The Friday Letter - Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy
Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy
part of Saint Robert Lawrence Catholic Academy Trust
The Friday Letter
Edition Number 23
08 March 2013
Reflection suggested by parent of Year 10 student
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as
possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and
listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive
persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and
bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well
as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time .Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let
this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of
heroism .Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all
aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully
surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not
distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a
wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and
the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever
your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams,
drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Reminder Early closure Wednesday 13th March
Parents are reminded that school will finish early at 1.30pm on Wednesday 13th March. Thank you for
your understanding and support.
Dr Landy has asked me to advise parents of the following information. “Suggestions from parents are being
put in place for the financial year starting 2nd April so please ensure that your children have been to see me
about the feedback project which starts imminently. (Approximately twenty students have not been to see
their initial report and folder for collecting feedback). Parents should be receiving cheques to reimburse
expenses that are covered by the premium shortly in cases where you have paid monies for initiatives covered
by the premium. A generalised budget plan for school spend will be on the website by next week and a report
on this year's spend very soon thereafter.” Thank you Dr Landy.
YOU ARE LIVING STONES
Bishop Malcolm asked the Dean of Nottingham West Deanery to set up a meeting at which priests, deacons,
chairs of pastoral councils and head teachers could meet to discuss the bishop’s proposals for the Nottingham
West Deanery. The Dean (Fr Martin Sylvester) circulated sixteen possible meeting date/time slots to those
busy people, and the one that most can attend is 11am on Thursday (14th March). This meeting will take place
at St John the Evangelist, Midland Avenue, Stapleford NG9 7BT and will last an hour and a half, and any other
parishioners who wish to attend are warmly encouraged to come along as well and take part.
Visit http://goo.gl/maps/Ir25M for driving and public transport directions.
News from the Chaplaincy Department
Rachel was delighted to spend quality time with year 9 last week at the Briars. Special thanks to the Director,
John Biggins, the group leader Ciara, and the 2013 Team: George, Chris, Kiara, Katie, Imogene, Rosie and
Georgia. It was lovely to see Mrs McCarthy, Miss Bailey, Mrs Beardsley, Mr Doczyminskyi and Mrs
Doczyminska, who gave up their time to be with us for an evening. Mr John Morgan served us well and Rachel
would ask you to remember him in your prayers as he returns to hospital this week for a minor operation. We
would like to thank Fr John St John who celebrated Mass for Alex Read during the Year 9 retreat.
Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy Team
Rachel would like to thank Elizabeth Rimmer, Joseph Heath, Anna Pancisi, Joseph Roberts, Reagan Lane, Megan
Murphy, Feargal Barber, Jessica Gilhooly, Jaymie Halford, Tara Hall, Lewis Hayes, Harry Jennings, Molly
Keyworth, Bridin Ritallick, James Brennan, Fane Checkley, Daniel Body, Benito Preite, Anya Billyeald and Daniel
Opiah who have accepted the role of joining The Saint John Houghton Chaplaincy Team. Rachel is very proud
of these young people who have agreed to relay the Catholic Life Vision of the Academy to their peer group.
These young people have faith to move mountains, they walk with their feet in Saint John Houghton and their
hearts in heaven.
Diocesan Chaplains Meeting
Saint John Houghton was proud to host the Lent Chaplaincy meeting and Rachel would like to thank the many
students who made our visitors welcome, joined them for lunch and served them well. Our visitors were:
Sister Susan Richent, Fran Wickes, Joe Hopkins, Tony Duggan, Seamus O’Looskan, Sr Delia, Fr Martin Hardy, Rick
Netherwood, Delia McGibbon, Julie Sweeney, Paul Michael, Fr Binu Pulalccupally, Fr John Kyne, Daniel Palmer
and Fr Joe Wheat had a prayerful, positive and inspiring gathering.
Pray for our priests
Please pray for Fr John St John who was ordained a Priest on July 7th 2012 and was kind enough to celebrate
Mass in our Upper Room on Thursday lunch time for staff and students. 'As the Father sent me, so I am
sending you' John 20:21. Please pray for Fr Binu Pulalccupally who will be visiting Saint John Houghton in the
very near future to celebrate Mass and share thoughts and ideas with our students.
