On 19th October, St Thomas More racked up another win against St Cuthbert’s in the first round of the County Cup storming to a 50-25 victory. Man of the match Dan Hegarty scored a hat-trick of tries for St Thomas More while Matty Penhall went one better earning 20 points from his four tries. Further tries were scored by Jake Lister, Jamie Walker and Luke Scott.
An initially even sided game against tough, sizeable St Cuthbert’s opponents turned into a straight forward win after we got into their heads through massive tackles and a couple of fancy tries, whilst the red mist descended on our increasing frustrated opponents. While their team played tight and strong in the middle of the pitch we were looking to pass the ball out to the wings for speedy tries by Jake Lister and Dan Hegarty. Some huge crunching tackles and incredible pace were shown by the year 7 students who had stepped up to bulk out the St Thomas More ranks for the match. Once the opposition familiarised themselves with our pattern of playing, spreading out to neutralise our running movement, STM changed tactics showing them a variety of skills with passing moves, dummies and attempted kicking near their try line. On the whole we beat them through superior skill, pace and a brilliant defense.
We hope to continue this excellent form in the next stage of the County Cup.
By Cameron McVeigh, Year 8
To investigate further into the mental and physical endurance of the soldiers of the First World War the Year 13 English Literature A level class visited Whitley Bay Playhouse’s interpretation of R.C Sherriff’s ‘Journeys End’. The play gives the audience a glimpse of the horrors and devastating tragedy of the Great War masked beneath the everyday trench realities of four officers in the run up to the disastrous Operation Michael.
What was particularly haunting in this adaptation was the strikingly prominent theme of youth and vulnerability displayed through the character of young officer, Raleigh. Most of the audience, particularly the students, found this especially harrowing as they themselves would be of a similar age to this character. As the play unravelled and the countdown to Operation Michael drew closer, the tears started flowing. The revelation of the death of one of the officers flooded the audience with emotion once more, and then the officers were ready for battle.
The most powerful aspect of the play was not actually visual; the power certainly lay within the dialogue of the characters and the sharp, sudden lighting changes. To see such distress and despair portrayed through language and dialogue rather than through physical and visual aspects of the play and its setting and design, which are common features of plays of this genre, was definitely one of the most heart-wrenching aspects of the play which certainly managed to strike the audience with emotion and ultimately devastation for the loss of so many lives during the war.
Despite being set just over 100 years ago, the Great War continues to be encapsulated in many plays and writing to remind us of the devastation and sacrifice of the many men who fought for us.
Amelia Dunn, Year 13
On Thursday 13th October, the talented boys of the year 10 football team travelled to Whitley Bay to try and end the losing streak against them. They managed to accomplish that task despite going behind after a good strike from one of their forwards. The game dragged a little despite Robbie Fenwick’s attempts on goal at the end of the first half. A quick substitution mid way through the second half brought Jack Beverley upfront. With some fantastic play down the right hand side and a brilliant ball into the box, followed by a cushioned header from Ollie Thompson to Jack Beverley, who looped it over the keeper, we pulled it back to 1-1. With some good attacking and defensive play from both teams, the game was very tight. Whitley’s right forward was causing some trouble but the defence had it covered with a few good tackles. Again, some fantastic play though the middle of the pitch with a good ball for Jack to sprint on to, the keeper decided to come out to try and clear the ball but Jack was able to beat him to the ball and he lifted the ball above the keepers head, chipping him from the 18 yard box for 2-1! The keeper knocked himself out trying to get the ball which led to a sub. The match ended 2-1 with Jack Beverley receiving the Man of The Match award.
Ben Baxter, Year 10
On Thursday 20th October, St Thomas More participated in a Ceilidh event, hosted by the North Tyneside Music Education Hub, and held at Whitehouse Primary School. Several primary schools were involved, including Preston Grange, Star of The Sea, and Whitehouse Primary School.
A ‘Ceilidh’ is a Scottish or Irish dancing event, consisting of a band that performs while others dance. The event worked exceedingly well, with many young people getting up to dance or playing an instrument. Each and every person represented their school and participated in the event.
There were a variety of instruments in our Ceilidh band, including violins, flutes, clarinets, cellos and even some recorders! The band was continuously energetic, but I think by the end of the evening everyone’s backs were really sore from standing up and playing for such a large amount of time!
Abbie Herron, Year 9
On the 11th October myself and seven others from St Thomas More visited St Joseph’s Academy in Hebburn for the diocesan Big Doodle. Big Doodle Day is the world’s biggest drawing festival. When we arrived we discovered the subject was patterns. Lots of different schools attended and we moved to each table in turn to do a different pattern, each based on an individual artist. It was so much fun that we all really enjoyed it. I met new people from the other side of the year who I still talk to now. At the end of our trip we all got a certificate and we got to keep our patterns that turned in to a box when we glued them together. It was lots of fun.
Heather Bennett, Year 8
Our annual Pink Day for the Breast Cancer Now charity took place on the Friday 21st October and once again it was a resounding success, with students in Sixth Form organising a variety of events and giving a donation in order to dress in pink. Activities including three cake sales in the sixth form common room and main school dinner hall, glitter tattoos and selling cookies and milk managed to boost the total to more than we have ever raised before. In addition to this, quizzes sent out to form classes and cake auctions for staff were a massive success alongside kind donations from all students, enabling us to raise a whopping £1334.82, smashing last year’s total by £64. Well done to all involved!
Darcy Nathan and Anna Jones, Year 12
Mrs Borwick, who oversees our Sixth Form Charities Committee said we are “incredibly proud of our students. Their enthusiasm and joy was wonderful to see and we are truly blessed to have such a fantastic cohort of caring young people.”