Head Teacher Blog

 

Thursday 30th March 2017

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our school concert today. We have piano and violin recitals from 2pm, and our brilliant musicians have practiced to show their skills and creativity to you. You may also have been to our talent show last week, where our talented pupils showed a range of skills and talents, with the winners being Jason and Simeon from Year 6. Each year had a winner, with the overall winner chosen by the panel. Please feel free to join us next term for this amazing event.

Tuesday 21st February 2017

A reminder to all parents to join us on Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch with school events and achievements!!

This week we have had some excellent news from The Minister of State for School Standards, informing us that we are in the top 1% of schools in England for reading. A huge well done to all of the staff and pupils, who are working so hard!

Monday 6th February 2017

Today during worship the whole school were thinking about the Syrian Crisis and the risks of radical and extreme views to all of us. We are focusing upon kindness and compassion this month.

 

Friday 27th January 2017

We have had a great start to the new year, with maths club packed with children every morning (all now wearing their 'maths ambassadors' badges), and all of our clubs full! I have been very impressed with all of the hard work I have seen in homework and home reading - and appreciate the huge impact this effort has upon achievement and progress for all of our pupils.

Today we have started 'hot chocolate Friday', and all of the pupils nominated for the 'golden chair' award have a cup of hot chocolate with me after our Friday assembly. From today photos will be uploaded to our school website and twitter and Facebook accounts for the school, which you will be advised of as soon as they become live. I would hasten to reassure parents that these social media accounts have limited access, and comments cannot be left under photos of the children - this is purely a record of the great achievements we are seeing in school from your children.

A big thank you to Mrs Daniels for this morning's phonic and reading training for parents. One the Key Stage 1 children thought this was an 'adult phonics' class, which made us all smile!

Wednesday 21st December 2016

I'm writing to say 'merry Christmas' to all of our families, and well done to the children for a brilliant term. Our gymnasts have been award winning, our footballers have played their hearts out against local schools. Maths club now has so many pupils attending that we have increased staff numbers; and the school's performance has been appropriately noted on league and performance tables nationally.

This term we have raised £162.65 for Save The Children; and £159.71 was raised towards books and musical instruments, through collections in the nativity performances. The money from the Christmas fair has now exceeded £1000, and is still being collected. As you know, all funds raised for the school are directly spent on materials and experiences for the pupils.

 Today, parents were invited to look at the work pupils had completed in maths club, and 100% of parents asked said that their child enjoyed the experience. Comments were made that:

"My child has grown in confidence with her maths work, and her levels have also improved. As a parent I am very pleased with the outcome of my child's progress."

"I have noticed an improvement, and she is where she should be."

"My child enjoys maths club, and it shows in her mid and end of term reports."

Please speak to me if you would like your child to attend.

We have all had a successful and happy term (working hard!) and we look forward to celebrating a new year with you.

Merry Christmas

Friday 11th November 2016

We have all joined together today to remember the fallen, and to teach the children about Remembrance Sunday. 

we have had a very busy week, and I want to thank parents for their support in sending so many of our pupils to the early morning maths club. Our records show that , if children attend this every morning they have improved in their in class mathematics, and are at least working at expected levels of achievement. I cannot recommend highly enough the extra practice this provides. It is also important for pupils who are not very confident to have this extra practice, and opportunity to make mistakes.

Monday 5th September 2016

A big welcome back to all of our pupils, parents and staff! We are looking forward to the children starting back to school tomorrow - especially our new children starting school.

A few changes to tell you about. The entrance to school has been adapted in line with guidance given to us on safeguarding. When you come into school, you will see that there are new doors to prevent people walking into school and bypassing the office staff. You will now only be able to gain access to the school building once you have been buzzed through the two sets of doors. Please ensure that you always report to the school office if you come into the school building.

In addition to this, we will be shutting the school hall door when maths club takes place, so that adults cannot wander the school building before school starts. If you wish to see you child's teacher, please either see them on the door or make an arrangement visa the school office to be let in. We do not want to disrupt maths club in the morning with adults walking through the school, and it is difficult for staff to prepare for the day if they meet with parents from 8.20am. There will always be an adult on the door from 8.45am, allowing the children to come into school early for toast.

As we have increased our numbers, it has become practical to move and split play times for KS1 and 2. This will no longer be shared, and KS1 will have a later playtime. You will notice an increased number on the staff on the playground - this is to facilitate the 'walk a mile a day' programme and games.

