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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.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Parents/Governors Meeting

At this afternoon's meeting, eight members of the School's Governing Board, together with the current Head Teacher and Deputy Head, met with staff and a good turnout of parents.  Thank you to Miss Knight for organising crèche facilities!

Danny McGrath, Chair of the Governors, and the other Governors present introduced themselves before Danny explained the role of the Governing Board, the skills each Governor brings to this voluntary role and the sorts of things the Board does to ensure the School delivers the highest possible educational offer to all pupils.

Then Mr. West summarised the progress the School has made over recent years to get to the very top of Lewisham's primary school 'league table', qualifying this by stressing that learning is not based on tests and it is more by setting very high standards (and the children setting high standards for themselves) that the School has got to where it is today.  Mr. West spoke about staff continuity and succession planning, the spirituality and Catholic ethos of the School and the emphasis at all times on learning and consistently outstanding teaching at all levels.  Mr. West expressed his own pleasure at being able to leave the School, upon his retirement at the end of term, in the capable hands of Mrs Saunders, his Deputy for the last five years and somebody who shares his aspirations for the School and its children.  Mr West said that with the many changes in education today, such as the emphasis on academisation, it is vital that we (Governors, staff and parents)  always have at the forefront of our minds that only if these changes are going to have a positive impact on children's learning should we pursue them at St.Mary Magdalen's.

Mrs Saunders then addressed the meeting, reiterating the importance of the child being at the centre of everything the School does, and that everything done at the School should impact positively on the children.  She voiced her excitement at the challenge ahead and summarised some of the work she's been doing with other Catholic Schools and with PiXL to improve outcomes for children here at St.Mary Magdalen's.  She explained that whilst the School was not anticipating a further Ofsted inspection in the coming 2 years, the 'journey to outstanding' had already started (with the School already recognised as outstanding by the local authority) and would remain a key priority during her first years as Head Teacher.  She had already appointed two Assistant Heads (not a Deputy) - Mr Rimmell and Mrs Campbell-Hill.  Two further appointments would be announced shortly.

Mr. McGrath then opened up the meeting for questions from parents.  There was only one - a query about playground supervision arrangements.  In response, Mrs Saunders indicated that there were always two or three teachers in the playground at playtime and she would personally be delivering training for all staff, especially Midday Meals Supervisors, by the end of term.

Mr. McGrath thanked everyone for attending and reminded parents that whilst operational matters to do with the School were a matter for the School leadership, parents were welcome to speak to Governors at any time - and as half of our Governors are parents of children at the School they could often be found in the playground before and/or after School!

The meeting concluded with prayers, led by Joice James Pallackmyalil, a Parent Governor and recently-ordained Catholic Deacon.

Robert Sheppard
Foundation Governor