...fostering a positive and responsible attitude in children towards their environment...
As usual, it has been an incredibly busy term here at St Mary's. In the lead up to Christmas, the children have enjoyed a whole school party, a pantomime visit, a carol service, carols around the tree, the PTA Christmas fair, KS1 Christingle service, two KS1 nativity plays, various class treats and Year 6 have been carol singing with our friends at Bradford Abbas Sports and Social club. Phewww!! Thank you to the children for being so well behaved and appreciative as always - they are a credit to us and their families. Thank you also to the staff who work so very hard to ensure that these activities take place as well as continuing the all important learning alongside. Thank you to parents who have supported us so well in everything we do.
This term, our library has been completely reorganised into the Accelerated Reading system to help children choosing from their book bands. This took an enormous amount of work and thanks must be extended to Mrs Judith Hayward who helped staff with this during the October INSET day. We look forward to developing this work further in the new year as children, parents and staff become more familiar with the new system. Lots of children are already receiving certificates for their reading progress!
We have supported a number of charities and good causes this term raising money for the Bags to School charity, Lord's Larder, Children in Need, the Royal British Legion and the PTA. Money was also raised through buying Christmas cards that the children had designed and we are using the profit to buy new books for the library. We are also planning to hold a collection for Daniel England who runs the Vine Youth Ministry. Daniel takes assemblies regularly at school for no payment and he is an inspirational speaker and musician. The children love his visits! Holding a collection during our 'Carols around the tree', is one small way of thanking him for his hard work.
Year 6 musicians took part in a Pyramid workshop and concert with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra which was a very special opportunity and a huge privilege. Their finished composition was amazing; well done to you all! Another pyramid music project is planned for March 2016 for the choirs in every school - we are very much looking forward to being involved with this! There were lots of compliments about the choir after the recent carol service. We only have 15 minutes to practise every week so I am very proud of what we have achieved in that time!
Over the Christmas holidays, the KS1 toilets are due to be redecorated. Unfortunately we suffered a water leak after the toilets were refurbished and we have had to wait for the walls to dry out before repainting could commence!
In the Spring we are looking forward to our Spiritual Garden coming to life. We have appointed the services of a Landscape Gardener to work with the school to bring our vision to life; a grant from Salisbury Diocese was used to fund this. In the Spring, we will begin to bid for funding to pay for the building of it and we aim to involve the children wherever we can. The plans can be found on a display in the hall - please feel free to have a look.
We continue to work very closely with our colleagues in the small schools' cluster and Sherborne pyramid. This term, the maths leaders have been working on a pyramid calculation policy, the SEN leaders have met to share best practice, the PE leaders have finalised all the sporting fixtures and competitions for the coming year and the music leaders have staged one pyramid concert and are already planning another! In the Spring, the English leaders will meet to look at writing across all the schools and moderate judgements of attainment.
The Spring and Summer will also see a host of cluster trips, both residential and day planned by the small schools' cluster Heads overseen by Miss Stuckey. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes to make all these wonderful events happen! The pyramid Heads regularly meet to plan projects together and to ensure that we are providing the best possible opportuntiies and proivision for all of our children.
I am very proud of the work that the children, staff and governors do here at St Mary's - we have a very special team!
Thank you and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and new year!