Rainbow of Hope
In school, we wanted to celebrate our school family being back together again and to create a symbol of our hope for the future. We decided a rainbow would be the perfect fit. Each child in school painted a pebble and then the pebbles were then put together to make the rainbow. It’s outside our main entrance as a positive symbol of hope for all to see.
On the first weekend of Advent, every child received a ‘day by day activity book’ and a ‘create your own Jesse Tree’ as a way of celebrating Advent with their families.
Anti-Bullying Awareness Week
We wore odd socks on Monday 16th November for ‘Odd Socks Day’. It was a day to express ourselves and celebrate our individuality and what makes us all unique! ‘Odd Sock Day’ started off anti-bullying awareness week and across the week, the children took part in a range of activities in class linked to this.
We received a certificate from the Anti-Bullying Alliance for taking part in Anti-Bullying Week.
Children In Need
The children came to school in non-uniform for a small donation. It was lovely to see the children dressed in bright colours with huge smiles on their faces. We raised £97.97 in total- great work St. Chad’s! The mini vinnies also led us in a lovely collective worship on using our talents. Thank you mini vinnies.
Some of our Mini Vinnies led us in a beautiful Remembrance service. Class 1, 2 and 3 painted some fabulous poppy pebbles with messages and Class 2 took them down to the cemetery. Class 4 created some wonderful poppies for our planters and each child created a poppy to put on our display outside.
St. Chad’s Sharing Shelf
On Friday 6th November 2020, the Mini Vinnies started a ‘sharing shelf’ in the main entrance where families in our local area can come and take food as they require. Donations are always greatly appreciated. A huge thank you to the Auckland Project for working alongside us and donating food.
In October 2020, the children decided to donate the books we had left from our ‘book swap’ to Witton Park’s community ‘book swap shop’. The children now want to make it a regular event where our school families can donate books to school and we will donate them to the village book shop.
Mini Vinnies Carol Singing
On Thursday 12th December 2019, the Mini Vinnies delighted the patients and staff at the Butterwick Hospice with their carol singing. Afterwards, they handed out Christmas cards that they had made and were rewarded with a dip in the sweety box. Singing all the way back to school- the bus driver said that it was the best drive he’d ever had!
Parish Youth Council
At the Feast of Christ the King Mass, Father Dennis presented our school members on the Parish Youth Council with their certificates. Here are some of the members in school with their certificates.
World Toilet Day
To help celebrate World Toilet Day 2019, our Mini Chads have been busy creating stickers, collecting old books and saving toilet roll tubes. It all came together today! The hall was full of ping pong ball mazes and the corridor was full of children with noses in books.
“We are raising money to sponsor a toilet at a school in Sierra Leone. It is especially important for girls when they get old to have a private toilet,” explained Viva-Rose.
“If there isn’t a good toilet, some girls won’t go to school so we’re not only giving a toilet we’re giving education too,” added Grace.
St Chad’s Plastic Free School group have not been standing idly by this term. They have created a stunning display for the Cafod Creation Mass at St Wilfrid’s Church on 13th October, planned a presentation to explain the issues to the congregation and also helped to read during the Mass.
As a result of their passionate presentation, our MP, Helen Goodman who was at Mass, asked to meet the group. She then went on to ask whether the children would be able to plant the tree that she was given by the Extinction Rebellion protesters in London last week. Their answer? You bet!
Here are photographs of some of them preparing their poster, meeting Helen Goodman and getting ready to plant the tree on our school field.
Parish Family Night at St John’s
Evie, Ava, Nelle and Imogen have spent a week rehearsing the liturgical dance for the performance at the Parish Family Night at St John’s this week. They even attended a dance academy afternoon hosted by St Cuthbert’s School in Crook. We think you’ll agree that they did a grand job on the night.
We are so proud of our children who are members of the Parish Youth Council and regularly attend meetings to support our Parish Community and make decisions about what happens in our Parish. The Council meets once every half term. Their last meeting of this school year is in June.
If you would like to be involved or simply to know more, please contact our Parish Youth Council members: Zac, Harrison, Lucy, Imogen and Thomas.
Congratulations to Imogen who is a regular member of the church choir at St Helen’s Auckland Parish Church and has just received an award from The Royal School of Church Music. Serving her church community this way takes time, dedication and hard work. What a star!
This photograph shows Imogen with her certificate and with Father McTeer.
Tricia Whitfield, from Cafod, led our Wednesday assembly this week and launched our Lenten focus for this year. Mrs Whitfield explained about the work of Cafod which helps people all over the world to get their rights. We are working together to raise enough money for each class to buy a Cafod World Gift by the end of Lent.
Stop Press: For World Book Day we made donations to Cafod and have raised £86. This includes money that Ollie and Charlie S collected when they sold wrist bands. Great work, St Chad’s.
Advent Window Revealed
Class 3 were so proud to be chosen to present our Advent Window to Bishop Auckland today. The work started in June during Refugee Week when we learned that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees and sought safety in Egypt.
Following Mr Pott’s rendition of the story from Matthew 2, the whole school (supported by Mrs Tippey and Mrs Hebron) worked on the project in November including making hand-prints to carry the Holy family not on a donkey but by boat in a similar way to many refugees arriving in Europe today.
Class 3 tracked down a song by the Nields in America who sent over the lyrics for us to use. We practiced reading the story, singing the song and thinking of how to bring the story to life. We were thrilled that Iman Malouhi, a friend of St Chad’s, was able to come along and open the window.
