Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Staircase House

Boys and girls in Years 1 and 2 enjoyed a fun and informative day out at Staircase House in Stockport.

As part of their topic on the Great Fire of London, the visit involved dressing up as soldiers, maids and even Samuel Peeps, making houses using wattle and daub (clay), writing with quills and making their own fire marks.

The visit really brought the topic to life. It was very interactive and the children declared it "Amazing!".

One Year 1 pupil commented "I had never been to Staircase House before but I am so glad we came on a trip here." Another said "I loved everything about the day - even the bus journey to Stockport!".

Monday, 17 December 2018


Our boys and girls had a brilliant time watching the talented actors from Chaplins Pantomime perform Cinderella.

The travelling theatre company made everybody laugh with their comic antics and set the tone for Christmas with their festive singing!

Boys and girls from local nurseries 0-2-5, Elm Cottage and Kiddie Kloud also joined with the school for the performance at Heaton Mersey Community Centre.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "Our visit from Chaplins signifies the start of Christmas for us! The performances are always entertaining and it is lovely to welcome children from the local nurseries to join in on the fun!".

Friday, 7 December 2018

Pre-Prep Pirates

As part of their topic on under and on the sea Pre-Prep have been learning about sea creatures and pirates. They have worked hard on the topic so as a reward they spent the day being pirates!

They had lots of swashbuckling fun and manage to learn lots along the way.

They kicked off pirate day with a treasure hunt. This provided a great guided reading activity with the entire class working together to follow clues and discover the hidden treasure. Once the treasured had been discovered they then had to use their Maths skills to share the treasure equally.

Next up was making some pirate grog (hot chocolate). Again, this was a great activity for Literacy and Maths as they followed the instructions and weighed the ingredients. They then wrote out their recipes, including exactly how many marshmallows they wanted! With their scientific hats on they were keen to learn what happened to the hot chocolate powder when it was added to warm up - the results were declared delicious!

Pre-Prep Teacher Mrs Jones commented "Our pirate day was a great success - both in terms of fun and excitement for the children and integrating lots of the curriculum in a pirate themed way!"

Pupils enjoyed a treasure hunt

Pupils loved their pirate 'grog'

Spreading Christmas cheer!

Pupils in Year 6 enjoyed spreading Christmas cheer when they performed for residents, staff and visitors at Abney Court Care Home in Cheadle.

Many of the residents joined in with the festive singing and enjoyed seeing the children play the ukuleles.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The children enjoy performing in the local community and bringing joy to others. It is lovely to see the residents of Abney Court joining in with the singing and they love chatting to the children too."

Friday, 30 November 2018

Celebrating St Andrew

Pupils in Years 3 & 4 performed an entertaining assembly on St Andrew's Day to help us learn more about the patron saint of Scotland.

They explained how he came to be the patron saint, St Andrew's cross and how this relates to the flag of Scotland. They performed an Autumn inspired poem and treated us to a Scottish song. Click the link below to see them in action.

Christmas Fair - Saturday 1 December 1pm - 3pm

We are looking forward to welcoming people to our Christmas Fair.

We have lots of games to keep everybody occupied with knock the elf off the shelf, poke the Christmas tree, bottle and chocolate tombolas, name the bear and lots more! We also have seasonal refreshments and lots of great shopping opportunities.

Santa will be in his magical grotto waiting to hear what's on your Christmas list and to give out an early present.

Kick start your countdown to Christmas by visiting our Christmas Fair!

Christmas hot chocolate cones

Name the bear

Yummy Christmas treats

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Celebrating Universal Children's Day

Jill Elston from Christians in Schools Trust recently visited our assembly to talk to the pupils about Universal Children's Day. She discussed children's rights and in particular the right to play, the right to an education and the right to healthcare as well as what it meant to be a child.

To demonstrate the right to play, Jill organised a quick game of charades with our two House Captains in the hot seat!

