I am writing with some personal news which will lead to changes at English Martyrs.
This week I have accepted the post of Head of Glenstal Abbey School, a Benedictine boarding school in Limerick, Ireland. After 14 very happy and fulfilling years at English Martyrs, I will be completing my work here at the end of term.
English Martyrs is a wonderful school, and I have been extremely privileged to lead this community at a time of great growth and development. Academic standards have steadily risen and students now leave our Sixth Form ready and equipped to access degrees in the finest universities in the UK and across the world. Over the years we have completely rebuilt the school and now boast fabulous facilities for teaching and learning, the Arts, Sports, Special Needs and Sixth Form. As a school specialising in the Arts, we have built up a reputation for wonderful music, dance and drama learning and performances, and everyone has had a lot of fun too.
Above all, it is the Catholic character of English Martyrs that makes it so special. We are a school where people put Jesus’ commandment to ‘love one another’ into action and I am constantly humbled by the tremendous acts of kindness and care I witness on a daily basis from students and staff alike. As we have returned to a more usual pattern of life this term, the celebrations of Mass – the Dedication of Studies Mass and Voluntary Masses, have been so beautifully led by students and so prayerfully celebrated.
Although I will miss our lovely young people and staff, I will leave the school with so many happy and proud memories of all our students and their diverse accomplishments. English Martyrs is truly a school where everyone can be good at something, and this is because of the dedication to duty of all our staff – teachers and support staff, who work with a tremendous sense of purpose in the service of our young people. I also wish to thank you parents for the tremendous support you always give me and the teachers on a day to day basis.
Of course, I am not leaving just yet, and there will be plenty to do in the coming weeks. Together with Mr Lockyer and the Senior Leadership Team we will be putting arrangements in place to secure a smooth transition into the new year with continuity of approach, continued maintenance of high standards and excellent behaviour and tremendous success for everyone. Mr Lockyer will write to you in due course to let you know more about this.
Meanwhile may I ask you to pray for me as I complete my time at English Martyrs’ Catholic School, and prepare for my new appointment in Ireland.