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School News

Janis Radcliffe, Headteacher

View the latest news  and weekly dairy reminders from St Mary's School below. 

If you are a parent or carer who would like to register to receive these weekly news bulletins updates  direct to your email, please contact the school office

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  • Exciting News!

  • News - 20 Apr 2017

    Published 20/04/17

    NEWS - 20 APR 2017

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  • NEWS - 17 MAR 2017

    Published 20/03/17

    Next week’s value is Compassion


    Matthew 9:36

    “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’’.

    Dear Parents/Carers

    Monday’s Science Day was a great success, starting with an informative assembly and followed by lots of exciting activities and investigations, including examining liquids behaving strangely, setting off ‘fizzy’ rockets, producing water cycle dramas, creating ‘seasonal’ artworks, mixing colour pigments and studying insulation, hibernation and even some elementary chromatography! 

    On Wednesday afternoon, selected pupils took part in the Regional General Knowledge Quiz Championships at George Abbott School. Although we didn’t quite make it to top position, participants did extremely well and are to be congratulated. Thank you also to Mrs Fozard and parents who attended and lent their support.

    Super School Councillors attended a Joint Schools’ Council meeting at Woolmer Hill and came back with lots of ideas this week and Year 2 children delivered a superb assembly on Thursday, telling an engrossed audience about what they have been learning in their topic work ‘Around the World’ this term. Thank you to children and teachers for working extremely hard to entertain us.

    Finally, a plea to parents of younger children: can I respectfully ask that, when bringing younger children to watch our assemblies, you ensure they remain seated and quiet throughout the performance. Otherwise, please remove them via the doors to the rear of the hall. This ensures that children who have practised so hard and other audience members, who have come to support them, can get the full enjoyment from these ‘painstakingly’ prepared presentations. Thank you in anticipation of your full cooperation. 

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe 

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  • NEWS - 3 MAR 2017

    Published 03/03/17

    Dear Parents/Carers


    Welcome to the first of our shortened weekly bulletins. You will continue to receive a weekly diary date reminder (as below). A more detailed bulletin will be circulated twice every half term. Well done to Year 1 who delivered a super assembly about ‘Toys’ this week and thank you to Miss Harling for organising ‘Maths Week’.  

    KS1 and KS2 teachers participated in moderation meetings at Shottermill School on Tuesday; our Early Years Leader met with a moderator from the Local Authority today.




    8th March

    Y2 Multi sports at Woolmer Hill

    9th March @ 9.00am

    YR Class Assembly

    9th March @ 1.00pm

    Football Tournament at Tillingbourne – (selected pupils)

    10th March

    Y5 Winchester Science Trip

    10th March @ 2.30pm

    Celebration Assembly

    13th March

    Science Week

    16th March

    NO Maths Booster for Mrs Buckley

    16th March @ 9.00am

    Y2 Class Assembly

    17th March @ 2.30pm

    Celebration Assembly

    20th March

    Y3 Wisley Trip

    20th March 1.30pm

    Y6 Netball Tournament at Rodborough

    21st March

    Y6 Natural History Museum Trip

    23rd March @ 9.00am

    Y5 Class Assembly

    24th March

    Y5 Bikeability

    24th March @ 2.30pm

    REACH Assembly

    28th March @ 10.00am

    Easter Service @ St Marys Church

    28th March @3.30pm

    Parents Evening

    30th March @ 3.15pm

    Parents Evening

    31st March @ 9.00am

    Rocksteady Concert

    31st March @ 1.30pm

    End of Term



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  • NEWS - 24 FEB 2017

    Published 03/03/17

    This week’s value is Humility

    Ephesians 4:2

    “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Last week, we asked for your views about our proposal to reduce the number of school bulletins, in a bid to reduce the workload on the school office. Thank you to those of you that responded (only one parent) and we assure you of our best efforts to take your views into consideration when producing future bi-half termly bulletins, endeavouring to split the sections into those that are relevant to Reception/KS1 and KS2 respectively.

    This week began with the opening of the Book Fair and the majority of children have been to have a look. Thank you to Miss Howells for organising this and to colleagues for manning the stall.

    Year 6 visited the Haslemere Museum to learn about classification of species, as part of their science work this week. Year 1 and Year 2 children were treated to a ‘Toys’ and a ‘Flight’ workshop, respectively, to supplement this term’s topic work.

