Welcome to St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School
 

Lent is a movable feast, occurring between February and April. The 40 days of Lent, echo Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Ash Wednesday is often seen as a time to clean the soul and mind ready for Lent. 

During Lent, Christians devote more time to prayer, charity, and sacrifice as they prepare for the greatest feast in the Church year, Easter – when Jesus rose from the dead.

As Lent is a time of giving, we ask that you donate what you can to this great cause. Each family will receive one box per family and we ask that all boxes are returned to the school office after the Easter Holidays on Monday 15th April. This wonderful charity helps vulnerable children and their families all over the Westminster Diocese. If you would like to know more about our chose Lenten Appeal for 2024, then please click here.

The second charity that the children have chosen to support is, The Great Daffodil Appeal.

On Friday 22nd March pupils and staff may wear something yellow along with their school uniform in return for a small donation to show their support for the Great Daffodil Appeal 2024. More information to follow

Year of Prayer 2024

In preparation for the 2025 Jubilee Year ‘Pilgrims of Hope’, 2024 has been designated a Year of Prayer. The Holy Father has asked that 2024 be year of prayer, as a preparatory year for the Jubilee with a special focus on - The Our Father.

The Pope has asked everyone to pray for Christian unity and for peace throughout the world. During this year, as well as praying for unity and peace, each class will learn more about the Our Father that Jesus taught his disciples and pray it often as a class or as a whole school.

It would be a lovely opportunity for families to come together and pray it at home. The Lord’s Prayer offers us a great opportunity to go back to the basics of prayer.

My Voice Matters: CMHW 2024 

Schools around the UK are continuing to shine a light on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year's theme is ‘My Voice Matters’ and we want to empower children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing. Children who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. 

There are also lots of resources available on Place2Be’s on the Children’s Mental Health Week website which you can access by clicking here

Dress to Express Day: Friday 9th February 

To mark the end of Children’s Mental Health Week, we held a Dress to Express Day and together we raised £141.58. The idea was simple – we asked our pupils to use colour to express themselves by wearing a colourful outfit to celebrate what makes them unique.  

Thank you, to everyone who participated in our Dress to Express Day in order to shine a light on children’s mental health. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated. All funds raised will go to the Catholic Children’s Society who provide a counselling service in our school and many others across London.

Year 5 and Year 6 visit to Wigmore Hall: Thursday 8th February 2024
 

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils, staff and accompanying parents were treated to a special concert for schools at Wigmore Hall on Thursday 8th February entitled Selense – Let’s Merry and Dance. The children were led on a musical tour around Africa visiting different countries and learning about their stories and their sounds. 

The musicians performed songs on various instruments and in the styles from countries such as Morocco, Malia and Nigeria. It was a truly wonderful showcase for the talented musicians and performers. 

Key Stage 1 at The Diana Memorial Playground: Tuesday 6th February 2024

To celebrate the end of their Pirates! topic, Key Stage 1 went on an adventure of their own by visiting the Diana Memorial Park to explore the pirate ship playground. Everyone had fun climbing aboard the pirate ship and looking for land ahoy!  Thank you to all the staff and parents who made the day possible.

The children came home with lots of sand in their shoes but no buried treasure sadly! We look forward to welcoming parents and carers in to the exhibition of the wonderful pirate ship models the children have made and reading their pirate theme poems on Thursday 8th February. 

Safer Internet Day: Tuesday 6th February 2024

Safer Internet Day is held every February all around the world. Last year, over 170 different countries celebrated the day! Safer Internet Day (SID) is a chance to think about any worries we might have about using technology and the internet, but it’s also about celebrating all the fantastic things technology can help us with. The theme of our celebrations and learning this year is 'Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online'. 

Our dedicated team of Year 6 Digital Leaders worked with Mrs Wilson to prepare and present two special SID assemblies on the day- one for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and one for Key Stage 2. By participating in these assemblies, the children and staff joined thousands of others in celebrating SID! Thank you Alissia, Anabell, Lucas, Tiziana and Saphira for doing such a marvellous job of presenting and introducing SID 2024! 