Benedict XVI Caritas Award
Have you heard of The Benedict XVI Caritas Award? It differs mainly from the JPII Award mainly in its focus on
schools and the eligibility of non-Catholics to participate. The aim is to build a legacy out of the Pope's visit in
2010, promote the on-going journey of faith, to help young people discover and respond to 'Caritas' - God's
love - through faith learning, faith reflection and faith witness and to acknowledge the work and reflection of
the young through the award of certificates and medals by the Bishops of the Church. Please pray for Rachel
as she starts preparing to run the programme for students next year.
Date for your diary
On March 17th 2013 the pupils of Saint John Houghton will be leading the Stations of the Cross in Saint
Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham. Please see Rachel if you would like to be involved in the delivery of this Lent
Liturgy and please come along and support us.
Rachel is very proud of Year 11 students who will be leading an Act of Worship on April 23 rd 2013 to learn
more about mental illness. Rachel and team will be holding a coffee morning in the library for staff and
students who wish to find out more about, 'it's time to talk, it's time to change' after the AoW.
Wanted ... broken Rosaries and old Religious medals, to remake into new. Please hand into Rachel.
Year 9 Briars Retreat (report by Mr Thomson)
On the 25th February- 1st March, 65 Year 9 pupils went to The Briars. They were joined by Mr Thomson, Mrs
Bacall, Mr Hope, Mr Ritchie, Mr Timms and Rachel the School Chaplain.
The week started with an afternoon of bowling at Ilkeston Bowling Alley. The Catholic ethos was put on hold
for an hour or so and it was ‘dog eat dog’ to see who could get the most strikes (and that was just the staff). I
was astounded to see how competitive people were and the amount of effort put into each bowl set the
positive tone for the week.
Once at The Briars Residential Centre, the pupils were greeted by the team and put in their rooms and groups
for the week. The theme of the week was ‘The grace to serve’ (with a focus on enjoying being young and not
wanting to grow up too quickly) and the pupils discussed and worked on this topic for the whole retreat. On
Wednesday, the pupils and staff went on a walk around the Derbyshire countryside. The sun shone, the birds
sung and the pupils moaned about having to walk so far, but it was a lovely reminder of what beauty is on our
On Thursday evening, other staff members joined the Year 9 retreat for a mass, evening meal and talent
show. The acts of “talent”, ranged from outstanding to obscure, but all of the pupils who took part were
confident and certainly entertaining. The pupils then danced the night away at the traditional Briar’s Disco,
however some dance moves were a
little strange (Mr Hope!).
On Friday, the retreat came to an
end and the pupils were a lot quieter
on the way home than on the way
there… Fatigue had finally set in
…The Lord does move in mysterious
Although The Briars enables the
pupils to have a great deal of fun, a
lot of the work done at The Briars
contributes to the ethos and
community. The behaviour of the
pupils was exemplary and the week
itself was amazing, making The
Briars an integral part of our school
In my letter last week I thanked all the staff who so generously give of their free time to allow trips
such as the Briars to happen. However I forgot to thank Mr Ritchie for his service on the Briars trip.
Sorry about that.
On Thursday 28th February, ten Year 10 students, who aspire
to undergraduate life at Oxford University, visited Corpus
Christi and Hertford Colleges accompanied by Mrs Brambell
and Mr Warden. It was a fantastic day. First, there was a
presentation on undergraduate life at the University which
dispelled all the rumours that Oxford is just for rich, posh kids!
