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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 16th May 2019

    Published 16/05/19

    Next week’s value is Kindness

     

    “A smile makes people happy.  Good news makes them feel better.” Proverbs 15:30

    Dear parents/carers

    Other schools may have been solemn places this week but not so, St Mary’s. Our Year 6 children ‘enjoyed’ taking their SATs papers and all of them benefited from just the right healthy dose of adrenaline to boost their performance. That said, I am sure they are glad it’s all over because Mrs Newton has so many more exciting things in store for them this term!

    Year 2 will take their SATs papers next week. Miss Howells has written to parents to give an outline but there are no special requirements of children or parents other than to remain calm and check that children have a healthy diet and plenty of sleep.

    This week’s value of the week (empathy) has been well demonstrated by children in classes not taking SATs papers. Children have shown an awareness that the tests are in progress and they have shown due respect, modifying their behaviour and adapting their noise levels to ensure they did not disturb the hard-working examinees.

    We are looking forward to Chiddfest on Saturday and our grateful thanks go to Mr Crocker, the church choirmaster, and Kate from The Music Works, for their support in preparing children and teachers respectively for this weekend’s event. I don’t want to give too much away but I am prepared to advise that a handkerchief might be a useful accessory to pack on the day!

    With the curriculum under review, we are always looking at ways to broaden opportunities for our children. This week, teachers have been talking about careers education for pupils. We would like to invite any parent, grandparent, friend or associate of St Mary’s School to consider giving up a short spell of their time to talk to children about career opportunities within their field of employment. Please see more about this below and do let Mrs Oqvist know if you think you could contribute to our proposed ‘Careers Fair’.

    Mrs Wright was keen to tell me that she and Mr Hanson enjoyed a lovely afternoon of football on Wednesday this week. For more information, see Mrs Wright’s report below, but suffice for me to say that I was delighted to hear that the selected pupils’ behaviour was second-to-none! Well done, boys! Another case of St Mary’s pupils being good ambassadors for our school!

    Have a fabulous weekend. See you on Saturday!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • News - 9th MAY 2019

    Published 09/05/19

    Next week’s value is Empathy

    “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15

    Dear parents/carers

    What a funny week that was! No Monday and already, it’s Thursday! How did that happen?

    Nevertheless, St Mary’s School has been its usual hive of activity, starting with Tuesday’s Eco-brick workshops when children learned about the importance of recycling and considered ways to dispose of, and even make good use of their waste. This is both timely and fascinating. Did you see an article in this week’s news about the recycling of human waste to make useful products? And a US based company is already converting 100 per cent plastic waste into an alternative building material. 

    The problem of plastic waste is massive; according to statistics by the World Economic Forum, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic waste in our oceans than there are fish! So innovations that turn could turn mountains of trash into functional products are crucial to our handling of the problem. We are making a start and hopefully encouraging children to pursue new careers that might involve innovative solutions to tackling waste. For an interesting article on how waste can be used to make products such as ‘newspaper wood’, ‘nappy roofing’, ‘mushroom walls’ and ‘Plasphalt’, may I suggest a visit to the following website:

    https://www.citymetric.com/skylines/9-building-materials-made-entirely-waste-products-932

    Our thanks to Mrs Creswell for organising the Ecobricks workshops.

    Teachers and children have been practising furiously for their performance at Chiddfest (more about this below, including deadline dates for purchasing online tickets and details of timings and supervision for children who are performing on the day).

    You may know that Miss Clark, our maths subject leader, has been regularly engaging in research and learning about the teaching of maths for mastery, through the Surrey Maths Hub. On Friday we are expecting a number of visitors to St Mary’s, including headteachers and mathematicians from other schools, who will observe Miss Clark’s delivery of a mastery maths lesson with her own class. We are very proud of Miss Clark, who, although relatively new to the teaching profession, has developed the confidence and charisma to present to a large audience so that, not only is she serving St Mary’s well but can have a potentially much wider influence, both across the confederation and trust schools. And Miss Clark really did volunteer with no arm twisting required! Well done, Miss Clark; we all think you’re amazing!

