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'Learning, Achieving, Growing in God's Love'

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Van Gogh class

Congratulations to those children who were rewarded with a trip to the St. Marys Reading vending machine today! These children successfully read at home four times a week for a whole half-term! Well done everyone! We can't wait to see even more children at the end of Autumn 2 collecting a reward!

Van Gogh were very luck to have a morning with the inspirational author Damien Hine! The children were asked to participate in writing activities; they listened to how Damien worked hard to achieve his dreams as an author and they listened to extracts from his popular adventure books! 

Greek art by Eliska Hola

Greek art by Veronika Hola

Ashlee's information about blossom

Poem about mini-beasts

Imogen's poem really captures the perspective of what a small creature might see.  

George's mini-beast poem

A return visitor

It is always exciting to hear what past students have been up to.  It was especially exciting to see that Jack, who as you will remember played a huge part in the musical development of St Mary's, has been awarded a Blue Peter Music badge.  He shared his love for music as well as finding out what other people felt about music and how it affected their lives.


He looks very pleased and proud, as are we.  

The Great Van Gogh Bake Off

The project outline was to bake using Yeast as a raising agent...  Well we saw the fruits of the children's hard work in the form of 'The Great Van Gogh Bake Off'.  The children brought in their culinary designs showing off their baking skills as well as learning about how yeast works.


There was a huge variety of sweet and savory delights from banana and soda bread to cinamon swirls and donuts.  


The bakes were judged on: presentation, the structure of the rise, the use of different and unusual flavours and most of all taste.  Well done to everyone who joined in and thank you to those parents who also joined us.


Huge congratulations to all the children; a special mention goes to George, who managed to get Ms GS to try banana bread, and Yara who won the prize for the best bake.


A fantastic display of just how much the children have learnt in their flute and piano lessons.  The performance was of outstanding quality considering some children have only been learning an instrument for 10 weeks. 

Van Gogh have been looking at businesses both global and local.  The class visited a local business recently-The Black Cat Farm Shop.  The shop is small and locally owned by Sue Lang.  She kindly agreed to talk to Van Gogh about running a small business and how she sources her produce.  The children asked very pertinent questions about trade and pricing.  Alongside Sue they looked at where the produce had originated from and how she keeps to the vision of fresh, local, seasonal.

Most of the produce comes from the Bedford area, with some as local as Wyboston.  The shop has been under Sue's management for the last five years and she deals with all different varieties of fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, jams and pickles to name a few.  There is local honey for sale, which is great for those who suffer from hay fever. 

The children have made posters and leaflets, which will be coming home, and have left a questionnaire at the shop for customers to complete.  The children will be using this information to further develop opportunities to publicise the shop.

Why not drop into the shop leading up to Christmas.  Visit the website to see more information about opening times. 

Giving to others

As part of our courageous advocacy, the children in Van Gogh decided that they wanted to take part in the Christmas child event this year.

Together they gathered small items for children aged 5-14 years of age.  Some made friendship bracelets and Christmas cards.


For those children who want to complete extra maths learning please go to the wet weather page for Van Gogh.  There you will find all of the maths areas of learning for year 6.  You can dip in and out at your leisure.  I have put a link below.



Science is really exciting in Van Gogh class, especially when there's a crime to solve.  Who did it...? Who did what I hear you cry?  Well who hid the Casey Shield, which mysteriously went missing from the foyer.  Only a hand written note was left for the children to use as evidence.


The children used Chromatography, which is a process that separates dissolved solids, to link the hand written note of the blackmailer to the pens used by various members of staff.  This process demonstrated that even though you may be using a black pen, the ink has various coloured solids dissolved within it.  


Linking our science to the evolution and inventions through the ages the children also researched various different techniques that have been employed in forensic science.


So who was it?  Well that would be telling...

Reflecting on what we know?

In order to develop our knowledge of how inventions in science have developed over time, we looked at various pictures.  Mrs Biucchi challenged us to link the actual dates with our already ordered pictures.  This was harder than we expected as we had two extra dates without pictures.

We were interested to find out that Archimedes was one of the first people to realise that science could be used to solve crime, this was back in 275BC.  Scientific discoveries have continued to be developed with the most recent being the use of computer technology in facial recognition.


Maths learning in Van Gogh

Van Gogh have been using manipulatives in order to consolidate their learning with number.  By using equipment such as numicon, place value grids and other model they have become more practiced and confident.  This will support further learning in maths. 

Magistrates Visit.

Van Gogh had a visit this afternoon from Mr Geoff Watts, who is a local magistrate.  Mr Watts has been a magistrate since 1992.  This is a voluntary role, which he combines with many other interests and commitments. Before his retirement he was Deputy head teacher of Ernulf and for many years and head of Sixth form.


Mr Watts spoke to the class about his role as a magistrate and what the courtroom is like.  95% of all crimes are dealt with in the magistrates court, all other crimes are referred to the crown court where a jury helps make the decision about guilt.  


