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School News

Janis Radcliffe, Headteacher

View the latest news  and weekly dairy 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

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  • NEWS - 8 FEBRUARY 2018

    Published 08/02/18

    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

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 1 FEBRUARY 2018

    Published 01/02/18

    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

    Thank you again, to our hard-working PTA members, for organising yet another successful fundraising event. Last week’s KS1 and KS2 discos were a huge success! Children had an amazing time, dancing and rocking to the sounds of disco music, well into the early hours (of the evening!) They were all home, in bed by 8.00pm, and back in school the next day, looking fresh as daisies! 

    May I remind KS2 parents that this evening is our maths information evening, when we hope you will join us (from 6.00pm), to hear about how the four main mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are taught at St Mary’s School. It is hoped that this will help parents to support children at home, in the knowledge that they are using the same method and terminology as that which is used in school. The evening will be led by our maths subject leader, Miss Clark, with the support of her colleagues, for the demonstration workshops. Please feel free to arrive early for a glass of wine!

    SAFEGUARDING

    Safer internet Day

    Next Tuesday, 6 February 2018, is UK Safer internet Day. The UK Safer Internet Centre has launched some helpful materials for parents to assist them in protecting their children when using technology; these  include parents’ top tips for teaching children to safely use iPads, iPhones, Play-stations and X-Boxes. All of the leaflets can be found under the parents’ section of our school website.

    Photographs

    Please avoid taking and circulating photographs and/or video footage of children other than your own, as some of our parents specifically request that the school helps them to ensure no images of their children are recorded.

    HEALTH AND SAFETY

    Please may we remind you that St Mary’s is a ‘nut-free’ zone; this includes all makes of nuts and nut products, including peanut butter. The avoidance of nuts on school premises helps us to protect those pupils with severe allergies who may be at risk of developing anaphylactic shock following even minimal contact with nuts, for example from touching a surface that a nut-eater has previously touched. More information can be found under the parent section of our school website: see Pupil Health and Wellbeing/Food and Drink. We thank you in anticipation of your kind cooperation.

    Tomorrow’s Celebration Assembly is being commandeered by mathematicians from all year groups, who will be sharing some of what they have learned in maths lesson this week and this term. Parents welcome.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 25 JANUARY 2018

    Published 25/01/18

    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

    This week we have been focusing on our ‘enthusiasm’ for learning and it has been evident that everyone has made a determined effort to demonstrate this week’s important value! 

    Year 4 children enjoyed an exciting trip to the British Museum on Monday - an excellent stimulus for their spring term topic work - and they were great ambassadors for the school, with their excellent behaviour. Well done, Year 3 and thank you to our parent helpers.

    School leaders have carried out our annual safeguarding and SEND audits this week as well as a review of our ‘healthy school’ status.  I have been conducting lesson observations as part of our school’s monitoring and evaluation programme and the maths and literacy leaders conducted a book scrutiny on Wednesday evening.  

    Our hard-working PTA members are hosting the school disco this evening; KS1 from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and KS2 from 7.15pm to 8.15pm. Please collect your child promptly after the event as we are still encouraging them to eat healthily and try to fit in their nine hours sleep on school nights! 

    May I remind you not to allow visitors to access the school via the school gates. If visiting the school during the school day, please come in via the School Lane entrance and report to the school office immediately on entry. This is to maintain site security and help us to identify all visitors in case of an event like a fire drill. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

    We look forward to welcoming you to tomorrow’s Celebration Assembly at 2.30pm; please note this will  change to 2.15pm after half term, to allow for the setting up of our after school club, which will be on-site, from Monday 19th February.

    Next week’s value of the week is ‘perseverance’ and we do hope that children will come to school ready to persevere, especially with their mathematics, as next week is also Maths Week! Please note the date for our KS2 parents’ maths Information evening on Thursday 1st February at 6.00pm; come a bit earlier if you would like to partake in refreshments. The maths evening will be led by our maths leader, Miss Clark, who will explain some of the mathematical terms and methodology used in classrooms, to help parents to confidently support their child’s learning at home. Friday 2 February’s Celebration Assembly (2.30pm start) will be replaced with a Maths Celebration Assembly.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 18 JANUARY 2018

    Published 22/01/18

    Next week’s value is Enthusiasm

    “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Clubs began in earnest this week. It was great to see activities in full flow and to experience the smell of cookies wafting down the corridors from the activity room. Thank you to our teachers and volunteers who give generously of their time to provide these additional opportunities for pupils. If any parent or grandparent has a burning desire to run a club relating to something they are passionate about, please do let us know; don’t be shy!

