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NEWS - 19th December

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

RECEPTION

What a fantastic first term we have had in Reception! I can’t believe how well the children have settled into school life. We have made new friendships and developed our relationships to form our new class family.  At the beginning of term, we started our learning based on familiar nursery rhymes to develop pencil control and listening and attention skills.

The children have learned so much already, we now know all our single letter sounds and are well on our way to becoming champion readers and writers. Our ‘People Who Help Us’ theme is always a big hit and the children loved the role play police, fire fighters and hospital. They put their new letter sounds to good use writing speeding tickets; directions to the fire exits and patient information sheets.

Over the course of this term, we have learned about various celebrations, traditions and customs from Harvest Festival, to birthdays, bonfire night to Diwali and finally Christmas!  I think you will agree that Reception made perfect angels in the school production, and sang beautifully. I was so very proud of them all.  We have learned the story of the first Christmas and acted it out in class. We all helped to paint the story scene and each wrote a sentence on the computer. 

This week we have moved our focus to all things Santa. The children have been writing letters, counting presents, wrapping and weighing parcels, and of course loading them onto the sleigh to deliver.

Thank you all for a wonderful first term with your delightful children. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Happy holidays everyone,

Jody Griffiths

YEAR 1

It has been a delight to watch the children grow in confidence this half-term as the routines and expectations of Year 1 become more familiar.

We are learning to be more independent in choosing resources to help with our learning and in managing our own belongings. The children are enjoying the responsibility of taking on independent learning tasks and working hard to improve the content and presentation of these each week. They have now selected some of their favourite pieces to be displayed in their topic books.

The children have really engaged with our topic of Houses and Homes. They have been fascinated by the different types of homes, from Celtic Roundhouses to Victorian homes. They were particularly keen to spot features of Tudor homes within the village! The children thoroughly enjoyed the trip to The Weald and Downland Museum. They learnt about different building techniques, how people used to live and the conditions they had to endure – seven children in one bed, for example.

Our science learning on Materials has worked perfectly when exploring the materials used to construct buildings through the ages. The children can describe the properties of a range of materials using scientific language and they now know which materials are best for rooves, windows and walls.

This is only a snapshot of the learning that has taken place this term. As you can see, we have been very busy and we are now looking forward to Christmas. We loved being shepherds in our Nativity play and we hope that you enjoyed watching the show.

Merry Christmas.

YEAR 2P

It’s hard to believe that only four months ago I was quivering in my court shoes, worrying about how life was going to be at a new school with new colleagues and a brand new set of children to teach. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming at St Mary’s, I feel like I have been part of the team for years and yet, conversely, the weeks have flown by!

It’s been a really busy term for us all and, when I reflect on my experiences with 2P, I am struggling to pick out just a few highlights from the many that I have in mind. Undoubtedly, the children have loved the Great Fire of London topic. From making bread ala the Pudding Lane baker Thomas Farriner to creating Tudor houses (and burning them down), the children have been really ‘fired up’ by this topic! It was great to see the enthusiasm on the children’s faces during a trip to the Museum of London when they had the chance to look at films, pictures and artefacts that all helped to bring 1666 to life.

In the classroom, the children have already made great strides across different subjects, consolidating and expanding their Maths and Literacy knowledge and absorbing lots of new information about topics from recycling and road laying to Diwali and dance! Visits by local police officers, the Pied Piper Theatre Group and British Lions Rugby have also helped to teach the children a huge amount about a broad range of topics. We really have packed a lot in to the time that we have spent together!

In October, 2P enjoyed dramatising the Gunpowder Plot for our class assembly. I loved seeing the children coming out of their shells in order to sing, dance and generally entertain the audience, whilst imparting important historical facts about a plot that could have dramatically changed British life. The performance was a great warm up for the nativity play that has given the two classes a wonderful opportunity to work together to put on a heart-warming production for the festive season.

At which point I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Mrs Porter, 2P Class Teacher

YEAR 2E - Fire, Flames and Festivals

IMG_6669Year 2E have had a fantastic Autumn term learning all about the Great Fire of London.  We started the topic by learning about life in the 17th century, before finding out how the fire began and exploring the reasons why it spread.  There were many links to other curriculum areas such as Literacy, Art, D&T and Music.  We wrote instructions for making bread rolls, recounts about our school trip, and stories about the fire.

In Music, we found out more about important people during the Great Fire, such as Samuel Pepys, Thomas Bludworth and King Charles II, as we prepared for our super class assembly by learning and performing fact filled songs.  We designed and built our own Tudor style houses out of cereal boxes, and, just like the baker Tom Farriner, we made bread rolls at our very own Pudding Lane bakery.  Thankfully we remembered to turn the oven off!

In November we visited the Museum of London where we ‘Walked the Great Fire’ and spent some time exploring artefacts in the museum.  Our guides were very impressed with the breadth of our knowledge and our enthusiasm for our topic!

