Faith in Everyone to Shine Brightly
College Road, Purton, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 4AR
If you need to contact us, you can use this special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Welcome to St. Mary's
It's the Summer Holidays now so there won't be work set each day by your teachers. In the meantime, though, there are lots of great ideas below in the St Mary's Summer Holiday Club to keep you entertained and active over the holidays!
We hope you have a lovely Summer and we look forward to hearing and seeing what you get up to when we come back to school in September!
Have fun, keep safe, be kind - and most of all #shinebrightly!
Paul Stokes, our excellent caretaker, took this wonderful picture of the church from the school.
1. THE SUMMER READING CHALLENGE
Make 2020 your child's summer of books! In September we will be resuming our whole school ‘50 Best Books’ challenge but in the meantime why not check out Books for Topics Summer 2020 recommended reads? You can even play reading book bingo! booksfortopics.com/bingo
We know you all love to enter the Library Service's Summer Reading Challenge and you still can! Find out more here: summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/how-to-access- We look forward to hearing in September how you got on with the challenges. Keep #shiningbrightly with your reading, everyone!
2. STEM CREATIVITY
These brilliant activity ideas develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills with lots of easy to run activities suitable for children from 4-11 (some of which we have shared during the lockdown learning).
They are designed to be fun for children and easy to run for parents, who can chose to do as many as they wish. They don't need any specialist knowledge and all activities are easy-to-resource and provide children with the stimulus to talk about the world around them. Activities can be run together with children of different ages and there is no special order that they should be done in.
There are three new ones below, or you can access the full set here: https://www.stem.org.uk/resources/elibrary/resource/468235/starters-stem
White Rose Maths is excited to have produced a range of FREE work booklets for parents and children to dip into over the summer or during next year. There are booklets for each primary year group and they closely support the maths we do in school. The website with all the downloadable booklets can be accessed by clicking on the image below.
4. USEFUL WEBSITES
Remember, back on your Virtual Classroom pages, there are lots of useful website links that your teachers have put on for you, so do explore these during the summer break.
Our top Summer Holiday Club recommendation is that you regularly visit the KIDADL website (see below or click the banner here to head to their homepage).
It is packed full of SO many ideas and links to make lock-down at home bearable, interesting, active and FUN!
Most are REAL-LIFE things to do, so offer plenty of time away from screens!
There is just such a variety of engaging (and manageable!) things on KIDADL that we can't do it justice in a description here and recommend you just click the image above and visit the KIDADL website yourself - you'll soon see how it can transform your summer holidays!
Here are just six of our favourites (click to open)...
6. SPREAD THE HAPPINESS
You can continue our school's 'Spread the Happiness' mission with the ideas here from Shonette, who trained all the St Mary's staff to be happier people! Click the images to see the ideas:
7. STAYSAFE AT HOME
Richard, our good friend from StaySafe (thestaysafeinitiative.org.uk), who comes and works with the children every year, has sent us some brilliant ideas in this pack to keep everyone safe online at home. Click the images to open the pack:
8. School's Twitter Feed
We also recommend you follow the school's Twitter account for daily news, advice, messages and good ideas!
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - What have you done to make you feel proud?
(Week beginning 20th July 2020)
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - What's in the Box? (Week beginning 13th July 2020)
Hello everyone. Mr Payne here. Let’s start with our usual greeting: peace be with you.
Hmmm… I’ve got this box. But I don’t know what’s in it. What do you think could be in there?
It might be something wonderful and exciting! But, it might be a spider… or a monster… or some stinky sludge! Erghh!
But I've got a choice, haven't I? I can choose to leave the box shut - that would be easy. Or I can choose to open it - that would be hard. But if I leave it shut, I will never know what’s in it. But if I open it… I’m not sure I have the courage to open it right at the moment.
Have you ever felt scared of doing something? If I want to open the box, but I'm scared, then I need a bit of courage to help me. I need something to make me a bit braver. Perhaps a story might help me be brave...
Do you remember the story of David and Goliath?
David was very small, but when he was faced with a big danger, the warrior from the enemy army, called Goliath, he chose to do the brave thing – but it was not the easy thing. He didn't choose to run away from it. Perhaps when we're faced with something difficult, we can remember David and Goliath and the way David did something wonderful to protect his people. David had to be brave and stand up to a bully – he had to have courage.
