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News - 12th November

Dear Parents/Carers 
 
What a busy few weeks we have had!  During half term, our school community busied themselves making and selling various items to raise money for our artificial grass project.  I was totally blown away with the effort put in and the magnificent quality of the items sold.  You certainly have inspired the teachers when it comes to Christmas gift making this year and definitely raised the bar! (No pressure teachers!)  
 
The second half of autumn term has got off to a superb start with so many wonderful learning experiences occurring for both pupils and staff.  
 
Year 6 have been busy making connections near and far, writing to our elderly residents to let them know what has been going on in school, ensuring our community stays connected and bringing a little piece of happiness during these ‘strange’ times. 
 
Well done to Alfie in Year 4, who has also reached out to our elderly neighbours by making little bags of sweet treats for the members of the ‘Lunch Club’ this week.  I had a phone call from Faith Reynolds, who commented that it had made her day and how she was looking forward to delivering them to the elderly tomorrow with their lunches.  She said, “it will bring so much joy”!   
 
Year 6 have also made a connection with a school in Malawi, which will become a whole school initiative and be embedded into our curriculum.  Children will share experiences of their respective lives and pupils at St Mary’s will learn about global citizenship, conflict resolution, diversity, human rights, interdependence, social justice and sustainable developments.  

Teachers have taken part in training in the last couple of weeks on Religious Education, supporting pupils with ADHD and ‘The Write Stuff’ programme, as we work to further develop creative and extended writing opportunities and outcomes for all pupils. 
 
Next week, a virtual tour of the school will be filmed on Tuesday and Wednesday, pupils are to come to school in full winter uniform, PE kits can be brought in a bag.  We will attempt to keep them all neat and tidy for the duration of the two days, wish us luck! 
 
Finally, we have had a call about children cycling to school not being visible to drivers. Please ensure your children are wearing high-vis jackets and speak to them about road safety, particularly in reference to these dark mornings and evenings. 
 
Have a lovely weekend 
 
Mrs Buckley 
 
Headteacher  

PHOTOGRAPHS

Reception class photos are in this week’s local papers; he Surrey Ad and The Haslemere Herald. 
 
Please ensure that your individual class photos are ordered online or to the school office by Tuesday 17th November.

Diary Dates

13th Nov Children in Need – mufti

17th Nov Nasal Flu Vaccinations

7th Dec Nativity dress rehearsal KS1 8th Dec Nativity KS1 (no audience) TBC Carol Performances KS2 (no audience)

9th Dec Santa Dash – All pupils come to school in PE Kit

15th Dec R + KS1 Christmas Lunch

16th Dec Y3 and Y4

Christmas Lunch 17th Dec Y5 and Y6 Christmas Lunch

18th Dec 1.30pm Term Ends

4th Jan Inset Day

5th Jan Spring Term begins 
 
CHILDREN IN NEED

Is on Friday 13th November.  This year we would like children to come in mufti wearing something green to raise funds for the artificial grass project.  We suggest a voluntary £1 donation for Children in Need and £1 to go towards the grass project. 
 
If this is a PE day for your child, please come dressed in mufti clothes and bring in your PE kit to change into.  Please ensure all PE kit is named. 
 
KEEPING WARM

Covid guidance is for schools to keep classrooms ventilated as much as possible, so we will be keeping windows and doors open when possible especially at break times.  As a result, we are asking parents to ensure their children have their jumpers on and if needed extra layers to keep them warm. 
 

YEAR 2 Gorillas, the Great Fire of London and our guardianship of the planet have all featured in the Autumn Term for Year 2, and the children have engaged in the lessons with huge energy and enthusiasm! 
 
In October, we decided to adopt a mountain gorilla through the charity WWF, following a lesson about endangered species. The children chose the gorilla from a shortlist of four ‘at risk’ animals, giving clear reasons why they felt this animal deserved our support. Just days later, Ihoho - our cuddly version of the real gorilla - arrived at school and the children spent time writing stories, and poems all about the new addition to the class. They also wrote thank you letters and drew pictures of Ihoho, which were parcelled up and sent to WWF. 
  
Our topic this term is 17th Century London and specifically two major events, the Great Fire of London and the Gunpowder Plot. During the first half term, the children designed and created their own Tudor houses and discovered why they were such a significant factor in allowing the fire to spread rapidly across the city.    

We are now learning about Guy Fawkes and his part in the plot that could have had a devastating effect on both Parliament and the monarchy. 

There has been a strong ‘green theme’ to our science lessons this term. We have already spent time considering different materials and ways that we can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill by recycling. We are now moving on to think about other threats to the environment and what can be done to manage them. 
 
In RE, we have been learning all about the importance of a church and the Rev Dr Rachel Greene gave the class a very informative tour of St Mary’s Church as part of this unit of work.  
  
We are now moving on to explore Hanukkah and its importance to Jewish people before we look at the role of angels in the Christmas story. This will really help us to prepare for our Nativity performance that we will be putting on in December (no live audience but the show will go on thanks to the wonders of modern technology!) Undoubtedly, it has been a busy and fun-filled term so far, and we are all looking forward to preparing for Christmas. 

