A message from Kagyu Samye Dzong London in Spa Road Bermondsey:

We have a high quality workshop room available for holding courses and events. While our workshop rooms are generally heavily booked on weekends, one of our rooms is available on Sunday evenings.  We would like to offer this room for FREE, on the condition that any talks, workshops or presentations it is used for should likewise be offered to the public for FREE and not for material gains.

The room is spacious and airy with wooden floors and large windows that let in a lot of natural light. Chairs and tables can be provided to suit your meeting needs. We also have yoga mats and meditation cushions available.

Workshop room measures approx. 10m x 6m and can accommodate 20-25 people workshop style (U-shape) and up to 50 people (theatre style).

The event would have to be in harmony with our ethics as a Buddhist organisation, but does not need to be buddhist or spiritual in nature.  We ask to see proof of relevant qualification and insurance where applicable, and reserve the right to turn down applicants.

Anyone interested should e-mail the office on [email protected] or call us on 020 3327 1650.

The Compass School in Drummond Road has been given the final go- ahead by government for September opening.

The secondary ‘free school’, which will be on the site of the old LeSoCo (Southwark College) Bermondsey campus, will open its doors to its first group of  more than 50 year 7 pupils on Wednesday 4 September.

“This final green light is what we’ve been working for and waiting for,” said Doug Lewis, chair of Compass School Trust.

“It’s very good news. We are so pleased for all our pupils and their families. They are a fantastic year 7 group and we look forward to welcoming them as the first pupils at the Compass School, Southwark. It’s the start of an exciting journey for them.

We are determined to bring high standards and lasting values to all that we do at Compass.”

Chair of governors Dale Bassett said: “This means that we can start to offer what we’ve promised all along- a powerful ethos of education, standards and aspiration.

“Our model of strong literacy and numeracy combined with a strong sense of self for every pupil is a route to each of them being the very best that they can be.”

Children from St John's Primary School attend the official opening of the Bee Observation Centre in Stave Hill Ecological Park VF_01_bees
The Bee Observation Centre officially opened at Stave Hill Ecology Park last week and provides a safe way for children and members of the public to watch a working glass fronted hive from a wooden hut without the risk of getting stung.
The kids who came to the opening were the reception year (4-5) from St John’s Primary School in Rotherhithe .
The hives are cared for by beekeeper of the year Sharon Bassey.
Thanks to Vicki Flores of What’s in Wapping for the pics.

King’s College London’s plans to establish a major new campus at Canada Water are included in the Mayor of London’s  2020 Vision – The Greatest City on Earth: Ambitions for London document.

Boris Johnson wrote:

As UCL expands to the east, and Imperial College to the west, so King’s College, another internationally renowned university is reaching across the Thames to Canada Water. This will help develop a new science cluster with potential for 2,500 new homes and 2,000 new jobs.

In the document the Mayor also makes positive noises about the prospect of an eastern extension of Barclays Cycle Hire.

Rotherhithe New Road

Plans for a 19-storey tower in Rotherhithe New Road have been turned down by Southwark Council’s planning committee.

The scheme included 158 homes, new accommodation for the Southwark Free School and a sixth form centre for the City of London Academy.

Officers had recommended that the scheme be refused on the basis that it would leal to the loss of industrial and warehousing land in a designated area.

Planners also warned that the scheme “represents an overdevelopment of the site” and criticised the 19-storey tower for its “inappropriately large scale, architectural expression and the form, massing and design of the building”.

The level of affordable housing in the scheme had also been a point of contention, with just 10 of the 158 homes designated as affordable.

That the developers SCCD pressed ahead with the application despite the clear steer from planning officers suggests that they are hoping that Mayor of London Boris Johnson will ‘take over’ the case from the council – or that the application will go to appeal and a planning inspector will decide.

LeSoCo, the new institution formed by the merger of Lewisham College and Southwark College, has confirmed that its Bermondsey campus in Keetons Road will close at the end of the academic year.

“We can confirm that we have exchanged contracts for the sale of our Bermondsey site within the London Borough of Southwark,” said a LeSoCo spokeswoman.

“This supports our plans to develop two 21st century college hubs: one in each of the London boroughs of Southwark and Lewisham.

“The sale of Bermondsey will enable us to invest significantly in our sites for the benefit of our learners.

“We are pleased that learning will continue to be delivered at Bermondsey with the development of a free school.”

The Compass School still plans to open on part of the college site but most of the land will be redeveloped for housing, scuppering hopes that a university technical college (UTC) to teach vocational skills could be established on the campus.

Councillor Veronica Ward + Francesca Simon + local schoolchildren

Bestselling author Francesca Simon joined local schoolchildren on Tuesday for a special book signing at Canada Water Library.

The author’s visit was linked to World Book Day which took place last week.

The award-winning writer of more than 45 books read extracts from the next title in her Horrid Henry series, Horrid Henry’s Nightmare, as well as sharing her experiences as a writer and signing books for the young audience of Southwark school children attending the event.

The author was joined by Cllr Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport, the Olympic Legacy and volunteering who said:

We are thrilled to have been able to bring local children closer to one of their favourite authors. We hoped to have got local children’s imaginations fired up and on the journey to becoming avid readers.

In Southwark we are excited about libraries. From our libraries in Canada Water to Peckham, we’ve continuously investing in each to ensure that they’re responsive to the local communities they serve. With over 500,000 visitors in its first year of opening, Canada Water Library has been a great success and we hope to be able to mirror this success in the new Camberwell library planned for 2014.

Commenting on the event, Francesca Simon said: “It is an absolute pleasure to visit such a thriving community library that is clearly doing so much to promote reading. This event was a lovely way to celebrate World Book Day.”

World Book Day aims to help children explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own, and encouraging them to join the library.

Plans for the Compass secondary ‘free school’ and a new university technical college to open on part of the Bermondsey campus of Southwark College moved a step closer this week.

“It looks at last as if our battle to have a new secondary school in the north of the borough has been won,” said Simon Hughes MP.

“The campaign which I and many of my constituents have fought for many years is now in sight of the finish line.

“I will not give up working on this issue until the new school and the university technical college are built and open on the Scott Lidgett site and I will do all I can to make sure that Southwark College can remain as the third part of a great educational campus for the people in the north of the borough.”

Compass has now launched its statutory consultation and will be holding a public meeting next week.

Riverside Christmas SongRiverside Primary School in Bermondsey has released a Christmas single to raise money for the charity Music as Therapy International.
The song – Let the Light Shine Down by Sarah Ellen Hughes – has been recorded by the school choir and is available on iTunes and Amazon.
The choir hopes to sell 3,000 copies this week in order to break into the UK top 40 chart.