ST. AUGUSTINE’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL
MANCHESTER, M22 4PJ

Head Master The Rt Rev. Mgr. F.J. McGuiness, S.T.L., M.A.
Telephone 061-428 3896

In reply please quote   Your reference
  S/15  

23rd July, 1976

My dear Parents,

We have just concluded the eleventh year of our School's existence, and it has been another very happy year — perhaps the best so far. One advantage amongst many which may be mentioned is that the boys who have now become prefects found when they came here in 1970 a fully structured school with the complete age-range — a seven-year course — for which it had been planned, and with a plentiful range of courses leading to public examinations.

In recent years you will have noticed that I have often in my letters mentioned universities, although I need hardly tell you that preparing boys for universities is only one of the many functions of this school. I thought it necessary, when, for the first time, we had boys old enough to proceed to higher education, to emphasise the desirability of aiming at even the most selective institutions. The school as a community now has a tremendous confidence in its own ability. I do not think it will be necessary for me to say quite so much about universities in future, but let me just make one more reference to them. An old pupil of ours named Michael Hovington, an old boy, in fact, of St, John’s Primary School, Benchill, who was the first of our boys to obtain admission to Christ’s College, Cambridge, has obtained First Class Honours in the Law Tripos. I could tell you of other splendid results of which news has reached me, but let this example suffice.

This year we have amongst the teaching staff perhaps fewer changes, fewer arrivals, departures and returns than ever before. We must say goodbye, with our best wishes and our thanks, to Mr, G. M. Avent, who has been a member of the Staff of the Physical Education Department since Mr. C. MaGuire departed at Easter, Mr. Avent will be returning soon to South Africa, we hope with happy memories of our English summer sunshine.

We shall welcome back to the Staff Mr. D. Howells, the Head of the Physical Education Department, who has been absent for this past academic year on a course leading to an Advanced Diploma in Education at Manchester University.

We shall say goodbye temporarily to Mr. E. A. Hartley, the Head of the Chemistry Department, who has been with us ever since the School opened in 1965, He is to spend a year at the University of Keele in studies for the M.Sc.(Education).

We shall welcome three new members of the teaching staff:-

Mrs. E. A. Harris, B.Sc.(Liverpool), who will specialise in teaching Chemistry and Mathematics.

Mrs. C. Hoffmann, who holds the Staatsexamen of the University of Heidelberg, and the M.A. of the University of Reading, will specialise in teaching Spanish.

Mrs. K. E. Scheinnann, who is a graduate of Budapest and Haifa, will specialise in teaching Chemistry and Mathematics.

We say goodbye also to Mr. D. F. Joubert, who has served us so well as Assistant for French conversation during the pant year and now returns to his studies at the University of Tours. His successor will be Mr. C Le Goux, who is at present studying at the University of Rennes.

Arrangements for the start of the term

For boys in next year’s Form 1, the academic year will commence with an Inaugural Session commencing at 1.45 p.m. on Monday, 6th September. A special letter will be sent to the parents of all new boys, giving further particulars about the arrangements for this occasion.

For all those who are about to commence work in the Lower Sixth, i.e., those in the present Fifth Form, and boys coming into our Sixth Form from other schools, there will be a briefing session in the Small Library, starting at 1.45 p.m. on Monday, 6th September.

For all boys the solemn commencement of term will take place at the Assembly starting at 8.55 a.m. on Tuesday, 7th September.

Finances for start of term

On Tuesday, 7th September, please ensure that your son brings the following

Dinner money (4 days) 60 pence, in cash,please.
   
School Fund subscription 1.00
Hymn Book (if required) 1.00
  2.00 (may be cash or cheque)

School Meals

Unless you inform me otherwise, it will be assumed that you wish the present arrangements to continue. If you wish to alter them, i.e. if you wish your son to have the school dinner instead of sandwiches, or vice versa, please write and let me know before the term commences.

If your son has been accustomed to going home for his dinner, I shall presume, unless you inform me otherwise, that he will continue to do so.

