Jesus Correa Fuenmayor, Henry Ha, Akpobome Onojeruo, Chibeze Nwangwu
Their story, in their words….
Going on an 80-mile walk wasn’t something we had planned to do over our summer holidays, little did we know that it would be the most challenging adventure we had ever encountered.
The journey started on Golf road after a gruelling 14hr bus ride, from London Victoria to Golf road Ballater, we set sail for a 15km. We soon realized we had vastly underestimated the difficulty of the task in hand. Not only did the queens arrival derail us from our original route leading to an extended walk, we were also forced to camp in a damp marshy land, full of mosquitos and ticks (sadly this will not be the last time we will encounter them). To our surprise the queen had arrived to her home not a stone throw away.
On the following day we embarked on our journey to Lochnagar! This was by far the easiest day. We had gotten used to the environment and the 23km hike felt like it was nothing. However, we were missing the pegs for one of our tents. Meaning we had to share one set of pegs between the two of us this left our tents severely exposed for the wind to have its way with us, causing us to constantly keep waking up in the middle of the night.
After a very rough night we started our walk feeling demotivated as our bodies were feeling the after effect of such an extensive walk and the sleepless nights had begun to catch up with us. As we arrived to Loch Esk after a 21km walk we realized we had some time to spare and decided to walk up a nearby mountain to admire the sunset and the night sky. Unfortunately going down was not as easy as going up.
Feeling motivated as our journey was coming to an end we decided to take some time to absorb the beauty as well as get in touch with fellow travellers from all over the word as far as Australia and Germany! Later in the day we sat down to have a meal near Black Hill only to find out we had left some food at home, meaning we had to share a packet of uncle bens rice between the four of us. We ended the day with an intense game of extreme frisbee.
After a freezing cold night, we woke up to find out the tick spray had not worked and Jesus and Henry were full of ticks!!! Fortunately, we found a tick card in the first aid kit. Day 6 was relatively boring as we walked to Ballater to end our amazing journey. We then took a bus back to Aberdeen to then take a coach back to London.
This trip has allowed us to take a break from a very stressful year of A-levels and life. We would like to thank everybody part of the Mark Evison for giving us the opportunity of a life time, to do something we never thought we would do.
St Thomas the Apostle 6th Form Year 12 Induction Days
On Thursday and Friday 6th & 7th September we welcomed 110 new students to our sixth form. Students were introduced to life in the 6th Form with two action packed days of talks, and activities designed to prepare them for the academic pressures Year 12 and Year 13 hold. On Day 1 students got a welcome assembly from Mr Connolly, Ms Pearce and Mr O’Brien. Then students heard from Patrick Wilson, who is an Investment banker about prospective careers in finance and investment banking. They then the had ‘Live n Learn’ a company who specialise in preparing students for independent study and the growth mindset. They then heard from NCS (National Citizenship Service) and how they could be involved in their autumn programme. Thursday finished with some team sport and a BBQ to help all our new students get to know each other. Friday began with our very own STAC enterprise challenge where students had to work effectively in teams and plan a fundraiser and pitch their ideas back to our esteemed judges. Friday afternoon finished off our Induction with a trip to Hollywood bowl and a few hours bowling which allowed all students to mingle and interact well before lessons began on Monday morning.
‘Duchess of Malfi’ English trip
During half term, our A-Level English class accompanied by Miss Rodin made the trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the 'Duchess of Malfi' performed at the RSC. Despite the moaning about the length of the journey and the lack of Morley’s- we were amazed by how beautiful the town centre was and really enjoyed seeing all the references to Shakespeare- another playwright we had studied.
As it was the first text we studied on our A-level course, each of us had formed our own thoughts of how the play would be and how it should be performed. This version was modernised with an incredibly strong female lead which was a nice contrast to her creepy and cruel brothers. There something really special about seeing a play that I have studied come to life. It was great and a crucial reminder to remember that a play is meant to be seen and not just read as a script.
I would recommend going to see it- but avoid the front row as it is very gory!
Year 13 student
Trip to AMP Gallery
On Wednesday 8th March, I was lucky enough to visit the AMP gallery alongside Miss Griggs and some of my peers. We were greeted there by 2 lovely women who were artists and lead the session we had there. We started off easy looking at art work they had made previously including one consisting of 14 spreads of a life size meadow! As well as that, the whole gallery was covered in a newspaper from that week that the artists had replicated themselves by hand and then photo copied numerous times to cover the walls and windows of the gallery.