    Next week is KS2 SATS week so I hope Year 6 children will get plenty of fresh air and rest this weekend. If recent practice tests are anything to go by, I know that they will do their very best and make us all very proud!

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

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  • News - 2nd MAY 2019

    Published 02/05/19

    Next week’s value is Empathy

    “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15

    Dear parents/carers

    Mrs Buckley and I have been keeping an eye on children’s uniform this week. The majority of children are in the correct attire but please do familiarise yourself with uniform requirements and ensure that children are correctly attired, with no extraneous embellishments such as tattoos, earrings and/or over-sized hair accessories. Thank you for your cooperation.

    There was no uniform for Year 3 children on Monday, however, since they were all dressed as characters from the 1912 voyage of the RMS Titanic. Children enjoyed welcoming a very knowledgeable visitor from Godalming Museum who brought interesting artefacts and told the children more about that fateful Titanic voyage.

    Children and teachers alike have been practising their singing performance for the forthcoming Chiddfest concert (Saturday 18 May). This promises to be yet another very exciting event, suitable for all ages, and it is hope that as many families as possible will attend. Tickets can be purchased on line at:

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=chidfest&form=IE9TR&src=IE9TR&pc=MDDRJS

    Gates open at 12.30pm.

    Remember Monday is Bank Holiday; let’s hope for some splendid weather and an opportunity to get outdoors.

    If you are partying over the weekend, don’t worry about what to do with those empty plastic drinks bottles because, on their return to school on Tuesday, children can bring them with them to recycle them in our Ecobricks morning workshops. Ecobricks are plastic bottles which can be filled with other plastic materials to create a dense product that can be used as a  building block. For more information about Ecobricks, visit: https://www.bing.com/search?q=ecorbicks&form=IE9TR&src=IE9TR&pc=MDDRJS

    Parents, these days, have a lot to contend with, not least the imperative to teach children about recycling and sustainability. Since the explosion of technology, they have the additional safety concerns associated with the over-use or potentially inappropriate use of the internet and social media. The following E-safety materials might help; they are new resources available on line. You can find out more about how to keep your children safe, including for older children, using the links below (see Internet Safety). 

    One way to keep children off the internet and get them into the great outdoors is to wake them up at 4.30am and encourage them to listen to the Dawn Chorus! More about an opportunity to do this below.

    I hope you enjoy listening to the birds and that you have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend.

    See you all on Tuesday!

    Internet Safety

    Keeping under 7s safe online

    https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/our-views/how-you-can-keep-your-under-7s-safe-online/?utm_source=Thinkuknow&utm_campaign=a2f3bcc3b7-EMAIL_TUK_APRIL_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b54505554-a2f3bcc3b7-55094469

    ‘ThinkUKnow Toolkit 11+’  tackles a wide range of issues including child exploitation and digital dating.

    https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/resources/thinkuknow-toolkit/?utm_source=Thinkuknow&utm_campaign=a2f3bcc3b7-EMAIL_TUK_APRIL_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b54505554-a2f3bcc3b7-55094469

    Tips for parents on using Bluetooth devices safely

    https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/what-is-the-internet-of-things-iot/?utm_source=Thinkuknow&utm_campaign=a2f3bcc3b7-EMAIL_TUK_APRIL_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b54505554-a2f3bcc3b7-55094469

    I hope you enjoy listening to the birds and that you have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend.

    See you all on Tuesday!

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 4th APRIL 2019

    Published 04/04/19

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We have such an action packed, fun-filled newsletter for you this week; perhaps the less said by me the better! Hopefully, this will give you time to read and savour the accounts of this term’s exciting activities!

