Students in year seven are enjoying a wonderful retreat in the Lake District this week. Arriving on Monday they have had a very full programme of activities which include spiritual reflections, discussions, practical activities, times of formal and informal prayer, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Mass as well as extensive daily walks.
Thomas Good (Grade 3 singing), Joseph Higgitt (Grade 1 piano) and Joseph Reilly (Grade 8 singing) all achieved exceptional results in their Associated Board music exams held just before Easter: all three were awarded a Distinction - the highest mark. Katy Toms (Grade 2 bassoon) and Harry Barnett (Grade 2 piano) continued this by each being awarded a Merit in their exams. Congratulations to all five of these students for such exceptional results!
What did you do for Lent? These students were inspired by CAFOD’s theme “Turn little fish into big fish” and set about making simnel cakes to sell for Easter making £110. Their efforts and the many other fund raising activities small and large during Lent meant that as a school we raised £1360 for CAFOD. Thank you and congratulations to everyone.
During break on our non-uniform day to celebrate the start of Numeracy week, Leon George 7Sherwin was presented with a pair of ‘Beats’ which he purchased from the Epraise shop. Leon managed to collect the 800 Epraise points needed mostlyby doing lots of great work in class and being helpful around the school.
Parents and family members may find this video on the BBC news site helpful in explaining the new GCSE grades being introduced from this year.
Each lesson of the day started with the teachers of Years 7, 8 and 9 reading installments from the novel ‘Raven’, by Tommy Donvaband. As the story unfolded, we learned about a young “goth” girl named Poppy, who now wants to be called Raven – and who dyes her hair bright pink because her mum told her she couldn’t dye it black.
Beginning this week, English Martyrs' music department is pleased providing music lessons at both St Patrick's School and Christ the King School as part of a special project to help links through the year 6 to year 7 transition period.
Mr Cassidy will be teaching the year 6s some solo performances pieces and a very special massed item ready to be performed at the Spring Concert on March 30th where all musicians from English Martyrs' and now St Patrick's and Christ the King will join together to play as one, very large, musical force.
Tickets are now on sale for our school performance of Beauty and the Beast.
Performances are to be held on Wednesday 1st February and Thursday 2nd February2017. Performances start at 6pm.
Christmas Carol Services were held for parents on Tuesday evening and for the whole school on Wednesday morning in the St Cecilia Auditorium. During Advent this year as a community we have been praying for people caught up in conflicts and forced to become refugees. We have also been raising money for the charity Leicester – City of Sanctuary which helps refugees in our community.
We are delighted that the new Leicester MusicFest is going to be held at English Martyrs! Leicester MusicFest is run by a team of local professional musicians and teachers, all of whom are volunteers. The festival which offers competitions, concerts and masterclasses is being held on 11th and 12th March 2017.
Members of Year 8 have enjoyed a wonderful retreat at Castlerigg Manor, Lancaster Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre in the Lake District.
It was exciting to welcome the school on Tuesday and to see students smartly dressed and ready for the new school year. Our beginning of year assembly was about the privilege of our education here and we are asked to keep in our prayers this year those children and young people who because of war or poverty are denied the opportunity to go to school.
Year 7 students have been collecting pennies to compete in our annual Penny Run.
The efforts from each form were absolutely fantastic, creating a chain of pennies that collectively would stretch over 336 metres.
Well done to all Year 7’s for another wonderful fundraising effort and to the Year 7 tutors for their efforts with this.
On Thursday 3 March we had many visitors in school as Mr Carney had invited the Headteachers of our diocesan schools to a meeting. As part of their day there was a tour of the school with senior students and an opportunity to see our new facilities. In the afternoon The Right Honourable Nicky Morgan MP, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, met the Heads to discuss aspects of current government policy.
Students in Year 11 celebrated the end of their examinations in style at their Prom held at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday 21 June. Parents came to see their beautiful daughters and sons arrive, stunningly dressed and many alighting from classic cars ranging from a Lamborghini , a Rolls Royce, a Hummer, stretched limos, to a Stock Car!
This year's Reading Rampage is well under way! Students in Year 8 have been frantically borrowing books from this year's shortlist of 20 titles in a bid to decide on their favourite book.
On Thursday 4th May, Year 10 students took part in mock interviews with representatives from companies and organisations such as Alltruck Plc, Santander, Leicester City Council, Grant Thornton and the Department for Work and Pensions.
As a school we are very grateful to all the local business people who gave up their time to offer these interviews to each student.
Students have been celebrating Easter with assemblies following the themes of the Easter Vigil Liturgy which begins with the blessing of the Paschal or Easter Candle (pictured).
This year there was a particular focus on our baptism. During assembly students renewed their baptismal promises, declaring that we reject sin so as to live in freedom as God’s children; rejecting the glamour of evil and declaring that we believe in God the Father who created all things, his Son Jesus Christ who rose from the dead and in the Holy Spirit who gives us strength.
Leicester Riders captain Tyler Bernardini got Numeracy Week off to a slam dunk start by talking to students about the importance of numeracy in life and how he uses Maths in basketball. Tyler is a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and attends the Loughborough School of Business and Economics studying for a MSc in International Management alongside his playing duties with the BBL team.
