School News (121)

Early last week, (before the snow descended) the SOLSTICE planning group met.   As you may be aware we have parents, one member of staff and Sister Patrick who are all undergoing treatment for various types of cancer.  Cancer in all of its forms is a disease which respects no-one and attacks young and old alike. Fortunately there have been breakthroughs in detection and treatments but research requires money and support of sufferers also needs money. So we have selected Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer as the two charities to support with our SOLSTICE events.

Back in April, The Towers Convent School in Upper Beeding made the decision that as a number of our parents, a member of staff and Sister Patrick were all undergoing treatment for various types of Cancer we wanted to support Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer and began planning our Solstice event.  Also, we decided that, as this is my tenth and final year as Head, we would aim for a total of £10,000. We thought that we were being optimistic and perhaps a little too ambitious but decided that it would be better to aim high.  As I write this the total is just over £13,500 with money from the sponsored runs and silent auction still to come. The original plan was to give £5,000 each to Macmillan and Cancer Research UK and then anything above that amount could go to the Worthing Hospital Scanner Appeal.

The first ‘event’ was our money mile where everyone was invited to place loose change on the tape around the school. The money is still coming in and we are at 1194 yards. Not quite a mile but equating to over £500.  There have been many individual events such as the Daisy Chain Challenge (£88), a parent who asked her dinner party guests to pay for their pudding (£55) cake sales at various churches to name but a few.

Then the Summer Solstice arrived and the Seniors arrived dressed in pink and green outfits plus trainers to do the 5km fun run along the banks of the river adur. The first girl back was Ellie-Rose Teatum with a time of 19 minutes 20 seconds.  In the afternoon all of the Juniors and nursery ran or walked around the field as many times as they could manage. For one nursery child one lap was enough before he declared to Hayley “I have had enough, my feet won’t do anymore” whilst the girl who did the most laps was Amelie Somers completing 48 laps closely followed by Harriet Thornton completing 47 laps.  The sponsor money from both of these events this has yet to be counted but even if each child only raises £10 then that would be a further £3200!

In the evening the auction alone raised an amazing £3905.  With ticket sales and bar sales, lockery and tombola adding a further £1600 to the proceeds from the night.  All 23 lots sold with some competitive bidding, particularly for the tickets to the Ashes which sold for £370 and the Florida apartment which reached an amazing £1000. The champagne tea at South Lodge, Dinner, bed and breakfast at Dean’s Place, a Mappin and Webb watch, signed cricket bat and the bakery courses at The Artisan Bakery were also very popular, each reaching around £200. There were many more items donated and a silent auction for these is still in process.

Saturday saw some serious competitors warming up with exercises demonstrated by Kat O’Neill before setting off on a steep hill over the Downs for a 5 or 8K run, jog or walk. This raised over £1000 in entry fees. Congratulations not only to Will Chambers and ex-pupil Lydia Growns who respectively won the two categories but also to Ellie-Rose Teatum who repeated her achievement of the previous day and was the first Towers pupil to return.

During the afternoon the fete was declared open by Sister Patrick and followed an afternoon of busy its busy stalls, entertainment and games went ahead despite the windy weather.  The rain held off until it was time to pack away and to start the barbecue. Venison or pork burgers provided by a parent were delicious and the entertainment first ‘Fat Owl’ followed by ‘No Pressure’ soon had literally everyone up and dancing to round off a fabulous weekend.


3 June 2013 - Press Release

All Hallows Catholic College has received national recognition for the high attainment of pupils in the GCSE examination in 2012.

All Hallows Catholic College qualified as one of the top 20% of non-selective schools in England for the high average grades achieved by students.

Every school in the country has been ranked according to how well they performed in their GCSE results in 2012 by SSAT - the representative body for schools.

The new rankings, calculated by SSAT using official data, compare how schools nationally performed by counting all students' best 8 GCSE subjects and reflect schools' desire to achieve the very best results for their students.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said, " All Hallows Catholic College should be congratulated for their stunning achievement is securing some of the best GCSE results in the country.

"All Hallows Catholic College has proven itself to be one of the best schools in the country at securing superb GCSE outcomes for their students.There is plenty that other schools could learn from All Hallows Catholic College's success.

"These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at All Hallows Catholic College and a vindication of their belief in high expectations, good teaching and ambition for every young person.

