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NEWS - 4th APRIL 2019

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


This term most of our learning has been based around the theme ‘Once Upon A Time’. We have been reading traditional tales together, joining in with repeated phrases and discovering different versions of stories with alternative endings. We baked bread just like ‘The Little Red Hen’ but we shared the work and ate it together, each spreading our own favourite toppings.

 Knead it…                       …Squash it…                             …Stretch it!

‘The Three Little Pigs’ has been a firm favourite. The children made masks and puppets and have loved acting out the story and exploring different voices and characters, which supports then in developing their ever-improving reading skills. We used dice to explore adding 2 numbers and to build a pig picture with shapes. Our class assembly is coming up just after Easter so more to find out then – no spoilers!

We have also been thinking lots about feelings this term; how we feel, how others feel, how we can tell and what we can do. We read ‘The Huge Bag of Worries’ and each painted our own ‘worry’. As we move into our third term together, friendships are developing and cementing. The class is becoming a real ‘school family’ negotiating, compromising, understanding, playing and working well together.


It has been a pleasure to see the children grow and progress this 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 working at tasks without the need for adults to support them. The children are rising to the challenge of taking responsibility for their own learning and checking the work they are doing.

The children have really engaged with this term’s topic. They have been designing and inventing their own imaginative machines and contraptions and they thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the ‘Look Out Discovery Centre’. The value of ‘Awe’ was very much in evidence as the children tiled rooves, flew hot air balloons and even managed to bend light. They climbed the Look Out Tower (some of us more than once!) and shopped enthusiastically before coming home.

We have learned about important inventions that changed people’s lives and we even discovered that some of our most useful inventions happened by accident. We created useful inventions for getting milk into the classroom and tidying resources away and we looked at the artwork of Heath Robinson for inspiration. We listened to stories about the invention of the aeroplane and we found out about record-breaking female aviators. We have written newspaper reports, letters, and stories, concentrating on checking that our sentences are punctuated with capital letters and full stops. We have been working on choosing words to make our writing even better.

We have been learning to add and subtract using number bonds and other resources to help us and we have been concentrating on forming our numbers correctly. We have also explored measuring, height and length, weight and volume. 

As you can see, we have been very busy this term and the children are now looking forward to a well-earned break.

Happy Easter!


Wow, where has that term gone! The children in Year 1LS have been working really hard this term and it is clear to see the progress they are making. Well done to them all, and let’s keep up the hard work!

This terms topic has been all about ‘Inventions’! This topic has given us many opportunities for cross-curricular learning, which allows for greater opportunities to be more creative and help the children to make connections between subjects, which makes their learning more relevant and exciting.

We have been comparing old and new, thinking about what we did before fridges, telephones and other electrical items came into our everyday lives. We have thought and made comparisons as to whether our lives are better or worse off without them? Year 1 have also been learning about Inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson who invented the…………………?

We have looked at many fiction books such as Mrs Armitage on Wheels and No Problem where they had opportunities to invent their own bikes and build model aeroplanes by following instructions. Year 1 have been learning about the value of numbers, writing addition and subtraction sentences and problem solving. In the last few weeks, they have explored measure - height and length, weight and capacity.

The Look Out Discovery Centre was a highlight this term. The children were so fascinated by what they discovered! Rather than just looking and listening the children were able to touch, test, experiment and work as a team and as we all know, this is the best way to learn! Some follow up work from the trip included writing a blurb for each of the zones we visited. Here are a few, have they captured your interest?

The Look Out Tower

Come and climb the tower! How many steps? Will you care to climb the tower with me?

Water and Woodland Zone

Come to the amazing water fountains. You can discover all of the things that boats can do. You must see the water fountain it is so cool!

Build it!

Discover how to build a house. Can you make a plan?


This is just a fraction of the learning from this term. I hope the children will agree that this topic has been engaging and fun. Enjoy the holidays!


What a busy term we've had in year 2!  We began our topic by learning the names and locations of the seven continents and five oceans of the world.  We used maps, atlases, and globes and learnt a song to help us remember their names.  We explored different countries more closely as we researched areas of interest for homework to make a fantastic display for our classroom. 

In the second half of the term, our learning was focused on Africa. To link with our Science topic - animals and their habitats - we learnt about the animals that live on the African Savannahs and wrote non-chronological reports about them in our Literacy lessons.  Last month we went on a fantastic school trip to Marwell Zoo where we were able to see some of the animals we had been learning about up close, and find out more information about their habitats.  We finished our topic with a super class assembly to share what we had been learning with our mums and dads!


Year Three have certainly hit the ground running at the start of the New Year at St Mary’s Primary School whilst attending a multi sports event at Woolmer Hill School. We had a great opportunity to meet other schools from the local area that joined us in trying out exciting sports. Year 3 showed good teamwork and ability throughout. 

During the Spring term, Year 3 have been studying the Topic ‘Healthy Me’, a Topic all about healthy lifestyle, the importance of exercise, healthy eating and wellbeing.

We have looked at the right type and amount of nutrition, we have researched the amount of sugar in many popular food products and we have prepared Eatwell plates with products from different food groups. We have learnt how our skeletons and muscles function and we have investigated our lung capacities using simple balloons.

During our DT lessons, we designed, made and evaluated fruit kebabs.  Finally, we wrote powerful adverts encouraging the customers to buy our yummy products.

