As part of their learning today, Year 1 zoomed off into a black hole! Opportunites to travel across galaxies are rare but here at St Mary's we decided to blow the school budget, complete a risk assessment to end all risk assessments and fund a trip into outer space (well, not quite, but we did organise a visit to a mobile planetarium!).
We were delighted that the first phase of our playground was ready for the children to enjoy on the first day back to school after Easter. The glorious sunshine has meant it has been perfect for the children to try out the trim trail and climb-in sandpit.
We had a very special visitor in our assembly today, Robert Courts MP. Other visitors including Anne Davey from the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and some governors joined us to hear all about what an MP does.
World Down Syndrome Awareness Day
Our children came to school this morning wearing odd socks to raise awareness of Down’s syndrome. The odd socks were worn by us all to remind us of our similarities and to celebrate our differences. Through the generosity of our families we raised £92.90 for the charity. You can find out more about the Down Syndrome Association by clicking here.
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 have spent a whole week learning about e-safety and how to be safer online. As part of the week we asked the children lots of questions about how they can stay safe online. You can read about the positive impact of the week on the children in our survey.
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.
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!
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!
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.