    I should like to thank the PTA for all their hard work last year and, in particular, in the run up to Christmas. Their fund-raising efforts, including the Christmas Fair, have been truly remarkable, and will enable us to make some important purchases to enhance opportunities for children. The focus last year was on raising money for our outdoor areas and smart boards. This term, the focus remains on the outdoors with shading as well as working towards some new fundraising initiatives, including much-needed money for a defibrillator. Thank you for all your hard work! We couldn’t do it without you!

    Year 6 pupils completed their bikeability training this week. Normal timetabled lessons will resume tomorrow. Children are fortunate to have a new teacher who shares Mrs Newton’s high expectations and determination for children to do well in their end of year tests. Year 6 children will be very much in our thoughts from now on, as they knuckle down to their studies in readiness for the demanding SATS tests in May 2018. Good luck Year 6!

    On Monday morning, St Mary’s had a ‘lockdown’ practice, as recommended by the health and safety authorities. This is to ensure children and adults are properly prepared, regarding safety maintaining procedures, in the event of any future, serious but unlikely threat to their security. Teachers explained the possible threat in age-appropriate terms (e.g. a swarm of bees) and the overwhelming majority of children were able to be sensible and to remain silent and hidden, alongside their teachers. Well done to all!

    On Tuesday, our Deputy Head, Mrs Buckley, attended a curriculum conference in London. She returned to share what she had learned in Wednesday’s staff meeting. The focus of the staff meeting was on the relevance of our curriculum to meet the needs and future aspirations of pupils in a changing world. Mrs Ryder (History Subject Leader) also gave valuable feedback following a book scrutiny and Miss Clark and Mr Bannister shared some classroom successes and good ideas with colleagues.

    This week the school business manager and I will be meeting ‘Koosa’ After School Care representatives. The aim of the meeting is to firm up on our plans to run an on-site after school care facility, after half term.

    There’s always more to do ... but we endeavour to be innovative and enjoy the challenge!   Thank you for all your support. 

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 21 DECEMBER 2017

    Published 21/12/17

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We made it! Here we are - hasn’t the time flown by!

    This extended newsletter is full of information about what each of our classes have been learning this term so I plan to say very little other than a big thank you, on behalf of all the staff of St Mary’s School, for your generous gifts, cards and kind words and for your continuing support of our school.

    A Very Merry Christmas

    and a Happy New Year!

    Stay safe, warm and close to family, friends and loved-ones this Christmas.

    We look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 8th January 2018.

    Best wishes

    Janis Radcliffe

    Head Teacher

     

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  • NEWS - 7 DECEMBER 2017

    Published 15/12/17

    Next week’s value is Generosity

    A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Well, who would have thought this week could have been any more frenetic than the last?

    The week began with Reception/Key Stage 1 Nativity rehearsals and, considering how little time had already been devoted to practice, teachers were pleasantly surprised, to the extent they were able to enjoy two good night’s sleep on Monday and Tuesday! Teachers could only have dreamed of the heights to which children’s performance would be further elevated over the course of the week and we are expecting great things from tomorrow’s final performance. Well done to Reception and Key Stage One children and to their teachers and all who gave so generously of their time to make the performances a success. Congratulations to Miss Howells who coordinated the whole festival of creative arts on the theme of the Christmas Story.

    On Thursday, there was more singing and dancing when Year 4 presented their class assembly themed around this term’s topic work - the Second World War. And yes, it’s true...Mrs Radcliffe was moved to tears! The singing was so absolutely beautiful and the story so very poignant and well told! Thank you to our Year 4 children, Mrs Ryder and Mrs Balchin, all of whom worked really hard to prepare an informative and thoroughly enjoyable assembly.