YEAR 6 AND REMEMBRANCE

Year 6 have been learning lots about the First World War; from exploring life in the trenches to finding out about the local men and women who gave their lives for our country. We have written some very emotive letters as if we were soldiers or nurses on the front line as well as producing some superb poems.  
 
Year 6 have also been really interested in our class novel, ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo and have enjoyed getting creative with lots of art work based around WW1. But we haven’t finished yet…this half-term we will be making periscopes as part of our science topic on light, learning some WW1 music and dances as well as taking part in a WW1 dress up day, where we will cook some delicious (!) recipes from that time!  
 
Over the last couple of weeks, we have been reflecting on remembrance and why this is still so important today. On Wednesday morning, we led the Remembrance Service alongside Rev. Dr Rachel Greene in the Year 5 and 6 bubble. The service was very respectful and gave an opportunity for some of us to talk about our family members who served in the war, as well as giving thanks for the sacrifice that so many made. The service was recorded for all year groups to watch in their classrooms.  
 
Each class in the school also produced a beautiful poppy wreath which was laid under the flagpole at the front of the school. Year 6 have painted remembrance pebbles which we will be placed underneath the war memorial on our visit to the cemetery and the memorial bench at St Mary’s Church. Some of our pebbles may also be hidden around the village, so if you find one on a walk, please pick it up and if possible, take it and place it under the war memorial yourself. Year 6 will be looking out for those that are found!  Thank you!  
 As well as focusing on our topic of WW1, Year 6 are also leading the school in setting up our link with a school in Malawi, Africa. We are working with a Christian charity, Starfish Malawi, and we are very excited about being able to correspond with pupils in another country. 
 
Next Friday, Year 6 will be holding a whole class Zoom meeting with the founder of the charity to find out more. Watch this space for more exciting news on this project!  
 
In addition to this, we are also very excited about setting up links a lot closer to home, as each member of Year 6 have been linked with some of our lovely, oldergeneration residents who live in and around Chiddingfold. We hope to be regular penpals this year! Phew! What a busy, but productive term so far! Well done Year 6!  
 
ARTIFICIAL GRASS PROJECT 
 
Fundraising is going extremely well so far with a £3,000 donation from the PTA, £2,000 from the Chiddingfold Community Fund and £4,000 from local families and businesses! 
 
The children have been busy over half term with their fundraising efforts with the £1 challenge and have so far raised over £1,700 with more to come!  Well done everyone! 
 
If you haven’t already donated to this worthy cause you can make a donation to the school via Scopay.  Please note contributions are voluntary. 
 
We also have a generous offer from a parent to plant a wildflower and nectar flowerbed on the bank outside years 5 and 6 and to replant some of our hedgerow.  This will help offset the loss of habitat with the artificial grass. 
 
PTA NEWS

Last week the PTA Autumn update was sent out highlighting the Christmas fundraising activities including:- 
 
Christmas Trees for sale – order forms to be returned by 20th November. 
  
Santa Dash – 9th December – All children to come to school in PE kit to complete their dash! 
  
Pupils will be making their usual Christmas crafts to take home, donations for these made to the PTA please! 
 
A quick reminder that the PTA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Tuesday 17th November 2020 via Zoom (8pm). At this meeting, all officers will step down and the PTA will need to elect a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer for the ensuing academic year. Can you all please give some thought to stepping up into these positions in advance and Matt Quirk know if you would like to be nominated for these key parts of the PTA. It is fun, rewarding and a great way to keep closely connected to your children’s journey through St Mary’s. 

ATTENDANCE W E E K C O M M E N C I N G  2 N D  N O V E M B E R 
 
R E C E P T I O N – 96.9% 
Y E A R 1– 99.6% 
Y E A R 2 – 98.2% 
Y E A R 3K – 9 6.4%  
Y E A R 3R – 100%  
Y E A R 4 – 99.5% 
Y E A R 5 – 97.3%  
Y E A R 6 – 100%  
E V E R Y D A Y C O U N T S ! 
 
Christian Values 
 

Our revised RE Policy can now be seen on our website following this link:- 
 
RE Policy 
 

Religious education should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10).  
 
It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together. Such an approach is offered through a commitment to generous hospitality, being true to our underpinning faith, but with a deep respect for the integrity of other religious traditions (and worldviews) and for the religious freedom of each person. (Religious Education Statement of Entitlement February 2019) 
  
CHRISTMAS LUNCH ARRANGEMENTS  
 

Letters were sent home last week outlining the Christmas Lunch arrangements:- 
 
R and KS1 Christmas Lunch Tuesday 15th December in School Hall School provided Packed Lunch Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th December in classrooms. 
 
Years 3 and 4 Christmas Lunch Wednesday 16th December in School Hall Please provide a packed lunch on Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th December, children in classrooms. 
 
Years 5 and 6 Christmas Lunch Thursday 17th December in School Hall Please provide a packed lunch on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th December, children in classrooms. 
 
Christmas Mufti Clothes can be worn on Christmas Lunch days raising money for Save the Children and our artificial grass – suggested voluntary donation £1 for each. 
 
PE kit does not need to be in school on Christmas lunch days – please provide trainers only. 
 
KS2 payments – If your child does not normally have a school lunch and would like a Christmas lunch please pay £2.40 in cash to the school office and we will update Scopay.