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ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY Weekly Newsletter




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


WORLD BOOK WEEK This week sees us celebrate World Book Day which takes place on Thursday. We have loads planned for this week, most of which has been masterminded by our Librarian Mrs. Kirkwood. In Home Room pupils will be writing a review of their most loved or most hated book in Book Heaven vs Book Hell. The reviews are to be written in 140 characters or fewer with a selection tweeted on our Twitter feed @StJoAcad. Pupils are also being asked to bring in an image, prop, quote or similar which best describes their favourite book. From these items pupils will be created book moods maps and mood boards. Each Home Room class will also be writing their own story beginning with the line, ‘It was the day my Grandmother exploded...’ Each pupil in the class has only 60 seconds to write as much as they can before the paper is passed to the next person. On Thursday and Friday pupils will get to watch a live event organised by the Scottish Book Trust in which the author Darren Shan discusses his work. These events are being complemented with other activities. On Tuesday pupils in S3 will be attending a performance of the film ‘The Book Thief’ at the Odeon cinema while on Wednesday there will be a competition to match the staff with their favourite childhood book. On Thursday the Drama Group led by former pupil Yvonne Kavanagh will be visiting St. Andrew’s Nursery class to

perform ‘What’s the Time, Mister Wolf?’ and staff from St. Josephs’s will be reading to pupils in St. Andrew’s Primary School throughout the day. Thursday also sees the S1/2 heats for the Readers’ Cup Quiz. The week culminates with the now traditional tea party, this year themed around Harry Potter, which we can all get together and demolish tons of home-baking donated by staff, parents and pupils. Click here to visit the World Book Day website.

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE WEEK .......................... Since, officially, winter is over and spring is here we’ve featured another nature image from S5 pupil Aidan Julyan.

S4 - S6 MUSIC PRACTICAL EXAMS These exams form a large part of the external assessment for National 5, Intermediate and Higher pupils. It is vital that the pupils are well prepared. To assist parents and carers in this we are publishing the timetable here. TUESDAY, MARCH 11TH






9.20 9.30 9.40 9.50 10.00 10.10 10.20 10.30 10.40 10.50 BREAK 11.30 11.40 11.50 12.00 12.10 12.20 12.30 12.40 12.50 LUNCH 1.50 2.00 2.10

Connor Turnbull Shannon Martin Ruaraidh Quinn Abi Banner Paul Murray Teave Bytheway Stephanie Docherty Daniel Gallagher Natasha Halliday Nadia King

Nadia King Tyree McClung Daniel Gallagher Stephanie Docherty Paul Murray Teave Bytheway Abi Banner Connor Turnbull Shannon Martin Ruaraidh Quinn

2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50 3.00

Michael Merrick Connor Nolan Robert Murray Kaitlyn Forster Gary Brennan

9.20 9.30 9.40 9.50 10.00 10.10 10.20 10.30 10.40 10.50 BREAK 11.30 11.40 11.50 12.00 12.10 12.20 12.30 12.40 12.50 LUNCH 1.50 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50 3.00

Tyree McClung Daniel Docherty Michael Docherty Jane Gallacher Alan Sneddon Aidan McGeough David McKay Matthew Cowan Jennifer Gallacher Matthew Dougan Raymond Houston Kyle Chatham

Natasha Halliday Daniel Docherty Michael Docherty Jane Gallacher Alan Sneddon Aidan McGeough David McKay Matthew Cowan Jennifer Gallacher Matthew Dougan Raymond Houston Kyle Chatham Michael Merrick Connor Nolan Robert Murray Kaitlyn Forster Gary Brennan

In response to feedback from pupils and to make our curriculum more stimulating and challenging we have introduced a period of elective classes for S1. This takes place every Friday morning and within it the pupils will experience two out of the following classes.

Islands entitled Soy and Apricot Chicken. Chloe says, ‘I really enjoyed preparing and tasting my chosen dish and thought the British Virgin Isles was an interesting country to investigate. I felt that the recipes that I found were lacking in spirit and fun therefore I have tried to celebrate the British Virgin Isles with flair with my chosen dish.‘

These experiences are designed to challenge pupils whilst also providing an opportunity to develop new skills, pursue a passion or develop and new interest.


Choice 1 – The Aztecs Research and investigation into the Aztecs. When and where did they live? What do we know about this ancient people? This is a chance to develop research and analytical skills through history.

St. Joseph’s has hosted two major national conferences in the past week and at each one our pupils have shown themselves at their very best.


Choice 2 – China Find out about China’s place in the world, social & economic issues and their human rights record. A fascinating course that looks at a contemporary topic in detail. Choice 3 – Idea generation techniques You will use different techniques to help you generate exciting and innovative design ideas. Part of the design process requires you to come up with ideas for design problems highlighted in your brief, but some people struggle to get their ideas on paper. This course will help to harness your creativity. Choice 4 – Ecuador Find out more about the country we are partnered with, it history, lifestyle, customs and people. This could be the start of your association with Ecuador that could lead ultimately to a visit there in years to come. Choice 5 – Heartstart Heartstart training teaches you what to do in a lifethreatening emergency. You will learn and practice vital life-saving skills. Choice 6 – Map reading & creation Mastering Mapwork is a course consisting of mainly the practical aspects of reading and creating a map. There are 5 different aspects of maps that are covered in order to become a competent map reader and maker. Choice 7 – Music video Using technology in the music department, you will work together to plan, act, direct and edit a music video. Choice 8 – Reading for enjoyment Using the Horrible Science & Blood Bones & Horrible Bits books to become ‘bodysnatchers’. You will build bodies and work on creating the stories around them. Choice 9 – Recycling You will learn all about how and why we recycle our household waste and the importance that has for the world beyond East Ayrshire.