Now, that story reminds me of something else. You all know I love running. Well, I remember an example of an athlete, called Derek Redmond, showing immense courage in a race in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
He had trained to race his very best that day - to run for his country in the Olympic Games. But something awful happened. He then showed immense courage. Watch the video to see what happened.
Wow! What courage! Rather than giving up, and despite knowing he could no longer win the race, Derek shows amazing courage and determination to get to the finish line despite his injured leg that stopped him running. The man you see come and join Derek and help him to the line was his dad – isn’t it wonderful how he comes to run with his son, side by side…
So, back to my box. I can choose to leave the box shut, which doesn't take any courage at all. Or I can choose to open it, which means I need to have a bit of courage. What do you think I should do?
Ok, let’s open it up and see what’s inside…
Help us to be courageous when we are faced with danger or pain.
Help us to be brave enough to do the right thing, not just the easy thing.
Help us to have the courage to live our lives in the right way, which may not always be the easy way.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Sand and Rock (Week beginning 6th July 2020)
Hello everyone. Mr Payne here. Let's begin with our usual greeting: peace be with you.
Now, when we think about this term's theme of 'wisdom', I'm sure there is one story - and song! - that comes to mind. Yes! The one about the wise man who built his house on solid rock and the foolish man who built his on soft sand! What you build on is called the building's 'foundations'. The word 'foundation' means the base of something or where something starts.
The story of the wise man and the foolish man is one of the stories that Jesus told to make us think about our own lives. We call these stories 'parables'.
Whilst you watch the animation of the 'Parable of the Two Builders', think about what Jesus was trying to teach us by telling this story.
I love the style of that animation, don't you? But what was the parable teaching us?
Well, just as it is important for buildings to have firm and secure foundations, so that they can withstand storms, earthquakes and floods without falling down or being washed away, people also need a strong 'foundation' for their lives: how we live and the way we treat people is built on a foundation of making the right choices for the best reasons. Christians believe Jesus’ words and teachings help them to do this.
Building on firm foundations helps us through different stages in our lives. You can see this happening at school. For example, we have firm foundations such as learning to use numbers for counting before we build up to adding and subtracting, and then multiplying and dividing. We need the solid foundation of learning our phonics, before we go on to read a book. We learn basic foundation skills in football, before we go on to play a match.
But, most importantly, we have to have firm foundations of what is right and wrong so we can build our lives to act fairly, be kind and get on with people.
Let's finish with a prayer, and then sing a favourite song, which retells this very same parable in a different way!
Thank you for Jesus’ words.
Help us to use them as we build firm foundations for our lives.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Wisdom - A fish of the World (Week beginning 29th June 2020)
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Kindness (Week beginning 22nd June 2020)
Hello everyone! This week we have a special guest for our assembly - Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge!
The Duchess of Cambridge hosted this special assembly with some primary school children from Blackpool. The Duchess speaks about how important it is to be kind to one another, particularly when we are going through a difficult time.
Princess Kate is keen to promote kindness as a way to help people's mental health, and she works with the mental health charity Place2Be. At St Mary's, we often talk about kindness - it can make the whole world a better place!
I hope you enjoy this special assembly. There is a hymn afterwards, 'Father I Place Into Your Hands', and then a prayer you can join in with.
(You can find out more about this special assembly on the NewsRound website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53084537)
Please help us to look each day for opportunities to be kind to others.
Help us never to be so busy looking after ourselves, that we forget about other people.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Courage (Week beginning 15th June 2020)
This week we are thinking about our value of Courage.
It can take courage to do something new or challenging. We call it “stepping out of your comfort zone”. Sometimes just small steps are needed, but they can take us to new and exciting places! Sometimes we need courage to do something that we know is right but that might not be popular with everyone.
Today’s story tells of a time in the life of Moses when his courage was really tested. There is a video here that you can watch.
Moses was scared because God had asked him to set the Israelites free. He had an incredible job to do and it wasn’t easy. Moses showed courage to follow God’s instructions.
Think of a time when you have shown courage to do something that you found difficult or scary. There are many people in the world at the moment who are doing things that are scary and they have shown real courage to help others. Those who are working as doctors, nurses and carers in hospitals and care homes are showing real courage helping people who are ill.
Listen to this poem about courage and think about which line you think best describes courage.
