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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

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  • NEWS - 18 OCTOBER 2018

    Published 18/10/18

    “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

    It’s been a busy week for staff development. On Monday, Miss Howells attended an all-day training session with a leading literacy specialist, sharing ideas and good practice with colleagues from other schools. On Wednesday, Mrs Newton and I met with a representative from the ‘Guildford Science Education Partnership’, with whom we plan to work to further develop science teaching and learning. This science scheme is part of a government-led initiative to increase children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines, and is part of an even grander, longer-term bid to address the shortage of workers available to work in STEM-related careers in future. We are very excited about the project and look forward to networking with other schools and attending further training courses including ‘Making powerful connections between science and literacy’, ‘Strengthening Science Subject understanding’, ‘Developing the role of the Science Subject Leader’ and ‘Working Scientifically in the Primary Curriculum’. We will be reviewing our Science Action Plan and looking at ways to develop practical experimental science and science assessment. 

    Internet Safety 

    Are you aware of the NSPCC Net Aware website or App? This helps parents to look up Apps or games that children might access. Parents can find out more information about the dangers and risks. Visit https://www.net-aware.org.uk  to access this excellent resource.  It’s also worth knowing about the O2 mobile phone provider helpline.  Parents who find it difficult to set parental locks or solve technical questions, relating to online safety, can call the helpline and speak to a specially trained E safety expert who will help answer questions about filtering or setting parental locks. The number to call is 0808 800 5002. Alternatively, you can pop into any O2 branch and ask to speak to an NSPCC trained specialist who will set the locks for you, on your tablet or mobile phone. 

    It is important to have conversations with your children, from an early age, to keep them safe. There are some effective videos on the NSPCC website which are designed to be conversation starters; they are extremely thought-provoking and easy to watch. Visit https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping -children-safe/share-aware/ to view the videos.

    Have a super weekend and a safe and enjoyable half term. See you on Monday 29 October.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 11 OCTOBER 2018

    Published 11/10/18

    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

     

     

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  • NEWS - 27 SEPTEMBER 2018

    Published 27/09/18

    Next week’s value is Friendship

    “Do for other people what you want them to do for you.” Luke 6:31

     

    Dear parents/carers

    Team work was our value of the week and it was great to see so many teams, associated with the school, working together harmoniously for the good of all.

    The Senior Leadership Team had their work cut out, explaining the strengths and areas for development to our GST School Effectiveness Officer (all good practice for Ofsted!) whilst the Pupil Leadership Team have been efficiently carrying out their duties, including patrolling corridors, setting up assemblies, counting up house-points, helping younger pupils keep the peace and assessing the tidiness of cloakrooms! 

    The teaching team have led excursions to the Rural Life Centre (Year 4) and Butser Ancient Farm (Year2).  A big thank you to teachers and helpers and a rousing well done to children for displaying their brilliant, child-like sense of awe and wonder, as well as for their excellent behaviour! 

    The PTA has also been busy and had its first meeting of the school year this week. At the meeting, representatives looked back at what they had been able to fund for the school last year to enhance the learning and experiences of all the children. The school is, as ever, extremely grateful to PTA members who work so hard to bring additional resources to our school through their dedicated fundraising activities. 

    Last year, the PTA paid for leavers’ pens and diaries for all year 6 pupils; it also paid for the shade sail and new picnic tables in the playground (fabulous foresight as it turned out with the early summer heat wave we had!).  PTA funds also paid for the Biz School event, a Defibrillator for the school, and they also covered the cost of putting interactive smart boards in, Y3 and Y4.  Finally the PTA funds paid for the newly installed adventure playgrounds that popped up over the summer holidays during 2017 and the new sound system in the hall.  Those last 2 items alone came in at a cost of nearly £9,000 so you can see how substantial the support that the school gets from the PTA is and how those mufti pound coins and drinks tombola bottles add up!!

    Finally, Mr Whitbourn continues to lead the caretaking of our school. Without him, the school wouldn’t even open in the mornings! I feel sure that you and your children would like to wish Mr Whitbourn a very happy birthday for this week!

    Happy Birthday Mr Whitbourn!

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

     

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

    Published 20/09/18

    Next week’s value is Friendship

    “Do for other people what you want them to do for you.” Luke 6:31

     

    Dear parents/carers

    We have had another fun-filled week! From the fabulous display of costumes in last Friday’s Dahlicious Day to the events of this week, children have enjoyed their learning and grown in confidence.

