School News (121)
PRESS RELEASE - March 2013
Pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe have been working hard to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice, one of the UK’s largest adult hospices which is based close to the school in Heald Green.
Fundraising, which involves the pupils working together to make a positive difference, is a well-established feature of life at the school. One group of pupils have been selling teddies in the school at form time and at the school’s Christmas Fayre and have raised almost £400.
St Ann’s Hospice helps those people who have progressive and life-threatening illnesses – as well as supporting their carers and families. The Hospice helps around 3000 people, every year, across Greater Manchester.
“St Ann’s provide their care free of charge,” explained Ms Anita Keegan, the teacher at Saint Paul’s who has been supporting the pupils in these fund raising activities. “The NHS pays just one third of the funding necessary to keep the hospice open and effective, the hospice depends upon the generosity of the public for the remaining funds. We felt that, as the hospice is situated locally and impacts on our community, we should support our pupils in their fund raising initiatives.”
Miss Keegan added: ““Working with others toward a common goal is an important part of school fundraising. Our hope is that, through their exposure to a range of activities and causes, our pupils will develop a sense of the type and scale of need that exists in modern life.”
“Pupils are encouraged to consider their place in the wider community, develop a strong sense of social responsibility and support those less fortunate than themselves.” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We see charity fundraising events as a key part of the school’s ethos It makes me very proud to see the enterprise and enthusiasm displayed by our students as they seek to raise funds in support of people less fortunate than themselves.”
All Hallows Catholic College – Press Release
The student-led Management Team of Go Shop at All Hallows literally 'rose' to the challenge of addressing the Valentine Market by selling beautifully hand-wrapped single red 'roses' on 14 February 2013.
The Pod was decorated with giant red hearts to attract the attention of students and teachers and quickly became a 'hive' of activity as the 'roses' went on sale. Half the roses sold out immediately, with the other half selling easily throughout lunch time.
Pupils at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe have been voting for their own School Parliament as part of a new school initiative to involve more of the pupils in the life and decision-making processes of the school.
All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 were eligible to stand for election to the School Parliament. Candidates ran their own election campaign and their campaign pledges were on a display board. The rest of the year group then voted for their three favourite candidates who will duly sit on the School Parliament for that year. The three pupils from each year who received the most votes on the day were appointed MSPs, Member of School Parliament.
All the representatives ran the Election Day with the help of Manchester City Council who provided some very impressive official equipment such as booths, ballot boxes and ballot papers.
The purpose of the School Parliament is to give pupils a real voice within a manageable system and encourage students to take ownership and responsibility for their school. It will also enable staff to gain student perspective whilst at the same time raising awareness about democratic systems and rights in line with Citizenship education.
“The School Parliament represents the student voice at Saint Paul’s. We plan to meet monthly to discuss the various issues,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, Humanities teacher and organiser of the School Parliament. “The MSPs will wear a different tie to the rest of the pupils. The tie will have a gold stripe on it so pupils are aware who they are.”
Ms Davies added: “The School Parliament will be very important to the school, and as a result the parliament will be very much involved in school life.”
“The School Parliament will be an important consultative body within the school and will be taken seriously,” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s.”It gives the opportunity for students to put forward recommendations to the management, staff and governors of the school.”
15th February 2013 - Press Release
The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury has been named one of the top ten schools in England for its PE provision. On 14th February, the school’s Head of PE was presented with an award in recognition of the school's excellent practice and approach to physical education. Head of PE, Mrs Penny Scott received the award from Edward Timpson MP at the Department for Education’s Offices in London.
The Barlow's PE department has been awarded The Association for Physical Education's (afPE) Quality Mark; the benchmark and industry standard for high quality PE. The mark celebrates excellence in The Barlow's management and delivery of PE and sport. The Barlow was just one of ten schools across England given this independent endorsement.
Head of PE, Mrs Penny Scott said, “We are delighted with the Quality Mark award. It recognises the strength and quality of physical education and sport at The Barlow. All young people are entitled to benefit from a high quality physical education. We deliver strenuous activities that challenge our students, invest in competitive sport and provide a wide variety of extra-curricular sporting activities. Not only do PE lessons contribute to healthy and active lifestyles, there is significant evidence to show that they can help improve behaviour, develop key skills such as leadership and confidence and make a difference to the learning of children, more widely across the curriculum."
Edward Timpson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (children and families) is responsible, amongst other things, for sport in school within the Department of Education. The Quality Mark is awarded to schools following an inspection by the afPE, similar to those conducted by Ofsted. A copy of the report is sent to the Department of Education. The afPE Strategic Lead, Sue Wilkinson said, “The afPE Quality Mark Award for Physical Education and school sport is only awarded to those schools who can demonstrate a commitment to improvement and a high standard in the subject. The Barlow High School is a worthy recipient of this award and we are delighted that Edward Timpson MP was able to present Penny with the award at the ceremony.”