Our music and PSHE lessons concentrated on our wellbeing, singing cheerful songs and playing mindfulness games.

In the second half of the term, Year 3 took a trek into the depths of a jungle exploring the fascinating world of the rainforests. They discovered where the rainforests are, what they are like, who lives in them and unfortunately, about their destruction. To support this topic but also our Science topic (Plants) we spent an educational day at the fantastic Kew Gardens. The children fell in love with 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.  

Inspired by all the amazing colours as well as by John Dyer’s ‘Spirit of the rainforest’ project children painted Rainforest pictures.

We also learnt about the lifecycle of a seed by planting our own beans. Some of us definitely have green fingers!

To sum up, our motto this Spring term was ‘Eat well, be active, feel good about yourself, love the nature around you and care for the environment’ and we will be trying to keep it going for the whole year!


What another busy term we have had in Year 4! This term we have been learning all about ancient Egypt. Our topic kicked off with a visit to the British Museum, where we found out about mummification and saw some real life mummies! We then took this learning back into the classroom where we preserved our own tomatoes. It was amazing to watch the tomatoes dry out in bicarbonate of soda and salt, whilst the ‘control’ tomato went mouldy!

Much of our learning has centred on our Egyptian topic, such as writing our own Egyptian Cinderella stories, making clay amulets, painting our own cartouches on papyrus paper, learning about the River Nile, finding out about how pyramids were made, writing and performing our own Egyptian God chant and making our own Egyptian flatbread…phew! We even explored the process of embalming further by wrapping each other in linen (aka toilet paper!) and turning ourselves into mummies!

In science, we have looked at the types and functions of our teeth and found out about our digestion system (this culminated in a rather yucky digestion experiment using tights, bananas and orange juice! Yuck!)

In mathematics, we have been focusing our learning on multiplication and division, fractions and decimals.

We have also been very active! We achieved our Level 1 Bikeability award by learning how to be safe on our bikes and we took part in a Dodgeball Festival at Woolmer Hill.

We are looking forward to the summer term when we will be learning about habitats.


It has been an incredibly busy term in Year 5 this year! We have been working hard as always, as well as taking part in skipping workshops, learning a class dance and taking part in lots of dress up days.

Our topic this Spring has been ‘Earth and Space’. We have been learning about our planets and the different galaxies in Space. We have also carried out lots of research investigating what it would be like to be an astronaut. We have thought about how they would sleep, we have tried space food and even learned songs about life in space. We also performed our class assembly, which involved many jaffa cakes! Recently, we have been on a fantastic trip to Winchester Planetarium. Here is a write up about our day:

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 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!

We have had a brilliant term in Year 5 and already look forward to our next topic!


It’s hard to believe that the Spring Term is already coming to end but we’ve managed to fit a lot in since Christmas. As everyone knows, the Year 6 SATs are just around the corner and this term we have been working hard to complete the necessary curriculum coverage in all core subjects. Year 6 have worked tirelessly and this really shows in the amazing progress that they have all made since Christmas. Not long to go now everybody!

It hasn’t been all work, work, work though! We’ve also managed to squeeze a few trips in including a lovely classification workshop at The Haslemere Museum and a wonderful day out at the Natural History Museum too, both of which were to further the children’s understanding or this term’s Science topics. Our topic since January has been ‘The Shang Dynasty’ and we have all thoroughly enjoyed learning about this period of Ancient China. Early on the term the class made Chinese irrigation systems out of soil, gravel and clay, and tested their effectiveness outside (in VERY cold weather). They also tried their hands at ancient Chinese cooking – see pictures below – and have been learning about the Shang alphabet and are currently working on some pieces of artwork involving Chinese characters for display.


We have had a busy Spring Term for Sport. Year 3 and 4 went to Woolmer Hill to take part in multisports festivals earlier on in the term. These are events run by our Confederation team to ensure that every child has an opportunity to take part in a competitive event. We have had three football events: Year 5 and 6 tournament at St Barts in March, Year 2 visited Pennthorpe School to play a tournament and Year 3 and 4 pupils played in a Kickstart Coaching tournament in April. Our Netball has gone from strength to strength; the Year 6 team played brilliantly at their tournament at Rodborough and Netball Skills club had their first competitive fixture. Lots more events to come in the Summer Term!

On Tuesday after school Year 3 and 4 Netball Skills club took part in their first Netball fixture against Grayswood school. It was a friendly match with a focus on consolidating our skills and knowledge in a competitive situation. Every member of the club played in the 7 a side match and they all enjoyed themselves and did their best. Our spacing was excellent and our interception skills were really strong. We finally won the match 15-3. Well done: Hollie, Isobel, Charlotte, Harriet, Archie, Joe, Amber, Matilda, Noah, Max, Jessica, Charlie, Jessica and Edward. 

Pupils from Year 4 and 3 played in the Kickstart Coaching football tournament on Wednesday. We had two teams playing and all boys played well, keeping pressure on the opposition, finding space and passing. We even had a goal scored by one of our goalkeepers: Archie! A great afternoon of football, well done: Toby, Max, Charlie, Ben, Rory, Joseph, Max, Corey, William, Joe, Layton, Max, Billy, Albie and Archie. Thank you to parents who helped and supported.