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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.

Monday, 27 November 2017

One of the Top 250 State Primary Schools in England!

Last week the Sunday Times published a list of the top 250 state primary schools in England and we are very proud to see the name of our school amongst them. We have been ranked as the joint 146th best state primary School in the country due to our excellent KS2 SATs results. This follows on from our school being in the top 3% of schools nationally last year.

We would like to congratulate last year’s Year 6 on their excellent results and thank them, their parents and all of our staff for all of their hard work.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

EYFS & KS1 visit to our Church

Today we were fortunate enough to have Mrs Labiche take us all for a visit to our Church.

While we were at Church, we learnt about Advent. We learnt that Advent is a very special time for us as it is the time we prepare for the birth of Jesus. 

We enjoyed our Collective Worship time together through song and prayer. 

Thoughts from the children 
This Advent I hope that…
Children have medicine.
Emmanuel, Year 2 

People have food.
Zari, Year 2 

Everyone has a home. 
Konima, Year 1

People have friends. 
Joshua, Year 1 

Everyone has a family.
Odin, Reception

That people share.
Aureliana, Reception

Friday, 17 November 2017

Ready Steady Lunch

On Thursday, 16th November, the second group from Year 6 visited Lewisham Training Kitchens to make their lunch. They made, from scratch, meatballs in tomato sauce. They learnt many life skills such as : how to chop up onions and garlic, being able to name the ingredients, identifying all the different food groups and making a healthy meal from scratch. 

We would once again like to thank Shereen for allowing us to visit the kitchens and for giving our pupils a memorable experience. 

Science lesson at Ladywell Fields!

On Wednesday, the children in Year 1 set off on the 122 bus to Ladywell Fields. 

Once we were there, we met Jessica who works for Lewisham Council. She came to teach us all about trees. We had an amazing time with her and learnt about the different parts of a tree and the trees that are native to the United Kingdom. We saw lots of beautiful autumn leaves and animals. We finished our session by doing our own bark rubbings. We feel it is really important to use our locality to learn in. 

Thank you to the helpers who came along with us. We had a great time!

Thoughts from the children 
I loved making the rainbow picture with the autumn leaves. 
- Anaiah

I learnt that bark helps to protect the trunk of the tree. 
- Zion 

I liked looking at the different colours on the leaf. 
- Aysia

I really liked when we did our own bark rubbings. 
- Jada

I liked making pictures with my leaves. 
- Kamsi

I liked going on a leaf hunt. 
- Bryan 

One small step for Mr Pinks, one giant leap for Year 3!

On Wednesday, Year 3 went on an educational visit that would take them to Mars, Uranus, Pluto and even as far as the Andromeda Galaxy in a quest to learn more about Space. You might think we took a rocket to go on such a journey but unfortunately it was only the bus to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

We arrived at the Royal Observatory Greenwich just before half past 10 and were just in time to catch our flight around the Solar system in the Planetarium. The Planetarium was an incredible experience that showed the Solar system in all its glory. We learnt about the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) and the gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) in our Solar system and paid quick visits to the surface of Mars, where we discovered ancient volcanoes and 10km deep trenches, and to Uranus which we learnt has 27 known moons that are named after characters from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Then it was time to leave our Solar system via a quick detour to Pluto and visit our nearest neighbouring large galaxy, Andromeda. We learnt that what we can see happening in Andromeda is 2.5million years old as it takes that long for the light from Andromeda to reach Earth. Then it was time to return home to the Observatory just in time for a quick look around the galleries before lunch.

The galleries were very interesting and helped us to learn about all aspects of Space and there was even an opportunity to touch a meteorite that was 4.5 billion years old. After our quick trip round the galleries it was time to have an even faster lunch before we met with one of the Observatory’s astronomers to discuss the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

In our session with the astronomer, we learnt all about the relative sizes of the Earth to the Sun and even investigated why the Earth has night and day. We also looked at why the Moon changes shape and why sometimes we can see it during the day. Finally, with a little help from Shylo and Erik, we learnt about the differences between a Solar eclipse and a Lunar eclipse and why they happen at all. 

