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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.

Friday, 23 October 2015

What's Happening for the Young (WHY) Festival 2015

Yesterday, five of our children, including the Head Boy and Head Girl, visited the WHY Festival at the South Bank Centre in Central London.  The children went to find out more about what makes a good childhood as well as to learn more about, and celebrate, young people's rights (something that links with our work in School on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

Before the children went, Mr Weighill and Mrs Saunders asked the children two very important questions that they hoped, by the end of the trip, the children would be very confident in answering - 'Why are you going to this event?' and 'How is it linked to the Rights of the Child?'

Once there, the children took part in a number of activities.  First, they listened to a debate about the 'Happiness of Children', where the two questions that most intrigued them were - 'Does a happy childhood mean a happy adulthood?' and 'Should adults keep secrets from children?'  These topics were wonderfully discussed amongst the SMM children throughout the day.

Next, they took part in the 'Peace Mosaic'.  Organised by The Jimmy Mizen Foundation ('For Jimmy'), the mosaic is a collection of handprints of young people across London.

Each handprint symbolises a pledge of peace to make our communities safer and will be displayed on the wall alongside the River Terrace cafe at the Southbank Centre for the next two weeks.  It will then be delivered to our School at an assembly next term.

Our children decorated Article 13 - Freedom of Expression 'Every Child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law'.  Afterwards, the children enjoyed finding out about all of the other 41 articles.

Finally, the children learnt about how children can manage their money and deal with stress.  They also took part in another wonderful idea organised by JUMP PARTY.  Over the four days of the festival, JUMP PARTY hope that every child that takes part will draw a character with their arms open.  They will then join every picture created together virtually via social media so that they will be able to go all the way around the world thus giving the world a hug.

On the journey home, the children concluded that they were very lucky compared to lots of children. They have become more knowledgeable about the rights that every child in the world should have and some that they take for granted.

One commented that "I enjoyed the day because we got to have a good experience. We learnt that we should not take our rights for granted and we should be happy with what we have.”  Another claimed "My favourite part of the day was when we did the handprints because we learnt more about how Jimmy was denied his rights." [Schoolboy Jimmy Mizen was killed by another teenager in Lewisham in 2008.]

At the end it was clear that all five children were able to answer the two set questions asked at the beginning of the day with confidence.  They also believe they will be able to successfully share their findings in an assembly after half term and we wish them the best of luck!

Sally Saunders/Ben Weighill