If you have any questions about any of these points, please do not hesitate to catch me in the morning, or ring the school office.

 

Friday 22nd July 2016

I would like to wish you all a lovely holiday after a busy and successful year at St Mary's. We have said goodbye to our wonderful Year 6 pupil, knowing that they are going to be successful Year 7's in a short while. Our Prom was magnificent, thanks to the hard work of Mrs Davison, Mrs Sepet, Mrs Kennedy and Mrs Thurlow. The Year 6 bowling was great fun; and we all enjoyed our street party on the final day. Our Year 6 pupils took away with them their Bibles, photographs, their year book, sweatshirts, and our very best wishes.

We are also celebrating our brilliant SATs results this year. Our combined Year 6 SATs results are 32% above the national average of 53% (ours were 85%). Reading was declared to be the most difficult test in the newspapers, but all of our Year 6 pupils who took the test, achieved at least the expected standard for Year 6.

We have yet to know the national average results for Year 2 in reading, writing and mathematics; but our Year 2 pupils made considerable and accelerated progress over the year, and we are very proud of them. A big thanks to the staff, and parents who helped us throughout the year.

In year one, 84% of our pupils achieved the phonics screening standard.

All the staff join me in wishing you a wonderful holiday, and are looking forward to the new year.

Wednesday 13th July 2016

After a busy couple of weeks, we are desperately trying to hold our sports events over three afternoons - hoping that the rain holds off!

You will have seen from our newsletter this week, that we are very proud of the Year 6 SATs results, which have just been announced. We are told that national average for a combined result of reading, writing and mathematics is 53% (we achieved 85%). In reading, 96% of our pupils achieved the expected standard at Year 6. In writing 85% of our pupils achieved the expected standard at Year 6; and in mathematics, 92% of our pupils achieved the expected standard. We are very proud of our children, and a huge thanks to Mrs Davison and Mrs Sepet for their hard work throughout the year!

Please keep checking the school website, and our text service, to remain updated on all coming events for the end of term.

Monday 6th June 2016

A big welcome back after the break! I would like to introduce to you our new finance officer, Mrs Aimee Morris, who you will meet in the office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You will hear from here regarding all things financial. Once again, please do not hesitate to come in and speak to us if you have any worries or concerns.

Years 2 and 6 have now completed their SATs, which are statutory for these groups; and Years 3, 4 and 5 have completed their optional papers (optional for schools, not for pupils!). The results will be sent to you with this years school report. We will use this information to put into place the interventions and support needed for the following year.

13th May 2016

I wanted to let you know (at the end of a long SATs week) that our Year 6 children have tried their very best, and worked so hard preparing for these tests, that we are very proud of them. We hear our results when they are published in July, and I will report on this to you when that has happened. Well done Year 6!!

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

I hope you had a lovely long bank holiday weekend! Today the children have a theatre production in school - The Wizard of Oz. This will explore issues of friendship and trust, as well as extending vocabulary - providing ideas for reading and writing.

I would like to remind you that we are about to start our assessment period at school, with children undertaking statutory assessments, as well as our school assessments. Please make sure that your children are in school on time and prepared for the day. Maths club will be cancelled for next week, as Year 6 will have their breakfast club before SATs.

It is also worth noting that tomorrow is the final day to order tickets for Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. The tickets we have are £64, but parents will pay £15. As this is extra curricular this is not a voluntary donation. I cannot stress enough what a brilliant opportunity this is to see a West End show, and Lion King is one of the best showing at the moment. 

Monday 22nd February 2015

A big welcome back after what I hope was a restful half term. I would like to remind all of year 6 that they are to attend maths club every morning, which provides additional challenge activities for this area of the curriculum. We also welcome other year groups, especially those children with a particular interest in mathematics. I can assure you that this is a fun start to the day!

Wednesday 13th January 2015

I'm pleased to announce that our new Clerical Assistant, Mrs Tracey Austin, will be working here from Monday 1st February. This is also the day that Mr Marc White will take over as Teaching Assistant in Year 2. Unfortunately Miss Playfoot is moving to another position.

You will also have noticed that Mrs Robinson has returned from maternity leave, and will be working with children who are eligible for Pupil Premium funding. The aim of this work is to accelerate progress for children who need an extra boost. Progress for this group can be found on our Pupil Premium page.

Friday 18th December 2015

After an exciting few weeks of Christmas performances, panto visits and parties (including the wonderful Christmas lunch which we all enjoyed), the children are very excited about their Christmas holidays! The staff and I would like to wish you all an enjoyable Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Please note that school will re-open on Monday 4th January 2016, at 8.20am for Maths Club pupils, and 8.45am for all other pupils.

