9th September 2021
Welcome back and thank you
I would like to thank all of the teaching and support staff who have ensured that the College has re-opened to all the pupils and students for the beginning of term. This year, we have also completed the required lateral flow tests. I have not yet returned to College, having been diagnosed with Covid on Thursday 30th August. My isolation ends this weekend, and I look forward to being back at College on Monday 13th September. Thank you for the many good wishes that I have received. I know that I have been more fortunate than many in terms of my experience of Covid, and I am sure that the two vaccines that I had, back in the summer, have been really helpful in the recovery programme. I have been able to work from home throughout this week and provide staff with advice and support when required. I was once asked by a parent, “Mr Burrowes, who runs the school when you are not there?” and I replied “the same people when I am there”. This week has proved this very point.
The pupils returned in their full College uniform and the Heads of Year are working with the small number of pupils who have not met the Dress Code requirements. Each year, the number of pupils who infringe the dress code gets smaller and smaller and I am enormously grateful to our parents who support the College on this matter.
Pupils will be set homework regularly from next Monday, although pupils may have already received some homework. You can follow the homework set by signing up as a parent on Satchel 1, and you will receive notification via your preferred devise.
Mission Day – Monday 13th September
On Monday 13th September, the whole College will take part in activities throughout the day in evaluating our mission as a Catholic community. We will be supported by Sr. Judith Russi who, with the support of our Sixth Form students, will lead us in our reflections during the day. We are delighted to welcome back to the College, Sr. Judith Russi, a sister of Saint Mary of Namur, and is the director of Catholic educational charity EducareM. She has worked for many years in all fields of Catholic education, teaching, leadership, advisory, Section 48 inspection and teachers’ professional development. As a passionate national speaker, and curriculum developer, she continues to pioneer many innovative and challenging educational initiatives. We will be sharing these outcomes with governor, parents, pupils and staff in the coming weeks.
Heads of Year and Tutors
The most significant change this year is within the pastoral system of the College with the return, after fifteen years, of the horizontal Head of Year structure. Each pupil now has a Head of Year and a Form Tutor. Each year has a team of six tutors and they are the first point of contact for parents.
In the coming week, we are distributing to our pupils their leadership badges through our assemblies; the list of recipients will be attached to next week’s copy of the Griffin. Leadership roles, within the pupils’ population of the College, is critically important to our success. If we wish our pupils to be men and women for others, we have to give them the opportunity to hone these skills within the College setting. In our leaders, we look for those who can show potential and demonstrate a willingness to stand tall.
These are the qualities that we look for in our young people:
a. By their actions, they seek to achieve excellence in all that they do, sometimes they do not achieve excellence, however it will always be better than not trying
b. They know their weaknesses and they want to improve
c. They wish to grow and make decisions and take responsibility
d. They accept that they have much to offer, however, they may not know how much they can offer, this will come with experience
e. They want to be at school and they bring joy to all those around
f. They assume “Positive Intent” in their words and actions, they act with the best on intent g. They act out of gratitude and their first instincts are always generous
In the words of the famous American Football coach, Vince Lomardi (Jesuit educated!) “If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life, and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.