Friday, 15 December 2017

Sharing our Christmas Cheer!

Pupils across the school have taken time out of their busy schedules to entertain others at Christmas time.

First up was our Year 6 pupils who travelled to Abney Court Care Home in Cheadle to entertain residents and staff with a Christmas medley and some fantastic piano solos. The residents enjoyed joining in with some of the Christmas classics including Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Pupils then spent time chatting with the residents about their plans for Christmas and what they enjoy eating over the festive period! 

 

Our next stop was Broadstone Mill Shopping Outlet  where pupils in Year 1 to Year 6 entertained shoppers with a number of Christmas classics. They also met the stars from this year's Stockport Plaza Panto, Aladdin. Here's a little taster of the pupils in action.


Meeting the Panto Stars from Stockport Plaza



Monday, 11 December 2017

Pupils Shine at our Christmas Concert

Our whole school production of 'Baubles' was a great success. Every pupil in the school took to the stage to dazzle families with their talents. Form singing and acting to playing instruments, there were an array of skills on display to delight the audience. We were lucky enough to be able to host the Christmas Concert is the stunning St John's Church in Heaton Mersey, which provided the perfect setting. We hope you enjoy our video and photos. To view more photos please visit our Facebook Page.








Monday, 27 November 2017

Primary Maths Challenge

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 took part in the annual Primary Maths Challenge. The nationwide competition runs in the Autumn Term each year and gives pupils the opportunity to take part in a fun and exciting challenge.

The question paper is made up of 25 questions and pupils are allocated 45 minutes to answer as many as they can. The first 20 questions are multiple choice. The challenge makes pupils think outside the box and helps to improve their problem solving skills.

Pupils are awarded certificates for reaching a certain score, and pupils who achieve a high score go through to participate in the Bonus Round in February. This year five of our pupils qualified for bronze silver or gold certificates and one pupil is progressing to the Bonus Round.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The Primary Maths Challenge is a great way to challenge even the most able mathematicians. All pupils in Years 5 and 6 take part and score well. It is a great tool in demonstrating to pupils the importance of reading the question carefully. Pupils look forward to taking part each year and enjoy seeing their progress from Year 5 to Year 6."

If you would like to try the challenge at home past papers (and answers) can be printed from the website.

Pupils in Years 5 & 6 proudly display their certificates

Friday, 24 November 2017

Heartstart: Teaching Simple Skills to Save Lives

We are accredited by the British Heart Foundation to deliver the schools Heartstart training programme. Pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 are trained in emergency life support which ranges from the basics of assessing a casualty and getting help to the more advanced aspects of the course such as learning how to perform CPR.

Using the great resources provided by the British Heart Foundation, we teach children a range of skills so that they know what to do in a life-threatening emergency.

The sessions are very hands on and enable the children to demonstrate the techniques they are learning such as putting somebody in the recovery position or performing CPR on our rescue Anne manikin.

Headteacher, Norah Johnson, commented "We started to deliver the programme a number of years ago when one of our parents, who is a consultant, offered to assist us to set it up. We now have six members of staff who are trained to teach Heartstart to our pupils and this has enabled us to roll it out to pupils from Year 1 to Year 6. The children receive training each year in different aspects of dealing with a life-threatening emergency and we provide regular refresher sessions to ensure their skills remain current.
Equipping children with skills above and beyond the academics is so important and we feel that the Heartstart programme provides our pupils with vital knowledge."


Pupils learn how to treat an unconscious casualty

Checking for breathing

Excellent Heartstart resources

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

PTA Christmas Fair - All Welcome!

The PTA Christmas Fair takes place on Saturday 2 December between 1pm and 3pm.

There will be lots to entertain the whole family including Santa and his Grotto, games, crafts, tombolas and some bargains to bag on our toys, books and gifts stalls.

This is the biggest PTA fundraiser of the year. PTA funds raised in previous years have purchased new gymnastics equipment, new Science equipment, fantastic resources for before and after school clubs, a new library for our Infants and have helped to subsidise the cost of school trips.

