St. Mary’s Newsletter TH SSEEPPT TEEM MBBEER R 44TTHH 220 00 099
Welcome back everybody! I hope that you‟ve all enjoyed a great summer and feel rested for the challenges of this new academic year. It‟s an exciting, sometimes scary, time for the children, entering new classes with new teachers or even starting school for the very first time. The adults often share similar feelings too! We also think at this time, and send our best wishes, to our ex-Year 6 leavers who are moving on to their new secondary schools. Work with the classroom extensions has been progressing apace and I‟m delighted that we have three fabulous „new‟ rooms for the children, as well as an extended library and focus (group) room. I would like to thank Longshaw, our builders, Phil from Munday and Cramer (surveyors) and the Governors and staff involved in the process for helping to achieve such an excellent end product – and on time! I hope that, when you see the work, you will agree that it was worth the effort and unavoidable disruption that comes with such projects. You may also notice new doors in various parts of the school and a new pergola shaded area in the Infant playground. It has been a busy time!
Key Aspects of Learning In the classroom, we will be focusing on the development of certain key learning and social skills. Each year group will be selecting a skill or two to focus on this term and their development should be apparent in much of the work that the children do. You may remember me consulting you about this last term and thankyou to parents who fed back their ideas about which skills they thought should take priority. The KAL include problem-solving, evaluation, creative thinking, motivation and working as a team.
Developing Key Skills: “Young Enquirers” Another of the Key Aspects of Learning – or key skills – is „enquiry‟ and, with that in mind, I am intending to develop a „Young Enquirers‟ after-school club. This is based on the Essex Local Authority‟s “Active Enquiring Minds” resource and is aimed at developing young people as researchers. With the ultimate aim of involving pupils as young researchers as part of how the school examines, evaluates and challenges itself, children will be introduced to what research is, deciding what to find out, and how to collect and interpret data. They will decide upon and devise methods for their own research ideas and work towards a „Certificate of Student Enquiry and Research‟. All Junior age children (Years 3 to 6) are allowed to „apply‟ once I‟ve mentioned it to them next week in assembly and then I will need to decide upon a selection method if numbers are large. The reason for mentioning this to parents is that you might want to encourage your child to become involved and also to demonstrate with a concrete example the kind of way in which I hope to lead our development of key learning skills.
Developing Key Skills and celebrating achievement: „School Magazine‟ Another way of developing children as interdependent, creative learners will be to involve them in the production of class or year group publications. This may take the form of a „magazine‟ and/or could form part of the children‟s section of a remodelled website. Once again, children may – at some time soon – apply for „editorial‟ positions but all can be involved in contributing to it. One function of this publication could be to celebrate out-of-school achievements as well as in-school, such as „Star of the Week‟; the newsletter can then be reserved for the most outstanding achievements.
Film Club Miss Ekers will be starting this club later in the term for Juniors and children will have the chance to sign up soon. If you want to know more about it, have a look at www.filmclub.org
Values for Life: Responsibility The Bible teaches that life is a gift from God and it is our responsibility to use our talents and abilities in the best way we can. Be careful what you say (James 3) and the Ant and the Grasshopper (and Proverbs 6.6-8) relating to taking responsibility for our time are the first two references we will be making in assemblies.
Brentwood School I enjoyed a tour of the school yesterday with a delightful ex-pupil, Josie Carver, followed by refreshments with the Headmaster, Mr Davies, and other staff. Mr Davies was very complimentary about the St Mary‟s children he receives and is very keen to accept more! He wanted it to be known that there are now a number of 100% bursaries available for gifted children – Year 6 pupils will shortly receive their invitation to the open day visit.
PARENTPAY Thank you to those that have returned their advice slips in regard to ParentPay. We are pleased that so many of you have expressed your delight in our adopting this system – much easier for everyone!
PLEASE FIND BELOW THE DATES FOR THE NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR SEPTEMBER 2009 TO JULY 2010: Autumn Term 2009 – 3rd September 2009 to 18th December 2009. Half term w/c 26th October, returning on Tuesday 3rd November (Wednesday 2nd September and Monday 2nd November are INSET days). Spring Term 2010 – 4th January 2010 to 1st April 2010 (2nd April is a Bank Holiday). Half term commences Friday 12th February (INSET day), returning to school on Monday 22 nd February 2010. Summer Term 2010 - Monday 19th April to Wednesday 21st July (22nd July is an INSET day) Half term from Friday 28th May (INSET day), returning to school on Monday 7th June. DIARY DATES – AUTUMN TERM 2009 1/10 26/11 30/11 1/12 2/12 7/12 8/12 9/12 10/12 15/12 16/12 17/12
Harvest Festival Service in St. Mary‟s Church a.m. (Year 6 and Foundation parents only) Junior Eucharist (in school Hall) all Junior parents welcome (a.m.) Infant Nativity Play 2.00pm Infant Nativity Play 2.00pm Infant Nativity Play 10.00am Junior Nativity Play 2.00pm Junior Nativity Play 2.00pm Junior Nativity Play 7.00pm School Christmas Lunch. Year 6 to Old Shenfield Place after lunch. Lower Juniors Christmas Party Infant End of Term Service 2.15pm at St. Mary‟s Church Upper Juniors Christmas Party Junior End of Term Service 2.15pm at St. Mary‟s Church Infant Christmas Party