Dear St Augustine’s Student
I hope you and your family are safe and well and that you are making the most of your time away from the school building. All the staff team miss seeing you very much. Ordinarily we would be having end of Lent Term assemblies but Coronavirus means that we can't. We are however, by following Government guidance, contributing to a national effort to save lives and so the reasons are vitally important. The assemblies would usually consist of me thanking you for all the effort and hard work that you have put into the past term and for being such a lovely group of young people, which you are. I would probably then go on to make a couple of hilarious jokes and have you all laughing (well one or two of you anyway). Even though we can’t be together in person, I would still like you to receive the recognition that you deserve. We are therefore going to go through the following awards and all of these will be up to 13th March when some students understandably started isolating.
Attendance -Those with excellent attendance and punctuality will go into a draw. Winners will be informed and the prizes will be Amazon vouchers that you can use without leaving your home. A list of winners will be on the website in due course.
Headteacher Commendations -Your year teams will be identifying those students in their year groups who have stood out for their achievements and attitude this term. We have new badges to go with this award and winners will also receive Amazon vouchers.
Ethos and Values badges - Many of you have worked hard this term to display the school values that we believe will help you to have positive futures and contribute well to society. Those students who now have a positive SIMS for all 9 values will be rewarded. You will be informed if you have earned your badge in the coming weeks.
The assemblies usually conclude with a slide show that displays the wonderful trips and experiences that St Augustine’s students take part in each term. As I always say before the slide show starts “Enjoy it and if you know the words to the song sing along and clap”. Listen carefully to the lyrics.
I would now like to give you all a message by Year Group. Year 11 and 13 – It can’t have been easy for you having your year end so abruptly. A letter about exams has been sent to you and I would ask that you continue to follow any advice/instructions from your year group leaders. I wish you all every success with your final grades. I am sorry that your time at St A’s ended how it did and I want to make a pledge to give you the opportunity to celebrate your time here and to say your goodbyes when things improve and it is safe to do so. I have my own ideas about how we can do this but would be interested in hearing from you as well. We would also love to see as many Year 11s as possible back here for the Sixth form.
Years 10 and 12 - On your return to school you will be the oldest students that we have and we will have great expectations of you. You are in the middle of a 2-year course and it is vital that you continue to complete tasks set by your teachers online. Although you may be concerned about not physically being at school, everyone nationally is in the same position. Keep going and don’t miss out on the opportunity to do your best in each subject. Now is an excellent time for further reading in the subjects that you have chosen.
Years 7 and 8 and 9 - Your time away from school gives you a window of opportunity to think about future career - the events of recent weeks have highlighted careers in the caring services and emergency services including the NHS. I have always been very proud of our students who have gone on to become doctors and nurses and there have been several over the years. It is good to see that these vocations are finally getting the recognition that they have always deserved. There are many different careers to choose from and whatever you wish to do it is a great time to review your plans. Those in year 9 who have made option choices should use this time to develop your knowledge further in your option choices - it’s a great time to do additional reading. The choices that you have made will be confirmed as soon as we are in a position to do so.
Final Note: When I came to interview at St Augustine's for the position of Headteacher in February 2009, one of the activities was to take part in a student panel. One of the questions that I was asked was "What is your favourite prayer or saying"? I was able to answer quickly as this prayer has helped me to get through some of the toughest times in my life and is very fitting now. I have shared this prayer with many students and staff over the years and it is written on the wall outside my office.
Wishing you a peaceful Easter – look after yourselves until we meet again -hopefully soon! Best wishes to you and your family.