Carrying on when things are difficult
Understanding and facing a challenge
Risking being out of your comfort zone
Always believing in God’s promises
Going for a goal
Empowered by encouragement
Let us pray
Give us your strength to face challenges
Help us to remember that sometimes we need to take small steps to begin with, but it’s starting the journey that matters.
Thank you that just as you promised to be with Moses,
You have also promised to be with us wherever the journey leads us.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - NSPCC Speak Out, Stay Safe (Week beginning 8th June 2020)
Every year at St Mary's we have a visit in summer term from the NSPCC for the ‘Speak out, Stay Safe’ assembly! This year we can't do that, so instead the NSPCC have made a virtual assembly, led by the wonderful Sally from our Schools Service, and featuring special guest appearances from Ant & Dec, David Walliams & Children and Families Minister, Vicky Ford MP.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Generosity (Week beginning 18th May 2020)
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Our Wonderful Earth
(Week beginning 11th May 2020)
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly - Victory in Europe Day - Friday 8th May
(for week beginning Monday 4th May 2020)
Click the image below to hear Mr Payne's assembly all about VE Day.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly
(for week beginning Monday 27th April 2020)
Today, I would like you to reflect on the value of friendship. At the moment we can’t meet up with our friends and play like we used to, but this gives us time to think about our friends and how special they are to us.
Having friends is important to us all.
Think about your friends this week. Why you like them and why do you get on well together? Think about the things you have in common and also think about how any differences don’t matter when you are friends.
What is it about your friends that makes you happy?
What is your favourite memory of a time you’ve been together?
What do you really miss?
When things go wrong with friendships it’s important to think about what you both did to make it go wrong and what you could both do to make things better again?
It’s a brilliant feeling to know that this week we are all going to be thinking positively about each other. If you would like to you could also say a prayer for your friends. This week’s assembly story is from the bible and it is about a group of friends who did an amazing thing for each other.
Watch the video of the story.
How did the friends feel when one of them fell ill?
How would you feel?
Think of a time when one of your friends needed help. What did you do to help?
Let our Friendships be strong, O Lord,
That they may become a blessing to others.
Let our friendships be open, O Lord,
That they may be a haven for others.
Let our friendships be gentle, O Lord,
That they may bring peace to others.
For Jesus’ sake
There are lots of interesting things to do on this term's FRIENDSHIP and GENEROSITY activity sheets. Click the images below to download your copy.
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly
(for week beginning Monday 20th April 2020)
This Thursday is St George’s Day: let’s see who he might have been and what we can learn from England’s patron saint.
Look at this flag and the silhouette.
The flag represents England and St George is England's patron saint: this means he is a special person who reminds us what we want our country to be like.
Who was St George?
There are many different legends or stories about St George from various parts of the world. He is certainly not just a special person in England! He is also the patron saint of Aragon, Canada, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Montenegro, Palestine, Portugal, Russia and Serbia! Perhaps that’s one reason why he became the patron saint of England, a country with a long tradition of welcoming people from other places. St George is an important figure with a message for Jewish and Muslim people too.
George was in fact was born 2000 miles away from England in Turkey, he wasn’t a English knight in armour (even though pictures show him like this) and he never came to England! But, his story travelled here…
St George the Roman Soldier
One story has it that St George was an officer in the Roman army. It was dangerous to be a Christian in the years after Jesus died. The Roman government killed Christians for being faithful to Jesus and saying that their belief in God was more important than their following of the law of Rome.
It is said that George saw 40 Christians being killed – maybe he was even part of the group of soldiers who had to kill them. The story goes that when they died George saw a miraculous vision: 40 crowns came down from heaven and landed on the heads of the Christian martyrs. This made such an impression on him that he decided to become a Christian too, even though it would probably mean he would also be put to death.
This has impressed people ever since and the cross of St. George has become his sign as well as our English national flag.
St George the dragon-slayer
There is a well-known story about St George fighting a dragon. We don’t believe in real dragons but in another way we do all have things we sometimes have to struggle with or fight against – they are the dragons we have to fight. Perhaps George's dragon represented how he stood up to the people who tried to kill Christians.
What can we learn from St George?
Look at this shield and sword.
St George brings people together because everyone of us has things we’re afraid of: these are our dragons! Some of us might worry about not understanding some of our learning, or about being stuck at home when we want to go out, or about people being unkind to each other. George showed us that we can come together, not to fight each other, but to fight our fears - to stand up against things we’re afraid of. We need to face those fears, those dragons, and get rid of them.
