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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, 26 May 2017

A Prayer for Manchester

Yesterday all the School's staff and pupils came together to pray for the innocent lives so tragically cut short in Manchester. We held a minute's silence, during which we each reflected, and prayed for the young lives lost, families in grief, those injured and those missing loved ones who have yet to be found.

Mrs Saunders read a special prayer, written by the Bishop of Huntington, to the whole School.

All faiths and communities across the country came together at 11 o'clock, to pray for all those affected by this senseless violence.

We would like to share this prayer in the hope that the power of prayer will bring some solace to the victims and their families of this tragedy.

Prayer for Manchester

God of all goodness, receive into your loving arms all those that have died, hold in your loving care all those injured and those who grieve.  Give insight and wisdom to those investigating; and give strength and courage to us all, to work together to rebuild our common good.  Let us find a good future for us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Surrey Docks Farm

Today Year 3 were lucky enough to visit Surrey Docks Farm as part of our current Science topic - animals, including humans. We participated in a vegetable trail workshop and were able to sow our own Sweet Basil.

It was a very informative day where we learned about everything from how farms provide us with food to the types of food various animals can and cannot eat.

A big thank you to all the staff and parents who made this trip possible.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Gratitude Day

On Friday 19 May we celebrated Gratitude Day. In the lead up to Gratitude Day all the children and staff were working hard to find ways to celebrate and thank those around us who help us.

The assembly was a great way for each class to show how, why and who they are grateful for.  It was really lovely to see our children celebrate those around them.

Science Week - Flight - Update

Here are the latest pictures from our Science Week. Keep watching the School Blog for more photos this week.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Juliet is our New Parent Governor

Juliet Agyemang, mother of Loic (Year 5) and Jai (Year 2), has been appointed to the vacant position of Parent Governor.  As there was one vacancy and only one nomination there is no requirement to hold an election.  [Our second Parent Governor is Joice James Pallackmyalil who was elected a year ago.]

Juliet writes in her nomination statement: 

I have a passion for making a difference to the lives of children and young people.  Being able to continue to support their education at the School, by contributing to its leadership and strategic direction as a Governor, would be a privilege.

I have over 20 years' experience of working with children and young people within the charity and youth sector, addressing health and well-being issues ranging from bullying, conflict resolution, self esteem and online safety.  I have created, co-ordinated and delivered professional training across a range of issues including safeguarding, as well as peer education programmes to support 'whole school' approaches.

I care about the School and the children's education and well-being.  I feel I have skills, abilities and strengths which enable me to bring people together to find ways of working effectively. 

Who our children are starts at home - we are their foundation; but the School, with its ethos and faith, helps to further develop what we set.  I look forward to supporting the School in continuing to help parents shape the adults of the future.

Welcome to the Governing Board, Juliet!

Sally Saunders, Head Teacher
Danny McGrath, Chair of the Governing Board

Friday, 12 May 2017

Science Week - Flight

It's 'Science Week' at St. Mary Magdalen’s from 12–24 May. 

In assembly today children took part in live investigations into air and gravity.

In last week’s science assembly children from all classes were thinking about flight from kites (Reception) right up to rockets and jet planes (KS2).

Over the next week children will be investigating air and gravity to see how they effect flight. This learning will involve skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM).

A Flight celebration assembly will take before half-term. Keep an eye on the blog for updates of what your child’s class is doing!

Martin Bowes

Science Leader

Monday, 8 May 2017

Have you got what it takes to be a Parent Governor?

Nominations are now sought for a Parent Governor vacancy on the School's Governing Board.

Please ask yourself if you ‘have what it takes’ to be a Governor and, perhaps, consider putting your name forward or encourage another suitable candidate to seek nomination – but first please read all the information below and on the Notice of Parent Governor Election.

The timetable for this process (which will only necessitate an election if more than one suitable candidate emerges) is as follows:
  • Monday 8 May (latest) - vacancy advertised
  • Mon 15 May (12 noon) - deadline for nominations, to be submitted on the Parent Governor Nomination Form.  Also deadline for reasonable requests for a postal vote (only available where a parent is unable to vote in person on either of the days below) 
  • Weds 17 May - publication of statement of candidates validly nominated (if more than one) or announcement of person appointed unopposed (if only one valid nomination)
  • Tues 23 and Weds 24 May (8.15-9.15am and 3.30-4.00pm) - election (at the School), if required
  • Thurs 25 May (latest) - counting of votes (time t.b.c.) and result announced 
  • Mon 5 June – new Parent Governor to attend the Governing Board meeting
As part of this above process candidates will be asked to provide, on the Parent Governor Nomination Form, a short statement (maximum 150 words) evidencing the extent to which they have the skills and experience the Governing Board needs; their commitment to undertake training and development and/or willingness to acquire or develop the skills to be an effective governor; and how they plan to contribute to the future work of the Governing Board.

Department for Education (DfE) guidance makes it clear that only those with the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of a school should be appointed and that the Governing Board should take steps to inform governor elections so that those taking part in the election can judge whether candidates possess the skills the governing body ideally requires.

