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St Mark’s Catholic School

No. 1 - Autumn 2012

Christmas Concert

The annual St Mark’s Christmas Concert, which took place on the evening of Thursday 13th December, was another spectacular success. With performances showing off a whole range of the students’ talents, it was truly a Christmas concert to remember.

and setting a beautiful tone for the rest of the concert.

The audience were further treated to a unique collaboration of the Choir, Orchestra and selected Rock Band members to form ‘Roquiem’. They performed ‘In Paradisium’, achieving a special up-tempo blend of live rock Uplifiting calypso sounds acoustics, orchestral instruments welcomed the audience as the and wonderful vocals. jazzy renditions of traditional Steel Band played their lively compositions of traditional Further participation was seen carols combined with students’ favourite Christmas chart Christmas carols. from a drama group who created classics. They later brought the a sketch called ‘Christmas evening to a close with ‘The First Opening the evening was Whisper’ taking a light hearted Noel’ leaving all to go home with Year Seven Alexander O’shea, look at the christmas message. a true sense of the Christmas who sang ‘O Little Town of spirit. Bethlehem’, warming our hearts The Choir also performed a on the particularly cold evening Christmas medley, including Co-ordinator Mr Martin was exceptionally pleased with the efforts of all the participants, he commented, “Events like this take a lot of commitment and dedication but all the hard work is worth it in the end.” This proved to be very true on the night! Well done to all those who helped make the Christmas Concert a beautiful success.


Merry Christmas!

Prize Giving


The term ends with an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our students in the academic year 2011 – 12. Prizes awarded range from Form Prizes spanning Years 7 to 13 which are given in recognition of Application and Progress, to Subject Prizes and Special Awards.

Special Award winners (L to R): Ashby Ann Mathews, Hayley Chadwick, Eric Addy, Oscar Crowe, Shanice Adjei Ampofo, Hannah McGee. In this special Olympic year we are delighted to celebrate the achievements of our own students with special guest, top ranked badminton player in the UK, Team GB member, Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former student, Rajiv Ouseph.


Welcome to our re-vamped Newsletter, Veritas. As indicated previously it was decided last summer to replace the old half termly Newsletter with a more colourful, modern and engaging termly publication. I am sure you will agree that this production meets that criteria. I would like to thank Ms Cramer, Mr Masters and all the staff and students who have contributed towards this production. On this occasion we have decided to produce hard copies of Veritas. In future we will simply send a digital copy home via Parentmail and place a copy on our website. As this production clearly demonstrates, St Mark’s Catholic School is a vibrant place to study and work. There are lots of opportunities for student enrichment through the various trips, events and extra-curricular activities. I urge students to seize these opportunities. Thank you to staff for going the extra mile, sometimes literally, and to parents for your tremendous support for our school life. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Paul Enright


Double Award winner Karl De Menezes

Thanks to our fantastic Sixth Form students for their determination, dedication and sheer hard work as reporters, photographers and editors. The Veritas team members are: Marion Didon, Edona Doci, Vanessa Donkoh, David Flaherty, Amy Gorton, Anna Hibberd, Funmi Odunewu, Alyssa Paala, Orianna Rosa Royle, Peter Rutzler and Natasha Sullivan.



The Balloon Debate took place on Tuesday 9th of October with Mr Hanlon in the chair. The theme was ‘British Sports Personality of the Year’, and as expected after London 2012 the majority of candidates were athletes. Unsurprisingly, there were a few teams arguing the case for Mo Farah (complete with mobot!), a Bradley Wiggins team, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds, Andy Murray and even one team ignoring the rules and entering American runner Manteo Mitchell - they were Congratulations soon disqualified... to Key Stage Three There was outstanding ability demonstrated from all participants, even when put under pressure to liken their chosen sports personality to a food. In case you’re wondering, Jessica Ennis is a pizza!

winners Campion and Key Stage Four joint winners Campion and Pole.

The competition culminated in a quick fire round with all participants shouting facts and figures, and some falling back on sob stories to keep them in with a chance of the top prize.


In late October the House Music Competition took place in the Main Hall. There were great entries from all houses at both Key Stage Three and Four with an array of entries from bands and soloists covering artists ranging from Rihanna and Adele to Jimi Hendrix.