So pop along to enjoy a great family afternoon and to help support our PTA.



Thursday, 16 November 2017

Taking to the Stage to Help Launch Christmas!

Pupils across the school performed at two public concerts to mark the start of the festive period!

Pupils in Years 1 and 2 took to the stage to perform seven songs at the Christmas Lights Switch On at Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre. The children entertained the crowd with classics including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Away in a Manger. There was even some super dancing too!




On the following night pupils in the Juniors belted out the tunes to entertain the audience at Merseyway in Stockport Town Centre.



Both events were organised by South Manchester based radio station Imagine FM.

Headteacher, Norah Johnson, commented "Performing at the Lights Switch On events is a great opportunity for our children to showcase their talents and entertain others. Over the festive period we take part in several carol concerts to help spread joy within our local community".

To see our pupils in action visit our youtube channel.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Year 6 Remembrance Assembly

Pupils in Year 6 performed a thought-provoking assembly on Friday to mark Remembrance. They reflected on the meaning of Remembrance Sunday and confidently explained to the audience of pupils, staff and parents, the story of the poppy.






Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Walking Tour of Historic Stockport

As part of their History topic focusing on local history, pupils in Years 5 and 6 hopped on the bus to make the short journey to the town centre to seek out some of the historic sites of Stockport.

They started off at the famous viaduct and were amazed to learn it consists of 27 arches and more than 11 million bricks! Next stop was the Plaza to marvel at this beautifully restored Art Deco theatre.

The next destination was the Market Place where pupils enjoyed looking at the array of stalls and the stunning 'glass umbrella' roof. It was then over the road to view the wonderful Staircase House, Stockport's oldest townhouse where they loved exploring the interactive displays.

After a pleasant stroll along Great Underbank taking in a number of historic buildings along the way, the group continued to St Mary's Church, the oldest parish church in Stockport. They were lucky enough to have a tour of the church by a very knowledgeable volunteer.

Teacher Miss MacCarron commented " We have been studying the history of Stockport and have been drawing some of the historic sites using photographs from the internet, so it was great for the pupils to actually see all of the different places. They were particularly impressed with the viaduct which has proved a popular subject for our young artists!".






Friday, 27 October 2017

An Autumn Themed Day

Pupils in Pre-Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 enjoyed an Autumn themed day. They worked in mixed age groups across three classrooms on three different Autumn themed activities.

The Pre-Prep classroom was transformed into 'Granny's kitchen' for a spot of pumpkin soup making. Year 1 became the base for hedgehog collage making using lovely Autumn treasures. Year 2 was the messy room where pupils got busy mixing Autumn colours and using their hands and fingers to produce Autumnal trees.

The pupils enjoyed working together and working with different teachers on each activity.




Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Lovely Autumnal Walk

Across the school pupils have been focusing on Autumn, looking at the different aspects of the Season from the weather to the wildlife.

Pupils in the Pre-Prep and Infants enjoyed a lovely nature walk through Heaton Mersey to spot signs of Autumn and collect Autumnal treasure! They observed the trees, especially the array of colours, they collected conkers and acorns and they paused to listen to the sounds of Autumn.









Monday, 16 October 2017

Harvest Celebration

We celebrated Harvest time with a wonderful assembly. Pupils have been working hard to learn some lovely Harvest songs and one of our Year 6 pupils shared a beautiful Harvest prayer.

Our families have been donating produce for Stockport based charity, The Wellspring as part of our Harvest Festival. At the assembly, Headteacher Norah Johnson explained to the children why we donate food and toiletries to the charity and how families across Stockport will benefit from our generosity.






Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Taking Care of our Minds

As part of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we welcomed Jill Elston from Christians in Schools Trust  to our assembly to talk to staff and pupils about looking after their minds.

Jill talked about how people often place lots of emphasis on keeping their bodies healthy but often overlook caring for their minds. She discussed the concept of creating a 'mind apple' where people could list their 5-a-day for the mind to plan how to keep it healthy.

