Parent Communication and Events

At St Mary’s we pride ourselves on excellent communication with parents.

Open door policy

If you have concerns about your daughter, or would like further information, please speak to her class teacher. Questions regarding the curriculum can be answered by Mrs Wentworth, the Assistant Director of Lower School (Academic). Please speak to Mrs Adamson, the Assistant Director of Lower School (Pastoral), for information on your daughter’s pastoral care.

School records

It is important that school records are complete and up-to-date, in the event that parents need to be contacted urgently. Please notify the Lower School Office if there are any changes.

Tapestry for Preparatory Class

It is important that parents are able to share in the achievements of their daughter. The online learning programme Tapestry is a two-way system which gives parents the opportunity to see what their daughters have been learning in the Preparatory Class and also to add achievements at home. This creates a rounded picture of your daughter’s learning and development.

Home Links

Parents receive their daughter’s home learning tasks every Friday on the Home Links letter from her form teacher.

Home School Log/Reading Diary

Every pupil has a Reading Diary/Home School log, which is a line of communication between home and school. Please make a note in the diary, along with any comments, when your daughter reads to you.

Reporting

Reports are issued at Christmas and at the end of the school year in July. The Christmas report is a shorter report, which includes English, Mathematics and a general teacher comment. The full report is sent home in the summer term. Girls are continuously assessed and parents meet with teachers in October and February/March to review progress and to discuss your daughter’s next steps.

SATs tests take place at the end of Year 2 and Year 6. The pupils also take part in the Incas diagnostic testing at Year 2, 4, 5 and 6. Information on these assessments is also shared with parents.

Parents’ Evening

There are Parents’ Evenings in October and February/March each academic year. Parents are requested to document their availability on the specified days and a time will be organised to suit both parties.

Specialist teachers are available at the February/March Parents’ Evenings. Parents who are unable to attend Parents’ Evening are welcome to speak to the Lower School Office to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss their daughter’s progress with her class teacher.

Parent Afternoons

Parents of pupils in Years 1 to 6 are invited into the classrooms every half term on a Friday at the end of school to look over their daughters’ work. Please note that this is not a time for consultation with the class teacher, but an opportunity to celebrate your daughter’s work and to be involved in her learning. Classrooms are closed from 4pm.

Email and text communications

Correspondence between the Lower School and parents is via email or text message. Messages may require a ‘click response’. The Lower School Office staff are happy to help with any difficulties.

Newsletter

News from the Lower School, upcoming key dates and other useful information is sent home as part of the Lower School Spotlight newsletter every Friday.

Website

The school website is a great source of information on all sections of St Mary’s School. It also includes school policies and the latest news.

The Parents Portal contains useful information such as school day timings, key dates, menus, uniform guide and online shop, curriculum, news and galleries.

Social Media

You can follow us on Twitter
(@stmaryscolch), Facebook (stmaryslowerschoolcolchester) and Instagram
(@StMarysColchester)

PTA

St Mary’s has an active Parent Teacher Association, which organises at least one social or fundraising event for the whole school each term.

Membership of the PTA is automatic and parents are kept informed via the newsletter and by letter, of the various PTA events.

Parents who would like to help organise PTA events are encouraged to join the PTA committee – the Lower School Office staff can arrange contact with the current PTA Chair. The committee meets on one evening each half term to plan events.

School trips

Trips are organised each term for every year group and are designed to inspire the girls, or to support and extend curriculum studies.

We try to ensure that all girls take part in at least one theatre and gallery trip during their time at the school.

Key events

We enjoy welcoming friends and family members into school on a regular basis for events. These include performances such as the Nativity, outdoor theatre production, Sports Day, PTA events such as Fireworks Night and our annual Prize Giving celebrations.

Details of events are communicated via email, on our website and in our weekly newsletters.

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