Newsletter May 2012
Welcome to the May 2012 edition of Saint Paul's Academy's newsletter!
In this issue:
- Leavers’ Banquet
- New Head Boy and Head Girl chosen
- Good news about Martin
- Jess returns
- Patronal Feast Day
- Step into Dance
- Parenting Initiative
- Please Note
- Our School Uniform shop opening soon
- Gaelic Football
- Important Dates
- Holiday dates
Dear Parents and Carers
“It is very hard to believe that, yet again, it is time to say goodbye to our Year 11 students. They have been an outstanding year group, not only in their achievements, but also in what they have given to the school. They are a credit, not only to you, but to all members of the English and Communications Learning Zone, who have looked after them for the past five years.”
Patrick Winston, Principal
Every year, I am amazed at the Leavers’ Banquet, how the boys and girls we have seen in school every day suddenly become young men and women ready to go out and take their place in the world. This year was no exception. The appearance and behaviour of students was impeccable and the photographs will be available on our website in the near future.
New Head Boy and Head Girl chosen
We have to elect a new Head Boy and Head Girl, their deputies and a team of Ambassadors and the responsibility for overseeing this process fell this year to the Mathematics and Commerce Learning Zone. At Saint Paul’s Academy, we are committed to leadership at all levels and in order to ensure that the right student leaders were selected, there is a rigorous nomination and interview process. In order to be nominated, students must have a very good behaviour, attendance and punctuality record and then it is down to the year group to vote. The result of this vote produces a shortlist and then a panel of staff, which this year consisted of Ms Wheeler, Mr Ring, Mr Smyth, Mrs Webb and Mr Cameron, interviews each candidate.
This year, the decision was extremely difficult and any of the candidates could have been appointed, but eventually it was decided that Georgia Moore should be Head Girl and Sammy Shittu her deputy. Chigozie Orjih was elected as Head Boy and his deputy will be Raphael President. All the other candidates will be School Ambassadors and work with the Head Boy and Head Girl on many important occasions, such as Open Day and Awards Evening; they will also often be representatives of the student body when we have visitors in school.
“We wish them all every success in their new roles.”
Good news about Martin
Many of you will be aware that, just after Christmas, a student in Year 7, Martin Shittu, became extremely unwell and was in a coma at King’s College Hospital for several weeks. I am delighted to tell you that, after a very difficult few weeks, Martin is now making significant progress. The support we have been able to give Martin demonstrates the strength of our community; his family and staff at King’s College, both in the Intensive Care Unit and on the Children’s Ward, have been overwhelmed by the support Martin has received from Saint Paul’s. I have visited Martin on a regular basis, as have other members of staff and cards, presents and messages have been sent from staff and students throughout the school. As a thank you present from the school for the care they have given Martin, we are presenting the Children’s Ward with a wheelchair, which they desperately need, as well as some small gifts to help enhance the time that children spend in hospital.
In the February Newsletter, I wrote about Jess Nelson and the inspiration she has been to all of us during her struggle with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. This term we were delighted to welcome Jess back, and her efforts to educate people and raise money have continued. Just after the Easter holiday, we welcomed Matt Bassett from the Teenage Cancer Trust, who talked to students about how cancer is one of the lastremaining taboo subjects and how they could take sensible measures to reduce the risk of developing this disease. After his visit, Mr Bassett said “I was genuinely moved and inspired by my visit to the school today. The warm welcome made me feel like I was part of your community for the short time I was with you. The tour of the school was fantastic and really interesting to see. I can’t remember a time in any school where I have witnessed all the pupils so positively engaged in a learning environment. Amazing!” We can ask for no greater accolade.
Patronal Feast Day
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, our Patronal Feast Day, is on 29th June; we will celebrate this day with period one suspended in order to allow all members of our community to attend a voluntary Mass at 8.30am, if they so wish. During the rest of the day, Years 7 to 10 will undertake activities to raise money for charity and it seems very appropriate that this year we will divide all proceeds between the Teenage Cancer Trust and The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, where Martin Shittu is recovering. I know that, yet again, the generosity of our community will be overwhelming.
Step into Dance
This year, we were again delighted to host the highly successful ‘Step into Dance Event’ at Saint Paul’s Academy which is sponsored by the Royal Academy of Dance and the Jack Petchey Foundation. The evening demonstrated a huge passion for dance amongst students across the borough and gave students, in our case Year 10 girls, a chance to work with a professional choreographer for a term in order to create a dance routine. One of the joys of this project is the fact that so many different types of dance are represented, from hip hop and contemporary to jazz and street, and that students are given the experience of working very closely as a team. This year we are also taking part in the ‘Dancing Streets’ project run by Greenwich Dance Agency; for this event, our most able students will represent the school at an all day street performance in Woolwich Town Centre. Dance Club takes place after school on Tuesdays for Years 7 to 10; everyone is very welcome.
