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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.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

PTA Zumba Class starts Monday 12 October

The PTA is laying on a Zumba class for parents, carers and staff.
 
The first class will be at 4.00pm on 12 October with a second session the following Monday, 19 October. 
 
There will be no fee but the PTA asks for as generous as possible a contribution with funds going to the PTA and its support for the School.  If these initial sessions prove a success then further sessions will continue, every Monday.
 
For those that don't already know Zumba is (according to the Oxford Dictionary) "An aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music."
 
Get fit and enjoy!
 
The PTA

Monday, 28 September 2015

The World's Largest Lesson

In our assembly this morning, children learnt about the 'Global Goals for Sustainable Development' which hope to achieve three extraordinary things by 2030 - to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change. If every school in the world teaches children about these goals, we will help our children become the generation that changed the world.
 
 
The children learnt that by focusing on these issues now, the world would be a much safer place for their generation.
 
Last Friday, Pope Francis addressed 193 world leaders at the United Nations, the first time a Pope had done this (see photo).  Pope Francis said that ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and fixing climate change were also the priorities of the Catholic Church.
 
Since the beginning of this term our children have been learning about their rights and UNICEF's Charter on 'The Rights of the Child'.   These rights form the basis of our behaviour policy at St.Mary Magdalen's and determine the way we all behave to one another here.
 
Today’s assembly looked at Charter item 29 - ‘Take care of our Earth, the flowers, the trees, the rivers, the seas.  Teach us how to care for them in our turn’.   This is a noble cause and one which cannot be ignored.  As Pope Francis says to all of us "The poorest are those who suffer most from such offences, for three serious reasons: they are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment".
 
Our children have already started to fulfil the wishes of Pope Francis in their ‘learning’ today.
 
Graeme McGlasson-West
Head Teacher

Dahlicious Day raises money for Children's Charity

We're pleased to report that last Friday's 'Dahlicious Day' raised £122.31 for The Roald Dahl Marvellous Children's Charity.
 
Here's a few photos to show the great dressing-up efforts made by staff and children. 
 
Can you recognise the Oompa-Loompa?
 
Mr. Weighill  

Symphonie Dramatique

Yr.6, with Mrs Saunders, Miss McKune, Ms Bekir and Mme Bourget, were delighted to have the opportunity go to the Royal Opera House last Thursday for a modern production of Romeo and Juliet. This was with spoken word and classical music, but with a modern twist.  The dancers wore black trousers and white shirts, a modern style of dress.

The production used a black stage and background, with Shakespeare's words projected onto the backdrop.
 
It also had a huge chandelier made of upside down glasses, which provided the only colour on stage, as coloured lights were projected through it.

With black benches carried on stage by the dancers several pairs of Romeo and Juliet's danced, we knew this from their names on the back of their t-shirts.  Monochrome projections adorned the back ground,

En pointe dancing in the balcony scene under a bright spot light showed the classical training of the dancers.  The dancers used their bodies and voices throughout the production. The chandelier turned red as Juliet  was carried off.  "Thus with a kiss I die".  The chandelier smashed to the ground bringing a dramatic end to a tragic play.
 
A big thank you to Mrs Saunders for organising this educational visit and even bigger thank you to Year Six for their mature behaviour during a challenging performance.
 
Nilgun Bekir

Friday, 25 September 2015

What a Dahlicious day!

Children were invited to dress up as a Roald Dahl character for today's 'Dahlicious Dress-Up Day' in aid of Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity.
 
Photographs of some of the excellent costumes will be posted here shortly.  They demonstrate considerable effort put into this by both parents and children, so well done and thank you to all. 
 
Roald Dahl
This light-hearted fun day accompanies valuable work that has already been done throughout the School this week on the work of the author Roald Dahl who, even after his death in 1990, remains one of the most loved and reknowned writers of children's stories with celebrated characters like the BFG (big friendly giant), Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Mr. Fox and, of course, The Twits.

Today your child will bring home an A3 sheet of paper on which to design a Roald Dahl themed placemat to use for their lunch at School on 1 October 2015.  In order to take part in the competition please make sure the placemat is returned, clearly marked on the back with their name and class, by Wednesday 30th September 2015.  If your child normally has a packed lunch they will also be given a school dinner flyer which needs to be returned to the school office with £1.90 if they wish to have a school dinner on that day.
 
Graeme McGlasson West
Head Teacher
 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Ofsted 'Inspection Dashboard' published

Ofsted has published the School's 'Inspection Dashboard', which will provide HMI inspectors undertaking future 'short inspections' with key performance data covering the last three years so that they can prepare for their initial conversation with school leaders.
 
The data in the full Inspection Dashboard includes new performance indicators presented concisely and includes statements on strengths and weaknesses.
 
Graeme McGlasson-West
Headteacher

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Elections for Head Boy and Head Girl

Candidates answer questions from Year 3
Congratulations to the following children from Year 6 who were elected on Thursday 17 September:

Head Boy - Chukwuma
Head Girl - Siobhan
Deputy Head Boys - Nefe and Matthew
Deputy Head Girl - Isabelle

This process will, I hope, have been a valuable early lesson on democracy for our children.  Thank you to all those who put their names forward and worked so hard on their speeches.

