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Friday Letter - Issue 35

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FOR SAINTS PETER AND PAUL - FATHERS OF THE CHURCH

We thank you, Lord, for the example given by St Peter and St Paul.  May we be like St Peter and stand firm in our faith.  May we be like St Paul and spread your word to others.  May we strive for the courage that they showed in giving their lives for the sake of the Church.  Amen

 

WONDERFUL WHOLE SCHOOL MASS ON WEDNESDAY

At the risk of sounding repetitive (perish the thought!) we had a wonderful whole school Mass on Wednesday morning celebrating two great figures from the Church, Peter and Paul.  A big thank you to Fr Stefan supported by Mr Smith as Deacon and to everyone involved in preparing for the Mass.  Mrs Kelly asked at the beginning that every single student give the gift of their own good behaviour to everyone else throughout and that is exactly what they did.  A truly fitting celebration - well done everyone!

 

FAMILY MASS NEXT TUESDAY EVENING

Next Tuesday evening, 5 July we look forward to our final Family Mass of the School Year.  It is always a lovely celebration as we look back over the successes and sadnesses of the past school year.  I am sure that all our usual patrons will be there but it would be good to welcome new families as well.  Full report shortly.

 

GOOD LUCK TO THE ROME PARTY

Yesterday we said farewell (ciao!) to the Rome party led by Mr Toal supported by Mrs O'Connell, Miss Aktar and Mr Miastowski and a lot of excited students.  Mr Toal told me that he was off to see his real boss - The Pope! I am sure they will have a great time.  Full report shortly.

 

AND LIKEWISE TO THE TAIZE PARTY!

It's all happening.  No sooner will Mrs O'Connell be back from Rome than she will be setting off for the annual Sixth Form retreat in Taize, France.  With Mr O'Connell, Mr Ruel and a large number of Sixth Formers plus former students I am sure they will also have a wonderful time spiritually and socially. 

 

BILLIE-JAYNE - THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL GENEROSITY

As you know, last Friday's non uniform day was for a very special person who needs no introduction.  Billie-Jayne Fulford from Year 11 continues to be an inspiration to us all as she faces huge challenges in her young life.  Last week we collected the fantastic sum of £1300 to provide Billie and her family with some special treats that would be impossible otherwise.  We planned to fund a stay for Billie at Alton Towers and were delighted when we were told that everything would be provided free of charge.  We now plan to give Billie an ipad and lots of other things in the near future.  Well done everyone.

 

TARGET REVIEW DAY NEXT FRIDAY 8 JULY

I am sure that as always we will have a huge turnout of parents supporting your sons and daughters for Target Review Day next Friday.  I know that the Target Setting Day in November and the Review Day in July are greatly valued by parents in addition to the traditional parents' evenings so I am sure it will go very well.  As always, we will be asking parents for your evaluation on the day and, indeed, the school as a whole.  Full report shortly.

 

EXCELLENT EVENINGS FOR YEAR 6 STUDENTS AND PARENTS THIS WEEK

On Monday and Tuesday evenings this week we were delighted to meet the parents of the Year 6 students who will be joining us in September with their children.  On both evenings the Hall was packed as both parents and children eagerly awaited the news of which House they had been allocated.  Following a session with the Head of House to exchange essential paperwork there was then the opportunity to buy uniform from either of our suppliers, Mansuri or Clive Mark and secure some amazing bargains in the process.  Following the very successful meeting two weeks previously with the Parents' Forum it was an ideal way to welcome new children to the school and parents too.  And next Wednesday, 6 July we have induction day when our new children will join us from their various primary schools and get to know us even better.  A big thank you to the eight Heads of House and other staff who were here for both evenings and especially to the team that organised it all so brilliantly - Mr Perry, Miss Jordan and Miss Kavanagh.

 

AND THE YEAR 5 VISITS CONTINUE APACE

Last week I drew your attention to the amazing programme of Year 5 visits that we had begun.  They have continued this week and, if anything, have been even better!  Each child has had a printed T-shirt with their photo and name on it, made a loaf of bread, fired a rocket and been presented with a special duffle bag and a watch in a house colour.  All in all, a typical morning at St Thomas Aquinas!  Meanwhile I have been delighted to receive lots of emails with the answer to my quiz question with the lucky winner from each class receiving a £10 voucher.  The programme finishes with St John Fisher next Tuesday and the headteachers from our feeder primary schools will be discussing the visits and other transition arrangements shortly.  As ever, a huge thank you to all the staff involved both teachers and support.  Well done to Miss Aktar, Mrs Bayliss, Miss Ginns, Mrs McGinley, Mr McInerney and Mr Robinson.  And also to Mrs Hawkesford, Mr Jaep, and Miss Swain for their help.  Above all a huge thank you to Miss Lay who has masterminded the whole operation from beginning to end.  Fantastic!

 

LOVELY CELEBRATION WITH YEAR 13 LAST FRIDAY EVENING

Last Friday at the other end of the spectrum it was a real pleasure to join the young men and women of Year 13 at the Novotel on Broad Street for their final gathering as a year group before they go their various ways in life.  They are the most wonderful group and we are very proud of them as they take their place in the world.  We hope that the examination results in August will bring them everything they wish for but, even more important than that, that they remain the fine people they have become over the past 7 years.  I was very pleased to be able to compliment them after the meal last Friday and, in particular, to thank their amazing head of year - the legend that is Miss Samuel.  They will miss her but they will have memories of her that they will never forget.  After the speeches all of the students asked the members of staff present to dance - even myself.  It's a long time since I was on the dance floor but how could I refuse our delightful Head Girl, Jade O'Rourke.  And from there, I understand, the revelry continued long into the night.  Parents will be pleased to know I was in my bed by 10.30 pm!

 

AND TONIGHT IT'S THE TURN OF YEAR 11

This evening the focus moves from Broad Street to Bromsgrove as we descend on the Hilton Hotel for the Year 11 Prom.  They will be arriving in their finery from all manner of vehicles to celebrate their final evening together as a Year group.  Once again, they are very special and we have great hopes for them in the summer and for all those who go on to join us in the Sixth Form.  I am sure a great time will be had by all.  Full report shortly but, in the meantime, check out the website www.stacs.org for all the photos.

 

NO FRIDAY LETTER NEXT WEEK

Please note there will be no Friday Letter next week.  Normal service will be resumed on Friday 15 July.

 

YEAR 8 REPORTS NEXT WEEK

This weekend the senior staff and I will be reading and writing our comments on the progress of our Year 8 students, the last in this year's cycle of reports.  As always I ask parents to take the time to discuss your child's report with them, to praise them for their achievements and to encourage them to address any areas of concern.  Thank you.

 

WELL DONE TO JASPER AND JOHN

I was delighted to receive a copy of a poetry anthology compiled by Birmingham University which included poems from two of our students.  Well done to Jasper Abrina from Year 9 (Martin House) and John Bantigue from Year 8 (John Paul House) for their poems on the theme  "Who Am I?"

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Congratulations to Danyal Zia of Romero House 1A who correctly informed us that President Obama will be withdrawing 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2011 and wins £5.  Well done Danyal.

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

It's got to be Wimbledon.  For £5 who is the 2011 Wimbledon Men's Singles Champion?

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY
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