    Tomorrow (Friday 8th December) is our ‘REACH’ assembly which replaces our usual Friday Celebration Assembly. Parents are welcome to join us as we present awards to the individuals in each class who have been nominated by their teachers to receive recognition for regularly displaying the characteristics of Respect, Endeavour, Achievement, Creativity and Happiness!

    Thank you and well done to all who organised and took part in last weekend’s ‘Santa Dash’ and well done to Mrs Buckley, who proudly informed me that she was the first female ‘grown-up’ to make it round the course. A substantial sum of money was raised towards the purchase of a defibrillator to be shared by the local community.

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 14 DECEMBER 2017

    Published 15/12/17

    Next week’s value is Peace

    “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

    Dear Parents and Carers

    The festive feel is becoming increasingly apparent around school as we hurtle towards Christmas and the end of the autumn term. 

    This week saw KS2 carol singers practising their songs for next week’s carol service at St Mary’s church on Monday evening (6.30pm start) and a small group of selected singers have been practising their carols for their visit to Surrey Heights Care Home for the elderly next Tuesday afternoon.  Thank you to Mr Crocker, who continues to give voluntarily of his time to accompany our singing practices.

    We welcome two new pupils (Elena and Madeleine) in Years 5 and 6; both of them are to be congratulated on settling so quickly into the school and we thank their teachers and pupil ‘buddies’ who have helped them cope with the transition from a school outside of the UK. 

    Thank you to our catering colleagues who provided a wonderful Christmas lunch for children, staff and visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Thank you to all our adult helpers and the school administration team, who coordinated the seasonal dining event.

    PTA members have been extremely busy this week, helping children to prepare ‘Secret Santa’ gifts for Christmas and getting ready for the PTA Christmas Fair this Friday, an event which looks set to be great fun! The hall will be in use from 1.00pm for setting up and preparations so there will be no Celebration Assembly this week.

    On Thursday, Year 6 pupils staged their class assembly, giving a stunning performance linked to their topic work on World War I. Children are to be commended for doing so well in the absence of their class teacher and my thanks go to colleagues who shared my view that ‘the show must go on’! Well done to all!  

    Tomorrow (Friday) is ‘Christmas Jumper Day’. Children may wear their favourite festive jumpers over slacks, jeans or track-suit bottoms and we look forward to Rocksteady’s Christmas Concert which starts at 9.00am. 

    Next week is the last week of term. Term ends after lunch on Thursday 21st December and children should be collected promptly at 1.30pm. Please remind children to bring home their personal belongings and PE kits for washing before the end of this term.

    The spring term begins on Monday 8th January 2018. Clubs begin the week commencing Monday 15th January.

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 22 NOVEMBER 2017

    Published 27/11/17

     

    Next week’s value is

    “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

    Phew! Another busy week at St Mary’s!

    On Monday, we welcomed Mrs Joanna Chudley (Teaching Assistant), to St Mary’s School. Mrs Chudley will join Mrs Bennett and her Reception Class children.  Mrs Chudley is looking forward to getting to know parents too.

    Reception, Year 1, 2, 3 and 4 children received their nasal flu vaccines this week. Hopefully, these will protect them from any nasty viruses that might be doing the rounds this winter.

    Children throughout the school have been enjoying some exciting, special, gymnastics sessions this week and last week Teachers have been attending as observers too; picking up some new ideas for their own gymnastics lessons in future. 

    It’s already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! The caretaker has got the post-box down out of the loft and I believe I have seen a tree, some baubles and even some tinsel! I have also heard lots of tuneful singing emanating from classrooms, as children rehearse enthusiastically for nativity concerts and carol services.

    Year 3 parents will understand that senior leaders’ priority, this week, has been maintaining the staffing of Year 3 in somewhat difficult circumstances. I should like to publicly thank Year 3 parents for their generosity of spirit. We have been overwhelmed with extent of empathic sentiment and been thrilled to receive some very kind offers of support. We are doing everything we can to keep staff changes to a minimum, whilst continuing to deliver the curriculum, using high calibre teachers. Fortunately, planning is already in place, thanks to Miss Howells’ meticulous preparation and filing system, last year. Thank you to all, for your continuing patience and kind understanding.

