Friday, 17 October 2014

Primary Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

On Monday 13 October Years Five and Six travelled to South Kensington by public transport to attend the Primary Proms Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Barney Harwood from Blue Peter was our host for the afternoon and all the acts performing were aged 8-18yrs of age.
‘Metamorphosis’ was the theme, an exploration of change through the transformative power of music, with contemporary interpretations, by young musicians, of traditional music.  The concert opened with a performance by a female group who sang 'Dynamite' and many of the audience joined in the singing and dancing.

Next came a change of pace - the Luton Jazz Orchestra, an incredibly talented group of young musicians, with spectacular trumpet, bass, trombone, saxophone playing and singing.  Then a
youth orchestra played a fusion of jazz and classical music.
'Waterman's Waters of Whitby' followed, a song written and composed by a young traditional Irish band, with a modern twist.
‘Raggle Taggle Gypsies’ was then sung by a youth choir to bring the performance to a close.
Many thanks to Mrs Saunders for organising this event, designed to widen the children's musical horizons.  A big thank you also to those parents and Governors who came with us.
Nigun Bekir

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Year 2's Young Ornithologists Go Wild!

On Tuesday 7 October Year 2 excitedly boarded their coach with Mr Rimell, Mrs Sheppard and Miss Mahony to go to Horton Kirby, in Kent.  They were going to learn all about different types of birds, but especially robins.

When they first arrived, they saw some birds up close - but sadly they were no longer alive, as they had been stuffed!  However the children found them fascinating.
After that, the children were given a pair of binoculars each and they set off for a bird-watching expedition.  Despite the children hearing lots of birdsong, the birds themselves proved elusive!  Still, there were a couple of sightings, and the children could hear what the birds sounded like.  They then went foraging amongst the grass to see what kind of food the birds like to eat – lots of spiders and mini-beasts, it would seem!
The last activity for the day was collecting brown leaves.  These leaves were then transformed into ‘rocking robins’ using glue and a paper plate.  The the children took their creations back to school, and these are now proudly flying above the topic area in the classroom!  All-in-all it was a great day out in the country, if a tiring one, but the children enjoyed themselves and will remember it for some time to come.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Spread the word - we're in the top 25%!

Now we're into school admission season it's time to draw the attention of parents at your Church and in your neighbourhood to a small and friendly local school that often goes under the local radar, but which has made enormous strides in the last 18 months, so much so that it has 'overtaken' other popular local schools with pupil achievement now in the top 25% of primary schools in England -  I'm talking about our very own St.Mary Magdalen’s of course! 
The School's March 2014 Ofsted report said “Pupils make good progress. By the end of Year 6 they reach standards that are above average in reading, writing and mathematics” and, since then, progress has continued apace under a determined Head and Deputy, with teachers and TAs who are driven to get the best out of all pupils, and a Governing Body focused on making the School the best it can be in the interests of the children.

The results of pupils in Year 6 in Summer 2014 put St. Mary Magdalen's in the top 5% (very far above) schools in Lewisham and nationally for Reading and Mathematics at level 4b+ and in Writing at level 4+.   Furthermore the % of pupils gaining level 5+ (which was below Lewisham and national averages in 2011), rose significantly above the Lewisham and national average in 2014 - by 29.5% and 31.5% respectively. [Data taken from the Lewisham School Profile, September 2014]
It goes without saying that the School is very pleased with the continual raising of standards over the last 3 years, resulting in significant improvement to the life chances of its children.
Danny McGrath
Chair of the Governing Body

Friday, 10 October 2014

Free School Meals - make sure you've registered

Under the Government’s new universal free school meal scheme, all Infant children are now entitled to free school meals.
It's important that all parents of infant pupils who may be in receipt of qualifying benefits to register their entitlement for Free School Meals to attract the Pupil Premium for your child's school.  This money is used by the school to assist the children in their learning.

The qualifying benefits are:

(i)           Income Support
(ii)         Jobseeker's Allowance
(iii)       Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
(iv)        Child Tax Credit - where the family's annual income is no more than £16,190
(v)          Guarantee Pension Credit
(vi)        Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

You can apply online or contact Lewisham Council on 020 8314 6221.  There are forms available in the School Office.

If your child is already receiving free school meals you need not apply again.

Graeme West
Head Teacher

Friday, 3 October 2014

Grazie mille per una notte perfetta!

The wider Ruggeri family - Mel, where are you?
Our second Italian Night was held on the evening of Wednesday 1 October.  The event was organised by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Chair, Mel Ruggeri, who was ably supported by her extended family.  Her cousin flew in from Tenerife specially for the evening.
Tickets sold out in advance of the event and the School Hall was full.  Families and staff enjoyed a four course meal - bruschetta, followed by spinach and ricotta tortellini, then a fish course and finally some tiramisu and liqueurs.  The children were treated to chicken and pizza followed by Italian gelato.
There was a real community atmosphere in the Hall and everyone seemed to have a great time. 
The event raised around £400 which will go towards improvements in the playground for all the pupils.
A big thank you to the Ruggeri family, and other PTA members and staff who helped run the event, for treating us to such a memorable evening.
The PTA hopes equally successful Polish and Irish nights will follow shortly!

Nilgun Bekir