So, what do we need when we’re afraid of a dragon? Shield or sword? Which one first?
Well, the shield can remind us of good things – like the people who love us and care for us, like our families and our school. For Christians and other believers, we can remember that God loves us and cares for us.
With our sword we can face down our dragons: do what we can, work hard, ask for help, try to stand up for what’s right…
Now look at this tree.
The Arabic name for St George actually means ‘the green one’ and he is known as a protector of trees, and also the ‘healer’. So, in this version of the legend, St George reminds us how important it is to care for the environment because God made it.
Think of St George. He is someone who people of all faiths can respect, someone who cared about the world. Think about how we can look after the world.
Think of the shield, which reminds us of those who love us and want to help and protect us. We can remember them when we feel afraid.
Think of the sword and the things we can do: work hard, stick up for other people, work together to tackle problems.
Thank you for the many legends and stories about St George.
Thank you that he is an important person with an important message for so many different people around the world.
This is a wonderful hymn which mentions knights, swords and dragons! If you don’t know it, try and learn it this week: ‘When a knight won his spurs’.
Find out more
Easter Virtual Assembly
(for weeks beginning Monday 6th April and Monday 13th April, 2020)
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies." John 11.25
What can you remember about the events in the Bible at Easter? Talk about it at home, and then watch the video. Click the image below:
To Think About:
1: Why do think the things Jesus said made some people angry?
2: What does it mean to ‘forgive’ someone?
3: How do you think Mary felt as she watched the stone being rolled across Jesus' tomb?
4: Why do you think Mary was so sad when she saw that Jesus’ body had gone? Do you think she understood what the angel had told them?
5: Imagine that you are Mary telling all Jesus’ friends what you have seen. What would you say to them?
6: What was the ‘good news’ that Jesus wanted his friends to tell others about?
7: What do you think Jesus’ friends thought when they saw him go up to heaven?
8: These stories often make people ask puzzling questions. What questions of your own do you have?
Easter is when we remember the most glorious thing of all - that Jesus rose from the dead and showed the world that anyone who believes in you has everlasting life.
Thank you, God, for sending us your Son and showing us such love.
An Easter song:
St Mary's Virtual School Assembly
(for week beginning Monday 23rd March 2020)
Just because we're not able to all be together in person doesn't mean our assemblies need to stop! This term we have been learning about 'Trust and Truthfulness'. Today's assembly is a well-known story from Aesop which has a very important 'moral'. A moral is a message about how we live our lives and especially how we treat other people.
I wonder how many of you already know the story of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf'? Tell someone at home what you can remember before watching this lovely version of it by wonderful American author, B. G. Hennessy. His illustrations are bound to bring a smile to your faces too!
This story is about a boy who was trusted by the villagers at first, but who soon got into difficulty when people realised that they could not trust him.
Have you ever made a promise that you couldn’t keep, or had a promise made to you that wasn’t kept? How did it make you feel?
We all want to be able to trust people to tell the truth and to keep their promises. We particularly expect our families, friends and those who care for us to tell the truth. However, we are all let down at some point and we all let other people down sometimes. We are all guilty of breaking promises.
A broken promise can lead to feelings like:
- I can’t trust you
- I am disappointed in you
- I feel unimportant to you
- I don’t respect you any more
It is good to remember that the person who breaks a promise never usually means to hurt another. Perhaps the promise was made in a rush without really thinking about the consequences. Perhaps something came up that made it impossible for the person to carry out what they had promised. If we can, tell the promise-breaker how we feel and give them a chance to apologise. Sometimes, though, we just have to accept that people will let us down, even those closest to us. Then, we can choose to forgive them.
Remember, we all break promises sometimes. However, when we do, it is important to admit that we are wrong, say sorry and ask to be forgiven.
Of course, if anyone ever hurts us, we should always tell someone we trust, no matter whether someone makes us promise not to say anything. There are some things that we should never keep secret.
Please help us to keep our promises.
Please help us to be people who tell the truth.
Please help us to be people whom others can trust.
Help us to forgive people who let us down.
Be bold! (be bold!)
Be strong! (be strong!)
For the Lord, your God, is with you;
Be bold! (be bold!)
Be strong! (be strong!)
For the Lord, your God, is with you.
I am not afraid, I am not dismayed,
‘Cause I’m walkin’ in faith and victory
Come on and walk in faith and victory,
For the Lord, your God, is with you.
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