St Joe's Blog

St Joe's Blog

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Jack and Ben in the Newspaper! Read the full story below.


As we look forward to next week's WATER WALK, helping families in Ethiopia have access to clean water, here is a recap of Jack and Ben's adventure in Ethiopia earlier this year. The story has been featured in today's Western Daily Press!

Children from Bristol became teachers for a day when they visited schools in Ethiopia and took classes of hundreds.

Jack and Ben Underhill, from Fishponds, taught children in two Ethiopian schools about being British – and told them what it is like to be a child in Bristol.The brothers, who go to St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, went to Addis Alem with Bristol-based charity For-Ethiopia.
Before they went they filmed school life with their friends so they could show children in Ethiopia what a British school was like.

Jack, 10, said: “It was nerve wrecking to stand up in front of the class. We showed our film to classes of around 150 people. The kids there are different. Everyone is friendly and smiley. If we get a visitor at our school we don’t really react, but they were really happy to see us and it made me happy.”

St Joseph’s School has helped raise money for Hawiboru School, and Efra Beri School through a range of methods, from sky diving to designing and selling Christmas cards. Their money has been used to build wells for the schools, and pumps to bring the water up.
Jack said: "It felt good to see something we'd done to help them."

Matt Condon, head teacher at St Joseph's, said: "There was an opprortunity to do something meaningful and significant with the community in Ethiopia. The fact that two children from our school have gone there makes it 10 times more real for our pupils. We want to make a difference, but we also want to improve our understanding of life there."

Jack added that he and his brother had not only been the teachers but had learned about life for children in Ethiopia. He said: “It’s very hard for them. They get up early in the morning and work before they go to school. They have to walk and walk to get water for their families, and then walk to school. Then afterwards they have to help their parents. They have to make several journeys just for a bath. And the river where they go has crocodiles.“They were so smiley to see someone who they hope can help them. I wouldn’t want to live like they do.”

Ben, eight, said: “People there are either really really rich or really really poor. People live in either big houses or dumps. When people come back from school here they can have some crisps and watch TV and if one day they can’t do that they get cross and think they’re really unlucky, but they’re not. The oldest children in Ethiopia have to look after the younger ones every day.”
Their mum Alison Underhill, who also went with them, said: “It was a life-changing experience. It’s amazing to see what money can do out there. You see how much we have and how little they have and yet they seem more content.”

A spokesperson for For-Ethiopia said: "Getting the school and so many children involved in helping pupils in Ethiopia is wonderful. For-Ethiopia is working really hard to improve sanitation and water access throughout Addis Alem and to have the support of so many people from Bristol is a real boost to us."

For more information visit


Eating School Grown Potato


Showing off our work

Today after our topic assembly the year 3/4 classes had a chance to share their work with parents and friends . It was a great opportunity to show off what we have been learning!

-- By Mr Sherwin

Year 3/4 Shipwrecked Topic Presentation

I really enjoyed this mornings presentation. The children did a wonderful job at describing their learning journey which included history, geography, lots of writing, coordinates in maths, adaptation of life in science, creating different creatures in ICT and lots of developing language. Afterwards lots of the children shared their work with their parents and carers.

Amelianya's Nest

Look what Amelianya found near her home.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Gala Charity Concert

My report on the Gala Charity Concert at Bristol cathedral

I would like to share my amazing experience at Bristol Cathedral.

On Friday 18th June 2010, Niamh, Lauren, Rachel and I (Lea Scott), went to a charity concert at Bristol Cathedral. We all had a great experience of what a live orchestra sounded like and a famous opera singer called Sir Willard White who sang. His voice was very deep but interesting. We listened to all sorts of different types of songs and music like, folk music, The Planets- Mars, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. That was very good. And at the start the Gospel Choir from Bristol Cathedral School sang, it was really joyful. I danced a lot to the music and they sang a song that I knew from SingUp called O Waly Waly sung by Willard White. We could not have gone without the help of Mrs Marsh.

In the twenty minute interval we had a drink and looked at the different kinds of instruments and we saw a harpist, she looked like Mrs Mantle!

We had a fantastic night!
By Lea Scott

My report on the Gala Charity Concert at Bristol cathedral

On Friday 18th June, Niamh, Rachel, Lea and I, Lauren went to the Gala Charity Concert at Bristol Cathedral.