    This week I have been looking at teachers’ planning to ensure they are using assessment of children’s learning to adapt to their needs. Teachers also work together on planning and next week, they will be meeting other confederation schools to carry out joint moderation activities which will validate the accuracy of our assessments. During our Wednesday staff meeting, teachers discussed the most appropriate and impactful approaches to improving children’s learning and our science subject leader provided constructive feedback, following her extensive scrutiny of children’s science exercise books that took place over half term. This is all part of our school improvement programme. Mrs Buckley and I visited another Good Shepherd School on Thursday morning. We came back with some good ideas, but it wasn’t all one-sided; St Marys had much of value to share with the other school as well!

    Next week, I will be out of school for two days. If you have any concerns in the meantime…Mrs Buckley and Mrs Lawrence are here to help!

    Have a great weekend!

    Yours sincerely




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  • NEWS - 10 FEB 2017

    Published 03/02/17

    Dear Parents and Carers

    What an exciting last week of the spring half term this has been!

    Today, to celebrate the end of ‘Book Week’, we had ‘Book Character Dress-up Day’. There were lots of weird and wonderful costumes, with children dressed as the characters from some of their favourite books. Well done children, we could hardly recognise you!  Earlier in the week, the Book Fair arrived; this will remain in school over half term to be re-opened after half term.

    Our value of the week was generosity and parents, children and staff have shown their community spirit by giving generously of their time and effort, as always. Thank you to teachers and parents who supported us on Thursday for our Bedtime Stories. Children returned to school, in the dark, wearing their pyjamas, dressing gowns and slippers to enjoy a bedtime story, read to them by their teachers. Thank you to our hard-working PTA who provided cocoa and refreshments to warm up the evening.

    On Monday, Booster Cushion Theatre Company came to school to present a one-man adaptation of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, which was hilarious and very well-received by our youngest and oldest children alike.

    Members of staff have been in and out of school for training and updates this week. Mrs Newton attended a moderation event at Shottermill Junior School while Mrs White attended a history subject leaders’ course. Mrs Buckley went to London for a Special Needs Conference and Senior Leaders have all received training on the use of ‘Optimus’ professional development package, which includes a host of free conferences as well as training materials to be used for staff inset days. We are confident this will prove to be an excellent investment in terms of the savings that can be made on high quality conferences and the availability of engaging resources for inset days and ‘twilight’ staff training sessions.  

    The school administration team is stretched to capacity. Consideration is being given to moving to a twice termly newsletter to replace the weekly bulletin, whilst still providing information about important dates via other means of communication. If you feel strongly, either way, about this, please let us know using the parents’ right to reply slip at the end of this bulletin. 

    Have a marvellous half term. We look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 20th February!  


    Yours sincerely


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  • News - 27 JAN 2017

    Published 27/01/17

    Next week’s value is Respect

    Matthew 7:12

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”.

    Dear Parents and Carers

    I’ve had a very busy week, catching up with things, not least the hundreds of emails that have built up in my inbox during my absence! Apologies and thank you for your patience, if you are one of the many people waiting for a response to an email enquiry, requiring my attention.

    At the end of last week, children in our Reception class enjoyed going outdoors to join in with a ‘Bear Hunt’! Mrs Lawrence reported that the children thoroughly enjoyed being outside and that the activity stimulated some super writing work and spoken language, back in the classroom.

    On Thursday, children in each of Key Stages 1 and 2 were treated to two separate discos in the school hall. These were run by the PTA and everyone had a really good time. Our thanks go to PTA members for organising this and giving up their time. Mrs Buckley, who also attended, said,’ It was a great success, the children loved it and the DJ was fantastic, keeping the children entertained at the same time as having total control. It was brilliant!

    Can I draw your attention to the timings of the school day. We have a number of children who are regularly late in the mornings and a few who are collected late at the end of the day. Please can you reinforce the importance of punctuality with children. Here is a reminder of the timings of the school day:

    Gates open 8.30am or just before

    Bell goes at 8.35am, by which time children should be in class.

    Registration is from 8.35 to 8.40am

    Lessons start promptly at 8.40am.

    Children arriving after 8.40am are marked late in the register.

    Afternoon school is from 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Mr Whitbourn opens the gates at around 2.55pm.

    Children should be collected from outside classrooms at 3.00pm (unless other arrangements have been made with the school). We ask that you please let school know, in writing, if you want to authorise for an older child to walk or cycle home alone.

