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Start of Term Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents

A very Happy New Year to you and your families.

In my assemblies for the new year I have reminded students about the importance of building the year ahead on strong foundations, and we have considered several pieces of advice from the Bible. The prophet Micah reminds us that God requires us “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly”; St Paul prompts us to live these virtues – “faith, hope and charity”. Hopefully these values of humility, respect for God, ourselves and others will be the bedrock on which we all build our lives in 2020. With regards our studies I have reminded our young people that we all have different gifts and abilities and each of us is called to make the most of them. This requires an active choice and commitment. As Theodore Roosevelt said “You can’t choose your potential, but you can choose to fulfil it.” In assembly I have reminded students of their obligation to recognise and enjoy their talents and to share their abilities with others. This term everyone needs to take study seriously and ensure that they are fully prepared for lessons with all the necessary equipment and their diary. Everyone must not only work hard in lessons themselves but help others to succeed. As well as completing all homework, it is essential for long term learning that all students regularly review their work daily and weekly. Finally, there are a great number of extra-curricular activities on offer in school. Involvement in these is proven to improve a students’ all round performance and the sharing of talents benefits everyone. So all students should be taking part in something!


Advent Charity Fund Raising - thank you

During Advent we raised £1530 for the following charities: CAFOD, City of Sanctuary and Keep the Beat. A very big thank you to all members of the school for taking part so well in our Advent Fund raising.


Diocesan Canonical Inspection – November 2019

We have now received the report from our recent Diocesan Canonical Inspection which took place in November and inspects the Catholic Life, Religious Education and Collective Worship of the school. I am pleased to tell you that it makes an extremely positive and uplifting read. The full 10-page report including inspectors’ recommendations is available here.

These are some of the comments:

  • “The school’s motto, ‘May they all be one’ is a true cornerstone of the school.

  • There is a very strong sense of community at English Martyrs’ and pupils are very proud of their school. They show a deep respect for each other and particularly value the contributions made by those pupils and staff of other faiths and backgrounds.

  • Pupils’ behaviour is exceptionally good. They show great consideration to others and are very well supported by a highly effective system of pastoral care.

  • Staff and pupils commented on the very positive relations within the school, which are founded on genuine respect for each other.

  • The physical environment clearly reflects the Catholic identity of the school. There are many different visual representation of the Catholic character of the school. In particular, staff and pupils are rightly very proud of the prayer boards seen in every form room.

  • Staff within the school promote very high standards of behaviour and pupils respond very positively to this. Pupils benefit from high quality pastoral care and support.

  • Lessons visited during the inspection showed a range of teaching strategies being used; in particular, there was evidence of debate, discussion, a range of questioning strategies and creativity.

  • Inspectors observed some excellent examples of [pupil-led prayer] when there were opportunities to extend this worship for the full form period and pupils had planned a reflection.

  • There are regular opportunities for pupils and staff to pray together. Pupils are encouraged to write and share their own prayers in form time and are all comfortable and confident in doing so.

  • There is an unwavering commitment to inclusivity so that, regardless of background, all young people in the community are able to benefit from a very effective Catholic education.”

Congratulations to everyone in the community on this very affirming report and thank you to all of the staff, particularly the Chaplain James Noakes, Head of Religious Education Faculty, Mr J White and Head of Religious Education, Mr D Boonham together with Mr S Gonzalo, Mr F Alessandrelli and Mr L Leonard for everything they do for the school each day.



At the start of term may I ask you to remind your child, to keep safe whilst travelling to and from school. Where possible, they should not walk alone, especially in unlit or quiet areas; they should not talk to strangers and should report any concerns they have to home, police or school.


Seasonal ‘Bugs’

The NHS reminds us that school communities are particularly susceptible to infections which increase over the winter months, such as seasonal influenza (flu) and stomach infections (such as norovirus). The spread of these illnesses can be limited by infection control practices by all of us. Therefore I would like to remind everyone about the need for regular washing of hands and good respiratory hygiene.

Catch it - Germs spread easily. Always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.

Bin it - Germs can live for several hours on tissues. Dispose of your tissue as soon as possible.

Kill it - Hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch. Clean your hands as soon as you can.


Coming up this term - School Show ‘Hairspray Jnr’

Students are performing ‘Hairspray’ at 6.00pm on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th February 2020, which promises to be an excellent night out - tickets are priced at £10 - Adult and £5 - Concession. Tickets are available from the School Office. Students attending the show should be accompanied by an adult.


Bardi Young Musician 2020 Concert

On Sunday 26th January at 3.00pm we are hosting the Bardi Orchestra Young Musician 2020 Concert in the Auditorium. The very attractive programme includes a number of famous pieces and features the Bardi Young Musician of the Year 2020, our own Year 11 student Szymon Mosciszko performing, Chaminade’s Concertino for flute and orchestra. The full programme for the concert includes: Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture “Fingals Cave” and Haydn’s Symphony No 101 “The Clock”. Tickets can be purchased from and are priced at £12.00, Concession £10.00 and 18 and under/NUS are £3.00 each.



As part of the Erasmus Project we will be welcoming students and staff from Spain, Finland, France and Romania for the week commencing Sunday 2nd February. Students will be spending time in our school as well as visiting the British Museum, London, Blenheim Palace, Oxford, the Richard III Museum and Leicester Cathedral.


ESU Competition

The English Speaking Union Public Speaking competition will be held at English Martyrs on Monday 20th January, 4.30pm-7.45pm. Good luck to our two Year 10 teams who are taking part. Audience members are welcome, free of charge.


Parents’ Consultation Meetings

This half term we are holding the crucially important Parents’ Consultation meetings for Year 11, 10 and 8. These are booked using the new online system. To book your appointment go to http:// To begin you will simply need your child’s legal first name and legal surname and your child’s date of birth.

Year 11 - Thursday 16th January 2020 - 3.30 - 6.00pm

Year 10 - Thursday 23rd January 2020 - 3.30 - 6.00pm

Year 8 - Thursday 28th January - 4.00 - 6.00pm Careers and Advice Fair

Year 8X (Alban, Campion, Clitheroe and Fisher) - Thursday 6th February 2020 - 3.30 - 6.00pm

Year 8Y (Line, More, Sherwin and Ward) - Thursday 13th February 2020 - 3.30 - 6.00pm


May I wish everyone health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year.

Yours sincerly

Marius Carney


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