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 2018

  • NEWS - 29 NOVEMBER 2018

    Published 30/11/18

    Next week’s value is Charity

     

    “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20.35

    Dear parents/carers

    What an eventful week! 

    On Monday, Year 6 pupils and their teachers went to the Surrey History Centre to reinforce learning within their World War 1 Topic Work. We are very proud of our Year 6 pupils whose excellent behaviour prompted a hugely complimentary email from the Project Officer at the History Centre; pupils were credited with being ‘fully engaged in all of the sessions and impeccably behaved’ and ‘the best class we have worked with in all the sessions we have done around the country’. Praise indeed! Well done Year 6 and thank you to Mrs Newton and other adults who helped to make the trip such a success. 

    For younger pupils, much of the week has been dedicated to Nativity rehearsals. It’s all going swimmingly well and I am confident that children will rise to the occasion. I have been enjoying listening to the Year 1 and 2’s singing, from the comfort of my office, situated right inbetween the two classrooms. It all sounds good. The trick of course, is not to peak too early! We look forward to welcoming you to our performances next week. 

    A group of Year 6 pupils attended Chandler School’s ‘Able Writers’ Day’ today. This was an opportunity for them to work on some very challenging writing activities with able writers from other schools. 

    This morning, children and parents were treated to a fantastic assembly on the theme of Ancient Greece. Year 5 pupils shared with the audience all that they have learned in their topic work this term. Well done Year 5 and Miss Clark and her team. It was especially great to see some of our shyer pupils coming out of their shells, gaining in confidence. 

    This afternoon, the hall was booked out by Miss Hampshire and Year 4. They hosted their WW2 Tea Party which included tea, sandwiches, home-baked cakes and a display of the wartime dance, the Lindy Hop! A good time was had by all! 

    Teachers have had another busy week of training, including Advanced Level 3 Safeguarding training for Mrs Buckley and Miss Howells. Mrs Oqvist attended data protection training and Mrs Newton met with other science leaders at the Science Education Partnership’s Science network meeting. All teachers participated in a curriculum workshop, which, together with feedback from an informative Year 6 pupil questionnaire, will complement our discussions and facilitate a wider curriculum review in due course.  

    Reception and KS1 pupils are looking forward to a visit form the Pied Piper Theatre Company tomorrow. The local Village Nursery children will join them for a presentation of ‘The Enormous Present’!

    Don’t forget the Santa Dash this Saturday 1st December.  More about this PTA led event attached.  

    Have a great weekend 

    Janis Radcliffe Head teacher 

    Read More
  • NEWS - 22 NOVEMBER 2018

    Published 22/11/18

    Next week’s value is Charity

    “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20.35

    Dear parents/carers

     

    It’s been another action packed week at school for children and staff.

    The week commenced with a visit from two community police officers who spoke to children in assembly about the importance of appropriate behaviour and responsibility both in school and in the wider community.  The officers then visited reception class as part of their topic, ‘People who help us in our community.’  Children were excited to be able to have a look at the police car, see the flashing lights and listen to the siren.

    On Tuesday evening the governing body met for it’s half termly meeting.

    Wednesday was a busy day for staff development; our school business manager began her Level  5 School Business Manager’s diploma.  This will involve eighteen months of training and assignments, so it’s very much ‘back to school’ for Mrs Oqvist. 

    After school, Mrs Radcliffe and I attended training at the Good Shepherd Trust whilst teachers began their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) training in school. The first session dealt with assessment, looking at ways to move from test base assessment to formative assessment to see how children are progressing on a weekly basis.

    Mrs Radcliffe was out of school Thursday attending a Head Teachers conference at the Trust.

    In school, Thursday began with an outstanding assembly delivered by Y3. The children had learnt a staggering amount of lines; they spoke out beautifully and entertained us with their singing and dancing. (Apparently the Floss was around then too!) Well done to Y3, Mrs Ryder and Mrs Denyer for a superb performance.

    Nativity rehearsals are under way and beautiful singing can be heard floating down the corridors from the Key Stage One classrooms, please can you read the information below regarding seating capacity and use of photographs and social media.

    Finally, as the cold days have now hit us can I remind you to send children with appropriate coats for playtimes.

    Have a great weekend

     

    Read More
  • NEWS - 15 NOVEMBER 2018

    Published 15/11/18

    Next week’s value is Compassion

     

    “The Lord is as kind to his followers as a father is to his children”. Psalm 103:13

     

    Dear parents/carers

    This week’s value is compassion and I can’t let it pass unmentioned, that every single one of our children showed compassion, empathy, respect and a reasonable level of understanding (relative to age), in last Friday’s Remembrance Service. The Service was especially poignant, as it marked a hundred years since the end of the Great War. Well done to Mrs Newton and Year 6 children, who coordinated the event, and a big thank you and well done to children who showed remarkable respect, even the very youngest waiting patiently during the 2 minutes’ silence.

    Year 6 had the benefit of a trip to the Imperial War Museum on Wednesday to further reinforce their understanding of the Great War. They travelled by train and walked from the station to the museum, where they spent a long time studying the different artefacts, including a medal awarded to one of the children’s own grandfathers! Wow!

    Well done and thank you to this week’s sports event participants and coordinators, including teachers and our super parent helpers.  See more about these activities in Mrs Wright’s and Miss Clark’s reports below.

    On Tuesday evening, Mrs Buckley and I attended a safeguarding network meeting, where we were reminded of the importance of vigilance and good listening skills to help keep our children safe from harm.  This responsibility falls, as much to parents, as to school staff – if you hear or see anything that alarms you, please don’t hesitate to communicate your concerns to our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL- Mrs Buckley) or to myself, as Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL). Miss Howells is also going to receive training to become a Level 3 Advanced, fully qualified Safeguarding Team member. If you are concerned about the safety of a child, young person or an adult you can contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on tel 0300 470 9100 (office hours) and 01483 517 898 (out of hours). Emails are dealt with during normal office hours on csmash@surreycc.gov.uk.

