Monday 30th September to Friday 4th December 2015
A warm Welcome
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The last half term started with some sense of purpose and amazing levels of learning as we achieved last year. Our new Year 7 students have settled in well to the St Edmund’s family and adapted incredibly well to ‘big school’. Attending the Year 7 retreat, it was great to see students earn their first spiritual badge and I know that many have been awarded their super star starter certificate.
Across the school students have adjusted well to ‘moving up’ and the changes that brings. Our new Year 11 prefect team have made an incredible start both in their duties and their contribution to the ethos of the school. I have no doubt that they will live up to the standards previously set and are aiming to achieve their own individual aspirations.
As you may be aware, we celebrated fantastic results again this summer and we are looking forward to welcoming our former students back to receive their certificates on Wednesday 18th November. Our amazing results are testament to the hard work of students, staff and parents. As well as the high standards and expectations we seek to maintain at all times. This is in terms of behaviour, homework, learning, attitude and conduct to and from school. I have been blessed to see (and even taste) some amazing homework this half term. My thanks to all parents, family, friends who support and encourage.
This term in school we have a number of key things we are focussing on. These include:
·Language - how we use language and communicate effectively and positively.
·Movement/Change - adapting to all the summer improvements, ie: the new Reception.
·The Beatitudes: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
These are in addition to maintaining outstanding progress, learning and behaviour. As you may know we were graded as outstanding in the summer term.
Finally, I would ask that you help ensure the safety of our children when dropping off/picking up. It is illegal to park on the yellow zig zag/double yellow lines, so we have a duty to report you. Two parents have received fines this half term despite our attempts to warn, cajole and avoid this situation. However, the safety of our children is paramount. The council are looking at further strategies and have invited you to respond via letter to the school.
Termly Focus: Language
Over the next few weeks we will pass through several ‘moments’ e.g. fireworks night on 5th November, Remembrance (8th November) and St Edmund’s day (16th November) and St Andrews’ day (in Scotland) to name but a few. These events celebrate our history, liberty and democracy. At St Edmund’s we are very proud to be the only Catholic (Christian) School in Portsmouth. We celebrate our faith and the beliefs of others.
Our language and the way we use it is essential to ensure that our values are maintained and continue to remain strong. So using foul, homophobic or racist language will always result in a ‘loss of freedom’ and is unacceptable. Our language can make someone’s day, cause joy or pain, even change someone’s mood or mind. Our values are clear and we must use positive language to ensure they are maintained.
We are fortunate that within our family here at St Edmund’s we have strong values and we do not use such language.
This term we are also focusing on the Beatitudes of Mercy and I am aware that the Chaplaincy Team have a lot planned so please support and show mercy.
Have a good week,
Mr Graham, Headteacher
Tapping Into Talent
Have you ever wondered what special gene or baby formula makes the natural Mozart, Michaelangelo and Einstein? More importantly, have you discarded dreams of achieving similar heights, of nurturing talents worthy of a gallery exhibition or an Olympic event?
During the ‘Raise the bar’ talent show on Friday evening, I listened and watched in amazement at the wonderful singing and dancing performances by our students. I am also fortunate enough to observe lots of lessons where students never cease to impress me with their academic and creative talents. Many people assume that talents are purely inherited; that you have to belong to the right family or have the lineage of artists in order to manifest your genius. But while genetics does play a role in the development of talent, external factors like life experiences, dedicated study and consistent practice also play a role in maximizing your potential. Remember that you don’t have to be content with just the obvious talents that you have! You also have hidden aptitudewaiting to be discovered
In St Paul’s letter to the Roman’s (12;6) Pauls says
“We have different gifts according to the grace given to us…” and in his first letter to the Corinthians (12-7)
‘’We are given spiritual gifts so that others might benefit’’
Let us then think about the gifts which have been given to us and the gifts yet to be discovered. These gifts must not be wasted and where possible, be used in the service of others.
A prayer for Year 11 students in preparation for Mock Examinations and all students:
I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.
Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying ,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself.
Advent 2015: Hope
This week is the first week of Advent. Advent began on Sunday. Advent simply means ‘to come’; it is a time of waiting, a period of four weeks; a time of preparation for Christ’s birth. Each Year Level will be having a Reconciliation Service either on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, where both students and staff will have time to stop and reflect in preparation for Christmas.
Our Advent Charity this year is our rucksack appeal, ‘Packing up for Christmas’. Can you please make sure that all rucksacks are into the Chapel by Friday 4th December.
During this Advent season we should be preparing to open our hearts and eyes in anticipation for the arrival of Jesus. We ask you Jesus, to open our hearts that we may be generous and give to others this Christmas. Help us to focus on what is important; that of giving and not always receiving.
Jesus came to be with us; his presence among us is what he truly felt was important. That is God’s gift to us; the gift of the presence of his son. Let us think about what we can give to others, instead of focussing on ‘presents’, let us focus on giving our ‘presence’ to someone. That means giving of our time, listening to others, being there for someone when they need us. Most of us would prefer to have a friend who can spend time with us rather than just being given a gift and then leaving us on our own. The greatest gift we have is the presence of Christ, the greatest gift we can give to others is our presence.
Year 7 & 8 Disco
Thursday 17th December 2015
Tickets are now on sale.
Please note that there will be a smoke machine and laser machine.
Year 11 Parents Evening Feedback
Thank you to all parents who attend the Year 11 parents evening on Thursday 22nd October 2015. Students are extremely motivated at this crucial time as we move nearer to the forthcoming examinations.
Feedback from the parents evening was also very positive and the results are shown below:
1. We know what needs to be done for my child to make progress?
Yes: 100% No 0%
2. There are interventions in place to help my child
Yes: 96% No 4%
3. The school keeps me well informed
Yes: 93% No 7%
4. The school is well managed
Yes: 100% No 0%
Thank you for your continued support.
School Uniform Policy
Towards the end of last term a number of students were not conforming to expectations in regard to the Uniform Policy.To ensure consistency please ensure your child is wearing the correct School Uniform Policy. If pupils do not conform then the relevant sanctions shall be put in place.
Click here for the School Uniform page
Please click here for a copy of our latest Newsletter
Active Guidance Mentoring Sessions
Years 8, 9, 10 & 11
As you are aware, each term we run an Active Guidance Mentoring session for students, focussing on progress and personal improvement. Active Guidance will start on Monday 21st September 2015 and your child will have an appointment with their tutor which will be recorded in their planner. Progress will be reviewed and new targets will be set which will again focus on improving learning and achievement.
This terms active guidance sessions will use progress data collected from the end of last academic year and work completed so far this year. Hence it will be an accurate and up-to-date mentoring session reviewing effort, behaviour, homework and progress in all subjects. It will be particularly important to discuss the personal qualities students achieved last year within each subject. As these give a clear indication of your child’s learning behaviour.
Please click here for a copy of letter providing more details