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School News

Janis Radcliffe, Headteacher

View the latest news  and weekly diary 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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  • News -

    Published 05/03/20

    Next week’s value is Endurance

    “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

    1 Corinthians 13:7

    Dear Parents/Carers

    There is a lot of important information included in this week’s bulletin, so I suggest you sit down with a cup of tea as you read through, and I shall keep my part brief.

    We may have been premature in celebrating the good weather earlier this week; however, the sun always shines at St Mary’s and we have had another happy, busy and productive week.

    On Tuesday, Mrs. Evans and I met with Jane Whittington from the Diocese to discuss our ongoing preparation for the SIAMs inspection, which is due in the next academic year.  We have spent time looking at and discussing our vision for the school in the coming years.  Once finalised, we will share this with you, as it is a vision for all stakeholders in our school and community.

    Year 4 have had a sporty week as they took part in a confederation multi-sports event at Woolmer Hill on Wednesday, and this morning they have braved the pouring rain to begin their Bikeability training!

    This morning, Year 1 made a dramatic entrance to their class assembly as a Chinese dragon danced into the hall to kick start their informative performance all about Chinese New Year.  The children had worked hard to learn their lines, and we learnt how the animals came to be chosen, including a reenactment of the swimming race!  Well done to Year 1 and their teachers.

    Next week, it is the turn of Year 6 to take part in Bikeability; please ensure all necessary equipment, including a raincoat, is brought to school on Monday morning.  Let’s hope we see some better weather!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Mrs Sheila Buckley

    Acting Head teacher

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  • News - 27th February 2020

    Published 27/02/20

    Next week’s value is Hope

    “Be happy because of the hope you have.  Be patient when you have troubles.  Pray all the time”

      Romans 12:12

    Dear Parents/Carers

    Welcome back, I hope you had an enjoyable and restful half term.

    The second half of the spring term has got off to a flying start!  On Monday, Mrs Porter arrived to school with ten eggs and an incubator from ‘The Living Eggs Ready Hatch Programme.’  This has provided a great source of excitement and anticipation for staff, pupils and parents as we eagerly awaited the hatching of ‘our’ little chicks.  The objectives of the programme are for the pupils to gain an understanding of a life cycle, experience caring for and nurturing a living creature, interpret the laws of nature and to extend language and observational skills.  Well, I can honestly say these objectives have been clearly met. The entire school has been unable to talk about anything else all week!   All ten chicks have arrived safely, been named, (not sure about Sheila Cluckley!) and have had visitors from every classroom. Please do feel free to pay a visit at the end of the school day either today or tomorrow.

    Aside from obsessing about chicks, I have been carrying out subject leadership meetings with teaching staff to discuss further ways of developing each subject area to ensure our curriculum remains broad and varied, but also fresh, exciting and current.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Newton led the staff meeting on the Science and STEM curriculum. Mrs Newton has many plans for the further development of STEM classes and clubs, including a STEM accreditation.  Information about our Science Day and Science Fair will be shared soon.

    This morning, all classes were treated to a performance of ‘Jungle Book’ presented by ‘M and M Productions’, followed by a workshop for Year 6.  Tomorrow we look forward to a music assembly presented by Music Works.

    Finally, staff news. Congratulations to Miss Clark, who has been appointed as deputy SENDCo with a view to obtaining the Postgraduate certificate in Special Educational Needs next academic year. Miss Clark will work in collaboration with myself, parents and outside agencies and will eventually take over the role of SENDCo.  In the interim, please do continue to contact me with any SEND concerns or queries.  Also, congratulations to Mrs Creswell who has recently qualified as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Mrs Creswell will be working with selected pupils to help and support their emotional wellbeing, build resilience and confidence.

    I am sure you will join us in welcoming Mrs Sarah Howe and Ms Kate Gammon who joined our team this week, both have come with a wealth of experience in Early Years and working with children with additional needs.  We feel very fortunate to have them on our team and know they will be great additions to our school community.