Jill provided some great ideas for 'mind apples' including watching the clouds, reading, physical activity, sleep, spending time with friends and enjoying some quiet time alone. Pupils then put some of the ideas to the test with Year 5 spending a few minutes in the playground to look at the clouds and the trees and to listen to the birds. Other pupils spent time dancing and listening to music.

Headteacher, Mrs Johnson, then worked with Jill to prepare her own 'mind apple' so pupils could see how easy it was to do. Pupils were keen to produce their own 'mind apples' and had some great ideas of how to ensure they cared for their minds as well as their bodies.




Monday, 9 October 2017

Young Pupil Donates Pocket Money to Charity

Five year old Stella Maris pupil, Ayla Jidran, saved her pocket money for a year to donate to children’s charities.

Kind-hearted Ayla, who has just moved into Year 1, wanted to do something to help local children. She decided to save her weekly pocket money for a whole year so she could use the money to help others.

Headteacher Norah Johnson reflects: “When Ayla’s father explained that Ayla had been saving her spends so she could help local children and asked for our assistance in choosing local worthy causes, I expected him to produce a few pounds. In fact, Ayla had saved almost £70 by putting her allowance away each week! It was such a thoughtful thing to do, especially for somebody so young.”

After discussions with Ayla it was decided that the money should be split between local Didsbury based charity Francis House and the local Rotary Club, Stockport Lamplighters who were fundraising for a charity in Offerton that provides care for disabled children.

Nan Ironside from the Rotary Club attended a recent school assembly to receive the donation and to present Ayla with a certificate. Nan explained that the donation would be used to buy some games and toys for the charity.


A spokesperson for Francis House commented “Ayla has shown great kindness in wanting to help children that she has never met and whose lives are affected by serious illness and disability. Francis House Children’s Hospice is a place of fun and friendship and Ayla’s pocket money donation will help towards providing the one to one care that every child experiences when they come here. We’d like to thank Ayla and Stella Maris School for thinking of Francis House and the children and families we support”.

Nan Ironside from Stockport Rotary presents Ayla with a certificate

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Autumn Open Event

Our Autumn Open Event will take place on Saturday 7 October from 12 to 2pm. It is a drop in session and there is no need to pre-book.

The Open Event provides a great opportunity for you to come along and see how we deliver affordable, independent education for girls and boys aged 3-11 years old. You can learn more about our excellent class sizes and how we are able to treat every pupil as an individual.

If you would like more information in advance of the Open Event please get in touch with Lindsey on 0161 432 0532 or email lindsey.farrelly@stellamarisschool.co.uk.

You can find information regarding our admissions process and answers to frequently asked questions on our website.




Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Positions of Responsibility

Pupils in Year 6 were delighted to be appointed to various positions of responsibility. From Playground Prefects to Head Boy and Head Girl, pupils at the top of the school were excited to be trusted to take on key roles.

Staff and pupils in Years 5 and 6 voted for the positions of Head Boy and Head Girl. It was a very close contest as there were so many worthy candidates.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "At Stella Maris we are focused on developing the whole person and that involves ensuring pupils have the necessary life skills to succeed as well excellent academic abilities. Part of preparing our pupils to move on to secondary school is appointing them to positions that require them to be organised and responsible. Our Year 6 pupils carry out their duties with enthusiasm and especially love helping our youngest pupils settle into school life."

Year 6 pupils proudly display their badges showing their different roles

Monday, 25 September 2017

Wearing our Denim to Help Change Lives

Staff and pupils went into denim overload on Friday 22 September to raise money for national charity Genetic Disorders UK. The charity hosts an annual one day fundraising event, Jeans for Genes, where they ask people to 'don their denim' in exchange for a donation. The funds are used to raise the profile and promote understanding of genetic disorders among the general public.

Pupils were more than willing to dig out their denim to support the charity, some even managing double and triple denim combinations! We managed to raise over £80.





Thursday, 21 September 2017

Looking After our Teeth


We welcomed Sarah and Lynn from Heaton Moor Dental into school to talk to pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 about looking after our teeth. The session was fun and informative and the children were delighted with their goody bags containing some dental care essentials.

