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Friday Letter - Issue 32

DEAR PARENTS

 

PRAYER FOR YEAR 11 AND YEAR 13

Lord, this week our thoughts are with all those students facing important public examinations.  Last night we joined Year 11 and their families and prayed for your support and guidance.  And today our most senior students in Year 13 came together for their final Mass.  We ask you to bless each and every one of them, to support them through this examination period and to inspire them in their future lives.  Amen.

 

YEAR 13 LEAVERS' MASS TODAY

Today we joined Year 13 for the very last Mass of their school careers at St Thomas Aquinas.  Most of them have been together `for the past 7 years and they carry many memories, most of them happy, of their time at St Thomas Aquinas.  I know that the Mass is always a special and emotional occasion and today's will have been no different.  After the Mass we were due to have the team photograph (slightly different from Year 7 in 2003!) followed by refreshments.  Full report shortly.

 

AND LAST NIGHT IT WAS THE TURN OF YEAR 11

It was a real pleasure to witness the spirit of fun and friendship shown by Year 11 at their Mass and Evening of Celebration last night.  Thanks to everyone who made it special - the students themselves, their parents and families, the various entertainers, the staff especially the Year 11 tutor team and, above all, their outstanding Head of Year, Miss Stevens.  Well done Anna!  And now it's back to revision for Year 11 over the next week.  Good luck to them all.

 

BABY DANIEL STEPHENSON RIP

The whole school community was greatly moved by the short life of baby Daniel which ended so sadly after just a week.  Daniel's funeral took place on Tuesday and as well as being a deeply sad occasion it was also a wonderfully inspiring one.  We pray for the repose of Daniel's soul and remember Paulette and Mike and the whole Stephenson and Bloomer families at this sad time.  May he rest in peace.

 

ST JOHN FISHER PARISH MASS - SATURDAY 19 JUNE

We look forward to our final Parish Mass of the school year which will take place at 6.00 pm on Saturday 19 June.  We always receive a very warm welcome from the parishioners of St John Fisher and I know that Fr George is looking forward to our visit.  We have lots of former St John Fisher pupils in school so we trust there will be a great turnout.

 

THE DIOCESAN YOUTH CONSULTATION EXERCISE - THANK YOU

A big thank you to those students and parents who joined many others at St Chad's Cathedral last Thursday for the first in a series of meetings to discuss the proposed changes to youth provision in our Diocese.  By a long way the most controversial is the move of Soli House to extended provision at Alton Castle.  The overwhelming view was that this proposal should be reconsidered.  I shall keep you updated as the consultation develops.

 

YEAR 10 REPORTS

Today the parents of Year 10 students were receiving their sons' or daughters' annual report.  Last weekend the senior staff and myself checked their reports and collectively we are very pleased with them.  This is a very talented year group and we need to see great progress in Year 11 but they are certainly capable of it.  As always, I ask parents to sit down with your son or daughter, compliment them on their achievements and discuss those areas that need improvement. I am sure that by working together in partnership we shall achieve a great outcome in August 2011.  

 

YEAR 6 PARENTS FORUM MEETING - MONDAY 14 JUNE

We have written to all the parents of Year 6 children who will be joining us in September.  If last year is anything to go by we should have a terrific turnout.  It is an opportunity to introduce the parents to relevant key staff, particularly the eight Heads of House.  We shall also be hearing first hand about the experience of current Year 7 pupils when they joined the school.  Watch this space.

 

BEHAVIOUR ON BUSES - AN IMPORTANT WARNING

I am sorry to have to report that the behaviour of some of our pupils recently has been quite unacceptable.  In particular, we are concerned about incidents of misbehaviour travelling on school buses.  There are eight pupils who have been meeting officers from Travel West Midlands along with their parents this week to discuss damage caused by throwing flour.  Sadly, parents have been presented with a huge bill as a result of this stupidity.  It is a timely reminder that travelling on a school bus (or indeed any bus) is a privilege that can be withdrawn by the bus company at any time.  I am quite clear that we will cooperate fully with the bus company and the police at all times to ensure our pupils behave in an acceptable fashion.

