Members of the School Council and some additional children from Year 5 were invited by Lewisham Homes to the site of the old Ladywell Leisure Centre to discuss what type of accommodation they might like to be built there. They learnt about the role of architects in these situations and using drawings, words and lego began creating their own visions of what the homes should look like.
The children came up with great ideas and creations including lots of outdoor spaces, dance areas and cafes. The children’s models will be part of the consultation programme currently taking place. It will be exciting to see what building is eventually created!
Congratulations to the Immigration Action Group!
St. Mary’s Immigration Action Group was recently given an award from South London Citizens for best local win of the year. This relates to the work which the parents have done to make Lewisham a more welcoming borough for migrants and newcomers.
After meeting with Councillor Kevin Bonavia the parents are now preparing some training for Lewisham staff who work in the No Recourse to Public Funds Team. Well done to all the parents for their work so far and all parents are welcome to join us at our next meeting as we need more help!
Citizens UK have been working with parents and pupils at St Mary’s on a number of issues including immigration and child citizenship fees. Hannah from Citizens UK came to help us conduct a quick survey about issues that affect families. Parents were asked to place a sticker on the issue that affects them the most. Whilst immigration and employment obtained some votes, housing was the clear winner with over 60 parents indicating that this is a big issue for them.
We will conduct a similar survey soon to find out exactly what housing issues may be affecting you so please do take part and have your say!
These surveys will help us form an idea of how best to support families in our community in the future.
The children and families at St Mary’s have been fully involved in this exciting inter-generational project. The school choir performed to a packed St Mary’s Church alongside a Generation Choir, an adult choir, a Recorder Orchestra and two other choirs from local schools in a spectacular concert, celebrating ageing and youth. Additionally, many children submitted pictures and writing about their families and what makes them so special. This was work was displayed in the Church as part of the Generation Project, you can see the work on the following website:
This year, Year 4 have been discussing the importance of looking after our environment and have begun to make our school community a more eco-friendly place. We introduced paper and card recycling boxes in every classroom and have been keeping up to date with any news about how the waste we produced is damaging our environment. We were really disappointed to see how much rubbish we noticed in the river on the way to our Swimming lessons each week and really wanted to do something about it!
So, we went down to Ladywell Fields and got geared up in special waders and gloves, ready to help the community by removing rubbish from the river. We filled up lots of heavy duty sacks with the rubbish we found. We found lots of plastic, a towel, a shoe, cans, bottles and many more! We felt really happy to be helping out make our green spaces more attractive for our community but the most important thing was that we helped reduce a tiny about of rubbish that would probably eventually end up in our oceans!
Who knew that cleaning up rubbish could be so fun!
Miss Bernard was asked to speak and Co Chair at the Citizens UK Assembly held at Southwark Cathedral. The event was attended by several hundred people from across South London.
St Mary’s have been collaborating with Corum Children’s Legal Centre and UCL Institute of Education to empower our parents and pupils to understand their rights and fight for change. One of our Year 5 pupils read out his moving poem about the impact that not having UK Citizenship has on families.
The event was well attended by the Mayors of 6 London Boroughs, including Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth, who were challenged on their policies on Housing and Education.
Our Bishop of Southwark, Bishop Christopher, was also present at the Assembly and we are very proud to have taken part.
Children's Rights and Citizen UK Celebration Event: delivering letter to the Department of Education
Following some workshops with UCL students about children’s basic rights to education, housing and health a group from Year 5 travelled to Westminster for a celebration event with other schools who took part in conjunction with Citizens UK. Their artwork was displayed and the children themselves performed a powerful piece about children’s basic human rights. Mr. Wright also spoke brilliantly about the effects of a hostile environment on schools and families.
They then marched to the Department of Education and presented a report and a letter requesting a meeting with the Children’s Minister to discuss the issues which affect children at St. Mary’s and across the UK when the basic rights of housing, health and education are denied.
This is a real example of children being courageous advocates for society and we are very proud of them all.
Petition for a Safer Crossing outside school
The School Council have been busy obtaining signatures for their petition to make changes to the crossing outside school. We are requesting the provision of a lollipop person, changing the timings on the crossing and installing school crossing signs.
The School Council members have been getting signatures from parents, passersby, local shops and businesses and the church community. Members even met with TFL representatives to highlight the issues and hope to present their petition to Lewisham Council and TFL soon. Have you signed our petition? If not, please do so. It only takes 2 minutes and it could save a life.
Students from Year 5 visited Lewisham Hospital this week as part of their community project. The purpose of the visits was to visit the elderly on Oak and Elm wards and to have conversations with the patients about their earlier life experiences during the war and whilst at school.
The children had such interesting conversations and heard about evacuations, rationing, telephone boxes and life before computer games were even invented! The children also developed their confidence and social skills and were perfect ambassadors for St. Mary’s school. T
he children will now do some creative writing and artwork which is due to be exhibited – so watch this space
The children have been making plans to improve the Air Quality in our local community. St Mary’s are delighted that we have received a grant to help create a ‘living wall’ of plants which will help to cut pollution. We have also been encouraging the children to walk to school wherever possible – which is good exercise and better for the environment. Here you can see pictures of the children parking their bikes and scooters at school.