    Year 1 children had a great day out at Arundel Castle on Wednesday. Thank you to teachers and volunteers who supported the trip. Well done to Year 1 children whose exemplary behaviour made the teachers very proud!

    I would also like to take this opportunity to thank parents who have donated to our School Fund. Each term, we ask parents to make a donation (see below under School Fund Donation) and we are always hugely impressed with the level of response. I am indebted to parents who contribute so much to the school, both through their contribution to the School Fund as well as in other ways, including through one-off donations, involvement in PTA fund-raising activities, cake-baking, and donation of resources, toys, gifts and raffle prizes and so on. Please know that your contributions are very much appreciated. The additional income goes towards the extras for the children that make the St Mary’s experience just that bit more special! Thank you again for all that you do for us!

    Next week, as part of their preparation and warm-up work for their termly topics, Year 4 children are looking forward to visiting the Rural Life Centre and Year 3 children are going to Butser Ancient Farm. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 13 SEPTEMBER 2018

    Published 20/09/18

    Next week’s value is Community

    “Let all that you do be done with Love”. Corinthians 16.14

    Dear parents/carers

     

    Welcome to all new Reception children who joined St Mary’s School this week. Miss Griffiths reports there have been times when she has been unable to see the classroom carpet for toys, nevertheless she has been impressed with children’s sense of awe and wonder and with their thirst for learning! Miss Griffiths has been sleeping extremely well this week!

    Our new Pupil Leadership Team got off to a good start on Monday morning when they presented an informative assembly to the school. Peer Mediation Team members revealed how they can help younger children resolve small playground disputes; generally through promoting discussion and compromise. Peer mediators are actively trained in conflict resolution techniques and they are given clear instructions regarding their role and when to refer concerns to an adult.

    On Thursday morning we held our ‘New Beginnings’ Service at St Mary’s Church. We formally welcomed new pupils, parents and colleagues and we hope you will be very happy in your new school! 

    Tomorrow (Friday) is ‘Dahlicious Day’ when we look forward to seeing some fabulous outfits representing characters from the much-loved Roald Dahl’s books.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 7 SEPTEMBER 2018

    Published 06/09/18

     

    Next week’s value is Community

    “Let all that you do be done with Love”. Corinthians 16.14

     

    Dear parents/carers

    It gives me great pleasure to welcome all children and families back into school this week.

    I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that you are not experiencing overwhelming  loneliness, in the absence of your children’s company for the first time in six weeks!

    We also welcome all new children and colleagues and hope that you will quickly settle into the routines and enjoy being part of the special community that is St Mary’s School. Please remember that we are here to help; if you have any concerns or worries, please do not hesitate to bring these to the attention of an established staff member, who will be more than happy to assist.

    Term has begun well, with all children arriving punctually and settling quickly into their new classrooms and routines. Children who are new to the school have each been appointed with a ‘buddy’- a nominated partner to support them through these early days of transition.

    Children have been reminded of the classroom and playground rules, as well as about e-safety, punctuality and good attendance. Teachers have also reinforced the importance of reporting any concerns in relation to bullying and each child  has been issued with a leaflet telling them how to tackle such concerns.  It is helpful if parents can also discuss these issues at home, so that children understand that parents and school work closely together, sharing the same expectations, for the children’s benefit.

    As you can see from the calendar dates, there is plenty to look forward to this term. Children should get ready to come dressed up as a character from one of Roald  Dahl’s famous books, next week. We do hope that everyone will participate.   

    Please note, there will be no Celebration Assembly this week.  

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 12 JULY 2018

    Published 13/07/18

    Next week’s value is Confidence

    “I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength”. Philippians 4.13

    Dear parents/carers

    Well done to KS2 pupils who participated in the District Sports at Charterhouse School this week. Children trained intensely in preparation for the event and they certainly did us proud on the day! Well done to children and a big thank you to Mrs Wright for organising all of our sporting activities this term! More about the District results in Mrs Wright’s report below.

    Thank you to our Work Experience students, all former pupils of St Mary’s, who joined us in school over the past couple of weeks. Students helped out with end of term activities, including sporting events and the end of year production, gaining some valuable experience of life in a school setting, from the other side of the desk!

