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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

August 2018

  • NEWS - 8 JUNE 2018

    Published 06/08/18

    Next week’s value is Wisdom

    “Happy is the person who finds wisdom.  And happy is the person who gets understanding.  Proverbs 3:13

    Dear parents/carers

    It’s been lovely to see everyone back in school this week; I hope you all had a fabulous half term!  I’ve heard some children’s accounts of the exciting activities they were engaged in, during half term, and it’s been reassuring to hear that, for many of them, much of the week was spent outdoors, rather than inside watching TV or playing on computer games.

    It’s hugely important to get out into the sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors and we are to be inspired by the bravery and determination of an amazing group of St Mary’s mums who have been doing just that; training hard, both physically and mentally, in preparation for their own great outdoor challenge, that of climbing, not one, but three of the highest mountains in the UK: Ben Nevis (1345metres); Scafell Pike (978 metres) and Mount Snowdon (1085 meters).

    We wish the ladies well and we are doubly delighted that the ‘Three Peaks Team’ has pledged to donate some of its hard-earned sponsorship money to St Mary’s School. The money will be invested into further raising children’s awareness of the importance of physical health, as well as developing their mental attitudes and a positive mind-set, when faced with challenges that require a ‘can-do’ attitude. 

    On Wednesday, children and adults, including the Three Peaks Climbing Team, were privileged to meet two British Athletes: Paralympic athlete and sprinter, Souleyman Bah, who won a gold medal in the 100 meters, at the Paralympic school games in Rio, and is now training for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, and Rion Pierre, a former professional footballer, turned sprinter, who has competed and won medals in the British, European and World Championships!

    The athletes shared their personal stories with children and the message was clear; that success is not borne of ‘good fortune’, but of courage, determination, resilience and a positive mind-set, and that, once achieved, the sense of pride and accomplishment far outweighs the experience of hardship, and is really worth the effort!  

    This week’s other exciting activities included First Aid training from Surrey Lifesavers, for Years 5 and 6 and, on Wednesday, all teachers visited another local school where they shared ideas and best practice with colleagues in the wider community; our thanks to Shottermill Junior School for hosting this event. 

    Finally, we are grateful to Reverend Sarah for conducting Thursday’s Holy Communion Service. It was a beautiful service, rendered all the more moving, by the fact that it was Reverend Sarah’s last Communion Service at St Mary’s School. Reverend Sarah will be moving on from her position as Rector at St Mary’s Church this summer. We wish her and her family well but we do expect to see her again before she goes!

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe


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  • NEWS - 8 MARCH 2018

    Published 03/08/18

    Dear Parents/Carers

    This week has been a very busy week for children, teachers, school leaders and administrators alike.

    For my own part, being devoid of a speaking voice for most of the week has not precluded me from recording a response to the February parent questionnaire, a copy of which you should receive today.  You will also receive a hard copy of the termly planning for each year group and an overview of our school development priorities for your information.  

    I am indebted to Mrs Bishop and Mrs Bedford for their determined efforts to bring to completion the daunting task of producing hundreds of paper copies of the questionnaire responses and the termly planning sheets. I hope you find these helpful as it has come to light that not all parents have obtained the information from our website. On the other hand, we are aware that there are parents who prefer to receive information in electronic format but I know you will be familiar with the adage that you can’t please all of the people, all of the time, so we hope that, by using multiple methods of communication, no parents will feel they are being ‘left in the dark’!

    This week we have trialled the introduction of a mid-term grade card with Year 6 parents. The responses received have been positive and we plan to extend this to other year groups in due course. Read more about this in the questionnaire feedback.

    Staff training: Mrs Buckley and I attended the safeguarding network meeting on Tuesday after school and, on Wednesday, we worked off site to revise our school self-evaluation form and data information booklet, both now a bit nearer to completion, ready for our validation visit from representatives of the Good Shepherd Trust.  

    On Thursday, Year 1 children presented an assembly on the theme of ‘Toys’, tying in with their spring term topic work. Thank you to Year 1 children and their teachers for an informative assembly. We were very interested to compare some of the toys of the past with current-day inventions. Gone are the skipping ropes, marbles and jacks; enter ‘Minecraft’, robots and computer games!

    The weather looks set to be fairer than at the end of last week! I do hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe


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  • NEWS - 8 FEBRUARY 2018

    Published 02/08/18

    Next week’s value is Perseverance

    “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

    Dear Parents/Carers

    Here we are at half term already! How time flies when you’re having fun!

    This week included Internet Safety Day - a focus day for internet safety - and we are constantly reminding children about safe internet use. We have a ‘Firewall’ which is intended to block attempts to access inappropriate website content and our IT Technician reports regularly on any users’ attempts to locate unsuitable material through internet searches, which can be attributed to individual users.  Additionally, children do need encouragement to take some responsibility for their own safety and it is worth parents noting our concerns about an App that children may be using at home. Please see separate attachment about ‘Roblox’ App and talk to your children about it if you are at all concerned.  

    This week’s monitoring and evaluation activities have included meetings with subject leaders, lesson observations and a joint ‘learning walk’ with Mrs Buckley, the latter to establish pupil attitudes and contribution towards their own learning.  We are keen to encourage a scholarly attitude and for children to take their learning seriously, remembering that they come to school, primarily to learn. Children should be encouraged to share in the responsibility for their own learning outcomes at the end of each lesson and it is helpful if parents reinforce this. We are always very grateful for anything you can do to support your child’s learning at home; suggestions include reading regularly, encouraging children to help write shopping lists, working out the cost of supermarket products and potential savings, organising an outing etc. It all helps!

    Year 5 pupils presented this Thursday’s class assembly on the topic of earth and space. Children showed great enthusiasm for their topic, sharing some interesting scientific facts as well as displaying their creative skills in art, music, drama and dance. Well done and thank you to all Year 5 pupils and Miss Clark.

    I am required, by the Education Welfare Authorities, to discourage term time absence. Please note that it is an expectation that children will be in attendance every day of the school term, unless they are unwell or there is another acceptable reason, such as an unavoidable medical appointment, in which case parents should let school know, on a daily basis, the reasons and anticipated duration of absence. Our school term dates are published well in advance to enable parents to make their travel and holiday plans accordingly. Please also be aware that there are some compulsory school events that occasionally fall outside the normal school day and that all pupils are expected to attend, including our Christmas carol service.

    Thank you for your continuing support and may I take the opportunity to wish you a safe and happy holiday!

    Janis Radcliffe



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August 2018