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This is a nurturing environment where children, staff, parents and governors know each other and share a common understanding of the School’s purpose – to ‘aim high’ and through shared understanding of Gospel values, ensure that the potential of every child is fully achieved. Our children are happy, sociable, well-behaved and value our diversity, which enriches everything we do. We are recognised as ‘outstanding’ by the local authority and are confident this will be endorsed at our next Ofsted inspection.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Letter from the Head Teacher

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter to you as the new Head Teacher.  I am sure that most of you are aware that I have been the Deputy Head here for the past four and a half years and that I take over from the great work that Mr. West started over the past five years.  He has left our School in an excellent position both academically and within the Church community.  I will continue to teach Year 6 on Mondays and I am ably supported by my two Assistant Heads, Pauline Campbell-Hill and Matthew Rimell.

I wish you a warm welcome back to the start of a new academic year or if your child started last week in our Reception Class, I welcome you to the new start in your child’s education.  It was so lovely to see all of our children safely back after the summer holidays.  I was very fortunate to be able to see all of the new children come into our Reception class last Wednesday and Thursday.  Miss Knight and her staff were at the gate welcoming in all the smiling, eager faces of both children and parents.  I was so impressed by the children’s enthusiasm to learn and experience a new chapter in their lives.  One delightful little boy was able to tell me all the names of the dinosaurs he saw as he walked through the door.  All of the staff have been in School over the holidays ensuring that their classrooms were well prepared for the term ahead.

We welcome two new members of staff to our School.  Our new Year 3 teacher, Miss Antwi, joins us from another Lewisham Catholic school, although she is known to us as a very successful student two years ago at St Mary Magdalen’s.  Miss Antwi will be leading English in Key Stage 2 and UNICEF's 'Rights of the Child' across the School.  We also welcome Mrs Murphy, who joins our staff from a Bexley school.  She is an experienced teacher in both Key Stage 1 and 2.  She is working with Mr Rimell in Year 2 and Mrs Campbell-Hill in Year 5.  She will leading on History and Geography across the School.

Important News

As many of you will have noticed, we now have a new classroom to the side of the playground.  This will be used for our Year 6 class and will be occupied by the end of this half term.  Within the new building, we have new toilets for the juniors at break times. This will ease the congestion on our existing toilets in the infant playground.

Learning themes

All class curriculums for this term have been posted on this website.  Our School learning theme for the autumn term will be based on Catholic and British Values.  The children will be undertaking research on what these mean to us in and out of School.  If you have any information on this theme that could contribute to the children’s work, please let us know by speaking to Mrs Waite or Mrs Moore in the School Office.

Free School Meals

If you are eligible for free school meals you could save yourself hundreds of pounds each year by applying.  It is now very easy to find out if you qualify for free school meals all you need to do is telephone Lewisham Council Student and Pupil Support on 020 8314 6221 – they will be able to tell you immediately if you qualify and the school will be notified by the next working day. The phone lines are open from 10am-12:30pm.  You can also log on to www.lewisham.gov.uk/pupilpremium.  If your child is entitled to free school meals they will also be entitled to free milk from Cool Milk. To register log on to www.coolmilk.com or telephone 0800 321 3248.  It is very important for the School too. Even if you do not take up the offer of free school meals, just by qualifying our school will benefit as we will receive additional money from the Government. At present  this is £1,320 for every child who is entitled to free school meals.  This money is always used to further support our children’s learning.

Birthdays

As some children suffer from severe allergies, we can no longer give out Party Bags, sweets or cakes. 

Dinner Money

The dinner money for this term is £66.00 (£2 per day).  Please be aware that any cheques sent to the school need to be made out exactly as follows - London Borough of Lewisham re. St Mary Magdalen RC SchoolIf you wish to pay by Parentpay and have mislaid your username and password please contact the School Office.  Any money sent in to the office for dinners or school trips must be in an envelope marked with your child’s name and the amount enclosed then put in the box in the Reception area.

End of the school day

Please remember that you must inform the School office either in the morning or early in the afternoon if your child is being collected by someone other than yourself.  Please do not leave it until the end of the day.

