Welcome to another new year. We hope that this year will be as successful as the last. As a Catholic school we are concerned about educating the whole child and although last year we had excellent exam results in Year 6 and 2 as usual, and achieved a 100% pass in the Y1 phonics screening test, we celebrated many other successes which all went to shape your children’s lives.
The importance of being stewards of God’s world and looking after His creation remains a key focus for our school. Each class studies a particular sustainable ‘doorway’: for example water, waste, energy. Mrs McQuillan who teaches in Y1 and manages our eco team was the runner up in the World Wildlife Fund’s Greenest teacher award. We are very proud of her. You can read more about our eco adventures in another section of our website.
A highlight of last summer was the careers day when many of our parents, as well as visitors from outside school, came to tell us about their various jobs. The main event of the day was a panel game ‘Guess what I do?’ where panellists gave us clues as to their careers. The children were most fascinated by the ex-pupil whose role was a prop maker. Although the study of our faith is our main focus, we do study other faiths to quite a depth. In this way we can encourage respect and understanding so that children will have a greater awareness of their peers’ lives especially as they move on to secondary school, where other children may have different values. To this end we make a point of visiting Maidenhead’s Mosque, the Sikh Gurdwara and the Synagogue as well as the beautiful Hindu temple in Neasden. The children’s spiritual and moral development is at the heart of religious learning and we try to ensure that the quality of worship is high.
In PE we enter many competitions and tournaments to give the pupils opportunities to develop physical skills, represent the school and develop good attitudes to sportsmanship. Last year we took part in the following competitions/festivals: hockey, tag rugby, tennis, football, netball, cricket, athletics, dance, orienteering, cross country, fencing and bench ball. No wonder we were awarded the Sports Mark Gold once again last year. Our music curriculum is outstanding.
We are so lucky to have Mrs Arnold who teaches music to all. At one time she was even the music adviser for the borough. Over the last twelve years she has produced large scale productions, helping your child ‘find their voice’. Those of you who attended Yanomamo in July will have witnessed first-hand this amazing production and the confidence displayed by the pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6. The Y4s are very lucky to have free instrument tuition; all pupils are provided with a violin for the year.
Languages too are important to us and in their journey through the school they have a wide range of exciting and engaging activities. The children learn Latin in Year 3, Spanish in Year 4, Japanese in Year 5 and French in Year 6. We also offer Spanish, French and Mandarin in after school language clubs.
The PTA, who continue to work cheerfully and tirelessly to provide those extra resources that make our school unique, are a real asset and the school would be a poorer place without them in so many ways. We could not maintain the swimming pool without their contribution and how many schools have their own pirate ship? They raise around £20,000 every year-an amazing amount. This year we hope to buy soft touch TVs to enhance our curriculum teaching. Don’t forget the PTA is not an exclusive club – all parents and carers are welcome to get involved.
Our school governors are a most committed group who act as a critical friend to ensure your child’s education is the best it can be. Meetings can often run late into the evening and a considerable amount of training is expected by all members of our governing body to ensure that they provide challenge and rigour to the school. Finally, I would like to mention the fact that all of these wonderful activities and results would not be possible without our dedicated, hardworking staff, who give their all to the school because they love their pupils. Our aim is for all St Edmund Campion pupils to develop their talents so they will be happy, well rounded, well-educated individuals who are able to maintain good relationships with adults and other children, both now and in the future.
P A Opalko