- Headteacher introduction to Summer 2019 Newsletter
- Science News
- Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Expedition
- Water Safety
- Catering Team Excellence
- Veterans Visit
- International Women in Engineering Day
- Employee Encounter
- Kevin Simm Visit
- Y10 Visit to Edge Hill
- Leyland Trucks
- Chaplaincy & R.E.
- Archdiocese Student Media Competition
- The Y9 Charity Tug of War
- Grandparents Appreciation Day
- Y8 Pilgrimage
- Sports Day & P.E. Interhouse
- GCSE P.E.
- Rugby League
- Villarreal Sports Tour: Easter 2021
Welcome to the Summer edition of our newsletter.
You will see from the many articles gathered that our fabulous pupils have enjoyed numerous opportunities to enrich their school lives. The summer months naturally lend themselves to outdoor activities, with Sport’s Day and the rewards trip to Blackpool just two highlights. At St Mary’s we believe it is vital that your children have as many chances as possible to supplement the work they do in the classroom, and there have been plenty of opportunities for all, from meeting World War Two veterans to singing with professional musicians and visiting major local employers.
As we approach the summer holidays, I would like to thank you for the support you have shown the school throughout the year. I’m sure you will want to join me in wishing those staff leaving us the very best. In the summer, Mrs Billington (English), Mrs Rice (English), Mrs Coates (RE), Mr Park (PE/Humanities), Mr Wynn and Miss Raine (Intervention for English and Maths), Mr Gally (Cover Teacher) and Mr Pilkington (Learning Mentor) all depart. They have all served St Mary’s well and each leave with our very best wishes for their future careers.
Happily, the school has managed to recruit well and all teaching posts are filled with permanent staff from September. The school will also welcome a number of members of staff in support posts also. I will write with further details on our return after the summer.
As we continue to grow and develop as a school, there will be some new initiatives from September. We are delighted to announce that St Mary’s will be using an online system called Class Charts from the new term. Amongst other things, this will allow parents the opportunity to check online the homework that has been set for their child, along with details of when it is due. This improvement has come about as a direct result of listening to parental responses from Progress Evening questionnaires. Hopefully Class Charts will allow parents greater opportunity to monitor the quantity and quality of the homework we set.
In addition, we are making some slight adjustments to the behaviour system within the classroom. We believe these tweaks will allow for every child to have the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability in every lesson, with minimal disruption.
As we know, and as visitors to the school often comment upon, our pupils look exceptionally smart in their uniforms. To ensure consistency of appearance, we are also making a slight change to the uniform policy by making the wearing of school jumpers compulsory from October half-term through to Easter.
Details of all these changes will be delivered at the Parental Information Evening on Thursday 19 September. Further details will be sent out in the new term, but all parents are invited to come along and hear about the new school initiatives and ask any questions about the changes. A full explanation of Class Charts will also be given on the night.
On behalf of all the staff and governors of St Mary’s, I would like to wish you all a wonderful summer holiday. I hope that your child has the opportunity to rest well and returns to us safe and sound following the break when we re-open for all pupils at the usual time, 8:40am, on Tuesday, 3rd September.
Mr P Thompson
Over the summer term our young scientists have been developing their practical skills and honing their investigative techniques. Science club has gone from strength to strength with many attenders on a weekly basis. We finished with the “elephant’s toothpaste” to the delight of all our junior scientists and we look forward to more discovery next year.
Did you know we now have our very own twitter page which you can follow to keep up with all the latest goings on and science related news. Follow us @ScienceStMarys
... go on, it’ll be fun.
Year 10 Cybercrime
As a school we ensure, as part of our safeguarding, that all pupils learn how to conduct themselves safely when working online. This is delivered in computer science lessons, Super Learning Days, assemblies and particular emphasis during the week of Safer Internet Day.
As part of our GCSE computer science curriculum, our pupils are expected to have more in depth and technical knowledge about online threats to both individuals and businesses. What better way than to have the Lancashire Constabulary Cyber Crime Unit come to deliver the session. Louisa Murphy (Digital Learning & Development Coordinator), who is a familiar face to the school, offered a session to our KS4 Computer Scientists.