    As you will see, it has been an eventful term. The one thing missing from the reports below is reference to the Ofsted visit; not the sort of thing you expect to see colourfully illustrated, but we are still celebrating the written Ofsted report that confirms St Mary’s is a ‘good’ school which supports the outstanding welfare and personal development of its pupils. The report says that pupils leave St Mary’s as confident, articulate people who are ready to play their part in the wider community. This last point is well illustrated when we consider the work of our children including Pupil Leadership Team and School Council representatives, all of whom are truly innovative in their fundraising ideas and extremely mature in their desire to help others less fortunate than themselves. Thank you children; you are an inspiration and great ambassadors for our Christian School!

    I should like to add my thanks to parents and governors for your continuing support and to my esteemed colleagues, both in school and at the Good Shepherd trust, for their invaluable contribution, commitment and continuing good humour. It is a pleasure to play a small part in this incredible team.

    All that remains is for me to wish you a wonderful Easter and a safe and happy holiday.

    I look forward to seeing you all again on Wednesday 24th April.

    Best wishes

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head Teacher

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  • NEWS - 28 MARCH 2019

    Published 28/03/19

    “How great is God’s love for all who worship him?  Greater than the distance between heaven and earth”!

     

    Dear parents/carers

    In the penultimate week of term, we watched the drama club deliver a confident and engaging performance for the school. Some of our Year 6 children played netball in County Qualifiers at Rodborough School and today Year 2 informed and entertained us with their assembly all about our wonderful world.  The children spoke out beautifully and wowed us with their amazing facts.  Great work from the pupils and thank you to their hard-working teachers.

    Year 6 set off to London on Tuesday to visit the natural history museum to enhance their science topic, they spent the morning looking at exhibits linked to evolution including dinosaurs, fossils and early man.  The children were impeccably behaved and great ambassadors for our school.

    Next week is the last week of term and there is still lots going on.  The photographer will be in school on Monday morning for class photos, please ensure your child is wearing the correct uniform.  The Easter Service will take place in the church on Tuesday morning and will be led by Year Three.  Everyone is very welcome to attend.

    Those children participating in the Easter Bonnet competition need to bring their masterpieces in on Wednesday. Photographs will be sent to the Surrey Advertiser and prizes will be awarded to the most creative from each class on Friday.

    On Thursday Year 1B will deliver their class assembly and Friday at 9am will be the final assembly of the term, completed certificates will be presented in this assembly.  School closes at 1.30pm for the Easter break.  Please take home PE kits and have a rummage in the lost property bin, you will be amazed what you can find in there!  Summer term begins for the teachers on 23rd April for an INSET day in which we will be developing and enhancing our curriculum. Term begins for children on Wednesday 24th April.

    Don’t forget clocks go forward this weekend!  Happy Mothering Sunday.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sheila Buckley

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  • NEWS - 21 MARCH 2019

    Published 21/03/19

    “How great is God’s love for all who worship him?  Greater than the distance between heaven and earth”!

    Dear parents/carers

    This week we were lucky enough to see two, consecutive class assemblies. On Wednesday, Class 1LS shared what they have been learning throughout their ‘inventions’ topic and audience members discovered what life might have been like before the invention of dishwashers! Can you imagine?  This morning saw the hall transformed into a tropical rainforest, as Year 3 pupils encouraged us to think about the environment and the animals within it. Thank you to all our Year 1 and Year 3 children and to their hard-working teachers. A special mention should go to Mrs Balchin for her artistic contribution to costumes and props. 

    As a further mark of their interest in wild-animals and their habitats, older children recently instigated a mufti day and collection for the World Wildlife Fund Charity, a leading independent conservation organisation. We were delighted that children were able to raise over £200, which will be donated to WWF. A WWF representative will come into school on Monday to collect the cheque. Well done children, what caring citizens we have a St Mary’s School.