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "We are very lucky to have regular visits from Jill and the team at CiST. They provide amazing, thought provoking assemblies and workshops to all age groups across the school. The children and staff look forward to Jill's visits."

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Fundraising Fun for Once Upon a Smile

Pupils, staff and families from Stella Maris School have been busy raising money for Manchester based charity, Once Upon a Smile with two fundraising events.

Once Upon a Smile was established in 2011 to provide emotional and practical support for bereaved families after it became apparent that there was a lack of support for families after the death of a loved one. It has become increasingly involved in supporting children following the death of a parent or sibling.

The charity came to the attention of the school when it supported one of its pupils following the sudden death of a parent. The family commented "The counselling and emotional support offered by Once Upon a Smile was fantastic and helped us all through the grieving process. We were so lucky to find this amazing charity and we were very keen to help raise funds to enable it to continue its vital work."

The school organised a two-days of fundraising with a silly socks day and a sponsored welly walk. The events have raised in excess of £250 and donations are still coming in. If you would like to donate you can do so online at

Head Teacher Norah Johnson commented "We tend to focus our fundraising on local charities where we feel our efforts can have a real impact on the local community. Once Upon a Smile is very dear to us having provided vital support to one of our families recently, and we were delighted to be able to help them by organising these fundraising events. The children had lots of fun taking part; they also enjoyed seeing staff in their silly socks too!". 

Silly socks day

A sponsored welly walk across Heaton Mersey Common

Friday, 16 November 2018

Step into Christmas!

It may be November but Christmas celebrations kicked off this week at Stella Maris as pupils in Years 1 to 6 performed at TWO Christmas Lights Switch On events.

First stop was Parrs Wood where pupils in Years 1 and 2 took to the stage to sing a selection of traditional Christmas carols. They wowed the audience with their sensational singing and fantastic festive head wear!

It was then on to Merseyway for our Juniors who opened the show with eight Christmas songs from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to Silent Night.

The events, organised by local radio station, Imagine Radio, saw a host of acts perform across the two evenings.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The Christmas Lights Switch On events provide our pupils with a great opportunity to perform for their local community. The boys and girls love taking to the stage and it really does mark the start of the Christmas period for them!"


Parrs Wood

Monday, 12 November 2018

Remembrance Assembly

Pupils in Year 6 have been learning all about World War I and they shared their newfound knowledge with the rest of the school at a poignant Remembrance Assembly. They explained the importance of remembrance and the significance of the poppy.

They shared stories of fallen soldiers from Stockport and invited staff and pupils to share a moment to reflect on the significance of freedom and our heritage.

The pupils displayed some lovely artwork which they had produced for the assembly and some wartime memorabilia that had been kindly loaned to school.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The pupils put together a very moving assembly. They were keen to involve some real life stories to help their audience focus on the sacrifices made by local soldiers. The entire school took part in a period of reflection where all pupils sat peacefully; we were very impressed at how well the children observed the silence."

You can watch a video of the assembly by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Remembrance artwork

Friday, 9 November 2018

House Spelling Bee

Our first House competition of the academic year took place this week with our two Houses, Matthew and Mark, competing in our House Spelling Bee.

Pupils across the school, from Pre-Prep right up to Year 6, took part.

All of the teams proved to be excellent at spelling and there was just one point in it with Matthew pipping Mark to the coveted bee trophy.

Teacher Ken Brown commented "It was great to see how eager the children were to take part and how confident they were to spell words in front of the whole school! We focus a lot on reading at Stella Maris and that helps to ensure that pupils are not only good at spelling but that they have a wide vocabulary and are able to use words in the correct context."

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Pizza Making Masterclass!

Pupils in Years 3 and 4 enjoyed a pizza making masterclass at Gusto in Didsbury village.

As part of their project on healthy eating, they worked with the chef and staff at Gusto to look at healthier toppings that could go on pizzas. They talked about how food could be flavoured with herbs  instead of sauces and they took part in a 'guess the herb' quiz; identifying different herbs by sight and smell.

The children also looked at other typical Italian foods and their food labels and packaging.

