Skip to content ↓

School News

Janis Radcliffe, Headteacher

View the latest news  and weekly diary reminders from St Mary's School below. 

If you are a parent or carer who would like to register to receive these weekly news bulletins updates  direct to your email, please contact the school office

November 2016

  • News - 24 NOV 2016

    Published 25/11/16

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Things seem to be speeding up as we approach Christmas, with only 3½ weeks to go until the end of term! There are lots of exciting activities with class assemblies, nativities and carol services to come, not to mention science challenges, pantomimes, quizzes, Christmas Fairs, mufti days, Christmas tree Sales, Christmas lunches, rock concerts, singing on the Village Green and REACH assemblies! Term finishes on Wednesday 21st December at 1.30pm.

    Staff will attend a training day at Woolmer Hill School on the morning of Tuesday 3rd January 2017, returning to St Mary’s for afternoon meetings and further training. Children return to school on Wednesday 4th January, ready for the start of the spring term.

    Mrs Newton was out of school on Tuesday, consulting with and engaging in training and moderation with other Year 6 teachers. This is especially useful for a one-form entry school, such as St Mary’s where there is only one teacher per year group and it gives teachers an opportunity to share ideas, look at the work done in other schools, including topics covered and compare marking and feedback styles.   

    Reception parents met Mrs Lawrence this week for feedback about their children’s progress in their first term in school. Children have made a good start and settled well, which is testament to the success of Mrs Lawrence’s transition programme along with parents’ support and encouragement.

    School Governors met on Tuesday evening when Miss Hughes gave feedback about the developments in Computing and E-safety and I reported, on behalf of Mrs Lawrence, her response to relevant sections of the Ofsted report. 

    On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Buckley attended a SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)s’ network meeting at Beacon Hill School, where she shared information about how to support pupils with specific learning difficulties. 

    On Thursday, Year 6 children presented a brilliant science assembly on the subject of light which was very topical at this time of year! Well done Year 6 pupils and thank you to Mrs Newton and Year 6 colleagues.

    This morning, I attended a Confederation Heads’ Planning meeting, where I met with the Heads of other confederation schools to discuss achievements within the confederation and begin formulating a new action plan for the group of schools in the New Year.

    Congratulations to those pupils that attended the cross country event at Glebelands School last Saturday. Although they just missed out on medals, there were some sterling efforts, worthy of commendation, from Scott, Henry, Barnaby and Isaac. Well done to participants and thank you to Mrs Wright! More about this in Mrs Wright’s report below.

    Thank you to those of you that attended Thursday evening’s meeting for feedback following the Ofsted inspection report. I am indebted to the many parents who have continued to write in support of the school this week, and to those of you that have shared your concerns with Ofsted. I expect to hear from the Complaints Team by 30th December and will let you know the outcome as soon as I have any more information. It is not unknown for complaints to go unheeded, and we will need to be prepared for this, but, together with your support, we could not have done any more to press for a re-inspection and a more justified report.

    Finally, I assure you that we will, of course, continue to work hard and aspire to improve the school still further. We will continue to embed ‘thinking schools’ learning principles to extend and challenge pupils according to their ability, encouraging them to reflect, formulate questions of their own and respond in depth to questions posed of them. Some examples of our extension activities include science challenge days, maths group work with senior school students, teaching opportunities in computing/IT and ‘Able Writers’ Days; the latter next to be held at Chandler School, on Friday 2 December, when some of our able writers in Years 5 and 6 will attend. We wish them luck and hope they enjoy their day!

    Have a great weekend!



    Read More
  • News - 17 NOV 2016

    Published 17/11/16

    Next week’s value is Compassion

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Firstly may I say, since the publication of the Ofsted Report earlier this week, I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the response of parents. The many positive comments and words of support we have received have been both heart-warming and humbling. Some of you have also written or spoken to individual teachers to express your gratitude and support for them.  It is impossible to put into words just how much this means to us. You have helped us to regain our faith in humanity and the staff room is slowly regaining its usual happy atmosphere as teachers reclaim their natural good-humour. Thank you!

    We are also fortunate that colleagues themselves are an exceptionally cohesive team and have each other’s support. They know that this is not a time for finger-pointing; it’s a time to stand firm and re-assess the school’s position. We do not think the report is a true reflection of our school and we will be holding a meeting to that effect, on Thursday 24 November at 7.00pm, to which you are all invited. We look forward to seeing you there, when you can hear more about the detail of the report and the school’s next steps.

    We will continue to pursue our aspiration to become one of the best educational providers in the area. Our development plans will continue to reflect ambitious steps as we progress towards our goals.

    Difficult as it is, to turn our attentions to other matters now, I am pleased to report that our children have, yet again, been cause for celebration and a source of great pride to us this week. Last Friday we held a Remembrance Service in school when even the youngest children showed their respect as they listened and reflected throughout the service and managed to stand through the two-minutes’ silence without a murmur; a remarkable feat for 4 and 5 year olds!

    This week has been a rather low-key Geography Week, but children learned that it was international map day on Wednesday and they looked at maps of France and Europe in their French lessons.

    Y1 visited Woolmer Hill for sporting activities and Mrs Wright has asked me to remind you about the cross country running taking place at Glebelands School this weekend. For more information about this please see Mrs Wright’s item below. Mrs Wright would love to see you there. Let’s hope the weather is kind!

    Year 2 visited the Museum of London this week where they were enthralled, engaging in the interactive exhibition activities, and seeing some of the artefacts from the Fire of London, thus reinforcing what they are learning in their topic work this term.

    Y4 & 6 children visited Guildford Cathedral to learn about Advent and what it means to wait. They enjoyed writing poems and making wreaths. The organiser was Mrs Potter, a former teacher at the school, who has now moved to the education department at Guildford Cathedral.

    Have a great weekend!



    Read More
  • News - 11 Nov 2016

    Published 11/11/16

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    During this week, children have been thinking about heroes and people who have given their lives in wars and fighting. Years 6 and 4 continue to study World Wars 1 and 2 respectively in their class topic sessions. Children made poppies and attended a Remembrance Service on Friday morning. Thank you to Reverend Sarah and Year 6 teachers and pupils for leading this poignant event.

    Read More

November 2016