Give the Gift of Good Health

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Good health is the best gift anyone could have. And Charlton Manor has some extra special presents to remind us how to keep fit and eat healthily. The school has produced four funny toy mascots, which can be bought as Christmas presents.

The themed characters are based on the school’s griffin mascot and were created to help Charlton Manor pupils lead healthier lifestyles.

The yellow-winged creatures were officially named by pupils after a naming competition and each child received their griffin character as a prize.

The healthy foursome includes Swifty, a sporty griffin; Dingle, the smart griffin; Nibble, the healthy eater, and Gasmark, the chef griffin.

The griffins will be popping up in all areas of school life with their messages, tips and advice on leading healthier lifestyles.

The griffins were designed by cartoonist Richy K Chandler after Headteacher Mr Baker asked him to help encourage healthier choices.

The griffins are available for £8.20 on the school website or from school shops.

Carol Ann Walters, November 2018

Farmers Market at Charlton Manor School

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Charlton Manor regularly host a Farmers Market on the school grounds, where they sell school grown seasonal produce grown by pupils in The Secret Garden, alongside local producers.

The Farmers Market offers local producers a fantastic opportunity to showcase their products to the local community.

On sale last time were jars of the school’s own homemade tomato ketchup, reduced sugar homemade orange marmalade, strawberries and cherries, and homemade sausages.

The next market will be a Christmas Farmers Market held at the school on Indus Road on Saturday 15th December from 10am to 2pm.

* To find out more, contact the school on 020 8856 6525.

Carol Ann Walters, October 2018

Higher Priority

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Charlton Manor’s magnificent school facilities are open to the public to share and enjoy. Local people and organisations can hire parts of the school buildings for meetings and events as part of a bid to make the school a community hub and boost school funds.

People can contact the school office to find out about hiring the Secret Garden, the dinner hall, the teaching kitchen, sensory room and school meeting rooms.

School business manager Mr Turner-Wing explained: “There are cost pressures on the school because of a reduction in budgets, while the cost of everything goes up. It means we have to maximise our income, so the school is trying to generate more income which can be used for teaching and learning.”

* To find out more, contact the school on 020 8856 6525 and ask to speak to Mr Turner-Wing.

Carol Ann Walters, September 2018

Outdoor Learning

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Charlton Manor primary school has a dedicated allotment known as the Charlton Manor Community Garden on part of Woodlands Farm, a beautiful slice of the countryside on 89-acres off Shooters Hill.

Groups of pupils visit regularly to work on the plot where they learn how to grow and cook healthy food. But they also use the site as a unique classroom to learn core curriculum subjects such as maths, English and science.

The site is in a boarded off area of Woodlands Farm behind the sheep’s field. It has two polytunnels and nine raised beds where children can grow and tend all sorts of produce from pumpkins and radishes to mint and bell peppers. There’s also an outdoor kitchen, pizza oven and picnic space where they can prepare and cook food.

Although the garden regularly hosts groups of children from Charlton Manor, it’s available to schools and organisations across London and beyond.

* To find out more about the Charlton Manor Community Garden, contact the school on 020 8856 6525 and ask to speak to Debbie Coker or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Carol Ann Walters, August 2018

Charlton Manor School Wins a ‘Best in the World’ Gourmand Cookbook Award

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Following Charlton Manor’s success integrating food education across the curriculum, modelling good practice and sharing this with other schools both nationally and internationally, Charlton Manor has won a world award at the renowned Gourmand Cookbook Award.

The school’s first book, ‘Now We’re Cooking! Delivering the National Curriculum through Food’ has won a ‘Best in the World’ Award in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and a formal presentation took place in China in May.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards have been running for 23 years, and this year they received entries from 215 countries and regions.

Previous Gourmand award winners include Michel Roux, Paul Hollywood, and Jamie Oliver who endorses and wrote the foreword for ‘Now We’re Cooking’.”

The book was co-authored by Headteacher Tim Baker, award-winning nutritional therapist and author, Katharine Tate (The Food Teacher), and qualified teacher, Marie Reynolds.

‘Now We're Cooking' provides teachers with exemplary lessons, which have proved engaging and motivational for pupils and are designed to serve as a starting point to transforming curriculum delivery.

*Price £20.00 + £2 P&P. Order by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please put 'Now We're Cooking' as the subject and include your contact details in the email.

Carol Ann Walters, June 2018

School Speakers’ Corner Gives Pupils A Voice

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A new plinth has been erected in Charlton Manor’s Secret Garden where pupils can get on their soapbox to talk, debate, or discuss - just like in Hyde Park.