It is clear that it is academic prowess that the University is
after – indeed 10 A/A*s at GCSE and a minimum of 3 As at Alevel are the entry requirements. The courses that can be
studied at the University were outlined, and the costs involved in being a student and what bursaries are
available were also discussed. The group was then led on a tour around Oxford by two undergraduates who
showed them important sites like the Bodleian Library and the quad and Junior Common Room at their
College – Hertford College. After an amazing
lunch in the Hall at Hertford College (curry and
balsamic chicken followed by jam roly poly were
some of the dishes on the menu), they attended
an academic seminar on Philosophy, Politics and
Economics. The Saint John Houghton students
excelled themselves and their positive and
enthusiastic contributions to discussions were
commended by the College Registrar. They then
ended the day with a plenary session at Corpus
Christi. The only blight on the day was the fact
that Mr Warden refused to stop at McDonalds on
the way home, despite much begging and
pleading from the rest of the group! Thank you Dr
Landy for organising the day for our students and
for giving them an opportunity to realise that life at one of the world’s top universities is definitely within the
grasp of many of our students. Thank you to Mrs Brambell and Mr Warden .
Okorite’s report on the Oxford visit - Britain’s Brightest
On Thursday 28th of February ten Year 10
students made their way to Corpus Christi,
one of the Oxford University Colleges and
they took part in a taster day. These Year
10’s were Okorite Ephraim, Jessica Seaton, Harriet
Goldsworth, Jordan Hackett, Jessica Manchester, Kai
Grant, Luke Ryrie, Jacob Watts, Susie Fletcher and last
but not least Megan Harper-Bates. These Year 10’s
were skilfully driven by Mr Warden and accompanied
by Mrs Brambell. They had an academically
challenging lecture on International Relations and
the teachers can say that the pupils came up with
the best ideas during this and really made the school proud! They were given a tour around the University by
some students and were then treated to a sophisticated lunch by the University, where the seats they sat on
were even heated! They had a great time and also learnt a lot. Hopefully we’ll see some of our students at
Oxford as they clearly loved it there.
World Book Day
The English Department have been going book mad this week with teachers
reading, watching a
film and dressing up
as characters from
famous books. On
Thursday, we had
quite a few students
dressed as Wallys
Wally?’ There were
also a few Harry Potters and a few Gangsta Grannies. The overall winner of the competition was Connor
Hetherington as the 118 character. When questioned about it, he said: “It is from a book – the Yellow Pages”.
Josef Fowkes was a close second with Adrian Mole.
It has come to our notice that there are several cases of head lice in school. Since we are no longer able to call
on the School Nurse to examine pupils’ heads, I would be most grateful if you would inspect your child’s head
for any evidence of infestation. I am sure that you are aware that head lice are most frequently found in clean
hair. Nevertheless, as a precaution, an early and regular inspection of your child’s hair is advisable. Your local
chemist will stock the necessary product to clear up any problem quickly.
Water in school
We have three water fountains situated around the school site for the students to use. Please encourage
your children to bring a water bottle to school.
The final third round match of the tournament seen Mr Riley put in a brave effort against tournament hot
shots Mrs Waring and Mr Rutter, but sadly without his partner he lost 21-16. The four quarter finals will take
place over the next two weeks.
On Monday 11th March Mr Price and Matthew Mortimer –Beeston take on Mr Thomson and Ms Bacall .The
second match sees the battle of year 11 taking place as Declan Gorman and Joe Pancisi take on Rory Shotton
and Keenan Chambers.
The following week on Monday18th March sees Saffron Cawley and Mr Parr against George White and James
Hunt take part in the first match. The fourth quarter final game sees the two Joes Joseph Collins and Joseph
Cuomo take on Mrs Waring and Mr Rutter. Good luck to all our quarter finalists.
School Sports Partnership
Mr Ritchie would once again like to thank the Year 10
Sports Leaders for the effort and enthusiasm during the
Badminton officiating course on Wednesday. The pupils
involved were: Courtney Lancashire, Georgia Barratt,
Orlagh Condon, Rebecca Taylor, Ashley Haynes, Ethan Lee,
Jack Repton, Jacob Watts, Joe Doherty, Kristian Cieslak,
Leon Kenny, Liam Wicks, Liam Holmes, Matthew
Mortimer-Beeston and Oliver Vial.
Mr Ritchie would also like to thank the Year 8 Kickstart
boys for the effort and commitment to the sessions.
