Congratulations to all of our parents, governors and volunteers who joined us for a fantastic training session. The focus of the training was supporting young children to make progress with their Reading. We are very grateful that our Reading Champions have all committed to volunteering at St Mary’s to regularly listen to children read. We would love for more of our parents to become Reading Champions - please ask your child’s teacher if you are interested or speak to the school office.
St. Mary's is part of a Lewisham pilot scheme to raise the awareness of racial inequality in schools. We also wanted to look at how this affects our families in housing and health.
We began the process by having a "house meeting" in school with parents. This involves everyone taking a turn to speak for 1 minute and allows everyone to have their say. Two questions were presented;
From the discussions it was clear that there are lots of areas where our children face race inequality - from the variation of reading books offered to the motifs found on glasses in Specsavers for children! Health inequality also appeared to concern our parents.
This is just the start of many conversations we need to have with our community in school to fully understand the issues and we need more parents to take part so do come along next time!
ENGAGE provided our parents with a lovely breakfast and a really useful workshop on wellbeing.
We learnt about the 5 ways of keeping well which include staying active, connecting with people and learning something new. Combine that with the 5 A's - affection, appreciation, acceptance, approval and attention and we have a recipe for wellbeing. What will you do to stay active or to learn something new? Have you thought about volunteering or giving your a bit of your time to help others?
Importantly if we model looking after ourselves well our children will learn great skills for life too!
ENGAGE is an organisation run by parents for parents in Lewisham and they will be returning for further workshops in the new academic year on Resilience and Choosing a Secondary School.
This was a lovely opportunity to bring together the parents of Year 1 for a chat and a chance to spend a bit of time with their child in school. It’s been a long time since we have been able to do this and we have really missed it! The children love to see their parents in school and to share a little of their day with them. As a school we really value parental engagement so thank you to all the parents who came in. Parental engagement is key to your child making good progress as it shows them you care and it lets the school know what it is doing well and what you as parents might like more of.
As you can see we have some budding bakers -watch out the Great British Bake Off! The children really enjoyed decorating their cakes and showing their parents how grown up they are in moving around the school so responsibly!
Year 3 have started their own drop in club on a Monday lunchtime where they can get crafty and creative! So far they have created amazing glitter pictures, chatterboxes and last week they made these beautiful rainbow clouds! The children love trying out new skills. Do you have any old art or creative materials at home that you are no longer using? Pieces of material or old beads and buttons would be especially welcome for our crafty box of goodies!
It was great to get some of the parents together again at last in the Community Hub to socialise and chat about how their children were settling into Reception Class. There was also an opportunity for the children to join them and decorate fairy cakes. As you can see there are some very creative little hands in Reception Class and the end results looked delicious!
Doing simple things together with your child is a lot of fun and provides important shared experiences that help you to understand and communicate with your child. Try and spend a little special time each week decorating cakes, colouring in or building things together.
In our listening survey with parents (2019) the overwhelming issue affecting our families was housing and since the pandemic this issue seems to be even more of a priority. Last term two meetings with parents were held in the community hub to share concerns and to start thinking about how we might start to make some changes in Lewisham.
Councillor Stephen Penfold came along as a guest to one of the meetings. He is a former housing solicitor and now also works with Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network. He was moved by the stories shared and also concerned at the recurring themes about the way people were treated by the housing department and how hard it is to make contact with a named person especially since all the council offices have been closed to the public since March 2020. He has written on our behalf to the Cabinet Member for Lewisham Housing.
In the meantime our wonderful parents put into words their wishes for Lewisham Housing.....
If you have any housing issues please come and join us at our future meetings or contact Marta Tildesley for some help and advice.
Our journey to becoming a Sanctuary School is included within this Resource Pack (see page 20) and why not enjoy all of this valuable resource to find out more about the work of Sanctuary Schools.
Friends of St Mary’s Parents Group have been working hard this year to prepare for the Christmas Fayre. Parents have been buying, sorting and wrapping presents for Santa’s grotto. They have also helped with ideas for stalls and been busy contacting local businesses to obtain gifts for the famous St Mary’s raffle.
A big thank you to all the parents!
Community Hub News Blog
Events and activities based in our Community Hub