    Education Welfare Officers (EWO’s) regularly check our school registers and they make a note of all unauthorised absences and poor performance in terms of attendance and punctuality. If they have concerns they will contact parents directly. We have set ambitious targets in terms of the % of children attending school regularly and on time. Please help us to meet our targets. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Have a super weekend!

    Yours sincerely




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  • NEWS - 19 JAN 2017

    Published 20/01/17

    Dear Parents and Carers

    I am pleased be making a phased return to school having been absent due to ill-health, since before Christmas.

    I am feeling a lot better and would like to thank you for your kind words of encouragement towards a speedy recovery as well as for your continuing support of the school during my absence. Thank you also to children for their continuing hard work hard and good behaviour, including their contribution to a very well-executed fire drill procedure.   

    I am greatly indebted to Mrs Buckley (Deputy Head) and to the school’s Senior Leadership Team and other colleagues, who have worked exceptionally hard to ensure the school continues to operate effectively in somewhat challenging circumstances.  Mrs Buckley has been keeping me up to date.      I understand the school’s phone lines were out of operation for a few days and we thank you for your patience and cooperation during this period of disruption. I can confirm this issue has now been resolved.  

    Reception and KS1 teachers have been trialling a new regime of staggered afternoon break times to avoid untimely disruption to lessons and make the most of learning opportunities.  This means that, although children will still get an afternoon break, when they can have fruit, a drink and a short session of indoor or outdoor play, it may not occur at exactly the same time for all classes within the key stage. It will be at the discretion of individual class teachers to determine the most appropriate time to break off, at intervals, from lessons. This trial will continue until the end of term. Children will still have plenty of opportunity for play and respite, including outdoor learning and ‘forest school’ activities.  Children throughout the school receive above the required minimal expectation in terms of physical activity, sports, games and ‘Run the World’ etc. Next half term, we will be hosting a visit from a temporary graduate teacher with a passion for outdoor learning, from whom we hope to find out more in respect of ‘forest school’ initiatives, to be offered in the ever-improving weather…hopefully!  

    You may recall that the school’s leadership team (and indeed many of you) did not accept the findings of the October 2016 Ofsted inspection. With your support, the school and Good Shepherd Trust submitted a complaint to the Ofsted Complaints Team and I am now in receipt of their response. Unfortunately, the complaints investigator has concluded that it is a case of our word against inspectors’ and it has been determined that there should be no further action. This is naturally very disappointing for us, but it seems imperative we will have to accept the finding. We must be prepared to put the experience behind us and continue to strive to do our best on our journey to improvement. A post-Ofsted improvement plan has been drawn up and I will be meeting governors and representatives of the Good Shepherd Trust, to discuss this later this month. The school action plan will acknowledge and make reference to inspection findings but we will also be reflecting our own self-evaluation findings.   

    I look forward to reacquainting myself with children, colleagues and parents and to ‘getting my teeth into’ the new development plan. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the fun of learning as we approach the spring half term which, in terms of the academic calendar, is the half way mark!  

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Yours sincerely


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  • NEWS - 11 JAN 2017

    Published 12/01/17

    Dear Parents and Carers

    We have had a busy full week back at school and therefore this bulletin contains lots of very important information, so put the kettle on and sit down and digest the full contents!

    Reverend Sarah joined us for assembly this week to remind us all to be grateful and thankful for all we have including the simpler things in life like our wonderful surroundings.

    Two of our other governors have visited this week, Mr McCarthy Holland took part in a PE lesson in reception class and Mr Freeman led a politics lesson in year 6.  Both were impressed by the behaviour and learning attitudes of the children and in year 6 by the maturity of the reasoning and responses to questions and scenarios posed.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Years 1 and 2 participated in a ‘Violin Workshop Lesson’ led by a professional violin teacher from Surrey Music Service.  Each pupil was shown how to hold a violin and to pluck and bow the strings. The pupils were then encouraged to play the violin and they made some remarkably good sounds.

    Music lessons commenced this week in our newly decorated music room, thanks to Music Works for their speedy hard work to ensure the room was ready on time!  The children were very impressed with their new learning environment, do pop in and have a look!

    Mrs Radcliffe continues to make progress and hopes to return to school on the 19th January.  She is in daily contact with the school and is being kept up to date with school procedures and queries.

    We are expecting a cold snap at the end of the week, please see message below in the unlikely event of a school closure.