Uniform

This is a reminder that we do not allow any jewellery in School, which includes earrings. If your child has pierced ears the earrings need to be covered whilst in school. School shoes need to be black or brown, not boots of any kind. The children can wear their summer uniform until the end of this half term.

Sally Saunders, Head Teacher

Democracy in Action!

The School took Year Six, who have completed a series of lessons on democracy, to the Houses of Parliament to experience democracy in action.

We were lucky enough to visit Parliament on a Wednesday when many Members of Parliament were in attendance for Prime Minister's question time.  We spotted some politicians including Lord Kinnock, Zac Goldsmith, Ian Duncan Smith and Michael Gove.

The class had a personal, informative tour of the House of Lords, followed by a workshop on how laws are made.  The class debated whether the voting age should be reduced to 14 years old, with many of Year 6 being able to deliver a clear argument for or against the motion.

All of the pupils came away with an understanding of how laws are made through the Houses of Parliament and finally ratified by Her Majesty The Queen.  The staff at the Parliament’s Education Service was very impressed by Year Six’s knowledge of both Parliament and democracy.

Year Six commented on the craftsmanship of the interior of the historic building and the current renovations restoring the House to its former glory. 

Thank you to Miss McKune, Mrs Bekir and to our Governor, Mrs Douglas, who took time out to accompany us on the visit.

Sally Saunders, Headteacher

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Hall's alive with the Sound of Music

Max, the Captain, the Baroness and Maria
with Liesl and Louisa
Our two Marias, flanked by the Captain,
Max and some nuns
Year Six performed 'The Sound of Music' to a packed School Hall last Wednesday evening. Despite some last minute adjustments due to a 'no show', a strong cast held the production together and after 90 minutes the 'curtain came down' to rapturous applause!

Putting on a major show like this in such a short time was no mean feat and great credit goes to Mrs Saunders, Miss McKune, Miss Bekir and the children - who did a fabulous job of learning their lines in only a fortnight.  All the children were wonderful, but special mention goes to Martya and Chloe (who split the lead role of Maria), to Cameron, as Max (who was on stage throughout and held the whole thing together); to Chukwumah and Nathaniel (as Captain von Trapp), Callie and Julia (as the Baroness), Isabelle as Liesl and Siobhan as Mother Superior.

The impromptu 'So Long, Farewell' at the end was a special treat with all the kids 'letting go' and showing what a wonderful joint endeavour the production has clearly been, an opportunity to let off steam after the intense SATs tests of only a few weeks ago.

Well done all - very entertaining! 

Robert Sheppard    

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Goodbye Year 6 - Prom Night, 18 July, 5.30-7.30pm

Year 6 will be saying their goodbyes at their Prom party in the School Hall at 5.30pm this coming Monday, 18 July.  Many thanks to those Year 6 parents and to School staff who have volunteered to help in one way or another - setting-up, providing food, taking photographs, preparing/playing music, clearing-up afterwards etc.

This is an event for the children, organised by their parents in recognition of the children's hard work and to celebrate what this wonderful bunch of children have achieved, and what great citizens they've become, during their time at St.Mary Magdalen's.

We will be setting up in the School Hall from 1.30pm and clearing up at 7.30pm, so all help will be greatly appreciated.

A 'slide show', photos of the children during their time at the School, is being prepared and will be projected onto the screen during the Prom.  There will also be a 'who's the baby' competition where those present will be invited to guess whose the various baby photos are.  To date only five or so parents have provided slide show or baby photos so if you want to be sure photos of your child are included, please send snaps (no more than 5 good ones in total please!) by midday Sunday to robsheppard01@yahoo.co.uk.  Please remember that they will be shown on a large screen so will need to be fairly high resolution.

Thank you - and see you Monday!  Be prepared for tears!

Year 6 parents

Summer Fair - Thank You

Many thanks to everyone involved in organising and running the Summer Fayre last week and to everyone who came along and contributed in one way or another.

Nearly £1,000 was taken on the day, and after costs have been deducted this results in a net 'profit' to the Parent Teacher Association of £539.

As with all PTA fundraising this will be spent on projects or items of direct benefit to the School and its children generally - i.e. it funds things that the School would not otherwise be able to provide through mainstream budgets.

Robert Sheppard