A recent initiative which has caused great enthusiasm in Year 10 is the Parenting Awareness Unit in the Personal and Social Development course. This unit is aimed at giving young people a taste of how demanding being a parent can be and individual topics have included:
- Financial implications of having children
- Visits to Mulberry Park Children’s Centre
- Two sessions on childbirth
- The role of the NSPCC and a session with real babies, which all the students very much enjoyed
However, the highlight of the course was the Ready or Not Tot Virtual Baby Project which involved students taking a virtual baby home for the weekend. On the Monday following this experiment, several Year 10 students were noticeably sleepdeprived and they were all convinced that parenthood should be a long way in the future!
As you are all very well aware, at Saint Paul’s Academy, we consider your sons’ and daughters’ safety to be of the utmost importance. If students do not feel safe and secure, they are not in a position to maximise their learning opportunities.
For this reason, I must remind you that any student found in possession of a weapon or object which could be used as a weapon will be dealt with very severely.
Replica guns and BB guns fall into this category; the Law makes it very clear that these items cannot be used in any public area without specific permission and any students found in possession of any sort of weapon will be the subject of a Police investigation.
It has also been brought to my attention that a very small minority of students are attempting to sell counterfeit goods in school. Obviously, this is illegal and, again, the Police will be immediately involved if any student is suspected of this activity. I would also like to remind you of the law regarding Joint Enterprise, which states very clearly that by being present at a crime and not attempting to stop it in any way, makes an individual as guilty as the actual perpetrator. I am confident, as always, that you will support me on these very important issues.
Our School Uniform shop opening soon
As a community, we pride ourselves on the appearance of our students and as you will know from previous newsletters, we have our own school uniform shop based at the Academy, opening soon.
This will be run by Academy staff and after half-term you will be informed of ordering procedures and opening times; I am sure that this new arrangement will eliminate the problems that I know you have experienced in the past.
It has also been brought to my notice that, not unsurprisingly in a time of Recession, some families are experiencing some financial hardship which makes it impossible for them to replace items of school uniform, particularly shoes. Uniform grants are no longer available, but if you are experiencing real difficulty, please do not hesitate to contact our Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, Ms O’Connor, at the school.
Primary School Competition
On Thursday 29th March, the Sports Department welcomed over 60 boys from six local primary schools to Saint Paul’s Academy for an inaugural Gaelic Football competition.
After five tough rounds, Saint Peter’s and Saint Patrick’s primary schools topped the group. This gave both schools the opportunity to compete in the final for the honour of primary school Gaelic football champions.
Saint Peter’s led for most of the final but right at the death Saint Patrick’s snatched a late goal to win by one single point. Heartbreak for Saint Peter’s but absolute delight for the boys from Saint Patrick’s.
The excellent summer weather contributed to a wonderful afternoon of sport. The level of skill displayed was very pleasing and bodes well for the future of Gaelic football at Saint Paul’s Academy.
Gaelic football club continues every Saturday at Saint Paul’s Academy throughout the summer term from 9:15am to 11:30am. Coaching is free of charge and both boys and girls are welcome from the ages of 8 to 12.
|Friday, 15th June||Year10 Languages Day|
|Wednesday, 20th June||Science module tests
Induction Evening for new students
|Thursday, 21st June||Feile Peil na nOg Competition: Co. Laois & Co. Offaly|
|Friday, 29th June||Celebration of the school feast day|
|Wednesday, 4th July||Induction day for new students
Enrichment Day for students in Yrs 7 – 10
|Friday, 20th July||Last day of term|
|Summer Term||Monday, 23rd April 2012 to Friday, 20th July 2012|
|Summer Half Term||Monday, 4th June 2012 to Friday, 8th June 2012|
|Autumn Term||Tuesday, 4th September 2012
(Year 7 only return)
Wednesday, 5th September 2012
(Year 8 – 11 return)
Friday, 21st December 2012
|Autumn Half Term||Monday, 29th October 2012 to Friday, 2nd November 2012|
|Spring Term||Monday, 7th January 2013 to Thursday, 28th March 2013|
|Spring Half Term||Monday, 18th Feb. 2013 to Friday, 22nd Feb. 2013|
|Summer Term||Monday, 15th April 2013 to Friday, 19th July 2013|
|Summer Half Term||Monday, 27th May 2013 to Friday, 31st June 2013|