessing and planning their own progress.  

At all our governing body meetings we receive reports from Mrs Montague about safeguarding and we discuss the school’s finances each term.  We delegate certain governors to check the veracity of the reports we receive.  One governor does regular checks of the child protection files and has virtual meetings with the senior safeguarding lead teacher.  Another governor has meetings with the finance team, checks the accounts and discusses any changes to the budget.  We have all been involved in checking the health and safety arrangements  and going through the school’s risk assessment each time the school has reopened.

We have also heard directly from children who have made presentations to our Governing Body meetings.  Children have talked about their ‘writing journey’, giving us examples of their work and explaining clearly how it has improved over time.  I have been tremendously impressed by the children’s awareness of their own learning.  These are skills that will be so useful for them in the future.  We have also had an amazing presentation from the children about their bid to become a ‘School of Sanctuary’.  Their spiritual and moral development has not been ignored and governors have been involved in the school’s Monday Liturgy.

It has not been the year we would have wanted for our school but parents, staff, school leaders and governors have pulled together to minimise the impact on our children.  I believe that we can all be proud of what we have achieved despite the pandemic. 

Being a governor is a privilege that is always interesting and rewarding.  We currently have a vacancy for a parent governor.  If you think you might be interested in this role please get in touch to discuss it further.  I am always pleased to talk directly to parents.

Yours sincerely

Dominic Boddington MBE

Chair of Governors

Welcome All.

 

I am the new, proud Executive Headteacher of Our Lady and St Joseph and I would like to warmly welcome you to explore all that we have to offer here at Our Lady and St Joseph. Ours is a small, nurturing Catholic School in the heart of The New Forest. Our Lady and St Joseph Catholic Primary School aspires to provide a rich learning experience where children are encouraged to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

 

We value each child’s contribution to our community and look to develop the whole child. Our core purpose is to provide a deep learning experience for our children throughout their primary lives, so that they are resilient, happy, well-mannered and secure. We are a happy, exciting and successful learning community with Jesus at the centre.

 

We are proud that our Gospel values engender a happy, inclusive, family atmosphere. We are the only Catholic school in the New Forest and take children from Lymington, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, New Milton, Milford on Sea and Waterside parishes, as well as non-Catholic children from the surrounding area. We hope to shine a light of goodness into our community and live our lives by the principals of Truth, Honesty, Peace and Justice for all.

 

Our aim is to provide your children with the skills to reach their full potential.  We do this through our exciting, high-quality curriculum, which enables children to develop a ‘thirst’ for learning and to be challenged appropriately throughout their life at our school.

 

We believe that children who are happy and safe achieve well. We strive for high standards and expect excellent academic progress and excellent behaviour. We want all our children to thrive, aspire and achieve their personal best. From sailing, sports and socialising; through to achieving academic potential and taking their place as an active citizen in our world.

 

Research tells us that high quality teaching and learning has a high impact on our children’s happiness and academic outcomes. The vast majority of our classes are taught with a 15:1 adult ratio. These small classes enable teachers to get to know each child as an individual and target both their academic and personal development. Children play and learn in harmony with each other. There is respect and rigour; exploration and investigation. We care for each child’s individual needs, building their confidence and encouraging them to be creative and independent to prepare them for their life beyond primary school.

 

Selecting the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Please take the time to look through our website, which will give you the opportunity to appreciate our special and distinctive character and ethos; as well as observe the high quality nurture and learning that Our Lady and St Joseph Catholic Primary School provides.  We have fantastic ICT provision, a library bus, great play spaces and beautiful growing gardens and grounds.

 

If there is anything further you need or any information you require please contact us directly. If you would like to apply for a place then please contact the school and we will either advise whether year group spaces are available, or for Year R entrance explain the admission procedure. Alternatively, the admission arrangements can be found under the ‘Download and Links Section’ under ‘About Us’.

 

Kind Regards

 

Gerida Montague

 

Executive Headteacher