All year groups will be following up on the assemblies at an age appropriate level in class throughout the week and we look forward to sharing news of our forthcoming day of online safety workshops which will be taking place in March  

For more information about Safer Internet Day 2024 please click here. Please also visit the Online Safety page of the school website which is updated regularly and includes copies of the school's monthly online safety newsletters including a special Safer Internet Day newsletter.

 

School Council News: January 2024

Members of our School Council were honoured to be invited to form a  ‘Guard of Honour’ on Sunday 28th January at Matrade Loftus Road Stadium to welcome the players on to the pitch before the QPR v Huddersfield game. This amazing opportunity helped mark the start of the Green Football Weekend sustainability campaign which our School Council, in partnership with Miss Hampshire from QPR's Primary Stars Programme,  are taking part in the spring term. 

 

Green Weekend Campaign: February 2024

Green Football Weekend took place over the weekend of Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th February. With the help of our School Council, all in our school community were encouraged to compete for the coveted Green Football Cup by scoring green goals for QPR by taking climate-friendly actions. Thank you to all who sigened up to make a pledge and take action. To find out more please visit the Green Football Weekend website.

 

Forest School Visits

Our Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils were blessed with great weather as they returned to Forest School at Paddington Rec during the week beginning 29th January.  Forest School is a fantastic opportunity for all of our children to experience nature and you can find out more about the school's programme by clicking here

Here is what some of our pupils have to say about their experience of Forest School: 

"I liked going hunting for the statues, my favourite was the wood pecker statue!" - Alfie (Year 1) 

"We got to collect sticks, then we made stick men!" - Vinny (Year 1) 

 

Whole School Mass: The Presentation of the Lord 

Message from Fr. Keith 

Friday February 2nd marked the end of the Christmas season, with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, when we finally take down the Christmas Crib, and turn our thoughts to the next event in the liturgy, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, which is only a few days away this year.

The Mass on February 2nd with our school community was a very joyful occasion, beginning in a blaze of light as we carry candles into Church to point to Jesus as the light of the world. But remember, he told us that we also have to be the light of the world as we live in close communion with him, so let's allow the light of our faith and kindly actions to those in need shine forth in a dark world.

Fr. Keith

We look forward joining parishioners on Thursday 22nd February at St. Mary of the Angels Church at 11am to celebrate a special Ash Wednesday service. Parents and carers are most welcome to join us.

Ash Wedneday falls on the 14th February this year, during our half term break. 

Holocaust Memorial Day Assembly: Tuesday 30th January

On Tuesday 30th January, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 took part in a special Holocaust Memorial Day Assembly led by Ms Jacob from QPR.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on 27 January each year and is a time to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own – it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. 

Thank you to Ms Hampshire for orgainising and Ms Jacobs for delivering this poignant assembly. 

Racial Justice Sunday:  28th January

Racial Justice Sunday (RJS) theme this year is ‘Seeing one another in the life of the Church’. The Image and Likeness of God resources spoke of recognising one another as children of God regardless of our race. Click here for more information. The spotlight this year is on the saints of every race and culture who reveal Christ to us.

St. Francis of Assisi (Year 1, Goldfinches) 

Class Saints 

Last term, each class were introduced to their Class Saints who have been chosen to reflect our diverse school community and we hope learning about and getting to know their Saint will encourage the children to see themselves in the life of the Church.

St. Josephine Bakhita (Year 5, Herons) 

Sporting News at St. Mary of the Angels
Year 5 and Year 6 Boys Football 

Well done to our Year 5 and Year 6 Boys football team who had an amazing tournament on Wednesday 24th January. The team worked well in both defence and attack, and communicated well with each other. The boys came third in their heat.  Very well done!

Year 5 and Year 6 Girls Football 

Well done to our Year 5 and Year 6 Girls football team who played in a tournament on Monday 29th January and came third in their group! The girls played incredibly well, especially having never played together as a team before. By the end of the tournament they had worked out a solid formation and won one of their matches 3-0. We are all so very proud of you all!

Key Stage 2 Cricket Competition

Our Year 6 cricket team played with confidence and determination and worked collaboratively together, at the cricket on Thursday 1st February. The Moogsoft William Greaves Trophy is the largest primary school cricket competition in the UK involving 18 London boroughs. Well done all to all and thank you for being such excellent representives of our school. 