It’s essential therefore that anyone putting their name forward to be a School Governor understands:
  • the core functions of the governing body and the role of a governor (see the Notice of Parent Governor Election)
  • that induction and other training and development will be made available to new governors to help them fulfil it;
  • the time commitment and expectations involved, e.g. the term of office, the frequency of meetings, membership of committees and the willingness to undertake appropriate training and development; and
  • any specific skills or experience that would be desirable in a new governor, such as the willingness to learn, or skills that would help the Governing Board improve its effectiveness.
The Governing Board at St.Mary Magdalen’s is fortunate already to have Governors with knowledge and experience in financial management and budgeting, business and marketing, governance, recruitment and staff management.  We would welcome another governor with any of these skills but it would be particularly helpful if the new parent governor were to have any of the following skills which we’d like to strengthen within our membership:
  • communications and PR
  • stakeholder engagement and/or fundraising
  • marketing and business
  • property management
It would also be helpful if the new parent governor has good/wide connections/networks within the local area.

Our Head Teacher is more than happy to discuss what's involved with an parent considering throwing 'their hat into the ring' - as, I am sure, will other members of our current Governing Board.

Robert Sheppard (Governor)
on behalf of Sally Saunders, Head Teacher

Friday, 5 May 2017

Head Teacher's Spring Newsletter to Parents and Carers

As usual, it is lovely to see the children return to School with such enthusiasm after the Easter break. I do hope that you had a relaxing time with family and friends.

I have included a list of key dates for this busy term so please add the dates to your family calendar so that you are prepared for the term ahead.  I have put reminders in about uniform.  It feels like a long list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ but we are proud of our smart uniform and we often get complimented when we are out and about.  If we all adhere to the ‘rules’, we show that we are proud to belong to our School community.

Please encourage your children to always put maximum effort into their school work and homework, and help them to develop self-motivation, so that they can do their very best!

We were very fortunate to meet our new priests for a shared lunch with all of our staff and governors last Thursday, and we look forward to working closely with them.

Mary’s Month of May - ‘Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.’

It is fortunate that our SATs tests fall within Mary’s Month of May as it gives us an extra opportunity to offer up to her all of our prayers and aspirations for our children’s progress and achievement.

During May, we celebrate our love for Mary and as Catholics attend special devotions held in church to honour Mary, Queen of the May.

Year 1 Phonics Screening

This will commence on the week of the 12 May and will be administered on a one- to-one basis by our Year 1 staff.  They have been well prepared throughout the year, with parental support but if you would like to discuss any aspects of this process, do not hesitate to speak to Miss Clarke.  The results will be sent with the Year 1 reports in July.

Key Stage 1 SATs

Testing in KS1 will start in May and will take place over 2 to 3 weeks.  Because of their young age, the pupils will be tested more informally than in KS2 and the papers are marked internally by the Year 2 staff.  The data is sent to Lewisham when all the tests have been finished and marked.

Key Stage 2 SATs Week - Timetable

Mon 8 May - English Reading Test
Tues 9 May - English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling - Paper 1: Questions, Paper 2: Spelling
Weds 10 May – Maths - Paper 1: Arithmetic Test, Maths Paper 2: Reasoning
Thurs 11 May – Maths - Paper 3: Reasoning

As Year 6 pupils will be sitting more formal tests, we will provide them with a daily healthy breakfast, free of charge.  Our KS2 pupils, as with our KS1 pupils, have been prepared for these tests throughout their KS2 education.  They have had great support from all of their class teachers, teaching assistants and you, their parents.  Your parental support is invaluable in terms of keeping your children motivated, happy and inspired to the best of their ability.  Please ensure they have a good night’s sleep each night.  The KS2 papers will be marked externally and we will have the results back in July. The School reports the results with the Year 6 reports and are also sent to their senior schools.

Dates for your diary - Please see 'Calendar' tab above.

School Uniform

Children can now wear their summer uniform.  As the weather can still be unpredictable however, they can continue to wear winter uniform until half term.  All children must be wearing summer uniform when we return to School after half term - 5 June 2017.

Dinner Money

Dinner money for KS2 this term is £58.00 – as you have already been informed dinner money was increased to £2.10 per day as from 1 May 2017 - £2.10 per day.  Payments can be made on

Do you receive any of these?
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseekers allowance or employment and support allowance
  • Child tax credit only – income below £16,190
  • Guarantee element of pension credit
  • Support under Pat VI of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999
If so your child could be entitled to free school meals which could save you up to £400 per year.  Apply online at  Also the school could get extra pupil premium funding of £1,320 to benefit your child.

Beginning of the day

Children (excluding Reception Class) attending Porridge Club can come into school at 8.15am and will then be allowed in the playground after 8.30am when the gate is open and a member of staff is  in the playground to supervise the children.  Reception Class children must be accompanied by an parent/carer (not a sibling) in the playground.   Children cannot be left in the playground unsupervised.

Messages regarding collection of children at the end of the day

Unless it is an emergency situation please inform the School Office either in the morning or early afternoon if someone else collecting your child.  The Office is very busy at the end of the day, staff may be dealing with first aid or there may only be one member of staff in the office which could mean that messages do not reach the relevant teachers in time.  It is also important that you contact the school if, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are going to be late collecting your child as this means that the office staff do not have to make telephone calls to chase parents.

Sally Saunders  Head Teacher