22 April, 2023
Letter from the Headteacher (2022-23) 8
Lift others up
This has been a special month for followers of the three Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - in a rare convergence of key religious observances. Jews have celebrated their liberation from bondage during the feast of Passover. Christians have celebrated Holy Week and the redemptive power of Jesus' resurrection. And Muslims have purified their intentions, words and actions during Ramadan. In a broken world, the young people of St Teilo's have used this time to unite in prayer and peace and to thank God for the special gifts we have to offer one another. In the words of American educator Booker T. Washington, "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."
Over 1,000 pupils took part in the school's immersive 'Stations of the Cross' experience. Together, we considered the suffering of Christ through a contemporary lens of suffering in the world. During this journey of faith, young people prayerfully reflected on the suffering of the peoples of Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Afghanistan through war, natural disaster and oppression. There was also the opportunity to write protest messages in response to the racial injustices of modern-day United States and the harrowing murder of George Floyd. The experience culminated in children tying a ribbon to the 'Cross of Dreams' which is presently on display in Llandaff Cathedral.
The Muslim families of St Teilo's are celebrating Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. In preparation, Sixth Form students arranged a fast-breaking Iftar for 150 pupils who joined together in prayer and the sharing of food. I deeply value the richness that comes with religious diversity in our community and rejoice in our growing closer to people of all faiths and none.
St Teilo's is committed to the elimination of racial hatred and injustice and I am delighted to have partnered with Rachel Clarke, granddaughter of Wales' first black headteacher Betty Campbell, as we begin a two year programme to promote race equity. This will be a challenging undertaking for school staff and leaders as we engage with the discomfort of understanding our own privilege and strive to correct the systemic injustices that hold back the flourishing of people of colour. We have much still to do.
Guided Learning Pathways
Pupils in Year 9 have begun their work to shape the curriculum as they transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. You will find all the information you need here and children, parents and carers are encouraged to attend an online broadcast with me at 6.00pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.
External testing for qualifications commences on Monday 15 May 2023, with many non-examined assessments already underway. Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 will require the support of the whole school community as they navigate the pressures of these exams. You'll find some advice about revision here and I offer the following prayer which you may wish to use as a family:
Be with us as we begin our exams,
may all the work we have done bear fruit.
Help us to be calm,
to read questions carefully,
and keep an eye on the time.
Grant us a clear mind,
and protect us from all anxiety.
May we be considerate of others in the exam hall,
and follow the instructions of those who are there to support us.
Help us to remember that our exams are milestones,
on a longer journey,
as we learn and grow into the people you are calling us to be,
who will make a difference in the world for the better
with our knowledge, our skills,
and our generous hearts.
Much to do, much to look forward to and, I hope, much to celebrate.
Mr I Loynd, Headteacher
1 June, 2023
Letter from the Headteacher (2022-23) 9
29 May, 2023
22 May, 2023