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Excellent Sixth Form Results

Click here to read a letter from Mr Martin regarding the excellent achievements by our sixth form students in their A-Level examinations.

Friday Letter - Issue 32

DEAR PARENTS

A PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF FAITH

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR CALM DURING EXAMS
Lord teach me how to still my racing thoughts. Help me to come to you arguing nothing, pleading nothing, Asking nothing, except to be still in your presence. Give me the faith that will enable me to lay my burdens at your feet, and to leave them there in exchange for peace which passes all understanding.

AND A PRAYER FOR PEACE

This week our whole country has been stunned by the mindless violence we have all witnessed in London. We pray for the repose of the soul of Drummer Lee Rigby and think of his devastated family and friends at this terrible time. May he rest in peace. And we also pray that our society will not be divided by this dreadful event and we remain united in seeking peace and harmony.

YEAR 13 LEAVERS' MASS TODAY

Today we were looking forward to the Year 13 Leavers' Mass which is always a very special occasion. There are still plenty of exams to face and there will be a final meal together but today marks the end of their formal time together in school and we will be marking it in the perfect way. And afterwards there will be photographs, lots of memories, much laughter and no doubt a few tears too. Most of Year 13 joined us as young boys and girls seven years ago and now they leave us as young men and women ready to take their place in the world. May God bless each one of them in their future lives.

A LOVELY PARISH MASS AT ST JOHN FISHER LAST SATURDAY

It was a real pleasure to join Fr George and his parishioners at the 6.00pm Mass at St John Fisher, West Heath last Saturday. We had a good turnout for a lovely occasion enlivened, as Fr George said, by the choir led by Miss Moran who did a splendid job. Thank you also to Mrs Bentley, currently on maternity leave who provided the musical accompaniment and to Anne-Marie for organising it all. A lovely occasion - well done everyone!

YEAR 3 RETREAT AT ST BRIGID'S - A REPORT FROM MISS SAMUEL

On Tuesday 16 May Year 7, 8 and 13 students from St Thomas Aquinas (plus former students and colleagues) supported Miss Samuel and Mr Toal in leading a special day for Year 3 children who were preparing for their First Holy Communion. The day involved prayer, reflection, drama, dance and lots of other activities. Our students were an absolute credit to St Thomas Aquinas and consequently the children responded with great enthusiasm and were perfectly behaved all day - a real credit to their teachers, Mrs Jaep and Miss Roberts. A special word of thanks to the Year 8 girls who performed a beautiful dance to the St Teresa of Avila prayer "Christ has no body but yours". Well done to Mia Bennett, Louisa Osei, Nadya Rahman, Dominika Rytlewska and Donchae Williams. Thank you also to Wiktoria Bak, Sophie Cookson, Katie Farrell, Sinead Laverty, Kloe Owens, Phoebe Stephenson, Leah Timms and also to Mrs Chandra and Miss Bolton. Editor's Note - A huge thank you to Mr Toal and Miss Samuel for leading what was obviously a great day.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES NEXT WEEK

Tomorrow my wife Christina and I are delighted to be joining the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes leaving tomorrow and returning late on Friday. We are pleased to be travelling with Fr Jan and St Brigid's Parish and will be delighted to join the St Thomas Aquinas group led by Mr Smyllie. Naturally, I will tell you all about it after half term but in the meantime a huge well done to our students and staff who have made a big commitment to join the pilgrimage. Thank you to Mrs Devlin, Mr Miastowski, Mrs Ryan and of course to Mr Smyllie himself. Watch this space.

A REMINDER TO PARENTS - SCHOOL IS CLOSED TO STUDENTS ON FRIDAY 5 JULY

In preparation for our Golden Jubilee the school will be a hive of activity preparing for our open day on Saturday 6 July. Consequently the school will be closed to students the day before.

GOOD LUCK TO OUR EXAMINATION STUDENTS
The examination season is well underway but there is still plenty to come. Next week will be a vital period of revision for everyone in Year 11 and the Sixth Form. We wish them well in their studies and refer them to the opening prayer. As described Year 13 leave us today and Year 11 will also be departing shortly. On Tuesday 4 June they all have a major English exam and many also have Geography in the afternoon. They will then formally be on study leave and will come to school as required for examinations or specific preparation. It is worth saying that many schools released Year 11 some time ago but we believe it is really important to maximise their time in school with their teachers. Well done and good luck to them all.

UPDATE ON ST THOMAS AQUINAS AS A MULTI-ACADEMY COMPANY (MAC)

As you may be aware, the timescale for consultation has now elapsed and the Governing Body will be considering all of the observations made at the meeting on 29 April and also written submissions. On Thursday 13 June our Governors meet to decide whether or not to submit "an expression of interest" to the Department for Education via the Diocese. I can tell you that a number of our primary school partners have already made the decision to proceed. Naturally, I shall inform you of the outcome of our discussions shortly. Watch this space.

HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE WEBSITE THIS WEEK?

If not, I encourage you to do so www.stacs.org. You will see a video clip from my predecessor John Bartlett inviting everyone to come along to our big day on Saturday 6 July. On Tuesday of this week our Website and Marketing Manager, James Ingram visited John and his wife Elaine and recorded the message from John as well as a longer piece that we will share on 6 July. I am sure you will agree it's really good and John was on fine form. I encourage you, as ever, to take up John's invitation by registering on the website.

A LOVELY LETTER FROM PAUL OLSEN
I was also delighted this week to receive a lovely letter from the first headteacher of our school, Paul Olsen. He thanked me for remembering "an old fossil!" How could I possibly forget ? The first time I met Paul was 20 years ago when he dropped in unexpectedly on the afternoon that Year 11 were leaving. From my point of view it was not the best of timing! Fortunately I met Paul in school many times after that under slightly more relaxed conditions. Anyway, it was great to hear from him again and it was quite clear that he thoroughly enjoyed James Ingram's visit as much as we enjoyed hearing from him. Paul particularly wanted to thank James "a fine young man". I couldn't agree more - well done James.

CITIZENS UK - TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS COMING UP
I am pleased to inform you that we will be playing a central role in two important events that will be taking place shortly. On Wednesday 5 June Saeed, the co-ordinator of Citizens UK in Birmingham will be in school working with some of our students on an important listening campaign. And on Friday 5 July some of our senior students will be travelling to London to take part in a major event there. A huge thank you to Mr Miastowski for all the work he is doing on this project.

LOCAL PRIMARIES GET SET FOR THE AQUINAS HOUSE COMPETITION
Nearly a year on from a successful Olympic Games, STACS hosted its own athletics tournament for 300 pupils from local primary schools. The event, which took part at Tudor Grange Stadium, invited Year 5 children to compete and represent one of our House communities, Bosco, Fisher, John Paul, Martin, More Newman, Romero and Teresa. It was a close competition with many outstanding performance (too many to mention!) Thank you to all our primary colleagues for their support and a particular thank you to the PE faculty.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Well done to Chloe McGrath from Year 9 (John Paul House 4B) who correctly informed us that the three Premiership clubs that have been relegated this season are Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Wigan. Well done to Chloe who also informed me that she is a very happy Villa fan and wins 10.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Next week I am in Lourdes. For the possibility of 10 can you tell me who was the young girl, who subsequently became a famous saint, to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858? Email me on j.foley@stacs.bham.sch.uk and don't forget to tell me who you are.


Yours sincerely
JIM FOLEY

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