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Friday Letter - Issue 32

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FOR PENTECOST SUNDAY -THE HOLY SPIRIT

O gracious and Holy Father, Give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, and life to proclaim you; through the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

OUR FINAL FAMILY MASS OF THE SCHOOL YEAR - TUESDAY 3 JULY

I know many parents like to be reminded in good time of our termly Family Mass, one of the great traditions in our school.  Our final one of this school year will take place at 7:30pm on Tuesday 3 July.  As usual, we will be combining the termly Family Mass with our Mass of Thanksgiving for the service of those staff who are leaving us at the end of term.  As always, everyone is most warmly invited to join us for what is sure to be another great occasion. 

 

PENTECOST INTER-CULTURAL MASS AT ST BRIGID'S

A reminder that this important Mass takes place at 5:00pm tomorrow to celebrate the birthday of the Church and the joy of the Parish community in all its diversity.  National costumes and colours are encouraged and there will be a party afterwards which everyone is most welcome to attend.  Last year's celebration was very successful and well attended (prayers, hymns and readings in a variety of languages etc) and we hope that this year's will be an even bigger success.

 

MRS MARGARET GEOGEGHAN RIP AND MRS PATRICIA SULLIVAN RIP

We were greatly saddened to hear of two deaths this week affecting members of staff.  Mrs Margaret Geogeghan, the mother of Mrs Geogeghan, our Head of Art, died suddenly yesterday.  And on Wednesday Mrs Patricia Sullivan the Mother-in-law of Mrs Sullivan, Art teacher also died.  We pray for the repose of Margaret and Patricia's souls and remember Maxine, Dawn and both sets of families in our prayers.  May they rest in peace.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION EVENING ON MONDAY

A reminder to all Year 12 students and their parents that we are holding our Higher Education Evening on Monday in the Sixth Form Common room starting at 7:00pm.  This is always an invaluable evening for parents combining the rationale for going to university, the best approach to applying and, crucially, the financial implications for parents.  A very important evening for those involved.

 

YEAR 11 EVENING OF CELEBRATION NEXT THURSDAY, 31 MAY

A reminder to all Year 11 parents that you are warmly invited to attend the Year 11 Evening of Celebration which will take place from 7:00pm next Thursday in the Sportshall.  As usual, we will start with a Mass giving thanks for the blessing of each and every student and afterwards there will be a variety of entertainment, lots of laughter and, I am sure, a few tears as well.

 

YEAR 13 LEAVERS MASS NEXT FRIDAY

On Friday 1 June we will gather in the Sixth Form Common Room to say farewell to our Year 13 students who are about to enter the big wide world.  Most of them joined us in Year 7 as quite small boys and girls and now they leave us as young men and women with an exciting future in front of them.  After Mass I am sure we will see lots of photographs and will gather for one final one with the Year group before they depart. Full report shortly.

 

YEAR 6 INTRODUCTORY PARENTS EVENING ON TUESDAY 12 JUNE

We have now written to the parents of the 210 Year 6 children who will be joining us in September to invite them to this special introductory evening.  It will be the fourth one which we have held under the aegis of the Parents Forum and involves short presentations from staff and current Year 7 students followed by round table discussions.  The last three have been very successful and I am sure 2012 will be no different.  Watch this space.

  

YEAR 5 OLYMPICS - I HOPE LONDON 2012 IS JUST AS GOOD!

What a fantastic afternoon we had on Wednesday as 8 of our Catholic feeder Primary Schools came together at Hadley Stadium, Bearwood for the Year 5 Olympics.  There was fantastic participation from every single boy and girl present and each event was keenly contested.  The day began with the National Anthem followed by the opening ceremony involving the procession around the track from each school representing a major country around the world.  The top three athletes from each event were then presented with a gold, silver and bronze medal on the podium whilst the National Anthem from the winning country was played.

 

Congratulations to St James Primary School who won the contest representing Canada closely followed by St John Fisher and St Edward's.  At the end each athlete collected a medal from their teacher and each school was awarded a framed certificate for a particular achievement. It is difficult to pick out a single individual but a special mention to Martin McDonagh from Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Primary School who was awarded a special certificate for Effort and Enthusiasm. A huge thank you to all the staff involved from the 8 Primary schools and also the students and staff at St Thomas Aquinas.  Particular thanks to Miss Jordan, Mr McInerney, Miss Lay and Hollie Parish from the organising group. Above all, a huge thank you to the Olympics supremo himself, Mr Smyllie.  Thank you Paul. NB check the website for two films of the event.

 

SHARP SYSTEM SUCCESS - AN UPDATE FROM MR FLOOD

In January of this year we shared a new initiative with the students to help address any issues they or friends might be experiencing in school.  The SHARP  (School Help Advice Reporting Pages) System is a website that has been  set up to help students who are experiencing issues both in and out of school.  Students can view the website and get advice on a range of topics and if they need further assistance they can contact the school for additional help - the system is totally confidential.  To date the website has had over 60,000 hits and we have been able to address issues on a number of topics for over 40 students.  We are always looking for ways on how we can improve the system and hope that students will be able to produce their own material that we can put on the website to help others.  Feedback from students who have used the system has been very positive and they have been thankful for the help provided.

 

WARM WEATHER ARRANGEMENTS

As we know there has been a heat wave this week.  Thank goodness 99% of our students have adopted the Summer Uniform and they look very smart too.  A reminder that girls must continue to wear black tights or trousers that are tailored boot cut style.  No other style is acceptable.

 

PROVERB COMPETITION MAY 2012 - AN UPDATE FROM MRS LOCKYEAR

Space does not permit us to report in full.  We will do so next week.  Congratulations, however, goes to Shiera Raju (Year 7, John Paul House) for her proverb in her native Malayalam language.  Do check the website for further details.  Well done Shiera.

 

STACS 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE - A REPORT FROM MR MCINERNEY

On  7 June staff from St Thomas Aquinas will try and complete the 3 Peaks Challenge in aid of Acorns. The 3 peaks challenge sees you climb Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. It is a challenge that so many try but fail. A team from STACS will attempt this by leaving school at 6:00am on the 7 June to begin the drive to Ben Nevis 400+ miles away. Staff involved include Mr McInerney, Mr Nolan, Mr Tinsley, Mr Robinson and Mr Shanks. All donations will be gratefully received via http://www.justgiving.com/stacs3peakschallenge.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Well done to Hannah Kenny from Year 7 (Fisher,6C) who correctly informed us that the new President of France is Francois Hollande.  Congratulations to Hannah who wins £10.

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

A famous Bee Gee died last weekend. Who was he?  Email me at j.foley@stacs.bham.sch.uk for a possible £10.

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

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