    Have a good weekend.

    Best wishes


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  • News - 5 JAN 2017

    Published 05/01/17

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a well-earned break.

    This is quite a short Bulletin.  There are lots of exciting learning opportunities planned for this term as the new topics get underway.  Children have discussed new resolutions in both work ethics and attitudes to learning as well as building and maintaining positive friendships.

    Classes have been reminded about learning and playground behaviours and their responsibilities in contributing to a positive and caring classroom environment.  The teachers have talked through the anti-bullying leaflet with the children and they have been informed that there is zero tolerance to bullying here in St Mary’s.  Please can you reinforce this message at home.

    The use of social media is not the forum to discuss classroom or playground concerns or issues.  We urge you to be mindful of comments/posts when using social media and the impact these may have on the wider community.  Any concerns should be addressed to the school in the first instance in confidence.  We thank you in advance for your support in helping maintain positive relationships.

    Mrs Radcliffe continues to convalesce and sends her best wishes to you all.  She will not be well enough to return this week and we will keep you informed on her progress.  She thanks you all for your messages for a speedy recovery.  In the meantime any concerns should be addressed to Mrs Buckley.

    Best wishes

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  • NEWS - 20 DEC 2016

    Published 21/12/16

    Dear Parents and Carers,
    As you may have heard Mrs Radcliffe had a nasty fall on Friday and unfortunately fractured her sternum. She
    is being well looked after by her family and sends her heartfelt apologies for missing the end of term. She
    wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. She knows that we are all thinking of her and
    wishing her a speedy recovery.

    It has been an extremely busy and eventful term. We are very proud of all that the children have achieved and how they are all fantastic ambassadors of our school. Each class has shared some of their highlights of the term below.

    All the staff at St Mary’s wish you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday and we look forward to seeing you back safe and sound on Wednesday 4th January at 8.30am. We would like to thank you all for your continued
    support and commitment to the school.


    This term our topic has been all about ‘People Who Help Us. The children have learnt so much about the roles and responsibilities of Doctors and Nurses, Firefighters, Police Officers, Refuse Collectors and Postal Workers.

    Each area of learning in the classroom has enabled the children to practice the skills being taught and allowed them to interpret them at their own pace and in their chosen area. The children have really embraced the topic and have had some brilliant ideas for role play and we are very proud of the progress they have made in 14 weeks.

    Reception Class have performed in front of an audience delivering our class assembly and our part in the Nativity performance, ‘Super Star’.

    We are learning to stay fit and healthy. We have been learning to sort healthy and unhealthy foods. We have been learning to bandage!

    I am learning to use my phonic knowledge. Next term our topic is all about ‘Bears’. The children will be learning about different countries, global
    warming, facts about different types of bears and their habitats so lots to look forward to!

    Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

    YEAR 1
    We have had wonderful term learning all about Castles. It seems such a long time ago now that we visited Arundel Castle to kick-start out topic. It was a glorious day and we learnt so much about life in medieval times. Since then we have written castle fact files, fairy-tale stories, practised a medieval dance ready for our banquet and even made our own shields. It really has been a busy term!

    Our Science topi c this term has been all about ‘The Seasons’ and we focussed particularly on autumn and winter. We investigated shadows and
    the amount of daylight there is for each season. Towards the end of term we focussed on learning our scene for the Nativity as well as practising the
    songs. Miss Harling, whose first Nativity it was,says that we were brilliant and she’s very proud of us all.

    To celebrate the end of our topic we are having a Medieval Banquet to
    showcase all our hard work to our parents. We have really achieved a lot this term and we are looking forward to learning all about Toys in the spring term.

    YEAR 2
    Year 2’s topic this term has been The Great Fire of London. The children have really enjoyed learning about what life was like in the 1600s and how different it was to their own lives today. We started off by travelling
    back through history, putting the Great Fire into the right place on the timeline. We read lots of non-fiction books about the fire and found out about people’s experiences of the fire, through newspaper reports and
    Samuel Pepys’ diary. We used these to write our own recounts about what it would have been like to have lived in the bakery on the night of the fire. We learnt about how news travelled in Tudor times and pretended to be town criers, trying to get people to safety, using our loudest voices! Year 2 produced a brilliant assembly, acting out the story of the fire through mime. The children also learnt to sing ‘London’s burning’ as a round.

