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.