The children thought about the process of law and how as one of our British Values all people have the right to a fair hearing about their guilt.  Mr Watts explained how as a magistrate he has to decide what the best punishment or support is required for the person who is in court.


Oliwier asked, "What was your inspiration to become a magistrate?"

"Well my friend kept encouraging me to do it and I knew I had a lot of work, then my colleague at school said that the school would support me, so I went for it."


Anisha asked. "What is the biggest problem you've faced?"

"The great thing is that because we work in groups of three we use that to help us make the right decision.  Sometimes it is hard because we do not all agree.  I have had people swear at me from the court, I have been verbally abused and accused of being unfair."


Jack asked, "What's the worst crime you've had to deal with?"

"At the moment it is knife crime, people traveling from London into St Neots in order to sell or buy drugs.  I saw a young man who was abusive towards other people.  You get to see some very unpleasant things." 


Do you know how many laws there are?

I have a legal advisor to help me, but I think that there are hundreds just linked to cars if not thousands.


What age do you have to be to go to prison.

At the age of 16-17 you can be sent to a juvenile detention for a maximum of 24 months.  A 10 year old could be sent to a secure care facility.


Malwina asked, "How long have you been a magistrate?"

27 years, I was 40 when I started to be a magistrate.  


How many crimes do you deal with a day?

Sometimes one crime may last two days, you have to listen to the prosecution and defence.  Sometimes if it is related to traffic, we could have 40 or 50 a day.  


The children asked many interesting questions, which Mr Watts was more than happy to answer.  The court in Huntingdon is the main youth court for the whole of Cambridgeshire most of the youth cases they deal with are linked around assaults, loss of temper and criminal damage.  The number has reduced due to the diversion of police and local social workers.  


If you want to find out more about the role of a magistrate then follow this link: 



Stained Glass Windows

Condover Hall

Fencing in the sunshine, was the first activity at Condover for Van Gogh class.  The challenges were accepted and risen too.  New skills for some and extending for others.  Well done everyone for doing their best.


In our RE lessons we are looking at the Gospels.  The key message is - What would Jesus do?  We looked at the gospel of Matthew 7:24-27 and the parable of the wise and foolish man.  The children used 12 sticks, that they collected, in order to build a structure that would hold the bible.  They needed to think about what makes a good structure as well as the weight that was going to be balanced.  The children used many of our school skills, such as communication, teamwork and accepting challenges.  Well done to Kyah, Ruby and Abigail who managed to complete the task.

Author signing

Following the visit from Children's author, Eamonn Riley.  The children who purchased books had the opportunity to meet him again during a book signing.  He took the time to sign every book with each child.  As a school we sold 71 book which meant that there are now twelve of Eamonn's books in the school library.



Van Gogh class will be leading the first class Collective worship this week.  As a school we will be focusing on our value - WISDOM. 

The children will be sharing why it is important to have a greater knowledge of how other children live around the world.  Van Gogh class decided that they would be visiting Fiji a small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. 


The research the children will be conducting links with our current topic about how Earth is one large island.  


Visiting Author

Eamonn Riley visited our school yesterday, he spoke to us about what it was like to be an author of children's books.  Throughout the assembly he spoke about his inspirations, which mainly came from his time a a school teacher.  Many of the children had thought of questions to ask and the answers were very interesting.  Here are some of the answers we received:

What type of music do you enjoy?

I really enjoy folk music, jazz and blues.  I played in a band for many years and have played at the Cambridge Folk Festival.

How long did it take to write your first book?

The first one took about seven years, you have to keep going with your writing.


Eamonn will be signing books for those children who have purchased them.




Visit by Mrs Williams

We were pleased to welcome Mrs Williams to Van Gogh class on Friday afternoon.  The children listened to Mrs Williams' recounts about a school, called The Solid Foundation', in Rwanda, Africa.  Having visited the school on a number of occasions she was able to share photos and first hand accounts of the way the education and life differs from that at St Mary's.

The children asked some really powerful questions about the history of Rwanda and there was a real sense of compassion and thankfulness in the class.  There were many aetefacts for us to look at which showed the way in which the people in Rwanda are supporting their own economy. 

We will be making links with the children and staff at The Solid Foundation School in the next few weeks and aim to communicate with them via email and post.

The children were all keen to learn more and even suggested a school trip!!

A big thank you to Mrs Williams for given her time to share her wonderful knowledge with us.

A very warm welcome back to all the children and families of Van Gogh.  As a class we have already been busy with our learning.  The children started the term by investigating what happens to our brains when we are challenged with a problem.  The results were somewhat surprising.  However, it has allowed s to look at challenges in a positive light.  We are focusing on having a 'GROWTH MINDSET@ in all our learning opportunities this year.

Please support your child with this by focusing on the perseverance they show and giving them time to work things out.

Safety Zone

Year five children all attended the annual Safety Zone visit at St Neots fire station last week.  Throughout the afternoon the children worked together in two teams, to answer questions and solve problems.  Some children faced up to fears and worries, others showed support and encouragement.  