Pupils were able to learn about real life cybercrimes and found it particularly interesting to learn about the profiles, motives and consequences faced by cyber criminals. The session covered curriculum content such as DDOS, viruses and SQL attacks; all of which are regular features on the GCSE examination. Many were fascinated by the role of the Cyber Crime Unit and were keen to learn about the possible job roles within this field which ranged from network forensics to anti terrorism.
Given the sensitive nature of many of the crimes which are investigated, school visits are not permitted to the Cyber Crime Unit. However, Louisa is always on hand and is an great source of knowledge and guidance for pupils who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. We have already secured some of her valuable time next year for the upcoming cohort of computer scientists.
The Duke of Edinburgh award gives young people the chance to get fit, learn a new skill, and get out in the countryside. It is a great opportunity and an enjoyable experience to earn this valuable award. There are four parts: a physical activity, a skill, volunteering and an expedition.
A group of year 9 students successfully completed their bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition in May.
A training session was held after school which involved route planning, rucksack packing, and advice on expedition food. There was another session on a Saturday morning where we planned our routes in groups. Also, further training was provided during the practice expedition in April.
Both expeditions were carried out in the Waddington area of the Forest of Bowland. Groups of students were dropped off at different starting points and we walked for approximately 6 hours to the campsite. Once we reached the campsite, we pitched our tents and cooked an evening meal over our stoves.
After spending the night camping, we continued our expeditions by walking for another 3-4 hours to the pick-up point in Bolton-by-Bowland.
All the groups performed well together and displayed good teamwork skills, especially during Storm Hannah!
Special thanks go to Mrs Loftus, Mr Meldrum, Mr Bullman and all the volunteers who helped with and supervised the expeditions.
In response to the nationwide rise in these issues, upcoming singer, Jean-Mikhael, came in to school in April to deliver a substance misuse, peer pressure and mental health message to all our year 9 and 10 pupils. It was an alternative way of sharing very important messages and our pupils certainly enjoyed the performance and got a great deal from it.
Before May half term Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were in school delivering their water safety education package - 'Dying for a Dip' - in PSHCEE assemblies. Approaching the warmer months and school holidays, we felt it was vital to raise awareness about the dangers of swimming in open water. Please talk to you child about the dangers of open water swimming!
Congratulation and well done to the St Mary’s Catering Team who have won ‘the Catering Team Excellence Award’ for the highest number of meals sold across Lancashire Secondary Schools. This was a richly deserved award for our fabulous team!
A group of our year 9 and 10 pupils benefitted from a visit to the Lancashire Apprenticeship and Careers Expo. It was an excellent event which really got our students thinking about their futures. Despite what they might think, if they work hard and achieve their potential, the world really is their oyster!
A group of year 10 pupils spent a day at Runshaw College undertaking the ‘My Future’ activity day. Pupils had a practical experience in a range of Runshaw’s vocational courses. We’re hoping that the day will have helped our pupils make decisions about their post 16 options. Well done to all those who attended. They did themselves and school proud!
We have a number of year 9 and 10 pupils in school who are interested in careers in the Armed Forces. Recently, we had a recruitment officer come to speak to those pupils about life in the forces, entry requirements and career opportunities. The same group are looking forward to a practical session with the Royal Marines! Be. The. Best.
At St Mary’s we are committed to providing our pupils with a wealth of personal development opportunities to build their ‘cultural capital’. One of these aspects is Careers Information, Advice and Guidance. If you are an employer or an employee who would be willing to come to school to share your experiences and expertise with our pupils, we would love to hear from you. Please email Mrs Pilling at firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally if you are a business owner or part of a company who would like to show case at our autumn Careers Fair, please see the community section of our Website and select Careers Fair. We would very much appreciate your support!
In June we had the absolute honour of welcoming war veterans Phil Burton, Steve Ryan, Jim Matthews and Tommy Sleeve to school. The heroes spoke to our year 8 history classes about the D Day landings. The objective was to reinforce curriculum learning about WW1 and WW2 whilst informing our pupils of what life in the military is like and what a career in the military has to offer.
Three of the veterans were from Skelmersdale veterans associations and all are part of the Leyland Veterans Cafe, to which Phil Burton is founder. Thank you to all four gentleman, it was an honour to hear your stories and we learnt a great deal from your experiences.