"Successful schools like All Hallows Catholic College understand the value of data, such as these attainment measures, in helping to ensure that all young people perform to the very best of their ability. The attainment measures show how schools are focused on their performance and out comes of all their students."


SSAT (The Schools Network) Ltd is an independent  membership organisation that works with schools and partners to shape a world class education system. it represents almost 2000 members in England. The company operates with the same broad educational objectives as the old Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twenty-eight RE students from seven different schools joined MPs at the House of Commons to campaign on behalf of Religious Education (RE) in schools on Monday, June 24. 

The schools were invited by the All Party Parliamentary Group on RE to update MPs and Peers about two new initiatives designed to give RE a much needed boost in schools. 

The RE Quality Mark (REQM) is a new accreditation supported and monitored by the Religious Education Council for England and Wales to celebrate and recognise quality RE in all primary and secondary school classrooms. 

When it is well taught in secondary schools 11-16 year olds value GCSE Religious Studies as a strong humanities subject. The RE Young Ambassadors programme is a new initiative that draws on this support by bringing together a diverse group of young people from different secondary schools. They volunteer their time to champion RE as subject they believe to be important. 

Stephen Lloyd MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Religious Education (RE), said:

“We have found many excuses are given for relegating RE in schools to a single slot, often taught by a non-specialist teacher who has not benefited from subject training. Given the current social and political climate this is shocking, and today it is tremendous to welcome so many schools and young people who want to support RE in our schools. We are working hard to ensure the subject is given a long term view and is not ignored in any curriculum reforms.”

As society becomes more religiously diverse it is widely acknowledged that RE offers pupils the opportunity to explore their own beliefs and reflect on the challenges of serious commitment, allowing them to investigate how different beliefs have shaped individuals, families, communities and cultures. RE is a challenging subject to teach and one that requires support through training and space in the curriculum. By ignoring RE the current Government is threatening to put issues of faith, belief and diversity to one side and not make the most of schools as a safe space to educate, inform and question. 



Notes to editors 

1.    The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Religious Education was set up in November 2012 and is chaired by Eastbourne and Willingdon MP, Stephen Lloyd. In November 2012 it announced its inquiry into the supply of and support for teachers of RE. A list of submissions to the inquiry and a full copy of the report is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

2.    The Young Ambassadors Programme was created by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, and the REC supports and monitors the RE Quality Mark (REQM). The REC brings together academic and professional associations specialising in religions and religious education. It also includes the individual religion and belief organisations which represent the range of faith communities found nationally, including the British Humanist Association. 

3.    For further media information about the Religious Education Council contact: Colin Hallmark / Harriet Johnson, 3:nine Communications. Tel: 0207 736 1888; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Press Release - June 2013


Budding young engineers from Years 7 and 8 at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently took part in two Science and Engineering based Challenge Days aimed at encouraging their creativity, innovation and problem solving skills.

The challenges were designed to grab the pupils’ attention, test their skills of teamwork and problem solving and develop their powers of innovation, creativity and communication. The innovative event allows the pupils to delve into the intriguing worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Saint Paul’s has specialist status for Engineering and has a distinctive science and engineering ethos running throughout the school and the school is very keen to inspire and engage the pupils in Science and Engineering. 

During the Challenge Days, the pupils took part in a number of science and engineering based activities including an international marble challenge, a labyrinth puzzle challenge, t shirt design and printing and circus skills. The pupils worked in small groups to carry out a series of tasks where they researched, designed and built solutions to the real life engineering problems

The event allowed the pupils to work together to solve problems, enhancing their team building and communication skills. All those involved commented that they had experienced a challenging but fun day and got to engage in activities which they wouldn’t normally do, for example, in the International Marble Run the pupils had to design and construct a structure that would allow a marble to travel across the continent.

The pupils were observed and then nominated for a series of awards: best team, best team player, best leadership skills, kindest participant, most enthusiastic participant, most competitive participant, most considerate participant, most creative participant and the participant with the best ideas. The awards were then presented in a special assembly to highlight some of the important skills of the pupils.

The pupil comments included: “Everyone was included which was great”, “It was great to work with other people that we don’t usually get to work with” and “The people who ran the day were kind, funny and helpful”.

Ms Catherine Collier, Deputy Head at Saint Paul’s, said: “The challenges are designed to capture the students' imaginations and interest. They experience an innovative programme of discovery with hands-on design and practical work giving them a peek into the life of a real engineer, the variety of engineering out there and the central role it plays in our everyday lives.”

