Welcome back after half term. All the staff hope you had a restful time to enjoy being with each other without the pressures of home learning, uploading documents and trying hard to keep your child or children motivated and enthused. Not easy. We really want to thank you for everything you've done and continue to do.
The season of Lent is upon us and, in some ways, it reflects perfectly what is happening in our day to day lives. We are removed from full communion with other people, just as Jesus was when he journeyed to the wilderness; we feel lost at times and are tempted by external forces, just as Jesus was; nothing is as it was and we know there will be a different future, and that's unsettling.
But, there is light in these days of darkness - we know that the world has come together to create something to help everyone. We have become kinder, more considerate and patient, and we have shown compassion to those who have faced extreme difficulties. We have begun to appreciate the wonder of creation more and have experienced its healing when we have felt alone and scared. Let us not forget.
Jesus was scared and alone when he went into the wilderness, and he experienced many temptations as he struggled to come to terms with the path he was created to follow.
But, such was his love and faith in God, he chose to walk that path for us.
What love he showed.
We have to summon up that strength, that faith and that courage to remember how it felt in the darkness in order that we maintain our integrity and treat the world, everyone and everything in it, with the love and desire we held for it when we were denied the freedom to enjoy it.
"...but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
when we face difficult times help us to look for sources of strength.
May we understand that challenges do exist, and that when we face situations that knock us down we will get through them with your help.
Below are some Lenten activity sheets which contain a number of small tasks your child, and your family, can do to journey with Jesus.
Lenten Activities for you to help you follow the footsteps of Jesus
Dear Parents and Carers
All the staff and governors at St Jude's hope you had a wonderful, restful and safe Christmas.
Nothing in our lives is certain except God's abiding love for us all.
Life is different at the moment, but small pleasures can lift our spirits.
Look for signs of new life. Bulbs are pushing through the hard soil to face the sunlight; the morning light puts on a wondrous show to greet the day and in the evening the dusk remains for just a little bit longer each day. The sun is golden and illuminates the frost settled upon the leaves and branches. Frost ices walls and fences and cobwebs, lifting the mundane into glittering beauty; if we only see through the eyes of a small child, for whom all things are new and magical. Try to remember the excitement of seeing your own breath on a crisp morning and how your footsteps crunched the icy grass.
God's beautiful creation is all around us and we can seek solace and healing from nature. When you get the opportunity, go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air and try and be at peace.
"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is to live as though everything is a miracle."
Below are resources from the diocese to support home learning during the Revelation unit, which we will be delivering in school from the 18th January.
Prayers to Mary
Dear parents I hope you are all well and are finding some pleasure in the time we've been given to re-connect with our children and family life, reflect on what is important in the world and enjoy some silence to contemplate and pray.
May is the one of the months we dedicate to Mary and you will find some ideas for your children on each of the class web pages to help them understand how to pray The Rosary and learn more about the Mysteries.
If you would like to know more please google
busted halo the rosary in two minutes - it is a youtube video which is clear and informative.
Stay safe and take care.
Tomorrow (Friday 3rd April) there will be a very special live stream message at 10.00am from Bishop Philip. This is for all teachers, pupils young and old and families. It can be accessed via
This is an invitation to prayer from Catherine Hobbs, the director of Education in the diocese –
“As the majority of pupils attending school at the moment are in our Primary Schools, I would like to offer the children an opportunity to join virtually for prayer each day. At 10.15 each day of the week we will be streaming live from the Cathedral a 10-minute praying together session that schools and families at home can join in with. Each week there will be a hymn that we can all join in with together. From next week you will be able to find that on the Cathedral website. The live stream can be accessed athttps://www.portsmouthcatholiccathedral.org.uk/live-mass.php
Prayers and resources for Holy Week and Easter from the diocese
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them...