Thursday 26th November 2015

You will have noticed that Miss Safiye Sepet has started work in the school office as the Office Manager. Contact with her can be made through email at office@st-marys-swanley.kent.sch.uk or ssepet@st-marys-swanley.kent.sch.uk and via the telephone on 01322 665212.

This is the week of the amazing school sleepover, and tomorrow 54 children will be sleeping at school. I consider this our fabulous start to the school Christmas celebrations, and we decorate the tree, watch Christmas films and eat pizza. The children have an amazing time, but we don't see much evidence of sleep.

Friday 20th November 2015

This morning we had a visit from Parkwood Hall School steel band.  We were so impressed by the high standard of music we heard, and the professional concert they held. A big thank you to all of the staff and children at Parkwood Hall School.

 

Wednesday 11th November 2015

School has only just started (it is 9.11am), but already I have seen some brilliant mathematics from Chloe in Year 4. Well done Chloe, you are making excellent progress!

We had a beautiful Armistice Day mass this morning with Fr Dane, remembering and praying for both the fallen and those who had worked for peace. We listened to the Last Post, and heard poems and prayers.

 

Monday 9th November 2015

Today we have all started our 'Mile a Day' walk/run. All classes are taking part, including Nursery (who are calling it a 'marathon'). While the children are walking or running (their choice), they are practicing their times tables and problems solving. We use every minute for learning!

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Today Year 5 have received some exciting letters from their pen-pals in Sweden. All of the children have enjoyed reading their letters and preparing a response.

Nursery and Reception classes have begun walking a mile a day to prepare their brains for all of the learning experiences they encounter during their day here. This will not only make them feel healthy, but also prepare them for their learning. By next week we may have all joined in!!

Friday 23rd October 2015

This is a Development Day for children - a day when the teachers undertake some training. On this day we have planned 'Drama for Writing', which will support and help children develop their writing further and deeper, mastering writing skills at a greater pace and with more interest. 

Sadly when we arrived for the day, we found that that we had some intruders over night, and there had been significant damage to the back of the building. Luckily there were witnesses to this, and we have passed the names on to the police.

 

Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st October 2015

You will be aware that we have been with out a school secretary since the beginning of term. We have managed beautifully with extra help from Mrs Halpin and Mrs Thomas, but we have now interviewed and the new secretary will begin working here on 23rd November - more details to follow.

 

Wednesday 14th October 2015

We had a HMI inspection today, and were pleased with the outcome. HMI stands for 'Her Majesty's Inspector'; and we all worked with the inspector for the day to show all aspects of the school. We are expecting the report to be published in the week beginning 2nd November 2015, and I will send a copy to every family when this happens.

 

Tuesday 13th October 2015

The School Council delivered the food we collected to The Swanley Food Bank, and got to see a Food Bank in action with Tara Kennedy. Please have a look in our Gallery for the photographs. This is a very worthy cause, and we are thankful for all of the parents and carers who have supported us in doing this.

 

 Wednesday 7th October 2015

We had a fabulous Harvest Festival service today with Father Dane, and collected a huge pile of food for Swanley Food Bank. The Reception class sat beautifully through the mass, but were reluctant to hand over their food! We will deliver all of these offerings within the next few days.

 

Friday 2nd October 2015

You will be pleased to know the Reception children have managed the change to their day well, and no one has fallen asleep in the afternoon (so far!).

Friday is now my favourite day, because we now have a zumba class for Key Stage 2 during Reward Time. Miss Lanthier is leading this, and last week was hilarious to watch - with everyone moving in different directions, not used to such fast paced exercise/dance.

We have been lucky this week with the weather, and all of the children have had the opportunity to play on the field. This has also ensured that our music practice (violin and piano) could carry on during lunchtime, for those who wanted to practice further.

Today Joseph played drums to accompany our hymn in our celebration assembly (The photo is in our gallery).

 

 

Friday 25th September 2015

This week our new long jump pit has been installed. We are hoping to have some future Olympic athletes among us! It will be in use in the PE lessons, and the pupils have asked if they can practice at lunch time. Photos will follow!

We are especially proud of our Year 6 children, who received their new prefect ties and badges today. The ties are plain red, and will indicate to visitors and other pupils that they are in an important leadership position.

This is the last week that the reception class will be going home early. They are all getting used to the school day now, and will be full time from Monday!