Congratulations to Kieran Collingwood who won for Clitherow in Key Stage Three with his version of Lucy Rose’s ‘Night Bus’, and also to Pole’s Karl De Menezes , Tommy O’Neill and Max Mayo Dell who took first place in Key Stage Four with their rendition of the James Brown classic ‘I Feel Good’. 4

Competitions Drama

The Drama competition took place on 21st November with students from Year Seven through to Year Eleven acting out historic events. Key Stage Three entries included excellent performances based on ancient Greek mythology, 9/11, Christmas Day during World War Two (with a wonderful script written by Becket House Captains!) and Henry VIII and his wives. However the winning entry was from Pole House; all students were dressed in authentic costumes as they acted on a split stage cleverly depicting both the Polish and English views of the Second World War. Attention then turned to Key Stage Four to impress the judges. Entries consisted of Pole taking third place with their depiction of JFK’s shooting and Campion in second place with a portrayal of the French Revolution complete with marvellous French accents! However, it was Becket House that took first place with an outstanding interpretation of the slave trade.

Cake Decorating

The Cake Decorating Competition was a far from quiet affair with what seemed like millions of students and teachers descending upon the Food Technology rooms on 11th December. Their task was to decorate their cakes with the best design and, in the case of some, with as many things as they could possibly put on! The standard was higher than ever with stables made of bourbon biscuits and sparklers acting as stars, making the judges’ selection all the more difficult. Despite some attempts at sneaky bribery the winners were selected; Clitherow took third, Becket second and the highly competitive Campion won.



West London Citizens and the Brixton Academy Concert

It began on a chilly November morning with an assembly presented by a group of West London Citizens volunteers who gave a very interesting talk about the various acts and deeds that they perform throughout London.

The West London Citizens also introduced the CitySafe Celebration, a concert to be held at Brixton Academy concert to celebrate 100 Days of Peace over the Olympic period. CitySafe is a campaign established by London Citizens in response to the deaths of young people on the streets of London. Bands were invited to audition to play at the concert hosted by Choice FM’s nationally renowned DJ Abrantee. Two St Mark’s bands, ‘Crystal Whites’ and ‘Please Mind the Gap’, were lucky enough to be called back after auditioning to perform at this inspiring event. Following on from this, St Mark’s students were asked to attend the prestigious London Assembly to represent the whole of West London Secondary schools – an 6


St Vincent de Paul Society is an organisation which provides young people of ages 11-18 with the opportunity to do voluntary work within the local community whilst putting their faith into action. On Mondays, Year 12 students go to Oaklands School where they help out with the ICT after school club and a Year 13 student goes on Wednesdays to help out with their cooking club. They learn how to interact with the pupils who may suffer from disabilities and even build up friendships with them. Also, Year 10 and 11 pupils visit The Cloisters Nursing Home to help out when they can. This allows them to build relationships with the elderly and the visits can make a big difference. With a short visit, they can make an instant change with their mood, talk to them and cheer them up.

On Thursdays, at St Michael and St Martin Primary School, Year 10s help out with the Football club for the younger students in Years 1- 3, and on Fridays help with multi-sports for Year 2 - 6 impressive achievement. This pupils. took place in November and was held in the Islamic Centre With opportunities like these, of England in Maida Vale. The students learn to put their faith assembly was to ensure the into practice such as ‘love thy renewing of memberships for neighbour,’ and make small the organization, for volunteers changes in the community. Their to pay their dues and most dedication and commitment importantly recommit to working offer support to those in need. together to ensure a healthier Our students soon find that and more connected local they continue this work as they community for the London Area. themselves are inspired, and Year 12 students Chelsea Rose also hope to be an inspiration to and Alyssa Barbaran delivered others. powerful speeches at the assembly and represented the school very successfully.



During the last week of July the Chaplain Frances Soiza and four Sixth Form students Jason Bomford-Bromfield, Reeve and Clint De Souza and Lea Abi Akl went on the Westminster Diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes. They raised the money to go on this trip through fund raising events such as film nights and cake sales. A Jack Petchey Small Grants award of £100 went towards transportation and T-shirts. Once in Lourdes the students were separated into teams where each person was given a ‘malade’ each day - ‘malade’ being a French term for ill. They looked after their malades by taking them to Mass, out shopping and keeping them

company. Lea Abi Akl said that whilst caring for her malade she met the ‘most lovely people,’ and that she relished this opportunity to help others. When asked whether she saw any miracles during the trip she replied, ‘To see so much happiness at one place is a miracle. Yes, at times waking up early everyday became gruelling, but the experience as a whole was rewarding and seeing my malade’s smile made it worth it.’

St Mark’s Gets on Board for Tax Justice!

Tax is not a topic you hear being talked about by teenagers on the street. Nor is it a subject routinely broached in school, church, and up until a few years ago, in Parliament.