Matthew 18: 20
CREATION overview for all year groups
PRAYERS, SAINTS & FEASTS overview for all year groups
ADVENT overview for all year groups
CHRISTMAS overview for all groups
REVELATION overview for all year groups
LENT overview for all year groups
HOLY WEEK overview for all groups
EASTER overview for all year groups
PENTECOST overview for all year groups
SACRAMENTS overview for all year groups
First Holy Communion 2019
Congratulation to the children who took their First Holy Communion on Saturday 22nd June at St Philip Howard church . Father John led the mass and the children were joined by their families, friends and teachers from school to celebrate this very special day. As you can see from the photographs, they all look very smart. Thank you to the Union of Catholic Mothers who baked a celebratory cake and provided tea and coffee for the visitors.
First Holy Communion 2019
Stations of the Cross
Our Art Leader worked with identified pupils to produce some stunning paintings inspired by the artwork of Sister Mary Stephen . The paintings were used as focal points for prayer and reflection. They depicted Jesus' journey from the Last Supper to Easter Sunday.
Dear Parents & Guardians
Father John will be leading the school in The Burning of the Ashes liturgy on the afternoon on 5th March on the top playground (weather permitting) and all parents are invited to join us. It is a wonderfully potent symbolic service which prepares the children for tomorrow - Ash Wednesday - when they will be marked on their forehead with the ashes.
The whole school will be attending mass at St Philip Howard church tomorrow at 9.30am.
As part of the children's preparation during the season of Lent, we are giving each child a Lenten Passport which offers some suggestions for prayer and almsgiving throughout the season.
You can find a copy below.
Lenten Cross Template
5th March 2019
We gathered on the top playground to witness the burning of the palms for Ash Wednesday. Luckily it didn't rain!
Father John led us in rousing voice as we sang the hymns during the liturgy.
St Jude's Peer Chaplaincy Team
Congratulations to our new Peer Chaplains who attended a training day at St Philip Howard Church today. Along with three other schools from across the diocese, St Jude's has been chosen to be a pilot school for this new initiative. The focus of the team is putting faith into action across the school.
The training was led by Sr Judith Russi who explained to the children what their role would involve and how they could implement it across the whole school community. The team worked hard completing a development plan and thinking of new and exciting ideas about how they can involve everyone across the school in this project.
The day ended with a short commissioning service led by Bishop Philip and the presentation of certificates. The children are keen to move forward with this project and have already made plans to meet next week.
All the children and staff gathered for a minute's silence at 11am on Friday 11th November. We listened to a reading of In Flanders Fields by John McCrae and ended our short service with The Lord's Prayer.
You would have been so proud of the respect shown by your children.
As suggested by Bishop Philip when he visited us, we have very recently affiliated a saint to each class. They are as follows:
Reception - St Francis
Year 1 - St Bernadette
Year 2 - St Peter
Year 3 - St Paul
Year 4 - St Bede
Year 5 - St Teresa of Avila
Year 6 - St Vincent de Paul
In our class prayers we ask these saints to pray for us.
The way we will be assessing RE has changed with the introduction of the new diocesan Standards for Primary Education guidelines. The skills to be developed are clearly set out across the phases in school and the key questions for each unit have been identified.
You will be able to access our title pages when they have been completed for each unit. The first one is Easter and you can access that below.
The concepts and ideas the children will be exploring throughout RE give rise to numerous questions that can be difficult and even impossible to answer. It is through RE that the children have the opportunity to discuss 'big' questions such as, 'Should we always follow rules.', 'Do we notice the similarities or the differences in each other?', 'Are we really free?', 'Do you have to like someone to love them?' or 'Do we need praise to make us do our best?'
At St Jude's we encourage the children to listen to, and value, everyone's contributions and opinions even if that opinion differs from their own. This rich discussion gives the children the opportunity to hear a range of responses to the same question and allows them to begin to frame their own ideas on a subject. There is no right or wrong answer to a philosophical question and this can be quite a struggle for some children (and adults) who like to 'know' the answer; however, the learning that takes place in these discussions is very valuable - not just for RE but for a child's enquiring mind.