CULINARY GAMES SCHOOL CHALLENGE S6 pupil Chloe Dickson has entered this cooking competition with a dish inspired by the British Virgin

The first conference took place on Saturday, March 1st and was organised by Education Scotland. Its theme was supporting outdoor learning. We welcomed over 150 delegates to the school to participate in a variety of outdoor learning activities from bug-spotting to creating sculptures from natural found objects. One of the workshops was led by S4 pupils Kieran Dickson, Ciaran McDaid, Tomas Holly, William McDonald and Robert Murray. Assisted by Principal Teacher David Ritson they took participants through a challenging mountain biking course and demonstrated how simple mountain biking manoeuvres can be incorporated into outdoor learning activities. The participants, who were teachers from a variety of settings across Scotland, enthused about the expertise, leadership and courtesy of the pupils. ........................................................................................... ‘Congratulations on an excellent conference, one of the best I have attended. The pupils were brilliant, very well-turned out and a credit to the school. You have much to be proud of in this school community.’ comment by a Headteacher attending the BOCSH conference ........................................................................................... The conference was enhanced with music provided by Matthew Cowan (S4), Daniel Johnston and Amy Stevenson (S5). Delegates were met in the foyer and guided to the Hall by a large team of S1 pupils who, resplendent in their blazers, provided an excellent welcome for all. The second conference saw us hosting 100 teachers from across Scotland for an event organised by the BOCSH group (Building Our Curriculum Self Help). This group of headteachers shares good practice relating to school improvement and Curriculum for Excellence in particular. Delegates at the BOCSH conference were greeted by a team of S1 and S5 pupils who provided morning coffee and staffed the cloakroom. They also issued delegate packs that had been prepared by an S2 pupil. All those attending the conference enjoyed home-baking from S4 pupils (taught by Miss Northcote). Many of those at the conference were extremely positive about all the pupils they encountered throughout the day and commented on their politeness, their leadership and their helpfulness.






A TASTE OF SPAIN For the last six weeks pupils in S2 have been studying Spanish. Part of their work was to undertake a project exploring an aspect of Spanish culture or life. We’ll be featuring these in the coming weeks. For now here are Spanish food, music and horses.

AUTHOR VISIT AT STEWARTON ACADEMY A great time was had by all when fullof-fun author Jonathan Meres dropped in to meet youngsters in Stewarton Academy. Pupils from St. Joseph’s joined Jonathan along with pupils from a number of other local schools. The visit formed part of the popular annual Spring Read event, which sees well-known authors visiting local schools to inspire young people to read more and feel confident about writing their own stories. Jonathan spoke very entertainingly to the budding young writers about where his inspiration comes from and about the writing process itself. A highly popular children’s author and actor, Jonathan Meres has been in the navy, driven an ice cream van, worked in Harrods, started a band and worked as a stand-up comedian. His first book was published in 1998 and he has written many more, including the award-winning World of Norm series. The Spring Read event is joint funded by East Ayrshire School Librarians and Creative Scotland’s Live Literature programme, which is managed by Scottish Book Trust. Many pupils got the chance to meet with and talk to Jonathan with several choosing to have books signed. Pictured on the right are pupils in conversation with the author.



This week and next week, S4 classes should report to the media room after registering with their homeroom teacher to attend a careers talk from Kate Faulds:

S2 Parents’ Evening, March 11th,

The dates are: 4A1 4A2 4M1 4C1 4C2

Monday 3rd March Tuesday 4th March Thursday 6th March Monday 10th March Tuesday 11th March

4.00 pm - 6.30 pm Parent Council Meeting, March 31st, 7.00 pm School closes for Easter Holiday, Friday, April 4th at 2.30 pm

WEEKLY HOME ROOM REFLECTION: FAT TUESDAY Today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. This day is also known as Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") and Carnival ("Farewell to Meat") and it precedes Ash Wednesday and Lent around the world, even where Lent has ceased to have much religious meaning. You will probably have noticed in your local supermarket that pancake ingredients and advertisements have been more prominent in the last few days. It was natural to develop a festival, a "last fling," before the prayerful fasting and abstinence of Lent. It was seen as a chance to use up precious, rich ingredients, such as eggs and sugar, before beginning a period of ‘going without’. So how can we give this day before Ash Wednesday some religious meaning for us beyond just a chance to scoff some sweet treats? In some parts of the world we might be going to a Mardi Gras party and there would be much feasting. Many countries still celebrate Carnival with gusto. Elsewhere we might have a special family dinner together, with meat. What's important is that we let our feasting anticipate our fasting. One way to do that is to begin to focus on the meaning of the day, when we first get up. It can create a sense of anticipation all day, that something very new is about to begin tomorrow. We can prepare for whatever we will do, no matter how purely "social" or simply ordinary our day will be. Knowing why we go to a party, or enjoying the planning or preparation for a special meal, will add much meaning to this day. Let us pray: Tomorrow many of us will begin to fast or abstain from things. Today we feast. We thank you Lord for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us. We thank you especially for one another. As we give you thanks, we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do. As we share these wonderful gifts together, we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those who need our support. Prepare us for tomorrow. Tasting the fullness of what we have today, let us experience some hunger tomorrow. May our fasting make us more alert and may it heighten our consciousness so that we might be ready to hear your Word and respond to your call. Amen

March 3rd parent news 2014  

Our latest newsletter featuring pupil work and events from around the school over the past week.