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End of Term Letter from Mr Carney

Dear Parents

This has been one of the longest school half terms I can ever remember, lasting a full nine weeks – almost as long as a full term at some universities! I would like to begin by thanking our wonderful students for the dedication and commitment they have shown to their studies and school activities this term which has been exemplary, as has been behaviour. It is very pleasing to note that Attendance this term to date is 96.4%.

Towards the end of the half term students have taken a number of examinations and it is pleasing to see that for so many of them the results are excellent. Students now have clear insights into their strengths and weaknesses and know what they need to learn and revise. One of the innovations this term has been the introduction of "Show my homework" and I should like to thank parents and students for the positive feedback we have received about the helpfulness of this app.

I would like to thank all the teachers for their ongoing work and expertise in offering students such a rich and balanced curriculum experience, and particularly for preparing students for their examinations. I am delighted to note that we have once again received a certificate from ALPS denoting "Outstanding Progress" of students in the Sixth Form 2019. Well done to those students, now studying at a variety of excellent universities, and to their teachers.

Our spiritual life during this half term has been very rich, including Masses held for all members of the school to celebrate the Feast of all Saints and a very well attended voluntary Mass of Requiem for the Dead held during November. Alongside our assemblies to commemorate the canonisation of England's new saint, St John Henry Newman, we held a special Mass in honour of Kerala’s new saint, Saint Mariam Thresia. This was the first time we had liturgical music in the Malayalam language (spoken in Kerala) sung in our Chapel here and it was expertly led by our students. At the start of this new church year it has been lovely to see students taking part with such energy and imagination in a variety of fundraising activities and I must congratulate Year 7 who have made beautiful Christmas cribs or 'Presepe' as they are called in Italy. This term we have also had a stunning drama showcase and a beautiful Saint Cecilia Concert featuring large numbers of students, and the highlight of the busy sporting season has been the weekly news of the success of our Year 9 Boys' Football team who made it all the way to the quarter-finals of the National Cup. Congratulations to these boys and Mr Nicholson and to all students who have represented the school with such distinction this term.


Development Trust Gifts

Our English Martyrs’ Development Trust is now in the second year of its operation and I would like to thank those parents who contribute to this charity every month. In total to date the charity has raised more than £10,000 to help our school be a better school. This term our boys and girls football team have received a new strip paid for by the Trust and each student in Year 7 was given a reading book again made possible by a grant from the Trust. Currently a group of Sixth Form are building a drone, the parts of which are paid for by our charity, and the Trust is also promoting a project to encourage more students to take up playing Brass instruments such as the trumpet. All of these are very worthy projects and we have many more ideas in the pipeline. Should you wish to make a donation or a business donation to the Trust please contact the school finance office and ask for Mrs Loakes.

Thank you to Whites Electrical Contractors who kindly donated the Christmas Tree currently in the school reception - it is lovely that we are able to carry on these traditions due to the generosity of local businesses.


Staying Safe on-line

With the holiday coming up, a reminder to parents about the importance of keeping their children safe online. 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.


Farewell and Welcome

At the end of term we say farewell to Mr King, Miss Jackson and Mr Bicknell who leave us to take up new positions elsewhere, and we thank them for their teaching here. In January we welcome back to school Mrs Suraweera to the Science Faculty, following her maternity leave, Mr Handley to the Mathematics Faculty and Dr Joshi to the Science Faculty.


Start of term 2019

We look forward to welcoming students Years 7-13 back into school on Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 8.25am.


Parents Consultation meeting for Year 11 is on Thursday 16th January, 3.30 – 6.00pm and Year 10 is on Thursday 23rd January, 3.30 – 6.00pm.


Severe Weather

In the event that the school were to be closed due to winter weather there would be an announcement on the school’s website, the school’s switchboard and via BBC Radio Leicester 104.9 FM. Clearly we hope to operate school as usual every day. Unless an announcement is made please assume the school is open.


Term Dates

Please click here for the Term Dates as agreed for all schools in the St Thomas Aquinas Trust for 2021/2022. Finally, may I wish everyone every blessing of Our Lord’s Nativity; a happy and holy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


Yours sincerely

Marius Carney


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