Good afternoon,

Well that’s it for 2017 everyone! We finished off 2017 in style with our Christmas parties and Christmas dinner this week.  Thanks to all the parents for supporting these events.

So many highlights from this year that I could fill several newsletters. Some of my particular highlights would have to be:

Y3 ‘Let’s Sing’ Competition back in March, Sports Day, The summer and Christmas fayres, The power of the New Intake Meeting – we’ve gone from 23 to 28 children in our current reception class, Y6 production of ‘Grease’ in July, Experience Harvest, All of this year’s Christmas performances. To name just a few…

Staff are back in on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th January 2018 for Maths training. A reminder that school reopens for the children on: Wednesday 10th January 2018.

Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for a happy, healthy New Year. It remains an honour and privilege for the staff, governors and I to be ‘making a difference’ to such a wonderful community of children and parents. Enjoy spending that precious ‘extra’ family time with your amazing children.

Best wishes,

Mr Sherriff

Week beginning Monday 18th December 2017

Good afternoon,

We’re very nearly there everyone – 5 more get ups.  We’re coming to the end of what has been a very long, but thoroughly enjoyable term at LSM.  I think children and staff (and parents!) are all ready for a break. Remember school reopens for the children return on: Wednesday 10th January 2018.

This week saw our wonderful children take part in their Christmas performances, which if you were lucky enough to be able to see, I am sure you will agree that they were sensational. Once again, our children and staff ‘stood tall’ and worked together to put on a performance of the highest standard.

Well done to the children who received their 50 Dojo’s and received their reward sessions of ‘Glow in the Dark’ Dodgeball and Art with Lisa Burney from Art2Smart.  There are some changes afoot in the spring term with the school’s behaviour policy so be sure to keep an eye out for letters coming home or check the school’s website.

Don’t forget to ask your children:

Did you make a good mistake today at school, and was it celebrated? Did you challenge yourself with the ‘Chilli Challenges’ in Maths, or did you play it safe? Did you support/coach/critique another child’s learning to help them improve?

Have a great weekend – wrap up and stay safe if you’re heading out!

Mr Sherriff

Week beginning Monday 11th December 2017

Good afternoon,

What another busy week at LSM: Parents’ Evenings on Monday and Tuesday (if you have not managed to see your child’s class teacher, I asked all teacher’s to ensure they try to meet with you before the end of term).  Our fantastic pupils have been doing their half termly writing assessments with a Christmas theme, and obviously we held our annual Christmas Market on Thursday afternoon.

On that final note, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Alicia and Lisa (Co-Chairs), their wonderful LSM PTA team, who organised this year’s event, and the staff of LSM for their support with this event.  I am sure those of you who were able to attend will acknowledge the splendid job they did – the first of many more!  Once we have all the money in for the raffle tickets, we will let you know the grand total.  I can say that we made close £1000 on the night, which is a tremendous effort, so thank you to everyone who came.

Next week we look forward to all our Christmas performances, which I know are sure to create some unforgettable memories for our parents and carers.  Check ‘Key dates’ for further details.

Don’t forget to ask your children:

Did you make a good mistake today at school, and was it celebrated? Did you challenge yourself with the ‘Chilli Challenges’ in Maths, or did you play it safe? Did you support/coach/critique another child’s learning to help them improve?

Have a great weekend – wrap up and stay safe if you’re heading out!

Mr Sherriff

Week Beginning Monday 4th December

Good afternoon,

I have completed my monitoring of teaching across the school.  I would like to reassure parents that the teaching and ‘learning’ (the most important aspect in my view) at Lowton St Mary’s is of a consistently ‘good’ quality, and in some classes children receive teaching and learning of the ‘highest’ quality.

Next week, we are looking forward to our annual Christmas Markets so I hope to see you all there on Thursday afternoon.  Preparations are going well, and I would like to place on record my thanks to the ‘LSM PTA’ for their support, energy, commitment and for ‘making a difference’ organising this event, where the funds raised will improve the education experiences of your children.

Also, I look forward to seeing all of you over the course of our two Parent-Teacher SHARE afternoon and evenings next week.  We have extended our loan of the book fair, so that it will be open over Parents’ Evenings should you wish to purchase any books, poster or stationery. Good idea for Christmas gifts, plus school gets a commission on whatever is made.

Finally, in our quest to improve pupil autonomy and develop independent learners, tonight (or any night) rather than asking your child: What did you do today at school?  How was your day? Try asking:

Did you make a good mistake? Were you resilient in Maths? Did you ask a good question?

Have a great weekend.

