Dear Students, Families and Friends of St John’s
At this special time of year students, staff, families and 2 of our local primary schools came together to celebrate the season of Advent with a special candle-light service. From our wonderful readers to our talented musicians and choir, all students embraced the true meaning of Christmas to make the event a truly memorable and beautiful occasion.
Recognising that many people in our community and beyond may be vulnerable and experiencing difficulties at this time of year, we have been keen to offer our support in a variety of ways. As a school we collected many food items for The Well, a local food bank in West Auckland, who acknowledged the tremendous efforts of our young people when they wrote, “Thank you very much for your fantastic efforts, you really will make a difference in people’s lives and bring a little light and hope into their very difficult situations.” Similarly, our students demonstrated their love and kindness for others by taking part in “Operation Christmas Child,” donating simple shoebox gifts for children in over 130 countries. We are delighted that we contributed 284 shoeboxes to the Samaritan’s Purse appeal this year.
Our Christmas Fair and end of term non-uniform day, both organised by our Year 12 students, are raising funds for worthy causes such as “Project Peru”, and the UNICEF Zika Virus Appeal as well as enabling some of our students to carry out charitable work in an orphanage in Brazil. The enthusiasm and commitment of our young people never cease to amaze us and it is always wonderful to see them dedicating so much time and effort in helping those who are less fortunate than themselves.
During the term students have taken full advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to them from visits to universities, museums 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, musical extravaganzas and Catholic Partnership activities, this has certainly been a busy and exciting term for one and all. As “A Learning Community Guided by Gospel Values” we strive to develop the whole person, providing experiences that are truly life-changing. Such a variety of events have encouraged our students to develop their own unique talents and we hope our newsletter provides an insight into the amazing activities enjoyed by our students, which have enabled them to shine both within St John’s and throughout the wider community.
At this special time of year it is important to reflect on the wonderful opportunities and experiences that we have enjoyed and, as we prepare for Christmas, let us all remember that the greatest gift the world has ever received was the birth of a baby who came so that we all may have life and, through Him, we have the opportunity to live our lives to the full.
Lisa Byron, Head Teacher