 

MCC Lord's Education Day

During the Education Day, Year 4 took part in some curriculum-based activities in different areas of the ground. The children had a tour of Lord's Cricket Ground where they got to see player’s dressing room, artwork in the Long Room and the museum.  In the museum, they took part in a History and Literacy activity where they all shared their findings of artefacts. Then, the children did Art in the Pavilion which was based on the famous artist, Lowry. Finally, to end the day, Year 4 had a PE lesson in the indoor cricket centre. It was a fantastic trip and the children loved visiting Lord's. 

Whole School Mass: Friday 12th January 

We were delighted that children and staff from Reception to 6 were able to attend a Mass on Friday 12th January for the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated especially for the school by Mgr. Keith Barltrop in our parish church.

As a school we recognise that it is important to mark the feast of the Epiphany, which was celebrated during the Christmas holidays (6th January), and to spend some time reflecting on the Christmas season before moving too quickly from Advent. The Christmas season is such an important one in the Christian calendar, so it is essential that our pupils understand it and that it is a focus for prayer and liturgy. One way to extend the idea of Christmas is to keep the school crib up until the Presentation of the Lord. 

We look forward joining parishioners on Friday 2nd February at St. Mary of the Angels Church at 11am to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas Day.

Parents and carers are most welcome to join us.

Advent and Christmas Dates 2023

Preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the Good News of Jesus’ birth is such an important part of our school and liturgical year. We very much look forward to bringing our school together during the season of Advent as follows:

Wednesday 29th November  Advent Carol Service at Westminster Cathedral (Year 6/ Pupil Chaplaincy Team) 
Wednesday 6th December  Key Stage 2 Carol Service 2:00pm @ St Mary of the Angles Church 
Thursday 7th December  Christmas Jumper Day 
Friday 8th December 

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Mass 11am (whole school Mass) 

Christmas Movie Night 

Tuesday 12th December  Foundation Stage Nativity 9:30am (parents/carers) 
Wednesday 13th December  Christmas Lunch for Children (own clothes day)
Tuesday 19th December  Key Stage 1 Christmas Nativity 2:30pm (parents/carers) 
Wednesday 20th December  Special Visitor to the School 
Thursday 21st December  End of term 2/ School closed at 1:30pm for Christmas Holidays 
Monday 8th January  School Closed-Inset day
Tuesday 9th January School opens: Start of Term 3 
 
Caritas Advent Giving Calendar

Inspired by Pope Francis, we asked our families to take part in our ‘Caritas Advent Giving Calendar’ project this Advent. Each class was assigned an item that the foodbank required from our ‘Caritas Advent Giving Calendar.’ We invited the children to bring in their donations on the date assigned to their class.

Thank you also to our wonderful, Caritas Ambassadors who gave up their time to deliver some of the goods donated to Westbourne Park Pantry on Thursday 14th December. Whilst at the pantry, the children got a tour of how the pantry operates and were able to asks the organisers and volunteers questions about the day-to-day running’s of the pantry. 

Certificate of Appreciation 

Special message from St. John's Hospice:  

I wanted to send a message to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you from St Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School for your support of St John’s Hospice. Your recent Christmas jumper fundraiser raised a fantastic £214.50! This brings your grand total to £618.84 since 2021. We are so grateful for your continued care and kindness.

Your donation will help us to expand our community outreach, in turn helping to combat loneliness and isolation experienced by people living with life-limiting illnesses and their carers.

Thank you for all of your hard work. I will post out two of our Light up a Life decorations, I hope you can hang them on your Christmas tree, this year.

Thank you once again for supporting St John's Hospice!

Sophie Gray

Senior Fundraising & Volunteer Manager

'Look North More Often' Poetry Project: Thursday 7th December 2023

Earlier in the term, our Year 6 Swans Class took part in a poetry workshop with well-known poet Coral Rumble. The workshop was focused around the history of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, which is gifted to London by Norway each year, as a symbol of friendship. Year 6 children wrote their own poems, inspired by Christmas time. Three children were chosen by Coral to read a poem at the lighting of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree on Thursday 7th December. They performed beautifully in front of hundreds of people in the square, as well as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Patricia McAllister. We are extrememly proud of the children for representing our school in such a marvellous way.