    Year 6 Moving Up Day went well on Monday when Mrs Newton made a special visit to meet her new class and she is looking forward to working with them in September. 

    Our grateful thanks to the Three Peaks Committee, who gave a brilliant presentation in Monday’s assembly. These wonderful ladies really are an inspiration to us all and we were thrilled to hear more about their training, exploits and the challenges they faced, when climbing the three highest mountains in the UK.

    Key Stage 2 SATS results were published on Tuesday! We are very pleased with the outcomes and all pupils, regardless of their individual results, should be extremely proud of their efforts. Well done, Year 6 children!

    Governors said a fond farewell to Reverend Sarah when she attended her final Governing Body meeting on Tuesday evening. The Chair, Mrs Doherty, thanked Sarah for her commitment and contribution to St Mary’s School and the church over the past 15 years. We are very sad to see her go and add our heartfelt thanks to Reverend Sarah. We wish her, and her family, every success and happiness in all future endeavours. We will certainly miss them!

    The end of year production had its first airing as a dress rehearsal on Wednesday morning. Nursery pupils visited St Mary’s to act as the first test audience and some last minute amendments have been introduced. Hopefully, all goes well and we are looking forward to this evening and tomorrow night’s performances. I should like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Cowley, and Andy from Musicworks, for giving so generously of their time to help us set up the sound system and carry out the sound checks. Thanks also to the PTA, to whom we are hugely indebted, for their support of this event and for all their hard work over the course of this year.

    Look out for end of year reports this Friday - if children are anything like me, when I was their age, they will have opened, read and eaten them by the time they get home!

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 5 JULY 2018

    Published 05/07/18

    Next week’s value is Creativity “In all the work you are doing, work the best you can.  Work as if you were working for the Lord, not men.” Colossians 3:23

    Dear parents/carers

    Counting down.... 11 school days to go until the end of term!   The majority of children have already met their new class teachers. Children in Year 5 will meet their teacher, Mrs Newton, on Monday 9th July 2018. Mrs Newton is looking forward to getting to know them better.  We welcome Miss Emma Hampshire to Year 4.

    This week saw the last of the after school clubs. Be ready to look out for information about our new autumn term clubs; you can sign up early in September.

    Year 3 went to Sea City in Southampton - a fitting visit to the historic museum to reinforce what they learned in their Titanic topic work. Everyone had a good day and, as always, Mr Bannister was impressed with children’s behaviour.

    School Council members delivered our assembly on Monday.  Next year will see some new members elected so do encourage your child to apply, if they have an interest in making a difference!  More details below.

    The Open the Book team from our local group of churches gave their final assembly of the year on Tuesday. We should like to thank the team for entertaining and teaching us about bible stories throughout the year and wish them all a restful and well deserved break.

    Year 6 children have been visiting senior schools recently to prepare themselves for the transition and we hosted the last of our SMART clubs for new Reception class children and parents earlier this week. Our thanks to Miss Griffiths for her hard work and to the PTA for supporting - explaining to new parents how the PTA works and showing some items of uniform.

    On Wednesday, children in Upper Key Stage 2 visited the Cathedral for the ‘God and the Big Bang’ experience.  Children participated in workshops led by three highly esteemed research scientists, one of whom is a science magician and a member of the Inner Magic Circle.  Children were encouraged to consider and question the relationship between faith and evolution.  The children asked thought provoking questions and gave mature and reflective responses.  The behaviour was exemplary and they made the accompanying adults very proud.  Thank you to Reverend Sarah and the church for organising and funding this event.

    KS2 Confederation sports day took place today at Woolmer Hill, more news on this next week.

    Something to look forward to...next week, on Monday, the fantastic, the fabulous, the incredible, the magnificent, the awesome ‘Three Peaks’ team will be in school, in the morning, when they will deliver an assembly to children, telling them all about their adventures whilst climbing the three highest mountains in the UK.

    Have a great weekend.

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 14 JUNE 2018

    Published 15/06/18

    Next week’s value is Reflection

    “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart”. Proverbs 27:19

    Dear parents/carers

    It’s been unusually quiet in school this week! Year 6 children set off on Monday, to Chidham Residential Centre, run by the Christian Youth Enterprise Sailing Centre in Chichester and Year 5 children arrived safely, on Wednesday, to the more local High Ashurst Outdoor Education Centre, where they will spend a couple of days engaging in exciting outdoor activities. We expect all children (and adults) to arrive back on Friday afternoon and to sleep really well this weekend!