    This helped them to work together as a team and to practice their reading and performance skills. In art, the children learnt about blending colours and created beautiful silhouette pictures of the fire. They also took a virtual tour of the streets of London in 1666 and used this to help them sketch Tudor houses. In science, we studied materials and learnt about how houses were constructed in Tudor times. We thought about the properties of materials and redesigned London streets to help prevent future fires. In DT, we set up the
    Pudding lane bakery and learnt all about how bread is made. We tasted different types of bread, baked bread rolls, learnt how to shape and plait dough and wrote our own recipes.

    The highlight of our topic was a visit to the Museum of London. Here the children explored the highly interactive exhibition, Fire! Fire! They particularly enjoyed watching the fire spread across the map of London and trying to put it out using different equipment. They examined artefacts from the fire and packed their trunks with their most precious goods.

    To round off our term, Year 2 took the lead in the nativity play. They worked incredibly hard learning their lines, polishing their performance skills and practicing their singing. They did 3 fantastic performances and we were all very proud of them.

    Next term, our new topic will see us jetting off on adventures around the globe, when we will be learning all about the world’s continents and oceans.

    YEAR 3

    Our topic this term was the Stone Age and Iron Age.  We visited Butser Ancient Farm and a Neolithic Stone Age house.  We experienced chalk carving and chalk clunching which is  when chalk needs to be crushed and then added to mud, straw and water to make a mix used to build a self-supporting wall.  We also made wattle fences.  We then presented our information in assembly for our parents.  We have been busy making decorations for the Christmas fair and learning our song for the Christmas Carol CD which we enjoyed recording.   Miss Howells has greatly missed her class and is looking forward to a great spring term.  The children are looking forward to learning about the Titanic, visiting the Sea City Museum and making their own Titanic models. A great start to Key Stage 2.

    YEAR 4

    The central autumn topic in Year 4 was the Second World War and, although a serious subject, I must say the children loved it from the very beginning and showed great interest.

    We have covered key speeches from Neville Chamberlain as well as king George VI and we have discussed the Axis and Allies, looking at the geography and locations of all those involved.

    We have also had some realia such as uniforms, genuine gas masks and gas boxes, ration books and ID cards which the children later recreated. We made use of them on the Evacuation Morning as they were part of the Evacuee’s suitcase essentials.

    That was a very special event for both the children and the parents giving the pupils a taster of what it was like to be evacuated during the War. All dressed in WW2 costumes, children walked to their carer's house and were given some household tasks like tidying, cleaning, dusting, helping in the kitchen or in the garden. It was great fun and a truly unforgettable experience.

    In the second part of the autumn term children visited the Rural Life Centre in Tilford where they were able to see a superb exhibition taking them back to the 1940s. Sitting in the classroom just like in the forties, lying down in a Morrison shelter, darning old socks, making pom poms and using a water pump definitely brought the history curriculum to life.

    We were also very lucky to listen to the local wartime historian Bill Pollington, chair of the Royal British Legion in Chiddingfold.  Mr Pollington showed us many interesting books and pictures from the Second World War and talked about local heroes. The children were burning with curiosity and asked plenty of questions.

    We finished the WW2 topic with the 1940s Tea Dance Party where Y4 children presented their singing, dancing and acting abilities to parents. To add more authenticity to our party we were using rationing recipes to prepare eggless cakes and Crunchies.

    We hope all those that attended enjoyed stepping back in time just as much as we have.

    YEAR 5

    Year 5 have had a fantastic and productive Autumn Term. We have loved learning about Ancient Greece and have particularly enjoyed our Olympic Games Greek day which took place on December the 15th. The children mad Greek salad and tatziki in the morning and then participated in an Opening Ceremony followed by Olympic Games in the afternoon. Year 5 worked on the planning and organisation of the day in teams for 4 weeks prior to the event ensuring that the whole day was managed by them, developing their leadership and teambuilding skills. Everyone had a wonderful time and teams were awarded points for sportsmanship and effort. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to children who stood out the most for their efforts and engagement; however every child worked incredibly hard to pull off an amazing event. Thank you to the art, geography, sports and technology teams - you made the day a great success. The winning sports event team was Australia followed by Holland, with Great Britain and Canada not far behind.

    This term we have worked very hard in all of our lessons and enjoyed our music, computing, art and PE especially! We have also been inspired by writing about the BFG and Harry Potter! It has been an exciting time and we are looking forward to the spring term and our new Space topic.

