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End of Term Letter - December 2021

Dear Parents

This has been a very dynamic, fast paced half term, with our A c c e l e r a t e philosophy driving so many wonderful activities in and out of class. I have visited many lessons, and have been impressed with the excellent behaviour and focus, as well as the good presentation in books. We have now completed 17 weeks of the school year which means we are essentially half way through the academic year. Things are going well in school and several hundred students have been nominated by their teachers for a coveted English Martyrs’ Pen. It has been an honour to present these to them.

Spiritual Life

Thank you to everyone for the Advent Charity collections for City of Sanctuary and Keep the Beat which have been very well supported.

Attendance at Voluntary Mass on Fridays during Advent has been wonderful with about 150 students each week. We have outgrown the Chapel capacity and Mass has been celebrated in the Exhibition Area or the Auditorium.

Particular Highlights

Extra-curricular activities are going really well with huge numbers of students participating. This is such a tremendous feature of what is on offer at English Martyrs’ - I do hope that anyone who is not taking part in an after school club will do so in the new year.

Among the many highlights of this half term the following deserve a particular mention. Congratulations to Anjelita Joseph, Year 9, who has won the local Leicestershire heat of Futurechef, and we wish her good luck in the Regional heats in January.

The highly successful Aspire Club and High Flyer Programme have stretched and challenged our more able students across KS3 and KS4 this term. Our thanks to the 36 Sixth Form Aspire Champions for leading High Flyer teams to produce outstanding presentations on vaccines in November and their final assignments due in January.

Having recently completed the virtual London Marathon, students in the running club are now working towards a Pennine Way Virtual Challenge – 286 miles are required to earn our first school medal. Meanwhile, our football teams have achieved notable success in regional and national competitions.

Our Debating Club has had lively and entertaining arguments on a range of issues from a small group of Year 11s and our Year 10 Public Speaking team successfully made it into the next round of the ESU Churchill Public Speaking Competition.

Students in Years 11-13 achieved success in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge and the History Department has led a range of events and trips on local history, including Leicester Suffragette, Alice Hawkins. In November, the Year 9 International Day led by the French Department highlighted the importance of communication and international relations.

A number of Year 7 students have exchanged Christmas Cards with penpals in College Villebois-Mareuil and in RE, Year 7 Presepe projects are outstanding, and are currently on display in the Exhibition Area.

Year 7 students have also been working extremely hard to raise some much-needed funds for local charity "KeeptheBeat". This charity supports children born with congenital heart defects and offers vital support to their families. Students from each tutor group have donated a huge number of luxury Christmas items which were made into 8 individual hampers and raffled today. With the help of the Sixth form committee, Year 7 have given up their breaks and lunchtimes to sell tickets and raise as much money as possible.

In Performing Arts, rehearsals have been going extremely well for our production of Mary Poppins in February, and the cast are working ahead of schedule. The design team have also been working incredibly hard to create some interesting set and props too.

Schola Cantorum had a magnificent weekend in York with ‘Gabrieli Roarperforming Haydn’s Creation with other young singers from across the north of England in York Minster. They reprised part one of this performance at the St Cecilia Concert at school, which also featured the school choir singing Bohemian Rhapsody, the Junior Choir singing Rise Up and Glorious and the Jazz band performing Sweet Georgia Brown and the Orchestra performing Hungarian Dance No.5.

Many of these performers are, as I write, preparing the Christmas Carol Services with which everyone will end the term.

In recent weeks students have had many tests and assessments and teachers have all reported very strong commitment by all students.

Enormous thanks go to the teachers who have planned and undertaken these opportunities for our young people, as voluntary activities in addition to their main teaching role. Thanks also to them for all the work planning lessons and recently marking examinations.

Staying Safe on-line

A reminder to parents about the importance of keeping their children safe on-line. Parents should be aware of what websites their children are accessing and who they are talking to on-line including on games platforms. Please note that the school website has a range of resources for parents and students to help them keep safe on-line. These can be accessed through the e-safety button on the quick links page of the school website.

New Term - First Day arrangements

Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests on Wednesday 5th January 2022

The government has asked schools to conduct supervised on-site Covid tests at the start of term in January. In order to minimise the disruption this causes we are going to complete all tests in one day.

No lessons will be held that day - students will come in for their Covid test and then go straight home afterwards. Parents will be able to use the school car park for drop off and pick up but cannot accompany students into the testing centre.

Students should come to school for their tests at the times listed below. For example, students whose surnames begin with the letter A (in all Year groups Yr 7 -13) should come in at 8.30am.

Test Time

Surnames beginning with

Test Time

Surnames beginning with