On Monday, the Reception Class went on an autumn walk to The Leys. The children were able to collect conkers, sticks and leaves to take back to school as well as spotting other natural objects such as feathers, snails and mushrooms.
The children demonstrated their curiosity by asking and answering questions such as ‘Why do some conker shells have prickles but other shells are smooth?’ and ‘Who has been eating the conkers?’ as well as ‘What does the bark feel like?’ This was a wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand the natural changes that occur in the autumn season.
On World Mental Health Day, we spoke to the childrenduring Collective Worship about how looking after ourselves includes our minds as well as our bodies.
We reflected that our Happy School Rules and value of Love means that we know how unique and precious we all are. We finished by listening to some quiet music, looking at our lit candles and thinking of all the special people we have in our lives.
As part of our topic on ‘Street Detectives’ Year 2 went out and about exploring for signs of geography and history in our local environment. This included a visit to the Witney and District Museum where we found out lots about the history of Witney.
We learnt about local industries including blanket and glove making, and saw old photographs and maps of the area. We were very excited to find a section all about the Witney train station, trains and railways.
On Wednesday 3 October,we held our Harvest Festival Celebration at St. Mary’s Church, Witney and what a joyful occasion it was! Led by Rev’d Toby Wright the children shared in the message of thankfulness for the generous gifts we receive from God.
The children rejoiced in the message through songs including ‘We put on the Harvest Table’ and ‘Let’s Celebrate’. Prayers were said by Year 2 including a poem especially written for the occasion by Helena. Mrs Grier gave a reading from Psalm 65 which expresses thankfulness for God’s blessings. Our school community brought to the service generous donations of food which were distributed throughout Witney on our behalf by the church.
On Monday 30 September, staff and governors joined together for training led by the Oxford Diocese. As a church school, this year we will receive a visit from the inspection body of the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools. As ever, we will prepare for this by doing what we do best which is ensuring that our school vision is at the heart of everything we do.
The training, led by our Diocesan Adviser, was a valuable opportunity for us to share key documents and reflect how we can best live our vision through our value of Love. As a reminder, we have sent home to all familiesa postcard with details on of our three school priorities for this year and our vision statement.
On Monday, Mrs Grier accompanied our Year 1 children to Forest School with Mr Hazel our Forest School Leader. All our children at St. Mary’s have eight forest school sessions throughout the year as we value the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and have time for learning in the outdoors.
This week the children were inspired by the art work of Andy Goldsworthy and everyone had a wonderful time creating designs with leaves, twigs and other natural materials. The time to listen, reflect and share moments of peace was also woven into the afternoon making it a special occasion to come together.
Wednesday was the perfect day for our Sports Day and the children participated in every event with enthusiasm and full of team spirit. The Sporty Strawberries were triumphant as the overall winners. A very big thank you to Miss Atkinson for organising such a superb morning with some different challenges for the children to tackle.
We were also very lucky to have several Year 10 Sports Leaders from The Henry Box School who not only helped us out on the day but also on our rehearsal morning, so a huge thank you to them as well. We hope they will be able and willing to come back again next year!
The Year 2s went on an action packed trip to Warwick Castle to conclude their learning for the topic, 'Towers, Tunnels and Turrets'. The weather was glorious which meant that we could see for miles once we reached the top of the tower.
On Tuesday all our classes took part in a fantastic ‘materials’ workshop presented by Ian from Science Oxford. The session began with the children thinking about what a ‘material’ was and which materials were in their classrooms and why certain materials were used for certain jobs e.g. why is a table made from wood and metal and not paper and string.
On Tuesday, the Year One class had a wonderful trip to Lea Wood on the Filkins Estate for a fantastic day outdoors in amongst the bluebells. We went on a walk hunting for woodland creatures and had to make it through the Troll Trap safely.
The Reception class were very excited to visit Farmer Gow's this week. We were able to bottle feed lambs and kids as well as taking part in the feeding of the adult sheep and goats. We even got to cuddle the chicks!
Opening the school door yesterday morning was a joy as I was greeted by familiar faces dressed as wonderful book characters. In amongst the characters there was the beanstalk, from Jack and the Beanstalk, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, the Cat in the Hat, the Book Fairy and Percy Jackson.
Year 1 have been studying space as part of their topic this term, ‘Moon Zoom’. And surely, (except for a St. Mary’s rocket trip!) there could be no better way of experiencing the galaxy than by journeying into the sky and seeing the stars close up which we did with a visit to a mobile planetarium.
Our Year 2 children joined a number of other Witney schools on Tuesday to participate in the Year 2 Partnership concert. The children performed the story of ‘Penny the Raindrop’, which was a marvellous way to learn about the water cycle through singing and narration.
Year 2 visited Frankie and Benny's as part of this term’s topic ‘The Scented Garden’. The children had great fun designing and making their own pizzas. The icing on the cake, or the pepperoni on the pizza, was that they got to take their wonderful creations home to eat and share with their families.
The children in Reception Class showed lots of enthusiasm when they came to school dressed as a character from a Traditional Tale. A vast range of Traditional Tales were represented including; Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and The Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and The Three Little Pigs.