After our session with the astronomer, it was time to head back to school and think about the wonderful day we’d had. We’d like to say thank you to the parents who came on the visit as without you it would not have been possible to go and we’d also like to thank Ms Pelage for all her hard work in helping prepare for the visit and especially for coming in on a Wednesday to help out.
Mr Pinks and Year 3

Quotes from the children: 
Victoria ‘I liked the experience and I liked that I had the chance to learn more about space.’

Kenayawh ‘I really enjoyed going in the Planetarium and discovering the moons of the different planets.’

Shamar ‘I really enjoyed the session with Greg the astronomer who taught me that the Sun is not made out of fire but is made up of gas.’

Ademide ‘It was amazing when we learnt about the different orbits and how if we lived on Neptune we’d only have a birthday every 165 years!’

Chinaza ‘I really liked looking at the different objects in the galleries and using the telescope to look at different stars.’

Monday, 13 November 2017

Mission: Invertebrates

Year Six visited the Royal Greenwich Park on the 9th of November, for an environmental workshop. It was a pleasant autumn day and very sunny; just the right weather for searching the park for the habitants. They were taking part in a national project called Mission: Invertebrates. This is a project challenging us to understand the grassland invertebrates that call the Royal Parks their home.

Our leader from the project, Aaron, started the session with a quick fire question and answer session. Our pupils held up cards for their answers which were then scanned by his iPad, which gave a percentage total of correct answers.

After being split into six groups, it was a chance for the class to survey two locations within the park, looking for invertebrates. The first location was a damp wooded area. Armed with buckets full of equipment, to collect and classify mini beasts, Year Six busied themselves by turning over logs and looking through fallen leaves; carefully collecting specimens to classify. All the invertebrates were classified then released back into their natural habitat.

The second location was an open area of park. Year 6 used white sheets placed under shrubbery to collect the specimens. The bushes were brushed or gently shaken to release anything within them. Contrasts and comparisons were made to the previous collection of invertebrates.

The session ended with a quick fire quiz, showing an impressive increase in percentage of knowledge gained about invertebrates and their place in the food chain.

Thank you to Aaron, Miss McKune, Ms Bekir and Mr Bowes for making this a truly hands on experience.

Remembrance Mass

St Mary Magdalen’s held their Remembrance Mass on Friday, 10th November in St Mary Magdalen’s Church. The whole school remembered all those who lost their lives in conflict during the First and Second World Wars. We also remembered all those who have died in other conflicts and continue to protect our country in the Armed Forces.  As it is the month of Remembrance, we also thought about and remembered our departed loved ones.

Our Mass was led by Father Hyacinth and the readings were led by our Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl. Pupils read all of the bidding prayers very clearly, across the school from Year 2 to Year 6. Father Hyacinth asked our children to think about their special talents during the Homily and some pupils were asked to come to front to share their talents with the congregation – these included being kind, loving others, being full of God’s love and caring for others.

At the end of Mass, Mr Rimell read the poem,’ In Flanders Field’ written by John McCrae and Mrs Saunders read a verse from a poem, ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon. To mark the start of the two minutes silence, Mr Bob Harley played ‘The Last Post’ on his trumpet and ended the silence with ‘Reveille’. 

This was a very special Mass and all of the pupils observed the silence with respect and reverence. Thank you to our church for welcoming us and remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lest We Forget

Thank you to Mrs Labiche and the Year 1 children for the wonderful Remembrance display for our school entrance and at the back of our Church. This is a time when we remember the brave men and women who have fought and continue to fight to keep up safe. We also remember all of our departed loved ones during this period of remembrance. 

Year 1 also enjoyed making ANZAC biscuits which were made by the Australian and New Zealand Corps during the First World War. 

We are looking forward to wearing our poppies this week with pride, reflecting on how special Remembrance Day is to all of us. Our School held a Remembrance Day Mass today in our School Church to pay our respects. 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

All Souls Day

On Thursday 2nd of November St Mary Magdalen’s Church, School and PTA joined together in the playground at 3.15pm to pray for the Holy Souls. Parents and carers joined us, in this community worship. It was an example of SMM coming together as a ‘family’, showing the strong Catholic ethos of the school.

Mr West introduced the service, as I was away at a Diocesan Conference for Head Teachers. He then handed over to Father Michael to begin with a prayer. Between a statue of Mary Mother of God and St Mary Magdalen, a candle was lit. It was explained to the children that just as we light a candle in church when we pray in The Lady Chapel, which takes our prayers to God, so too, each of their white balloons would do the same. Everyone then joined hands to say the Lord’s Prayer and an Eternal Rest, in unison. 

