Head Teacher’s Blog 13th May 2019
This time of the year is always packed with special events for the school.
Last Tuesday, we had our second Dance Show and it was wonderful to see the Sports Hall filled with guests who were treated to a brilliant programme of varied dance styles from our thriving dance club. I was particularly struck by the way in which students are acting as choreographers and mentors to their younger peers showing the real team ethic and the progression in confidence and experience. Thanks to all of you who came out to the show and thanks again to the students and to Miss Wildes.
On Friday we had St Julie’s day and our celebrations to mark the last ‘normal’ school day for our Y11. It is one of my personal highlights every year, as the mood around school is always really happy. Over lunch time, we have students on the bungee run, or getting ice cream, while our Y11 students go round the school getting their leavers’ shirts signed. In the middle of the day, Fr Shaun kindly came in to celebrate the St Julie’s day mass with Y9 and he shared some great thoughts about the inspiration we can take from Julie. He drew parallels with people we see today and included some words from Michelle Obama’s autobiography which he had recently read. The school day finished with our Y11 leavers’ assembly, featuring some amazing live music and dancing from our students, farewell messages from form tutors and a guest appearance from Mr O’Sullivan. There were tears and laughter and I must thank Mrs Brookes for her hard work in preparing such a great way to mark this milestone.
Friday was topped off by the Centenary Ball, where parents, former students and members of staff gathered at the City Hall for a really lovely evening. We were well looked after by the City Hall and entertained by live music from The Grand Plan. It was great to enjoy time together as a wider community and I thank Mrs Parker Giblin and Mr Maydom for all the work that they put into the organisation of the event.
These moments of celebration are so special to me because they reflect the community and relationships that we enjoy and which support us in the day to day and in the harder times.
Outside of the special events, I also had the pleasure of getting into some lessons last week to help teachers with their routine review of approaches to assessment. No matter how many lessons I have seen, it never fails to impress me to watch the way in which students engage with challenging work, led by skilful teachers. The standard of discussion on complex content was very impressive, whether that was guided discussion with the teacher or more independent work between students. Some of the teachers were interested in the extent to which assessment is supporting long term learning and the conversations with students about this were really encouraging. For example, one student showed me examples of the way she makes flash cards summarising each topic and talked about how it was helping her to remember things she’d studied some time ago.
On the subject of day to day life in school, you will recall that I wrote to you just under two weeks ago to say that we would be inspected on the quality of the Catholic life of our school. I cannot yet share the result of that inspection, though I expect to have the report soon, which we will publish on our website and highlight for you. I did want to take a moment to thank the students and parents who made such an effort to talk to the inspectors about their typical experience of school life. It was very helpful to the inspection team in getting a sense of what the school is like, where our strengths are and what we can do to build on them.
This week, thanks to Mrs McCole and her family, members of staff will be wearing green ribbons in support of Mental Health Awareness Week. Teachers will look for opportunities to share some of the resources from the Mental Health Foundation, who have set ‘body image’ as a particular focus for this year’s awareness week. While we can and will do things in school to promote awareness and look at how we can have a healthier relationship with body image, it will be great if there is any opportunity to talk about these things at home. To help, I have included the link to the foundation’s website and resources to support this week. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
Dates for your diary
- · GCSE exams begin Monday 13th May*
- · A Level exams begin Monday 20th May*
- · Last day of this half term Friday 24th May
- · First day back after half term break Monday 3rd June
- · Centenary Summer Festival Thursday 27th June
- · Y6 Parents’ Evening (for parents of students joining Y7 in September) Wednesday 3rd July
- · Sports Presentation Evening Thursday 4th July
- · Last day of summer term for students Friday 19th July
*Note that there are some exams in some subjects prior to these dates, but this is when the main exam sessions start and when we suspend the normal timetable for these year groups
Things happening in school over the coming weeks
- · Y13 Leavers’ Mass 17th May
- · 19th June - Mass in Liverpool for 50th Anniversary of St Julie becoming a Saint. Some of our students, staff and governors will be representing us at the mass.
- · Enrichment Days; Monday and Tuesday 8th & 9th July
- · Sports Day; Friday 12th July
- · End of year assemblies, week beginning Monday 15th July
A word from the Modern Foreign Languages Department
Two weeks ago, we saw our Year 11 linguists sitting their French and Spanish GCSE oral exams. This can be an anxious and stressful time for our Year 11 pupils! We were very impressed with the preparation and effort that the pupils had put into these exams and they made a positive start to the exam season. Good luck Year 11!
If you would like to test yourself and see how much you remember from your own MFL exam days, try one of our practice role-plays!
Estas hablando con tu amigo español /tu amiga española sobre el futuro:
- Tus planes para los estudios en septiembre (dos detalles)
- Tu trabajo en el futuro y una razón
- Tu opinión sobre el dinero (un detalle)
- ? La universidad
Vous parlez avec le serveur / la serveuse dans un restaurant en Belgique :
- Problème avec le repas (deux détails)
- Dernière visite au restaurant – quand et avec qui
- Solution possible (Un détail)
- ? Dessert