Four of our future GCSE Engineering pupils attended Leyland Trucks ‘International Women in Engineering Day’. There they completed a number of practical activities as well as benefitting from a site tour and listening to a number of female employees share their careers stories. A fabulous day was had by all and a great foundation for their GCSE Engineering course was set.
Town Planners from South Ribble Borough Council provided year 7 geography classes with an insight in to their jobs, linking our curriculum learning to the world of work. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and their geography lessons were certainly brought to life! Thank you very much SRBC!
On Wednesday, 3rd July, we were privileged to have with us past pupil Kevin Simm. Kevin was in the band Liberty X, won ‘The Voice’ in 2016 and has recently been signed, and is now lead singer of the band Wet Wet Wet.
Kevin came to speak to years 7 and 8 about the music industry and what it is like to be a professional musician in today’s world. He gave insights into the career and gave advice for those wishing to pursue a similar path.
It was a fantastic opportunity for our children to hear, first hand, what it is like to be a touring musician. The pupils heard about the highs – winning Brit Awards, travelling the world and also the lows - how it can affect life if you have a family and the unsocial hours of working. Kevin performed some songs for us including the one he used as his audition piece for ‘The Voice’.
Pupils were blown away by the experience and we are very grateful to Kevin for his time. We hope to welcome him back to school next year.
Year 10 embarked on an aspirational visit to Edge Hill University in July. Pupils were given an insight into student life, introduced to some remarkably named courses, and had a tour of the vast campus. During the visit, pupils were asked to imagine themselves 5 years later and where they would be - with some fascinating responses given in the form of self-portraits! They were also shown some of the state of the art facilities available at Edge Hill, such as the 4-D cave. We even had chance to stop at Edge Hill’s self-created beach for a stroll. Let’s hope our pupils use the visit to further motivate them to give their all as they start Year 11 in September.
Year 10 engineering students took part in a trip to Leyland trucks on 30th of April. The trip began with a talk from a member of their design team in which the students put on some 3D glasses and viewed the build of a lorry in computer aided design. This was a really interesting demonstration and showed the students the real life benefits of using computer aided design in a company, which allowed the learning from their current unit of work to be brought to life. We then took part in a tour around the factory where the students received a detailed talk about the whole process. The tour covered a large amount of topics from their curriculum, including: scales of production, quality control and the use of robots in manufacture. At the end of the tour the students could see the finished product and had a chance to get into the cab of the lorry. They really enjoyed this aspect of the tour. Overall, it was a great day and allowed the students to gain a greater understanding of the topics they are studying and linked the curriculum learning to the world of work.
What an exciting and joy filled summer term we have all enjoyed so far! Both RE and Chaplaincy have been encouraging students and staff to live out Pope Francis encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. With the rise in global warming along with pollution, great efforts have been made to bring recycling to the forefront of all activities within our school community. Miss Wilson along with many other staff members and students, has led a ‘fashion event’ in our parish Church, St Mary’s. This event was focused to enable people to donate and reuse their unloved clothes instead of buying new. Pictures from the event will follow in the next edition of the newsletter! Watch this space! With many special and wonderful events taking place throughout the year, we have decided to showcase just a handful!
With May being the month dedicated to Mary, Mother of God and patron of our school, we invited Y8 students to participate in a prayerful procession to celebrate the Feast of Mary Help of Christians. Students enjoyed the experience, both journeying with the Stations of the Cross and stopping at various locations within the school grounds. We finished in the Chapel by saying a decade of the Rosary. Pictured is a group of students ready to begin the procession around the school groups.
Special thanks also go to the Chaplaincy prefects who have continually supported the spiritual life of the school throughout the course of the year. The prefects have led various prayer reflections at a lunch time along with supporting in charitable events. Pictured are several Prefects busy decorating the Chapel with flower arrangements to add to the arrangements used for Mary, Help of Christians procession, along with the reception prayer corner at the front of the school.