    On Monday evening, Miss Griffiths and I met with the parents of those new pupils who will be joining our Reception class in September. Children themselves came into school on Wednesday, for ‘SMART Club’ and their first taste of school. Everyone seemed to be settled and happy and we know that you will make new children and their parents very welcome, when they join us formally, later in the year. 

    Pupil numbers are expected to be only a little below this year’s numbers, in September, but we do still have about 6 vacant places in Reception and a couple of places available in other year groups. If you hear of anyone looking for a school place, please do let them know and encourage them to visit us. You are our greatest allies and most effective, unpaid, marketing executives!  It is worth knowing that, for every pupil on our register, we receive more funding with which to buy curriculum resources and provide children with extras that will further enhance their learning.

    On Wednesday afternoon, selected Year 3 and Year 4 children visited Charterhouse School, where they took part in the District Sports athletic events. Well done to all participants and thank you for representing St Mary’s School so brilliantly!

    I had a meeting with Mrs Oqvist this morning, when we put the final touches to the GDPR (General Data Protection Guidelines) paperwork, which will be sent to you in September. It would help us enormously if we could have a swift turnaround of this important information so please do look out for it and respond quickly. Thank you in anticipation for your cooperation. 

    Next week is national ‘Feel good Week’, which we will be kicking off with a visit from Mr Bowring and his hedgehogs! More about this special event in next week’s bulletin. 

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 8 JUNE 2018

    Published 08/06/18

    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

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 24 MAY 2018

    Published 24/05/18

    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

    Who can believe it’s the final week of half term? It feels like only a very brief time since we returned to school after the Easter holiday!

    Year 2 children have been busy with their KS1 SATs papers this week and, whilst the papers have yet to be formally marked, the impression is that children have done well. Congratulations to Year 2 children and to their teachers who have prepared them for their tests.

    This week has been a busy week for school leaders. Mrs Buckley attended a SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Conference, in London, on Tuesday, whilst I updated my Level 3 Advanced Safeguarding Certificate, in Kingston upon Thames. Continuing professional development is important for all our staff and we endeavour to participate in the most current and relevant training, ultimately, to maintain safety, welfare and excellent educational provision for our children.

    It is worth reminding parents that, on the issue of safeguarding, Mrs Buckley is the school’s main Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and that I am her Deputy. If any parent has a concern about the safety or welfare of a child or family, please don’t hesitate to approach either Mrs Buckley or myself for a confidential discussion. If you have a concern about the safety of a child or family and prefer to contact Children’s Services direct, you can call the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), which responds to initial enquiries about children, young people and adults. The MASH is based at Guildford Police Station and combines Children's Service social workers, Adult's Service social workers, and health and police staff.

    Phone: 0300 470 9100      Out of hours phone: 01483 517898 to speak to the emergency duty team.                              

    Email: emails are dealt with during normal office hours                                                                       

    For concerns for a child or young person: csmash@surreycc.gov.uk                                                                   

    Secure email: if you want to report concerns for a child or young person using secure email, contact: csmash@surreycc.gcsx.gov.uk                

    For concerns for an adult: ascmash@surreycc.gov.uk

    On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended a residential course for Headteachers of all Good Shepherd Trust Schools. There was a great deal of interesting discussion and some effective sharing of ideas, under the chairmanship of the Trust’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Billings. 

    Back in school on Thursday, children were treated to a visit from representatives of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). Children learned about lifeboats and the procedures deployed to save lives at sea. Children were thrilled to see an actual lifeboat and some took the opportunity to try on the water-proof gear, which would be worn during a sea rescue.

    Next week is half term followed by INSET Day on Monday 4th June. Children should return to school for the second half of the summer term, on Tuesday 5th June 2018.

    Have a brilliant weekend and a safe and happy half term!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

     

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  • NEWS - 17 MAY 2018

    Published 17/05/18

    Next week’s value is Reverence

     

    “Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28

    Dear parents/carers

    Year 6 children sat their national tests (SATs) this week. All participants remained calm and demonstrated resilience, when faced with the rigours of the testing programme. Well done to Year 6! We know that you will have done your very best and, regardless of outcomes, we are very proud of you all!