    Two Year 6 pupils also displayed the characteristics of caring and community-minded citizens this week when they went out on a litter picking exercise one afternoon after school. Thank you to Fergus and Kayleb who borrowed litter picker implements from school to collect a whole black bin-bag full of rubbish from the local field. Their reported findings comprised crisp packets and polystyrene fish and chip containers! I hope that all St Mary’s children will help to keep our local community areas clean by using the bins provided.  

    The real highlight of the week may be yet to come, as it will no doubt be this evening’s PTA School Disco!   KS1 children will be dancing the night away from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and KS2 children can ‘strut their stuff’ from 7.15pm to 8.15pm! Thank you in advance to our supportive PTA members who will be organising and ‘manning’ the event to raise much-needed funds for our school. We ask parents to kindly collect children promptly at the end of the dance and take them home without delay. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

    Next week is our final clubs week of the term but please note that clubs that are normally run by class teachers will not be happening in lieu of parents’ evenings; these are scheduled to take place from 3.30pm to 6.00pm on Tuesday and from 3.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday. Please be sure to sign up for your meeting and may we ask that you stick to your allocated time of 10 minutes. If a longer meeting is required, please arrange this for a separate time with your child’s class teacher.

    Have a fantastic weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

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  • NEWS - 14 MARCH 2019

    Published 14/03/19

    Dear parents/carers

     

    Perhaps we were premature in celebrating the good weather recently! However, the sun always shines at St Mary’s and we have had another happy, busy and productive week.

    For my own part, I have been meeting colleagues for mid-year appraisals and catching up, in pupil progress meetings, with pupils’ end of year, academic expectations. All looks positive with the majority of pupils on track to achieve positive outcomes and good progress by the end of the year. For the small minority of children who do not make as much progress as we would like, and who may need that little bit more encouragement, we offer additional support in school and we urge parents to help at home too, by ensuring children read regularly and are encouraged to enter into conversation.

    On Tuesday, some of our more able writers participated in ‘Able Writers’ Workshops at Chandler School. Our thanks to Chandler for hosting the event and to Mrs Chaplin who escorted the group. Also on Tuesday, Mrs Newton attended a training session with Babcock assessment guru, Karen Elcombe, to reinforce our understanding of assessment for writing. Year 6 writing, unlike other end-of-year Key Stage 2 National Curriculum test subjects, is assessed by the class teacher.

    On Wednesday, children in Year 1 went to the Discovery Centre to supplement their topic work on ‘Inventions’. Our thanks to Mrs Spong, Mrs Lawrence and Mrs Bennett for arranging this exciting event for children and well done to Year 1’s for their excellent behaviour! 

    You may have heard, in the news, that a huge number of schools are suffering financial hardship. The chair of governors of one South Gloucestershire Primary School told BBC interviewers that he was ‘trying to operate on a shoestring’. A coalition of teachers' unions has warned that the majority of individual schools will have lost funding in real terms between 2015 and 2020.

    Many schools are in the same position and St Mary’s is no different. Like the Gloucestershire School, we are ever-mindful of spending. Our priority is to retain teachers and assistants in classrooms and to provide high quality educational resources. We regularly ask parents for donations, through the school fund, and we are very grateful to those parents who are able to help, with any amount. Please note that this is a voluntary donation and your children will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to contribute.

    A significant part of our budget is spent on classroom resources, such as glue, paper, writing implements etc.  If any parent feels able to support us by providing writing implements, good quality printer paper or glue and pencils etc, this would be very much appreciated. Should you wish to contribute, please see the attachment to this newsletter for a list of resources, which could help the school. We thank you in anticipation of your voluntary support.

    Have a good weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 7 MARCH 2019

    Published 07/03/19

    Next week’s value is Justice

    “Learn to do good.  Look for what is right and fair.” Isaiah 1:17

    Dear parents/carers

    SING IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! ST MARY’S SCHOOL IS A ‘GOOD’ SCHOOL!

    So says the Ofsted report (FEBRUARY 2019), which will be distributed to parents this afternoon.