It was then time to get busy in the kitchen! They chose from fresh fruit and vegetables to top their pizzas as well as some classic favourites such as cheese and pepperoni.

The pizzas were all baked in Gusto's very impressive pizza oven and the boys and girls then got to enjoy them for lunch.

Class teacher Mr Brown commented "It was a great, hands on trip. Lots of the pupils were keen to add pineapple, mushrooms and sweetcorn to their pizzas as a way to their 5-a-day. We are very grateful to Gusto for their hospitality."

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Harvest Festival 2018

We have been collecting produce for Stockport based charity for the homeless, The Wellspring, this Harvest time.

We were inundated with donations from our families, filling two tables full of food and toiletries for the charity.

Pupils made special trips with their parents to the supermarket and some even used their own pocket money to fund the contributions.

We shared a Harvest Assembly where we thought about others less fortunate than ourselves. Pupils also entertained their families at the assembly with some delightful Harvest songs.

Headteacher, Norah Johnson, commented "We enjoy collecting for The Wellspring at Harvest time. It is such a fantastic charity, doing outstanding work throughout Stockport. We always enjoy delivering our gifts; the staff and volunteers at The Wellspring are so grateful to receive them."

Monday, 1 October 2018

The Deputy Mayor Officially Declares the Playground Open!

On a sunny September morning, pupils, teachers and trustees welcomed some very important visitors to our school.

Representatives from playground design and build company Massey and Harris, specialist planning consultant Mrs Ludlam and the Deputy Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Meikle, visited the school for a special opening ceremony of our new playground.

The Deputy Mayor cut the ribbon and officially 'opened' the playground and then the pupils enjoyed showing their skills on the equipment, especially the monkey bars!

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The Trustees have worked alongside a number of local professionals to design and build a fantastic playground that is enjoyable and challenging for the pupils and is sympathetic to the local conservation area. Using natural materials the playground offers climbing opportunities, quiet areas for sitting and chatting and sports areas for ball games.  For our younger pupils there is a sandpit and a fantastic sensory walk. We are lucky to have had some nice weather since our return to school which has allowed the children plenty of opportunities to test out the new equipment.

The ceremony was lovely and the children enjoyed showing off their new space to our visitors. They were all so excited to meet the Deputy Mayor!".

The Deputy Mayor with Headteacher Norah Johnson

The Deputy Mayor is joined by our Head Girl and Head Boy for the ribbon cutting

A pupil demonstrates her skills on the monkey bars

Pupils using the new climbing frame

(L-R) Mrs Hayes (Trustee), representatives from Massey and Harris, Mrs Ludlam, Mrs Fleming (Chair of Trustees), Mrs Johnson (Headteacher) and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Meikle

Friday, 28 September 2018

Enjoying Autumn Vegetables!

Our Pre-Prep pupils have been having lots of fun with vegetables this Autumn.

They enjoyed a fascinating show and tell all about a GIANT courgette. They enjoyed hearing from their classmate about how she had planted the courgette as a seed, looked after it and watered it. They then enjoyed yummy courgette cakes.

Class teacher, Mrs Jones, has also been growing courgettes over the Summer. She brought some courgettes into class for the children to practice their hammering skills. They had great fun using small hammers and mallets to knock golf tees into the courgettes. Mrs Jones commented "Hammering the tees into the courgettes was fun but it was also a great exercise to help the children develop their fine motor skills, experience using tools and to encourage them to work in teams."

Autumn vegetables have also been utilised in Pre-Prep's Art lessons where they have been working as a team to create a Harvest time mural. Working with our Art teacher, Mrs Baldwin, the children have used water colours and have been printing with paints and vegetables. We can't wait to see the finished display!


Monday, 24 September 2018

The Great Fire of London

Pupils in Years 1 and 2 are studying the Great Fire of London this half term.

They used their IT skills to research the details of the fire. They then created a timeline of events leading up to, during and after the fire. Using their timeline they produced informative newspaper reports about the fire.