KS2 Carol Service: Wednesday 6th December 2023

We were treated to the divine singing of our KS2 children this week, as we celebrated this special time of Advent with our Carol Service, held in St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church. This year, we had the pleasure of hearing our newly formed choir perform several songs, lead by our singing teacher Ms. Murphy. Each class sang their carols beautifully, bringing joy and hope to the congregation. Well done also to the readers and actors, who told the Nativity story in a spectacular way. Thank you to parents and family who joined us for this special event.

'Winter Wishes' at Winter Wonderland: Tuesday 21st November 2023

Our UKS2 classes were fortunate enough to attend the 'Winter Wishes' event at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. This event brought together many schools in Westminster, and provided an opportunity for children to experience the magic of Christmas time. Our partnership with Westminster Children's University allowed us to take part in this special day. Children had a spectacular time going on a range of rides, such as the Ice Jet and the Euro Coaster, and visited the Magical Ice Kingdom (-10 degrees with real ice sculptures!). We had a yummy hot chocolate to warm up, and ate our lunch in the Bavarian Village. We finished the day attending Zippo's Circus, which was full of amazing acrobatics and magic tricks. It was a brilliant day, and we could not wipe the smiles off our faces from start to end!

Advent Carol Service Westminster Cathedral: Wednesday 29th November 2023

Our Year 6 joined over a thousand children from schools across our diocese at the annual Advent Carol Service at Westminster Cathderal on Wednesday 29th December.  It is a long standing tradition in our school that Year 6 attend this event in their final year at St. Mary of the Angels. Another tradition is the presence of a real life donkey who was joined this year by a goat! 

The readings, drama and carols beautifully retold the events leading up to and following the birth of Jesus and it was wonderful to share the experience with so many other schools. The sound of the collective voices of so many children singing traditional carols was a joy to behold.

During the service, donations were collected for the Catholic Children’s Society which is one of the charities our team of Mini Vinnies choose to support each year during Advent and Lent. You can find out more about the charity's work by clicking here. Bishop John Sherringham asked us all to continue to pray for all those who are vulnerable and in need. Thank you Year 6 for representing our school so well. 

KS2 Concert: Wednesday 28th November 

Last Wednesday, our violin and cello students performed a concert for KS2. All students played their pieces beautifully, showcasing the skills they have been taught this year. We were also lucky to have our violin and cello teachers, as well as our music teacher Ms Diamond, perform some christmas songs for us to sing along to. There will be further opportunities for instrumental students to showcase their talents later in the year, which parents will be invited to.

Carols of Comfort and Joy at Westminster Cathedral: Saturday 25th November 2023

Our Chamber Choir were delighted to accept the invitation to sing at the Carols of Comfort and Joy at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 25th November. The concert brought together all the primary schools involved in the Westminster Schools Singing Programme this year and it was lovely that so many family members were able to come along to the Cathedral to enjoy the performance. Our chour will be singing three of their carols at our fothcoming Key Stage 2 Carol Service on Wednesday 6th December. Thank you to Miss Murphy, our choir leader, and all the choir members who sang on the day. 

Certificate of Appreciation 

Thank you again, to everyone who donated a winter coat, fleece or jacket to the Winter Coat Campaign. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Anti-Bullying Week: 13th - 17th November

Last week we celebrated Anti-Bullying Week at St. Mary of the Angels. The theme this year was ‘Make A Noise About Bullying’. Our school’s ‘STOP’ acronym continues to support pupils, staff and parents/carers in identifying and preventing/stopping bullying.

We started the week off by inviting everyone from Nursery to Year 6 to wear odd socks to celebrate our uniqueness and to remind us to love and respect everyone for their differences.

Thank you to Ms Jacobs from QPR who delivered a wonderful assembly and worked with our Year 5 and Year 6 classes in order to shine a spotlight on bullying and to encourage children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year.

Remember to ask your child about what they have learnt this year during our Anti-Bullying Awareness Week!  

      Swal