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
     

25th July, 1975

My dear Parents,

As I compose my customary letter to you at the end of another academic year, news reaches me from universities throughout the country of the success of our old boys in obtaining degrees. These old boys were our first pupils and came to us in September, 1965 - ten years ago. They completed our seven—year course of grammar school studies and then went on to the university degree course, which usually lasts three years. We all hope that in years to come these old boys of ours will achieve many more distinctions besides their first degree, but I venture to presume that you will share my joy and gratitude as I look back on the past ten years - the first ten years in the history of our school.

The academic year 1974—5 which has just ended has left me with particularly happy memories. I remember the affection, the kindness, the generosity with which you joined me in celebrating the completion of twenty—five years in the priesthood. I can never forget how our Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, honoured our school. I retain also very vivid memories of cold winter evenings when you left your homes and went to meetings to show your concern for the future of our Catholic schools and the dignity and rights of our Catholic children. These thoughts, and many more, will be in my mind as I join with the other priests and the entire school community in the Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the end of this academic year on the last day of term.

With this letter I trust you will find your son’s Report, along with the dates of the holidays and the uniform list. Boys who have requested them also receive a letter about permission to come late and a form of application. (Boys in Form V will receive no Reports since, although they took public examinations, they took no internal school examinations this term.)

Departures from the Teaching Staff

Mrs. Marie—Christine Fairhurst, joined the staff of this school in September, 1972, and has during her three years’ service here taught French at all levels in the school; she leaves us now for a new post at the Bramhall County High School.

The Rev. David Austin Smith, Dip.Theol.(Westminster), has been with us now for five years, during which he has rendered distinguished service in Religious Educa±ion, in Latin and Classical Studies, and as Sixth Form Tutor. At the end of this term Father Smith will take charge of the parish of Holy Name, Birkenhead.

Hr. Dennis Howells, Dip. P.E. (London), has been with us since the school opened ten years ago; he is not, I am happy to say, leaving us permanently, but during the coming academic year he will be absent en secondment whilst studying for the Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education, at Manchester University.

Mrs. Jacqueline Stone, B.A. (Manchester), joined us two years ago and has taught History, British Government and Politics. In September she will join the staff of the Mount Carmel School, Alderley Edge.

H. Jacques Lemerle, having completed his year of service as an assistant for French conversation, returns to complete his studies at the University of Saint—Etienne.

New members of the teaching staff

Mr. Jonathan Hall has obtained Honours in the Classical Tripos as well as the post—graduate certificate in Education at Cambridge; he holds also a Master’s degree in Ecclesiastical History from Manchester. He will join our Classical Studies Department in September.

Mr. David Hewitt comes to us from Loughborough College of Education, to join our Physical Education Department.

Mr. Vincent Morrison took en Honours degree at Liverpool in Modem History and Politics and his post—graduate certificate at Manchester; he will teach History and British Government.

The Rev. Peter Phillips is a priest of the Shrewsbury Diocese who has taken an Honours degree in Theology at Durham and the post—graduate certificate at Cambridge; he will take charge of the Religious Education Department.

Miss Christine Sutton took an Honours degree in history and Politics at Sheffield University and the post-graduate certificate at Christ’s College, Liverpool.

She comes to us from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. She will teach History and Government.

N. Dominique—Patrice Joubert, a student at the University of Tours, will join us as Assistant for French conversation.

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, 8th 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 coning 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, 8th September.

For all boys the solemn commencement of term will take place at the Assembly starting at 8.55 a.m. on Tuesday, 9th September,

Finances for start of term

On Tuesday, 9th 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 wide 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

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 come late at present in force will remain in force at the beginning of the new term 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 ‘O’ Level on Friday, 22nd 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 253 candidates, and even if one tenth of these were allowed information by telephone they could immobilize 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 the new boys were proud of it, although most boys were generally eager to change the striped blazer for the plain one when it 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 second and third forms may wish to purchase them for their sons. I am 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 ago 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 a 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 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 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