    In relation to the SATs tests, we had a surprise visit, on Wednesday morning, from Ms Laura Dobson, a monitoring inspector, whose role was to check on the storage of test materials and the administration of the tests. I am pleased to report that Ms Dobson was satisfied with St Mary’s test paper storage arrangements and that she confirmed the tests were correctly carried out, in keeping with formal test administration guidelines.

    Year 1 children and their teachers had a wonderful day out on Wednesday. They visited Southsea and HMS Victory. Children collected shells and other artefacts from the beach and they were very excited to see the amazing boat! The weather could have been better but, all in all, it was an excellent day out, which included lots of fun, laughter and hands-on learning. Teachers reported back on good behaviour throughout the day. Well done, Year 1 and a big thank you to Year 1 teachers and their helpers.

    We have been blessed with visits from representatives of the Good Shepherd Trust recently. Following a visit, last week, from the CEO (Mr Billings), we welcomed one of the Finance Directors to Tuesday’s meeting of the governing body and teachers met Mrs Jo Cambra in Wednesday’s staff meeting. Mrs Cambra talked knowledgeably, about the GDPR (Data Protection) legislation and associated requirements. It is likely that you will receive some communication from our administration department, in due course and you will be required to confirm that you have given consent for various things. Please look out for the paperwork and be sure to return it promptly.

    On Thursday, school leaders met with the Early Years Leader, Miss Griffiths, for a review of our Early Years’ Action Plan. Children in Reception classes are enjoying their writing and story-telling and we are predicting that they will all have made good progress by the end of the year and that the majority of them will attain a good level of development. Well done, Reception; this bodes well for Year 1 and beyond. 

    Tomorrow, the school will be celebrating the royal wedding with a mock wedding ceremony conducted by the very Reverend Sarah. I look forward to telling you more about this exciting event in next week’s bulletin. In the meantime, thank you to Reverend Sarah and to pupils who are taking part and to Mrs Buckley and Mrs Balchin for coordinating the event.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • New News Story

    Published 10/05/18

    Dear parents/carers

    It’s been a funny old week? Was that really only four days?

    School has been a hive of activity, as always, with everyone back in ‘full swing’, following the lovely, long, hot, sunny weekend. 

    Aside from their teaching duties, teachers and school leaders have been in meetings for much of the week. Topics under discussion have included:

    • the teaching of RE under the new SIAMS framework
    • Funding streams - we are always on the lookout for ideas to raise additional funds for our school to give pupils the best resources and educational opportunities possible

    Next week is KS2 SATS week, commencing Monday 14th. Monday’s tests will centre on spelling, grammar and punctuation, with reading on Tuesday and maths later on in the week.

    This Friday will see the last of our maths booster sessions and we hope Year 6 children will reflect on all they have learned as well as endeavouring to get plenty of rest over the weekend. Children (and parents!) should relax, keep calm and maintain perspective; anxiety will do nothing to improve outcomes!

    We are looking forward to our mock royal wedding ceremony next Friday. Preparations are well underway with Mrs Buckley as nominated royal wedding coordinator and pupil representatives have been selected from Year 5 to act out the parts of the royal couple and other participants. We are grateful to Reverend Sarah and Mr Roger Crocker who have kindly agreed to conduct and accompany the ceremony respectively. We are hoping for pleasant weather so that the children may gather on the lawns for cake and squash following the formalities of the ceremony. A representative of the Women’s Institute has kindly agreed to judge our cake competition and Mrs Buckley and I look forward to selecting the winning hat creations.

    E- Safety: We make every effort to protect children from online hazards and we know that parents do likewise at home. It is important for adults to keep up to date with any new threats to children’s safety and parents may find the following worthy of further inspection: 

    Fortnite - Battle Royale - for 12+ violent content and no proof of age required to sign up

    Marvel Strike Force - rated 12 and unsuitable for primary school children; no proof of age required when signing up, can be addictive and includes violent content. 

    The NSPCC also produces some useful information that parents may find helpful and can be accessed by cutting and pasting the following link into your browser:  https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 3 MAY 2018

    Published 03/05/18

    Next week’s value is Kindness

    “The islanders showed us kindness.  They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold”.  Acts 28:2

    Dear parents/carers

    Clubs began in earnest this week; there were lots of outdoor activities as well as a lovely, mouth-watering smell emanating from the activity room indoors!

