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Friday Letter - Issue 32

DEAR PARENTS

 

A PRAYER FROM THE YEAR OF FAITH

This is our faith.  This is the faith of the Church.  We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

 

A PRAYER FOR CALM DURING EXAMS
Lord teach me how to still my racing thoughts, help me to come to you arguing nothing, pleading nothing, asking nothing, except to be still in your presence.  Give me the faith that will enable me to lay my burdens at your feet, and to leave them there in exchange for peace which passes all understanding.  Amen

 

YEAR 13 LEAVERS' MASS AND CELEBRATION TODAY
Today we were looking forward to one of the major events of the school year.  Our most senior students in Year 13 were celebrating their final Mass together as a year group.  Most of them have been with us for the past 7 years and they will have lost count of the number of Masses they have attended.   I am quite sure, however, that they will never forget today's celebration.  Thank you, as ever, to Fr Jan for being with us once again, to Anne-Marie, Mrs James, Mr Smith, Mr Martin and everyone involved in preparing for today.  Above all, we wish every single one of our Year 13 students good luck with their examinations (read the prayer above) and good luck in their future lives whatever is in store for them.  May God bless them all.

 

LOVELY MASS AT ST JOHN FISHER LAST SATURDAY EVENING
It was a pleasure to join Fr George, Deacon Paul and the congregation of St John Fisher parish at the 6.00pm Mass last Saturday evening.  Fr George gave us a warm welcome and thanked everyone present for their contribution.  It was my final parish Mass as Headteacher of St Thomas Aquinas but I am sure this great tradition will continue for many years to come.  Well done to everyone involved.

 

GOOD LUCK TO THE LOURDES PARTY NEXT WEEK
Bright and early tomorrow morning our Lourdes party will depart from St Chad's in a double decker bus on the long journey to the south of France.  Meanwhile Fr Jan and the St Brigid's group will be travelling a little quicker by air.  They will all meet up at the Beau Site Hotel in Lourdes and together with all the other pilgrims from the Diocese will have a wonderful week spiritually and socially.  Do remember to keep them In your prayers and especially those pilgrims who are suffering from sickness or disability for whom Lourdes is such a special place.  We look forward to hearing a full report from Mr Smyllie and his team shortly.

 

B30 FOOD BANK IN COTTERIDGE SAYS THANK YOU

Last Friday evening it was a privilege to hand over a cheque to Nicola Human representing the B30 Food Bank in Cotteridge.  We were delighted to raise £1,148.60 during our Lenten charities collection to support the Food Bank.  I am also delighted to say that our support will continue in a practical way from now on.  We have agreed that each house will collect specific items for the Food Bank initially on a monthly basis.  Through the Friday Letter we will make clear the item we are seeking (for example, bags of sugar) and we will publish the results of the appeal by weight house by house the following week.  Watch this space.

 

B30 QUIZ NIGHT LAST FRIDAY
As indicated above we gathered last Friday evening to support the Food Bank via our annual quiz night.  A huge thank you to Tony Kenny and his team for organising it all even if he did leave us all baffled asking about the answers and winners of various Friday Letter quiz questions over the past 5 years.  Modesty prevents me from telling you who won but I was disappointed not to be able display a trophy at Staff Briefing this week.  On the other hand, the staff were not!  We were delighted that the evening raised a further £253 for the Food Bank.  Well done everyone.

 

WELCOME TO TWO NEW COLLEAGUES
This week we were pleased to welcome Mrs Pam Homer, our new examinations officer and Mr Sean Ogleby who joins the Technology Faculty during Mrs Chew's maternity leave.  We wish Pam and Sean every success in their careers at St Thomas Aquinas.

 

OUTSTANDING HUMANITIES PRESENTATION TO GOVERNORS LAST THURSDAY

Congratulations to Mrs Lavin, Head of the Humanities Faculty who led an outstanding presentation of the faculty's work last Thursday.  Mrs Lavin was well supported by her faculty team and some fantastic students representing the three key stages in our school.  Congratulations to - Pablo Allan, Charlotte Behan, Jennie Blackford, Ryan Crozier, Rian Doherty, Kelis Douglas-Simmonds, Charmaine Espinoza, Alice Evans 

Maisie Gough, Gerard Henry, Matthew Holmes, Hannah Kenny, Lauren Murphy, Matthew Pakes, and Sophie Roberts.

 

SWAN KS3 ANNUAL LANGUAGE ROLE PLAYCOMPETITION REPORT FROM MISS RADINEZ

Well done to Wiktoria Bak and Chloe Hadley! Our gifted Year 8 girls took part in a language role-play competition at Lordswood Girls School on Wednesday 21 May. Chloe and Wiktoria performed a scene at the doctor's surgery in French. The girls proudly represented Saint Thomas Aquinas and won the competition with flying colours.  A huge thank you to our Foreign Language Assistant, Audrey Ducharme for her preparation and coaching.

 

EXCITING NEWS FROM MR LOVE AND THE SCIENCE FACULTY
Mr Love extends a warm welcome to join him in Lab 3 after school each Tuesday for an hour.  At the STEM Club there will be lots of bangs, fizzes, flames, explosions and general excitement.  The first session on 3 June is flames and making bouncy balls.  Everyone is welcome.  And also a budding group of scientists will shortly be sending a near space probe into near space.  Look out for exciting news  in the near future.

 

IMPORTANT STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE THIS WEEK
This week we have been running an important online questionnaire with every student in our school.  As you know, we spend a huge amount of time talking to our students particularly groups such as the Junior Leadership Team.  However, it is also essential that every single student from Year 7 to Year 13 has the opportunity to express their views, to tell us what we do well and what we might do better in the future.  After half term we will be sharing the results with our students and with you as parents.  And on the same theme we will be taking the opportunity on 11 July, Target Review Day, to ask you as parents for your views of our school which we last did in November.  Thank you, as always, for your support.

 

SPORTS NEWS

Congratulations to our Under 14 Girls who reached the West Midlands Cup Final.  Unfortunately they lost 5-0 to Sandwell Academy (which apparently does not reflect the game in any way).  Irrespective of the score line we are very proud of them and it's fantastic that they had the experience of playing at a Premier League ground, The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion FC.  Well done girls and thank you to Mrs Tierney.

 

Well done also to our 70 strong Athletics Team that took part on Wednesday at the South Birmingham Championships which were held at the Abbey Stadium in Redditch.  Amongst lots of great performances we recorded 8 victories.  Well done to Jade Lediard (100 and 200 metres, Year 8); Turaya Bryan-Tracey (100 metres, Year 9); Donchae Williams (200 metres, high jump, Year 9); Juliette Olumiyuwa, (long jump, Year 9); Bethany Field, (shot put, Year 9); 4 x 100 metres relay, Year 9.  Amazing achievements - well done to them all.  And thank you too to Mr Pickard and the PE Faculty.

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Congratulations to Michaela Makusha from Year 7 (Fisher House 3B) who correctly informed me that the 2014 FA Cup winners are Arsenal following their victory over Hull City.  Hard luck to those people who emailed me before the game was played!  Well done Michaela who wins £10.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION
Yesterday important elections took place to the European Parliament and Birmingham City Council.  For the possibility of winning £10 can you tell me the name of the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)  Email me on j.foley@stacs.bham.sch.uk and don't forget to tell me who you are.

Yours sincerely
JIM FOLEY
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