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OFSTED Inspection, November 2018

FINAL REPORT

Read about our school full of “articulate, courteous and polite” students who display “excellent attitudes to their learning”. This is a journey of school improvement and we have only just got started.

Click the link below to watch our staff and students discuss how wonderful our school is.


Our School...

Highest number of applications for places in Year 7 next year since 2005!

Friday Letter - Issue 39

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Lord, we thank you for the many blessings of this school year.  We have worked hard and now we look forward to our holiday.  We ask you to bless those staff and students who leave our school today - may you always be with them as they begin the next chapter in their lives.  Amen.

 

WHOLE SCHOOL MASS TODAY

This morning we were marking the end of our school year in the perfect way by celebrating Mass together as a whole school community.  We thank Fr Stefan, our Chaplain for being with us today and so many days throughout the school year.   Following Mass and a short break we were then gathering once more to celebrate our Sports Awards Assembly including the much anticipated results from Sports Day.  I am delighted to report that Mr Docherty, Chair of Governors was joining us for both events and presenting lots of certificates.  I am sure it will have been a fitting end to our school year.

 

ANOTHER WONDERFUL TRIP TO TAIZE

On Monday morning 20 tired sixth form students arrived back in Birmingham following their visit to the world famous international retreat centre at Taize in France.  For several of them it was a second visit which says something about the power of the whole experience both spiritually and socially.  A huge thank you, as always, to Mr and Mrs O'Connell for leading the group. 

 

EXCELLENT RETREATS THIS WEEK

On Wednesday and Thursday this week our Year 7, 8 and 9 students each spent a day on retreat but this year there was a significant difference.  For the first time the retreats were organised on a house basis and an important element involved the students finding out a lot more about their particular patron.  We have 8 wonderful role models and it's great to know that our young people can be inspired by the life story of their patron in addition to the patron of our school, St Thomas Aquinas.  All of the staff reported back on an excellent day and continue to be amazed at how quickly the students have adapted to the house system.

 

THANK YOU TO MRS JONES AND MRS BARCLAY

Today, as you know, we say goodbye to two outstanding servants of St Thomas Aquinas School.  Mrs Nuala Jones joined St Thomas Aquinas in 1986, the Senior Leadership Team in 1999 and became Deputy Head in 2004.  In all her roles Nuala has been outstanding and, especially in recent years, has been absolutely vital to the success of our school.  We will miss her calm approach in all situations, her wise counsel, and her unwavering commitment to our school.  We wish her a long and happy retirement with Greg in the years ahead. 

Mrs Irene Barclay joined St Thomas Aquinas in 1998 as Senior Teacher and has completed 35 years service with Birmingham Local Authority.  Originally appointed as our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Irene has had countless responsibilities in our school and has discharged them all with characteristic conscientiousness and aplomb.  She now joins Alex in retirement and we wish her every happiness in the future.

 

AND ALSO LEAVING TODAY

We say goodbye to Mrs Carina Doyle, Teaching Assistant who has been with us for 2 years and to Mr Gareth Rowlands, Cover Supervisor (2 years) and Mr Martin Williams, Maths Teacher (1 year).  We thank Carina, Gareth and Martin for their contributions to our school and wish them every success and happiness in the future. 

 

AND TEMPORARY DEPARTURES

We congratulate Ms Marie Hayes on the birth of her daughter, Anais and wish Ms Maxine Geoghegan good luck with the imminent arrival of her second child.  We look forward to seeing mothers and babies in due course. 

 

FULLY STAFFED IN SEPTEMBER

Just in case you wondered I am pleased to tell you that we are fully staffed and have appointed some wonderful new colleagues whom I will introduce to you in September.