 

THE REUNION OF THE CLASS OF ‘85

This week we were delighted to receive a letter from former student Moira Conway (now Perkins) who left St Thomas Aquinas in 1985.  On Saturday 15 May about 40 of the year group met up at Bennetts Bar in Birmingham City Centre to catch up with old friends and reminisce about their experience of school 25 years after leaving it.  Do check the website www.stacs.org for further details but a big thank you to Moira and to Martin Fahy, Mary Ahern and Sarah Glover who, I understand, were leading lights in organising the reunion.  Well done to that group and, hopefully, they will continue to meet in the future. 

 

AN INVITATION TO FORMER TOMMIES STUDENTS

Following the success of the Class of ‘85 let me make a general offer to anyone out there who would like to get in touch to let us know of other such events or to publicise them in the future.  Feel free to contact us on enquiry@stacs.bham.sch.uk.

 

AQUINAS DANCE FESTIVAL - REPORT BY JESSICA GANNON, SIAN SKERRETT AND COLLEEN MURPHY

On Friday 14 May five of our local primary schools and the STACS dancers gathered in the main hall for a dance festival.  The Aquinas dancers performed ‘Boom Boom Pow' and ‘I can transform ya' to start the festival.  After this the primary school children were taught ‘I can transform ya' by former pupils, now dancer/choreographers, Kerrey Clarke, Sinead Cannon and Siobhan Thomas.  Jessie McDonald who stayed to help the primary pupils described their dance performance as amazing.  Jessica, Sian and Colleen declared the evening to be a great success and a very enjoyable for everyone who took part.  Mrs Yates would like to thank all the Aquinas staff who helped on the night, Kerrey, Siobhan and Sinead for the fantastic choreography and dance tuition, the Aquinas dancers who performed to an excellent standard and last but not least the pupils and parents from St Brigid's, St John Fisher, St James', St Columba and St Joseph's who in the words of Jessie McDonald were ‘truly amazing performers.'

 

Under 13 and Under 15 Girls' Football News - REPORT FROM MRS YATES

West Midlands Finals

On Friday 21 May the Aquinas girls Under 13 and Under 15 football teams travelled to Aston Villa to compete in the West Midlands Championship.  As District and South Birmingham Champions the Aquinas girls were competing against other finalists from Coventry, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley and Birmingham.  Despite the blazing heat the Aquinas girls on both teams rose to the challenge and after 12 matches the Under 13 girls were runners up with outstanding performances by all the team, especially Grace Gittings - midfield and Devon Markley - Defence.  The Under 15 girls, after a very tight match and penalty shoot-out against Polesworth School won the Under 15 final.  The whole team were simply superb.  Special mention must be given to Maddison Smith in goal for her penalty saves.  Miss Jordan Under 15 team manager and Mrs Yates Under 13 team manager would like to congratulate all the players on their tremendous season they have completed.  Under 13: Gemma Baker, Lucy Baker, Amelia Cody, Niamh Fitzpatrick, Grace Gittings, Shannon O'Grady, Devon Markley, Aishah Shaikh and Alaina Williams.  Under 15: Grace Grandon, Shardai Gaye, Zoe Gregory, Hayley Hunter, Maddison Smith and Lauren Wilson

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

The 2010 Champions League champions are Inter Milan as we were correctly informed by Connor Anderson of 7GME who wins £5.  Well done Connor!

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

A bit different this week.  Instead of £5 the winner will receive former Aquinas student Dan Preston's Number 30 shirt that he wore on his debut for Birmingham City last season.  A great prize for any Blues fan but just imagine how much that shirt will be worth if Dan plays for England in the future!  The question is, who is the goalkeeper Blues have just signed from Manchester United?

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

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