    Have a super weekend!

    Mrs Sheila Buckley

    Acting Head teacher

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  • News - 6 February 2020

    Published 06/02/20

    Next week’s value is Perseverance

    “So let’s not lose heart in doing good.  At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing

    if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:9

    Dear parents/carers

    This week’s value is perseverance and I have seen this in abundance from both pupils and staff.  Children have brought me examples of work to show case how they succeeded with a task they at first found difficult.  We discussed in assembly the importance of not giving up and how we all actually benefit from ‘small failures’ in order to progress and achieve our end goals.

    I was sent a relevant article on the subject and it made for some thought provoking discussions with my colleagues both as an educationalist and as a parent. Please see link below:

    https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/blog/how-to-boost-your-childs-happiness-in-the-classroom

    On Monday, Year 6 spent the morning being educated in a Victorian classroom in Guildford.  The class took part in observational drawing and learning facts by rote.  They all agreed they preferred a classroom where their contributions are valued and children are encouraged to use their voice to benefit themselves and others.

    Rev Dr Greene joined the Year 2 classes on Wednesday afternoon to talk about their RE topic - the importance of the bible.  Rev Dr Greene helped the children think about and answer some of the big questions they had, for example ‘is the bible actually magical’?  The classes finished their session with writing a book review for other readers.  Thank you Rev Dr Greene for your visit!

    Thursday morning, Year 4 educated and entertained us with their class assembly on WW2.  The children spoke out confidently and sang with enthusiasm; displaying their wonderful acting skills.   Well done to the class, Mrs Newton and her team.

    The teachers have also shown great perseverance and commitment to their roles this week; on Tuesday morning, Miss Clark hosted and led the maths hub lesson and discussion here at St. Mary’s.  She taught in front of nine colleagues from other schools and listened to feedback; all fantastically positive! Well done Miss Clark and Year 5 pupils who were great ambassadors for our school.

    On Wednesday afternoon, it was Mrs Evans turn to lead and deliver a presentation on spelling for the other literacy leads in the Good Shepherd Trust. Thank you Mrs Evans for the time and organisation put into this workshop, which was gratefully received.

    We really are incredibly lucky to have such skilled and knowledgeable staff who are willing to share their talents to help support teachers in other schools both in our confederation and trust; it makes me feel very proud to know that St. Mary’s teachers are recognised and valued for their ability to contribute on a wider scale.

    I was delighted to welcome the HLTA assessor for Mr Hanson on Thursday, as he is now fully recognised as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant.  Mr Hanson is a great example of how hard work and perseverance pays off and how it can

    help develop confidence and character.  We are so delighted with his achievement and count ourselves fortunate that he is part of our team.

    Have a lovely weekend

    Mrs Sheila Buckley

    Acting Headteacher

     

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  • News - 23 JANUARY 2020

    Published 23/01/20

    Next week’s value is Enthusiasm

     

    “Every time you find work, do it the best you can.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

    Dear parents/carers

    This week’s value is enthusiasm and we have seen many examples of this in school in the last week.  I was approached by two very enthusiastic Year 6 pupils last Thursday afternoon as they told me all about their class getting a mention on Radio 2’s introductory lesson for the annual 500 words story writing competition.  We shared the clip with the school in assembly on Friday morning, and hopefully the enthusiasm has spread throughout the classes with many children eager to write a winning entry.

    This term, writing will be a whole school focus, with an emphasis on providing frequent opportunities for extended pieces of writing and continuing to develop independent proofreading and editing skills throughout the school.

    From a personal point of view, I have been conducting pupil progress meetings with all teachers this week, wherein we discussed current attainment, progress and set targets for all groups of children. I am pleased to report how well teachers know each individual pupil in their care and how best to support them to reach their full potential.

    On a staffing note, Mrs Spong came out of retirement and returned to Y2E on Tuesday morning.  Mrs Spong will be here on Tuesdays to release Mrs Evans to complete her Senior Leadership duties.  The children were delighted to see her and she slipped back into the old routine seamlessly!

