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Dear Parents and Children,
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 once again, we celebrated many other successes which all went to shape our 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, transport and global citizenship. We owe it to our pupils to look at the future. We cannot frighten them so that they feel paralysed, negative and unable to act through fear. We need to empower them so that they feel they can have an impact on their future. Projects that can easily be managed in school such as saving energy, recycling and transport to school, can all help to make the children feel they are making a contribution. The children can also put pressure on their parents to behave in a responsible manner-real citizenship in action. By focusing on sustainability we are surely responding to the need to keep children safe and healthy, to making a positive contribution and ensuring economic wellbeing.
We were obviously delighted once again with our exam results; Year 6 results were very good with expected or above grades for Reading at 88%, Writing 93%, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 95% and Maths 98%-all were well above the national results. Once again our Year 1 phonics screening result was outstanding with a 95% pass rate-again well above the national standard. But of course most important are the teacher assessment results which focus on the day to day work of our children rather than the score achieved in a single test at the end of the year.
In PE once again we entered 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, badminton and bench ball. No wonder we were awarded the Sports Mark Platinum-the only school in the borough to achieve this.
Our music curriculum remains outstanding thanks to Mrs Arnold who teaches music to most classes. Over many years she has produced large scale productions, helping our children to ‘find their voice’. Those who attended African Jigsaw in July will have witnessed first-hand this amazing production and the confidence displayed by the pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6.
RE is at the heart of our curriculum. Ten per cent of the curriculum is devoted to RE and although the focus is mainly on learning about our own faith, we study other faiths to quite a depth. In this way we can encourage respect so that children will have a greater understanding of their peers’ lives, especially as they move on to secondary school where other children may have different values and faiths. To this end we make a point of visiting places of other faiths eg Maidenhead’s Mosque as well as the beautiful Hindu temple in Neasden. In addition 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.
Languages too are important to us. The children learn Latin, German, French and Spanish in their journey through the school by way of a range of exciting and engaging activities. We also offer Spanish and French in after school language clubs.
The PTA, who continue to work 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. They raise around £20,000 every year-an amazing amount. We could not maintain the swimming pool without their contribution. 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 our 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