As part of their Art lessons, pupils drew pictures of houses from the 1600's and then used these drawings to create 3D models of their designs. Working with our Art Teacher, Mrs Baldwin, they started by selecting a box for their houses. They then painted the box and started to think about the materials they would need to make it look like a Tudor house. We're looking forward to seeing the final models on display in their classroom in the coming weeks. 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Pre-Prep get busy in the kitchen

As part of their topic on the story The Little Red Hen, Pre-Prep got their hands dirty baking bread, just like in the story!

This week our Pre-Prep class have read the story together, retold the story themselves, made windmills and discussed the morals of the story: Would they help the hen? Would they eat the bread?

To round off the week the children rolled up their sleeves and got to work rolling their dough. They loved measuring and weighing their ingredients, kneading the dough and rolling it out. Our video below shows just how hard they were concentrating!

Pre-Prep Teacher Mrs Jones commented "The Little Red Hen is a brilliant book to focus on at the start of term when we are trying to teach the pupils lots of concepts such as working together, thinking of others and sharing. We have used the story across all aspects of the curriculum and the bread making session helped them see how Maths is important in baking and was a great way to develop their fine motor skills."

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

School Open Morning - 6 October 2018

We are looking forward to welcoming families to our Autumn Open Morning on Saturday 6 October from 10am.

Our Open Mornings provide an ideal opportunity to learn more about life at Stella Maris and find out why we are the school where successful futures begin.

Families will meet teachers and pupils at the school as well as our Head Teacher, Norah Johnson. Families can explore the school and take a look at our exciting new playground!

There is no need to reserve your place in advance, just pop along on the day between 10am and 12noon. Refreshments will be available.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Fun times in our new-look playground

The Summer holidays provided the perfect opportunity for us to give our playground a bit of a refresh! With the help of Stockport based playground specialists Massey and Harris, we have had some new, exciting equipment installed.

Our pupils couldn't wait to put it to the test on our return to school this week! We caught up with them to see who had managed to conquer the monkey bars (check out our video below).

Our footballing stars love their new goal and our climbing frame is a big hit with all age groups.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Super Speech Results!

Pupils across Stella Maris are celebrating after receiving fantastic exam results.

Children who participate in the school's Speech Club recently took part in exams organised by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). The exams focus on communication and performance, starting at the introductory stage and progressing through to advanced awards.

Twenty three pupils took part in the exams and they all passed with merit and distinction. 

Headteacher, Norah Johnson, commented "These fantastic results are testament to the hard work that the children and our speech teacher, Holley Brown, have put in to their lessons throughout the year. It is great to see so many of our pupils take exams and to see them achieve such outstanding results."

Pupils receiving their LAMDA certificates

Monday, 9 July 2018

Pupils Learn Life Saving Skills

All pupils in Year 1 to Year 6 take part in the school's Heartstart Training Programme where the children learn vital, life saving skills. The Programme is supported by the British Heart Foundation and was established in school by parent, Dr Khan.

Since the Programme was established by the school in 2012, a number of staff and pupils have been trained in a range of skills from the basics of learning how to contact the emergency services right through to how to deal with a conscious and an unconscious casualty. 

Pupils are presented with certificates when they complete each stage of the Programme. This week children in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 received certificates for completing Stage 1 and pupils in Years 5 and 6 received certificates for completing the entire Programme. 

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "The Heartstart Programme which is affiliated to the British Heart Foundation, provides children with vital skills. The Programme ensures children are aware of what to do in an emergency and, by giving the children knowledge of how to act, it hopefully helps the children cope better if they are required to take action. 

We start our Programme with our younger children by teaching them simple skills such as how to dial 999 and to ensure that they know their address if required. Once children reach the juniors we teach them skills such as dealing with somebody who is choking or a serious bleed. Children in Years 5 and 6 move onto CPR. We have regular refresher sessions as we understand that skills that are not being used can be easily forgotten. The Programme has been really well received by pupils, families and staff."