    Please look out for a hard copy of the final report in children’s bags today.  You can also find a copy on the school website.

    As you can imagine, the report has been the main topic of conversation in the staff room this week but there has been much more on the agenda, as always.

    Last week ended on a high with yet another spectacular performance from M&M Theatrical Productions.  The company put on their classic literature adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which was delivered with energy, enthusiasm, lights and music and had our children hooked!  We particularly enjoyed celebrating our ‘unbirthdays’ with the Mad Hatter, the hare and Alice at their tea party!  The show was followed by a workshop for our Year 6 pupils who had the opportunity to find out more about what happens behind the scenes of such a fabulous production.  Thank you to parents for your contributions, which give children the chance to experience such high quality live theatre right here in our school hall.

    On Wednesday, Year 5 visited the Planetarium in Winchester to find out more about their Space topic.  The children spoke enthusiastically about what they enjoyed about the day – including watching a show where it felt like they were in the sky!  More information about Year 5’s exciting day can be found in next week’s bulletin.

    Year 5 aren’t the only ones to be out and about this week, today has been lovely weather for Year 3’s visit to Kew Gardens where they have been learning more about plants and rainforests.  Further details about their trip to follow in next week’s bulletin.

    Back in school, Year 1’s were the latest classes to take part in the Mini-Mile this week, an activity run by Mrs Wright and our Year 6 Sports Crew which promotes the benefits of getting active.  An obstacle course with mini hurdles and slaloms was set up on the tennis courts for our Year 1 pupils to tackle and enjoy!

    As we approach the end of another busy week, we would like to remind you that tomorrow (Friday 8th March) children are invited to come to school dressed as an animal for a donation of £1 to WWF, an idea put forward by the Pupil Leadership Team and yet another example of our children’s courageous advocacy and charitable nature!

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

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  • NEWS - 28 FEBRUARY 2019

    Published 28/02/19

    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

    Dear parents/carers

    I hope you were able to make the most of the wonderful weather during half term! How fortunate we were to experience ‘above average’ temperatures for this time of year!  Over half term our new Outdoor Classroom has been installed thanks to the fundraising of the 3 Peaks Team!  We are very excited by the new addition to the playground and look forward to many outdoor learning opportunities.

    The second half of the spring term has got off to a flying start! I have been reflecting, alongside my busy colleagues, on how it seems like more than four days since we returned to school after the half term! Monday was the first of our earlier-timed assemblies, since we adjusted the timetable to fit in more curriculum time.  On Wednesday, I attended an all-day training event at the Good Shepherd Trust offices, when head teachers heard, from a practising psychologist, about the latest developments and provisions offered by Educational Psychology Services. During the afternoon, we were privileged to receive detailed and well-informed child protection/safeguarding training. 

    This afternoon, Mrs Buckley and I meet with the Trust’s Director of Education. We will talk through our experience of the recent inspection, in respect of which we expect to receive a formal account of findings at some point during the next couple of weeks. Please look out for the report in an A4-size envelope in children’s bags.

    Tomorrow, to finish off the week, children in all classes are to be treated to a performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ presented by ‘M and M Productions’. There will no Monday morning assembly and no Celebration Assembly next week.

    Two of our teaching assistants will be out of school tomorrow. They will be attending the training centre at Guildford Church House, where they will learn about supporting teaching and learning in Early Years.  Mid-year staff appraisals are due to commence next week. As well as assessing teachers progress towards meeting their predicted targets for pupil outcomes at the end of this year, this provides me with an opportunity to thank all of my colleagues for their invaluable contribution to the school.

    Finally, a reminder that next Friday (8 February), children may come to school dressed as animals, in return for a small fee (£1). This is to support the World Wildlife Fund, a charity which raises money to help sick and injured animals. This is a cause that is very dear to our children’s hearts. The Mufti Day was instigated by our Pupil Leadership Team and School Council! This is yet another example of children displaying caring attitudes and the values we try to promote. Aren’t they all wonderful! 

