We would like to propose a change to the timings of the school day which would take effect in September 2018. The changes would mean that all lessons would be of one hour’s duration.  There would be no changes to the start of the school day.  School would continue to begin with morning registration or assembly at 8.55am each day for all pupils.  The last lesson of the day would end at 3.20pm.  School bus services will leave the school grounds at 3.30pm, five minutes later than currently.  Currently some lessons which take place in the mornings are of 58 minutes length.  Others last for only 45 minutes.  The proposal would enable more effective curriculum planning and aid our drive to ensure high standards of achievement for all. 

Time Activity Duration
08:55-09:10 Registration 15 minutes
09:10-10:10 Period 1 60 minutes
10:10-11:10 Period 2 60 minutes
11:10-11:30 Break 20 minutes
11:30-12:30 Period 3 60 minutes
12:30-13-30 Period 4 60 minutes
13:30-14:20 Lunch 50 minutes
14:20-15:20 Period 5 60 minutes

Parents may have seen newspaper obituaries recently of Mark Warham, a former pupil at St Thomas Aquinas, one of the two schools which were merged to form Cardinal Heenan. Mark died recently at the age of 56. The Times newspaper described him as ‘a flamboyant banker and one of the City’s leading deal-makers’. The Times obituary begins: ‘One day in 1974, when he was 12, Mark Warham got on a bus in Leeds. As he stepped on board, the doors closed, trapping him half in and half out. When the bus moved off, Mark was dragged along the road for a considerable distance before the driver realised what was happening. He was taken to St James’s Hospital, where the initial diagnosis was that his left leg would have to be amputated, and that he would never walk again.’

Some 23 years later, on May 23, 1997, Mark Warham became the 30th Briton to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

Born in Primley Park, Leeds, he was the youngest of four sons to Joe and Eileen Warham. Joe was coach of the rugby league team now known as Leeds Rhinos. His sons attended St Thomas Aquinas Grammar – and it was there, at 12, that he was involved in the accident with a school bus which almost led to the loss of a leg. But the scare served only as an incentive to drive him on.

He went on to Oxford University where he read philosophy, politics and economics at St Catherine’s College, before embarking on a 35-year career in merchant banking with Schroder’s, Barclays and Rothschild’s. For two years he was director general of the Takeover Panel, regulating all public merger activity in the UK. In 2000, he joined Morgan Stanley, rising to become head of its UK mergers and acquisitions practice and, later, chairman of UK Investment Banking.

At St. Catherine’s he played in the first Oxford vs Cambridge rugby league fixture at Craven Cottage, London, for which he was awarded a half-blue.

He had also become an enthusiastic mountain climber, under the tutelage of his elder brothers, Peter and Paul, initially on the relatively gentle slopes of Almscliffe Crag, near Harrogate. It wasn’t long before he was traversing Europe, North and South America, conquering Mt McKinley and Aconcagua. He tried twice to climb Everest. On the first attempt, he was within reach of the summit when he was hit by pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lings, and he had to make his way back down. On the second go, he made it to the top. The metaphor of his life as a climber and a banker was obvious, said Robert Swannell, his former boss at Schroders: “He was the only banker I know to have reached the summit of Everest. It is no surprise he reached the pinnacle in banking, too. The same values applied in both aspects of his life,” said Swannell.

Additionally a keen ornithologist and wildlife photographer, Mark Warham is survived by his wife Olivia and daughters Francesca, Eleanor and Anna

Our former pupil and his family are remembered in our prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Read more at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/obituaries/mark-warham-banker-and-mountaineer-19168190 and https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mark-warham-obituary-qs86ljzgk

Year 10 pupils have been involved redevelopment of the landscaping in front of the school.  The work will be completed during the summer holiday.  The GCSE Construction students are making three planters: so far they have created small prototypes suitable for a single plant.  The full size planters will be made using pressure treated 3 x 2 pine and the total size will be approximately 750mm x 750mm x 750mm.  Dion Dube, pictured, has hopes of going into the construction industry and has enjoyed his time studying carpentry, electrical works, painting and decorating. 

Congratulations to Year 7 pupil James Pears on being selected as a flag bearer for the England v Costa Rica football match at Elland Road Stadium last week.

An inspection of the Catholic life of the school, Religious Education and collective worship took place over two days earlier this week.

Although we are unable to share the inspection findings until the report has been quality assured and published, I can tell you that inspectors thanked pupils, staff, parents and governors for the warm welcome given.  Overall, we were pleased with how the two days went.  The report will appear on our school website on the day of publication by the Diocese of Leeds in early July.  We will also provide a commentary in this weekly letter.

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