    Thank you also to colleagues who have given additionally of their time to ensure as much consistency as possible. 

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 16 NOVEMBER 2017

    Published 16/11/17

    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

    Earlier this week, school leaders met with Good Shepherd Trust consultants to carry out a validation exercise in respect of our school improvement plans and self-evaluation. We were delighted with the findings and are pleased that our teachers’ hard work is being recognised. Other monitoring and evaluation activities this week have included lesson observations focusing on the quality of pupils’ learning, pupils’ enjoyment and attitudes to their learning and teachers’ use of assessment data to support children’s learning and progress.

    On Tuesday, Year 6 had a fantastic day out at the Imperial War Museum, giving an added dimension to their topic work about World War 1. All had a great day out and, in typical St Mary’s style, children were well behaved and respectful, showing an interest in their work throughout the day. Well done Year 6 and thank you to Mrs Newton and to assistants and parents who helped out on the day.

    On Wednesday, children from Reception class through to Year 6 enjoyed participating in healthy eating workshops. The programme, led by an outside company, addressed many of the learning objectives from the PE, Science and PSHE curriculum. Thank you to Mrs Wright for organising this excellent day! Teachers became pupils again, in our after-school staff meeting, when our healthy eating promoters delivered staff training to further embed teachers’ knowledge and skills. Whilst all of this was going on, Mrs Buckley was at Shottermill Junior School, receiving training about extending more able pupils in maths and literacy and facilitating children’s success in achieving ‘greater depth’ learning; one of our school priorities.

    On Thursday, Year 2 pupils delivered an amazing assembly, telling us all about their topic work on the Great Fire of London. Well done and thank you to Year 2 children and to Miss Howells and her assistants, for a truly entertaining and informative assembly.

    Tomorrow is Children in Need Day when children may pay £1 for the privilege of wearing mufti. The money will go towards Children in Need charity. Thank you in anticipation of your generous contribution. Note also, that the PTA are asking for donations for the chocolate tombola and the bottle tombola - see below for more detail.  

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 9 NOVEMBER 2017

    Published 09/11/17

    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 - 2 NOVEMBER 2017

    Published 03/11/17

    Next week’s value is Hope

    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Children have made a good return to school after their half term break and teachers have heard some lively reports of the events of the holidays!

    This week we have welcomed a number of prospective parents who, when visiting classrooms, have commented on how impressed they are with our children’s learning and behaviour, and especially with their ability to explain the details of their learning and outline their personal targets for improvement.

    Children had their first sing-song of the half term yesterday. KS1 sang along with Mrs Griffiths, when they practised the words to some of our more familiar songs and KS2 sang with Mr Crocker, who will be preparing them for our end of term carol service.

    On Wednesday, during the first of our weekly staff meeting, teachers engaged in a joint assessment of the quality of work in pupils’ exercise books; they looked at continuity and progression across the school and assessed the quality of marking, feedback and pupils’ responses, which were deemed to be of a high standard.

    A representative from ‘Music-works’ came into school on Thursday to help set up new equipment and show school leaders how to use the new sound equipment that has been purchased with funds raised by the PTA. We are very grateful to the PTA for these additional, exciting resources and look forward to putting them into use. We hope that the addition of microphones will enhance our performances, especially where children are required to talk to a large audience.

    On Thursday I attended a ‘Headteacher’s Away Day’ at Waverley Abbey. The day included a focus on ancient, contemporary and personal wisdom alongside a rare opportunity for some reflection time!

    I plan to take forward what I learned about reflecting and relaxing through to the weekend and I hope you have a relaxing weekend too!

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 19 OCTOBER 2017

    Published 19/10/17

    Next week’s value is Thankfulness

    Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

     Dear Parents and Carers

    This week we held parents’ evenings for parents of children in Years 1 to 6. The exception was Year 3 and those parents should have received separate communication. Year 3 meetings will be rescheduled for later this term. Teachers had plenty of positive things to say about children and, in some cases, parents gave complimentary feedback about their child’s class teacher, something we always welcome and appreciate! 

