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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, 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

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Thank you and Goodnight!

As we approach the end of another very busy year, I would personally like to thank you all for the support you have given to the school and to me personally over the last five years.

Those of you who had children in School when I arrived in September 2011 will know of the somewhat turbulent first year, but God works in mysterious ways and with hindsight all that happened simply laid the foundation for what is now a very successful and thriving learning community.  Working together the Governors, staff and your children have put in place a culture which challenges children to take responsibility for their learning and be aspiration for their future.

It has not been an easy role but the vision that I had when I was appointed has been refined by Governors, developed through the creativity and expertise of the staff and will, like all successful organisations, change under new leadership but be true to its core values - that of aspiring to deliver an outstanding education with Catholic principles based on the Gospel values.

So as I move on I would like to inform you of the staffing changes taking place in the new academic year.  As you are aware Mrs Saunders, an outstanding teacher who has proven leadership skills and a strong Catholic faith, will taking over as the Head Teacher as from September.  Mrs Saunders will continue to teach one day a week in Year 6 and Miss McKune will teach for 4 days in this class.  We have appointed Mr Matthew Rimell and Mrs Pauline Campbell-Hill as our two Assistant Heads as from September.  Mr Rimell will taking over the role of Inclusion Manager and Mrs Campbell-Hill as R.E. subject leader will have the responsibility for ensuring the school’s Catholic ethos and values are continually enhanced.

We say good bye to Mr Weighill in Year 3 as he takes up a promotion in a school in Bexley.  We would like to thank him for all of his hard work within the class and across the school in his capacity as the English subject leader and leading the school with our involvement in UNICEF’s 'Rights Respecting School' programme.  He has also successfully enabled the school to achieve the Artsmark (Level 1).  Mr Weighill will be missed, but we wish him all the very best as he takes up his new position as Director of Studies.

We have appointed a new member of staff in Year 3.  Ms Gillian Antwi was a graduate student with us two years ago and joins us once again from another local Catholic school in Lewisham.  She made a big impression on us when training in Year 6 and has now has valuable experience in other Key Stage 2 classes.  She will maintain the high standards which Year 2 children and you parents have come to expect.  Ms Antwi will be leading Key Stage 2 in English, sharing the role with Miss Clarke in Year 1 who will focus on Key Stage 1 English. Ms Antwi will also be taking over the responsibility for our Artsmark.

We also welcome Mrs Alison Murphy to share Year 2 with Mr Rimell.  She is an experienced Year 2 teacher in a faith school and will be working with the class 2 days a week.  Mrs Murphy has worked in both Greenwich and Bexley boroughs and has taught in both Key Stages.  She will be the Subject Leader for History and Geography across the School. 

Mrs Piper our current Inclusion Manager is ‘gradually’ moving towards retirement, but will support Mr Rimell for one day per week, as he takes over this very important and demanding role.  Mr Rimell will however remain a class teacher in Year 2, something which I know current Year 1 parents will be very pleased about.

Overseeing the School and holding the Head Teacher to account we have our experienced Governing Board, led by Danny McGrath.

I will be very sorry to leave our wonderful School, but I do so knowing that St. Mary Magdalen’s will undoubtedly go from strength to strength. I am proud to have been given the opportunity to have played some small part in improving the life chances of so many children.  Thank you once again for entrusting me with the immensely important job of leading this school and enabling your child to become independent, self-motivating and aspirational learners, a skill that will remain with them throughout their lives.

God bless you all.

Graeme McGlasson-West

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

School Concert showcases Musical Talent


Today parents were treated to a musical evening at which the school's choir and individual instrumentalists performed.

We heard piano and violin pieces from beginners to Grade 4 and pieces from those learning the guitar and clarinet.

Girls, boys and mixed choir groups of all ages performed a range of songs from film and musicals.

Well done to all the children who took part, to Mrs Borget for 'running the show' and to Mr. Knight for his musical accompaniment and general encouragement.

For some of the children this will have been their first public performance and we hope this encourages them to pursue their musical talent for many years to come.