It has been an excellent year for The Barlow with GCSE results rising significantly for the fourth year in succession. In 2012, 95% of the pupils achieved at least 5 A*- C grades, with 74% including English and Maths. These outstanding results placed The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012, The Barlow also received national recognition from The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country and in October, an Ofsted inspection report praised pupils, staff and governors and stated that 'under passionate, visionary leadership, the school is going from strength-to-strength.'
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Pupils spread the spirit of Christmas and brought seasonal smiles to pensioners’ faces when Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe extended their Christmas cheer to the elderly of the parish by inviting them to join with the school’s pupils and staff in celebrating Christmas.
The event was hosted by the high school pupils who greeted the guests as they arrived then kept them entertained throughout the afternoon. The event provides a valuable link with the older generation in the community.
As well as well as a hearty festive feast, there was a visit from Santa who had a gift for every guest. Saint Paul’s pupils sang their favourite Christmas carols around the tree then the school and its guests enjoyed a raffle with wonderful food hampers as the special prizes.
The school received many warm words of thanks and appreciation from its guests, both on the day and in letters after the event.
One of the pensioners who attended said “The party was superb, we all really enjoyed it. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and we were extremely well looked after.”
Another added: “We could see that weeks of preparation had obviously gone into this special event, and it seems that everyone’s hard work certainly paid off. We had a fantastic time and were very pleased to have been invited.”
“The event provided our pupils with an invaluable experience of volunteering, citizenship and socialising to which they responded magnificently,” said Mr Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The elderly visitors were full of praise for the staff and pupils.”
Mr Daron added: “Each year we all enjoy the Christmas party; it is a special time for the pupils, teachers and members of the community who are able to share this wonderful celebration spanning the generations in Wythenshawe.”
Leeds Trinity has been awarded the title of university by the Privy Council and will now be known as Leeds Trinity University.
Professor Freda Bridge said: "I’m delighted that we have now been granted university status – it is a major milestone in our 46 year history that recognises our collective hard work and achievements. In all but name, Leeds Trinity has been functioning as a university since its award of taught degree awarding powers in 2009, and I’m delighted that the government’s decision will now allow us to use the title ‘university’. I’d like to thank all staff, students and governors who have worked hard to contribute to this momentous event in our history.”
Ed Anderson, Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds Trinity, added: “The Board of Governors is thrilled that Leeds Trinity has been awarded university title. We are proud of the fantastic experience we provide to our students, which is reflected in student satisfaction surveys and the employment record of our former students. This announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Leeds Trinity, and the city of Leeds, and we are proud to be a part of the offer for people who wish to pursue their University education in Leeds.”
Students and staff at The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury have followed in the footsteps of some of the world’s biggest popstars by making their own charity Christmas recording.
Music Teacher Mr Meakin and Year 11 music student Matthew Fitzgerald produced the eight track CD, featuring festive performances from staff and students across the year groups. A special Barlow staff rendition of Band Aid’s ‘Feed the World’ has proved very popular, with numerous requests for it to be played during Form Time, in the last week of term.
The CD features a range of tunes, from traditional Christmas carol ‘O Holy Night’ to modern classics including Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ and an acoustic take on Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’. School rock band ‘Wake up call’ live up to their name with their version of Blink 182’s ‘I won’t be home for Christmas’.
Headteacher Mrs McCarron said, “Our truly talented students worked hard to produce the CD; they performed brilliantly. We've just had our Ofsted inspection which stated that the school is going from strength-to-strength and remarked upon our flexible and innovative curriculum and stimulating and exciting enrichment activities. As well as an excellent education, we give our students the opportunity to use all their talents, to help them prepare for the lives they have ahead of them.”
Students at The Barlow have always been good at coming up with new ideas to raise money for charity and this year, has been no exception. They have truly embraced the new addition of a recording studio to the school, following its recent refurbishment, and spent December lunchtimes recording the Christmas CD and producing copies to sell for charity. Budding artists got in on the action and created five different pieces of artwork, which were made into CD covers.
The school’s recent Christmas concert infront of a crowd of over two hundred people showcased many of the featured artists and gave the school the ideal opportunity to sell the CD; it went down a storm with the families who attended the celebration. Students have been snapping up copies of the CD in school, with all the money raised going to Manchester’s own Cornerstone Day Centre and orphaned and abandoned children in Bolivia.