As we travelled further into the year, our school community focused on charity events to raise money for Nugent. (As many of you will be aware, Nugent is the Archdiocesan Charity supporting many families within our Archdiocese, helping children who are not able to live with their families. Nugent also supports the elderly, people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, refugee and asylum seekers.) The Chaplaincy and Faith in Action teams worked tirelessly running cake sales, sponsored events including sponsored silences, Church ground cleaning and dog walks to name but a few. Further events are organised when we return after summer to help raise funds and further awareness of Nugent. As a result of all the hard and committed work our students demonstrated throughout the year, it was such a great joy and privilege to be invited to lead a drama in the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral for the Good Shepherd Mass which is organised by Nugent. The drama was based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Students combined the drama to incorporate the Synod 2020 message to become the Church that God is calling us all to be. It was a further blessing for our students to be invited to read at the Mass at St Mary’s Church.
Pictured are Year 8 and Year 9 students that started in performances along with those students that presented a cheque of £930 to Bishop Tom which will go directly to the many services that Nugent offer within our Archdiocese.
Special thanks also goes to our Year 7 students that led in the procession of our school banner and read in our parish Church. Also Declan (and Alex) who kindly agreed to dress up as Nugent’s mascot, ‘Woolly’.
With the better weather arriving, with what we believe is called ‘summer’, our Mass on sunny Friday mornings has been focused on our students. Our Year 11 students were constantly held in prayer, especially as they completed their GCSE examinations. In addition to this year group, all students that were completing their end of year exams were also prayed for. Special thanks go to all parishioners, staff and students that were able to attend the Friday morning Mass in the Chapel. Pictured are several Chaplaincy members who regularly participated throughout the Masses.
Special thanks go to Kasia who entered her beautiful interpretation of this year’s theme of ‘Sustainability; 'We must care for the Earth so that it may continue as God willed’. Our school community is proud that Kasia is our Eco Ambassador and is committed to living out Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. Kasia is pictured here with her artwork depicting how mankind is mistreating God’s world. The importance of caring for all creation has been highlighted by Pope Francis and he has appealed to every person living on our planet to take care of our common home. Kasia is working with various students in all year groups along with teachers to make our school community stronger stewards to God’s world.
9N were keen to raise money for Nugent Care during the summer term. They decided to include some fun inter-form competition: a ‘Tug of War’ match between the Year 9 form groups, and a staff team.
Each form gathered a team of 10 students to battle it out on the sports field at the beginning of Sports Day. Each participate donated £1 to compete and a few students donated £1 to be exempt! Mrs Coates led a competitive staff team who also contributed £1 to the funds, (again some staff chose to donate without taking part).
In the beautiful sunshine of Sports Day, the battle commenced. All forms produced an excellent effort on what was a tightly fought knockout competition. The final match was between the Year 9 winning form, 9A, and the staff team. It was a tense start but the power of the staff won out on the day!
We were delighted to raise £60 for a very worthwhile cause and had a lot of fun doing so.
I think it would be fair to say that we would all be lost without our wonderful, loving and caring grandparents. For many years now, our school community recognises, celebrates and thanks God for the gift of grandparents. Grandparents are not restricted to only blood relatives, as many people now hold that wonderful title of ‘grandparent’. What matters most is the unconditional love that they offer, not just to their grandchildren, but to the extended family. In a world that demands so much of people’s time, grandparents often step into various roles, such as dropping and picking up children from school, cooking meals and helping with homework. Special thanks go to Jimmy for leading in the special memories showcase, along with Fr. Jonathan who gave a special ‘Grandparents blessing’. In addition, special thanks go to the catering team for baking the cakes and all the students that helped make the day extra special, ranging from those in the hospitality teams, to those who led in prayer, right through to those who accompanied their lovely grandparents.
As the weather really warmed up, it was such a blessing to take over 79 Year 8 students on a pilgrimage to Liverpool. This special event takes place each year and provides the opportunity for students to get to know each other better, along with their staff members, and to understand how God is present in their lives. Students had the opportunity to explore both Liverpools magnificent Cathedrals along with having a moment to pray and reflect at the Hillsborough’s Eternal Flame. Along with visiting the famous Anthony Gormley statues at Crosby beach and enjoying a 2 course meal back at our place of residence, the evening was finished off with a movie night and a prayful reflection. Feedback from students was very encouraging, with many saying that they would ‘love to have stayed longer’. Special thanks to all who helped and contributed to make this wond-erful, spiritual experience possible,
On behalf of Chaplaincy and the RE team, we would like to wish you, your family and friends a very happy and safe Summer Holidays. And please remember, should you wish to get involved in any of our charity events, please check our facebook and instagram pages for more information.
