Menu
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 38

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FOR THE END OF OUR SCHOOL YEAR

Almighty God, as we come to the end of our school year we thank you for all the blessings we have received and we ask for forgiveness for our faults and failings.  We give thanks to you for all who are leaving our school.  Guard them and guide them in the future.  May we all enjoy a well earned rest safe in your loving care.  Amen.

 

WONDERFUL CELEBRATION LAST THURSDAY

By common consent it was a superb celebration last Thursday evening as we gathered to give thanks to God for the service of two very special people, Mrs Nuala Jones and Mrs Irene Barclay.  It was wonderful to join Nuala, Deputy Head and Irene, Assistant Head, with their families and friends on their special night.  A big thank you to Fr Stefan for celebrating the Mass and also to Fr Jan, Nuala's Parish Priest, who sadly had to be called away just before Mass started.

 

ST THOMAS AQUINAS CENTRE STAGE FOR THE POPE'S VISIT

As you know, Pope Benedict's Mass on 19 September has been moved from Coventry Airport to Cofton Park and, consequently, as the nearest Catholic secondary school, we have been invited to support the choir on this very special occasion.  Ten of our best singers will be performing which is obviously a great honour and, as we speak, we are hoping that they will be able to perform some of the programme at Open Evening which takes place on Thursday 16 September.  Watch this space.

 

FINAL DAY ARRANGEMENTS NEXT FRIDAY

Following the whole school Mass we will then have a break and gather once again in the Sportshall for our traditional Sports Awards Assembly.  I am delighted that Mr Docherty, Chair of Governors, will be joining us for both events.  If all goes well students will leave school at 1.00 pm. 

 

OFSTED LETTER - DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR COPY?

Yesterday we issued a very important letter from OFSTED (on blue paper) which was our ‘interim assessment'.  We were informed that following a review OFSTED have decided that the school has sustained its progress since the last inspection and, therefore, the next one has been deferred.  Consequently, St Thomas Aquinas will not be inspected again until September 2011 at the earliest.  It means that next year is clear and we will be able to continue to develop without being distracted by OFSTED.  I am confident that when they next arrive they will see an outstanding school.  Thank you, as ever, to parents for your wonderful support.

 

THE HOUSE SYSTEM IS OFF TO A FLYING START

We are now into our second week of vertical tutoring and I must tell you that it has gone better than any of us would have predicted.  Every member of staff I have spoken to (and that is a lot!) tell me that they are delighted with the response of the students and, similarly, our young people are extremely positive about the move.  There is no question that having broken the ice over these three weeks we will be in a great position to hit the ground running in September.  A huge thank you to the heads of house, in particular, who have done a superb job. 

 

SPORTS DAY ON MONDAY

Sports Day 2010 will be very different because we will have 8 finely balanced and fiercely competitive teams battling for the honour of being House Champions.  We will be descending on Hadley Stadium in great numbers and I can tell you the preparations have been extensive!  There has been a little focus on athletics but a lot more on colours, t-shirts, banners, slogans and all manner of propaganda.  Parents please note that all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 need to arrive fully equipped for Sports Day and on best behaviour at all times. I am sure it will be a fantastic day and nobody will let us down.  Watch this space.

 

RETREATS, DRAYTON MANOR AND ENVIRONMENT DAY

Following Sports Day we have Environment Day on Tuesday in school for Years 7 and 8 with Year 9 following their important E-Learning Day from home.  And on Wednesday and Thursday all students will be either on retreat or at Drayton Manor Park.  It's a great programme and a lovely way to finish our school year.

 

TAIZE, GUERNSEY AND WORLD CHALLENGE

Meanwhile some Aquinas staff and students will be further afield.  On Wednesday of this week the Main Party left for the 10 day Guernsey Camp which is a wonderful tradition in our school which has now been running for the past 36 years and, we hope, will continue to run for many more years into the future.  Last Saturday a group of 20 students set off with Mr and Mrs O'Connell for the world famous international retreat centre at Taize in France.  And next Tuesday Mr McInerney and Miss Lloyd will set off with 10 students to Botswana and Zambia in Africa on World Challenge 2010.  It is quite incredible to reflect on the opportunities our young people have and it's all possible, of course, because of the remarkable commitment and dedication of lots and lots of staff.  A huge thank you to all of them.

