It has been a very busy but enjoyable first term as Head Teacher. Many of our classes have been fortunate to have students from Roehampton University teaching and learning with our staff and pupils. We have developed a very successful link with Roehampton and as a measure of this link Miss Antwi, who was with us three years ago as a student teacher, has now joined us and is a valued member of our teaching staff.
We are saying Goodbye and Thank You to Mrs Julie Piper, who is retiring at the end of this term. We would like to thank her for all of her hard work and her professionalism over her five years here at the School. We wish her a very long and enjoyable retirement.
We had a visit in October from the Local Authority to judge how the school is performing. The School has once again been judged as 'Outstanding'. The 'headlines' within the report, sent to the School last week, were:
- Catholic and British Values are promoted very well within the school
- Pupils respond with enjoyment to learning and teaching
- Pupils have a thirst for knowledge
- Pupils behaviour and attitude are at least good and in most parts of the school exemplary
- Pupils show exemplary behaviour and attitude towards learning
- Staff work very well with parents to promote fundamental values for pupils to play and work together harmoniously
- Leadership and Management are outstanding
- Pupils are very articulate and confident learners. They work collaboratively as a team, support each other and respect their friends’ views. Pupils come from different cultures; social and economic backgrounds mix well and work together harmoniously.
- The Head Boy and Girl are excellent ambassadors for the school. They spoke of the similarities between the School’s Catholic Values and Attributes and the British values such as respect, tolerance and resilience.
- Pupils display excellent attitudes to learning and show pride in their work, school uniform and displays. Their attendance, at 98%, is very high and reflects their high level of enjoyment.
We held a great 'sleepover' event in November and the pupils who came had a very enjoyable evening and morning, raising £500. The hot dogs, eaten in bed, were very popular and we hope to hold something similar for our KS1 and EYFS pupils in the Summer Term. The new benches in the playground were funded by the sleepover, so it was well worth doing.
The School has also changed in appearance with the arrival of a new classroom for Year 6 and the start of the school garden 'makeover' (see blog item below). This is ongoing and any parent is welcome to volunteer if you have a spare hour or so.
Many classes have been on educational visits to places such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Guildhall School of Drama and The Museum of London. We always rely on parents to volunteer to accompany our visits as we often travel on public transport to keep the costs down. We are building links with Lewisham Ecology Team to develop local field studies instead of visiting Horton Kirby. This will ensure the cost will not be prohibitive and the pupils will start to value the excellent green spaces locally.
The Parent Teacher Association has been busy holding other events such as film night and making Christmas decorations with each class. We are always open to new events, so please use the new suggestion box in the School foyer (bought by the PTA) to write your ideas. We are also hopeful that all parents will support the School in fundraising and supporting events within the school. All of the funds raised are used to enhance the School and benefit all of our children.
All classes have been preparing for our Christmas activities such as the Nativity, for Key Stage 1 and Early Years, and our Carol Service for Key Stage 2. Please look on the School blog for up to date information concerning forthcoming events.
13 December - Nativity Play at 2.00pm (10am - Dress Rehearsal
13 December - Carol Service 7.00pm in the Church
16 December - Christmas Dinner
15 December - PTA Christmas Parties for all classes
20 December - End of Term Mass
21 December - School finishes for Christmas promptly at 1.30pm
4 January 2017 - School resumes at 9.00am
The cost of dinner money for next half-term is £56.00.
On behalf of all the staff of St Mary Magdalen’s, I would like to wish you all a Holy Christmas and a happy and fulfilling New Year.
Best wishes and God Bless.
Mrs Sally Saunders