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Dear Parents and Carers,

We made it! Here we are - hasn’t the time flown by!

This extended newsletter is full of information about what each of our classes have been learning this term so I plan to say very little other than a big thank you, on behalf of all the staff of St Mary’s School, for your generous gifts, cards and kind words and for your continuing support of our school.

A Very Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year!

Stay safe, warm and close to family, friends and loved-ones this Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 8th January 2018.

Best wishes

Janis Radcliffe

Head Teacher



It has been such a delight to see your children learning and growing over the last few weeks and they have all made a sudden leap forwards this half term. As the routines and expectations of school life become a recognisable constant they have grown in confidence, independence and resilience.

We have found every available opportunity to use our new found letter-sounds in different contexts: writing speeding tickets in police role-play; patient records in the hospital; recipes in the mud kitchen; cards, envelopes and labels in the Christmas post office. The children are beginning to bring reading and writing into their play and are increasingly keen to write.

Creating the mud kitchen this half term has been a huge success. The children enjoyed helping to build it and it has given them more opportunities to explore counting, weighing and measuring and consequently I have enjoyed many slug and spider birthday cakes, complete with candles!

Our topic of ‘Celebrations’ this half term has provided a wide range of learning opportunities which the children have embraced at every turn. We learned about harvest and made vegetable soup to share with our friends. Bonfire night led us to make shape rockets, write firework sounds and learn about fire fighters and people who help us. We have thought about the type of occasions that we celebrate and what makes a celebration. The children baked cakes for Kipper’s birthday, wrote invitations and we had a party.

The last few weeks of term have of course been dedicated to celebrating Christmas. As well as being the funkiest camels in town, we have also learned about the nativity and the children discovered that Christmas is a birthday too. They have acted out the story in our role play stable and each written a line of ‘The First Christmas’ for our very own class book.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and my best wishes for 2018. Happy holidays from Miss Griffiths and Reception G.


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

We are learning to be more independent in choosing resources and in managing our own belongings. We even managed to change into our PE kits (and back again!) and to keep our belongings in one place.

We have also learned about different celebrations we enjoy with our families including, birthdays, bonfire night, harvest and Christmas. We found out about the occupations of firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses and paramedics and some of the other people who help us. We have made sparklers, rockets and fireworks and we even made our own fire engine. We have been learning how to say and write our sounds, and we are now using these sounds to help us to write, cards and invitations, speeding tickets and missing posters.

We have been learning to count to 10, recognise numerals 0 to 10 and have been matching groups of objects to those numerals. We have also explored 2D shapes, making models and pictures using selected shapes. We made our own rocket number line using shapes to make the rockets.

We have also learned songs, rhymes and dances and enjoyed showing our dancing skills at the Nativity performances.


Year 1 have enjoyed many activities this term and are enjoying their learning.  Here are some of the highlights.  We began by visiting Arundel Castle and subsequently, we made our own castles.  We learnt how to roll card to make towers and turrets and how to make walls with battlements.  We also made shields and thought about what symbol could represent their families. 

Amongst these more obvious highlights, the children have enjoyed improving their writing and maths.  Linked to the Christmas theme and leading to our ‘Toys’ topic next term, the children were learning to extend their use of vocabulary by analysing the movements they observed in a film clip of the Nutcracker Suite.  Their writing was based on a description of the ‘Mouse Battle’.  First impressions of five and six year olds are always wonderful to witness and it was truly inspiring to observe their astonishment at the athletic jumps of the Russian dancers.

In maths, their development has been in recording calculations as well as working things out practically.  They have enjoyed measuring by weighing and by checking what objects are longer or shorter than a metre.  They are also learning to tell the time and more recently how to record information in a chart.

Apart from the Christmas Story, in RE, they have learnt about how Christians believe in God and how the parables Jesus told help to guide people’s lives.

Who could forget innovative Innkeeper’s tango! If you want to relive the experience, the dance in rehearsal is posted on the Seesaw website!