Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.
14th September is kept in the church as Holy Cross Day – the Feast of the Triumph or Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Christ.
“Lift high the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore His sacred name.”
In my assemblies this week with years 7-11 I have spoken about Catholic belief in the Eucharist. The Eucharist (or Holy Communion), and the Cross of Christ, are both powerful signs of God’s unconditional love for us. We seek to witness to that love in practice, day by day, in our school.
The picture of a crucifix here is from our front reception – many of us pass by that cross multiple times a day. There’s an old saying, “Stat crux dum volvitur terra” – The Cross stands still while the world revolves. It seems true of this particular cross – as we dash about our daily business, He remains in our midst, showing God’s love and care for us in the midst of our busyness.
It’s been a busy week (aren’t they all?), full of productive activity. I’m delighted to have met so many of our parents at the Parental Engagement evenings. There are two more next week – for Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11) on Tuesday, and Sixth Form (years 12 and 13) on Thursday. I look forward to meeting even more parents – your support and engagement are vital to our work.
Our year 7 have made a great start to their secondary schooling. I told them on the first day that they looked smart and keen, and they still do. Long may it continue. The same is true of our year 12, which is one of the largest groups we have had in recent years – there is huge demand to stay at St Augustine’s, or to join us. Under the leadership of our fantastic Head of Sixth form, Mrs Rowlatt-Weston, and her team, both year 12 and year 13 are shaping up to be truly vintage years.
I have been dropping into lessons briefly this week, and will continue to do this next week and beyond. This afternoon I have learnt something about ‘solubility’ in Science, preparation for assessed talks in English, creative writing about ‘endings’ also in English, and the Vatican Observatory in Religious Studies. A wide range of subjects, and also of teaching styles.
Last Saturday I represented the College at the opening of the new Cadet centre in Trowbridge by the Lord Lieutenant. It was a fantastic occasion – a number of our students are active with the cadets in Trowbridge and elsewhere. It’s an activity that suits some young people very well, and I would encourage those who are attracted by involvement to explore the possibility. There are of course many other activities both inside and outside school – sporting, musical, charitable, enterprising – and they all bring great benefit to those involved in terms of teamwork, confidence, leadership, and achievement. I hope to be able to showcase some of these on the school website in future.
In the coming week, instrumental lessons commence – our visiting music teachers had long queues of eager musicians signing up for lessons. (I’ve personally signed up for some singing lessons, though I can’t promise a public performance any time soon). The Tempest photographers are in on Tuesday. And on Friday is our whole school Academic Mass, to dedicate this year to the Greater Glory of God.