    This week’s value of the week has been ‘kindness’ and children have been challenged to think about ways in which they can demonstrate this. Of course, they have risen to the occasion and we have seen some lovely examples of kindness and helpfulness around the school.

    Today (Thursday), we welcomed two very special visitors. Mr Tony Billings (Chief Executive of The Good Shepherd Trust) and Mrs Caroline Doherty (Chair of Governors) visited us! They both enjoyed their tour of the school. Children were well-behaved and proved to be great ambassadors for the school, demonstrating respect, showing off their good manners and responding politely to enquiries, leaving visitors with a very positive impression of St Mary’s School. 

    Children may have told you that, on Tuesday, we had a hitch with the fire alarm system, when it was unintentionally triggered! As a precautionary measure children had to be evacuated from the dining hall, whilst school leaders checked the kitchens, boiler rooms and appliances. Fortunately, staff and children were very well prepared and the whole event unfolded like clock-work, with some children even leaving their half-eaten lunches to line up in silence on the playground, under the instruction of their teachers. Well done and thank you to everyone - no need to panic!

    Next Monday (7th May) is Bank Holiday Monday so let’s hope for warmer weather! We look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 8 May 2018, same time, same place! 

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 26 APRIL 2018

    Published 26/04/18

    Next week’s value is Kindness

    “The islanders showed us kindness.  They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold”.  Acts 28:2

    Dear parents/carers

    Our first full week back and things are ramping up! Children are working hard, nowhere more so than in Years 2 and 6, where they are focusing all of their efforts on their learning, with a view to doing as well as they possibly can in the May SATS tests. Year 2 and Year 6 parents should look out for more information about SATS this week, but the over-riding message is to ‘Eat Well, Sleep Well and Stay Calm’!

    We are fortunate to have had good enough weather, on Tuesday, for the school photographs to be staged outdoors. Thank you to Mrs Bishop for her organisational skills - it’s a mammoth task to ensure every class in school is photographed, whilst still maintaining order and making the most of all learning time!

    On Thursday, we were treated to an extraordinary class assembly performance from Reception G. Taking account of their age and inexperience, the children presented confidently and with enthusiasm, on the subject of ‘bears’, showing that they have learnt a great deal about these animals! Thank you to Reception, Miss Griffiths and Mrs Johnson, for all your hard work and to Year 6 pupils (Daniel and Jake) who helped solve a technical hitch, so that it did not impede or detract from the performance. 

    Some of our teachers have been out of school this week, for further training in the assessment of writing and to participate in moderating their teacher assessments against other schools within the Haslemere Confederation.

    School leaders and teaching staff have also been consulting on marking and feedback systems. We aim to continue to provide meaningful feedback for pupils to enable them to make good progress, whilst, at the same time, eliminating unnecessary and unproductive workload for teachers. We referred to a report of the independent teacher workload review group (March 2016) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/511256/Eliminating-unnecessary-workload-around-marking.pdf

    The report suggests that marking should be:

    • manageable for teachers
    • meaningful and motivating for pupils 

    The teacher standards say that ‘teachers should give pupils regular feedback both orally and through accurate marking, and pupils should respond to feedback’

    We are interpreting the above such that, although we will still provide appropriate and ‘proportionate’ written feedback, we will endeavour to give even more feedback, on the spot, through oral response to children’s work in the classroom and we will provide even more immediate follow-up support where required.

    Children were also consulted on what works for them and their responses included:

    • If I don’t understand something, (I would like to) go in a group the next day to work on it again.
    • Mark it ourselves because then I find out what I’ve got right and wrong and can get better next time.
    • Talk to us and mark our work.
    • Talk Partner marking our work for us.
    • Highlighters – I know I’ve got it when it’s green, and I need more help if it’s orange.
    • Talk to us and explain in the lesson if we don’t understand.
    • Spellings on a post it note.
    • I don’t like you writing comments because the lesson has gone and I forget what we were learning about.
    • Working in groups with teacher or TA if we don’t get it.
    • Working on my own if I know what to do.
    • I like the questioning - reinforces learning - double checks we understand it
    • Self-assessment is a bonus - makes reflection easier
    • Reflective comments are sometimes quite difficult - we have a brilliant lesson and feel like sometimes we are writing for the sake of it
    • Stop writing comments and talk to me!

