Last October Bishop Kieran celebrated the Induction Liturgy to mark my appointment as the fifth Headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School. Speaking to students, in particular, he urged them to ‘be the best they can be’. This year we have tried to do this in lots of areas. Oliver, The Spring Concert, the recent confirmation that we were among the top 100 schools in England in terms of the improvement of our GCSE results in the last three years are just some of the more recent highlights.
But in sport too we have excelled. Of course as the saying goes, ‘you never win anything in January’. But the hard work that has gone on throughout the season is now beginning to bear fruit. This week all of our Rugby teams were in the District finals and the Year 7, 9 and 10 teams were confirmed as Champions with hard won victories. Meanwhile the Year 8 and Year 10 boys football teams won their semi finals to gain a place in the Sussex Cup finals which will take place after Easter. Our Year 8 girls football team also won their semi final and will meet St Wilfrids in the final.
Apart from cups we also compete in numerous league competitions. The Year 7 girls football team have only been defeated once in their area league and we are hopeful they will win it. The same applies to the Under 14 girls football team. They show huge promise. In netball our Year 11 team are currently undefeated with just two games to go.
None of this has happened by accident. Week in and week out Mr Grant and his exceptional team of P.E. teachers work to support our students – often well beyond the school day – to achieve and in doing so to fulfil the final paragraph of our Mission Statement which states that ‘we strive for the highest quality of learning and teaching that inspires us all to discover and develop our God-given gifts and talents, to excel in the present and aim high for the future’. Many thanks to them but also, of course, to the students, their parents and carers, for allowing us to respond to Bishop Kieran’s challenge to ‘be the best we can’.