    Selected netball players played competitive matches at Tillingbourne on Tuesday afternoon and St Mary’s children did extremely well, coming 3rd out of the seven teams represented. More about this below and well done to our young netball players! Thank you to Miss Clark and parent volunteers who helped to make the event a success. 

    On Wednesday morning, Mrs Isobel Ramsay, our GST attached Consultant, visited St Mary’s to carry out joint lesson observations with school leaders. Mrs Ramsay was happy to validate the accuracy of leaders’ judgements about the quality of teaching and learning. It is good to know we can have confidence in the accuracy and usefulness of our monitoring and evaluation activities. 

    Tomorrow (Friday) is World Maths Day! Teachers have some exciting activities up their collective sleeves to hopefully inspire and entertain our young mathematicians.

    Following some concerns raised by parents and colleagues this week, we have given consideration to our PE/Games kit requirements. (See Mrs Wright’s entry further down this bulletin). Children should ideally have separate indoor and outdoor kit (i.e. yellow T shirt and blue shorts for indoor dance/gymnastics and a track suit, extra T shirt and a pair of trainers for outdoor games). Although, ideally, indoor kit needs washing at least every half term, the outdoor kit might need more regular attention, especially in the winter months when the ground is invariably wet. Teachers will remind children to take their outdoor kit home more regularly and it would be helpful if parents can please try to ensure the kit is returned immediately, so that it is in school ready for the weekly games lesson. We apologise, in advance, for the extra washing! 

    Finally, I should like thank parents for their help and encouragement this term and to wish you all a safe, happy and enjoyable half term holiday. School resumes on Monday 30 October, at the normal time as we race towards Christmas! 

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 13 OCTOBER 2017

    Published 13/10/17

    Next week’s value is Thankfulness

    Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

    Dear Parents and Carers

    The week began with a visit to Butser Ancient Farm, linking with this term’s Year 3 topic work on the Stone Age. Pupils made some rare and interesting discoveries as they carried out an archaeological dig and practised their hand at chalk carvings. Thank you to teachers and parents who helped make the day a success.

    On Wednesday and Thursday, we held Open Mornings when prospective parents were invited to look around St Mary’s and hear about what we have to offer, including our extra-curricular clubs, sporting activities, music, entrepreneurial skills, day and residential trips. 

    On Thursday morning, Year 4 pupils dressed as evacuees, as part of their World War II topic work; they went out of school to the homes of ‘host families’. Thank you to our volunteer host families who set the scene with drinks and biscuits and kept the children busy with their chores!

    Tomorrow (Friday) Year 6 pupils are going on a Roman Dig! Our thanks go to Mrs Moser who owns Windmill Farm in Hampshire, where the Liss Archaeological Society has been excavating a substantial Roman site. Mrs Moser very kindly invited our Year 5 and Year 6 pupils to participate. Children made some interesting discoveries on the 200 acre farm. During the afternoon, children had an insight into orienteering and learned some valuable map reading skills.

    Remember next week is parents’ evenings for Years 1 to 6. Please sign up on the sheets which are on the windows of the Mullard building if you have not already done so. Reception Class parents will have an opportunity to find out about the progress of young children after half term.

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 5 OCTOBER 2017

    Published 05/10/17

    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

    The week began with an assembly presentation from the Cats’ Protection League and speakers encouraged children to think about animal welfare. We always welcome outside speakers, but equally, we welcome parents and grandparents who might have a hobby or an interest they would be willing to share with children. Please contact the school office if you have a burning desire to present an assembly or perhaps you would be more comfortable in the smaller setting of a classroom, delivering age-appropriate material.  It would be great to have a list of parent volunteers.

    Teachers, as well as children, have been continuing their learning this week. On Monday, Mrs Spong attended an RE Conference and, on Tuesday, Mrs Newton learned about ‘Engaging and Inspiring More Able Children’. We also have in-school professional development opportunities, including through conference feedback and  via our monitoring and evaluation programme. Lesson observations have taken place this week and will continue into next week with the GST Consultant visiting on Tuesday to carry out joint observations, to validate the accuracy of our judgements about the quality of teaching and learning.

