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The School 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 moving rapidly from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ and relishing the challenge!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Poetry Fever spreads throughout the School

Last Wednesday, the children of St. Mary Magdalen became extremely excited about a national poetry competition.  Both Key Stage One and Two were told about a writing competition that they could enter before the October Half Term, with the chance of not only becoming a published writer, but also winning £1,000 to buy new books for the school.
Mr Weighill explained that the children of SMM were able to share with the world their writing talents as well as improve their knowledge of using new poetry techniques.  Every class is expected to take part, using their English lessons as a vehicle to express their creativity.  The Infants will be writing their poems in class using their 5 senses, whilst the juniors will be writing a poem about a chosen emotion.
The School will perform an in-house prize winners assembly before the October Half Term once all classes have completed this activity.  All of the children's entries will then be sent off to be judged by Young Writers.
If you would like more information about this competition, please go to:
The teachers can't wait to see what the children produce and think a competition winner from our school is definitely achievable!
Ben Weighill
English Leader

Music for Youth

On a rainy, grey day Years 5 and 6 went by public transport to the Royal Albert Hall with teachers, parents and one of our Governors to experience this concert whi showcased young talented musicians from around the United Kingdom.
Harrow Tamil Orchestra opened the concert with traditional Southern Indian music.  Gifted young musicians played sitars, electric keyboards, traditional hand drums and violins.

Dulwich Hamlet Junior School Fusion Ensemble were next up, playing ' Londinium' a piece they had composed themselves, reflecting a day in the life in the capital.
The Royal College of Music Junior Department Chamber Choir sang a quietly lyrical song, about a Yorkshire lady singing to the wind to bring her true love back.  They then sang out 'Lord I'm Free', an uplifting spiritual declaration of faith.

Berkshire Symphony Orchestra played Holst's 'Jupiter' a piece that included audience participation, clapping, sounds and of course a Mexican Wave.

Finally an upbeat funk jazz version of 'Lady Marmalade' was performed by Young Brasscals.  Drums, tuba, saxophone played while the audience danced to the expertly played instruments, followed by a song about Brooklyn, an amazingly atmospheric piece.
Thank you to Mrs Saunders for organising this event, enabling the children to experience live music played by young people with such skill at one of London's most iconic music venues.
Ms Bekir

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Year Six meet Carol Harris, journalist

Year Six were delighted to welcome Carol Harris, journalist and author, to the School.  When Carol began her career computers were not used!  She began as an 'office junior' - making tea, filing and typing.
To gain experience she began writing newspaper articles that no one else wanted to do.  This led to her becoming a journalist on a 'news desk', where she reported on major stories from Parliament and historical events like Margaret Thatcher's last speech.
Having worked sometimes up to 60 hour weeks, Carol became an editor, which was very exciting as that meant she could choose what news stories to report.  One of her most memorable campaigns was to gain access for disabled people on buses and in public places - something we take for granted today.

Mrs Saunders and Carol Harris

Her life changed when she had children and she became 'freelance' which, she explained, was a word from the days of knights and chivalry.  A knight who was not employed by a baron or lord would be free to offer his services to anyone, carrying his trusty lance - so 'free-lance'!
Her interests in vintage fashion and history led to her publishing books on the subject.  She kindly donated two signed copies of her books to Yr.6.
Then children had the chance to ask Carol some questions.  They asked - who had inspired her to be a journalist?  Carol explained that when she was a child male and female roles were clearly defined roles and only men were journalists.  However her mother and grandma worked all their lives, so she was inspired by them to work and earn a living for herself.  As she had grown up seeing them work, going to work was something she expected to do herself.
The children then asked - what makes a good journalist?  Carol quoted from an inspirational Editor she worked with that said "Comment is free, facts are sacred."  She then explained that accuracy is essential;, that you should always check your facts; and that you should always edit, improve and get someone to check your work.  Furthermore all journalists have to work to a strict timescale and a good journalist will always meet publication deadlines!
One other memorable quote from Carol - "News is what someone somewhere does not want to be printed, all the rest is advertising."
Carol said that having a 'work-life balance' (not letting work rule your life) is important - and she enjoys gardening and volunteering at the Imperial War Museum where she talks about artefacts there. It is essential, she explained, to choose a career that interests you - as you will spend a long time working, so it might as well be something you are passionate about!
Nilgun Bekir
Notes: Carol Harris is a freelance journalist and lecturer, with a special interest in World War Two. She is the author of Women at War 1939-45: the Home Front, and Women at War in Uniform: 1939-45. She co-authored The Wartime House (Sutton, 2000), with Mike Brown, her husband.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Thursday 22 October is Movie Night

The School PTA is holding another Movie Night on 22 October.  Children will be able to watch films chosen by their class, in their classes, after school between 3.30-5.00pm.
Tickets are £3.50 per child (2nd child from same family £3.00) and must be purchased in advance.  This includes crisps, hotdogs and drinks.  Any profits will, as ever, go towards projects that benefit the School as a whole.
Parents must complete the permissions slips sent in schoolbags and return them, with correct payment, to the Office in an envelope marked 'PTA Movie Night' by 12 October.
Any children not attending the Movie Night on 22 October must be picked up promptly at 3.30pm. 
Mel Ruggeri
PTA Chair