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ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY Weekly Newsletter

ISSUE 25.1




Ben Davis, Acting Headteacher Grassyards Rd Kilmarnock KA3 7SL 01563 526144 Twitter: @StJoAcad

Images from the S6 Leavers’ Mass and postMass reception.

Leavers’ Celebrations Over the past two weeks we have seen the S4 - S6 pupils head off on study leave to begin examinations. S4 - S5 Masses It was a pleasure to celebrate the beginning of study leave with pupils in S4 and S5 at St. Matthew’s Church. After readings and bidding prayers from the pupils Father Chambers provided some thoughts on moving on. Each Mass concluded with a message to the pupils, on behalf of the school, by the year heads. S6 Leavers We were proud and emotional to wave off our S6 Leavers last Friday. After some creative and entertaining hijinks at morning interval and a

moving reflection on 6 years at Home Room Assembly, the whole year came together with staff and many parents for Mass at 2pm. Mass was said by Father Chambers (who augmented his homily with a water pistol) with readings and Music provided by pupils themselves. The Mass concluded with excellent and emotional addresses by our Head Boy and Head Girl and their year head, Depute Mrs McInally who reflected on the achievements of the year and on the theme of love. After Mass the pupils and their parents gathered in the Street to socialise, say their goodbyes, sign yearbooks and shirts and generally make merry. We wish them all well in their exams and in their exciting futures - they are a great bunch. Higher Art & Design textile work: at this time of year the

pupils who are sitting certificate examinations in Art & Design package their work and send it to the SQA for assessment. This year it has been especially pleasing to see the sheer diversity of outstanding work by our S4 - S6 pupils. Pictured here are two textiles designed by Stephanie Swan (far left) and Hayley Wilson, both S5 pupils.



We heard on Friday that all of our Caritas Award pupils had been successful, meaning that we have 21 pupils who will be given this prestigious award. Well done to all the pupils, to Mr. Sikora and thanks to the parish priests and parishioners who have have supported our young people. We are still finalising ticketing and travel arrangements for the Caritas Awards ceremony on June 2nd in Glasgow.

We are delighted to highlight the fact that Kilmarnock is the proud winner of the Creative Place Award for 2013. The award, from Creative Scotland, has been bestowed on the town in recognition of the year round series of festivals and wide range of arts events and programming. You can find out more about the work going on in East Ayrshire relating to this award by visiting the dedicated website where you will also find details of the many outstanding events in which you can take part over the next year:

Pupils speak at national event

S2 Parents’ Evening


Two of our S5 pupils, Bethany McPhee and Lauren Lindsay, spoke at an Education Scotland conference recently.

The S2 Parents’ Consultation evening took place on Thursday, April 25th. Out of a year group of 130 pupils, 64% of pupils were represented by at least one parent or carer.

S3 work experience takes place over the next two weeks May 9th Ascension Day

They were invited to talk about the work that St. Joseph’s does for all pupils to prepare them for moving on to a positive destination such as work, further or higher education. The girls spoke particularly about the support they have received from staff and the way that their course choices, NPA Bakery in particular, have helped to ready them for their education and life beyond school. Unphased by the audience of headteachers, directors and policymakers they also joined in discussion groups that sought to inform future decisions and planning at national level. Both girls spoke with confidence and assurance and made a significant contribution to the day. They were praised by the delegates and described by the Education Scotland senior manager as ‘guests of honour’.

In their evaluations of the evening it was pleasing to note that they were very positive about the school, praising the dedication of staff, the concern shown for the care and welfare of all pupils and the fantastic range of opportunities on offer to young people. Staff were similarly positive about the evening. U-18s poised for top honours The most senior football team in the school are on the brink of double success having got through to the final of Ayrshire Cup against Kyle Academy at Dam Park on May 17th (7.00 pm) as well as being in the semi-final of the East Ayrshire Cup (Grange Academy tba). S1 trip to Heads of Ayr Expect to read more in the next edition, but we were very proud of Miss Blacklock’s enterprising S1 LS360 class who arranged their own class visit.

May 27th Bank Holiday May 28th S3 Diploma of Achievement awards evening, 7 pm June 6th & 7th S5/6 return June 9th Enspire Festival June 19th Sports Day June 20th P7 Parents’ Evening 7 pm June 19th - 21st P7 Induction June 25th S1/2 awards School Uniform: Blazers All parents should have received, either on paper or by email, a detailed parental update last week. Part of this document contained details regarding the purchase of school blazers for next session. Parents are asked to ensure that their child(ren) has a blazer. There are now three affordable ways of doing this: second hand (from £20), new polyester (from £30) and new wool (from £70). A senior tie will also be available for next session.

Home Room Weekly Reflection: What sport teaches us about life No-one could run a mile in under 4 minutes until May 6th, 1954, when 25-year old Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds in Oxford. Since then a few people have beaten his record. The record-breaking Bannister, who later became a medical doctor, wrote a book called “First Four Minutes”. He observed: “Sooner or later in sport we run into situations that are too big for us to master. In real life we can dodge them. We can play hide and seek with reality, never facing the truth about ourselves. In sport we cannot. It shakes our roots with its confusing pattern of success and failure. As a result, sport leads to the most remarkable selfdiscovery of our limitations as well as of our abilities. We all have ideals, and as we have grown up we have the choice whether to pursue them or to give them up. If we pursue them we may not attain them. At times we may wonder whether there is any point in the pursuit, because of the sacrifices involved. We need to strive to achieve more and more, not for purely selfish motives, but because of the recognition of some higher purpose. The aim is to move with the greatest possible freedom towards the realisation of the best within us. This is the quest of a lifetime, and sport plays only a small part in it.” Let us pray: Lord, each of us has different talents and abilities. We ask you to inspire us to discover and develop the best within us. Lead us to be both humble and generous in praising others for the good use of their talents. Amen. PARISH MASS TIMES St. Matthewʼs: 10.00 am, Fr. Chambers ! ! St. Michaelʼs: 12.00 noon, Fr. McGhee ! ! St. Paulʼs: 9.30 am, Fr. Lawson ! ! ! St. Sophiaʼs: 11.30 am Fr. Lawson ! ! Our Lady & St. John: 6.00 pm (vigil), Fr. Chambers

St. Josephʼs: 6.00 pm (vigil), 11.00 am Fr. Latham Our Lady of Mount Carmel: 9.00 am, Fr. McGhee Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Patrick: 6.00 pm (vigil), Fr. McGrattan St. Thomas the Apostle: 9.00 am, Fr. McGrattan !St. John the Evangelist: 10.45 am, Fr. McGrattan

May 7th Parent News SJA