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless and protect you all, always.
This term has seen an abundance of extra-curricular rounders. Years 7 – 10 have been down in their droves sharpening up their skills ready for their tournaments, all in all over 50 girls have represented school for their year group with well over 80 girls turning up for training each week; competition for team places was tough! Each team however, has participated magnificently in their respective tournaments demonstrating excellent communication skills, superb team work and a vast array of practical skills! Congratulations to all involved in such a fabulous traditional summer sport, long may this continue in the St Marys way of ‘letting our light shine’.
The Y8 Rounders Team
Wednesday, 19th June saw this year’s Sports Day and wow, what an event! 414 pupils participating in a number of events across the entire day! javelin, shot put, discus, long/triple jump were on the agenda for the morning along with curling and archery! In the afternoon the entire school were out on mass to cheer on and celebrate their houses achievements. The weather took an unexpected change for the better, although we need to ensure pupils bring Factor 50 and sun hats for next year.
Anselm were the worthy winners of both Sports Day and Inter House Competition 2018/19 with a grand total of 814 points.
Well Done to all pupils who have contributed to their teams throughout the year in all events.
We said goodbye to our Year 11 GCSE PE pupils at the end of May. The pupils have worked really hard, especially over the last few months. Let’s hope that their hard work and revision will have paid off when they get their results in August. The Y10 pupils have just completed their end of year exam and as a way of thanking most of them for their dedication to the course, a celebratory meal took place at the Ley Inn restaurant in Clayton le Woods on Wednesday, 17th July. After the meal a number of trophies were given out, to celebrate outstanding individual achievements.
It has been a busy term with U13 and U15 rugby fixtures. Both teams have played fixtures against other Leyland schools and used the excellent facilities on offer at Leyland Warriors to play against All Hallows too. There have been some outstanding individual and team performances. The U13 team have been unbeaten, winning three and drawing one of their four games. There have also been some outstanding individual performances, most notably from K. Nelson and H. Barton.
The U15 team have also played some great rugby and put on the performance of the season against Balshaws in their last game, drawing 26-26, despite missing key players through injury. D. Thompson, N. Middleton and J. Weston have been the standout players.
The Under 13 team after their 26-12 victory over Academy@Worden
On 11th July, a Parent’s Evening was held for pupils interested on going on a 5 day football and netball excursion to Villarreal, Spain at Easter 2021. It was a very good turn out and pupils and their parents/carers were also given an example of a typical itinerary and given the opportunity to ask questions connected to the tour. It is hopeful that pupils and staff will also be able to watch a professional football game on the tour too. An initial payment of £125 per pupil needs to be paid on or before 13th September. Any pupil who did not come to the Parents Evening and still has an interest in coming on the tour, please see Mr. Walsh.
On Tuesday, 9th July, the Under 13 cricket team played a T20 game against Balshaws at Fox Lane. The team were fantastic throughout and won by 29 runs. D. Pallet captained the team magnificently and he also finished as the top run scorer. Man of the match was C Heath, who scored 16 runs and took 4 wickets. The U15 cricket team are due to play a T20 game against Balshaws on Monday, 15th July at Fox Lane.
The Under 13 cricket team after their victory over Balshaws
Athletics practice has been incredibly well participated in over this term with over 30 pupils staying behind after school to run, jump and throw to their hearts content. Year 7 and 8 in particular have been down practicing ready for Sports day and the South Ribble Athletics Championships at Robin Park. Year 10 GCSE PE pupils have taken this opportunity to get some last minute technique skills under their belt before Year 11 gets underway.
The South Ribble Athletics Championships took place at Robin Park, Wigan on Friday, 28th June this year and saw Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils participate across the South Ribble District. A number of excellent individual and team performances. St Mary’s spirit was well and truly out in form. Overall, as a school, we came 4th. Congratulations and well done to all.