One particular highlight was seeing the children deal with emergency situations in a mature manner.  Dialing 999 and asking for the appropriate service can be a scary situation, however they rose to the challenge.

I was particularly impressed with the amount of knowledge the children already had, something that the adults leading the event commented on.  The children also showed faultless behaviour and were fantastic ambassadors for St Mary's. 

Well done everyone.

Topic sharing afternoon

It was fantastic to see so many parents, grand parents and other family and friends during this terms topic sharing afternoon.  The children were so enthusiastic in sharing their learning across all subjects.  We were blessed by the weather which meant that kite flying was a clear winner with the children. 


Flutes on Friday

Still image for this video
Van Gogh are really developing into budding musicians. The progress is outstanding and their confidence is growing every week. This week the children were playing a call and response piece, here we see Jack taking the lead and the class following. Jack has been learning not just the flute but also the cello.

Third space learning

Year 6 have taken a large step forward in raising their resilience and learning potential this morning.  They are using an online learning classroom, which offers 1:1 tuition for 45 minutes.  Each child has been set learning specific to their needs in maths.

An exciting time for everyone.  A big well done to all the children for taking a risk in their learning.

Watch this space for their comments...

Fascinating forces

The children started their investigation into the forces of science.  They used a tug of war competition to think about push, pull and friction.  Year 2 children joined in and successfully pulled the year 5 and 6's over.  How I hear you ask?  It was all about friction...

Look out for the Topic letter at the end of the week explaining more about this terms learning.

The children have been enjoying their Reading Buddy sessions this year. They have been selecting a text from the library to share with their buddy in Kandinsky class. I have been very impressed with how well they have been using their own comprehension and inference skills to think of challenging questions for their buddies, whilst supporting them with developing their reading skills.

Well, we made it through the first term and I was delighted that Van Gogh managed to retain the attendance cup this week. Well done to everyone who is making sure they are in school everyday.
A huge thank you to both children and parents for the fantastic gifts and kind words that both myself and Mrs Grogan received.
I'm sure you will all join me in saying congratulations to the children following their performance on Friday. It was a nervous time for everyone, however they stepped up to the challenge and proved how much they had learnt in such a short space of time.
Watch this space for video and photos.
I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and a peaceful new year. I look forward to see everyone returning to school on Thursday 4th January refreshed and ready to learn. :)

The Great Van Gogh Bake Off, with guest judges.

Investigating changes

Van Gogh have had an extremely busy half term.  As a fitting ending to our topic 'Bake it' the children took part in a 'Great Van Gogh Bake Off'  Which saw eighteen different bakes being taste tested by Mr Hodson and Ms Tucker-Vincent.

The winner, Poppy, received her very own baking apron and wooden spoon so that she can continue with other amazing creations.  The runners up were Jasmine, who baked olive bread rolls and Caitlin, who wowed the judges with a heavenly chocolate cake.

At the end of each topic the children complete 'Pupil Voice' where they have the opportunity to share what they have learnt and enjoyed.


'This experience mad me try new skills, I didn't know what raising agents were before I started this topic.  I now know that they make cakes rise and when making bread the yeast creates carbon dioxide which makes pockets of space to create rise.'


'I think it was a great experience, it has shown me skills I might need in the future.  I liked making bread because I could see the bread rise from the yeast.'


'I really enjoyed learning about what happens to yeast.  I was amazed when the dried yeast exploded the balloon because of the amount of carbon dioxide and froth that was created.  The sugar and warm water activated the yeast for this to happen.'


100% attendance for Van Gogh.

Flute lessons

Van Gogh started their new topic with a Pizza Party at Frankie and Benny's.  The children came back to class and discussed what ingredients are required to make bread and what reactions take place.

Over the nest few week the children will be using scientific investigations to find out how yeast works and how molecules react to heat and cold.


The children have also requested a Great St Mary's Bake Off competition, so watch this space for more details.


Frankie and Benny's Pizza Party

A new school year is upon us-welcome back

Van Gogh


I would like to welcome back all the children and families to a new school year.  


We have a busy term ahead of us and are going to be looking at some interesting subjects such as: how our brain helps us to learn, the science of bread and The Myan empire.


As last year we will have PE twice a week, on a Wednesday with Premier sport and on a Friday with myself.  School PE kit is essential for all children on these days, however it is advisable that kit is in school everyday.


Either myself or Mrs Grogan will be available on the playground every morning for quick messages.  If you need to see me for a longer chat then let me know and this can be arranged.


Here is looking forward to a positive year.


'A Great attitude becomes a great mood.

Which becomes a great day.

Which becomes a great year.  

Which becomes a great life.'


Ms Tucker-Vincent 










Thursday 25th May 2017

Van Gogh class have been working hard this week at improving their cookery skills. Mrs. Capper and Mrs. Compson held a 'Great Polish Bake Off!' with the Year 6s. Mr. Hodson was invited to taste all of the food and help choose a winner. Unfortunately, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry were not on hand to help!