Mr Sherriff

Week Beginning Monday 27th November 2017

Good afternoon,

It’s hold on tight time in school as we continue our build up to Christmas…

Firstly, can I say a huge thank you to all the parents/carers for sending in the items for the Christmas fair.  I am very aware there has been a lot of ‘fund raising’ and ‘non-uniform events’ for parents to engage in just recently, so the staff and I really do appreciate your support and understanding.

Some of our staff are visiting Layton Primary, Blackpool, next week. Layton, who are in the Kaizen Network along with ourselves, were recently judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, so I am sure our staff will find it a really useful learning experience and bring lots of great ideas back.  In addition, as it is one of our school priorities for 2017/18, all teachers and teaching assistants will be receiving training for Maths next week from consultant Sarah Martin.

As part of my monitoring, I have been lucky enough to visit Year 2 and Reception this week to watch how the children are progressing with their writing skills as well as observe the standard of teaching.

Finally, our fabulous children have already begun rehearsing for nativities and carol concerts, so I am sure you will join with me in sending the pupils and staff our best wishes.  I’m sure the children will put on a wonderful spectacle for us all (see ‘Key Dates’ for more information).

Have a great weekend.  Wrap up warm if you are out taking advantage of Black Friday deals!

Mr Sherriff

Week Beginning Monday 13th November

Another busy week at LSM.  This week the staff and children have been learning all about how to prevent all forms of bullying, including online bullying through our promotion of Anti-Bullying Week.

As part of my monitoring, I have been lucky enough to go into Year 6, 5 and 4 this week to watch how the children are progressing with their writing skills as well as observe the standard of teaching.

Many of our children have been busy doing reading, maths, grammar and spelling tests as part of our Assessment week. From this, teachers will provide parents/carers with clear and timely information on how well your child is progressing and you will be given guidance about how to support your child to improve at Parents’ Evening.

Huge congratulations to all our Year 6 confirmation candidates, who were confirmed on Tuesday evening, and they will take their first communion next Thursday at St Mary’s Church.

Thank you to all the parents/carers for allowing your child to participate in ‘Children in Need’ day by wearing non-uniform and making a generous donation for a wonderful cause. No time for breath, as next week we celebrate the ‘Best of Britain’, and we launch it with another non-uniform day.

Also, we have had our artist-in-residence in Lisa Burney (Art2Start) working FREE of charge with pupils and staff on developing their artistic talents. Lisa will be continuing to work with us on raising the profile of art across the school this year.

Have a great weekend – stay safe!

Week Beginning Monday 6th November 2017

Good Afternoon,

A big welcome back and I hope everyone had a lovely half term break.

Another Friday has come around. The children have had another busy week and we’ve had plenty of visitors in school, including our local PCSO’s who have talked to the children about how to stay safe this bonfire night.

Staff have been busy with discos and training on a new ‘fun’ Maths resource to support children practise their times tables. Times tables are one of the most important aspects in Maths and we really do want children to learn them.

Don’t forget that next week we have photographs (see below for more details). Also, we have the PTA Coffee Morning which we hope you will be able to attend. Keep following school events and news on our website, school app and twitter pages.

Have a lovely weekend!

Mr Sherriff – Headteacher

A New Start

As many of you will be aware, Mrs Baker retired as head teacher in the summer and the position is now the responsibility of Mr Sherriff. As he is a new face to our community, we thought it would be nice if he wrote a few words as way of introduction…

I am delighted to be writing to you as the new Headteacher of Lowton St. Mary’s Church of England Primary School. All the staff and children have made me feel very welcome and I feel privileged to be joining this community. Outside of my working life, I am an active Christian so attend church on a regular basis.

I would like to say thank you to Mrs Baker for the great work she has done and for her support in ensuring the transition to a new head teacher was as smooth as possible. My priority as the new head is to ensure that Lowton St. Mary’s continues its journey towards becoming an ‘outstanding’ school.

I strongly believe achievement and enjoyment go hand in hand to ensure each child’s excellent progress is appositive and rewarding experience. I am passionate about teaching and have high expectations for our children, and I will strive to ensure that our school supports them in becoming well-rounded individuals.

With a change of leadership comes an opportunity to review existing systems and routines to ensure that the school continues to grow. Therefore, over the coming weeks and months, I will be consulting with all stakeholders, including your church community, asking for their views on Lowton St Mary’s CE Primary School and how we can move forward in unison.

I believe that we will have a positive and successful future working, growing and developing together as a whole school community so that Lowton St Mary’s is a school that children love coming to and one which provides an all-round educational experience in which everyone can flourish.

Yours faithfully,

Mr D Sherriff