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Friday Letter - Issue 28

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FOR BLESSED JOHN PAUL

Lord, we rejoice at the Beatification of John Paul II in Rome last Sunday.  The late Pope is fondly remembered in our school following his visit to Britain in 1982 and the fact that Mr Richards from the Technology Faculty made the altar for the Papal Mass in Coventry.  Blessed John Paul is also patron of one of our Houses in school and we had a special assembly on Monday to record the special event.  We pray that before long he will join the company of saints and we will soon be celebrating his canonisation as Saint John Paul.  Amen.

 

GOVERNORS' AWARDS EVENING - WHAT AN AMAZING OCCASION!

Before it passes into history it is important to record that the evening before the Easter holiday was an amazing occasion.  Literally hundreds of students and former students were presented with certificates marking their achievements in all areas and there was also a marvellous programme of entertainment.  At the end we presented the annual Pat Manion Award given each year to a student who has achieved remarkable things in the face of adversity.  Nobody has done that better than Billie-Jayne Fulford who inspires us all daily - undoubtedly the most popular person in our school.  And we also presented for the first time the Aleena Biju Memorial Award which will always remind us of the wonderful girl we lost so recently.  Just as Aleena was, it will go to the Model Student of the Year.  And to crown a wonderful evening we were truly honoured to welcome His Grace Archbishop Bernard as our Guest of Honour.  He has since written to say how much he enjoyed the occasion and how impressed he was by the school.  As ever, it was a great team effort involving countless people and thanks, of course,  to our Music Department and the work of Miss Cutler, Mr Weekes and Miss Clapham.  One person I must also thank in particular is Mrs Lisa Taylor whose organisational skills are quite remarkable.  A great occasion and a time to be even more proud of our school.

 

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR MASS ON SUNDAY

As always, you are warmly invited to join us for our sixth Parish Mass of the school year which takes place at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at 11.00am.  We look forward to joining Father Latham and his parishioners for what is always a delightful occasion and as long as the recent beautiful weather holds we can enjoy the marvellous views over the Lickey Hills. We have numerous former St Columba and St James' pupils in our school so we are hoping for a very good turnout on Sunday.  Full report shortly.

 

ROMERO HOUSE MASS ON MONDAY    

On Monday morning I am looking forward to joining Romero House when they celebrate their House Mass with Fr Stefan. All of our House Masses this year have been great occasions and I have no doubt this one will be too. Any Romero parents who wish to join us at 9.00am will be very welcome. And my pink tie will be making a rare appearance for this special occasion! Full report shortly.         

 

LENTEN CHARITIES - THE FINAL FIGURES - AMAZING GENEROSITY

Thank you so much for your amazing generosity in supporting our wonderful Lenten charities. It is fantastic to think that we are able to send off cheques ranging from £500 to over £1500 to all 8 of our chosen charities.

 

The figures are as follows:

Newman House              NSPCC                                                £1616

Martin House                  Clik Sargent                                        £1227

Romero House               Birmingham Children's Hospital                  £1186

More House                   Cancer Research UK                              £  926

Bosco House                 Fr Hudson's Society                               £  894

Fisher House                 St Mary's Hospital(Uganda)                     £  707

Teresa House                British Heart Foundation                         £  535

John Paul House           Breast Cancer Research                           £  500

Year 13                          Teenage Cancer Trust                         £  213

Grand Total                                                                                             £7804

 

EXCELLENT YEAR 9 PARENTS' EVENING LAST NIGHT

It was a pleasure to meet Year 9 parents with their sons and daughters for parents' evening last night. There was an excellent atmosphere throughout as parents had the opportunity to hear about progress on the GCSE courses as we near the end of the first year. We have great hopes of Year 9 and have recently made some changes to their curriculum to ensure that everyone who is capable of doing so achieves the EBAC, the recently announced package of GCSE subjects that the Government considers essential for future educational success. The early signs are that the students have responded extremely well.

 

AND NEXT THURSDAY IT'S THE TURN OF YEAR 10

We also look forward to meeting the parents of Year 10 students next Thursday. Needless to say, with just one year to go it is vital that all Year 10 students are focused on achieving their full potential. Watch this space.

 

EXCELLENT EASTER REVISION PROGRAMME FOR YEAR 11

A huge thank you to all the staff involved in going the extra mile for our Year 11 students during the Easter holiday. With 6 full days it was the most comprehensive Easter revision programme we have ever run and judging by the excellent attendance of the students it was greatly appreciated. I am sure we will see the positive outcomes in August. Good luck to Year 11!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MRS DOUST!

Congratulations to Mrs Catherine Doust who gave birth to Thady James on Easter Sunday. We are delighted for Catherine and her husband Jim on the birth of their first child and wish them every happiness in the future.

 

EDINBURGH MARATHON - 22 MAY - REQUEST FROM MR STEPHENSON
Mr Stephenson, Head of Bosco House will be running a full Marathon in Edinburgh on Sunday 22 May at 10:00am. He is looking to raise money for the charity MacMillan Cancer Support and any donations would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to support this good cause then you can either log into the just giving web site at the following address - www.justgiving.com/Fred-Stephenson0 or contact Mr.Stephenson through the school to sponsor him. Thank you in anticipation for the support.

 

FANTASTIC SILVER DUKE OF EDINBURGH QUALIFICATION EXPEDITION - MR BAKER REPORTS

As the rest of the country celebrated the Royal Wedding 21 students from St Thomas Aquinas were completing their 48km expedition over 3 days in the Long Mynd, Shropshire. All students completed the expedition and did so at a very good pace due to their excellent map skills. It was a hugely significant challenge for our students and there were certainly lots of sore feet and shoulders but all showed the determination and skill necessary to achieve the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. Congratulations to you all!

The students are: Sam Allen, Phillip Cadogan, Jake Field, Grace Grandon, Sam Hawkesford, Matt Hodges, Ali Kazi, Nicola Kenny, Daniel Knight, Josh McGinley, Jack Molloy, Kundai Musara, Nikka Onia, Christopher Pakes, Sian Peal, Anuj Savjani, Kieran Snowe, Hans Sumulong, Kyle Thornton, Magdalena Towarek, Megan Tully. Many thanks also to the staff who helped on the trip - Mrs Baker (plus Imogen), Mr Flood, Mr Lowe, Mr McInerney and Mr Thomas.

Editor's Note - My thanks to Mr Baker and the entire Duke of Edinburgh team for the incredible opportunities they provide for our students!

 

URGENT ALERT TO ALL AIDAN DAVIS FANS!

Tonight the first in a 13 part series starring our very own Aidan Davis is being shown on "Friday Download". It's on CBBC at 5:30pm. Don't miss it!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR AMAZING GOSPEL SINGERS

I was delighted to hear that our stunning Gospel Quartet simply blew the audience away at the recent Sound City concert for gifted and talented students. Well done to Elizabeth, Onnet, Redemption and Tshwarelo!

 

GOOD LUCK TO OUR YEAR 11 BOYS NEXT TUESDAY

It's not just Manchester United who have reached a major final! On Tuesday our Year 11 football team play St John Wall School, Handsworth in the Birmingham Cup Final. You may recall that they were unlucky to lose in the Year 10 final at Villa Park last season. Let's hope they go one better this time. Good luck lads!

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

What was the name of Blessed John Paul growing up as a boy in Poland?

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

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