When the session began, we started off drawing stills of cars and then progressed to drawing landscapes and people with only pencils and pads, no rubbers. We would be shown an image for 1 minute then asked to draw or write from memory for 4 minutes before presenting to each other. When presenting, we would explain the ideas behind our drawings as well as the things we found difficult or easy about the tasks. Many of us shared the same problem which was drawing from memory as the images were rather complex and busy in content but the task was interesting nonetheless. Overall, the trip was a wonderful learning experience that broadened my knowledge of artwork and drawing and I would love to visit again soon.
Year 12 student
St Thomas the Apostle College’s first alumni event
2018 began with excitement as we hosted our first ever inaugural alumni event. It was well attended by staff and (former) pupils who all gathered together to reflect and reminisce about their time at ST Thomas the Apostle College.
Former pupils were given a tour of the school and were amazed by how much the school had transformed over the years. It was especially nice to see our first ever sixth form cohort return to school and to hear how they were flourishing at university and in their chosen careers.
The evening acted as testimony to the core values of the school: we are a community and once you are a STAC pupil, you will always belong to here.
We are already planning the next event- if you know an old boy of STAC please get in touch with us so they can be included in the invitation list.
Alistair Spalding Talk
Year 12 and 13 were privileged to hear Alastair Spalding, Chief executive of prestigious dance company Sadler’s’ Wells deliver a speech.
During his speech he outlined his journey from leaving school with no qualifications to retraining to become a teacher. At the age of 30, he decided to pursue a career in the arts and so completely changed direction and worked in the theatre in programming.
He eventually went on to be part of the team that rescued the failing Sadler’s Wells from closing down as it was failing financially and commercially. It was inspiring to hear how he had persevered and overcome obstacles (both mental and physical) to eventually make Sadler’s Wells one of the most successful dance companies in the world.
We were left with real food for thought as we were forced to question our own lives and choices. What would we do when faced with a similar situation? Would we give up? Or, like Alastair Spalding draw on our mental strength and make a difficult situation successful?
Trip to Goldsmiths University
The trip to Goldsmiths University, 13th December 2017, by EPQ STAC students consisted of gaining access to the University’s library. Students at the reception received a Library reference user card, in which they can use as a pass, permitting them access to the library and other literary resources.
The afternoon saw students receiving a tour from Goldsmith’s head librarian Mark Preston. The Library which is sited in the Rutherford Building (which also consists of departments such as; Digital Media Suite, the Copy Centre, and Technology Centre), contained three floors, a bottom floor café, a quiet study area, and a laptop study suite.
Following the tour was a workshop whereby students were spoken to about access to library books both, physical, and e-book resources. With up to 300,000 books, and around 7,000 journals (most of which were available on e-book) students were shown a PowerPoint of how to search up books within the library, through the university’s online catalogue.
Subsequently, students received an insight on research tips, in terms of siting references correctly, and avoiding plagiarism. Information of subject support teachers (who could help assist students in terms of research for specific subjects), were also explained to the EPQ group.
Finally, as a form of practice students were given a chance to go up to the library and use the catalogue to search up books related to their EPQ project, bring them back to the tour guide, discuss their findings, and how it relates to their EPQ project in terms of research. The day was useful in the sense that students would now be able to efficiently use the resources available to them, to acquire more background knowledge about their areas of study .
We are delighted that two of our Year 13s have navigated the Cambridge application process successfully thus far and have been invited to interview for their respective courses.
Joyce Tao has been invited to an interview at St Catharine’s College to read Law and Jamele McIntosh to read Economics at Fitzwilliam College.
It has been a challenging process with applicants having to submit their UCAS application form three months ahead of the official UCAS deadline.
Further to this, each candidate had to submit an additional questionnaire for Cambridge and had to sit a test in their respective fields designed by University of Cambridge.
It has been a rigorous process and we are really proud of what they have achieved so far.
These interviews are not just an outcome of an application process but of their hard work over their school career.
Well done and good luck!