Madame Fabien Borget sang the Ava Maria, whilst Father blessed all present with Holy Water. The children of St Mary Magdalen’s led with the school hymn, “Here I Am to Worship, (Light of the World)”. Mums, Dads and Carers, were also encouraged to join in with the actions!

Each child was handed a white balloon to let go, remembering someone that had passed away.

The school would like to thank the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) for organising this community service at such an important time in the Liturgical Year. A special thank you to Mrs Ruggeri (Chair), whose faith inspired such a prayerful occasion.

Years Five and Six Educational Visit to the Royal Albert Hall

“Music for Youth” is an invaluable and free opportunity, to hear live music played by young people, for young people, in a world- class venue- the Royal Albert Hall.

The show was opened by the Tamil School Karmic band, a fusion of traditional music with electric guitars. Our host, Rachel, involved the audience by clapping out rhythms for them to repeat.
Urban Flames followed, an exceptionally talented group of singer songwriters from Hackney, aged from 13 to 17 years.  The first song they performed - “Art of Not Letting Go” was about the experience of being bullied. Each member had a unique vocal style and their harmonious sound and talented musicianship led to an emotional performance.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed, Mars, from the Planet Suite, composed by Holst, audibly illustrated the character of the planet which is brutal and frightening. 

More audience participation followed with our host, Rachel, once again  clapping out rhythms for the audience to follow. 

Bromley Youth Orchestra took us on a musical voyage around the world, ending the show very aptly in London.

All of our pupils enjoyed the visit and we would like to thank all the staff and parents for ensuring our pupils could enjoy this visit to such an exciting venue within our local community. 

London City Mission Workshop

London City Mission comes to St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic School to deliver a workshop on ‘The Forgiveness Project’ to Years Five and Six.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
Before you were born I set you apart.”

Tayo, Jason and Sarah visited St Mary Magdalen’s to share their tragic life experience of losing a beloved family member in tragic circumstances. Tayo, her husband Jason and her Mother, Sarah came to talk about their Christian faith and how they learnt to forgive. Jason was keen to stress their close family unity and that he considered Sarah like his mum. 

Sarah lost her fifteen-year-old son Zack (Tayo’s fifteen-year-old brother) in a stabbing outside Zack’s school. Zack was not in a gang- he had a future full of promise.

Jason showed a short film of Zack and his family which showed some very happy memories of the family together. Year Six watched poignant family moments that marked special occasions such as: birthdays, playing football in the park and talking and laughing together as a close family.

One fateful day Zack went to school, but his life was cut short by a gang who stabbed him for no apparent reason.

Sarah spoke about her son and the impact of his death. Tayo and Jason spoke about their struggle to forgive and how their grief impacted on their relationship with their own children. They sought God’s guidance and He gave them to strength to tell others about Zack. 

All the family needed help to overcome such an unspeakable act of violence. Five young men were arrested and then imprisoned. This act of violence not only impacted on Zack’s family, but the families of the boys involved in the crime.

Jason explained that God gives us the gift to follow Jesus, and their faith helped them to forgive. God forgives unconditionally, as mortals we can forgive but find it difficult to forget.

Sarah spoke emotionally about how her faith enabled her to forgive. Without faith and forgiveness, the family would have found life even harder. When Sarah was in court she saw that the boys were from decent backgrounds, but she could see how they had hurt themselves, their families, their extended families and their community. 

A ripple effect of negativity grew, but Sarah told the pupils about how her belief in Jesus saved her life too. She turned the hate that was inside her into forgiveness. Sarah found the strength to speak to the boys who murdered her son. When the family visit prisons, they have often been told that having the understanding of the impact of knife crime might have prevented such as a crime.

These workshops link very closely to ‘The Year of Mercy’ in our Catholic faith and it is a living example of how one family has used their faith to forgive the loss of their family member. This family is a true example of practicing what we preach with the guidance of God at our side. 

These workshops were given to Years 5 and 6 to show them the need to forgive and the serious consequences of knife crime. Every pupil was fully engaged in the discussions and they produced some excellent work through poems, raps and art. All of this work demonstrated the children’s reflections of this family’s story.