    YEAR 6

    It has been a busy term in Year 6 and the class are now settled into their roles as pupil leaders and are all working hard towards their personal targets. We covered some exciting topics and subjects this year and the students have thoroughly enjoyed learning about a variety of different things, including map reading and the creation of felt phone cases in DT. Our main topic for the term was WWI and we have learnt about everything from how and why the war started life in the trenches and at home during the war to the development of women’s roles in society as a result of the ongoing conflicts. Year 6 was fascinated by the depth and breadth of information available and our topic was topped off by a fabulous trip to the Imperial War Museum, London. We had a great day looking at all the exhibits and artefacts; I know I can’t wait to go back next year!

    We are looking forward to our new topic of The Mayans and the Aztecs, as well as interesting new Science topics of ‘Living Things and their Habitats’ and ‘Evolution and Inheritance’. We will also be stepping things up a gear in preparation for their fast approaching SATS tests in May, with intensive lessons in all core subjects. Have a lovely Christmas Year 6! Please enjoy some of these pictures from the Imperial War Museum trip.


    There are spaces in Athletics Kickstart club for January. This club may not run if it does not have sufficient numbers so please sign up for this exciting club!

    Also, in our RUN THE WORLD challenge we have over 1000 miles to Budapest for the Judo World Championships!



    Coming Soon: Hannah will restart Friday Night Thing from the middle of January. More details to follow but in order for it to run some volunteer helpers, to go on a rota, will be necessary please can you contact Hannah ( if you are willing to be a helper!


    Christmas Eve 4pm ‘Crib Service’ – all age fun telling the Christmas story.



    In the New Year, to become more efficient St Mary’s will be actively encouraging all payments for school trips, dinner money etc to be made online via Scopay.  Access to this can be found from the school website under the parents section.  Please help us to become a “cash-less” office and also save you time finding the correct change/cheque book.


    Please ensure that your school dinner monies have been paid for this term.  Going forward if money is owed for school dinners unfortunately your child will be unable to continue with school dinners until payment in full has been made.


    Thank you to all those parents who have made their contribution to the school fund this term.  This is much appreciated and a vital source of income for the school class rooms.  It enables teachers to provide pupils with additional extras enhancing the learning experience.  Just a gentle reminder to those who have yet to contribute that you can do so online via our website.


    Thank you to all those for donated a £1.00 for Christmas Jumper day on December 16th, we are pleased to announce that we raised £84.00 for Save the Children.


    For reception place for September 2017, the deadline for applications is 15 January 2017. Parents who miss the deadline reduce their chances of getting one of their preferred schools, so apply online by visiting

    With Very Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    From all at

    St Mary’s

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  • News - 8 DEC 2016

    Published 09/12/16

    Dear Parents and Carers


    What an exciting week it has been! Reception and Key Stage 1 Nativity performances went from strength to strength, from the time of the first dress rehearsal, when children were slightly overwhelmed in front of their first full audience, to a peak in performance by Thursday afternoon, when they had gained in  confidence to clearly articulate their words and sing with gusto! Well done to all participants and a big thank you to their teachers and assistants.

    On Wednesday afternoon, staff met our new Safeguarding Link Person, Rebecca West. She will be our first port of call for any safeguarding concerns. You can find out more about St Mary’s safeguarding policies and procedures on the school website in the policies section under Key Information. You will also find the updated 2016 DfE document entitled, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and a parents leaflet, ‘Safeguarding Information for Parents’. The school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Mrs Sheila Buckley.  

    On Thursday, Key Stage 2 children were treated to a pantomime in the school hall....Oh, yes they were! There was much cheering and fun and children enjoyed a relaxing morning away from their studies.

    On Thursday afternoon, representatives from ‘High Ashurst’ visited school to talk to parents about what Year 5 and 6 children can expect on their summer term residential visit to the centre.  

    On Friday, Reception, Key Stage 1 and Year 3 children shared in the fun with children from the Village Nursery, when they enjoyed a production of ‘Burglar Bill’. A good time was had by all.

    The week ended on a high note with our REACH assembly on Friday afternoon. For those of you who are new to the school, REACH is an acronym for respect, endeavour, achievement, creativity and happiness. The award is presented to the individual, nominated by their class teacher, for showing these traits.

