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Friday Letter - Issue 27

DEAR PARENTS

 

A BLESSING ON THE RESURRECTION FROM WALK WITH ME

Alleluia! Bless us Lord as we sing to Jesus, risen from the dead.  As we praise him in his victory, may his risen life fill our hearts.  May his triumph over death renew our confidence in our faith in our daily offering of our lives to you.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

A WONDERFUL EASTER MASS YESTERDAY MORNING

It was a real privilege to be present at our whole school Easter Mass yesterday morning.  Thank you, as ever, to Fr Stefan and Mr Smith for leading the celebration and to the numerous staff and students involved in preparing for it.  Unless you have actually experienced it, it is difficult to describe the way in which our Sports Hall is transformed into a Church on these special occasions and the reverence of the students is really quite remarkable.  Of course, the Easter Liturgy is the most important in the church's year and the focus of the whole school on the crucifixion of Jesus was very moving.  Thank you to everyone involved. 

 

A SPECIAL PLEA FROM FR STEFAN

I repeat Fr Stefan's special invitation.  Of course, we are well aware that lots of our students do not attend Mass each weekend.  If you only make one appearance a year try to make it to the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday 23 April.  And parents, if you can go as well that would be great.  Thank you.

 

MRS MARGARET PERRY RIP

We were sorry to hear of the death of Margaret, mother of Mrs Gill Wilks, our senior Examination Invigilator.  We pray for the repose of Margaret's soul and think of Gill and the whole family at this sad time.  May she rest in peace.

 

MR GEORGE MARKOVICH RIP

We were also sorry to hear of George's death recently.  George is the father of Mrs Annette Fulford, one of our Lunchtime Supervisors and the grandfather of Danny in Year 11.  We pray for the repose of George's soul and remember Annette, Danny and the whole family in our prayers at this sad time.  May he rest in peace.

 

LENTEN CHARITIES - ASTONISHING GENEROSITY!

I will publish the final figures after the holiday but already I can report your generosity is quite amazing.  We have collected over £5,000 so all 8 of our charities will benefit considerably.  Thanks to the astonishing efforts of Mrs Bayliss' form (1A) who already collected £635 Newman House are in the lead.  Mrs Carter and Mr Thomas collectively raised over £500 and Shawn Halewood in Year 12 collected £200 on his sponsored bike ride.  Full report shortly.

 

LAST NIGHT WAS GOVERNORS' AWARDS EVENING - WHAT A NIGHT!

A full report after Easter as space does not allow me to do it justice at the moment.  However, I can tell you that whilst every Awards Evening is special the presence of His Grace, Archbishop Bernard, made it extra special this year.  The Archbishop has been very busy visiting parishes and deaneries since his arrival in Birmingham but we are one of the first schools to be honoured with a visit.  In addition Mr Peter Jennings, the Press Secretary to the Diocese was also present so do look out for additional photographs in the Catholic Press.  As usual, we were looking forward to a glittering array of talented performers and to presenting numerous students with certificates recognising a multiplicity of talents.  One of the great aspects of the evening is the opportunity to welcome back last year's A Level students and see the fine young men and women they have become as they return from Universities all over the country.  Watch this space.

 

TWO SPECIAL AWARDS

The Pat Manion Award

This is now well established in our school and is given annually to the student who has overcome adversity to achieve remarkable things.  There is nobody in our school community who embodies the spirit of the Pat Manion Award more than Billie-Jayne Fulford.  Billie's attendance over the past couple of years has been extraordinary and we are all inspired by her example as she travels around school in her wheel chair or on crutches every day.  Without a doubt she is the most popular student in our school and richly deserves this important award.

 

The Aleena Biju Award

This is new this year because, as we all now know, five weeks ago our school community was shocked by a terrible tragedy.  One of our youngest students from Year 7, Aleena Biju was killed on her way to school after a terrible accident.  In Aleena's short life she achieved a huge amount and in just six months established herself as a model student.  Last night Archbishop Bernard presented Mr Francis Robinson, close friend of the family with the Aleena Biju Award and we hope it is something her parents and family will treasure when they return from India.  From now on the model student of the year will be presented with the Aleena Biju Award.

 

YEAR 8 YOUNG APPRENTICE DAY - A REPORT FROM MISS JONES AND MS FLETCHER

On Thursday 31 March, Year 8 became young apprentices for the day and worked in small groups on the launch of a new chocolate product. They started the day by reflecting on their visit to Cadbury World the week before and all that they learnt during that day about advertising, target audiences and pricing a product. The quality of the work, the creativity shown and the attention to detail shown by the students was absolutely outstanding. Choosing a winner was a very difficult task but in the end Team 6 from Fisher House won the competition with the creation of a box of chocolate wedding favours called Eternal Love - very clever with the royal wedding fast approaching! Thank you to all of our year 8 students for their enthusiasm and hard work throughout the day and to all the staff who helped to make the day a success.


HISTORY DEPARTMENT TRIP TO BELGIUM - A REPORT FROM MRS LAVELLE

On 31 March at 00.05hrs, 50 'Tommies' and 5 staff set off on the long journey to Ypres in Belgium to experience all that this historical town has to offer. After what seemed like a lifetime, we arrived in time for a breakfast of Belgian waffles. Next, students visited the Menin Gate, a memorial to over 55,000 war dead; Tyne Cot Cemetery where thousands of white headstones mark the graves of fallen soldiers and a huge memorial wall lists the names of thousands of soldiers with no known grave, including Mr  Gaunt's great uncle, Harold Pardoe; and Hill 62 museum and trenches, where we had the full trench experience, complete with mud! Students ended their visit back in the town centre where they sampled chocolate delights and took home lots of edible souvenirs! We boarded our coach for the return journey home in high spirits, where we were entertained with hours of Karaoke! A big ‘thank you' to the 50 students who behaved perfectly throughout the trip, our drivers even said that they had rarely seen such an excellent group!

 

ARRANGEMENTS AFTER EASTER

Following the holiday school opens to staff only on Tuesday 26 April and to students on Wednesday 27 April.  As you know, there is an additional holiday this year on Friday 29 April to mark the royal wedding.  There will be no Friday (or Thursday) Letter that week so normal service will be resumed on Friday 6 May.  I wish everyone a restful and peaceful holiday.

 

SPORTS NEWS

Lots to tell you but no space!  Special mention to our Year 10 Basketball team who won their cup final defeating Dame Elizabeth Cadbury by 46 to 24 full report after Easter.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

The Hollywood star who died recently was, of course, Elizabeth Taylor.  Well done to John Raven of Teresa House 5C who wins £5.

 

Yours sincerely

JIM FOLEY

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