But all this is changing. The issues of tax evasion and tax justice are being brought into the public light and 10 students from St Mark’s were lucky enough to take part in speeches, discussions and presentations about it on the Tax Justice Bus, run by Christian Aid and Church Action On Poverty. This programme has been travelling the UK to educate people about tax avoidance, the severe consequences it is having not only in Britain, but overseas also, and what exactly can and is being done about it. The aim is to promote tax injustice across the UK in order to combat lack of public knowledge about this issue which is making it hard to tackle.

When we arrived, we were welcomed warmly onto the bus at its stop in Teddington to view the main facts and figures associated with tax evasion, many of which shocked and repulsed us. It is scandalous that £35 billion is lost every year in the UK through tax loopholes. Furthermore, 60% of global trade runs through tax havens, showing that secrecy is at the heart of the problem. Christian Aid’s view is therefore that ‘every £1 dodged in tax is £1 less to spend on public service, hospitals, education and most importantly – tackling poverty’. Xavier Muamba, a representative from Zambia, spoke about the effect of tax evasion on the poorest people. He believes it to be a cultural issue as well as political. Whilst strongly supporting the idea that Zambia needs to independently support itself financially, Xavier also encourages the union of countries to effectively close the international loopholes that are resulting in billions upon billions of pounds being evaded by individuals worldwide. Zambia faces a severe issue of providing for its population which appears to be struggling to survive, even though it is smaller than that of England. ‘The government needs to seal the leaking bucket’ is how Xavier Muamba summarised the problem. The students from St Mark’s agreed.


Faith in Action


Operation: Secret Santa

For the past couple of months Year 12 students have been taking part in Faith in Action in which different classes undertake numerous activities in order to give back to our community. One of these wonderful activities consisted of the students devising fundraising activities within the school in order to purchase Christmas presents for children aged 0-16 in care. One group organised a legwaxing activity in which Sixth Form boys volunteered to get their legs waxed, much to the amusement of the audience of younger students, who had paid 50p to watch the event. Other activities were events such as cake sales, penalty shootouts, and the ever popular Krispy Kreme sales.

presented them to Leslie Thomas from Hounslow Social Services. Mr Enright and a few students gave speeches, showing their appreciation not only to the students who had worked so hard, but also to the teachers Mr Fanning and Ms McDonald who played an active role in the operation by helping to decorate the hall and giving the students a push to get the work done.

However it wasn’t only the Year 12 students who gathered presents; many pupils in the younger years heard about the cause and many of them donated presents to the cause also. This is just a reminder of how considerate and caring the students at St Mark’s are. The whole operation was extremely successful and gratifying not only for our students, but also, we hope, for the With the money that was raised, the students children in care who will receive some were able to buy presents for the children and extra presents this Christmas.

Senior Citizens’ Party

The Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party on the 12th December, organised by the Year 12s as part of the Faith in Action scheme, was a real festive success. The Sixth Formers had been organizing this event since September, and held countless fundraising events which included a hot chocolate sale, ‘Board Games Extravaganza’ and so much more. Ultimately it all paid off as the party was thoroughly enjoyed by both the hosts and our guests.

Oaklands Party

Year 12 students have organised fundraising events such as selling Krispy Kremes, cupcakes and holding a penalty shoot-out, raising £250 to hold the Oaklands Christmas Party. Year 12 students, accompanied by Ms Reid, visited the children at Oaklands and interviewed the children using questionnaires and pictures. Despite their mental and physical disabilities, students were able to realise that they had many things in common, especially music, as they shared their love for artists like Rihanna and Olly Murs. The evening was jam-packed with events such as dance-offs, pass the parcel and prizes for the best dressed and the best dancer.

The party was accompanied by an array of entertainment such as the St Mark’s Choir, raffles A ‘red’ theme was incorporated for the evening and bingo. The Year 12s felt proud of all and students enjoyed a range their great efforts, really re-enforcing the of party food and drink. and a fundamentals of what FIA is all about parting gift from Santa (Kacper giving students the opportunity to put their Wozniak). faith into action. As Ms Reid, Coordinator of FIA, said, “What better way to do this than to give something back to such valuable members of society?”