    On Tuesday, we had our first full governing body meeting of the term, directed by our new Chair of Governors, Mr Brett Freeman following Mrs Caroline Doherty’s decision to step down after 7 years of service to the school. 

    Finally, there have been many opportunities for staff training and development this week.  Mr Freeman and myself attended the Heads and Chairs meeting run by Guildford Diocese on Thursday morning, whilst Mrs Newton attended a Science Coordinators network meeting on Thursday afternoon, and Mrs Porter attended an RE course on Wednesday evening. 

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Mrs Sheila Buckley

    Acting Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 16 January 2020

    Published 16/01/20

    Next week’s value is Enthusiasm

     

    “Every time you find work, do it the best you can.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

    Dear parents/carers

    Children and staff are now in full swing of the new term as new and exciting topics have been introduced to each class all under our spring theme of ‘Finding out about the world’.

    I have visited each class this morning and children were eager to tell me what they have learnt so far about sea creatures, the Titanic and the Victorians to name but a few, and as I sit here typing I can hear the beautiful voices of year 2 singing enthusiastically along to a very modern version of the timetables!

    This week our School Business Manager, Mrs Oqvist and I have met with the chair of the PTA to discuss future fundraisers.  I have had meetings with both the local confederation Heads and Heads from the Good Shepherd Trust.  These have been very productive and an opportunity to share good practice and ways of supporting each other to ensure the best outcomes for children in our communities.

    Next week is the start of after school clubs.  Please ensure you inform the class teacher if your child is unable to attend or if there are any changes to pick up arrangements.

    Have a wonderful and hopefully dry weekend!

    Mrs Sheila Buckley

    Acting Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 19th December

    Published 20/12/19

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Here we are at the end of term one, hasn’t it flown by?!  It has been an exciting term with lots of creative and interesting learning opportunities for the children, more of which you can read about below.

    On behalf of all the staff of St. Mary’s School, thank you for your generous gifts, cards, kind words of encouragement and continuing support.  I should particularly like to thank members of the PTA for all their hard work and contribution this term.  I want to also thank those parents who volunteer their services in any capacity, from hearing children read, attending school trips and helping out with lifts to sporting fixtures. Your help is greatly valued and very much appreciated.  This support benefits the school and children in many ways.

    I should also like to thank my hard working colleagues; they have all been extra supportive this half term in the absence of the Captain of our ship!  I am truly grateful for all the assistance, support and encouragement given to me this half term.  Each one of them plays their part to ensure the smooth running of the organisation and work tirelessly to ensure all the children have the best of opportunities and experiences.

    Finally, all that remains is for me to wish you all:-

    A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    We look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 7th January 2020.

    Best wishes

    Sheila Buckley

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 12th DECEMBER 2019

    Published 13/12/19

    Dear parents/carers,

    Christmas celebrations and preparations continue to be the focus of our learning this week; KS2 have been practising for their Carol Service, classes have been busy preparing their Christmas crafts for sale at Friday’s fair, and some have even been designing and making their own festive hats and writing jokes for next week’s Christmas lunches.

    Our PTA have been running the Secret Santa Room this week for pupils to purchase ‘surprise’ gifts for parents and pets!  Thank you to all our volunteers for giving up so much of their time and being so patient with their customers.

    Tuesday kicked off with the reception and KS1 dress rehearsal of their Nativity, ‘I’m gonna shine’.  It was lovely to welcome the village nursery children to watch the show.

    On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon the children performed for parents, grandparents and friends.  They all sang beautifully and most certainly did ‘shine’ with their spectacular performances.  They are looking forward to one more show tomorrow morning.  We are very proud of them all; as we are of all of the teachers who have worked so hard with the children.  A special thank you to Mr and Mrs Balchin for the amazing set and props and to parents for purchasing such ‘show stopping’ costumes.

