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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.

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

Friday Letter - Issue 30

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FOR HELP DURING EXAMS

Dear God, please be with all those who are sitting exams this year.  Help and guide them to do well in their exams.  Give them courage and confidence and send your Holy Spirit to be their helper and guide so that they can do the best they can.  Amen.

 

LOVELY YEAR 10 MASS - REPORT FROM ANNE-MARIE

The Year 10 Mass is always a lovely occasion, incorporating as it does, the experience that many of the pupils have had in their retreat at Soli House.  The theme of the Mass was ‘A change of heart', challenging all Year 10 pupils to make a difference to other people's lives.  There was a quiet reverence throughout and it was clear that pupils regarded the Mass as a very special occasion for their year group.  It was particularly pleasing to see members of Year 10 leading the music, which they had learnt from Soli House, themselves.  Pupils were delighted to see Sarah Crutch, a former Aquinas pupil, Hannah and Fr Bill, who all work at Soli House, join them for the celebration.  Thanks, as ever, to the tutors for preparing their pupils, to Father Stefan for celebrating Mass and of course to Mr Perry who worked unstintingly to make the Mass so special.

Editor's Note I was very sorry to be out of school and unable to attend the Year 10 Mass.  However, it was clearly a wonderful occasion and thanks to everyone involved including our old friend, Fr Bill. 

 

PARISH MASS AT OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR ON SUNDAY

Everyone is warmly invited to join us for our next Parish Mass which takes place at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Rednal at 11.00 am.  As always, we look forward to meeting Fr Latham and his parishioners for what is sure to be another lovely celebration and, if the weather holds, it will be an extra bonus to look out over the Lickey Hills.  I know Anne-Marie and the team have been practising hard for Sunday and, given the large number of St Columba and St James' former pupils in school we should have a very good turnout.  Full report next week.

 

DIOCESAN CONSULTATION ON YOUTH WORK - A REMINDER

Anyone who is connected with young people in our Diocese has been invited by Bishop Kenney to respond to some important proposals.  Amongst others a key decision that will affect our schools is the proposal to close Soli House in Stratford and relocate all youth provision to Alton Castle in Staffordshire.  I am sure that many parents may have views they wish to express in relation to this proposal.  If so, you are invited to download the youth work report and feedback sheet from the website of the Diocesan Schools Commission www.bdsc.org.uk.  You are also invited to attend a meeting to discuss the proposals at St Chad's Cathedral at 7.00 pm on Thursday 20 May.  I encourage as many parents as possible to attend this meeting.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO LISA AND MIRIAM

Continuing the theme of youth work, I am delighted to tell you that the long established St Thomas Aquinas tradition of providing students to work in our diocesan retreat centres continues.  Lisa Ryan 13SBA has been accepted to work at Alton Castle in Staffordshire next year and Miriam Gannon 13PHI has been accepted to work at Soli House, Stratford.  In addition, we were pleased to hear that former student Sarah Crutch has been so successful at Soli House that her contract has been extended for a further year.  It is people like Lisa, Miriam and Sarah that will ensure the future of the Church is in the best possible hands. 

 

NEW SCHOOL DAY IN SEPTEMBER

Last night the Governing Body approved the plan to amend our school day from September onwards.  On Monday I shall write to all parents to update you on the details.

 

VISIT FROM MISS COOGAN ON TUESDAY

We are looking forward to welcoming Miss Coogan, the new Headteacher of St Brigid's on Tuesday.  I am sure she'll have a pleasant and informative visit and, hopefully, a chance to meet some of her school's former pupils.

 

 

LETTER TO YEAR 11 PARENTS ON MONDAY

On Monday I shall be writing to all Year 11 parents to outline the arrangements we are making for the year group.  These include the vital revision programme which continues over the next several weeks, the Year 11 Evening of Celebration, the Year 11 Prom and their leaving date.  What I can tell parents now is what I told the students at Assembly on Monday morning which is that we are delighted with their progress and as long as they maintain their current standards they will do exceptionally well.

 

PAYING FOR SCHOOL DINNERS BY CHEQUE - MESSAGE FROM MRS SIMMS

This is a reminder that you can pay for your child's lunch by cheque in advance.  Some advantages of this are that your son/daughter will not have to go to the machines each day, will not need to carry any cash and will not be able to spend their lunch money on less wholesome snacks on the way to and from school.  You on the other hand will not be searching for change, will know that they are eating good food and will know that they won't lose their money.  If you choose to pay by cheque you need not worry about sending the right amount for one week or half term etc. you can send it for any amount in the knowledge that your son/daughter will easily be able to check how much credit they have on their account by putting their finger on the reader at the cash machines.  Please make cheques payable to Direct Services Division.  Write your son/daughter's name and form number on the back of the cheque.  If the cheque is for more than one child please say how much should be credited to each child.  If your child tells you that their credit is low or has run out, please tell them to put their cheque in the cheque box before 8.40 am so that credit will appear on their account in time for lunch.  Thank you.

 

CYCLING TO SCHOOL - A REQUEST FROM MRS BARCLAY

Pupils who cycle to school must have a permission slip returned and signed by parents.  A copy can be collected from Mrs Barclay's office.  Thank you.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MR MCINERNEY AND THE WORLD CHALLENGE TEAM

I am delighted to inform you that the team have received a further donation of £5,000 to support the expedition to Africa this summer which will make a huge difference.  Thank you to the Youth Opportunities Fund.

 

BRONZE DUKE OF EDINBURGH EXPEDITION THIS WEEKEND

Good luck to our Year 9 students who will be spending Saturday and Sunday at Earlswood on the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition.  St Thomas Aquinas is by far the leading comprehensive D of E school in the region and it's all thanks to a dedicated group of staff.  Full report next week and on the website.

 

FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE BY OUR YEAR 10 BOYS

I was very proud of our Year 10 boys who played Tudor Grange in the final of the Villa Cup on Monday evening.  It was very disappointing to lose the game 1 - 0 but the result did not really tell the story.  After a good start we lost our way in the first half and conceded a scrappy goal.  However, the second half was a completely different story as our lads took the game to the opposition and spent nearly all of the play encamped in their half.  However, try as they might we could not force the equaliser against a very sound goalkeeper.  Even in defeat, though, our boys did us proud and showed great dignity and sportsmanship.  Well done to the extensive coaching team led by Mr Smyllie (we had five managers and two photographers!) and to all our supporters who certainly made themselves heard.  Congratulations to Tudor Grange on their victory and well done to our whole squad - Amar Barn, Tom Darby, Callum Foulsham, Pearce Gittings, Aidan Hodgson, Lewis Johnson, Dale Kenny, Callum McCall, Kieran McCalla, Nester McCooty, Joshua McGinley, Jack McGinn, Jordan Walsh, Brin Williams and Reimar Williams.  By way of consolation the lads beat Bishop Challoner Sports College 3 - 2 in the District Cup Quarter Final on Wednesday.

 

HEADTEACHER'S AWARD

This week I have no hesitation in nominating our Year 10 boys' football team for the Headteacher's Award.  There were lots of fantastic individual performances but it is unfair to select one or two players.  Well done to the whole squad.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

In the General Election last week Richard Burden was elected to represent constituency of Northfield as we were correctly informed by Georgina Doyle 7JDE who wins £5.  Well done Georgina.

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Lots of political activity again this week.  Who was appointed Secretary of State for Education?

 

Yours sincerely      

 

JIM FOLEY

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