    Wednesday was ‘no Pens Day’ and children and teachers had to find ways of communicating other than in writing. As you can imagine, this was a great excuse for chatter but children did learn to express themselves clearly and to consider ways of making them heard and understood, other than by putting pen to paper.

    Thank you to Year 4 and Mrs Ryder who led our Harvest Service at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday morning. We were treated to some lovely signing and a tale about ‘Stone Soup’, which fitted in well with the theme of thanks and giving. Thank you to Reverend Sarah for her contribution and for allowing us to use St Mary’s Church.

    Year 1 pupils led their own marvellous assembly this morning, sharing with us some of what they have been learning in their topic work this term. Thank you to Year 1, Mrs Spong and Mrs Buckley for their support.

    Next week we have Open Days on Wednesday and Thursday morning (9.30am to 11.30am). This is really a marketing exercise to attract prospective families, but parents of current pupils are very welcome to attend. Please let Mrs Bishop in the school office know if you would like to join in with a tour of the school.

    Finally, we are looking for a Teaching Assistant. Mrs Davies has unfortunately had to resign for personal reasons and we need a part-time Teaching Assistant for Early Years. If you are interested in applying for this position, please contact the school office and ask for a job description and application form. Closing date Friday 13th October at noon.

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • 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 - 7 SEPTEMBER 2017

    Published 07/09/17

    Next week’s value is Community

     

    “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Welcome back to St Mary’s and the autumn term!

    All children, teachers and new colleagues have made a great start on their return to school this week! We welcome all of our new children and their teachers, including Miss Halliday, Miss Clark, Mrs Bennett, Mrs Dickson, Mrs Davies and Mr Hanson. We hope all newcomers will soon feel at home and enjoy being part of our very special St Mary’s School Community.

    We have received some exciting news that Mrs Newton is expecting her first baby early next year. I know you will want to join me in congratulating her. Mrs Newton will be going off on her maternity leave after Christmas and a letter has been sent to Year 6 parents confirming the school’s plans to temporarily replace her with a high calibre, experienced professional who will ensure that Year 6 children continue to make good progress and are well prepared for their end-of-year tests.  

    Although children returned to school on Tuesday, the term began a day earlier for teaching staff who held a whole staff meeting on Monday, followed by a series of training sessions, including Safeguarding, First Aid, revision of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and training in the use of Electronic Registers. The latter will speed up the process of registration and gives us some options to add other functions to the system later in the year.

    Teachers and administrators have been hard at work during the summer holidays. This year has been unusual in that we have had a lot of building work done to create an additional classroom. The results are spectacular and I should like to thank everyone involved, in particular our School Business Manager, Mrs Oqvist, who manages the school’s finances and premises and the teachers themselves, who have been moving furniture and locating resources. Thank you also, to Mr Whitbourn, Mrs Bedford and Mrs Swift for ensuring the school was clean and ready for business on Tuesday and to the remarkable Mrs Bishop who has given of her own time to get systems up and running! What a great team!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 20 JULY 2017

    Published 20/07/17

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    This week has been spectacular; children have been busily creative and teachers have been tying up loose ends from the term and forward planning for the autumn!

    All subject leaders have submitted their action plans for the new academic year, and these will be incorporated into new school development plans over the summer.

    The successes of the previous development plans are clearly reflected in the progress that pupils have made. The percentage of pupils achieving age-related expectations at the end of Key Stage 2 as follows:

    KS2 Maths 100% (compared to 75% last year)

    KS2 Reading 95% (compared to 81% last year)

    KS2 Writing 90% (compared to 75% last year)

    KS2 Grammar, punctuation and spelling 84% (compared to 69% last year).

    At the end of Key Stage 1, the percentage of Year 2 pupils achieving the ‘expected standard and above’ in reading, writing and mathematics was as follows: Reading 83%, (previously 67%), Writing 73% (previously 53%), Mathematics 83% (previously 62%).

    The percentage of Reception Class pupils achieving the ‘GLD’ (i.e. a ‘good level of development’, has risen to 70% (this year) compared to 53% (last year).   Well done to all our hard-working children and a big, big thank you to St Mary’s dedicated teaching team, for all that has been achieved this year.