    Friday looks to be a super busy day, it is Christmas Jumper/Clothing Day, the final nativity performance, after which reception and year one will dash to the village nursery to watch their end of term show.  In the afternoon, we look forward to welcoming you all to the Christmas Fair, where you can purchase all the wonderful crafts made by the children recently.

    Finally, Christmas has certainly come early to our classes with the arrival of all of the items on the teachers’ Amazon wish list.  A massive thank you to parents who had previously purchased items and our wonderful and dedicated PTA for purchasing all items, such a kind donation.  These resources will make such a difference in the classrooms and have been gratefully received by staff and pupils.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Sheila Buckley

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 28 November 2019

    Published 28/11/19

    Next week’s value is Wisdom

     

    “Happy is the person who finds wisdom.  And happy is the person who gets understanding.  Proverbs 3:13

    Dear parents/carers

    Year six started the week with a school trip to the Surrey History Centre.  The class went to find out about Chiddingfold in World War One; they learned many facts, including all about the life of Margaret Arnold, who was a nurse from the village working during the war. 

    Mid-week, our year two classes visited Woolmer Hill for a morning of multi-sports with our confederation schools.

    All classes have visited the Advent Trail in St. Mary’s church this week.  Pupils and staff had the opportunity for a time of reflection, thinking about things they are thankful for, how they could bring light into others’ lives and what small acts they could do to make a difference to others this Christmas.  Children and adults all commented on how much they enjoyed this event and how calm and peaceful these sessions were.  Thank you to Hannah Pye for organising this event for us all.

    On Thursday morning year one headed off to the Weald and Downland Museum to enhance their topic on Houses and Homes whilst the rest of the school were treated to an oustanding performance from year five in their class assembly. The class sang, danced and entertained us with an incredibly funny script. The costumes and props were fantastic, a trojan horse no less, made an appearance!  Well done to Miss Clark and the year five team.

    The week ends with the whole school learning about the Patron Saints of Great Britain.  Thank you to Mrs Ryder and Mrs Bennett for all your hard work organising this day.  If that is not exciting enough, Key Stage One will be treated to a performance from the Pied Piper Theatre company and we look forward to welcoming our villlage nursery children and staff.

    As I read through this week’s events, I realise how lucky our children are for all of these wonderful learning opportunities.  So I need to say a massive thank you to the wonderful St. Mary’s team who work so hard to ensure that all our pupils are provided with exceptional learning experiences. 

    Sadly, at the end of this week, we say farewell to Mrs Edwards, who is leaving us after five years of service.  We are so grateful for all the expertise and wisdom she has brought to her role.  She will be sorely missed, but has promised to return on a voluntary basis.  We will hold her to that!

    Finally, I must unfortunatley inform you that Mrs Radcliffe is not yet fully recovered.  She will therefore not be returning to work until after Christmas.  Our thoughts and best wishes are with her.  All school business continues as normal, as we head into the next busy festive few weeks.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sheila Buckley

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • News - 21 November 2019

    Published 22/11/19

    Next week’s value is Faith

     

    “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in faith and in purity”.  2 Timothy 4:12

    Dear parents/carers

    This week kicked off with all of us still basking in the glory of the performances of the pupils at the Children in Need show held at Woolmer Hill last Friday evening.  Our Key Stage One entry won best act in their age category, well done to Mya, Imogen, Grace and Pippa, (you will be able to see them perform next year at the Haslemere Fringe Festival); Darcey and Sam were our Key Stage Two representatives and both performed with confidence and style! The school choir sang with the other confederation schools, which sounded magnificent.  We could not have been prouder of all of the children who took part, you did yourself, St. Mary’s and Chiddingfold proud!  A special thank you to our music co-ordinator Miss Griffiths for all your hard work leading to this event. St Mary’s also raised £215.40 which is a great effort.

    Myself and Mrs Evans have been carrying out lesson observations this week as part of our termly monitoring procedures and we also met for our half termly governing body meeting.

