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ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY Weekly Newsletter



INSPIRE AND TRANSFORM: S1 pupils Chloe and Chelsea are presented wit their prize for the best Pi poster in Miss Welsh’s Maths class


Ben Davis, Acting Headteacher Grassyards Rd Kilmarnock KA3 7SL 01563 526144 Twitter: @StJoAcad

AS EASY AS PI (=3.1415265359)

S3 pupils benefit from the SPICE roadshow

When is a circle not a circle? When the ratio of its diameter to its circumference is not Pi. It is such a special number that it has even been given its own day and this year we celebrated on March 14th.

This week St. Joseph’s was visited by the SPICE roadshow which used visiting speakers and theatre to tackle issues of substance misuse, drinking and healthy living amongst young people.

This being St. Joseph’s the celebrations of the world’s most famous number were not confined to the Maths department. In English Miss Geary’s class wrote haikus inspired by Pi and in Home Economics Pi became pie. Yum.

As well as listening intently to some thought-provoking and hard-hitting talks from speakers who had themselves experienced the lows of substance and alcohol misuse, the pupils were able to learn about how to offer first aid and enjoyed a short theatre presentation on the dangers of alcohol.

Miss Welsh in Maths created a poster challenge for S1 pupils to develop and present a poster inspired by Pi and to encourage pupils to find out more about the history and development of this extraordinary number. As well as that she held a Pi reciting contest. The world record for reciting Pi and its decimal places from memory is 67,000. We didn’t come that close, but we were pretty impressed by Marc Ferguson (S4) who managed to recite Pi, from memory, to 70 decimal places. S1 pupil Isla Grant reflected on the day saying, ‘Pi is a very useful number when dealing with anything circular. To get the number Pi you divide the circumference of a circle by the diameter. Maths teachers are very handy for knowing this. Our Pi day has been a great day to celebrate.’ Pictures of the work produced by pupils inspired by Pi appear later in this newsletter.

Primary Engineer Event In what has so far been an unprecedentedly busy month for hosting events and conferences we were delighted to welcome representatives from 40 East Ayrshire primary schools to St. Joseph’s for the Primary Engineer challenge. Organised by Primary Engineer the day saw nearly 100 primary age pupils build, test, trial and race their creations in the Assembly Hall under the watchful eye of invited guests and teachers. As with previous conferences a team of S1 pupils helped to run the event by keeping score, managing time and supporting the primary pupils in their work. The results were very impressive. Photos of the event will be published in the next issue.


A WEEK IN PHOTOGRAPHS: PICTURES FROM AROUND THE SCHOOL, MARCH 10TH - MARCH 17TH Mrs. Hill’s S4 English class have been studying J. D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. Here are some examples of the Home Team challenges they have produced and, centre left, post-it notes demonstrating the feedback pupils give to one another.

S2 PARENT’S EVENING FEEDBACK The parents evening on March 11th had a 65% attendance. Parents and carers made the following positive comments:

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Well done, good flow Very productive Very informative Very clear, always positive Informative and encouraging Good advice about option choices! Teachers you do not have an appointment to see will see you if they are free Good teachers’ feedback, very helpful All teachers knew who my child was and spoke on a personal level Very helpful, lovely staff Very well organised, great! Good evening, almost running to time – better than expected Teachers are very approachable Very good, well done Very informative, good to put a face to a name, well organised Worked well No big queues, friendly staff Good parents’ day, very positive, well done Overall fantastic, very well done It’s brilliant, well done Happy mum! Really enthusiastic staff! Nice to see PC representation once more Well organised, easy to find teachers Enthusiastic staff! Teachers were very professional and informative

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Well set out for interaction, friendly staff Really liked the way teachers’ focus was very pupil-centred, thank you! Super night, love tea and biscuits, great time! Teachers were very informative and well prepared Informative, good to chat through option choices, everyone friendly and approachable Very settling and happy with my son’s results! Very good feedback, teachers all very positive and willing to give advice

Parents and carers raised the following issues (school response from SMT is in italics after each issue):

IMPORTANT DATES St. Joseph’s Day, March 19th (Mass at 10 am and 7 pm) S4 - S6 Voter Registration Event, March 24th Parent Council Meeting, March 31st, 7.00 pm S5/6 SQA Exam Mass, April 1st, 10 am, St. Matthew’s Church End of term, April 4th, 2.30 pm

5 minutes not enough • Unfortunately this is the only unit of time available, but longer meetings are available on request. Better signage for maths • We will endeavour to improve this; a map is available to guide parents. Many staff hadn’t seen S2 option • form Subject departments should have • been shown S3 options before parents’ night The form issued to parents was a draft ‘for information only’ form and may not reflect the actual options. Appointment sheets could have • been given to children earlier The sheets were issued one week prior to the evening which is normal practice and offers plenty of opportunity for pupils to secure a wide range of appointments.

Pupils return, April 22nd, 9.00 am

Thanks to the Parent Council for again co-ordinating the gathering of parent views and offering refreshments.

exams in the summer. Details to

Study leave for S4 - S6 begins, Friday, April 25th, 3.30 pm SQA exams commence, Tuesday April 29th Planned timetable change, May 19th We are planning to run an Easter school to offer revision classes for S4 - S6 pupils who are undertaking


WEEKLY HOME ROOM REFLECTION: HOPE Do we really believe that God can make our lives and our world new again? Lent is a good time to ask this question, but  there is much that can make us feel hopeless, cynical, and despondent.  Our world faces threats from climate uncertainty, unequal wealth distribution, and political.  Nations are  deeply divided on many issues.  Sometimes we canʼt even find a way to talk to each other about important issues.  Lent  reminds us of the importance of having faith, faith that things can indeed be made new.  We are invited to move through our Lenten journey with faith, knowing that there is new life at the end of the tunnel.  Faith allows us to embrace the challenges in our lives and in our world; the struggles that we experience each and every day.  Living with the hope and the belief that things can indeed be made new and better just might be the best way to live Christian life in our world. We can also draw inspiration from the example of those who have sought to live this hope, such as St. Joseph.  Let us pray: God who created me, you offer me new life through your Son and through the gift of your sacraments.  While I see new life all around me, I don't always recognize the new life you offer me. Help me to grow this Lent in an awareness of the gifts you place in my life and in a greater appreciation for your care. Give me the courage to ask for help. Amen PARISH MASS TIMES St. Matthewʼs: 9.30 am, Fr. Chambers # St. Michaelʼs: 4.30 pm (vigil) # # St. Paulʼs: 11.30 am, Fr. Chambers# St. Sophiaʼs: 6.00 pm (vigil) Fr. Chambers St. Francis Xavier, Patna: 5.00 pm (vigil)#

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St. Josephʼs: 6.00 pm (vigil), 11.00 am Fr. Latham Our Lady of Mount Carmel: 9.30 am, Fr. McGhee Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Patrick: 6.00 pm (vigil), Fr. McGrattan St. Thomas the Apostle: 9.00 am, Fr. McGrattan St. John the Evangelist: 10.45 am, Fr. McGrattan

March 17th parent news 2014  

The latest weekly news from St. Joseph's Academy, East Ayrshire, Scotland, UK