Army Engineering Challenge at Eton College

On 7th November, ten Year 10 students from St Mark’s took part in the annual Army Engineering Challenge at Eton College.

schools. While watching a video clip of a basketball game from the London 2012 Paralympics we were welcomed to Eton College and given a brief on our After several minutes of admiring task. the spectacle of the College, we were directed into the Grand Our task was to design and Hall and instructed to sit at construct a device that allowed tables with corresponding team someone to shoot a ball into numbers to those on our name a hoop and have it returned tags. We introduced ourselves automatically, without any to the other members of our assistance. The aim was to get team, each hailing from different the ball into the hoop and back to the shooting spot three times in a row in the quickest time possible. Getting the ball into the hoop was worth 50 points and getting it back to the shooting spot was worth another 50. The purpose of the challenge was to show how our designs could be put into

practice in future Paralympic events. There were prizes for the winning team which was the team that got the most hoops into the basket and back again in the quickest time possible.

Maths’ Challenge

Art of Pathology

Once again, St Mark’s students have enjoyed success in the UK Maths’ Challenge competitions. Congratulations are in order for the 17 Year 12 and 13 candidates who took on the dauntingly hard sums in the Senior Challenge 2012. Their exploits garnered a cracking seven Bronze and seven Silver Awards - and three honourable mentions from Mr Gold! 10

However, it wasn’t all about winning as there were also prizes awarded for the team that displayed the most teamwork and also for the most creative design. Two of our students were part of the teams winning prizes - for the best teamwork and the most creative idea; a crossbow. The evening ended on a high with sandwiches, socialising and the taking of pictures. The students all agreed that it was a highly enjoyable experience and one that they all enjoyed being a part of.

Congratulations to Rose Stephens on becoming the Year 7 - 9 winner of the Art of Pathology Competition which was put together by West Middlesex Hospital as part of their promotion of ‘2012: The Year of Pathology.’

CAFOD Soup Lunch


Our yearly campaign to raise money for charitable causes included fundraising for the Harvest Feast Day which took place on Friday 5th October. The CAFOD Soup Lunch was once again a huge success as a result of the generosity and hard work of our students. Sixth Formers peeled and chopped leeks and potatoes for an entire morning, producing an appetizing, nutritious and delicious soup. Whilst staff seemed to enjoy it, for some students it may have been more of an acquired taste‌. Either way, the donations from students and staff raised an impressive £225 for CAFOD.

Charity Golf Day

The fundraising venture this term took the form of a charity Golf Day for parents, staff and the local community with the Ghana Team students doing the caddying! On a bitterly cold day in October the golf tournament began. The keenly competitive golfers and their dutiful caddies had to battle gale force winds as well as each other over the 18 holes. After a long day the tired golfers then settled down in the warm clubhouse to enjoy a well-deserved hot meal. Following this there was a presentation of prizes for everything from the lowest score to the longest drive. Golfers and caddies alike all agreed that the Golf day was a great success, both in terms of the fun of the sport and the positive outcomes of the event. The students would like to thank all the golfers who came out to play, the sponsors of the holes and Mr Harvey for running and organising such a successful event. The event raised over ÂŁ1,500 for the Ghanain expedition.

17 students in Years 12 and 13 have been busy raising funds to enable them to go on a charity expedition to support local villages. The trip was originally planned for Madagascar, but due to advice from the Foreign Office the destination has now changed to Ghana. The 14 day trip, which is due to take place in July 2013, will involve the students in a construction project and working with Fairtrade cocoa plantations to improve the lives of the local communities. Before they can take part the students have to raise funds to cover their own costs.

National Poetry Day

Year 9 French Play

The LRC hosted a Candlelit Poetry Cafe to In September the whole of Year 9 watched an celebrate National Poetry Day on Thursday 4th authentic French play, “Les Filles”, being performed October 2012. in school solely in French by two foreign actors. No English was spoken at all and the pupils did brilliantly well in working out the meaning of harder Classes came to the phrases through the expressions and mimes of LRC with poetry they had the actors. One pupil was even brought on stage written themselves, and to partake in the action and was very impressive! we all enjoyed listening to The play was very funny and described a very these, as well as others eventful day in the life a teenage boy with serious reading from anthologies. girl problems. It brought to life the relevance and immediacy of understanding and speaking a The candlelight and foreign language, as well as helping pupils realise refreshments made an inspiring and calm that they don’t need to be fluent or understand atmosphere enjoyed by us all. every word to get by. Appreciation was shown by the clicking of fingers, rather than clapping, which helped keep the occasion peaceful! It was the first time we have tried this, but it won’t be the last!


