Celebrating an anniversary year is an opportunity to bring to the fore every avenue of school life that shines brightly. A chance to show everyone that this is our school and we as a community are proud of it. You know it’s not simply lip service by the pride that alumni harness in their hearts at having been a part of the St Gregory’s family. By experiencing each and every day, an outward and lived expression of the values and principles we claim to adhere to. Throughout the past eleven months we’ve aimed to zoom in on what it means to be the community of St Gregory’s.

If you watched Thursday evening’s prize-giving celebration you will have witnessed so many former pupils sharing words of wisdom, hope and inspiration with our current cohort. Not only did it have the intention of linking past and present pupils, but a side effect has been the joy that staff have experienced seeing former students becoming adults fulfilling their potential and vocation. Throughout the year with our 40 acts of kindness wall we’ve aimed to share with the wider community how much we care. Whether it’s been big fundraising events, individual thoughtful ways of giving of themselves to others, or unique and challenging actions – the year has highlighted how seriously we take our commitment to the Christian and DLS values of sharing, social justice and concern for others. Lockdown really put a spanner in the works with all the plans we had for other acts of kindness in Lent and beyond. However, I’m sure there are so many acts of kindness that came out of the pandemic that could be added to our official wall display in reception. If your child, or all of you as a family did something during lockdown that you believe fits the bill please do let me know (robinsonm@st-gregorys.org.uk) so that I can make your kindness part of our history.

All the way back in September we began the year with a Foundation Mass and celebration at Our Lady & St Alphege’s RC Church. Students and their families, staff and governors, past and present gathered together around the altar of the Lord in thanksgiving for forty years of Catholic Education as St Gregory’s and bless us in our continued mission. Meanwhile, in school we shared a celebratory birthday picnic on the school field, which would coincide with the launch of our new house system. Times when an entire school community can stop and gather as one are very rare in the fast paced world of secondary schools; yet, we wanted to bring every student, teacher, office staff, IT technician and so on, into the sunshine to be a part of someone special. We had all been assigned to one of the new houses and this gave us an ideal opportunity to sit and socialise with people form across year groups and departments.

We were delighted that a parent was able to catch the event from the sky with some beautiful drone footage to compliment the many photos taken on the ground, and experiences shared. We can now share with you a video put together from all the footage, capturing a joyous day in the history of St Gregory’s. When I watched it for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice that the house gatherings had formed an image of a cross – how truly fitting. Hope you like it!

Mr Robinson
Lay Chaplain