Permission to arrive late

All permission to come late at present in force will remain in force at the beginning of the new term rind until Friday, 10th September, inclusively. At the beginning of the new tern a special letter win be supplied to all those who require it concerning the policy about latecomers, and enclosing a form which parents will be requested to complete.

Results of Public Examinations

The results of the O.C.E. ‘A’ Level are expected on Friday, 13th August, and of ‘0’ Level on Tuesday, 24th August. The school office will send out your son’s grades if you will provide the stamped postcard or envelope. Boys who call personally at the school between 10.00 and 12.00 on the day of publication will be given their results. No results will be given by telephone. We had nearly 300 candidates, and if even one tenth of these were allowed information by telephone they could immobilise the secretarial staff for most of the morning.

 

Permission to arrive late

For those boys who have requested it, a special letter has been supplied concerning the, policy about late-comers. Enclosed with this is the form which parents are requested to complete. This form may be returned either during the holidays or on the first day of the new academic year. All permission to cone late at present ft force will remain in force at the beginning of the new tern and until Friday, 12th September, inclusively.

Results of Public Examinations

The results of the G.C.E. ‘A’ Level are expected on Thursday, 14th August, and of ‘0’ Level on Friday, 22nd August. The school office will send out your grades if you will provide the stamped postcard or envelope. Boys who call personally at the school between 10.00 and 12.00 on the day of publication will be given their results. No results will be given by telephone. We had 253 candidates, and if even one tenth of these were allowed information by telephone they could immobilise the secretarial staff for most of the morning.

The School Blazer

The blazer with the magenta stripe, hitherto worn by our boys during the first three years of their course, was becoming more and more expensive, and even if we had changed to a cheaper cloth it would, in the very near future, have cost very much more than the plain dark blue blazer worn by the senior boys. I know that many parents liked the magenta stripe, and I think that new boys were proud of it, although most boys were generally eager to change the striped blazer for the plain one when the time came. Whether popular or not, the striped blazer will have to go. From September this year our youngest pupils will wear the plain blazer. Naturally, there are at present striped blazers being worn which will remain wearable for some time and it is far from my thoughts to impose intolerable burdens. There are also, I believe, available at the supplier’s a few striped blazers in smaller sizes at reduced cost, and it may well be that parents of boys in the second and third form may wish to purchase then for their sons. I an inclined to predict, however, that in a year’s time the striped blazer will be seen no more.

White Shirts

In my letter to you a year age I proposed that from September, 1975, white shirts should be part of the regular daily wear of boys at our school. In fact, during the last few months, the white shirt has in practice become uniform. I speak on behalf of many friends and admirers of the school when I say that we are all delighted with the appearance of our boys and profoundly grateful to you for the care with which you prepare them to come to school every day. Please do not take it amiss if I remind you that boy’s neck size grows as he grows in other directions, and it is very much easier for him to present a neat appearance if his collar fits comfortably. Let me remind you also that the smart appearance for which our boys are famous depends on the trim and stiffened collar, rather than on the floppy and wide type of collar.

Speech Day

You will all recall with much pleasure our last Speech Day in the Free Trade Hall on 23rd October, 1974, when the prizes were presented by the Vicar General of our Shrewsbury Diocese, and Chairman of our Diocesan Schools’ Commission, the Right Reverend Monsignor Canon Percival Edward Rees. I am sure you will wish to know that we have again booked the Free Trade Hall for another Speech Day, to be held on Tuesday, 14th October, 1975.

Communication with the School

Parents of boys who have been absent from school recently are requested to send in the usual explanatory notes without delay, so that the secretarial staff can complete the necessary records before the new academic year begins. Please do not wait until the start of next term before you send the note, but let us have it by post in the near future,

Holidays

All my colleagues and I wish you and your families every happiness during this summer vacation. We thank you for your loyalty and for your generous support. We thank you also for the privilege of educating the highly talented young men you have sent to us. We all look forward, after a little rest, to another splendid year and to many more splendid years in your service.

By God’s grace we shall be worthy of the immense trust you place in us.

With profound thanks and, cordial greetings

Yours sincerely,

(F.J. McGUINESS)
Headmaster