Thank you so much to Bernadette from Image who has lent her window to the project and looked after us so well. Thank you also to the Auckland Town Team for organising the event. And finally, thank you to parents, friends and governors who turned up to make the morning special for us.
In addition to all our other Advent activities, Class 1,2 and 3 had a class collection during Advent as we prepared for Christmas by thinking and helping others. Our charity for the month is the Pope’s charity, Mission Together. We raised £25!
Parish Carol Service
We celebrated a beautiful Carol Service on Tuesday at St Mary’s Church. It is lovely to work in partnership with St Wilfrid’s Primary Schools and the children performed well together. The readings were clear and delivered with thoughtful expression, the acting was magnificent and the singing was a joy to hear. Thank you to all families who came along to celebrate with us. It was super to hear so much praise for our children from members of the Parish.
You may or may not have seen our Mini Vinnies stealthily moving around Witton Park. Do not be concerned. Having made Christmas cards for our neighbours and elderly residents of the village, they were off on their annual postal route to distribute some Christmas cheer.
Thank you so much for everyone who contributed towards our Shoebox Appeal this year. The Mini Vinnies managed to sort out your donations and made over twenty boxes for children to open on Christmas Day as well as a donation of £50.00 from three of our lovely parents and the Fair Trade Group in school. Here are some of our proud donors with most of the boxes.
On Friday 9th November, we visited the Cemetery in Witton Park and laid wreaths to honour the fallen in both World Wars.
Needless to say, our children commemorated the occasion with great respect and our readers read beautifully. Class 4 and Class 2 had created wreaths to lay and some children in Class 3 had painted fields of poppies which we have left at the War Memorial. Class 1 laid a British Legion wreath this year.
We had a fabulous response to our Harvest appeal. During our Harvest Liturgy, written and led by Class 3, our prayer area was surrounded by packets, tins, bottles and boxes. Thank you so much for all of your generous donations. On Monday, Durham Food Bank, with help from Year 4, loaded their van with much needed donations to help people in our area who find it difficult to feed their families.
Our students are very active in the local Parish. They are busy on the Parish Youth Council, take part in monthly Family Masses at St Wilfrid’s Church and take part in the Parish Youth Group at St Mary’s Church. Details of these events are here. Parish Youth Diary for 2018-19
We had a request from one of our school parents to ask if we could support The Angel Trust, a new local charity. The School Council thought that it was a grand idea so they sold raffle tickets and we held a non-uniform day. Altogether we raised a fabulous total of £127. Well done everyone.
To mark Refugee week, Miss Bell organised a day of exploring books about people who have had to leave their home to seek safety in other places. Every class had a statement to think about philosphically and then they tested different materials that have been used as life jackets. A prayer boat is in the school entrance. Take a look and add a prayer of your own.
To mark UN World Environment Day, St Chad’s Plastic Free School group has worked with Miss Bell to organise ink cartridge recycling in school. If you have any used ink cartridges, bring them in to school and we will send them off for recycling.
On Friday during Family Groups, we looked again at the Pope’s request for us all to take care of our planet in Laudato Si. To take action, we had a competition to design any poster we could use around the school to reduce waste and encourage reuse or recycling. It was lovely to see older children working with younger children and the posters are coming along a treat. They will be up soon so look out for them next time you are in school.
Talk about what Christians do during Lent to prepare for Easter, the Plastic Free Schools group have been doing more than talking about it! On Thursday, they gave the gift of time and help when they went on a litter pick at the end of the field (where they found many plastic tree protectors) and on the road to the cemetery where they collected two bags of litter. Well done and thank you to them!
Mission -unbroken update
On Monday, two volunteers from Class 4 (Francesca and Tess) went to St John’s with Mrs Jackson to teach the Year 7 children the Mission dance using the music from Amazing Grace. On Wednesday at the Family Night, Francesca and Tess had to perform infront of the whole audience and they also collected our mini Mission Cross and Mission jigsaw. It was a fabulous night!
Mission -unbroken update
As part of our Mission week, The Plastic Free School group prepared a lesson for Class 2 explaining about how God has told us to look after the planet at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis and Pope Francis has written a letter to us all asking us to do what we can to look after Earth. The group then taught the class how to reuse old plastic bags to make bright flowers to decorate our Lenten cross. They were so brilliant that Class 2 have asked them to come back next week to help them again in their science lessons on recycling. Well done to all of you!
Great news from the Plastics Free School group: today we received an letter from someone in Teresa May’s office. They have passed our letter onto the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In assembly today, Charlotte and Francesca announced Fairtrade Fortnight starting 26th February when the Fairtrade group will be doing an assembly, organising our Family group activity on the Banana Game and holding a Fairtrade competition to help raise awareness about why Fairtrade is important. Over the last year, the group has earned over £75 through their Fairtrade Friday sales and are deciding how to spend their money.
The Plastic Free School group have continued to be busy working at St Chad’s. This month they presented a powerful assembly about the problems around pollution. The creative campaigners are: Isabel, Lewis, Zac, Lucy, Isla, Niamh and Thomas.
Parish Youth Council
We are proud that 6 of St Chad’s students are on the Parish Youth Council and help to make decisions that affect the rest of the Parish. They are: Zac, Lucy, Harrison, Thomas, Isla and Kennedi.
The Parish Youth Council met at St Mary’s on Thursday 15th January. The meeting was attended by Zac, Lucy, Harrison, Thomas and Kennedi. They made decisions about More Than Music workshops and a T shirt competition open to all students at St Chad’s School and St Wilfrid’s School.
Read the minutes here: Parish Youth Council Minutes 25th January 2018