We got the chance to go and see a live Orchestra and a famous opera singer called Sir Willard White who sang, his voice was very deep. The Cathedral choir sang He Reigns by Kirk Franklin, which I enjoyed a lot. Then they went on to the Cuban Orchestra. Then Sir Willard White sang: I’ve got plenty of nothing, A woman is a sometime thing, Summertime, Ma curly headed baby, Joe Hill, Old man river, The vagabond, Bright is the ring of words, and O Waly Waly. Then we moved onto the Planets which were: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus.

But we couldn’t have gone without the help of Mrs Marsh who came too so thank you to her. I had a really good time.

By Lauren Helm

More Sports Day Fun

Running at Sports Day

Sports Day 2010

Personal best - skipping



Thursday, 24 June 2010

Visit to Bristol Brunel Academy

Today Reception Class visited Bristol Brunel Academy to look at their allotment and work with the children. They were split into 3 groups and each group took at turn at planting, looking for bugs and identifying the various plants growing. The children were even able to sample some home-grown raspberries.

Thank you to all the parent helpers who came along.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Way to go-!

Y3/4J has been investigating and creating directions and mazes. We recreated our patterns using special programmable car-bots. Some of us were able to use a procedure that repeated a sequence to create a pattern. It was hard to remember left and right!

Things are growing in the Garden

Monday, 21 June 2010

A History of St Joseph's

Come and look at our new pictorial timeline. We are not sure about the decades on some of the older pictures. Perhaps you can help us put them in the right place. Perhaps you can recognise some familier faces?

Welcome to the Book Fair

Hopfully the good weather will continue and the book fayre will be outside all week.

A Gigantic Fossil

Connor's Dad found this fossil on a building site. What creature was it? Tell Connor if you know.

Butterflies in Year 1

Last week, before I went to Birmingham, Year 1 had lots of caterpillars in their class. Now they have lots of butterflies! How did that happen?

Here is a clue...

Waste Detectives

Some children have been finding out how good we are at recycling our waste.

Recycle workshops

As part of our recycling day the classes have been taking part in recycling workshops. The early and middle years have had relay races sorting waste into either rubbish, food waste or recycling.

By Mr Sherwin

Recycling Day

Today Simon, the Bristol City Council recycling officer, has come into school to help us all learn about recycling our rubbish. We have started the day in an assembly looking at what we can recycle and how we recycle.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


The Later Years Primary have been looking at the Vuvuzela as part of their 'Going for goals' project. The instrument is commonly blown by football fans in South Africa and has been very controversial in the current World Cup tournament.

Click here to listen to the sound of a Vuvuzela

Gases Around Us

Year 5 have been exploring 'Gases Around Us' as part of their science. They undertook various activities such as observing what happens when raisins are put into a beaker of lemonade, investigating air resistance and looking at the gases in sponges and balloons.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Year 1 & 2 topic assembly

Today Miss Wright's and Mrs Ford's classes performed their end of topic assembly. It was amazing to hear all they have learned about 'growing and changing' and 'down on the farm'. The children all spoke (and sang) with loud, clear voices. The parents were then invited into the classes to look at the children's work.

-- By Mr Sherwin

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Healthy singing

During the singing assembly we learned a new song '5 portions a day', which is available from the sing up website. It's energetic and teaches about healthy eating.

After that, we learned another song from sing up called '60 minutes', which taught the children about how exercise can keep us fit and healthy. The year 6 children demonstrated the exercises as the rest of the school sang the song.

-- By Mr Sherwin

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Showing off In Year 1

Today in Year 1 the children have been looking at how much progress they have made this year. They looked at their work in September and then looked at their work now. Then they talked about how they had improved. We were all really amazed at all the progress.

'In September I could only write 3 words now I can write a whole page.' Reuben

'In September my writing was really messy and now it is much neater.' Talia

'In September I could only write 1 sentence and now I can write a whole page.'

The work has to be seen to be believed! Well done Year 1!

Monday, 14 June 2010

The artwork of Nelson Mandela

Children in the Later Years Primary have been studying the life and artwork of Nelson Mandela as part of their Going For Goals project. As well as being a great leader and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was a talented artist. Much of his artwork was during his 27 years in prison on Robben Island. Mandela was arrested for his fight against apartheid.

We looked at the famous hand print of Nelson Mandela and painted our own hands and made prints to make a display.

Few have left such an imprint on the international stage as Nelson Mandela. It is therefore fitting that the extraordinary imprint of his right hand should so closely resemble the shape of the continent of Africa.