    Have a super weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

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  • NEWS - 14 FEBRUARY 2019

    Published 14/02/19

    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

    Dear parents/carers

    Our Book Fair has been very popular this week (Book Week). Children and teachers are looking forward to returning to school at 6.15pm for an evening of Bedtime Stories. Thank you in advance to teachers for giving up their time and for our kind-hearted PTA members who will be providing hot chocolate.

    Tomorrow is Book Character Dress Up Day when children can come to school dressed as a character from a book of their choosing. There have been a few Mufti Days in recent weeks and we are aware that this can be costly for parents, so there will be no charge for the privilege, on this occasion.

    Well done to Pupil Leaders who prepared and delivered an assembly on the subjects of Resilience and Positive Mental Health this week. Should you or your children wish to see the presentation, you can find a copy of the PowerPoint, used in the Assembly, located in the pupil leadership section of the school website at: https://www.stmaryschidd.org/

    For those of you who may have missed Miss Howell’s and Miss Clark’s presentations last Thursday evening, you can find the Literacy and Maths Leaders presentations on the school website.

    On Tuesday, Mrs Buckley attended the annual SEND Conference to learn about latest developments regarding the care and support of children with additional learning needs. Mrs Buckley came back to school, armed with a wealth of information, which she has already shared with colleagues.

    For my own part, I was invited to give feedback to other School Leaders, regarding my reflections on the school’s recent Ofsted experience and there was more training for Mrs Chaplin, who attended a Paediatric First Aid Course.

    Finally, a reminder that tomorrow’s Celebration Assembly is the last, regular gathering of its kind. Future Celebration Assemblies will take place half termly however, parents will be notified, via the ‘Seesaw’ App, if their child has received a nomination and Jigsaw piece.

    Have a wonderful weekend and a very safe and happy half term.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

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  • NEWS - 7 FEBRUARY 2019

    Published 07/02/19

    Next week’s value is Honesty

    “Honest people can always feel secure, but lying cheaters will be caught.”

    Proverbs 10:9

    Dear parents/carers

    Well, that was the week, that was!

    Our school values – hope – respect – community – and wisdom, have been played out in every corner of the school this week. Ofsted Inspectors spent two days with us, this Tuesday and Wednesday. We thank parents for their support and patience in case of any short delays in responding to your communications. Thank you to those parents who took the time to respond to Ofsted’s letter and request for your views and opinions about our school. You can of course, access the Ofsted Parent View portal, at any time, to upload your comments. Naturally, if you have cause for concern, we recommend that you raise this with the school, in the first instance.  

    The inspection outcome is highly confidential.  Staff do not know the outcome and will be unable to discuss Inspection findings with you. However, we do expect to receive a draft report within the next three or four weeks (excluding half term). Once in receipt of the final report, and Ofsted’s authorisation to publish it, we will share this with parents, without further delay.

    Inspectors were somewhat surprised to see children arriving dressed as doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients on Tuesday, many of the children displaying apparently quite serious injuries! One boy hobbled round school on crutches all day and there were multiple cases of ‘red spots’, some of which remain, to this day, having been produced using rather indelible marker pen! Hopefully, the weekend’s bath-time scrub will resolve this issue, so that children can make a ‘fresh-faced’ start on Monday. The sum total of money raised through Mufti donations and the after school Cake Sale, was just a little short of £300! Well done to children and thanks to parents for your support. Special thanks should go to Kayleb in Year 6, who, on learning about the plight of Chiddingfold Surgery, used his initiative to instigate the Mufti Day. Look out for more information and photographs in the Haslemere Herald!

    A reminder that there is a timetables and spelling information evening for parents of children in Years 2 to 6, this evening, Thursday 7th February 2019 at 6.30pm; our thanks, in advance, to PTA members who have kindly agreed to serve refreshments from 6.15pm. 

