Great news! ODST have confirmed to us this week that they have awarded us a substantial grant to support our playground redevelopment.
This means we should be able to begin Phase 2 of the playground project in the summer holiday! We still need to continue our fund raising efforts but, with your support, we should be on target to provide St. Mary’s children with a wonderful space to play and learn in the new academic year.
The children at St. Mary’s love reading and so today was the perfect opportunity to come dressed as our favourite book characters. The snowy weather conditions didn’t put anyone off although there were clearly a number of thermal layers being worn under outfits.
In amongst the characters there was Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, Hermione from the Harry Potter series and a number of characters from Roald Dahl including Willy Wonka, the fantastic Mr Fox and Matilda.
Year 2 visited to Frankie and Benny's on Tuesday as part of this term’s topic ‘The Scented Garden’. The children had great fun designing and making their own pizza. The icing on the cake, or the pepperoni on the pizza, was that they got to eat their wonderful creations too!
The children were enthusiastic about their pizza making skills and described the trip as ‘awesome, delicious and exciting’. Ruan commented, ‘The pizza was delicious. I had ham, cheese and tomato sauce on mine.’ While Sophie was enthusiastic about the range of ingredients that she got to add to her pizza.
My thanks to our parent volunteers for escorting our children to the pizza parlour.
Visit from Blue Cross
Gemma from The Blue Cross animal charity visited Reception this week as part of this term's topic, Do Cows Drink Milk? Unfortunately, their educational dog was injured so Gemma brought along an animal puppet to explain how to look after and care for pets.
恭喜发财 or ‘happiness and prosperity’ to all our friends!
The children enjoyed a fabulous experience as part of our Chinese New Year celebrations today, when we were joined by Li Bin who shared with the children many traditions linked to Chinese New Year and presented the children with a number of small tokens to take home. In Reception it was a delight to watch some of the children joining together to re-enact a dragon dance.
In Reception it was a delight to watch some of the children joining together to re-enact a dragon dance.
Traditional Tales Wow Day
What a surprise on Friday morning to discover that the Reception teachers had disappeared and their places taken by characters from Little Red Riding Hood. Mrs. Goodman was disguised as grandma but bore a strong resemblance to the wolf as well - very strange!
The New Year got off to a WOW start when the school became awash with Year 2 children dressed as pirates. They made a frightening sight as they sang sea shanties and scrubbed the decks! The children investigated famous pirates, decorated biscuits, created jelly fish and sent messages in a bottle.
St. Mary’s was a hive of activity on Saturday 2 December when we held our annual Christmas Fayre. We are delighted to announce that due to overwhelming family support we raised a record breaking £1033!
St. Mary’s had a special visitor this week! Pudsey Bear joined us on Tuesday and reminded us to support Children in Need by bringing in a donation and wearing something ‘spotty’ on Friday 17 November. The children were delighted to see Pudsey and had all sorts of questions to ask him such as ‘Do you wear pyjamas in bed?’ and ‘What’s your favourite food?’ Apparently Pudsey loves to eat strawberry ice cream and jelly babies!
This year St. Mary's families have once again generously filled shoeboxes for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal coordinated by www.teams4u.com. T4U are a small charity which aims to transform communities by empowering parents and children through education, healthcare training and teams.
A huge thank you to our families for supporting this charity.
During remembrance week we have been reflecting on the meaning of remembrance during collective worship. On Friday 10 November, Mr. Exham, Mrs Grier and children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 walked to the War Memorial to lay a wreath on behalf of St. Mary's.
On Monday, Year 1 met lots of exotic animals during their visit from Amate Animalia. The visit helped to enrich the children’s learning and was part of the introduction to their new topic ‘Paws, claws and Whiskers’.
On Tuesday our new Year 2 topic ‘Beat, Band, Boogie’ began with a bang (literally!) and a WOW start when Year 2 attended an African Drumming Workshop with World Beats Music. The children had a fabulous time and learnt to play the drum with different parts of their hand to create a range of sounds and learnt to beat to different rhythms. The reverberation of 30 children drumming throughout the school was quite something!
Celebration of Learning
Year 1 and 2 had an exciting time on Thursday sharing their homework tasks with each other. We were delighted to see the range of their projects from Lego volcanoes to dinosaur hats, fantasy maps, photos of them exploring Cogges Farm and interviews with local residents.
This week we had a visit from Marcina, a classical Indian dance teacher as part of our celebration of Diwali. During the workshop the children acted out the story of Rama and Sita and, as you can see from the photo, our Year 2 children particularly enjoyed taking on the role of Hanuman’s monkey army.
For two fabulous weeks in October the children of St. Mary’s had the opportunity to see and hear incredible music. We had visits from Witney Town Band, The School of Rock, Frank Harrison playing jazz, string instruments from Oxon County Music Service and Salt Box Music Discovery. Parents shared their talents too with Mr Lovell playing brass instruments and Mr Whitaker on guitar.
This academic year we have enriched our curriculum by introducing French teaching across the school. From Reception through to Year 2 our aim is to embed a love of languages from early on in life. French language and culture is led by our specialist French teacher Mademoiselle Reynolds.