Secondary transfer update:
Since last week’s newsletter was sent out there have been some changes in the open evening arrangements for pupils due to transfer to St Sampson’s School.
The existing St Sampson’s School will close when the new St Sampson’s High School opens after Easter 2009. Pupils entering Year 7 in September 2008 will be housed in the St Peter Port School buildings which will be used as a ‘satellite’ of St Sampson’s. This is because the old St Sampson’s School is not big enough. Prospective pupils for St Sampson’s School are therefore invited to two separate open evenings: one in the existing St Sampson’s School to meet the staff, and the other in St Peter Port School to see the buildings in which they will spend the first two terms of Year 7. The new dates in italics (and the dates for the other schools) are given below.
The catchment area for St Sampson’s School broadly includes St Sampson’s and Vale parishes and also those parts of St Peter Port which are in the Amherst School catchment area. This is roughly the area north of a line starting at the Weighbridge roundabout and going up St Julian’s Ave, Candie Road and St Jacques.
Year 6 parents and children are invited to attend open evenings at the secondary schools at the following times:
Blanchelande: Tue 2nd October 7pm
Les Beaucamps: Thu 4th October 7pm-8.45pm
St Sampson's: Tue 9th October 7pm-9pm at St Sampson’s School
and Wed 10th October 7pm-9pm at St Peter Port School
Grammar School: Wed 3rd or Thu 4th October 5.45pm.
Elizabeth College: Sat 6th October 10.30am-12.30pm
Ladies' College: Wed 10th October 7-9pm
La Mare de Carteret: Thu 11th October 7-9pm
Wednesday 3rd is the preferred date for Notre Dame children to visit the Grammar School.
Can we contact you?
You will shortly receive a sheet showing your emergency contact information from our computer records. Please check and amend the information if necessary, and return it to school as soon as possible. It would help if you could write the name of the company above your work telephone number. Please sign both sides of the form! The consent form on the back allows your child to take part in outings and visits during the coming year.
Medication: If your child needs to take medication please ensure that the details are included on the emergency contact sheet. Children are allowed to bring medicine to school by prior arrangement if this is to treat an ongoing condition. This does NOT include finishing courses of antibiotics or analgesics for children who are feeling unwell. If it is necessary for your child to take medicines to school for other reasons it is essential that an adult comes in to discuss this with Mr McGovern or a member of staff first and NO GLASS BOTTLES PLEASE!
All our computer records are governed by the Guernsey Data Protection law. We do not reveal personal details to third parties and our computer system is part of the States provision so is as secure as any States department.
Eisteddfod Literary Exhibition
If any of our budding authors would like to submit any written work for next year’s Eisteddfod exhibition, now is the time to enter. Briefly, the rules are that the entry must be the child’s unaided work, poetry or prose, and it must have been completed during the last school year (although it can be written out again neatly or word-processed for display purposes.) All entries receive an adjudication and there are certificates and trophies for the best efforts. Entries to be given in by 13th October.
Children’s Book Week
1st – 5th October: We will be pleased to welcome children’s author Julia Jarman to the school on Friday 5th October. She will be visiting the infants’ assembly during the afternoon. Unfortunately we have not been able to secure an author visit for the juniors but we will be having lots of other activities including class swaps for stories and competitions.
We will be inviting the children (who wish to do so) to dress up as a book character for an assembly during that week. We would expect the child to have a copy of the book and to know a little about the character. The exact time will be given later but now is the time to do some research, find a suitable character, real or imaginary, and think how this character could be brought to life.
The new school year is time to remind you of some of the routines which help the school to run smoothly. Every Thursday you will receive a newsletter which is sent out with the eldest child in each family. We always keep to a regular day each week because children do not always remember to hand letters over so please check your child’s bag every Thursday. Spare copies are available from the school office or the leaflet dispenser in the Lower School entrance. The newsletter keeps you informed about school and parish events and allows us to share our successes in and out of the classroom. It also contains important information, including future dates and deadlines for returning information to school so please read it!
Absences: If your child is absent from school, please let us know in one of the following ways:
- e-mail to email@example.com.
- leave a message on the answerphone on 714453
- wait until after 9am and call the school office on 722412.
We are legally obliged to record a reason for every absence so please leave brief details with your message. Term time holidays are strongly discouraged. If you have to take your child out of school for a holiday during school time please inform us in writing if the absence is for five days or less. For longer holidays permission must be obtained by writing to the Director of Education. Please note that we do not undertake to set homework for children on holiday. When planning your Easter holiday please note the unusual arrangement in 2008. Easter Sunday is very early (23rd March) so the spring term carries on for two more weeks after Easter, until Friday 4th April.