Already on the project they have been bowling,
attended a number of fitness sessions and this week
they were coached by a qualified football coach. The project is aimed to improve the pupils' confidence and
raise their attainment in PE. The pupils involved on the project are: Ryan Whitehead, Alex Holmer, Bobby
Hunter, Owen Musselwhite, Jack Bird, Harry Brady, Emi Ephraim, Rhys O’Donnell, Finn Broderick, Mason
Bramley, Kieran Peabody, Brandon Walster, Cameron Preston, Sam Morley and Joe Heath.
Learning and Teaching at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy
Mrs Brambell would like to congratulate the following Year 11 students who matched their GCSE target in a
recent assessment on Vocation: Anna Lakomska; Emily Morley (1 mark off 100%!); Daniel Opiah; Brodie
Raeside; Catherine Richardson, and Joel Sumpter. Well done!
The following students have done particularly well and deserve special recognition for exceeding their GCSE
targets: Ella Barlow (A); Francesca Dolcimascolo (A); Sinead Flynn (A* - one mark off 100%!); Georgia Aldous (A);
Saffron Cawley (A); Alice Harper-Bates (A); Michael Higson (A); Rhys Keily (C); Tommi Linton (B); Krystof Motyka
(B); Philip Robertson (A); Keenan Chambers (B) and Hannah Salt (A* - one mark off 100%!). Congratulations and
Three students produced outstanding results and got 100% in the assessment which is absolutely brilliant:
India Wild; Rebecca Gabriel and Jake Smith. Many congratulations to you all and very well done!
In Year 7, the following students received praise postcards for presentation of work in RE, excellent homework
and contributions to class discussions: 7KJ: Elyse White; Megan Murphy, Amy Cullingworth, Georgia Renshaw
and Mili Cunningham. 7AVR: Adam Kavanagh. Well done and keep up the excellent attitude to learning
Miss Bailey would like to congratulate the following students from her RE groups: Megan Arundel, Amber-Lea
Fitzgerald, Grace Teasdale from 9JN and Millie Wheeldon from 9RP who achieved on or above their target
grades in their last assessment. Well Done!
Miss Bailey would also like to congratulate the following students from her Year 10 class. Okorite Ephraim,
Megan Harper-Bates, Jessica Manchester, Shay Ringland, Megan Curzon-Manners, Claire Parrott, Henry
Henshaw, Olivia Kelly, Laura Maguire, Jessica Seaton, Eleanor Fletton, Jess Godber, Chloe Greenham, Nick
Laurenti, Vicky Skelton and Will Sutton for meeting their target grade or above in their Revelation and
Finally she would like to praise her year 11 students: Kate Allan, James Hunt, Beth Kavanagh, Lorna Marshall,
Dominic Penna, Ellie Poxon, Ruth Rimmer, Rosie Thomas, Amy Ward for achieving their target grade and to
Anya Billyeald, Esme Cameron, Georgina Christodoulou, Alice King, Alessi Blount and Ben Robertson, Mia Dring,
Yenna O'Toole, Connor Smyth and Mary Squires for achieving above their target grade. Well done to all!
Mr Doczyminskyi would like to congratulate the following year 9 students for meeting their +3 level target in
the recent assessment on Islam: Oliver Babe, Scott Haynes, Natasha Lavery, Francesca Leaf, Jakub Matecki,
Rosie McNestry, Luke Moore, Amy Morley, Kathryn Parsons, Alex Read, Tiffany Smith, Georgina Wheeldon and
Alex Doar for exceeding +3 levels target. Well done indeed to all of you.
The boys of 7AVR have all been working very hard this week on spreadsheets, Adam Kavanagh and Alfie Arnold
in particular have done very well. Emi Ephraim, Charlie Manchester and Georgia Smalley in Year 8JS are taking
responsibility for their own project management and are progressing very well. Well done to all of you from
Business Communication Systems
Isabella Antcliff, Katie-Ann Chetwynd and Charlotte Kissane are all set on their business projects to produce
some very interesting new chocolate bar designs. Presentations of the products next Tuesday are sure to be a
great success. Well done to all of you.