In November, St Mark’s participated in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s “Top of the Bench” competition in which twenty-one schools took part, most of which were private and selective schools. The students that represented St Mark’s at the competition were Allyson McMenamin-Benjamin (9 CA), Jade Chopra (9PO), James Blake (10FI) and Markian Panas-Obrien(11FI). There were 8 rounds, each containing difficult chemistry questions, many being far ahead of the expected progress on the curriculum for students of that age. St Mark’s score was 59 points, only two behind St Benedict’s, the school hosting the competition. It was a very good event that everyone enjoyed and a big thanks and congratulations goes to those who represented the school. 12

Black History Month

To celebrate this event on Tuesday 16th October, eight students were invited to attend a Poetry Slam Workshop at the Paul Robeson Theatre in Hounslow. The students thoroughly enjoyed the event and wrote some beautiful poetry. The students were a credit to St Mark’s. The event was hosted by Richard Grant alias Dreadlock Alien who is Birmingham’s 10th Poet Laureate.

Greek Tragedy Study Day

Four lectures by four experts in their field, Greek Tragedy, were dangled temptingly before the Year 13 Classics Group and like the good students they are, they all said yes. We all safely travelled up to Holborn and made our way round to Conway Hall to have this expert knowledge imparted to us. The chairs were an exciting red, perhaps reflecting


the amount of blood spilt in a Greek tragedy, and proved to be reasonably comfortable for the day. The hall was filled with young people eager to have their understanding deepened. The first lecture was on Agamemnon; this is not a play we study but we had read it at the end of Year 12 so it was not “all Greek” to us! The three remaining lectures were directly relevant to our plays and pages were covered with detailed and useful notes. After the final lecture we returned to the tube to ponder the insights that had been offered to us by these eminent scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick and Royal Holloway

Year 13 BBFC

In September, the A Level Media classes visited the British Board of Film Classification in Soho as part of their study of the regulation of film in the UK. The seminar consisted of a presentation by a BBFC Examiner which was illustrated with clips from relevant films, and opportunities to ask questions about classification and regulation of film and DVD material in the UK.


The Year 13 Classically Civilised group, together with Ms Crouch and Ms Murphy, went to see Medea at Richmond Theatre. The play was written by Euripides in 431BC for performance in Athens. It tells the story of the relationship between Medea and Jason (of the Argonauts fame) after she has helped him steal the Golden Fleece from her father. She and Jason have married and have two sons. When they journey to Corinth, Jason decides to abandon Medea and marry Glauke, the daughter of the King. Medea is hurt, furious and bitter. She plots a terrible revenge. She is determined to hurt Jason as much as she can. She pretends to accept his new marriage and sends their two sons with gifts to the bride. The gifts are poisoned and inflict a terrible death on the princess and her father when he tries to help her. Not content with this, Medea then kills her two sons, believing that this will cause Jason the most pain. She then escapes to Athens. This was a modern day reworking of the play.

It was interesting to see how the role of the BBFC has developed over the years with the emphasis today much less on censorship than on informing the public about the content of films through the process of classification. When films have cuts made it is usually in order for the distributor to get a lower age certificate for their film and so increase their potential audience. We got to see part of the uncut version of The Hunger Games, which would have been given a 15 certificate, and how this was cut very slightly in order to get it passed as a Expectations were exceeded as students 12A. commented that they expected it to be more serious and less comical. The students were There was general agreement that being a BBFC impressed by the production and the staging examiner must be interesting work, and a few of saying that, “The set was interesting and made the final questions were about how to get a job their lives more relatable,” and it was, “brilliantly laid out”. there!

New Beginnings: Year 7 Welcome Mass for Year 7

mass was that every individual is created by God and is precious to God, reinforcing the school’s aim to nurture every individual and to support pupils.

The transition from primary to secondary school is often a nervous and daunting time for students. However, here at St Mark’s we feel it is important to take Year 7 Retreat A Note From time to welcome Each form attends a Ms O’Connell this change and retreat at Botwell Year 7 PPL ensure the new House in Hayes, It’s hard to believe that the Year 7’s feel this is a great a sense of new Year 7 have been here a chance for not belonging as term already. They have settled only the form to in wonderfully and have they embark get to interact and made an excellent start to know each other on a new chapter in their their journey though St better but also for Mark’s. education. To tutors to learn more introduce the new about their pupils. Each Year 7’s to life at St Form went on this retreat Mark’s, a Welcome Mass was accompanied by their Form Tutor, organised by the Chaplain at our RE teacher and the Chaplain and neighbouring parish; St. Michael the day was filled with activities & St. Martin’s. Father Derek based on the theme that ‘we are McGuire celebrated the mass all created in God’s image’. The with students, their families Retreat is a great opportunity and tutors as an opportunity to for students to learn about the reflect on their first few weeks spiritual aspect of life at St Mark’s. at the school. The theme of the The Max Bartrip Review St Mark’s has been so much fun! My favourite subjects are Drama, Science, Music and ICT. Drama is great fun, I really enjoy our small plays, our first assessment was ‘The Silly Waiter’. Lessons like Science are also enjoyable as we do many experiments including Mr Yiu’s exploding can! I have also participated in the Rugby Club and Science Club where we make chemical reactions and rockets! Could this school be any better? 14

Michelle Munyoro ‘St Mark’s is a great school. My first day might have been scary but now it feels like the school has soothed all of my fears and created happy feelings.’ Eoin Hanlon ‘I’m loving it here at St Mark’s. All of the teachers and students have made it so easy to settle in to the community.’