Sarah left us with some essential key messages to help us care for our teeth:
  • Always brush twice a day; the most important time is at bedtime.
  • Make sure you are using a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste (from age 6 upwards children need to use an adult toothpaste).
  • DON'T rinse after brushing. It's fine to spit the excess toothpaste but don't rinse your mouth at the end of brushing.
  • Each meal is classed as an "attack" on our teeth. Therefore consume sugary puddings and sweets immediately after meals - even leaving half an hour in between means you are exposing teeth to an additional "attack" and our teeth can really only take FOUR "attacks" per day.
  • Visit the dentist every six months.
Sarah and Lynn will be back in school soon to speak to junior school pupils about dental care and to check on the progress of Year 1 and Year 2.
 


 

 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Music Teacher Vacancy

The Trustees of Stella Maris School are looking to appoint an enthusiastic music teacher to start in January 2018. Full details of the role can be viewed here including details of how to apply.

Friday, 11 August 2017

LAMDA Success

In May 25 of our pupils took part in exams organised by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). The LAMDA exams are part of the school's Speech Club which is run by Speech and Drama specialist Holley Brown.

Children from Year 1 up to Year 6 took a variety of exams including Introductory Exams which saw them recite and discuss poems with the examiner and Communication Exams where pupils had to perform two verse selections and discuss their meaning with the examiner. All of the exams required pupils to memorise poems and verses and recite them aloud.

All of the pupils worked extremely hard and were rewarded with a fantastic set of results with 11 pupils passing with merit and 14 pupils passing with distinction.

Holley commented "I was absolutely delighted with the outstanding results achieved by the hardworking pupils. The LAMDA qualifications are fantastic for all pupils to gain confidence in public speaking and an appreciation of how to engage an audience with speech. Parents tell me that the experience assists children greatly with interviews for Grammar Schools, performing in school plays and generally helps to give them confidence when presenting."

Pupils receiving their certificates at a recent assembly


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Pop Art at Stella Maris!

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 had a super time in the Summer Term creating their very own Romero Britto inspired 'pop art' mural. They took some convincing that drawing on the wall outside the Head Teacher's office was okay, but once they were comfortable with this they let their imaginations run wild! The project was the brainchild of art teacher Lindsey Baldwin.
Lindsey commented "I love Romero Britto's work with it's bright colours and eye catching designs. The children have managed to use this theme to do a school inspired mural, detailing all of the different things they love about school!".







Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Visit from the Fire Brigade

During the Summer Term, pupils in Year 2 have been learning about the Great Fire of London. As part of their project they got in touch with the local fire station to see if the fire fighters would be able to visit and answer some questions about fire fighting in modern times.

The fire fighters were able to oblige and took time out of their busy schedules to visit school. After a great Q&A session with the pupils the fire fighters then donned their full kit to show pupils just how much equipment they wore when dealing with emergencies.



The visit was then paused while the fire fighters dashed off to answer an emergency call! Luckily it was a false alarm and they soon re-joined pupils and provided a tour of the fire engine. Pupils then had a go at using the hose! The pupils and staff were extremely grateful for the visit and enjoyed learning about these real life heroes.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

PTA Sponsored Walk

In May parents, pupils and staff came together for the annual PTA sponsored walk to raise money for three fantastic, local charities: Alex Hulme Foundation, Stockport CP and Signpost for Carers.

Families took to Heaton Mersey Common to walk a mile around the popular nature reserve. Luckily the rain stayed away and a lovely walk was had by all!

The event raised £190 which was split between the three charities.

Mrs Clara Dolce, Project Officer at Stockport CP commented "We are very grateful to receive donations of this type which are invaluable in helping towards funding the Society's valuable services that support over 900 children and adults across the local area".

Nicola Hulme from the Alex Hulme Foundation commented "Thank you so much for the fantastic support you give to Alex's legacy. It is lovely to see so many smiling faces too. Well done everyone". 

The PTA has supported several charities throughout the year raising over £500 through cake sales, selling Easter chicks and holding a Teddy Bears' Picnic event.