Deputy Head of Sixth Form
The Mark Evison Foundation Bursary
The Mark Evison Foundation (MEF) aims to promote the personal development of young people through the undertaking of challenges. The foundation was set up in memory of Lt Mark Evison who died while serving the British army in Afghanistan by his mother. His values and characters are a strong driving force within the foundation.
Two weeks ago, Year 12 received an assembly from a representative from MEF and my group of friends and I had decided that we were going to take on a challenge We came up with the idea to hike across a European country, while performing different tasks, such as volunteering and making a documentary about our overall experience. Last week Monday, we met with a representative from the Mark Evison Foundation, who had also taken part in the challenge by cycling from Dulwich to France, to discuss our proposal for the available £500 bursary. Currently, my group and I are planning the logistics of our proposal by budgeting transport costs, accommodation, food and other essentials. We aim to submit our proposal before Christmas and complete the challenge in the summer holidays of 2018.
Year 12 student
The new honours board tracks the university destinations of some of the 2017 leavers from Year 13. The diverse range of degrees and locations around the United Kingdom, as well as USA, are represented. Pictured is Emmanuel Adepoju from that year group, who features for his place at Loughborough University to study Mechanical Engineering from September 2018
The application, nomination and selection process has now been finalised for the committee of 6th form Senior Prefects. The seven students who have successfully applied and interviewed for the positions will now take on leadership roles within the 6th form and with students throughout the school; whether that be leading the student council, mentoring, taking responsibility for extracurricular events and of course acting as role models to the student body. Students throughout STAC should approach the Senior Prefects in Year12 with any issues they have and take the advice they can offer from their considerable experience. It is pleasing to put together this leadership group of boys who have established themselves at STAC for many years as well as other students who have joined us this September for their A Level Studies and made such a positive impact.
Assistant Head Teacher
It has been an exciting time for Year 13 who have begun their UCAS journey. Students have made their five university choices and have been honing their personal statements where they outline exactly why they want to study their subject at University level.
We have had some early successes: Jamele McIntosh and Joyce Tao have received three out of their five offers a full two months before the official deadline. In other exciting news, Joyce Tao has been invited to interview to read Law at St Catherine’s College Cambridge.
Omar Sesay, Carelle Toukam and Amal Agastin have also already started to receive offers from some exceptional universities.
Collectively we have had offers from: King’s College, University of Bristol, University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool, Brunel University and Loughborough University.
All of these applicants have demonstrated the following skills:
- - Passion for their subject
- - Evidence of engagement with their subject outside their lessons
- - The ability to reflect on their learning
I look forward to updating you further as we receive more offers.
Deputy Head of Sixth Form
InsideMed and K Plus talk
On Friday 22nd of September, the budding medics and students in Year 12 were treated to an intimate talk by Kings College University who were launching their new scheme InsideMed.
We were very fortunate to have access to this scheme as it is its first year of conception and only a few schools were granted access to it.
Students learnt how to apply for the scheme which enabled them to have access to mentoring, help with finding work experience and also valuable personal statement advice and guidance.
This talk was the first event of the Oxbridge programme here at St Thomas the Apostle Sixth Form and one that highlights in the opportunities on offer as part of the programme. The programme serves to raise aspirations and provide links for students to expand on their academic interests.
Further to this, the pupils received an additional talk from Kings College University about their K Plus scheme. One of our current Year 13s, Azeez Oyeneyin, was able to gain a place on this prestigious scheme last year and has really benefitted from the process.
We hope to see lots of pupils on the scheme in the future and wish them well in their applications!
Deputy Head of Sixth Form
This half term has been a busy one for all Year 13s who are working hard in their UCAS applications; honing their personal statements whilst still balancing their academic workload.
It has been particularly busy for our Oxbridge cohort whose deadline was a full three months before everyone else. The pressure was on to produce quality personal statements, complete wider reading and perhaps, most importantly, to decide which colleges and courses they wanted to apply for.
Applications ranged from Law to Economics and with an additional personal statement and entrance examination before they find out if they have been granted an interview- it is still a long road ahead of them. The Cambridge application process is particularly complicated but one our students have found worthwhile.
On behalf of the sixth form team, we wish them luck and will continue to support them every step of the way.
Deputy Head of Sixth Form
% of students receiving offers from their 1st choice University
% of students gaining A*-C grades in their A Levels
% of leavers going to University or entering apprenticeships
% of students meeting or exceeding their target grades