    This morning Year 3 impressed us with a fabulous performance as they took us on a journey through prehistory from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.  Set against a backdrop of the children’s prehistoric artwork, they spoke and sang out beautifully, and it was wonderful to see the enjoyment on their faces as they took part in their class assembly. Well done and thank you to Mrs Ryder and Mrs Balchin for their hardwork and support with numerous costume changes!

    Mrs Creswell completes her final day of ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) training and will soon start working with individual and groups of children as part of our mental health and resilience initative.

    On Friday morning myself and Miss Clark will be attending our mastery embedding meeting.  This will allow us to build upon the mastery maths within the school and share good practice across the confederation.  Miss Clark will soon be hosting the participating schools where in she has the opportunity to showcase St. Mary’s excellent maths teaching and learning.

    Please may I alert you to the signs put up on School Lane requesting that you refrain from parking there; emergency services would be unable to access the Lane if required.  Thank you in advance for supporting us with this request.

     Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sheila Buckley

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 7 November 2019

    Published 07/11/19

    Next week’s value is Hope

     

    “Faith is what makes real the things we hope for.  It is proof of what we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

    Dear parents/carers

    Welcome back.  I hope you enjoyed a restful half term.  For the staff of St. Mary’s it concluded with celebrating the wedding of our colleague, Miss Howells, now Mrs Evans.  It was a truly splendid day, the bride looked beautiful and very relaxed! I am sure Mrs Evans will share photos in good time!

    Both children and staff have returned to school happy and ready to commence another busy half term.  Classes have been engaged in making poppy wreaths, and writing poems and prayers for our Remembrance Service.

    Pupils and staff have received tag rugby coaching this week, led by the Lions Academy; more of which you can read about below.  Thank you to Mrs Wright for organising.

    Miss Griffiths has been holding her parents evenings this week, as well as attending an Early Years network meeting.

    On Thursday morning, Year 1 presented a very informative and heart warming assembly on their topic, Houses and Homes.  Well done to all the Year 1 team.

    Tomorrow we will be holding a Remembrance Service in the school hall from 10.15am.  The service will be led by Year 6 children with the help of their teacher, Rev Dr Green, Hannah Pye and representatives from the church.

    Finally, unfortunately I have to report that Mrs Radcliffe is unwell and will be off work for the next few weeks. Therefore she will not be responding to any emails.  Please forward all correspondence to myself or the admin team via the school office.  Nonetheless it is business as usual; as Mrs Radcliffe would expect,  with lots of exciting lessons and topics planned. We continue to have the highest expectations of behaviour from all pupils, promoting the school values through all aspects of school life.

    We wish Mrs Radcliffe a speedy recovery!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sheila Buckley

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 24 October 2019

    Published 24/10/19

    Next week’s value is Hope

     

    “Faith is what makes real the things we hope for.  It is proof of what we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

    Dear parents/carers

    On Tuesday evening, parents had the opportunity to meet with class teachers to receive feedback about their child’s attainment and progress, so far, this term. I hope you found these meetings both helpful and informative.

    Unfortunately, we received a report on Tuesday, that our neighbours were significantly inconvenienced by the thoughtlessness of a small minority of parents who parked their cars without consideration for the needs of local residents. One resident was forced to interrupt a meeting to ask teachers to locate the driver of a van that was blocking School Lane. Not only is this inconvenient for residents but it is disruptive to emergency services and potentially dangerous to life. This problem is not confined to parents’ evenings. On many occasions the road is blocked by vehicles, resulting in delays and, more importantly, there is a potential risk to neighbours and to children and staff due to lack of access for emergency service vehicles. We have a number of elderly neighbours who frequently require medical assistance.