Graeme McGlasson-West
Headteacher

Entrepreneurial Year 6

Last Friday, 11 September, a representative from Virgin Bank presented Year Six with a cheque for £135.
 
Each pupil will be given £5.00 to invest in a business of their choice, so that they can see how much profit they can make in twelve weeks.
 
The class will divide into groups and formulate a business plan, then purchase the necessary equipment needed to get their business launched.
 
Watch this space - we may yet find we have a future entrepreneur in Year Six to rival Sir Richard Branson!
 
Nilgun Bekir

Year 6 Visit the 'Cradle of Democracy'

Last Wednesday Her Majesty the Queen became the country's longest reigning Monarch - 'overtaking' the record set by Queen Victoria.
 
By chance it was this same day that Year Six visited the Houses of Parliament, accompanied by staff, a Governor and a Parent.
 
We entered through the new education centre, a new facility just a week old.  In this 'state of the art' facility we were given a 'virtual tour' of the House of Commons. 
 
Then, having been split into two groups we were taken on a tour, where we learnt many interesting facts.  In 1834, for example, there was a fire in the Houses of Parliament.  Stone masons, leather workers, artists, guilders and wood carvers have spent over a century carrying out restoration.
 
The building and all its artefacts were finally restored in 2010, but work continues on preserving what is such an important part of our history.  For example many of the wonderful mosaic tiles throughout the building are in the process of being restored by a specialist company from Shropshire.  Each tile is being removed and copied by hand then replaced.
 
We returned to the Education Centre for a workshop on how a Bill is made into an Act of Parliament, i.e. a new law or 'statute'.  The pupils chose on a law, which was then drawn up, debated in the House of Commons then 'ping-ponged' backwards and forwards between the House of Commons and the House of Lords until any disagreements were resolved.  After this, a Bill becomes an Act, which is signed by the Queen (the 'Royal Assent') before becoming law.
 
As we came out of the Palace of Westminster we were delighted to see the Royal Barge sail down the Thames, in celebration of the Queen's long and happy reign.
 
Nilgun Bekir

Monday, 14 September 2015

Music lessons

The School offers a variety of opportunities for children to learn to sing and to learn musical instruments (saxophone, clarinet, flute and violin).
 
If you'd like your child to take up this opportunity please complete and return this form to the School Office with the necessary payment.
 
The School Office 

Welcome to the New Term - Information Round-Up

It’s great to be back!  I hope that your child/ren had a good first week. There are certainly lots of smiling faces on the playground!
 
The teachers and teaching assistants were in School over the holidays making sure that their classrooms were well prepared, and our premises staff have been very busy ensuring the School looks immaculate for the start of the new year.
 
A big welcome to the new children and parents who have joined our School this term.  I would especially like to wish all our Reception children and parents a warm welcome.  Please do not hesitate to ask your class teacher or the office staff for assistance.
 
I must also welcome our new Year 1 teacher Miss Anushka Clarke.  Miss Clarke is an experienced teacher who joins us from Rushey Green where she taught Year 3 and Year 2.  It is good to see that the children in Year 1 have already bonded with her.  Miss Clarke’s subject specialism is performing arts and she has taken over responsibility from Mr. Weighill for continuing to develop the School’s arts provision and our progress in moving towards gaining the silver Arts Mark award.
 
Last term SMM registered with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to be recognised and gain an award as a Rights Respecting School.  UNICEF is an organisation founded in 1947 to work to improve children's lives and the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination.  Staff and Governors of SMM are now committed to ensuring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.  We are now working towards creating a community based on Gospel values where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.  Your children are currently learning about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day. Please ask them about this as I am sure you will be very impressed with the results of this new initiative.
 
Fr. Justin, our new Parish Priest, was in school this week and visited all the children’s classrooms and met school staff. The children also went to Mass on Tuesday for the start of the new term.  Fr. Justin spoke to the children about Our Lady and the importance of listening to their parents and teachers. He also invited teachers to bring their classes to Mass as well as joining in whole school services.
 
The class curriculums for the Autumn term (sent to you at the end of last term) are now available on this website.  Our school learning theme until October half term will be based on St. Mary Magdalen. The children will be undertaking research on our Parish, the church, St. Mary Magdalen herself and the history of our 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 Dawson in the school office.
 
All new parents are members of the Parent Teacher Association (the PTA) and are encouraged to get actively involved.  We have a small but a very hard working group of parents who would welcome your enthusiasm and support.  Mel Ruggeri (Chair), mother of Sofia (Year 4), is always on the playground at the start and end of the day and she would be delighted to talk to you about the important work of the PTA and how it will benefit your child. The first PTA event this term is the Afro Caribbean Evening on Thursday 15 October.
 
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 10.00am-4.00pm. You can also log on to www.lewisham.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals  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 because 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 which at present is £900 for every child who is entitled to free school meals.
 
Birthdays - as some children suffer from severe allergies, we can no longer give out party bags, sweets or cakes.
 
Dinner money for this term is £70.30. Please be aware that any cheques sent to the school need to be made out exactly as follows – ‘London Borough of Lewisham R.E. St Mary Magdalen RC School’.  If 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 and 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.
 
You will find a list of key dates under the 'Calendar' tab above.
 
Graeme McGlasson-West