In December, we had a very exciting morning when fire fighters from Haslemere Fire Station came to talk to us about fire safety, before showing us their fire engine and setting our model Tudor Houses alight to demonstrate just how quickly fire can spread! 

YEAR 3

Year 3 have had a fantastic Autumn Term learning all about the Stone Age to the Iron Age.  In September, we were fortunate enough to start our topic with an interesting visit to Butser Ancient Farm where we took part in authentic Stone Age activities such as chalk carving, building a wattle fence, making pottery and even becoming archaeologists digging up bones and other artefacts!  We were based in our very own smoky Iron Age roundhouse with real deerskins on the floor and a fire burning in the hearth.

On our return, we continued our learning in class, and have explored life for people in the Stone Age to the Iron Age by writing instructions on how to wash a woolly mammoth, making cave paintings using charcoal, chalk and clay, preparing our own choreography of a Stonehenge dance, writing news reports about the discovery of Skara Brae, and even making our own models of woolly mammoths and fire collages.

Children gave an excellent performance during our class assembly, all dressed in their brilliant costumes, knowing their lines and singing their songs. “We are the mammoth hunters” was definitely our number one hit!

YEAR 4

What a busy term it has been! Year 4 have been hard at work in all areas of the curriculum: in Maths we have covered number and place value, calculations, time, shape and data; in English we have learnt about traditional fables and we have completed a scheme of work about the book ‘How to Train Your Dragon’; and in Science we have looked at electricity and changing states of matter.

Most exciting though has been our topic this term: The Romans. Year 4 have absolutely loved learning about this ancient and sophisticated civilization, from the very start of the Roman Empire and their ruling system to the invasion of Britain. We have had many opportunities for art and design, using pastels to draw pre-Roman Celtic shields and recyclable materials to create miniature chariots. We have also learnt to recognise and respond to Roman army commands in Latin – not as easy as it sounds! Here are a few for you to try out at home:

Parati – get ready                            Equaliter ambula – march forwards

Redi – about turn                            Dexter – turn right

Sinister – turn left                           Claudio – halt                 

Percute – charge!

Year 4 also created some fantastic Roman Villas for their home project, which you can see in and near the Year 4 classroom until the end of term.

We can’t wait to start our new topic next term which will be World War Two. I hope everyone in Year 4 has a lovely Christmas and I look forward to seeing the children again next year.

Merry Christmas! 

YEAR 5

It has been a wonderful term for Year 5 as we have been studying Ancient Greece! It has certainly been busy but we have enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. We have already looked at Greek gods and goddesses, the Olympics, democracy and so many myths.

We enjoyed a great trip to Legoland where we sat through a ‘Greek time traveller workshop’ – Year 5 definitely impressed the staff with their prior knowledge. We are realising just how much the Greeks have affected our lives today!

We also had an incredible Greek day – I’m not sure we stopped smiling! We put on our ‘Troy Story’ show; singing songs, showing off our dance moves and we even made our very own Trojan horse (who was certainly popular with the crowd). After break, we had a fashion show to show off our fantastic outfits. To end the day, we had a food-tasting event. Some of us tried food we had never heard of before – it’s safe to say the stuffed vine leaves were a little too salty for our liking!

We have loved learning about Greece!

We will certainly enjoy the Christmas festivities during December!

YEAR 6

It has been a busy term in Year 6 and the class are now settled into their important roles as pupil leaders. Our main topic for the term has been World War I and we have learnt about everything from how and why the war started, life in the trenches and life at home during the war, to the development of women’s roles in society as a result of the ongoing conflicts.

This topic was enhanced by an interesting visit to the Imperial War Museum in London; we were fascinated by the artefacts and exhibits and also had an opportunity to dress up and experience what life in the trenches was like. In addition to this trip, we also visited the Surrey History Centre in Woking where we found out about local people who served during World War 1. We were particularly interested to find out about Margaret Arnold, a WW1 nurse from Chiddingfold, who is the only woman listed on the memorial outside St Mary’s Church.

As well as finding out all about World War 1, Year 6 also made the most of the General Election as a fantastic opportunity to learn about the work of Parliament. We were lucky enough to have a resource box on loan from the House of Commons; inside the box was a range of artefacts, such as a speakers robe, mace, dispatch box and a House of Commons and House of Lords backdrop. This led us into some fantastic debates within the class, as well as making up our own Bills, which we then tried to persuade each other to make law. This work developed into creating our own political parties, writing manifestos, recording party political broadcasts and holding a mock election with the rest of KS2! I think many of us are destined for a career in parliament!

We are looking forward to next term and our new topic about the Victorians, 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 our fast approaching SATs tests in May, with intensive lessons in all core subjects.

Have a lovely Christmas and a well-deserved break!