We had a whole week full of celebrations to celebrate our 80th year in this school building. As Father Laurence Gambella wrote in his weekly bulletin, we are not really celebrating a building, we celebrate everything that is encompassed within the building, everything we value and work hard for as a school community of faith and learning. We celebrate our core values of respect, honesty, care and determination and it is wonderful to take a step back and feel proud of our school community from the past, to the present and onwards to our future. Christine, one of our P7 pupils said, “I was excited about all the events we got to experience in the week of celebrations. I am proud of my school, St. Joseph’s, and I think it is great that it is still doing so well even at 80 years old!”
The pupils have had the chance to experience history firsthand throughout our preparations for our celebrations. It has provided a wonderful real life context for learning. You can see some examples of literacy and artwork that our pupils have enjoyed creating. Primary 6 drew portraits of all current staff members and quizzed passers by if they could identify staff from their artwork. Primary 6 also wrote about what a day in St. Joseph’s might be like in 2103, in another 80 years. 80 years is an ‘oak’ celebration so the whole school created an oak tree with comments. P3/2 wrote a recipe for what makes a St. Joseph’s cake a brilliant cake. The recipe includes ‘700g of sharing, 0g of fighting and 707 handfuls of love.’ Primary 7 used their chromebooks to create some examples of information leaflets using digital and literacy skills. P5 looked at the history of the school building and staff. All pupils got the chance to see extracts from the archived logbooks of the school dating back as far as 1873!
Our whole school community including past staff, pupils and parents gathered for a celebration Mass on Wednesday 4th October 2023. It was so special for so many of the priests from the Deanery supporting our school and concelebrating the Mass alongside Father Laurence and father Justin. The Mass was then followed by an open afternoon where the wider St. Joseph’s family could come along and look at the children’s brilliant work on display and also to look at photos and archives from the past. It was very special to speak with so many people about their fond memories of their time at St. Joseph’s and the one thing that shone through strongly is that feeling of ‘family’ and ‘belonging’. We have started our own logbook and we hope that in years to come, people will look back at what has been written in this year 2023.
What a week we had! Drumming, banquet, ice cream van, dance workshops! We also had guest speakers coming to share their experiences including Derek Martin, now Care and learning manager and Christine Cameron, past Head teacher. Past pupils and staff sent videos to the children to share what St. Joseph’s was like when they were in school.
All in all, we feel incredibly blessed to work in such a successful, kind school where Gospel values really are at the core of everything we do. When we do something we love, work is full of joy and in a school such as ours and with our pupils and families, it is an absolute pleasure!