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION - WELL DONE JORDAN! REPORT FROM MISS LLOYD

A great year of public speaking drew to a close on Thursday afternoon at the BCP Year 9 competition.  Hosted by Bishop Walsh School, the speakers had to choose "The World's Greatest Invention".  Whilst most of the other seven schools went down more traditional routes, our team's quirky take on 'bubblewrap' went down a storm, not least due to Jordan Field's excellent confident and comic delivery.  Determined to turn our "second place" fortune around, the team were delighted to triumph with a perfect score and carry away the BCP Public Speaking shield!  Huge congratulations go to Jordan, as the speaker, and Lauren Murphy, Jack Skerrett and Kate Sumulong, who all contributed to writing the speech and maintaining the school's great reputation in public speaking. 

 

Birmingham Dance Showcase Finale - report from Mrs Yates

On Thursday 1 July 44 Aquinas students from Years 7 through to Year 12 travelled to Birmingham Town Hall to take part in the Birmingham Dance Showcase Finale.  The Aquinas dancers joined 12 other Birmingham Primary, Special and Secondary schools for a truly wonderful celebration of dance.  The Aquinas piece entitled 'Transform Ya', choreographed by Kerrey Clarke, was the largest group piece and was exceptionally well received by both the audience and visiting Arts Council and Dance UK representatives.  Mrs Yates would like to thank all the Aquinas staff who accompanied the group and would like to applaud both the performance standard of the Aquinas dancers along with the fantastic dance tuition and choreography of Aquinas dance tutors, Kerrey Clarke and Siobhan Thomas.

 

GALA CONCERT - REPORT FROM MR WEEKES

On Tuesday night Tom Davies 11PTO and Ciaran Clifford 13JST were especially invited by Birmingham Music Service to perform at a special Gala Concert at Adrian Bolt Hall.  This was following their superb performance at the City Showcase earlier in the year, which clearly impressed the head of Birmingham Music Service.   Congratulations to Tom and Ciaran on another fantastic performance of their Irish Medley.  We are very proud to have you representing our school.  Well done!

 

congratulations TO GREG From Mr Svensson - School Violin Teacher

Congratulations to Greg Torlinkski who passed his Grade 2 Violin exam with distinction!  Greg completed this just 3 months after getting a distinction in his Grade 1 in March.  Also congratulations to Elizabeth Uwiduhaye who passed her Grade 1 with merit!  Well done to both of you.  Our violin teacher Mr Svensson would also like to send his congratulations to all the pupils from St Thomas Aquinas school who performed in the Gala Concerts this week.  As mentioned before, Tom and Ciaran for their Irish performance, Tshwarelo Nhaplo and Elizabeth Uwiduhaye for their choir performance, and Haydn Cadogan, who was co-leading the Birmingham School String Sinfonia.  Well done to all involved!

 

ST JAMES AND ST COLUMBA SCHOOLS SAY GOODBYE

St James' School are saying a sad farewell to two long serving staff members: Mrs Pat Trodden, Classteacher and Mrs Chris Walker, School Cook.  We wish Pat and Chris a long and happy retirement.  And similarly, Mrs Carol Laverty (wife of Mr Chris Laverty, former Head of Maths) is retiring from St Columba's School after 17 years of excellent service.  We wish Carol a long and happy retirement.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Lots of entries this week.  Congratulations to Jack O'Donnell (John Paul 8D) who correctly informed us that Spain are the 2010 World Cup Winners and wins £5.  Well done Jack.

 

FINAL QUIZ QUESTION OF THE YEAR

Generosity has overcome me in the final week so for £10 who is the 2010 Open Golf Champion?

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

Other Friday Letters...