MAINSTREAM TRANSPORT POLICY
There have been no changes to the mainstream home to school transport policy since it changed in September 2015. A quick reminder is that free transport will be provided to the nearest/nearest Leicestershire or frozen school where the distance is more than 2 miles for primary and 3 miles for secondary age pupils. Parents of secondary transfer pupils for September 2017 were reminded last September before they applied for their school places and again with their admission offer on 1st March and will get formal confirmation on whether they will be entitled to free transport (11+ and 14+ transfer groups) by the end of April.
The school governors are constantly monitoring behaviour in school and are currently undertaking a review of the Student Behaviour Policy
Should you wish to make any comments or recommendations about the School Student Behaviour Policy please write to Mrs J Washington, Chair of Governors by Wednesday 15th March 2017.
The Young Shakespeare Company came into school to perform ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to the whole of Year 8 on Monday 27th February. At the beginning the actors led a workshop, explaining how the play could be performed in different contexts. Students then volunteered to play roles in the Masked Ball Scene.
Finding a way to travel safely to school needn’t be as difficult as the lessons themselves.
Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and the Department of Transport have asked us to draw your attention to their website www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk which includes a lot of information about the best ways to get from home to school and advice on:
walking or cycling / scooting to school
school and college transport services in Leicester City
school and college transport services in Leicestershire.
The website includes a journey planner which will determine best route, travel time, mileage by car, bus routes/service numbers and even calories burnt if travel by foot/cycle!
Students and parents took the opportunity to speak to employers, professionals and universities about making the right GCSE option choices, university courses and jobs. We are very grateful for the support and advice offered to all our students at the Fair.
Many of our school musicians took the opportunity to enjoy a songwriting masterclass on Friday 20th January, led by Rosie and Marcus Joseph. Students learnt about the four different starting points to songwriting: melody, harmony, rhythm, lyrics. Together, the students composed a song on the theme of 'unity', showing great maturity and insight whilst considering the lyrics and melody especially.
Once again, the Schola Cantorum of English Martyrs was pleased to accept an invitation to sing Choral Evensong with the Choir of Leicester Cathedral on Friday 20th January as part of the week of prayer for Christian Unity.
The service of evensong in the Church of England is based on the ancient monastic prayer of "Vespers" which by the time of the reformation in England was already an office set to elaborate choral music.
All families are invited by the Justice and Peace Commission of the diocese to a training event on Saturday 14th January at Blessed Sacrament Church. The day is about how we can all put an end to human trafficking and modern slavery in Britain today.
Following on from the film "Kayleigh Haywood Love Story" shown to all students at English Martyrs to raise awareness on the issue of on-line grooming and e-safety, all students have joined Leicestershire police's campaign to be safe on-line. This has involved students signing a pledge to be safer on-line and follow some basic rules.
Everybody’s Reading Festival in partnership with the Literary Leicester Festival was delighted to be able to invite 380 Year 3, 4 and 5 pupils from schools across the city to the auditorium at English Martyrs on November 16th to hear international bestselling author and the illustrator behind Charlie & Lola, Lauren Child.
The Church sets aside November as a month to remember and pray for those who have died. As a school, we will also be celebrating a voluntary Requiem Mass on Friday 11th November in St Cecilia Auditorium, to remember all our loved ones, family and friends who have died together with the victims of terror and disaster.
We welcomed Bishop Patrick to the school on Friday 9th September, this was the bishop’s first visit. As well as making a tour of the school and meeting some students and staff, he celebrated the Dedication of Studies Mass which was held in the St Cecilia Auditorium with concelebrating priests from the local parishes and Holy Cross Priory.
Sini Mathew has enjoyed a successful year in Public Speaking. Having helped her team secure second place in a national competition organised by the English Speaking Union, she delivered an outstanding speech on the sugar tax in the semi-final of Leicestershire's MP6 Competition (organised by Sera Shortland from Hamilton School.)
20 Volunteer businessmen and women visited school on Thursday 5th May to offer careers interviews to students in Year 10. The Interview Technique education programme is organised by the charity Leicestershire Cares and thanks go to Gail Brown the convenor of the event for bringing together a diverse and highly talented group of people from the commercial sector to work with our students.
On Tuesday 22nd March, a small group of nine students attended the British Gas Academy in Leicester for a event to celebrate 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The event was attended by HRH the Earl of Wessex.
On Sunday 13th March, 19 dancers represented the school performing in the 'New Creations 79' show at The Curve, Leicester. This was part of a new intiative to bring schools together to share and showcase their talents and skills in dance.
New Creations 79 is a performance production company which has been created by Studio 79, to provide dancers with valuable and professional performance opportunities. New Creations 79 believes that performing is an priceless experience to dancers, it not only develops their interpretative skills but builds confidence and self esteem.' (Studio 79)
English Martyrs entered a Girls rugby union competition at Market Harborough RFU. With only three training sessions before the tournament, all of our girls played exceptionally well and managed to break down their opponent’s defence to score tries in every game.