    With more parents’ meetings planned for Thursday evening, may I take this opportunity to appeal to parents to be duly considerate when parking outside the school and to use the car park or roadside outside St Teresa’s Catholic Church, opposite the school and across the cricket green whenever possible. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

    One other concern, raised this week, was that of the number of children who have access to age-inappropriate computer games. As part of our school safeguarding procedure, we have an internal filter system that identifies inappropriate internet searches and closes down inappropriate sites. However, it has come to light that children have been searching for ‘Jeff the Killer’ from the ‘Granny Horror Game’ which is a violent online Roblox game which some children have been acting out in the playground. There have been further reports of older children still playing ‘Fortnite’ (which is an age 13 game) and talking about their ‘friends’ on the game. In this age of technology it is vital that parents are vigilant and that they keep up to date with the dangers as well as the value of the internet. There are plenty of sites providing advice for parents, including a free online safety magazine to which you can subscribe for regular updates: https://www.esafety-adviser.com/latest-newsletter/

    This week’s magazine gives information about child safety, YouTube, Hashtags and Wellbeing among other things.

    Teachers are looking forward to the final day of their TEEP (Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement) training programme on Friday. They may also be slightly looking forward to half term next week! The highlight of half term, for Miss Howells, will be her marriage on Friday 1st November. I know you will join me and my colleagues and governors in wishing Miss Howells a splendid wedding day and a long and happy marriage to her lucky spouse. Miss Howells will have a new name when she returns to school on Monday 4th November;

    she will be known as Mrs Evans – a good old Welsh name - to match her new-found status. Good luck Miss Howells! Fingers crossed for good weather!

    I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable half term.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 17th October 2019

    Published 17/10/19

    Next week’s value is Thankfulness

     

    “Let’s come to him with thanksgiving.  Let’s sing songs to him” Psalm 95:2

    Dear parents/carers

    We are delighted to welcome Mr Matthew Leung to our temporary staff team. Mr Leung is a history graduate with a passion for sports and a determination to pursue Qualified Teacher Status. He has many years’ experience of working with children and young people, using his love of sport and his leadership skills to captain and mentor sports teams. We hope Mr Leung will be very happy at St Mary’s School. 

    On Tuesday, our School Council Representatives met with a representative from Surrey Catering Services to discuss the findings of a School Council survey about the St Mary’s lunchtime experience. As an outcome of the meeting, Year 5 volunteers are to be appointed to assist in the dining room, discouraging waste and reinforcing the wider curriculum messages about sustainability and recycling. Children will be encouraged to try new foods at the same time as taking only what they know they will eat; they will be permitted to select salad items as well as, or as an alternative to vegetables, to achieve a balanced diet. Children will be encouraged to be mindful of keeping their food on the plate/table to reduce the mountain of food that so often ends up on the floor!

    Thank you to Miss Howells, who chaired Wednesday’s staff meeting in my absence. Mrs Buckley and I visited Woolmer Hill School, where we met with other Haslemere Confederation School Leaders to discuss the needs of the local community and the services already available. We were pleased to hear about the Haslemere Youth Hub, in St Christopher’s Road, Haslemere, which offers a wide range of activities for children and young people. The Youth Hub offers free after school clubs every day, including Lego, Playdough, games tables and low cost activities for all ages, including Basketball, Cookie Decorating and holiday activities. Check out their website: thehaslemereyouthhub.com and follow on Instagram: @thehaslemerehub;

    telephone: 01428 656687. Facebook: www.facebook.com/thehaslemerehub

    On Thursday, we were delighted to welcome two special visitors. Mrs Anne Hudson from the Good Shepherd Trust and Mrs Jane Winterbone from the Local Authority both enjoyed meeting children and hearing about their learning, including topic work, school trips and personal learning targets. Both visitors were impressed with the way in which children were able to articulate what they were learning. Well done children!

    Another well-deserved mention goes to Miss Howells and her Year 2 class for their brilliant class assembly performance on Thursday. Members of the audience were enthralled to hear Year 2’s account of the story of the Great Fire of London. Children displayed their acting, singing, dancing and creative skills to an appreciative audience.

    Tomorrow (Friday 18th October) will be Celebration Assembly and our final Friday assembly of this half term. Parents are welcome to attend. Start time 2.15pm.

    Have a fun-filled weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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