Dates for you diary
Year 8 Erewash Schools netball tournament: Thursday 14 March @ Wilsthorpe School 3.30-5.00
Year 7 Erewash Schools netball tournament: Thursday 21 March @ Wilsthorpe School 3.30-5.00
Year 7 hockey practice is now on Monday lunch time 12.30 – 1.00 - everyone welcome
Mr Riley would like to commend the Year 10 football team for their efforts on Monday and in training
sessions. The team spirit is excellent and they are a pleasure to manage. Keep up the good attitude.
I received this message from Mrs Bowley from her sickbed this week “Just to say very well done from me to
Bradley Martin Y9 who has consistently beat his year-end target so far this year and achieved the best mark in
the class in the recent test, and also that I miss all my SJH friends, especially 7CB and am hoping to be back
soon. Mrs Bowley”
Mr Stuttard would like to congratulate Tiffany Smith in Year 9 who attained a fantastic level 7b in a recent
Dr Landy's Amazing Science Discoveries this week
Year 7 Thomas Rotherham for improvement in written work
Year 8 Olivia Radford for use of Science Dictionary
Year 9 James Brennan for improved detail in written work
Year 10 I have been very impressed with how hard all my Year 10s have studied for their mocks
Year 11 I have been very impressed with the performance of Year 11 Higher Chemistry Candidates in
GCSE results this week
Mrs Nash would like to congratulate the following students from her classes.
Year 7: Louise Farmer, Nicola Lewis, Kevin John, Aaron Owen, Billy Patton, Lyka Lorenzo for excellent effort in
Year 8: Lilly Cawley, Owen Musselwhite, Saul Cobb, Madeleine Fletton, Eleanor Rhodes, Guy Sharp, Evie Taddeo
for trying their best and determination.
Year 9: Rosie McNestry for improvement of presentation of her work, Joshua Axe and Chloe Bowmar
improvement in isometric drawing, Jordan McMullan for effort, Jessica Gilhooly for determination.
Year 10: Chloe Morley, Jessica Manchester, Ashley Haynes, Kai Grant, Harrison Burroughs, Benito Preite,
Hannah Seale, Liam Holmes, for good Transformations work.
Year 11 set 5: Miles Skelton, Yenna O'Toole, Katie Johnson for effort this week. All of the class for preparing
well for their GCSE exam this week and last week. Well done to all of you.
Mr McNally told me that his Year 9 historians have recently completed a home based assessment on an aspect
of World War Two. They had a choice to research and study the Blitz, the bombing of Dresden or the dropping
of the Atomic Bombs on Japan. The following students from 9RP and 9PB went beyond what would be
expected in terms of effort and produced outstanding pieces of work; Lucy Buss, Jessica Gilhooly, Eileen Kelly,
Imogen Radford, Leah Watt, Holly Howorth, Lucy Stanton-Lynch, Millie Wheeldon and Ben Widdowson. Well
done to all of you.
Mrs Hartharn would like to congratulate her Year 8 Geography classes 8EL, 8HB and 8BP for their
excellent Renewable Energy presentations they have produced this week. Well done, keep it up!
Just for Fun
How many different squares are
there in this image?
Joke of the week
Congratulations to Ethan
Reeve who wins £5 from the
Headteacher’s purse for his
joke this week.
Q. Why are pubs haunted?
A. Because of all the spirits.
Clue: Mr Parr’s age is the same number…
…what’s that?... 27…oh don’t be silly!
It may be a shorter term than normal but as you can see we are still packing in a lot of activities this
half term. The days are getting longer and we even managed to see the sun this week during
lunchtimes. For some of our students in particular Year 11 the pressure is on and it is important that
we all work together to support them. Thank you as always for those of you I have met or been in
contact with this week. Your views and comments are always welcome.
Next week maybe an exciting week for us as the Conclave of cardinals may choose our next Pope.
I can assure you that I am not in the running for this job.
Wishing you and your families a lovely week ahead.