9 June 2017

It’s that time of the year again; the hand-over of the mantle from the outgoing head boy and girl, Tony and Jade, to the newly appointed ones, Joe and Yasmin. We thought that we would ask them to collect their thoughts about their experiences, and below is what they had to say. We think that you will find there is a common theme going on here – the unerring praise and thanks that they have for the teachers, staff and their peers at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School.

Hello, I am Tony Kemp, and I am writing this to summarise my time as Head Boy, my experience of Year 11 and my school journey.

In May 2016, I was honoured to be appointed as Head Boy, after going through a rigorous application progress consisting of letters of application and an interview. Almost a whole year has passed since my appointment; the time has flown by! The milestones we have reached and feats we have all achieved certainly show that this has been a very successful ten months. This makes me so proud to have represented you all as Head Boy of St Edmund Arrowsmith. To have held this title and represent the accomplishments of our school - from our winning sports teams, the tremendous amounts of money raised for charity, and the hard work and dedication of pupils and teachers alike, it has truly been an honour. The kindness, selflessness and love in our school community is second-to-none - our Catholic ethos is in evidence every single day and it is nothing short of an honour to represent and uphold this as Head Boy. Whilst I will soon sadly hand in my badge and tie, I will have immense pride in what I have overseen us all achieve during my term as Head Boy. 

Since my appointment, I have taken part in a lot of school life. For example, I was part of the Young Enterprise team, placing top fourteen out of thousands of teams in the UK.  I have attended numerous Masses, taking an active role in many of them: the Chaplaincy group and the ‘Faith in Action’ award (a great way to put your faith into action in a practical way, which I encourage everyone to do!), playing a role as a Eucharistic Minister and as a reader. You may recognise me from the numerous assemblies I have also participated in. I have also met and greeted parents at special evenings, and spoken proudly about our school. I enjoyed my role at Open Evening - a night in which I was delighted to represent the hard work everyone had put in - from teachers setting up activities, prefects leading guided tours, and pupils helping the teachers. I hope the senior prefect team of 2016-2017 will be remembered for our hard work and teamwork; we have established a form competition that is held monthly, to unite all years and forms, thereby truly representing the purpose of the school House system. While we will not be able to control it once we leave, we hope that the prefects to come, will carry it on and live out our legacy, especially as now our journey through St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School comes to a close. 

With coursework complete and being in the throes of my GCSE examinations, the end is truly in sight - but I know my hard work, the support I’ve received from my teachers, and my passion will see me through and help me achieve the grades I am capable of.

I would like to take this chance to thank Jade Boyle, our Head Girl, for her hard work and dedication - not only in this role, but also many times throughout our school journey. This gratitude must of course be extended to our deputies, the seniors, and prefects - supporting us in maintaining the prefect system and for their service to our school. I must also thank the teachers, especially Mr Cullen, my Head of Year; Mrs Paul, my form tutor; and the other staff associated with my year group  - their continuous support throughout my five years is greatly appreciated - especially during the difficult times I had when I missed most of Year 8 due to my disability. One of the many reasons I strived to be Head Boy was to repay the incredible debt I felt I was in due to their help, and while I could never repay it fully, I know this role has helped me to pay off as much of it as I could. Finally, I thank the pupils of the school, for their respect and continuous hard work. It has always been warming to walk around and see pupils helping each other, following instructions, and getting involved in the many activities this school offers.

I know the teachers have elected a new, well-deserving Head Boy and Head Girl in Joe and Yasmin, and I wish them the very best of luck in their roles. The only advice I can give to them is this: make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime golden opportunity!

Tony Kemp, 11M1

My year as Head Girl has been great and I have really enjoyed my time at St Edmund Arrowsmith. Being Head Girl was one of my aspirations from when I first moved to the school, so to be awarded the role was my dream come true. It has been a great experience and I am honoured that I was given the opportunity to take on such an important role within our school. The opportunity has helped me to grow and develop into the well-rounded person I am today and I would not have achieved so much without the help of my fellow pupils and the teachers at school.