    Well done to our REACH award winners this term:

    Reception - Tabitha

    Year 1 – Max

    Year 2 - Noah

    Year 3 - Jorge

    Year 4 - Violet

    Year 5 - Joshua

    Year 6 - Annie

    Best wishes


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  • NEWS - 1 DEC 2016

    Published 02/12/16

    Dear Parents and Carers


    With Christmas trees in place, the nativity rehearsals well underway and the Christmas post-box ready to be filled with children’s greeting cards, it really is beginning to feel a lot like  Christmas!

    This week’s value was ‘hope’ and, of course, we have high hopes for a Christmas full of joy and festive cheer, as well as happy families and continuing positive relationships.

    Reception and KS1 children have been working really hard to polish up their nativity performances this week, and older children are getting to grips with their carols for the end of term carol service, on Thursday 15th December 2016 at 6.30pm; all welcome!

    There has been a lot of music around school this week, with an exciting visit from the Music Works bus on Thursday. Each class visited the bus to record a CD of their performance of a chosen Christmas song. It is hoped these CD’s will be ready for sale at the Christmas Fair. Look out for them!

    On Thursday, Year 4 presented a superb assembly to a very appreciative audience. The assembly theme was World War II, consolidating what children have been learning about in their topic work this term.  The assembly was both informative and enjoyable. Well done to Year 4 and a big thank you to Mrs Ryder, for whom it was her very first assembly at St Mary’s. We look forward to many more!

    Today was Mufti Day when children came to school wearing their own clothes in return from bringing in jam-jars full of goodies for the PTA Christmas Fair; thank you to those of you that sent jam-jars! The Christmas Fair will take place on Friday 16th December after school.  The hall will open for parents to visit from 2.30pm but please don’t forget to pick up children from their classrooms at 3.00pm. Children will not be dismissed by teachers until there is a visible adult to collect them. However, if you are involved in the organisation of the Fair and wish to make special arrangements to collect children early (between 2.30pm and 3.00pm) please speak to the class teacher in advance.

    Finally, let’s hope the slight improvement in the temperature continues into the weekend, as promised, and I hope you all have an enjoyable and relaxing weekend. 


    Best wishes


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  • News - 24 NOV 2016

    Published 25/11/16

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Things seem to be speeding up as we approach Christmas, with only 3½ weeks to go until the end of term! There are lots of exciting activities with class assemblies, nativities and carol services to come, not to mention science challenges, pantomimes, quizzes, Christmas Fairs, mufti days, Christmas tree Sales, Christmas lunches, rock concerts, singing on the Village Green and REACH assemblies! Term finishes on Wednesday 21st December at 1.30pm.

    Staff will attend a training day at Woolmer Hill School on the morning of Tuesday 3rd January 2017, returning to St Mary’s for afternoon meetings and further training. Children return to school on Wednesday 4th January, ready for the start of the spring term.

    Mrs Newton was out of school on Tuesday, consulting with and engaging in training and moderation with other Year 6 teachers. This is especially useful for a one-form entry school, such as St Mary’s where there is only one teacher per year group and it gives teachers an opportunity to share ideas, look at the work done in other schools, including topics covered and compare marking and feedback styles.   

    Reception parents met Mrs Lawrence this week for feedback about their children’s progress in their first term in school. Children have made a good start and settled well, which is testament to the success of Mrs Lawrence’s transition programme along with parents’ support and encouragement.

    School Governors met on Tuesday evening when Miss Hughes gave feedback about the developments in Computing and E-safety and I reported, on behalf of Mrs Lawrence, her response to relevant sections of the Ofsted report. 

    On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Buckley attended a SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)s’ network meeting at Beacon Hill School, where she shared information about how to support pupils with specific learning difficulties. 

    On Thursday, Year 6 children presented a brilliant science assembly on the subject of light which was very topical at this time of year! Well done Year 6 pupils and thank you to Mrs Newton and Year 6 colleagues.

    This morning, I attended a Confederation Heads’ Planning meeting, where I met with the Heads of other confederation schools to discuss achievements within the confederation and begin formulating a new action plan for the group of schools in the New Year.

    Congratulations to those pupils that attended the cross country event at Glebelands School last Saturday. Although they just missed out on medals, there were some sterling efforts, worthy of commendation, from Scott, Henry, Barnaby and Isaac. Well done to participants and thank you to Mrs Wright! More about this in Mrs Wright’s report below.

