Welcome to our school website
I hope that you will gain a flavour of what we can offer your child or indeed if you are a current parent, that it gives you further insight into life at your child’s school.
The year so far - just a taster!
Recent months have furnished us with several proud moments within the Partnership of Chipping Norton Schools. In competing against 9 other primary schools, we were delighted to arrive home with the winning trophies for Literacy (Reading Quiz), football and swimming, highlighting the focus we put on development of all skills across the curriculum.
Sports are particularly important to us at St Mary’s, both those which encourage children’s competitive nature and those which encourage full access for children of all abilities. To this end we are planning to install an all - weather, high spec running track by September 2019, which will encompass the perimeter of the school playing fields. This will encourage children to improve their fitness levels, compete against each other in track activities and will provide an improved surface for a range of PE lessons, after school clubs and playtime sports.
Our link with St Mary’s church remains as strong as ever and we are pleased to announce that the volunteers from our church have now set up a “Full Circle” programme which brings together pupils from our school and senior citizens from the community. The visitors and children enjoy lunch together and swap stories, enhancing the lives of both generations.
Emma Kennedy from the church community also provides a weekly drop in session for parents to receive support, guidance and a sign posting service. Any interested parents can contact the school office to use this service.
As a result of the links with St Mary’s church we are also able to provide a well - stocked and homely nurture room where children can feel safe and supported when the need arises. As part of this provision we are able to offer our own on - site art therapist, a service which greatly supports children through creative approaches.
As a result of our weekly instrumental lessons sourced through the Oxfordshire Music Service, we are able to provide every child with free access to quality teaching of tuned instruments. The provision is enhanced further by our hosting of the Chipping Norton Junior Orchestra every Tuesday. This quality provision has made a significant impact this year as our clarinet and strings groups have been actively involved in the Chipping Norton Music Festival and have received some impressive gradings from the judges involved.
We also attended the public speaking section with several year groups, where the children had to recite poetry in front of judges and again received some impressive gradings for this element of performance.
I am delighted to announce that the very popular St. Mary’s Summer Festival will be back again this year in the summer term. (Keep an eye on the website for further details).
The event although primarily for fund raising, is an excellent opportunity for the local community to come together to enjoy live music, a variety of bars and food stalls and plenty of entertainment for the children whilst the adults relax and take in the atmosphere of an evening festival.
The event is organised by the “Friends of St Mary’s”, a group of dedicated parents who are responsible for organising social events and fund raisers. Anyone wishing to join the committee or wanting to offer help in any way can contact Sarah Wickham via the school office.
The summer term will be a hectic one with sports days, our evening of music and our Year 6 production at Chipping Norton Theatre to name but a few events. We hope you will be able to join us!
As maths is our focus area for this academic year, we have several initiatives in place. The school has focused on the “mastery” approach to mathematics and I would be very happy to talk to parents and visitors about this venture and what it means for teaching styles and for children as active learners and problem solvers.
The school employs a dedicated and highly skilled maths practitioner to support all staff and to help children “keep up” rather than “catch up”. As the school recognises that maths is a priority area for development, we have introduced small sized teaching groups to enable an improved ratio of child / teacher time and 1:1 revision sessions for Year 6 children.
If you are a parent seeking a school placement for your child and would like further information or a visit to our school, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa, Suzie or Anne in our school offices who will make the necessary arrangements.
You will be warmly welcomed to our school community and I look forward to meeting you and getting to know your child.
Yvonne Stallwood - Barnes