St Thomas the Apostle College
The Aim of the College
Our original Mission Statement was written in July 1992 after a long period of discussion between staff, parents and boys. It was updated in 2000 after a further lengthy period of consultation and was again recently updated in June 2010. It is as follows:
As a Catholic community, our mission is to serve Christ and one another, by creating a caring learning environment, where prayer, education and achievement are celebrated and valued.
We recognise and respect the unique nature and dignity of each and every person.
Historical and Religious
St. Thomas the Apostle College opened in September 1965 as St Thomas the Apostle School.
The initial intake came from 2 Schools – English Martyrs and St Francis. In September 1967, boys from Archbishop Amigo also joined.
The founder Headmaster was Mr W Uden and his first Deputy was Mr D Crawford. Mr Crawford retired in July 1982 and Mr Uden at Christmas 1982. Initially there was a 6th. Form but this was lost after the reorganisation of Catholic Schools in 1985.
The College became Grant Maintained in September 1994 and became known as St Thomas the Apostle College.
In 1998 the College reverted to a Voluntary Aided College.
The College is named after Thomas, one of Our Lord’s Apostles. The badge on the boys’ blazers consists of a spear and a builder’s square with the inscription “Dominus Meus, Deus Meus”. The spear is the weapon by which Thomas is reputed to have been martyred. His patronage of builders is represented by the builder’s square. The Latin inscription translates to “My Lord and My God” which is the Act of Faith spoken by Thomas on meeting Our Lord after the Resurrection (John 20:28).
The Religious Life of the College
St. Thomas the Apostle College is a Catholic College. We are a community that lives by the tenets of that Faith. This is the ethos that permeates the College and everything that we do. We also have formal occasions and services to practise our faith as a community.
i) Holy Mass
As a Catholic College we are a Eucharistic community. Local clergy celebrate Mass for different Year Groups each week. Year groups attend in rotation to represent and pray for the rest of the College.
Whole College Masses are celebrated on Holy Days of Obligation and on the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle.
The Chaplain prepares the Masses and staff and pupils are involved in the readings, bidding prayers, serving, offertory processions etc. In the absence of the Chaplain, the Headmaster will arrange for the RE staff to prepare the masses etc. The Music department prepares music for and participates in whole College masses.
For 2011-2012, there is a chaplaincy group co-ordinated by the Head of RE.
ii) Daily Prayers
Prayers are said every day during Staff Briefings and for boys during morning registration led by the Form teacher and the form prefects.
There is a full College assembly on the first and last Wednesday of every half term. All staff are to attend. Form Teachers should sit with their form to assist supervision.
These assemblies are led in rotation by the leadership team and other members of staff. On the remaining Wednesday mornings one year group will have a special Mass each week in the Chapel instead of Assembly and one year group will have a form period.
Year Assemblies are timetabled throughout the year.
iv) Works of Charity
As a Christian community we take very seriously our commitment to the needy. We regard works of Charity as an essential part of the boys’ education.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society visit local elderly people and organise parties for them at Christmas and Summer.
A Harvest festival collection of food is donated to the Passage Refuge for Homeless people at Victoria each October.
The Advent and Lenten Collections are used for the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Hampers, The Catholic Children’s Society and St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham.