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NEWS - 14 MARCH 2019

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





8th Mar

Mufti day – come dressed up as animals to raise funds for WWF - £1 donation

11th Mar

Clubs week 7

12th Mar @3.15pm

Chidham parents meeting in Y6 classroom

13th Mar

Y1 Lookout Discovery Centre

14th Mar

Y2 Marwell Zoo

14th Mar

Y5 Class Assembly - Parents/Carers welcome

15th Mar

Science Day

18th Mar

Clubs week 8

20th Mar

Y1LS Class Assembly – Parents/Carers welcome

21st Mar

Y3 Class Assembly – Parents/Carers welcome

21st Mar

School Disco

25th Mar

Clubs week 9

26th Mar

Parents evening 3.30 – 6.00pm

28th Mar

Y2 Class Assembly – Parents/Carers welcome

28th Mar

Parents evening – 3.30 – 7.30pm

29th Mar

REACH Assembly – Parents/Carers welcome

1st Apr

Class Photos and Y6 Leavers Photos

2nd Apr @10.00am

Easter Service at St Mary’s Church, led by Y3 -Parents/Carers welcome

4th Apr

Y1B Class Assembly – Parents/Carers welcome

5th Apr

End of Term School Finishes at 1.30pm

23rd Apr


24th Apr

Start of Whitsun Term – Summer Uniform



There will be no Science club on Thursday 14th March 2019 due to Mrs Dickson being on a school trip.

Due to parents evening w/c 25th March there will be NO clubs that week except for the following: -

  • Cookery
  • Football on Tuesdays
  • Football boys and girls on Wednesday
  • Multi-sports with Mrs Wright on Wednesday
  • Recorder Club – will be on Wednesday 27th March


Make your own Easter bonnet from re-cycled material only!

We will be holding a competition in school, then the hats will be photographed for the Surrey Advertiser.   The Surrey Advertiser will be publishing the photo special on Friday 26th April 2019.

Deadline for submissions in school is 3rd April so we have time to photograph them.


Please ensure that you supervise your children adequately at pick up time.  Please leave the school premises promptly and do not allow your children to play on the adventure playground.  Thank you for your support in this.


We would be grateful if you could fill in a questionnaire from Koosa (being sent today) to determine if there is sufficient interest for a holiday club at St Mary’s.  Please return questionnaires to the school office by Friday 22nd March.


Please ensure that your child is wearing full school uniform – please see the uniform policy attached.  This includes no large hair accessories, hoodies or fashion shoes.  School class photos are on Monday 1st April and full correct school uniform needs to be worn.  Thanks in advance for your co-operation.  After Easter summer uniform should be worn. 


The new menus for school dinners are now available to view in Scopay.  These will start from 24th April.  Please ensure you make your choice each week by Wednesday noon and don’t forget to complete for after the Easter Holidays.

KS1 can make their choices now until the 25th October and KS2 can make their choices as long as they are in credit.


On Wednesday 6th March, Year 5 took a trip to Winchester Planetarium – this linked wonderfully to our topic, Earth and Space. We set off on our coach, listening to our class playlist and before we had even arrived at the destination, children had commented it was the ‘best trip’ for the fact we went through Hindhead Tunnel.

When we arrived, we were amazed as there were so many new features that had been built. We put down our bags and made our way into the planetarium itself. We learned about constellations, galaxies and were taken to some of our favourite planets! We were very impressed to find out that one of Jupiter’s moons is made solely from ice and water alone – and as one of our children stated, water means there could be a chance of life!

After that, we went to our first workshop, ‘Rocket Builders’. This was incredibly exciting as our instructor showed us exactly how rockets take off and then we had to make our own. We were impressed how far a flame could get our rockets! We talked a lot about fair testing which added a nice scientific element to our experience.

After our workshop, we ate our packed lunches and began to ‘explore Space’. Throughout this exhibition – we discovered what it would be like to be an astronaut – trying on an astronaut costume, how we would communicate, the sights we would see and the challenges of being up in Space.

To finish our day, we were allowed to investigate all the different stations in the Science Centre. We tested our speed, investigated how bad food digested, tried wheelchair basketball as well as lots of other exciting tasks!

Year 5 represented St Mary’s brilliantly and we all enjoyed the trip thoroughly and look forward to showing all our pictures and findings during our class assembly!


On Thursday, 7th March, Year 3 spent a fun and educational day at the beautiful Kew Gardens to support their rainforest and plants topic. The children explored during the hands-on session the journey and life cycle of a seed through germination to flowering.

This involved using microscopes to study the finer details on plants, assembling their own collection of plant parts and being tasked with behaving like squirrels to see if they could hide food around the gardens and return some time later to find the hidden food – most children passed the squirrel test!

Furthermore, the children explored how seeds are formed and dispersed, they discussed the importance of bees and how we can care for and look after our plants.

There was so much to see, and the children were so excited and full of questions.

We also went inside the glass houses, which were full of exotic and colourful rainforest flowers. The atmosphere was very hot and humid and it really did feel as though we were walking through the Amazon Rainforest.

We explored The Hive, a new sculpture designed to represent a bee hive. We were able to listen to the different sounds the bees make to communicate via small wooden sticks, held in the mouth, which transfer the vibrating sounds straight into your skull bones.

The most amazing experience, however, was Kew Orchid Festival. It was a journey through the different zones of the glasshouse full of beautiful displays representing aspects of Colombian wildlife and culture.  Children especially enjoyed ‘carnival of animals’ depicting a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth and swimming turtle, all composed of stunning orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants. The children had an unforgettable experience seeing plants and trees they have never seen before including some of the rarest plants in the world. 

The whole day was a fun-filled experience full of learning, sunshine (mixed with strong wind) and wonder.


Yesterday a team of Y5&6 players went to St Barts school in Haslemere to play a tournament against ten teams. We played four matches and played hard in each. The boys marked well, kept the pressure on and displayed good team work. We beat St Barts, drew with St Edmunds, lost 4-0 to Busbridge and lost to Chandler 4-0. We made it to the quarter finals and faced the winners of the other group: Tillingbourne. We didn’t give in without a fight and held our own, sadly lost 2-0.

Thank you to parents for driving and well done to all boys: Matis, James, Sam, Dylan, Fergus, Barnaby, Max and Blaise.



These will go up on the Mullard Building windows for you to choose a time on Friday 15th March in the morning.

List of Resources always gratefully received: -

  • A4 good quality copier paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • Dry wipe pens
  • White board pens
  • Blu Tack
  • Post-it Notes
  • Coloured card

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