Recently the whole of Year 7 took part in an Enterprise Day. Teamwork, problem solving, buying and selling along with negotiating were just a few of the skills touched upon during the activities with Bright Futures. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it’s clear that we have more than a few budding entrepreneurs. The whole year group were a credit to the school and the team from Bright Futures were full of praise for the students’ attitude, behaviour and work ethic throughout the day. Well done year 7!
What did you do during the autumn half term? Mr Simeone travelled with a BBC crew to Italy where he went to look at the original handwritten manuscript of one of the most famous operas ever written, “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi. You can hear him talking about the manuscript (and the very tragic story of the opera) on the latest series of the Radio 4 programme "Tales from the Stave" broadcast on Tuesday 2nd May and now available on the BBC iPlayer. The manuscript in kept in the Archivio Storico Ricordi in Milan, where Mr Simeone was able to see it in the company of an opera singer and one of Ricordi's senior archivists.
On Wednesday 3rd May, Explore Learning came into school to deliver a writing workshop to the whole of year 7. They introduced a Creative Writing competition. Students were asked to write a story set in 3017 in under 500 words. Students were very enthusiastic and came up with lots of interesting ideas. They learned how to structure a story effectively, so that it was engaging for the readers.
Congratulations to the winner of the numeracy week competition and the beats headphones Brady Doherty, 10 Clitheroe.
This year’s Lent Services of Reconciliation, held last week in the Auditorium, ended with a dramatized reading of the poem: A Recipe for Kindness.
The poem Phrase Book by Jo Shapcott examines the fragmented nature of life and the impact of war upon human lives and also upon language. One of the key aims of the work undertaken by students was to reposition a piece of poetry, in order to lift it off the page and so embody it, using emotion and movement.
Congratulations to these students in Year 7 who have now achieved 300 ePraise points! The students were presented with their certificates and English Martyrs’ pens by Mr Carney this week. Students said that they were pleased that their hard work has been recognised by teachers. Among this group favourite subjects are Maths, Geography and Science.
Current and former students of English Martyrs were performing this weekend in two of Cambridge University's most distinguished colleges. On Saturday, Liam Leonard conducted Bristol University Symphonic Winds at a concert in Trinity College Chapel, a glorious building completed during the reign of Elizabeth I.
After a Leicestershire Schools Music Service audit of the music department last year, the music department was awarded the Gold Quality Mark Award at an awards ceremony on Friday 20th January.
The presentation comments rightly focused on the wonderful spirit shown by, and to musicians with an atmosphere of respect and support throughout the whole school.
Year 9 Careers Fair
Year 9 students and their parents will have the opportunity to speak to a number of employers, professionals and universities at our Careers Fair on Tuesday 7th February 5-7pm. Year 9 are embarking on a very important journey as the choose their GCSE options. All our visitors will be on hand to offer options advice in order to help students make the best choices for their future.
On Friday 20th January three of our bassoon students visited St John the Baptist Primary School to take part in a promotional workshop with students from English Martyrs, St John the Baptist and Robert Smyth Academy.
The afternoon consisted of a masterclass by renowned bassoon soloist Laurence Perkins, ensemble playing with all senior bassoonists and secondary school students teaching primary students how to play the bassoon. You can learn more about Laurence at http://laurenceperkins.com/
Your family and friends are welcome to our Festival of Readings & Carols, on Tuesday December 20th, in St Cecilia Auditorium. We anticipate a large number of parents, students and staff will wish to attend and so we would ask you to request tickets in order to reserve a place. Festive refreshments will be provided in the Exhibition Area at 5.00pm and there will be an opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts.
Bishop Patrick has issued a pastoral letter for Advent, in which he encourages us to pray for our priests and for vocations to priesthood and religious life.
“This Season of Advent is divided into two periods. From today until 16th December, the Church directs our gaze beyond the First Coming of Christ to his Second Coming in glory. The second period, from 17th December until Christmas Eve, directs our gaze towards the First Coming of Christ in his Birth at Bethlehem. Advent truly is a season of joyful and spiritual expectation. It is therefore a providential time to begin afresh our prayer throughout the Diocese for more vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and religious life.”
For the full text of the Bishop’s letter click here.
The school is currently consulting on the Admissions Policy 2018-19.
Please note that due to some changes required by the Diocese there are some significant changes to the Admissions Policy 2018-19 for English Martyrs’ Catholic School.
We were delighted yet again this year to be able to display some of the amazing work of our wonderful art students from year 7 through to year 13 in our summer art exhibition.
Please click here to view the article on the Leicester Mercury website celebrating the A-Levl results across Leicester.
Two years ago the school council made a submission to the evidence gathering for the synod which was convened in Rome to discuss the church's teaching about love and family life. Bishop Peter Doyle has sent us the following post via a weblink. Please click here to view.
All students at English Martyrs' have been given the opportunity this week to vote in this year's Leicester City Young People's elections.
The elections, which will vote in a Youth Council to work alongside Leicester City Council in order to give a voice to under 18s, were taking place across the city.