News Update December 2013
Incredible as it may seem, the Christmas holidays are upon us once again! It seems little longer than the blink of an eye since the beginning of term in August but a great deal has been going on in the life of the school.
Our S1 pupils have settled in well and now feel very much part of the school community, making their presence felt, (in mostly good ways I hasten to add!), their worries and concerns from the start of term now a distant memory. S2 and S3, are also well established, developing their learning further through what is now known as ‘the broad, general education’.
The senior school, S4 to S6, have been working hard on their certificate courses, studying for internal assessments, preparing folios of work and hopefully now focusing on their preparations for the prelim exams shortly after the Christmas break, (week beginning 20 January).
There is however a great deal more to school than just what goes on in the class. The following few articles show a range of experiences and activities which our young people have been getting involved in over recent weeks. No matter how busy and focused we become on the important business of lessons and exams, it’s important to remember that learning can take place in all aspects of life – during school time and out with. As Head Teacher I have the great privilege of seeing on a daily basis, the many qualities and talents our young people have. They really are a credit to you and to their school.
Holidays are an important time for us all to recharge the batteries and although the Christmas holidays can be a busy time, I hope you manage to get at least a little rest and time to discover the peace and joy God offers to each of us.
On Sunday 8th December 45 pupils and 5 staff took part in the Glasgow Santa Dash to raise money for this term’s school charities, (MS Scotland and Malawi Partnership). Over 3000 Santas converged on George Square on a rather dreich Sunday morning but our spirits were certainly not dampened. There was a tremendous festive atmosphere as we made around the 5km route at varying speeds. Sponsor money is still coming in and we are hopeful of raising a substantial sum for these worthy causes.
Our local Morrisons store recently invited a group of S1 our pupils to take part in this year’s ‘Text Santa’. This is ITV’s annual charity fundraiser which raises money and awareness for six UK based charities - Age UK, Barnardo's, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, Clic Sargent and Help the Hospices.
Ten S1 pupils worked hard packing bags at the checkouts and were great ambassadors for the school. Morrisons very kindly treated us afterwards to our Christmas dinner by way of saying thanks!
Spreading the Spirit of Christmas
Thoughtful pupils at St.Benedict’s High School have made reaching out to their local community and helping the needy in the run –up to Christmas a major priority. The school’s St.Vincent de Paul group (SSVP), which works closely with local parishes, have just finished organising food donations from all pupils at St.Benedict’s. The SSVP group then had the task of organising and packing the parcels which will be distributed by the pupils themselves. One senior pupil who is part of the SSVP group said: “It is a pleasure to be part of this worthy group, and a privilege to help out the needy in the community, especially at this time of year.”
The parcels will be distributed just before Christmas.
St. Benedict’s Shakespeare Success!
Talented pupils from St.Benedict’s High School in Linwood achieved great success when they recently performed a production of “Macbeth” as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. This event took place on the 30th October at the Platform Theatre in Easterhouse and was a phenomenal sell out. St.Benedict’s was one of three participating schools and “Macbeth” was performed by S4 pupils, who are currently working towards their National 5 Qualification in English. Pupils were involved in all aspects of the production including lighting, costumes, marketing and the actual professional performance on the night. The production was helped by the commitment of one parent, Karen Kelly, who made lavish Renaissance costumes. Jan Merrick, Director and Principal Teacher of English at St. Benedict’s said “ It was a great achievement for our pupils to be part of a professionally staged performance. This style of active learning will no doubt reap outstanding rewards in terms of success at National 5 level.” Moreover, it was clear from chatting to some of the performers what a worthwhile experience it was for them. Niamh McClure, who played Lady Macbeth said “It changed my perception of the Dramatic Arts and improved my confidence. I felt the ethos and sense of teamwork was extremely empowering and I hope to use the experience to achieve highly at National 5 level.”
We Will Remember Them!
Kind hearted pupils from St. Benedict’s High School recently staged their own unique Armistice commemorations with a day of Interdisciplinary Learning based around the topic of Remembrance Day. Interdisciplinary Learning is where a topic or concept is explored through deep learning across a number of different subject areas, and the focus was placed on war. This is the second year that St. Benedict’s has hosted this type of event which has targeted the learning of the whole of S1 through a number of events including: learning about trench life; literature of World War One; Codebreakers and Poppy making. They also recreated an army field hospital with a Red Cross nurse and injured soldiers. The pupils were also lucky enough to have veterans from Erskine Hospital who shared their exciting stories. Tommy McSorley, Netty Currie, Helen Meikle, Peter Wilson and Bob Gilfillan spoke to pupils on a wide range of different experiences captivating the imagination of S1, which included tales of fighting in the jungle and sharing stories of the feelings in Britain of euphoria after the end of the war. And the verdict of the day was a resounding: We will remember them!