Menu
Friday Letter - Issue 37

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Lord, we thank you for the many blessings of this school year.  We have worked hard and now we look forward to our holiday.  We ask you to bless those staff and students who are leaving our school today - may you always be with them as they begin the next chapter in their lives.  Amen.

 

WHOLE SCHOOL MASS TODAY

This morning we were marking the end of our school year in the perfect way by celebrating Mass together as a whole school community.  We thank Fr Stefan, our Chaplain for being with us today and so many days throughout the school year.  Following Mass and a short break we were then gathering once more to celebrate our Sports Awards Assembly including the much anticipated results from Sports Day.  And we were also announcing the eagerly awaited results to declare the House Champions 2010-2011.  I am sure it will have been a fitting end to our school year.

 

ANOTHER WONDERFUL TRIP TO TAIZE

On Monday a large group of tired Sixth Form students and former students arrived back in Birmingham following their visit to the world famous international retreat centre in Taize, France.  For several of them it was a third visit which says something about the power of the whole experience both spiritually and socially.  A huge thank you, as always, to Mr & Mrs O'Connell and Mr Ruel for making it all possible.  They have been wonderful in their leadership of this special experience and we thank them for all they have done as they now pass the baton to Mrs Devlin who will be leading Taize 2012.

 

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM BILLIE JAYNE

I would like to say a big, big thank you to all the staff, students and their families, who donated generously towards the trip to Alton Towers and Alton Hotel for my family and myself and the best possible gift I could wish for, an iPad.  You have said in the past that I inspire you, however, you inspire me with all your kindness and best wishes.  Once again, a Big Big Thank You.  Love Billie Jayne.

 

MRS BARBARA TAYLOR

As we go into our summer holiday I ask you to continue to pray for our dear friend and former colleague Barbara and her family at this anxious time.

 

GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATION MASS AT ST JOHN FISHER

I was delighted to receive an invitation from Mrs Murphy, Headteacher of St John Fisher Primary School to their Golden Jubilee celebration Mass which will take place at 11.00 am on Friday 23 September.  The Mass will be celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Bernard and I know it will be a great day in the life of the school and the parish. 

 

THANK YOU TO THE STAFF WHO ARE LEAVING US TODAY

Today we say goodbye to a number of staff and we thank them for their contribution to our school.  Mr Wyn Richards leaves us today after 40 years of dedicated service to our school.  Wyn has seen many changes since 1971 but he has always retained his enthusiasm for his work.  I was planning to present Wyn with a certificate and cheque from the Governors to mark his service in front of the whole school after Mass this morning. Mrs Kath Redican joined St Thomas Aquinas in 1983 and in recent years has provided wonderful support to students for whom English is a second language.  She is a wonderful character and will be greatly missed.  Mr Tony Ruel has been at St Thomas Aquinas since 1987 and for many years has been Head of Modern Foreign Languages.  It would be impossible to find a more conscientious professional anywhere and we thank Tony, recently returned from Taize, for everything he has done.  Mrs Sue Ballantine joined us in 2000 as Head of Science and has worked tirelessly in leading the largest faculty in the school.  Thankfully, we will continue to benefit from Sue's expertise as a Physics ‘A' level teacher in September.  Miss Rosita Lloyd leaves the English Faculty today after 4 years in the school.  Rosita has made a great contribution in that time notably leading World Challenge 2010 to Africa and coaching our various debating teams with great skill.  And today we also say goodbye temporarily to Mrs Rachel Siddall who goes on maternity leave pending the birth of her second child.  We wish Rachel and her husband much joy with the new arrival.

 

AND BEST WISHES TO STAFF WHO ARE GETTING MARRIED THIS SUMMER

We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Miss Catherine Jones, our Head of Mathematics, who marries Darren shortly.  And Miss Claire Kavanagh, Head of More House who will marry Matt.  Mr Paul Smyllie from the PE Faculty is marrying Kirsten.   And last but not least former student, Emma Clapham who remains with us next year on her GTP course in Music and marries Tom this summer.  We trust they all have a wonderful day and a very happy life with their partners in the years ahead.

 

FULLY STAFFED IN SEPTEMBER

I am delighted to report that we are fully staffed for September and we have been very fortunate in recruiting some outstanding new colleagues.  I look forward to introducing them all to you after the holiday.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ST BRIGID'S SCHOOL ON THEIR 60TH BIRTHDAY

On Tuesday I was absolutely bowled over by the Mass and celebration that I attended on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of St Brigid's School.  The church was packed for the Mass which was led by His Grace, Archbishop Bernard supported by several clergy including Parish Priest, Fr Jan and former Parish Priest, Fr Neylon.  I must tell you that as a veteran of hundreds of school Masses I have never heard children sing as well or as powerfully as those at St Brigid's.  Afterwards it was a real pleasure to meet lots of former pupils of the school who were poring over the old photographs and memorabilia from their school days.  As I said to Miss Coogan, she must have been very proud of her school and quite rightly too.  Well done to her, Fr Jan and the whole St Brigid's community.  And I am now the proud owner of a 60th Anniversary mug!

 

LETTER TO PARENTS ON TUESDAY

I hope that parents received the important letter (on blue paper) that was issued on Tuesday regarding the summer holiday and return to school arrangements.  If for any reason you did not it is on the website under ‘general letters' www.stacs.org 

 

HOUSE AWARDS 2010-2011

In conditions of great secrecy I am publishing the final results of our House Awards for the past year.  As everyone knows, this is the first year of vertical tutoring and, without a doubt, it has exceeded all our expectations.  A huge thank you to everyone involved especially the Heads of House who have worked tirelessly to make it such a success.  A special thank you must go to Miss Jordan who in addition to being Head of Martin House does an amazing job overseeing our rewards system and collating an enormous amount of information. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ROMERO HOUSE WHO ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

Well done to Mr Flood and all in Romero House for their achievement in becoming our inaugural winners of the House Championship.  The results were remarkably close with every House being within 900 points of Romero who were crowned Champions with a grand total of 3491 closely followed by Newman (3271) and John Paul (3019).  Bosco came fourth (2840); Martin were fifth (2839); Fisher sixth with 2812; More seventh (2791) and last but not least Teresa on 2569.  Well done everyone.

 

RETURN TO SCHOOL ARRANGEMENTS

All students return to school on Friday 2 September.  Year 7 should report at 8.35 am and the rest of the school including the Sixth Form at 1.45 pm.  ‘A' level results are available from 7.30 am on Thursday 18 August and the GCSE results can be collected from 10.00 am on Thursday 25 August. 

 

AND NOW FOR THE SPORTS DAY RESULTS - WELL DONE NEWMAN HOUSE

I suppose it was inevitable and believe me there have been several recounts but credit where credit is due - it's congratulations to Mr McInerney and Newman House on their victory at Sports Day.  With a grand total of 337 points Newman came home ahead of Teresa (321) and Romero (295).  The remaining results were Fisher (263); John Paul (248); Martin (202); Bosco (199) and More (190).  I must tell you that it was the worst weather for Sports Day that I have seen in 18 years but the spirits were not dampened for a moment - the students were fantastic!  Not a day for records but there are two to report which is quite remarkable.  Congratulations to Josh Cooke who set a new record for the Year 9 Boys' Long Jump and Liam Daly who did likewise in the Year 9 Boys' Shot Putt.  Well done Josh and Liam and well done everyone! 

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

A very popular winner of the Claret Jug.  The 2011 Open Golf Champion is Darren Clarke as we were correctly informed by Gemma Baker in Year 9 ( More 1A).   Well done Gemma who wins £5.

 

Yours sincerely

 

JIM FOLEY

Other News...