Sports: We are still on our summer timetable for sports until the October half term. This means that there will be swimming as follows starting next week:
Year 6: Monday Year 5: Friday
Year 4: Friday Year 3: Friday
Year 2: Thursday Year 1: Tuesday
Years 5 and 6 will have their swimming in the Grammar School pool, travelling there and back by bus. Other lessons will take place at Vauvert School.
Please ensure children have bathers, towels and swimming caps (£1 from school) on the correct day. ALL JEWELLERY MUST BE REMOVED FOR SWIMMING INCLUDING EARRINGS AND STUDS: This is an Education Department rule and no exceptions will be allowed. Staff from the Beau Sejour Swim School will be supporting our swimming lessons this term.
Years 5 and 6 have a games lesson at Cambridge Park on THURSDAYS, which finishes at 3.15pm. Parents of these children should by now have received and returned a slip telling us of their preferred way of meeting their children after the lesson.
Items from previous newsletters
The quantity of lost property is causing us growing concerns. It seems that more and more children are happy to walk away from an event leaving many of their possessions behind. Last week a whole sackful of items including jumpers, trainers, books and coats were left at Cambridge Park. Goggles, bathers and towels are left behind in pool changing rooms. It then takes time to reunite the items with their owners, and this is not helped when less than one in four items is named.
The staff do their best to encourage the children to check that they have everything, but we would ask parents to help us, firstly by checking that everything is named, but also helping us to instil in children a sense of responsibility for their possessions and not to treat clothes and shoes as disposable items.
We will put out tables with unnamed lost property on the Monday when we return from half term and would urge parents to come and claim it.
Healthy lifestyles survey: Year 6 have recently completed this survey along with all other schools. The survey is designed to measure their attitudes towards such matters as healthy eating, exercise, smoking and keeping safe. The children’s individual answers are confidential but the school’s aggregated results show some interesting statistics, for example:
- Eating: 95% eat breakfast, 26% eat five pieces of fruit a day, 52% have their evening meal at a table with the TV switched off.
- Health: 51% have visited the dentist within the last six months, 88% enjoy physical activities, 93% intend to remain lifelong non-smokers.
- Lifestyle: 75% have mobile phones, 40% walked to school on the survey day, average pocket money is £7.90 (girls £8.39, boys £7.38).
We have a major outbreak of headlice at the moment. They have been reported in all of our infant classes which means any child could have them. We are sending every family the Department of Health’s leaflet “Itching to Get Rid” and we would ask you to read it carefully.
The recommended lotions are Prioderm (formerly known as Suleo M) or Derbac M for children with asthma or eczema. Please follow the instructions exactly.
Headlice are not a health hazard but they are a nuisance and we would like to get rid of them. We urge all parents to check their children’s hair at least once a week and take action if necessary. If you wish to find out more, and even have some fun with virtual headlice, go to www.headlice.org
Headlice are transferred from one head to another by direct contact. They cannot fly or jump through the air. We would therefore ask that children who have long hair should have it tied back to reduce the chance of cross infestation.
Our school nurse will be offering a monthly drop-in clinic for any child health related matters including vision and hearing tests.
Child protection checks
All employed staff currently have to be checked against police records for child protection reasons and this is now being extended to those who regularly help in school. We will be approaching all our regular helpers to ask them to complete a disclosure form which they will then need to take to the Education Department with photo I.D.
We hope that parents will understand the reasons for these checks and will not mind the inconvenience. Helpers can be assured that these checks are carried out in the strictest confidence and the results are only available to named Education Department staff. School staff do not have access to the results, other than to know that an individual has been approved as a helper. The checks cover offences which would make a person unsuitable to have contact with children.
Every Thursday you will receive a newsletter which is sent out with the eldest child in each family. We always keep to a regular day each week because children do not always remember to hand letters over so please check your child’s bag every Thursday. Spare copies are available from the school office or the leaflet dispenser in the Lower School entrance. The newsletter keeps you informed about school and parish events and allows us to share our successes in and out of the classroom. It also contains important information, including future dates and deadlines for returning information to school so please read it!
Labelling of clothes: It is lovely to see the children so smart at the start of term with new shoes, jumpers and coats. It is such a shame to think that much of this could end up in the lost property box! Please ensure that all your child’s personal property is labelled.
Absences: If your child is sick, please let us know in one of the following ways:
- e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- leave a message on the answerphone on 714453
- wait until after 9am and call the school office on 722412.