Megan O’Brien ‘When I first arrived I felt welcomed. I felt part of the school instantly.’

Samurai Evans ‘I enjoy St Mark’s. We do a lot of extracurricular activities. There is Netball, Rugby, Choir, Rock School, instrumental lessons and much more.’

Science Club

This half-term has seen the start of St Mark’s School Science Club for Year 7. The turnout from students has been great, allowing them to explore the fun side of science. The student’s imagination and curiosity has been fired through activities including bouncing custard balls, marble towers and most recently making and testing rockets.

and Year 12 After a fantastic set of GCSE results last summer, Year 12 have embarked upon the next stage of their journey at St Mark’s. They have adapted brilliantly to the demands of A Level subjects. As their teachers, we look forward to supporting both old students and new students as they continue to thrive academically, culturally and spiritually at St Mark’s. Ms Wickenden Year 12 PPL

‘Fish Tank’ Trip


In October, both Year 12 AS media classes went to the Vue Cinema at Westfield, London, to see ‘Fish Tank’, the BAFTA award winning independent film directed by Andrea Arnold. This trip was very useful as students will refer to this film as a case study of a British independent production in their January exam. In addition to watching the film in the cinema, the manager of Westfield’s Vue agreed to take part in a Q and A session with the students, the first time ever a group of students from any school have been permitted to do so. This was very beneficial as the students gained lots of valuable information about the process of exhibition and good information about his experience of managing Europe’s highest grossing fully digital cinema. Many students had mixed feelings about their overall opinion of the film, but nevertheless found this trip very interesting and would like to do something similar later in the school year.

‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’

For the audience, the reality check did not stop there. For maximum effect, volunteer members In October all students in Year 12 of the public also took to the stage with personal attended the ‘Safe Drive Stay stories about how their lives have been affected Alive’ awareness road show at by a fatal collision. Nick Bennett shocked the Questors Theatre in Ealing. theatre full of students when he described ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ is an how his refusal to wear his seatbelt and his award winning initiative to try to impatience on the road resulted in a headprevent young people being killed on collision with a truck which nearly cost or seriously injured on our roads. him his life and left him in a wheelchair with The live stage show, based around serious brain injuries when he was only 17. He a filmed reconstruction of a road traffic said, “My message is please don’t think that you collision, delivered hardcan drive dangerously without suffering hitting messages about the “It was particularly tough to the consequences. Take a look at the dangers associated with listen to these harrowing people sitting around you. They are driving. The high impact stories. But as many of us your friends and they will probably be performance traced the will be learning to drive, I the ones to egg you on in your car to events leading up to a road feel that it put everything take unnecessary risks but ask yourself traffic collision and then into perspective.” one question. Will those friends still followed the actions of the come and visit you when you’re stuck in emergency services dealing with the incident. a wheelchair? Because mine don’t.” At appropriate moments the film was paused whilst police, ambulance, fire and rescue and The real stories of accident and emergency staff spoke of their own life, loss, tragedy and “It was traumatic and experiences at the scene and of the aftermath. regret left the air heavy hard-hitting, leaving a with raw emotion and memorable impact” “I am always going to wear my seat impressed upon the belt when in a car, as I now know the audience that their future is in their hands.

consequence if I don’t.“

Debate Mate

‘Debate Mate’ kicked off with a bang in November signalling the beginning, for the first time, of a St Mark’s debate team! Pupils from Years Seven up to Ten took part in the launch event in Central London and have also begun training for their own debates which will see them pit their verbal wits against other schools from all over London.

The live debate, in front of a crowd of over five hundred people including our budding St Mark’s debaters, discussed the motion on whether exams should be banned. The debate was lively, but in the end it was down to an audience vote where it was decided, unsurprisingly, that exams should be abolished!

Twenty students went to the launch of Debate Mate at the Friends’ Meeting House in Central London, giving the students a chance to see the kind of skills and techniques they will be learning over the following weeks, as well as being given the chance to experience a full live debate.