    I should like to add my thanks to the administrative team and those working ‘behind the scenes’ at St Mary’s; these quiet and humble individuals maintain the high standards of our school environment, keep children safe and ensure the smooth running of the vital administrative, financial and premise functions of the school.

    Finally, my personal, most sincere and heartfelt thanks to my trusted and committed Deputy, Mrs Sheila Buckley, without whom things simply wouldn’t be as they are at St Mary’s! Thank you Mrs Buckley! 

    On Monday, Year 6 pupils ran a Talent Show and after-school fund raising event, along the lines of Chiddfest. This was a test of their entrepreneurial skills learned in Biz School and children raised sufficient funds to pay for a party, (with bouncy castle), to take place after school this Thursday.

    On Tuesday, Year 6 children led the Leavers’ Service at St Mary’s Church. Thank you to Reverend Sarah and Miss Hannah Pye for helping with the selection of some very lovely bible readings. Together with the children’s own carefully-written prayers and Reverend Sarah’s poignant words of wisdom, this made for a thought-provoking and beautiful service.

    Thanks to Mrs Wright, who, on Tuesday afternoon, organised a whole school running event ‘Race for Life’, raising significant sums of money for cancer research charity.  Thanks to the PTA for snacks and refreshments.

    On Wednesday, staff held a lunch-time ‘get-together’ in honour of four members of staff who are leaving us at the end of this term. Our very best wishes to Mrs Denyer, Miss Harling, Miss Hughes and Mrs White, who are moving on to pastures new. 

    Term ends on Friday, with a final assembly starting at 9.00am, parents are welcome.

    On behalf of the staff of St Mary’s School, thank you for all your support throughout this year and for the generous array of beautiful gifts and words of thanks, which are very much appreciated. 

    With our very best wishes for a safe and happy summer!


    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - SATs Results

    Published 07/07/17

      7th July Mufti Day – bring in a bottle and sweets for Production 7th July Rocksteady Concert 9am-1pm 7th July @ 2.30pm Celebration
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  • NEWS - 15 JUNE 2017

    Published 16/06/17

    Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God” Leviticus 19:3

    Dear Parents and Carers

    It’s been another busy week at St Mary’s, but the weather has been very kind to us, has it not?

    The week has seen Phonics Screening Checks in KS1 and Sports Day for both Key Stages on Tuesday; more about sports day in Mrs Wright’s report below but suffice to say it was a fantastic day! Teachers were immensely proud of the children who showed great passion and determination, increasing resilience, a great attitude, and, in some outstanding cases, some really skilful and intelligent sportsmanship! Well done children and a big, big thank you to Mrs Wright and the teachers and to our helpers from Godalming College.

    On Tuesday morning, a GST Consultant visited our school to discuss predicted end-of-year outcomes for pupils in each class. There were many positives to report however, the approaching end of term does not signal a time for complacency. Teachers and Senior Leaders will continue to focus on strategies to further improve our end of year outcomes. This will occur at the same time as ensuring children continue to enjoy their learning and that they participate in the many exciting events planned for the end of the year.

    On Wednesday, our Year 5 pupils set off on their residential visit to High Ashurst and reportedly had a wonderful time. We welcomed our September Reception pupils who came to school to meet their new class teachers, Mrs Griffiths and Mrs Bennett. On Thursday we had a visit from the KS1 moderator, who worked with Mrs White to validate the accuracy of our end of KS1 assessments.

    Also on Thursday, our School Council representatives visited Woolmer Hill School, where they met children on School Councils from different schools. Thanks to Mrs Creswell and Mrs Rauch for preparing the children so well for this visit.

    Finally, keep an eye out for the July Parish magazine which will include an article about last week’s Holy Communion Service, written by one of our children, Joshua in Year 5 – do look out for it!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Yours sincerely

    Headteacher

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About St Mary's

St Mary's is an academy within the Good Shepherd Trust, part of the Guildford Diocese. We provide education from Reception (age 4) through to the end of KS2 (age 11).

St Mary’s School aims to offer every opportunity for children to reach their full potential in a secure and nurturing environment. We believe that self-esteem and confidence are the best predictors of future success and we value achievement in all areas of the curriculum...

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