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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

September 2017

  • NEWS - 28 SEPTEMBER 2017

    Published 29/09/17

    Next week’s value is Serving

    But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” Chronicles 15:7

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Firstly, thank you to Reverend Sarah and all pupils, parents, colleagues and governors, who attended Sunday’s ‘Education Sunday’ Service in St Mary’s Church.  Children who took part are to be commended for their confident speeches and performances. Participants enjoyed tea and juice with home-made cakes, in the sunshine afterwards.  

    This week has been ‘All About Me’ week and, as expected, children have shown a great deal of interest in themselves! That said, the themed week was also an opportunity for pupils to think of others, starting with an assembly on the subject of autism on Monday and including some NCPCC presentation workshops on Wednesday. Some children will be bringing home letters to explain a little bit more about their learning in the NSPCC workshops, together with some guidance and ideas for continuing the learning at home.

    Wednesday was also ‘National Fitness Day’ and Mrs Wright kept staff and children busy and active, encouraging them to think about their health and wellbeing. More about this from Mrs Wright - see below.

    I will be out of school all day on Friday, when I will be attending the annual planning meeting for headteachers in the Haslemere Confederation. This is a group of schools that works together, sharing ideas to deliver best practice and making some cost savings through efficient purchasing.

    No news to report on the home-front this week!

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 14 SEPTEMBER 2017

    Published 21/09/17

    Next week’s value is Friendship

    “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up”.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 -10

    Dear Parents and Carers

    This has been a very exciting week, both in terms of events at school as well as for me personally!

    In the early hours of Sunday morning, I was notified of the birth of my new grandson, the second baby to be born into the family this year! I have absolutely no idea when, or how I became old enough to achieve grandparent status but I thought I would share with you because, not only does it highlight how quickly life passes you by, but more importantly, it serves as a reminder to be thankful for the little miracle of new life and all the excitement and promise of new beginnings.

    Onto school matters, another busy week! Clubs started this week and hopefully children enjoyed this extra dimension to their school day. On Tuesday evening, governors came together for a Full Governing Body meeting, preceded by a short introduction to staff, when governors had the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with long-serving members and to meet with our new colleagues. Our thanks go to Mrs Oqvist and Mrs Buckley for kindly arranging the refreshments and washing up! The governors’ meeting included analysis and review of the external report on governance, which will be used to inform development planning and, on Wednesday, Mrs Buckley and I met with the Good Shepherd Trust’s Consultant to clarify our own School Development Plans, which are coming together nicely. This year’s planning is based on our own self-evaluation, coupled with the findings of the 2016 Ofsted inspection and our end-of-year pupil assessment data.

    School development priorities will include endeavouring to raise the percentage of pupils who  achieve ‘greater depth’ learning; further improving reading and phonics; increasing the number of pupils achieving the so-called, ‘good level of development’, at the end of the Reception Year; identifying and supporting pupils at risk of not meeting expectation in one or more areas of the curriculum and further extending our more able pupils. Added to that, we aspire to improve the quality of writing, handwriting and presentation across the whole school and to inspire our more able mathematicians. With this in mind, our ‘maths booster’ sessions will begin in earnest next week and we have invited some higher ability mathematicians from King Edward’s School, to inspire young, aspiring mathematicians.

    We are very grateful for all that parents do at home to support children with their learning. There is no better way to encourage your child than by reading with them at bedtime and talking to them, around the dinner table. For younger children, social skills and practical skills such as handling cutlery are always useful. All children benefit from new experiences and, even a short trip to the supermarket can be a learning opportunity; 

    ask your child to find the cheapest/best value beans and compare prices for different brands of shampoo!

    Don’t forget this evening’s reading, phonics and writing evening for parents of children in Reception, Years 1 and 2! I look forward to seeing you there!

    Have a good weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 9 NOVEMBER 2017

    Published 11/09/17

    Next week’s value is Faith

    "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

    Dear Parents and Carers

    It’s been another ‘fab’ week at St Mary’s!

    The week began with interviews on Monday, as a result of which we are pleased to have appointed a high calibre, temporary, Year 6 teacher. Miss Alex Pringle will cover Mrs Newton’s maternity leave from January 2018. She will spend as much time as possible in advance, getting to know Mrs Newton and the children in the class, ready for a smooth transition in January 2018. We welcome Miss Pringle. It also gives me pleasure to welcome Mrs Joanna Chudley, a Teaching Assistant, who will be working in Reception with Mrs Bennett from 20th November 2017.  

    On Thursday morning, Year 5 did us proud with their class assembly. Year 5 children explained to an attentive audience, what they have been learning about in their topic work on Ancient Greece this term. Children and teacher braved the cold, appearing in togas and Greek battle dress to impress the audience with their knowledge about Ancient Greece as well as a range of other cross-curricular themes, including geography, art, design technology, music and singing. Thank you and well done to Year 5 and Miss Clark.

    On Thursday afternoon, Mr Alex Tear, Diocesan Director of Education visited St Mary’s School. He was given a tour of the school and we spoke at length about academic, social and spiritual outcomes for St Mary’s children. Mr Tear enjoyed his visit and was impressed with what he saw. 

    Warburtons, the bakers, visited two classes in KS2 this week.  Years 3 and 4 children thoroughly enjoyed hearing about how bread is made and had a go at making their own tasty sandwiches! Warburtons’ visitors described our children as ‘super’ and ‘among the best they have had the pleasure of working with’! A number of prospective parents have also visited school this week and, without exception, have commented positively on our ethos and values and the behaviour and confidence of our children. Well done to all!

    On Friday 10th November, we will be having a Remembrance Service at school. Children will have an opportunity for reflection and will observe a short silence. Every child in the school has made a beautiful poppy which they have coloured and cut out carefully to be displayed around the flag-pole at the front entrance to the school. Do take the time to have a look, if possible!

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 9 JUNE 2017

    Published 06/09/17

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Welcome back – I hope you all had a lovely half term.

    Although this has been a short week for children, Monday was an INSET day and staff were involved in school activities, including meetings with a Governance Review Team to reflect the requirements of our Post Ofsted Improvement Plan. There was also a meeting of the Governing Body to determine St Mary’s new budget and consider the forecast for the next couple of years. Whilst finances are improving slowly, it is worth mentioning that, in common with many other schools, St Mary’s still has to work within extremely tight financial constraints. This means that we are always very grateful for your contributions and for the hard work of the PTA and those who support them by attending functions, such as the recent Chiddfest event, to raise additional funds for the school.

    This weekend we look forward to seeing you again; this time at the Village Fete, when our Year 4 children will again be dancing around the maypole! Children have been practising furiously and they are looking forward to showing their skills!

    On Tuesday, we held a minutes’ silence to mark the London terror attack and we have talked to children about the importance of vigilance but also about remaining calm and remembering that most of the time we are safe and these incidents are not the norm. We have encouraged children to talk to adults if they have any questions or concerns.

    On Wednesday after school, teachers attended a staff meeting when they received feedback from a colleague who has attended a couple of recent conferences about Special Educational Needs. This is one of the ways in which St Mary’s obtains best value for money, by using its own, internal resources and breadth of expertise, thus saving money and providing opportunities for colleagues’ professional development.

    On Thursday morning we held our annual Holy Communion Service when children behaved impeccably, showing great respect and a sense of occasion. They also sang beautifully! Well done, children and thank you to Reverend Sarah, Mr Crocker and colleagues who helped to organise this service.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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September 2017