 

GOOD LUCK TO THREE STAFF ON THEIR BIG DAYS

This summer three staff are getting married.  We wish Mr James Ingram, ICT Network Manager, a lovely day and a wonderful life together with Leigh.  And likewise to Miss Eleanor Arthurs (English) who will become Mrs Simpson and Ms Penny High (Technology) who is becoming Mrs Burls. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO YEAR 10 ON THEIR WORK EXPERIENCE

Yesterday it was a great pleasure to welcome back Year 10 from their work experience placements.  The feedback both from employers and from the staff who visited them has been overwhelmingly positive.  By any standards Year 10 are an outstanding group of young people and they proved it once again during work experience.  Well done to them and to all the staff involved, particularly Miss Connolly, Mr Perry and Mr Gay. 

 

WELL DONE YEAR 9 ON AN EXCELLENT E-LEARNING DAY - REPORT FROM MR BAKER

Whilst the rest of the school worked in school on Environment Day our Year 9 pupils worked from home on their E-learning Day.  They worked independently using our virtual learning environment (Moodle) and considered how to make St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School more environmentally friendly.  There were many great pieces of work including an amusing ‘eco-friendly' version of the 1997 pop hit Barbie Girl.  The advertising campaigns were judged by Mr Flood, Miss Hearn and Mr Baker.  Well done Year 9!

 

LETTER TO PARENTS - HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOUR COPY?

This week I wrote to all parents by post thanking you for your support throughout the year and alerting you to a major priority for September which is to ensure that every single student is properly equipped and ‘ready to learn' in every lesson.  In particular, I ask all parents to consider the issue of the school bag and to ensure that it is fit for purpose i.e. capable of carrying A4 exercise books, text books, folders and relevant kit or equipment.  If necessary, I ask parents to invest in a new school bag this summer.  Thank you.

 

RETURN TO SCHOOL ARRANGEMENTS IN SEPTEMBER

Our new Year 7 students should be seated in the Hall ready to start their careers at St Thomas Aquinas by 8.35 am on Thursday 2 September.  Year 12 should enrol for their sixth form courses in the Sportshall from 9.00 am on the same day.  All other students should report to their tutor in full school uniform armed with a pen at 1.45 pm.  Year 13 students should enrol in the Sixth Form Common Room at 9.00 am on Friday 3 September.  Open Evening 2010 is on Thursday 16 September.  Check www.stacs.org for details.

 

PUBLIC EXAMINATION RESULTS

A Level students should collect their results from 10.00 am on Thursday 19 August and AS results can be collected from midday on the same day.   GCSE students should collect their results at 10.00 am on Tuesday 24 August.  We wish all our public examination students every success this summer. 

 

GOOD LUCK TO THE WORLD CHALLENGE PARTY IN AFRICA

On Tuesday 10 apprehensive students and 2 staff set off for the adventure of a lifetime on the other side of the world.  They are now in Africa and they will spend most of the summer holiday in Botswana and Zambia.  Thanks to modern technology we are able to track their progress via the school website so if you want to keep up to date with the progress of Mr McInerney, Miss Lloyd and our students log on to www.stacs.org for the latest news.

 

SPORTS DAY 2010 - THE BEST EVER - WELL DONE TERESA HOUSE!

It was our very first Sports Day under the house system and competition was fierce at the Hadley Stadium, Bearwood where we enjoyed fantastic weather and a great day.  Eventually (and in top secret conditions) I can reveal that the 2010 Champions are Teresa House closely followed by Newman House and John Paul House.  Congratulations to Head of Teresa House, Miss Stevens who is currently with the Guernsey Party and everyone involved.  It was also terrific to hear of 8 new school records.  Congratulations to: Year 7 - Savannah Sparrow (girls' triple jump); Year 8 boys -  Craig Haines (shot putt), Rusarn Peters (long jump), Jamal Charles-McCalla (triple jump); Year 8 girls - Ella Stephenson (triple jump); Year 9 girls - Hayley Hunter (200m), Hayley Hunter and Patrice Blake (long jump), Ursula Hardy (triple jump). 

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Congratulations to Jake McEntee (Romero 6C) who wins £10 by correctly informing us that the surprise winner of the 2010 Open Golf Championship is Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa.  Well done Jake.

 

AND FINALLY

I wish all our families a wonderful summer holiday and look forward to seeing you all again in September. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

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