Term time holidays are strongly discouraged. If you have to take your child out of school for a holiday during school time please inform us in writing if the absence is for five days or less. For longer holidays permission must be obtained by writing to the Director of Education. Please note that we do not undertake to set homework for children on holiday.
Parking is always going to be an issue at our school, because there is not, nor will there ever be, enough space for everyone. Your co-operation is asked with the following points:
Lower School at St Joseph’s: Please clear the car park promptly in the mornings and leave the few available spaces for Reception children’s parents in case the children have difficulty settling. Older children will happily wait in the playground and there is no need for parents to wait for the bell. The car park is also needed for parishioners attending morning prayers and Mass so parents should depart promptly unless going to Church.
Upper school at Burnt Lane: Our caretaker will usually be on duty as a special constable to ensure parents park correctly in the afternoon. Please follow his directions. We need to ensure that all the spaces at the sides are full before people start to park in the centre. We will also try to ensure that another member of staff is on hand by the gate to ensure children do not run between moving cars. We urge drivers to take the utmost care, especially when reversing.
Our website, www.notredame.sch.gg has caught the eye of a former Notre Dame pupil on the other side of the world. Margaret Cornick (née Carbery) now lives in Vancouver on the west coast of Canada and has sent us these memories:
"I attended Notre Dame du Rosaire School for about four years, I think it was 1936-1940, and was evacuated to Hollymount Convent in 1940, because of the German Occupation. My mother was caretaker of the school during the time we were there, and after the war we returned to Guernsey and moved back to our house which was in the grounds above the school yard. We shared the house with the gardener and his family. We had half the house each. The gardener and his family were called Riochet. Sister Francois de Sales was the Mother Superior, and there was a music teacher - Sister Cecile, and a Sister Marguerite and others - I don't remember them all. I still have a reference written for me by Sister Francois de Sales when I needed to apply for my first job at the age of 14. That was the school leaving age in those days.
We attended Notre Dame Church next to the school. The priest was Father Bourde. I made my First Communion in that church and also sang in the choir. If we sang in the choir on Sunday Father Bourde would come to the school every Monday and give those who sang in the choir an orange. My brother James served as an altar boy.
It was great finding and reading through your site, and finding that the school is still there. I was so interested in reading the news right up to date. I have many happy memories of Notre Dame du Rosaire School and I also remember that the nuns used to serve fantastic homemade soup during the winter which all children could have at lunchtime.
There was a Marion Brouard, a young girl who lived with the nuns in those days, and we all played together by the hour in the school yard under the tree in summer to stay in the shade.
The nuns had gardens and grew all their own fruit and vegetables and flowers. They also had vines growing in the greenhouse attached to their convent living quarters, which was closer to Mill Street, just a bit further down Burnt Lane from the school. Whenever I had to go to the nuns for anything, like an errand of some kind, or to take something to them from my mother they would give me grapes to eat and some to take to my mother. Then also, some of the nuns used to live in the house facing the school yard (now the Highlands Flats). They used to have Chapel (Vespers I think) and they used to sing beautifully. I would lie in my bed with my window open some evening and listening to them singing, it was lovely.
Just after the war started there was fear that the Germans would take over the Channel Islands. We had to black out our windows. Since our house was quite high and overlooked St peter Port the air raid wardens would come to our house every night to check up on anyone who they thought was showing light through their windows. The next day they would visit those houses with a warning. I slept in the front bedroom on the top floor of the house and that's the window they came to look through.
When we went out anywhere at night time, we used to have to go down some steps off the school yard and we had a big key (it seemed big at the time anyway). We had to unlock the gate and lock it up again so as no one could get into the convent or the school. I remember how much I loved school in those days. Compared to today it was so different. It was quite strict and we were there to learn. We learned how to be respectful, how to be good living, and never tell a lie or use a swear word. I was always referred to as a "goodygood" so I think I learned my lesson well.
Even today I know times have changed but I wouldn't change anything from my schooldays at Notre Dame du Rosaire or Hollymount Convent. I am sorry the nuns have gone. They were lovely to be and to learn from.
I hope your students have as happy a time as myself and my brother and sister, James and Rose did whilst at your school.
We are sure that if Mrs Cornick came back to Guernsey she would see that many things have stayed the same. The sisters are, sadly, no longer with us but the school buildings haven't changed. We still unlock the gates every day with a big key, and, of course, all our children are still respectful and would NEVER tell a lie or use a swear word!