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Friday Letter - Issue 30

DEAR PARENTS

 

A BLESSING FROM WALK WITH ME DURING EASTERTIDE

Lord, you call us to be agents of justice, going beyond first appearance and, as Jesus did, seeking out the lost.  Bless us with the insight to recognise the justice that sometimes unsettles us, and causes us discomfort.  Stir us into action as we work to build your kingdom now.

 

YEAR 11 LEAVERS' MASS NEXT THURSDAY EVENING

Next Thursday evening, 26 May we look forward to welcoming our Year 11 students and their families for a very special occasion.  It is the opportunity to celebrate Mass together as a Year group and to reflect on the many experiences they have been through together over the past five years.  Of course, most of Year 11 will be joining the Sixth Form in September but some will not and this is the chance to be one year worshipping together for nearly the final time.  Whether they are staying on our not each and every one of them will be in our prayers over the next few weeks.

 

AND THE NEXT DAY IT'S THE TURN OF YEAR 13

Again, one of the special school traditions is our final Mass with our most senior students.  The great majority joined us as young boys and girls in 2004 and now they leave us as young men and women in 2011.  Following the Mass there will be the traditional team photograph and refreshments.  They too will be in our prayers over the next few weeks.

 

ST JOHN FISHER MASS ON SATURDAY 18 JUNE - A CORRECTION

As I mentioned last week we are very much looking forward to joining Fr George and his parishioners at St John Fisher, West Heath for our final Parish Mass of the school year.  Please note that the Mass will be at 6.00pm and not the earlier time I mentioned last week.  I am sure it will be another wonderful celebration.

 

MR DAVID BRYANT

Last week I told you that David, father of Mrs Sharon Williamson, our Business Manager, is gravely ill and he remains so.  I am pleased, however, to report that David has sent us a lovely letter thanking us for our prayers and good wishes at this difficult time.  Rest assured David that they will continue. 

 

GOOD SHEPHERD MASS - A REPORT FROM RYAN CROZIER BOSCO HOUSE 7D

On Tuesday I visited St Chad's Cathedral with some other members of Bosco house to give in our cheque for £894.23 to the Father Hudson's society. I felt very proud that day in St Chad's Cathedral to stand for Bosco house and for St Thomas Aquinas secondary school. When I got to St Chad's Cathedral I saw loads more of other schools and we were one of the few secondary schools supporting the Father Hudson's society which made me wonder why not many schools support such a great charity. Later that day near the end of the Mass the Rt.Rev. Bishop Pargeter asked for all the schools to bring up their cheques for our charity, this was our proudest moment walking up that aisle with our  rather large cheque going to a great cause.  The Good Shepherd Mass was a lovely occasion and the theme for this was ‘Love one another, as I have Loved you'. It was full of singing and celebrating all of the hard work lots of primary schools and a hand full of secondary school had put into during Lenten Charities. All Bosco House should be very proud as the Father Hudson's Society were very grateful and told us of the good that the money would go to. Ryan Young from our school read the first reading superbly and Bosco was represented by a further 13 students who did us proud. It was a truly moving occasion to know that all the hard work is going to such a good cause.
Editor's Note - What an amazing report.  Well done Ryan!

GOOD LUCK TO YEAR 11

As I outlined we will be celebrating Mass with Year 11 next Thursday.  However, it's all systems go on the learning front as we strive to ensure that this vital Year group achieves the best possible results in their GCSE examinations.  We remain very optimistic about their prospects but we are determined to keep going until the very end.  For that reason, unlike many schools, we have not released Year 11 on Study Leave and we will not be doing so before half term.  They deserve the very best and that is what they will get.

EXCELLENT SESSION WITH THE GOVERNORS LAST SATURDAY

Last week I mentioned the fact that the Governing Body were meeting for a special strategy session last Saturday and I am pleased to report that it went extremely well.  My thanks to the Governors (who were meeting again last night) for all that they do to help us on our road to continuous improvement.  Unfortunately, the programme was slightly curtailed to enable the Headteacher to be in front of a television screen by 12.45 pm for an important football match, but that's another story!

 

EXCELLENT LIAISON WITH THE POLICE IN OUR LOCAL AREA

I was delighted to host an important meeting last week concerning liaison between Birmingham secondary schools and the police.  It was attended by senior officers and headteachers right across Birmingham and focussed on the work we have been doing in the Northfield area which is seen as a model of good practice.  Over the past year there has been a significant reduction in anti social behaviour and one of the key factors has been the increased liaison between the police and schools.  Watch this space.

 

SOUTH BIRMINGHAM ATHLETICS TRIALS 16 MAY 2011 - A REPORT FROM MR LOWE

Thirty St Thomas Aquinas athletes made their way to Tudor Grange athletics track on the 16 May to compete in South Birmingham athletic trials. The squad of thirty, 15 boys and 15 girls, from year 8, 9 and 10 were split into 3 age divisions. U14's juniors and also the inter group. Year 8 competed in the under 14's, year 9 competed in the junior events and our year 10's competed in the inter division which also included athletes from year 11. It was evident at the competition the team cohesion of our athletics squad and this was emphasised by the way they encouraged one another and willed each other on. The level of ability present throughout our squad is amazing, but the respect and admiration for one another is far more pleasing to see. Even in the few events where Tommie's weren't 1st 2nd or 3rd our students remained courteous to one another and really personified the team spirit by shouting and cheering each other to the end. A great day was had by all and I would personally like to thank the students that attended the event for being ambassadors of St Thomas Aquinas in the way that they conducted themselves and behaved both on and off the track. Well done to all those students who competed!  See website for full report.

Editor's Note - And thank you too to Mr Lowe for all his work

 

OGWEN COTTAGE 2011 - A REPORT FROM MR SMYLLIE

On Sunday 8 May 18 boys and 3 girls in Year 9 set off for Wales to undertake a week of outdoor education at Ogwen Cottage. The centre gave our students an opportunity to experience a range of activities from mountain walking, canoeing, rock climbing, sea level traversing, orienteering, night line and skiing. The week provided many challenges which our pupils met head on with some even conquering their fear of heights. All returned safely to school on the Friday buzzing about their week's experiences. A big thank you to all staff at Ogwen Cottage for looking after and supporting us and also to Mrs Ryan for giving up her time to help run the successful trip.

Editor's Note - And thank you too to Mr Smyllie for all his work.

 

YEAR 8 FOOTBALL - ANOTHER GREAT VICTORY

I was delighted to hear that our Year 8 boys became District Champions 2011 yesterday when they beat Archbishop Ilsley School by 4 goals to 2.  Well done to the following boys and to coach Mr Griffiths on a great achievement: Liam Bampton, Dante Blackman, Kingsley Duru, Imran Famuyide, Kieran Flemming, Shawn Hunter, Kyle Johnson, Bernard McGarry, Shaquille Palmer, Brendan Pooni, Tom Pooni, Karam Sanghera-O'Neil, K'elan Shepherd, Jay Talbott.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Last week I was disappointed that nobody could inform me what Pope John Paul II's name was as a boy growing up in Poland.  It must have been the £10 rollover that made the difference because this week I have been inundated with answers.  The lucky winner is Conor Stowe of Year 9 in Martin House 4B who informed us that Blessed John Paul II grew up as Karol Jozef Wojtyla.  Well done Conor.

    

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Let's hope it's not Blues.  Which two teams are relegated from the Premier League after Sunday joining West Ham in the Championship next season?

 

Yours sincerely

JIM FOLEY

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