Richard Moore on the importance of Forgiveness

When Richard Moore came to speak to our class we were told he was there to teach us about forgiveness, but as he stood at the front of the class and explained his story I realised he would educate us not only on forgiveness, but on perspective.

Richard Moore is from the city of Derry in Northern Ireland.  At the age of 10, in the midst of the Northern Ireland troubles, Richard was shot with a rubber bullet by a British soldier.  As a result of this accident he lost his right eye and the sight in his left eye, leaving him completely blind.  Richard always told himself that the person who shot him must have been an 18 year old soldier who didn’t know what he was doing, yet 33 years later Richard discovered the identity of his shooter, a 32 year old captain with a wealth of military experience.

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Richard pictured with Mr Merchant, Ellen Crozier, Bailey Fox and Holly Holman

Despite what this man had done to him, Richard wanted to meet the soldier, and chose to forgive him.  Richard described to us his thoughts on the futility of anger towards other people, and that being angry at someone else was like drinking a cup of acid and expecting the other person to die.  In an event that would have left most people bitter and resentful at what they had lost, it is clear that Richard does not believe he has lost at all.  In the years since his incident he has lived a full and happy life; he has a family and a purpose and even a friendship with the Dalai Lama.

What Richard showed us is that no matter the obstacles you face, no matter how easy it would be to take the low road and fixate on those who have caused you suffering, by stepping above it and adapting to your situation with a smile on your face you can achieve anything you set your mind to. It must have taken massive strength for Richard to forgive the man who took his sight and he is a source of both inspiration and wisdom to every one of us who struggles to remember the value of forgiveness in our daily lives.

Holly Holman and Ellen Crozier, Year 11

Diocesan Art Exhibition

Jennifer Anderson Year 10 STM

Diocesan Art Exhibition

On Monday 23rd of January I attended the launch of the Diocesan art exhibition at St Mary’s Cathedral.  This exhibition included my artwork and many other pieces created by students at St Thomas More, representing our school within The Catholic Partnership.  My work was themed around religious icons.  I combined ideas from the artists Hush and Paper Monster to create a multi-media piece of work.  By attending the exhibition I was able to see other people’s ideas and become inspired.  This opportunity also enabled me to meet other students, art teachers and members of the Catholic Partnership.

Jennifer Anderson, Year 10

Maths Masterclass 2016

Elizabeth Maths Masterclass

Maths Masterclass 2016

For 6 weeks during the autumn term I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a series of Maths Masterclasses run by the Royal Institution of Mathematics. Each week there was a brand new teacher/lecturer who specialised in a different branch of Maths including probability and problem solving. Every Masterclass taught me something different and something I had never been able to do before. It was an honour to be chosen as one of only 30 students from across Tyne and Wear.

The Masterclasses were a great experience where I got to meet new people and expand my knowledge of the fantastic world of Maths. They made me realise how vital Maths is to everything around us, and to every job that I might do in the future.  It also opened my eyes to the variety of topics within Maths.  I think this is something that everyone should remember, so if you don’t like one kind of Maths I guarantee there will be an area that you will be interested in and that you can excel in.

Elizabeth Adamson, Year 9

Former students graduate with honours


Newcastle University has written to inform us of some of our former students who have graduated with honours:

graduateChristina Bondi – Biology
Stephanie Pym – Geography
Lisa  Curry – Marketing and Management
graduateIvan Seed – Computer Science
Amy McHugh – Marine Biology
Jay Turner – Biomedical Sciences
graduateJoseph Mould – Chemical Engineering
Alice-Rose Wallace – Psychology

Congratulations!, and we wish them all good luck for the future.

St Thomas More Seismometer detects UK earthquake

If you’ve ever wondered what the device is in the glass case in reception, it is our Science department Seismometer (or Earthquake detector).  Seismometers are “instruments that measure motion of the ground, including those of seismic waves generated by earthquakesvolcanic eruptions, and other seismic sources. Records of seismic waves allow seismologists to map the interior of the Earth, and locate and measure the size of these different sources.” (Wikipedia)

On Tuesday evening between 18:48 and 18:49, our Seismometer sprung into action, picking up this spike caused by the 3.9 earthquake off the coast of Yorkshire:

Earthquake Graph

Earthquake Graph

For more information on the earthquake see:

Mr Keys

Food Bank

At this time of year, we are often struck by how lucky we are, particularly in the challenging economic times in which we live.  Over the past few weeks of term, students and staff at St Thomas More have been aware of this, and have taken the opportunity to support two local food banks, the Bay food bank and the Salvation Army food bank.  food bank 001

We hope this will bring a little Christmas joy to local families.  Thank you to all who have contributed to this very worthwhile cause. food bank 003


Advent Liturgy

advent mass logo

On 1st December, schools from across the Hexham & Newcastle Diocesan Partnership gathered in St. Mary’s Church, Blackhill for a peaceful, candlelit Advent Liturgy. The evening reflected on the key themes of Advent; hope, peace, joy and love and allowed all those who attended a chance to focus on what is to come… the birth of Christ… the true meaning of Christmas.


The music was led beautifully by singers from St. Thomas More, who sang individual pieces as well as leading the carol singing for the other parts of the liturgy. The music was provided by Mr Teoh and a group of very talented musicians


A special evening had by all – it really set us up for Christmas!


End of Term Advent Mass

On Tuesday, 13th December, students from across the entire student body – from Year 7 to Year 13 –  gathered together to celebrate our End of Term Advent Mass. Around 250 students from across every form in the school attended.



The Mass was presided by Fr Martin Stempczek, one of our school family priests from St. Mary’s and St. Oswin’s in Cullercoats and Tynemouth. Music was once again led by our talented chamber choir, readings were provided by Year 9 students and our Closing Song was led by students in Year 7 who performed liturgical sign language to the song “Love Shine a Light” in preparation for the Fourth Week of Advent: the love week!


The theme of the Mass helped our students continue along the journey of Advent which we are currently exploring through our morning prayers in registration time. How can we patiently wait for Christmas-time when we are bombarded with images every day of Christmas parties and present buying? How can we make the most of the special season of Advent? And how can we be people of hope, peace, joy and love for those around us?