We hope our Summer newsletter gives you an insight into the many exciting events and fun-filled activities that our students and staff have enjoyed during a busy year at St John’s.
As always, we are extremely proud of what our young people have achieved and their enthusiasm and commitment are outstanding – they are truly amazing individuals!
From sporting achievements at regional, national and international levels, celebration events and Bishop Auckland Town Council Awards to Arts projects, visits from famous authors and foreign exchanges/residential trips to Kingswood, Iceland and Barcelona, there has never been a dull moment at St John’s. Whilst our students participate in many activities that enrich their education and life experiences, it is always wonderful to see them dedicating so much time and effort in helping those who are less fortunate than themselves.
Their commitment to charitable acts was particularly evident during our pilgrimage to Lourdes at Easter when a group of 31 students and staff attended liturgical celebrations, participated in the torchlight procession and offered their prayers and private intentions at Our Lady’s Grotto. More recently, a group of 17 Sixth Form students and 4 staff have just returned from Project Peru, working with communities in Iquitos, an area of extreme poverty. Whilst there, our group helped to build/extend dining facilities, created a seating area and taught lessons to local children. As “A Learning Community Guided by Gospel Values” we strive to provide opportunities that can be truly life- changing and experiences such as our Lourdes Pilgrimage and Project Peru have a major impact on our students and staff; all participants fully appreciate how their help, support and acts of kindness can make a huge difference to the world and the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.
During this year students have also taken full advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to them from visits to universities and exhibitions to developing their spiritual, cultural and social understanding through reflective retreat experiences and creative workshops. With a wealth of extra-curricular events, sporting tournaments, liturgical experiences and Catholic Partnership activities, this has certainly been a busy and exciting year for one and all.
As we draw to the end of this busy term we would like to give a special mention to the members of staff who are retiring from teaching at the end of this academic year: Julie Mackenley (Assistant Headteacher), Karen Hellens (Assistant Head of Science) and Helen Sayer (Modern Foreign Languages Teacher). Together they have given over 65 years of loyal service to St John’s and have taught, mentored and guided generations of students throughout their education, working tirelessly to ensure that every student achieves their full potential within a safe and supportive environment. Their commitment to St John’s has been remarkable and their dedication has ensured that our community continues to be a very special place to learn, work and grow. On behalf of St John’s we would like to say a big “THANK YOU” to these members of staff and wish them a very happy retirement and a well-earned rest!
As we approach the Summer holidays we would like to take this opportunity to wish our Year 11, 12 and 13 students every success with their examination results. They have worked extremely hard and have faced the challenges of their exams with great determination. We wish them good luck and welcome all who are returning to St John’s Sixth Form in September.
Finally we wish you all a safe, enjoyable and relaxing Summer holiday and we look forward to seeing you all again in September.
Lisa Byron, Head Teacher