...achieving the highest standards of which children are capable in all areas of academic and personal development...
As another academic year comes to an end, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past year and to outline some of the events for the last week.
It has been a historic year for St Mary’s. Making the decision to convert to academy status was not an easy one and was done after years of consultation, research and meetings. Creating our own MAT has been a massive undertaking which has taken energy, time, commitment and on some level, a leap of faith. On the 1st June, we became part of the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust; I am proud that we are joining with our neighbouring Sherborne schools and hope that in time, our MAT will become nationally recognised as a beacon of success.
We have had academic success again this year – the percentage of children gaining the higher level in Year 6 SATs has made a massive jump from the previous (and first) year of the new more rigorous tests by approximately 45%. Well done to the children and staff for their commitment and work ethic.
We were very proud to be awarded outstanding in our SIAMs inspection in June. This was no mean feat – the level of scrutiny was rigorous and thorough. We were thrilled that our achievements had again been acknowledged, particularly as the standard is ever raised.
We say goodbye to three staff members. Mr Siggins will be retiring after many years serving the school. Originally a PE coach then a Teaching Assistant, he retrained as a teacher and began his first teaching post here in 2010. We will certainly miss his presence and involvement with the school; from football, cricket, rugby and latterly gardening clubs to hymn practices and much more! However I don’t think he will be too much of a stranger somehow!
We also say thank you and goodbye to Miss Walpole who is leaving to take up teacher training in September. I used to teach Charlotte (in Year 5!) at my old school so it is lovely to see her fulfilling her potential in this way. Charlotte was employed on a fixed year contract using some additional funding the school received and unfortunately due to funding restraints, there are no plans to replace her.
Mrs Holgate is also leaving. Mrs Holgate has been working between St Mary’s and Buckland Newton Primary School this year. She has been offered a full time post with Buckland Newton which is obviously more convenient for her. Thank you Emma for all your help over the past year. There are collections in the office for all three staff members if anyone wishes to contribute.
We welcome two new members of staff and one new Governor to our team in September. Miss Libby Redman will take up the post in Year 4/5. Miss Redman comes from Sherborne Primary School and is very excited to start working with us. I think she will be a great asset to the team.
Congratulations also to Mrs Karen Britton who will be taking up the part-time Admin Assistant post from September. Mrs Britton is Mum to Isabella and Henry and will be working every afternoon in the office until 4pm. We hope that this arrangement will bring us the consistent cover to the office that we very much need. Mrs Tracy Moise has been appointed as the new parent Governor for the school. Tracy has a breadth of experience in leadership and management in her own career and we think she will be a fantastic addition to our Governing body.
Good luck to Mrs Dyer and Miss Walpole who are both getting married over the Summer break. Miss Walpole will become Mrs Hawkins and Mrs Dyer will be known as Mrs Newton. We send both brides and grooms our very best wishes for the day and for their married lives together.
As well as the teaching and learning, we have so much to celebrate this year – a new classroom, the Golden Mile Challenge, Nativity plays, concerts, the Gateway, numerous trips and residentials, Bikeability, musicianship programme, Chess/rounders/crickets/netball/football/athletics tournaments, Business and Enterprise days, the list goes on and on. I would like to say a massive thank you to my staff who time and time again, go out of their way to give the children some fabulous experiences to enrich their education. And thank you to the parents who help supervise, volunteer their time to listen to children read, raise money for the school, help with swimming, maintain the swimming pool and carry out odd jobs around the school. We couldn’t do some of these activities without you and we are very grateful.
Reports and final week…
Reports were sent out today. It was a pleasure to read about the children’s achievements and learning styles. I hope you found them useful. I have only sent questionnaires out to Year 6 leavers and new entrants this year so don’t worry if you haven’t received one. We now plan to do a whole school questionnaire every other year. If you have any particular feedback and comments that you’d like me to see, please put them on your child’s comment form. If we could have the comment forms back by Thursday at the latest, we can photocopy them and pass a copy back to you for prosperity!
This year is particularly pertinent for me as this cohort of Year 6 was my first Reception class here at St Mary’s and we have trodden the road together. I still remember them scooting around Mrs Grundy’s room, not a care in the world and here they are ready to take on whatever Secondary School has to offer. Good luck Year 6 – you are all very well placed to make your mark on the world!
The Year 6 pupils are performing their annual skit to the whole school and Y6 parents on 20th July at 2.30pm. The leavers’ disco is at 6pm-7.30pm on Thursday evening, £1.50 per child and Year 6 are free. Please bring the permission slip with you on the night. The leavers’ service is in the church at 1.30pm for all parents. School will break up after the service, usually about 2.30pm. We would love to see you all there.
Please remember to take everything home on the Thursday so we can sort out any lost property.
School resumes on Wednesday 6th September 2017. The children can wear Summer uniform up until the October half term if the weather is warm.
In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and very happy Summer and look forward to another year (after a much needed break!).