As we approach the end of another very busy year, I would personally like to thank you all for the support you have given to the school and to me personally over the last five years.
Those of you who had children in School when I arrived in September 2011 will know of the somewhat turbulent first year, but God works in mysterious ways and with hindsight all that happened simply laid the foundation for what is now a very successful and thriving learning community. Working together the Governors, staff and your children have put in place a culture which challenges children to take responsibility for their learning and be aspiration for their future.
It has not been an easy role but the vision that I had when I was appointed has been refined by Governors, developed through the creativity and expertise of the staff and will, like all successful organisations, change under new leadership but be true to its core values - that of aspiring to deliver an outstanding education with Catholic principles based on the Gospel values.
So as I move on I would like to inform you of the staffing changes taking place in the new academic year. As you are aware Mrs Saunders, an outstanding teacher who has proven leadership skills and a strong Catholic faith, will taking over as the Head Teacher as from September. Mrs Saunders will continue to teach one day a week in Year 6 and Miss McKune will teach for 4 days in this class. We have appointed Mr Matthew Rimell and Mrs Pauline Campbell-Hill as our two Assistant Heads as from September. Mr Rimell will taking over the role of Inclusion Manager and Mrs Campbell-Hill as R.E. subject leader will have the responsibility for ensuring the school’s Catholic ethos and values are continually enhanced.
We say good bye to Mr Weighill in Year 3 as he takes up a promotion in a school in Bexley. We would like to thank him for all of his hard work within the class and across the school in his capacity as the English subject leader and leading the school with our involvement in UNICEF’s 'Rights Respecting School' programme. He has also successfully enabled the school to achieve the Artsmark (Level 1). Mr Weighill will be missed, but we wish him all the very best as he takes up his new position as Director of Studies.
We have appointed a new member of staff in Year 3. Ms Gillian Antwi was a graduate student with us two years ago and joins us once again from another local Catholic school in Lewisham. She made a big impression on us when training in Year 6 and has now has valuable experience in other Key Stage 2 classes. She will maintain the high standards which Year 2 children and you parents have come to expect. Ms Antwi will be leading Key Stage 2 in English, sharing the role with Miss Clarke in Year 1 who will focus on Key Stage 1 English. Ms Antwi will also be taking over the responsibility for our Artsmark.
We also welcome Mrs Alison Murphy to share Year 2 with Mr Rimell. She is an experienced Year 2 teacher in a faith school and will be working with the class 2 days a week. Mrs Murphy has worked in both Greenwich and Bexley boroughs and has taught in both Key Stages. She will be the Subject Leader for History and Geography across the School.
Mrs Piper our current Inclusion Manager is ‘gradually’ moving towards retirement, but will support Mr Rimell for one day per week, as he takes over this very important and demanding role. Mr Rimell will however remain a class teacher in Year 2, something which I know current Year 1 parents will be very pleased about.
Overseeing the School and holding the Head Teacher to account we have our experienced Governing Board, led by Danny McGrath.
I will be very sorry to leave our wonderful School, but I do so knowing that St. Mary Magdalen’s will undoubtedly go from strength to strength. I am proud to have been given the opportunity to have played some small part in improving the life chances of so many children. Thank you once again for entrusting me with the immensely important job of leading this school and enabling your child to become independent, self-motivating and aspirational learners, a skill that will remain with them throughout their lives.
God bless you all.