Staff and students from St Thomas More recently put on their best party outfits and headed to the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle to help raise funds for the Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes. The Diamond Ball was sponsored by companies such as First Class Supply, Styled & Seated, and A&K Financial Management. Welcome drinks were enjoyed whilst our talented students played a range of jazz songs, and this was followed by a delicious meal. Afterwards, ex student Finn Healy entertained guests with a comic routine and acted as auctioneer for the charity auction. Prizes included jackets donated by Barbour and a complimentary day out at York Racecourse. Altogether, the evening raised an amazing £10,139!
The school has 25 students from Years 12 and 13 heading to Lourdes for a week at Easter along with 5 children who have special needs. We are grateful to The Catenians who have subsidised the travel costs. One of the major events will be the mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the HCPT, during which ex student Rachel Thornton will be the lead vocalist.
St Thomas More was recently one of only 14 schools nationally to win a Schools Language Award. The Modern Foreign Languages department has been awarded funding by the British Academy to deliver a project involving students in Years 8 and 9. The theatre group Theâtre Sans Frontières will work with students and their teachers to create a drama about the life of Louis Pasteur, all in French of course! This builds on work done previously with the Centre for Life, and will be shown to students in our primary schools later on in the year.
During half term 21 students from Year 8 travelled to Lourdes. This pilgrimage was to be a first in many ways. Travelling outside the normal set pilgrimage times, the group (alongside two Year 12 young leaders and five members of staff) were going to become the first ever school staying at Hosanna House, the HCPT owned house in the village of Bartes just outside Lourdes. Mr Merchant used the model dioramas at the entrance to the domain to tell the children the story of Bernadette and the visitations, followed by visits to the Saint’s House, the Bolly Mill and the Cachot. The four day pilgrimage also consisted of the torchlight procession, during which there was a torrential downpour!
Once again, St Thomas More students enjoyed tremendous success in the summer examinations. At GCSE level, 74% of students achieved 5 or more A* – C grades including English and Maths, making us again one of the top performing schools in North Tyneside. Students at A-level produced our best set of results with over half of the results, 56%, at grades A*, A or B. What a tremendous achievement!
The school held its annual awards evening this week where students and their friends and family, along with members of staff, celebrated their achievement. The John Bassett Award for Achievement in Mathematics was presented to Sean Lowery, and the St Oswin Prize for RE went to Owen Miles.
A group of girls from Years 8, 9 and 10 have been involved in a pilot scheme run by the Northumberland Cricket Board and a cricket charity called Chance to Shine. They have featured in a video produced by the English Cricket Board encouraging girls to play cricket.