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Formation and Enrichment

During the May half term break a group of 11 students and 3 staff travelled to Turin, to visit the sacred Salesian sites associated with the lives of Don Bosco, Dominic Savio and Mary Mazzarello. Thanks to funding for the Turing scheme, secured again by Mrs Lyon, the trip was fully funded, meaning that the majority of students on the trip received pupil premium funding, and had SEN. For some of these students it was the very first time they had ever been on a plane or even out of the country!

Highlights of the trip included the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco, with Mass in the basilica of Mary Help of Christians! We also visited Colle Don Bosco, the birthplace of Don Bosco and the site of the dream at 9, particularly significant in this bicentenary year of the dream. The Salesian sisters in Mornese gave us a very warm welcome and taught us all about the life and spirituality of St Mary Mazzarello. We also visited the home of St Dominic Savio and other cultural sites in the city of Turin.

Jess and Nancy, two of our Sixth Form students, give us their insight into the Rome trip, which was organised by the RE department during the October half term holiday:

We went to Rome with high expectations and they were certainly fulfilled. The city is full of culture and enlightenment for people of any age and we feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to take the trip and see all that we saw. On the first day we visited the Vatican City where we went into St Peter’s Basilica which was nothing less than what we expected; it was spectacular, filled with famous statues and images such as La Pieta. We also went into the tombs on which the church was built, where Saint Peter’s tomb is located. Then to the Sistine Chapel where we were surrounded by the famous artworks of Michelangelo: The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement, where we appreciated in-depth information from our tour guide, Sandra, about the meanings of both of the art works and the significance they still have for Christians today. The Castel Sant’Angelo was a lovely break from walking where we enjoyed the views of Rome from various points in the castle and took the opportunity to take photos of the city.

On Wednesday we had a guided tour of Rome admiring the architecture and the cultural, historical atmosphere that engulfs the city. With it being Wednesday we returned to St Peter’s Square where we saw Pope Francis and listened to his special Angelus address for All Saints Day - a once in a lifetime opportunity for some. We then celebrated Mass at Basilica Sacro Cuore, the Salesian church in Rome, led by our very own Father Steven, which was in itself extremely beautiful, and we were taken round the house where Don Bosco lived. 

As with any trip, one has to explore the local culture and there is no better way than to eat their food! Italy is of course famous for their pasta and pizza and we took this opportunity to fill our boots and take advantage of the many restaurants located throughout the city. There were, as well, wonderful gelato shops everywhere which we were able to enjoy in the hot weather.

Thursday was our last day and we visited the Colosseum, which enabled us to indulge in history while having the opportunity for pictures of the lovely views. It helped us to learn about the history of Rome and how people were entertained before TVs and phones! Our lovely tour guide, Sandra, then took us on a walk around a place of historical buildings and lovely sights to take pictures of as the views from here were amazing, and it really showed us the architecture of Rome and just how beautiful the city is. 
On our way back to the airport we stopped at the Catacombs of St Callistus - a poignant way to mark All Souls’ Day. The catacombs were built in order to bury people from the early Christian communities in Rome.

We saw the original graves of popes who have since been moved to the Vatican, as well as original frescoes around the burial places of early Christian martyrs. This experience was very moving as it made us think about those who have gone before us in faith. 

The whole trip was a really eye opening experience we won't forget. 

Retreat Programme
School offers different retreat experiences to our students. There are mini retreats to students during the year in the school and residential retreats in Savio Retreat House. It is offered to all students, however, after Covid, we have not offered it to KS4.

The Savio retreat programme is written tailored for the age and experiences of the young people.  Based on Salesian spirituality and focusing on on those four pillars of Salesian education:
Home = Belonging
School = Learning
Church = Meaning
Playground = Celebrating

Through personal experience and dwelling into Don Bosco’s insight we want our students to be, “good christians and honest citizens”.

Flame is the National Youth Congress, organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed). Our students have the opportunity to join 10,000 young Catholics from all around the country at Wembley arena for an inspiring day of prayer, adoration, catechesis, reflection, celebration and praise.
Look back at the last Flame congress here:

Our GiFT leaders have been vibrant  and they have become mass leaders, animating , leading mass for year 7s and others.

They have become involved in charity events, pensioners party and other major fundraising events in the school.

Chaplaincy Leaders
Chaplaincy leaders promote the school ethos within the school community. They become ambassadors and leaders in showing good examples and leading prayers, services and other events in the school. They take initiatives in leading and guiding. 

CAFOD Young Leaders
We have been part of the Cafod Young Leaders training programme and have been host to this event a number of times. This opportunity is offered to the Lower Sixth Form students, who take up leadership roles in supporting the school on raising the charity work within the school community. The training programme equips our young people to grow in every aspect of leadership skills.

Send My Friend to School
Every year we have supported the Send My Friend to School Campaign. This campaign makes people aware of the importance of young people having access to education all around the world. This year's campaign focused on issues that affect a young person receiving an education and the solutions to this problem. Our students have been creating jigsaw pieces of the issues that they know are affecting children across the world and then practical solutions that they can do to help. They have also been writing letters to our local MP to raise awareness of the issues. We have now passed these letters to our Send My Friend to School Ambassadors in school in preparation for their trip to London.

St Francis Garden
Each year students have the opportunity to sign up to different activities during break and lunch time, as part of this we offer students the opportunity to join our St Francis Animal Garden. Here students have the chance to look after our school pets, learn how to care for God’s creatures, work as a community to take care of our garden and learn about how to live a more environmentally friendly life.

Faith in Action
The Faith in Action Award is a programme that is run by Salford Diocese that we follow in school. This award allows students to support their local parish both in school and in the parish. In year 7 students work towards achieving the pin badge. This requires students to complete 10 hours of support in the parish and 10 hours support in school with events such as assemblies, charity work or leading liturgies. Students also reflect on their work and how they are going to put their faith into action in the future.

The Sacrament of Confirmation Partnership Programme is a sacramental provision offered at the school. Through the confirmation partnership programme with deanery parishes we run a hybrid model of sacramental preparation in school and in the parishes. In the recent years we have had over 60 candidates who have been prepared and received confirmation. Bishop John administers the sacrament in the Thornleigh school chapel.

Laudato si
With the invitation of Pope Francis - Laudato Si, we create every possibility to create that awareness and grow with nature and above to protect it.
We have a garden project which will link into it and the garden group will take up more activities and projects. 

With Bishop John and diocese in the forefront of Laudato si projects within the Diocese, we have been part of it and Centre director from Salford has been to school to lead programmes with students.

Thornleigh Salesian College creates multiple avenues for disadvantaged students to thrive. Among these opportunities is "Pantathlon," a program tailored for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It allows them to engage in diverse sports activities within a competitive yet supportive environment. This initiative promotes physical fitness, social skills and teamwork, emphasising the school's commitment to providing inclusive experiences where all students feel valued and cherished.

Community Mission
The school is located within the St Joseph’s Deanery of Bolton and has an excellent connection with our parishes. The parishes which are in the catchment area are more connected with the Sacramental Programme which we do in partnership. The local celery are regular visitors to the school and are involved in the school on a weekly basis. 

Fr Chris
Hello! My name is Fr Chris. I come into Thornleigh school most Wednesdays and I am one of the local parish priests. A number of the pupils will know me from when they were at St Joseph’s or St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School and the rest will see me around school helping out with assemblies, liturgical celebrations and in the classes. I am very keen to try and support all the great work that goes on in the school. Thornleigh is an important part of the life of our parish, St Cuthbert’s, which covers Heaton, Johnson Fold and Haliwell.