    Thank you to those of you that attended Thursday evening’s meeting for feedback following the Ofsted inspection report. I am indebted to the many parents who have continued to write in support of the school this week, and to those of you that have shared your concerns with Ofsted. I expect to hear from the Complaints Team by 30th December and will let you know the outcome as soon as I have any more information. It is not unknown for complaints to go unheeded, and we will need to be prepared for this, but, together with your support, we could not have done any more to press for a re-inspection and a more justified report.

    Finally, I assure you that we will, of course, continue to work hard and aspire to improve the school still further. We will continue to embed ‘thinking schools’ learning principles to extend and challenge pupils according to their ability, encouraging them to reflect, formulate questions of their own and respond in depth to questions posed of them. Some examples of our extension activities include science challenge days, maths group work with senior school students, teaching opportunities in computing/IT and ‘Able Writers’ Days; the latter next to be held at Chandler School, on Friday 2 December, when some of our able writers in Years 5 and 6 will attend. We wish them luck and hope they enjoy their day!

    Have a great weekend!



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  • News - 17 NOV 2016

    Published 17/11/16

    Next week’s value is Compassion

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Firstly may I say, since the publication of the Ofsted Report earlier this week, I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the response of parents. The many positive comments and words of support we have received have been both heart-warming and humbling. Some of you have also written or spoken to individual teachers to express your gratitude and support for them.  It is impossible to put into words just how much this means to us. You have helped us to regain our faith in humanity and the staff room is slowly regaining its usual happy atmosphere as teachers reclaim their natural good-humour. Thank you!

    We are also fortunate that colleagues themselves are an exceptionally cohesive team and have each other’s support. They know that this is not a time for finger-pointing; it’s a time to stand firm and re-assess the school’s position. We do not think the report is a true reflection of our school and we will be holding a meeting to that effect, on Thursday 24 November at 7.00pm, to which you are all invited. We look forward to seeing you there, when you can hear more about the detail of the report and the school’s next steps.

    We will continue to pursue our aspiration to become one of the best educational providers in the area. Our development plans will continue to reflect ambitious steps as we progress towards our goals.

    Difficult as it is, to turn our attentions to other matters now, I am pleased to report that our children have, yet again, been cause for celebration and a source of great pride to us this week. Last Friday we held a Remembrance Service in school when even the youngest children showed their respect as they listened and reflected throughout the service and managed to stand through the two-minutes’ silence without a murmur; a remarkable feat for 4 and 5 year olds!

    This week has been a rather low-key Geography Week, but children learned that it was international map day on Wednesday and they looked at maps of France and Europe in their French lessons.

    Y1 visited Woolmer Hill for sporting activities and Mrs Wright has asked me to remind you about the cross country running taking place at Glebelands School this weekend. For more information about this please see Mrs Wright’s item below. Mrs Wright would love to see you there. Let’s hope the weather is kind!

    Year 2 visited the Museum of London this week where they were enthralled, engaging in the interactive exhibition activities, and seeing some of the artefacts from the Fire of London, thus reinforcing what they are learning in their topic work this term.

    Y4 & 6 children visited Guildford Cathedral to learn about Advent and what it means to wait. They enjoyed writing poems and making wreaths. The organiser was Mrs Potter, a former teacher at the school, who has now moved to the education department at Guildford Cathedral.

    Have a great weekend!



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  • News - 11 Nov 2016

    Published 11/11/16

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    During this week, children have been thinking about heroes and people who have given their lives in wars and fighting. Years 6 and 4 continue to study World Wars 1 and 2 respectively in their class topic sessions. Children made poppies and attended a Remembrance Service on Friday morning. Thank you to Reverend Sarah and Year 6 teachers and pupils for leading this poignant event.

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  • News - 3 NOV 2016

    Published 04/11/16

    Dear Parents and Carers

    This week we had the Music Bus visit us in the school playground. Pupils were invited to experience playing a musical instrument: keyboard, guitar or percussion instrument, according to their preference. We hope children enjoyed these sessions and that some of them will sign up for small group music lessons with ‘Music Works’ in school. 

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About St Mary's

St Mary's has become an academy within the Good Shepherd Trust, part of the Guildford Diocese. We provide education from Reception (age 4) through to the end of KS2 (age 11).

St Mary’s School aims to offer every opportunity for children to reach their full potential in a secure and nurturing environment. We believe that self-esteem and confidence are the best predictors of future success and we value achievement in all areas of the curriculum...

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