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Year 11 Celebration Mass - May 2024

Friday 3rd May, Year 11 began their special day of celebration on the playground with a Guard of Honour. This truly special year group deserved every minute of applause as they walked into the building to celebrate mass. Our theme was ‘Shining a Light’, and, following our opening procession we sang ‘Christ be our Light’ together. We heard prayers and readings from many students, before hearing from Fr. Stefan, who gave us advice for future successes. After communion, Andrew read our communion reflection, followed by a moment where the ‘light’ was passed from Harvey, in year 11 to his brother Harry, in year 7. This was followed by a lovely performance of ‘The Blessing’ sung by year 7. Finally, we all joined together for my favourite hymn, Shine Jesus Shine (thank you Year 11 for singing so joyfully!). Our mass was dedicated to our friend, Jake Timmis, who tragically died in 2020, and whose loss we feel especially at moments when our year group are together.

After mass, Mr Martin spoke to the year group, praising them for their exemplary conduct and attitude. And then, it was my turn to say some words, and I can truly say, this was a speech I had been dreading for five years, since becoming their HOY! I reminded them of the challenges they had supported each other through, and the difficulties they had overcome together. I know that within this year group are future success stories, but even now, these wonderful students have shown themselves to be outstanding in every way. From the small acts of kindness to large gestures of generosity, these students have gone above and beyond to make today, and this year, special.

Once the talks had finished, students watched the ‘Class of 2024’ video showing their first 5 years at STACS, from their year 6 induction day, up until this week. There were lots of laughs as they saw themselves growing up on screen, and memories of the many trips and experiences they have enjoyed.

Finally, students were given time so sign their school shirts, some of which had been beautifully decorated beforehand, with artwork, gems, glitter and even feathers! During the day I was delighted to see their shirts collecting more and more signatures. At lunch time, the fun continued, with a spectacular prom-posal – please check our socials for the video!

In my many years at St. Thomas Aquinas, May 3rd 2024 is one of the most memorable days, and a day this year group richly deserved. This year group are so ready to prove themselves in their GCSEs, but in addition to those formal qualifications, they have many virtues including eloquence, being intentional, attentive, compassionate, people of integrity, with a firm will to serve others, and I am blessed and privileged to call myself their Head of Year.

Good luck year 11, and may God bless you.

Mrs Lavelle
Head of Year 11

Year 11 Celebration Mass - May 2024