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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, 21 May 2018

Ofsted Inspection Letter

Link to Ofsted Letter

Dear Parents and Carers, 

We are delighted to attach the letter detailing the outcome of our recent Ofsted Inspection. It is a detailed report so please take time to read it and see how highly regarded our school was thought of by the inspector. The inspector said that they could see the high expectations we have for every pupil in the school. These expectations are based on our stated purpose,’ to provide a quality education, where high standards are an expectation’.  The inspector saw ‘our strong ethos which is underpinned by the school’s faith values, which are closely aligned to an emphasis on British values.’ 

Here are some of the quotes, which made us proud to be part of St Mary Magdalen’s:

‘One of the strengths of the school is pupils’ positive attitudes to learning.’

The pupils,’ Work hard to support each other, are polite, resilient and take pride in their school.’

Parents’ Recognise that the school is academically strong and that the teachers are always available to help pupils.’

Parents,’ Consider our small school to be a family.’

‘We focus strongly on academic success, as well as opportunities for pupils to participate in a broad range of learning activities.’

‘The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.’

‘Children in the early years make good progress, given their starting points and capabilities.’

‘By the time pupils leave at the end of Year 6, attainment and progress are above the national averages and have been, over time.’

‘Pupils and parents spoken to agree that the school is a safe place to learn.’

‘The use of specialist teaching in, for example, music, performing arts and physical education enhances learning for all pupils.’

 ‘School visits and visitors support the school’s curriculum well.’

The inspection that we had was a Section 8. The purpose of a Section 8 inspection is to find out whether the school continues to provide a good standard of education. In a Section 8 inspection, the inspectors are in for one day and they can only recommend whether the school should have a full two-day inspection, called a Section 5. The inspector does not have the authority to change a school’s judgement from Good to Outstanding but in a Section 5 inspection, the school has to show enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school may be judged Outstanding. 

As you can see, our report says,

‘Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding. Therefore, I am recommending that the school’s next inspection be a section 5 inspection.’

Whilst we are delighted that the inspection saw the strengths of our school, we are now in a two-year window for a full inspection. Prior to January 2018, the Section 5 Inspection that is recommended would have happened almost immediately after the Section 8 probably within the same week. We would then have had the opportunity to be graded Outstanding. 

However, a revised Ofsted framework has been in place since January 2018 and we will have to be patient and ready for the full two-day Section 5 inspection. 

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our school. We know that every member of staff, our governors and school community are continuing to working closely together to provide the very best education for your children. 

Yours sincerely. 

Mrs Sally Saunders                      Mr Daniel McGrath
Headteacher                              Chair of Governors 

National Young Writers’ Awards

We are proud to announce that our school received a Celebration Assembly for sending the most entries into this year’s National Young Writers’ Award competition about ‘Heroes’. Our children wrote about their parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, teachers and professions they admired such as firefighters and people who work in the Armed Forces.  Some children also wrote about people such as Sir David Attenborough, Nelson Mandela and Leonardo da Vinci.

Rebecca, from ExploreLearning, came into our school on Thursday to lead a Celebration Assembly. She awarded prizes to some of the entries that her team believed stood out. She said that these entries used many language skills to engage the reader. 

She finished her assembly by awarding a special medal to an entry she believed extended itself. This entry was about a superhero school filled with important people, from Monstrous Maths Teachers to Miss Angel the class teacher. I am very proud to announce that Lily Boutland in Year 4 won this award. Well done Lily, we are all so proud of you!

A huge thank you to all staff, parents and carers who helped with these entries. We are looking forward to seeing what the National Young Writers’ Award topic will be for next year. Happy writing!

Mrs Osborne & Miss Antwi 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Gardening In Force!

With summer weather finally here children are very busy in the Kitchen Garden.

Reception class planting out their peas​.
Year 3 measuring growth.

Year 3 checking for slugs, snails or caterpillars on the runner beans. 
​Year five potting up seedlings ready for the playground.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Meet the Green Ambassadors!

Meet our new Green Team –

We’ve had our very first meeting this week and everyone showed that they are passionate and committed champions of sustainability. We discussed skills and resources we each had to offer and everyone had brilliant ideas to contribute.

We will continue to meet every week and will be creating our own plan for sustainability and protecting our environment. The team have already started to implement ideas, including reminding others to not waste paper, turn off the lights and only use what you need.

I’m sure that we will be nominating our brilliant Green Team for the next WWF Green Ambassador Awards.

A day in the life of a Savings Club Cashier

Every Thursday morning trained pupils from Year 6 run the St Mary Magdalen's Saving Club.
The savings club is a savings scheme operated in our school by the Lewisham Credit Union. The Credit Union is a responsible bank that is not for profit and run for the good of the local community.

All of our children have an opportunity to open a real life savings account where they can deposit their money every week and save towards their financial goals.

What we do...
The morning starts by Ms Antwi, or another admin adult, starting our session. Once this is done we can then log on to the LifeSavers portal and begin taking transactions.

Every child has a passbook but we keep these in school so they do not lose them. When they want to deposit money, we retrieve their book in order to log the transaction. 

One person puts the transaction through on the portal whilst the other writes down the transaction and updates the child's passbook. It is really fun because we have to work out how much they have saved so far by ourselves and then let the customer (child) know their new balance.

At the end of the session we also have to count all the money received and make sure it matches with everything entered on the portal.

Being a Savings Club Cashier is so much fun, it makes me feel like I have a real job and lets me learn how to do lots of new things! I also enjoy helping the other children learn more about saving their money. 
Make sure you get your form from the School Office so you can open an account.

Science Assembly

Children from each year group contributed to a discussion inspired by BBC One's  'The Hunt' (Cat among the pigeons).