    As an outcome of these consultations we have produced new assessment guidelines, a copy of which is attached for your information. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

    The new Judo club, run by ‘Kinsa Judo’, started on Tuesday morning. A surprising number of pupils have registered to participate and we are conscious that this puts even more strain on our entry and security systems. Please do not use the staff car park for parking or turning and be very vigilant when walking across the car park towards the school hall. Please keep hold of young children at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.  On the subject of transport and safety, it has been noticed that some parents allow children to ride in the front seats of cars, without a seat belt, whilst travelling quite fast. Please, please ensure that your child is properly strapped in and teach them the importance of seat-belt restraints as potentially life-saving devices. It is also a legal requirement to wear a seat-belt.  

    Finally, if your child walks to and from school unaccompanied, are you confident that they are mature enough to be trusted to behave sensibly and safely? A small number of children have been witnessed climbing on equipment in the park and community areas, sometimes showing little regard for others and displaying no urgency to arrive in school on time. We would like to remind you that the responsibility for children lies with parents, before and after school hours. The school gate opens at 8.30am and school starts, with the opening of registers at 8.35am. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Next week, we are looking forward to a visit from Mr Tony Billings, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Good Shepherd Trust. Mr Billings will meet our Chair of Governors and will write to parents in due course.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 19 APRIL 2018

    Published 19/04/18

    Next week’s value is Respect

    Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour. “Romans 13:7”

    Dear parents/carers

    I hope you all had a lovely Easter holiday and a restful break.

    We welcome you and your children back to St Mary’s School as we look forward to yet another busy and productive term. We are pleased to welcome back Mrs Lawrence following her maternity leave. Mrs Lawrence will be based in Key Stage 1. Finally, a big welcome to two new children, Alex and Christian, who have joined us in Years 4 and 6 respectively, this week.

    Children returned on Tuesday and have settled quickly back into school routines. Term began a little earlier for teachers who had a training day and meetings on Monday. Teachers spent the day discussing the term ahead, tidying and preparing classrooms and engaging in some important professional development activities, including learning more about the principles of ‘continuous provision’, with a view to incorporating ideas in class, to further enhance our already full, rich and exciting curriculum.  

    Our curriculum is much more than simply maths, literacy, sport and the arts; it incorporates spiritual, moral, social and economic aspects as well as promoting positive values and attitudes, supporting the growth of children’s confidence and resilience and, most importantly, developing critical thinking skills.

    In this era of fast-growing technological development, misleading advertising and fake news, it is ever more important for children to learn to question the validity of information they receive, be it from the TV, via the internet, Email or links sent to them on mobile phones. We are encouraging children to ask more questions of their teachers. Parents can help at home by encouraging children to question and challenge the accuracy and veracity of information from various sources (e.g. TV adverts) and to consider the likelihood that all may not be as it seems; in short, we are developing a healthy scepticism. This can lead to some interesting debate and there is no better place to have such productive discussions than around the dinner table at family mealtimes!  

    As we approach the summer months, and in anticipation of some warmer weather, our thoughts may turn to the summer holidays. May I remind you that children are expected to 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. Our school term dates are published well in advance and holidays are not an acceptable reason for absence. Please see below our attendance information for the year to date. We would love to have 100% attendance for all year groups in the summer term!

    May I wish you all a very happy and healthy summer term!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

    Critical thinking starter question:

    If a man drinks orange juice every day and his wife does not and the man grows hairs on his chest and the woman does not, does that mean that drinking orange juice puts hairs on your chest?

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  • NEWS - 29 MARCH 2018

    Published 29/03/18

    We wish you all a very Happy Easter

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  • NEWS - 22 MARCH 2018

    Published 22/03/18

    Next week’s value is Trust

     

    “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God”. Psalm 20:7

    Dear parents/carers

    Only one more week until the end of term! With the clocks going forward this weekend, and the promise of brighter, lighter nights to follow, we hope children will take the opportunity to get outdoors in the evenings and at weekends. We are very impressed with the ‘Mums of St Mary’s’, a group of local mums who are setting an example, by taking on the ‘Three Peaks’ challenge in the great outdoors, during the summer. For more information about this and to find out how children can get involved, see below and look out in book bags for further information. Thank you and good luck to all brave participants!

