I write this message, at a time when we again, adjust to further changes in response to the challenges of this pandemic. Like all of you, I am sure, I was looking forward to June 21st and life resembling more of the ‘normal’ we once knew and perhaps did not fully appreciate until it was taken away. We pray that the current postponement proves to be temporary and we hope that all of our freedoms will once again return to us.
As we progress through these challenging times together, we are mindful that our continued collaboration and strong working partnership is the only way in which we can overcome the challenges that we encounter. We look forward to officially welcoming The Rosary Catholic Primary School, St Chad’s Catholic Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School into our MAC on September 1st.
Our Academy ‘Mission’ has been strengthened during this pandemic, which is to provide all of our pupils with an excellent education, to support them in achieving absolutely anything that they set their ambition for. We fully support the spiritual, academic, social and emotional development of all young people entrusted into our care. There are ‘no limits’ to what can be achieved in our Academy.
Following a Directors Meeting on Thursday 10th June, I am delighted that the following Academy ‘Mission Statement’ has been chosen to inspire and lead our work together in the months and years ahead:
The Saint Teresa of Calcutta MAC exists to serve and encourage young people to discover their God-given gifts and talents. With the example of Christ as our centre, we focus on what unites us as children of God and the messages of love, service, mercy and compassion found in the Gospel to create a caring and loving environment in which the children of our communities can become spiritual, inspired, successful citizens of the world.
A huge thank you to School Chaplains and members of our Chaplaincy Teams, for collaborating to produce such a clear and well defined message to guide us as we move forward together as a family of schools.
Our recent pupil competition to create a new ‘Academy Motto’ brought spectacular results, with 484 youngsters submitting an entry! I hope participants enjoyed their Easter Egg reward! Following a rigorous process of selection, 6 entries made it to our grand finale and final judging stages in our Directors Meeting on the 10th June. Following lengthy discussion and deliberation, I am excited to reveal that the following motto has been selected as our winner:
‘Dream. Believe. Achieve’.
Georgia Cain who attends Holy Souls Catholic Primary School in Year 4 produced this motto. This will now replace our existing ‘Courage. Compassion. Vocation’.
In addition, Georgia produced these supporting statements to explain her thinking behind the motto:
DREAM of being excellent in all that we do.
BELIEVE that with God’s guidance we will grow.
ACHIEVE our full potential and be the best we can be.
A huge well done to Georgia for her powers of creation and we are thankful for the very pleasing conclusion to what has been a lengthy but ultimately, rewarding, process of collaboration to get to this point.
Following the success of this competition, I am very pleased to announce the evolution of our first Pupil Chaplaincy Team in our MAC! All 6 of our competition finalists will be meeting via Zoom prior to us breaking up in the summer to discuss further things we can do as a family of schools to work more collaboratively and to strengthen our shared mission together. I look forward to sharing the minutes of this first but most valuable meeting together with you all in due course.
In further wonderful news, I am delighted to announce that the St Teresa of Calcutta MAC will be a ‘Communication Partner’ with CAFOD during Lent 2022. Our CAFOD colleagues in Sierra Leone will still be working to prevent childhood malnutrition and we are keen to share the stories of the communities we work with in Sierra Leone whilst engaging young people and their families in action and prayer. Taking inspiration from our patron St Teresa of Calcutta, we will aim to do our best to support the most disadvantaged people of our world. We will be sharing updates of this valuable work, with our MAC supporting through prayer and other initiatives. I am attending a first planning meeting in July to discuss this collaboration further.
With so much good news to celebrate in this update, I am compelled to share this short reflection from Pope Benedict XVI to young people in his ‘Big Assembly’ in September 2016:
‘In Catholic Schools, there is always a bigger picture over and above the individual subjects you study, the different skills you learn. All the work you do is placed in the context of growing in friendship with God, and all that flows from this friendship. So you learn not just to be good students, but good citizens, good people’.
As a Catholic MAC, we are immensely proud of the work of our young people and the development of their growing friendship with God.
As we approach the final weeks of a hugely challenging year, on behalf of the Directors and I, thank you for all of your continued support.
Interim Accounting Officer
17th June 2021