    It’s all about staff training this week, as Miss Clark attended the first of four Harmony Geometry Workshops, through the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, at Ashley School. She learned about patterns in nature and how these can be linked to patterns in mathematics. It is quite awe-inspiring and we hope to implement some of what Miss Clark will be learning into our maths and wider curriculum, to engage children and bring out that child’s innate sense of awe and wonder! Miss Clark was certainly excited as she came back with some of the beautiful works of art she had produced during the course of the day!

    For my own part, I shall be attending a Health and Safety briefing tomorrow morning! Somebody’s got to do it!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

    Read More
  • NEWS - 11 OCTOBER 2018

    Published 10/11/18

    Next week’s value is Thankfulness

     

    “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds”. Psalm 1:5

    Dear parents/carers

    After a quiet start to the week, St Mary’s School became a hive of activity on Thursday, when we had a fantastic Year 1 class assembly, followed by an Open Day, the latter to be repeated tomorrow. 

    Thank you to Year 1 children and their teachers for all their hard work in preparing an assembly on the theme of this term’s topic work, castles.   Children shared interesting facts, using very impressive vocabulary and they danced and sang to the well-timed beat of a drum! Well done, Year 1! 

    This week, we opened our doors to parents and visitors. Visitors were treated to a tour of the school and had the opportunity to see lessons in progress. Children were well-behaved and superb ambassadors for our school. Thank you to teachers, children and Year 6 pupil leaders who helped me to conduct the school tours and thanks to Mrs Bishop and Mrs Bedford for their help with refreshments and making our visitors feel welcome.   

    On Thursday, Year 4 children, studying World War II, experienced what it must have been like to have been an evacuee, in war-torn Britain.  Thank you to Miss Hampshire and parent volunteers for organising this event and for your support in hosting children’s visits. Year 4 children enjoyed sweeping, mopping, washing-up, baking and helping their host families during a busy morning, between air-raids!  

    In our Wednesday staff meeting/twilight training session, our Literacy Leader, Miss Howells, presented feedback to colleagues, following her engagement with a spelling research group project. Miss Howells reminded teachers of some important principles regarding the teaching of spelling; she will provide information for parents in the near future. You can help your child with spellings at home, by doing word puzzles, playing word games and creating rhymes and actions to help children memorise their spellings. It is imperative that children are able to incorporate the correct spellings into their writing and not simply regurgitate the list for a spelling test.

    Tomorrow (Friday), we will have our penultimate Celebration Assembly for this half term. May I use this platform to make a gentle plea to parents of younger children who attend? Whilst younger, well-behaved siblings are welcome to attend our weekly celebration, we do ask that parents supervise them closely and ensure they do not disrupt the proceedings with avoidable noise. Could I ask that, if you are bringing toys to entertain youngsters, these could be soft toys only, so that, if dropped they don’t disrupt the programme. Teachers and children work very hard to make the assemblies enjoyable for participants and guests and it is difficult when the audience engages in distracting conversation and/or younger siblings are making a lot of noise. We thank you for your cooperation.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

     

    Read More
  • NEWS - 8 NOVEMBER 2018

    Published 08/11/18

    Next week’s value is Compassion

     

    “The Lord is as kind to his followers as a father is to his children”. Psalm 103:13

    Dear parents/carers

    The week started with an important message, delivered by a representative of Surrey County Council’s Road Traffic Department, about safe practice when crossing the road. Credit for the organisation of this safety briefing goes to two of our Year 6 pupil leaders.    The assembly was the result of a letter written by Bebe and William to the local council asking for help in keeping children safe on the roads. Thank you to Bebe and William for instigating this very important safety message for all the children of St Mary’s School.

    Currently, we have the pleasure of the company of ‘Spike’ the hoverfly, a metre-plus long insect, who has ‘landed’ in our school entrance area! This excellent teaching resource, built by talented members of the Guildford Spike Women’s Institute, is on loan to the school for a fortnight. It is proving to be an excellent teaching resource, particularly for science, art and design related topics. The model-makers of the Women’s institute have provided some very interesting supplementary information about the insect as well as details about its construction. The hoverfly is an excellent mimic of a more dangerous creature – the hornet! See coloured pictures and read more about ‘Spike’ in our bulletin attachment.

    I hope you felt parents’ evening was fruitful and informative this week. I have received much positive feedback from parents, reflecting teachers’ thorough preparation and excellent understanding and knowledge of the children in their care. I should like to thank teachers for all their hard work, extra time and dedication to duty; crucially, all without a word of complaint!

    Today (Thursday), an excited Year 2 left school early for their trip to the Museum of London. We wish them a safe and enjoyable visit.  No doubt there will be more news to share next week!

    Tomorrow we will be holding a Remembrance Service in the school hall from 10.15am. This is to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War and will focus on the sacrifices of those who died or who returned home to an uncertain future.  The Service will be led by Year 6 children with the help of their teacher and church representatives. Parents are very welcome to join us. No doubt there will also be much pomp and ceremony on the TV over the weekend and we hope that parents and grandparents will share their own understanding, memories and recollections from the past, to reinforce the meaning of such a historic event. 
    Finally, Miss Jill Garden, a representative of the Young Minds Mental Health Charity, will be joining us in our Celebration Assembly tomorrow afternoon. She is to be presented with a cheque from the Three Peaks Committee, who raised funds for the charity, as well as for the school, earlier this year, when they bravely scaled the heights of the three highest mountains in the United Kingdom!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

    Read More

November 2018