    Our PTA members were busy again last week, raising money for the school by running a super ‘Fashion Show’ and wine evening. Thank you to Mrs Davis and other volunteers for organising and hosting the event and well done to my brave colleagues, who became accomplished catwalk models on the night! (Let’s hope there were no Versace talent spotters in the audience)!

    It is thanks to the hard work of our PTA and other local fundraising committees, including the bonfire committee and Chiddingfold residents, that we are able to purchase extras for the school. We have recently purchased a defibrillator which will give us peace of mind in case of any incidents requiring this level of First Aid. We understand it is fairly simple to use, nevertheless, staff training will take place shortly, courtesy of yet another generous and well-informed mummy! Thanks to PTA funding an umbrella to provide additional playground shade has been purchased and we expect this to be installed during the Easter holidays so children have extra shade in time for the long and glorious summer!

    Earlier this week, we welcomed Mr Ashley McKenzie (London and Rio Judo Olympian) and Ms Fiona Chan (current veteran British and European Judo Champion/world medallist), to our morning assembly.  Children were thrilled to be in the company of such high profile sports personalities, as they learned about the discipline and self-control required to become an accomplished judo practitioner. Children also had the opportunity to practise some of the simpler judo moves and our Year 5 teacher, Miss Clark was successful in ‘flooring’ the veteran champion! There is an opportunity for children to learn more about judo by attending Kinsa Judo’s new morning club from 24 April (8.00am to 8.30am). More information about costs, timings and alternative venues attached. 

    Assuming the weather does brighten up, children have the option to wear summer uniform after Easter.  Please ensure they have the correct uniform and kit: royal blue cardigans/fleeces, the correct socks, hair accessories, polished shoes etc – the following link on our website outlines the uniform requirements:- https://www.stmaryschidd.org/page/?title=School+Uniform&pid=37.  Children’s uniform will be checked, at intervals, throughout the summer term as we have demonstrated that it can impact on learning and playground behaviour (tidy appearance=tidy mind)! As always, we endeavour to encourage positive, respectful behaviour and good manners. Our children are generally very well behaved and we are proud that we are often commended for this in reports from hosts when we visit places of interest outside of school. Thank you for your support for this important aspect of our school - it doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s what makes St Mary’s stand out from the crowd!

    Finally, thank you and well done to Reception B children and their teachers, for a very entertaining and informative assembly on Thursday morning! Children presented the story of The Gingerbread Man and explained the scientific reasons behind the said cookies fear of water! Well done!

    Have a great weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

     

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  • NEWS - 15 MARCH 2018

    Published 15/03/18

    Next week’s value is Trust

    “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God”. Psalm 20:7

    Dear Parents/Carers

    We are fast approaching the Easter weekend with only two weeks to go before the end of term.

    It has been another busy week at St Mary’s and we anticipate that this will remain the case until the end of term. Year 2’s rescheduled visit to Marwell Zoo was a great success with lots to see and much better weather than the original date! Year 5 children also enjoyed their day trip to Winchester Science Museum and Planetarium on Tuesday. Children were well behaved ambassadors for our school. More about these exciting adventures below but suffice for me to say well done to all the children in Years 2 and 5 and thank you to all our staff and adult helpers.

    Well done to Year 5 and 6 netball team competitors who played at Rodborough School this week and also to our footballers who played at St Bart’s the week before. It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts and Mrs Wright has reported that everyone gave of their absolute best! Thank you, Mrs Wright for organising these extra sporting opportunities for our children and to all our adult helpers for your invaluable support. 

    On Thursday, selected children visited Chandler School for an ‘Able Writers’ Day’. This is a challenging extension opportunity for individuals who demonstrate literacy competence and expertise. Well done to our four attendees and thank you to Mrs Dickson who accompanied the children. 

    On Thursday morning, although I missed the assembly because I was out of school attending a Good Shepherd Trust business meeting, I had hardly set foot back in the school building before one of my esteemed colleagues approached me to tell me about the success of Year 4’s class assembly. Well done to Year 4 children and their teachers, for presenting an entertaining tribute to the Egyptians, as part of this term’s themed topic work.

    Staff training: This week’s staff meeting was led by Mrs Ryder. Mrs Ryder is our history subject leader and she gave feedback to colleagues from a recent history conference.

    Have a great weekend!

    Janis Radcliffe

    Headteacher

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  • NEWS - 8 MARCH 2018

    Published 08/03/18

    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

    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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