Rotary Club

In November Hannah Burke, Ella Whiddett and Bethany Ames from Year 12 finished an impressive second in the Hounslow Rotary Club Public Speaking Competition, held at St Mark’s in the Main Hall.

The girls’ speech was on Power and Importance of Speech and Language, which they split into three segments. Hannah introduced the speech, Ella provided the central focus and Bethany concluded the speech with a vote of thanks.

After all the teams had finished their speeches, it was up to the judges from the Hounslow Rotary Club to decide on The girls competed in the senior section the winners. Rivers Academy took first of the competition against twelve teams place with our St Mark’s girls finishing just from four other schools, including Rivers behind them to take an impressive second place. Academy, Heathland school, Gunnersbury and the Green School.

Jack Petchey ‘Speak Out’ Challenge

James Dunning of Year 10 represented St Mark’s showdown. James said he thoroughly enjoyed the at the regional final of the Jack Petchey ‘Speak event and found it an excellent experience. Out’ Challenge held at Hounslow Manor School on 29th November. Following a public speaking training session held by a mentor from the Jack Petchey organisation, James was voted in to represent the school after speaking in front of the whole of Year 10 with his speech on language. Participants from Brentford School for Girls, The Green School, Gumley House, Gunnersbury, The Heathland School, Lampton Academy, Heston Community School and also Feltham Community College took to the stage in a public speaking 16


Film Club

As a Halloween treat ‘Coraline’ was shown at Film Club. The room was packed with students from mainly years 7 and 8 rushing in at 3:15pm as Mr Hanlon was still blacking out the room. As the room filled with excited chitter-chatter, treats of popcorn and space invader crisps were passed around. The classroom was transformed into a mini cinema as the image appeared on the large screen and the soundtrack blasted loudly through the surround sound system. With the rustling of packets and crunching of crisps, the atmosphere of the room became a Halloween special in itself. As soon as the haunting opening credits began silence took over the room and the air filled with excitement as everyone goggled at the screen munching as silently as possible. ‘Coraline’ is a tale about a little girl who finds another world through a little door where everything seems perfect, but not for long... There are strong similarities between this film and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ as both films follow the main protagonist, a young female

character, who searches in a dream world for something missing in their own world. From the childrens’ reactions after the film it was clear they had enjoyed it despite finding some scenes frightening. All had positive feedback; a new-comer said he would, ‘Definitely come again’ as he had so ‘enjoyed the film even though it was scary’. The students’ resentment at having to leave the film world and the atmospheric room to go home and back to reality was evident. However, there is always another film to look forward to after a long hard day at school. The Christmas Film Club treat? ‘Elf’, of course!



Rugby Training with London Scottish resumed again this year on Mondays after school with St Mark’s fielding teams from Year 7 up to the First XV’s. After one fixture postponement due to adverse weather conditions, the highlight for the St Mark’s Rugby was most certainly the Under 15s victory over arch-rivals Gunnersbury. The St Mark’s contingent have a forthcoming fixture against Isleworth and Syon where they will most certainly look to build on some solid performances.


The Year 7 Football Team has made an excellent start to the year, with the A team remaining unbeaten. They have made it through to the Middlesex Cup 1/4 final with some particularly impressive performances from captain Michael O’Neill, Zola Cardoso and Patrick Quinn. Well done to all the squad. The Year 8 Football Team has also made a very good start to the year and are currently lying second in the Hounslow Borough League with some impressive performances. They have also made the Middlesex Cup 1/4 finals beating Feltham 5-0 in the previous round. Current top scorer Niiokie Evans and star player Osaze Urhoghide have been particularly impressive so far this season.