The plinth is the latest feature in the garden and another way to inspire and encourage pupils.

It’s located next to the circular bench where audiences can sit and listen to classmates who might want to read a poem, tell a story or perform.

It was the idea of school gardener Mr Shelley who decided to use a garden centre voucher to buy a plinth instead of plants.

“It’s an idea I’ve had for a while. It came from the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square - the empty one where they put works of art. At the same time, we were looking for ways to use the garden for literacy. We can do a lot of maths and art themed activities in the garden but thought this would be a way of focusing on literacy,” Mr Shelley explained.

He added: “The kids can stand on the plinth to recite a poem, tell a story or do whatever creative thing they want to.

The elevation gives them more authority over the group and as well as inspiring the children, we hope it will improve their talking and presentation skills and boost their self-confidence.”

Carol Ann Walters, July 2018

Charlton Manor Primary School Up For Top Teaching Award For Second Year Running

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Charlton Manor Primary School has been nominated for Healthy school of the year at this year's Times Educational Supplement (TES) Awards.

The TES Schools Awards, now in their 10th year, celebrate the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and support staff across the UK.

Headteacher Tim Baker said, “We are so pleased to be shortlisted a second year running in recognition of the great work we do here at Charlton Manor around children’s health.”

TES editor Ann Mroz said, “It is wonderful to see such innovative ideas and best practice emerging from our schools and teachers, despite the current squeeze on funding. We had a record year for entries and the standard was the best so far – all those shortlisted should be very proud: it’s an extraordinary achievement.

The winners will be revealed at a ceremony in London on June 22 at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

For more information on this year’s awards ceremony, go to tesawards.co.uk

Carol Ann Walters, May 2018

Charlton Manor Secret Garden Open Day

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Tickets are now on sale for Charlton Manor primary school’s Secret Garden Open Day, part of Open Garden Squares Weekend.

Charlton Manor’s award-winning Secret Garden opens to the public on Saturday 9 June from 10am to 5pm with a farmer’s market, refreshments, school-made produce from the garden, pond-dipping, exploration of the school’s observation beehive and a tour of the garden.

The Secret Garden at Charlton Manor is packed with learning opportunities and as well as having a chicken run and beehives, it also has a stag beetle environment, a composting area, flower beds, vegetables, fruit trees, vines, greenhouse, wildlife area and bird hide.

In 2012 Charlton Manor led schools from Greenwich on a learning journey into plant care, resulting in growing beautiful cut flowers, being awarded a silver-gilt medal at the Chelsea Flower Show and meeting Her Majesty the Queen. Every year since the school has been involved at Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows and Bexley in Bloom.

Now’s your chance to discover Charlton Manor’s Secret Garden. A number of years ago it was derelict. Today it's a haven.

Entry costs £4, there’s no need to book – just turn up on the day.

Entrance (Sells Tickets)
Indus Road
Nearest postcode: SE7 7EF

Buses: 53, 54, 89, 422, 486

Station: Charlton

Toilets: Disabled toilet on site

Access: Flat gravel paths may be difficult for wheelchairs, but we can assist.

Dogs: Working assistance dogs only

Open Garden Squares Weekend Tickets can be booked online, visit opensquares.org.

Carol Ann Walters, April 2018

How Charlton Manor School is helping parents and children make the healthy choice

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Since TV chef Jamie Oliver came to Charlton Manor school 12 years ago with Jamie’s School Dinners project, Charlton Manor has strived to ensure that children not only eat healthily but that they also understand the importance of the effects of food on their body, have rich experiences around food, are educated in cooking and understand that exercise is important.

From the Daily Morning Circuit daily exercise regime, the Bikes in the Curriculum initiative where children learn how to ride a bike, free Breakfast Club, and lunch cooked and prepared under the supervision of an award-winning chef, to growing fruit and vegetables in the award-winning school garden, harvesting produce from the school community garden to sell in the school shop, through to the opportunities to cook different foods from all over the world, cooking and healthy choices are now embedded in the curriculum, not just as an addition to the end of the day.

Parents support the drive to help children make healthy choices and are active in cooking food for International Food Day, making Reduced Sugar Cakes for the occasional cake sale, and birthday treats such as fruit kebabs, fruit bags and even grape butterflies.

To find out more, read the article ‘How inspirational school visitors can transform children’s lives’ in theguardian.com

Carol Ann Walters, March 2018

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