Tracks featured on the CD
1.Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Matthew Fitzgerald
2.All I want for Christmas – Amber Crain
3.Baby it’s cold outside – Victoria Butler & Thomas McCormack
4.I won’t be home – Wake up Call
5.Jingle Bell Rock – Olivia Muldoon & Sophie Fitzgerald
6.Last Christmas – Olivia Williams
7.O Holy Night – Mr McGuire
8.Feed the World – The Barlow Staff
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DELIGHTED pupils are celebrating after controversial plans to scrap free buses to and from faith schools were shelved.
Hartlepool Borough Council was considering axing £133,000 of denominational transport funding in a move which would have affected almost 400 pupils at two town schools.
But senior councillors on the cabinet committee have scrapped the plans and told senior officers to find the budget cuts from elsewhere, to the delight of staff and students at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College and St Teresa’s RC Primary School.
The council, which needs to save between £18m and £20m over the next five years, was considering the faith transport because it is not a statutory requirement.
But Michael Lee, headteacher at English Martyrs School, said: “I am delighted and relieved that the cabinet committee has seen sense and parents of both schools will be relieved the current service is being maintained.
“It has been a worrying time for everyone, especially the parents.”
Around 340 pupils at English Martyrs and 33 at the primary school would have been affected from September 2013 if the transport had been cut.
Ahead of the meeting, a consultation revealed 98.3 per cent of people, or 581, were against the plans.
Mr Lee, who spoke at the meeting, said that was an emphatic response and the people should be listened to.
He added: “If you go against, then there needs to be a pretty strong argument in order to do so, that argument is contained in the report but I don’t think it is a strong argument.
“I can’t think of any front line service that is more important than getting children to school and getting children to the school of their choice.”
If it had been axed it would also have meant 22 pupils facing an unsafe walking route to school.
Mr Lee added: “I don’t need to spell out the implications if anything where to happen to those students.”
He argued it also wasn’t fair to change the arrangements of parents whose children are halfway through their time at the school and the potential impact on admissions.
The original decision to scrap the transport had been taken earlier this year, but a last-minute budget amendment ensured the transport would remain in place for this academic year.
But now the council’s cabinet committee has changed its mind.
Mary Frain, headteacher at St Teresa’s RC Primary School, said: “I am very pleased and relieved that we have had the support of the councillors and the mayor on this issue.”
During the cabinet meeting, Miss Frain said the consultation had been heavily focused on the impact on secondary school children and said it wasn’t until three weeks ago that the impact on her school was made clear in cabinet papers.
Miss Frain told councillors her school and parents had been treated “unfairly”.
Figures showed 33 pupils at the school benefit from home-to-school transport, including 32 through denominational eligibility and one because of an unsafe walking route.
Excellent results, a national award and now an Ofsted report that praises outstanding leadership, exemplary methods of safeguarding, an innovative curriculum and significantly above average attainment.
The continued success of The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury has been recognised in a recent Ofsted Report. Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education who visited the school on 16th and 17th October 2012, praised pupils, staff and governors and stated that ‘under passionate, visionary leadership, the school is going from strength-to-strength.’
Inspectors were so impressed with standards across the board; they upped the school’s grading to ‘Good’. They added that The Barlow would achieve the ‘outstanding’ status in the near future, by following recommendations set out to them.
Headteacher Claire McCarron said, “We are delighted the Inspectors recognised that the school has improved rapidly in all aspects since our last inspection only 18 months ago. It is a great testament to the hard work of staff and students alike. We are securely on track and just one short step away from becoming an outstanding school; a goal that we are determined to achieve. We have already implemented additional changes to deliver the areas of further improvement identified in the report.”
Inspectors reported that The Barlow is innovative in developing the curriculum with attainment significantly above average. Pupils achieve well because teaching is consistently good. They stated that behaviour is also consistently good; outstanding in some lessons and that The Barlow has exemplary methods of safeguarding pupils. Bullying is not tolerated and staff at the school go the extra mile to ensure all children are safe and happy.
It has been an excellent year for The Barlow with GCSE results at the Didsbury school rising significantly for the fourth year in succession. In 2012, 95% of the pupils achieved at least 5 A*- C grades, with 74% including English and Maths. These outstanding results placed The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012, The Barlow also received national recognition from The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country.
Paul Chidgey, Chairman of the Governing Body at The Barlow added, “The new, rigorous Ofsted framework raised the bar, yet the report confirms progress at The Barlow is exceptional. Alongside the excellent exam results and our award, it is a wonderful reflection of the hard work and enthusiasm of all the staff who Ofsted state, ‘share the same vision to make the school even better and know how they are going to achieve this goal.’”
The full Ofsted report can be viewed at www.ofsted.gov.uk
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