The Year 9 team made an excellent start to their league campaign and are currently unbeaten in the league with two games remaining. They were really unlucky to exit the Middlesex cup in a 6-5 thriller against St Gregory’s. Goalkeeper Chihab Moussa is the new Joe Hart with some fantastic The U12s (Year 7) took part in a tournament performances. for emerging schools, finishing third overall following three defeats and three wins to round off a respectable outlay for our youngest Rugby The Year 10s have really developed into an excellent football side and have shown this in their competitors. league fixture against Rivers Academy which they won 6-2, with Tyrell Okolo getting Man of the Match. 1st XV Lost 7-12 Gunnersbury They hopefully will go on to a successful season in the Borough League. They were unlucky in the U15 Won 32-24 Gunnersbury Middlesex Cup losing to Kingsbury on penalties. U14 Drew 24-25 Heathlands U13 Lost 21-19 Gunnersbury The Year 11 team have only been entered into the U13 Drew 19-19 Heathlands County Cup this year due to study commitments but have managed to progress to the 1/4 finals hoping to reprise their Year 7 victory! Solid 1-0 and St Mark’s entered a Year 7 and a Year 8/9 boys’ 3-0 wins over Finchley Catholic High and Harrow team into the Cross Country Relay competition. High respectively have set the tone for what will The Year 7 boys, who included Jacob Stahlmann, hopefully be a successful campaign. The midfield Michael Camille, Rhys Wilson and Dylan Camara, 3 amigos of Joe Foley, Joe Jackson and Darryl managed an excellent fourth place finish. The Sanders have been ably supported by a strong Year 8/9 team, comprised of Hounslow Cross defensive unit and a potent attacking force. They Country Champion Joe Killip, Oscar Crowe and have been a pleasure to coach over their time at Marc Tidon, managed to finish an overall second the school. to round off an impressive performance from our Cross Country runners.

Cross Country


Senior Netball Rally

Year 8 & 9 Football


On 21st November, 30 girls from Years Eight and Nine took part in a football rally at Heathlands School. Despite the pouring rain and freezing cold, all three teams battled on and showed their excellent football skills and teamwork. Unfortunately none of the teams made the semifinals. However, all the students should be proud of themselves for playing on in the awful weather The standard of play was exceptionally high with and not giving up. everyone demonstrating excellent fair play and sportsmanship. Although St Mark’s did not win the Thank you to Ms Thomas and Mr Davies for taking title, each game played was filled with teamwork, the team and to Katie Howard, Colette Rodrigues and Aoife Hurley in Year 12 for their encouragement persistence and optimism. and support on the day. On 16th November, the St Mark’s Senior Netball Team took part in the annual Hounslow Borough netball rally, this year held at The Green School. All schools were split into separate pools. St Mark’s took two teams to the rally and both were put into the same pool along with Gumley, Chiswick and Heathlands.

Squads: Lia Volcere, Melissa Sowa, Katrina Rodrigues, Chelsea Owusu, Vianca Santillan, Shekarie James, Marion Ojua, Michaela Mannion, Louise Wiener Izzy Denny, Rebecca Henry Stumpe, Virtue Igbokwuwe, Claire Fernando, Anna McConnell, Vicky Windmill, Katie Porter, Eleni Yiasouma, Squad: Colette Rodrigues, Aoife Hurley, Rosina Klaudia Zaporowska, Megan Marsh Kitt, Katie Howard, Nadia Panas O’Brien, Amber Charles, Shauna Moran, Elizabeth O’Callaghan, Julia McCrossan, Laetitia Fernando, Hannah Adrianna De Almeida, Klaudia Lipa. Melanie Dias, Campbell, Laura Tanswell, Ellen Mitchell, Nicole Zahra, Karen Bangera, Frances ArtezaKatalynna Vicera Estavillo, Delia Faris, Simran Ocampo, Loretta Alvarez, Nethni Athuraliya, Ellie Conway, Lauren Burkesfield Grewal

Year 7 Tag Rugby

and B teams, Heathlands School and Brentford School for Girls. The girls showed great team spirit In September, a team of Year Seven girls took part and encouraged each other really well, managing in a Tag Rugby tournament held at Grasshoppers to win their first four games. In the final game, the team faced Chiswick School who had been RFU in Osterley. unbeaten all tournament. In a thrilling end-to-end game, St Mark’s were unfortunate to end up as As the tournament was so early in losers. the school year, there had not been any training. A notice The St Mark’s team finished second went out advertising the overall and should be commended on tournament and the uptake their skill and sportsmanship throughout was impressive. Many of the the tournament. girls taking part had played tag rugby at Primary School. A team of ten went to the tournament and immediately it was clear to see that they had skill and talent. In their league the St Mark’s team played Chiswick School, Rivers Academy A

Squad: Bronwyn Polley, Roisin Nevin, Dami Adeleye, Rachel Gorton, Michelle Munyoro, Molly Jennings, Milly Brand, Christina Newton, Niamh Walter, Jennifer Onuchukwu

Oxford and Cambridge Entrants board updated

Year 9 Trip to ‘Swan Lake’

Chef demonstration in GCSE Food Technology

Year 8 trip to the Jewish Museum

Jack Petchey Award winners

Hillsong visited St Mark’s

Year 7 Students enjoying a Science lesson

The School Christmas card, by Joshua Moran in 7 Pole

Veritas - 1  

The new St Mark's Catholic School newsletter, Veritas.

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