During my time at St Edmund Arrowsmith, I have involved myself in as many extra-curricular activities as possible, such as peer mentoring and the hockey team. I also participate in the religious aspects of school by being a member of IMPACT, the Chaplaincy, becoming a Eucharistic Minister and reading in school masses and at services. Public speaking is one of my strengths, so in order to use it well, I applied to be a member of the School Council in Year 7 and then again in Year 10 and I was successful both times. Being a member of School Council helped me to voice the opinions and ideas of my peers and ensuring that solutions could be found to any problems in school and that these solutions were implemented as quickly as possible. 

Our school sees helping others in the community as very important and for this reason; I made it my goal to raise as much money for charity as possible. I have managed to raise a total of over £700 as an individual for various school charities. I have also recently completed the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and I'm currently working towards the Gold Faith in Action Award. All of the activities I have been involved in have helped me develop new skills that I would not have learned in the classroom and by taking part in all of these things helps me give back to the school that has done so much for me.

The school has helped me in many ways during my time here: it has given me all the support I needed, from teachers staying behind after the end of the school day, plus at lunchtime, to help me with work, and arranging revision classes for everyone to attend in the run up to exams. It has also given me the confidence to believe that I can achieve anything as long as I work hard. The school has given me a wide range of opportunities and extra-curricular activities to get involved with. I have loved my time here and I know that I am now ready to move on to college, thanks to all the help and support from everyone at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School.

Jade Boyle, 11C2

For me, moving to high school seemed like a big step and I was a little worried. However, thanks to the help of friends, pupils and teachers, those worries were soon put to rest, as it was very easy to settle into my new surroundings and become a part of the community. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute at St Edmund Arrowsmith, from experiencing and learning fantastic things to meeting new people from different places. 

From the very first day, I was determined to make the most of everything the school had to offer, for example joining the rugby team. After never playing the sport before, the coaches and my teammates helped me learn and adapt and I have now enjoyed regional and national success alongside them. I always tried to make the most of new subjects and have always been eager to learn new things. I also represent my house of Mayne with pride, competing in all inter-house events and sports days winning numerous awards with my peers.

It is a wonderful personal achievement to be awarded Head Boy in a school I’m very proud to be a part of. I’m excited to represent my school and our pupils in addition to being a role model for everyone. I’m confident with the support of my senior prefect team we can tackle any challenges that lie ahead.

I will take the opportunity of being Head Boy to support and welcome all into our school, listening to their ideas and viewpoints and take everyone’s opinions on board. My aim is to inspire pupils to fulfil their potential alongside applying the school’s important Catholic ethos. I will try my best to affect the school positively as other Head Boys have done before me.

Joe Guerin, 10M1

Senior Prefects

Four years ago, I came to St Edmund Arrowsmith feeling nervous, as is expected, and I am grateful to the school for settling us in so well and providing us with a comfortable environment to work and learn. I am delighted to have recently been appointed the honourable role of Head Girl and to have been given the opportunity to represent the school .It is a privilege to be given such an important role in our school community and to have been chosen, despite tough competition. My new role will be challenging but I couldn’t think of a more rewarding way to conclude my final year at St Edmund Arrowsmith. 

Throughout my time at school, I have enjoyed being a part of different groups and programmes that have developed my skills and given me great opportunities. Since starting school in Y7, I have participated in different sports teams including volleyball, rounders, hockey and trampolining. Being a part of different sports teams has resulted in taking part in competitive events and bringing back rewards and achievements. I also took the opportunity to perform in school showcases and fundraising events and I have also taken active interest in other clubs such as the choir, the ROAR programme and mentoring programmes. The school has promoted life skills, like organisation and punctuality, and I am very grateful for the confidence and self-esteem that has been given to me from staff and members of our school community.

In the upcoming year, I hope to inspire other pupils to get involved in all aspects of school life and I would like to create a welcoming environment for them to work and learn. I aim to finish Y11 knowing that all students feel comfortable in our school and knowing that I devoted my time listening to other pupil’s issues and ideas. I’m working with committed members of the senior prefect team and I am certain that together we will work extremely well and make a positive impact on our school.  I hope to fulfil the high standards set by the previous head girls and I intend to be an enthusiastic leader in my final year at St Edmund Arrowsmith.

Yasmin Costello, 10C2