    Finally, a reminder that this Friday will be the penultimate Celebration Assembly. When we return to school after half term, Celebration Assemblies will occur only once every half term. Parents are however, invited to join us for Monday assemblies at 10.10 am and/or the short Friday replacement assembly at 9.00am weekly. The extra time, on Friday afternoons, will be used to further extend the time available for teaching an increasingly rich and varied curriculum.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe
    Head teacher

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  • NEWS - 31 JANUARY 2019

    Published 31/01/19

    Next week’s value is Honesty

    “Honest people can always feel secure, but lying cheaters will be caught.” Proverbs 10:9

    Dear parents/carers

    Year 6 children had a wonderful time at Haslemere Museum this week. They learned more about the process of scientific classification - grouping animals and plants according to their characteristics – and impressed our hosts with their excellent behaviour, scientific knowledge and extensive vocabulary. Well done to children and a big thank you to Mrs Buckley and her helpers for their support. Although Mrs Newton was absent from this trip (she was attending a Science Day led, by the Guildford Science Learning Partnership), she deserves a mention, since it was she, who taught the children their impressive scientific vocabulary! What a team!

    Another mention should go to Year 4 children and Miss Hampshire, for their presentation of a wonderful class assembly on the topic of ‘The Egyptians’. Children performed the ‘chicken peck’ dance with great enthusiasm and they described, in goriest detail, the process of mummification of the Egyptian gods. Costumes and part-singing were wonderful and the audience was thrilled with the show! 

    School leaders are looking, beyond Ofsted, to a full curriculum review, and an impending SIAMS inspection. Although the latter may not be imminent, it is, nevertheless, imperative to maintain a focus and momentum in all areas of our school.  Mrs Spong is our Religious Education Leader and Mrs Ryder our Christian Distinctiveness Officer. Between them, they lead the coverage of Religious Education and ensure that children are familiar with the school’s over-riding values (hope – respect – community - wisdom). Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are promoted, as they learn about cultures and beliefs beyond their own; they consider important issues, such as nature, global warming, environmental degradation and climate change.  We encourage children to look beyond themselves as we promote pupils’ character development, through philosophical enquiry and teaching about ‘disadvantage’, ‘deprivation’ and the ‘exploitation’ of the natural world. Children are encouraged to show respect and compassion, being positive, hopeful, charitable and aspirational, in all that they do. 

    On Tuesday, there will be a Mufti Day and Cake Sale to raise funds to support those impacted by the fire at Chiddingfold Surgery. We hope that all children will bring in £1 for the privilege of dressing up as a nurse, doctor or patient and that parents will support the Cake Sale, to support this worthy cause. More about this in the body of the bulletin, below.

    Next week, (Tuesday), is Safer Internet day. You can find out more by following the following links: www.saferinternetday.org and https://www.betterinternetforkids.eu/,  both of which have information for parents to help you to make every day a Safe Internet Day. It is especially important to take account of age restrictions on internet games, such as ‘Fortnight’, which has been blamed for inappropriate language used by children as young as 9 and 10. Studies have shown that free access to phones and social media can lead to addiction. Children are not always able to exercise the control required and there is a requirement for adults to step in to protect them. Employers have reported that they are dealing with young employees, entering the workplace, with established addiction; some of the youngest employees choose to work with their phone facing up, next to them, so that they can observe them, repeatedly, all day long! The science is alarming; experiments on mice have shown that the brains of individuals exposed to flashing lights, which mimic the computer screen and mobile phone, take three times as long as those not exposed to the lights, to solve problems. Excessive use of mobile phones and social media can also interfere with the development of healthy relationships.

    My message is this: ‘It’s okay for parents to say No!

    Have a brilliant (techno-free?) weekend!  Perhaps there will be a chance of some snow?
    Have a wonderful weekend!      

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head teacher

     

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