“The 21st century continues to see an increase in technological and scientific advancements, from nano-technology, robotic prosthetics and record-breaking sky-scrapers to research into the cure for cancer, neurological and genetic diseases. If we continue at this current rate of technological and scientific evolution we will require many more people working in science, engineering and maths,” added Ms Collier.

“The days aimed to excite and inspire students and was a great way to show young people the vital role engineering plays in our lives,” commented Head Teacher, Mr Wiktor Daron. “The event was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils. They were able to take part in some exciting problem solving activities which, whilst being fun, enhanced some important skills such as leadership, consideration for others and working together to a common goal.”

Mr Daron added: “We hope that events such as this will encourage more young people to study and consider exciting and rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.” 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 08:35

Flying the flag for Eco Schools

13th June 2013 MEDIA RELEASE

Staff and pupils at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School in Atherstone are celebrating being awarded the Eco Schools’ Green Flag award for environmental sustainability for the third time in a row.

The “Green Flag” is the highest award available through the scheme.And because this is the third time the school has won it, St Benedict’s will now be assisting and inspiring other schools to become more sustainable.

All the pupils carry out eco-jobs within the school, for instance composting fruit and vegetable waste, keeping classroom doors closed to retain heat as well as switching off lights 

Eco Coordinator Niki Furlong Smith explained that the whole school community constantly work together to think ecologically. "The Eco team deserve special recognition for their hard work and dedication. Everyone at St Benedict's is ecologically aware - we are green through and through! The Eco Schools inspector was particularly impressed with the work we have done with our school grounds to provide the children with growing areas and that the food we grow is cooked and served in our school kitchens."

Head teacher, Mrs Susan Shannon, added: “The importance of our children learning about how to protect the planet they live on and preserving it for their children cannot be overstated. Well done to Mrs Furlong-Smith and the whole school for their efforts on a daily basis.”

Local radio station BBC Coventry & Warwickshire was so impressed with the school's eco efforts that they invited 2 of the team, along with Head teacher Mrs Shannon, to come to their studios and be interviewed live on air. Theo and Sophie from Year 6 were very excited to do the interview and found it to be a great experience. 



1.For further information contact Head teacher Mrs Susan Shannon – 01827 712320 

2. Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.Schools follow a simple seven-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity. Pupils are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they form and lead an Eco-Committee and help to carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of the school. In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it’s the pupils that decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they’re going to do it.Schools work towards gaining one of three internationally recognised awards – Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. Bronze and Silver are both self accredited through this website and Green Flag is externally assessed by Keep Britain Tidy volunteers.

3.In November 2012 St Benedict’s was rated as Good by Ofsted under the tougher new inspection regime and noted children’s exemplary behaviour.In March 2013 the School was also rated Good with Outstanding features for RE in an Diocesan inspection. 


4.St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School is based in Church Walk, Mancetter, Atherstone, Warwickshire and accepts children from all backgrounds in the North Warwickshire area. See

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 08:33

Faith comes to Thanet

On Thursday 23rd May and Friday 24th May Years 2, 3 and 4 put on a performance of “The Faith Comes To Thanet” for their parents and the local parish and visitors to Ramsgate for the local Saint Augustine’s Celebration Week organised by Father Marcus Holden – the school’s parish priest. The children of St. Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School told the story of the Romans taking Anglo Saxons to Rome as slaves and of Pope Gregory The Great in 595AD seeing these blonde headed slaves and saying that these “are not angles, but angels!”

The Pope then sent Saint Augustine – a Benedictine Monk -  to England and he landed on The Isle of Thanet where he met King Ethelbert – who was a pagan and Queen Bertha who was already  a Christian. St. Augustine was allowed to set up a church in Canterbury and eventually baptised King Ethelbert – who our primary school is dedicated to - and began bringing his missionary work to England.

The play was also filmed in three parts with Year 2 class acting the scene of the Pope seeing the slaves, Year 3 class being the missionary monks on their journey from Italy to Thanet and Year 4 class showing the monks in Thanet meeting King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha and teaching the locals to read and write.

The children have had the help of Chatham House Grammar School  to make DVDs of the play and they have asked to send a copy to Pope Francis, The Queen and our Archbishop. Father Marcus thanked the staff and children , ”On behalf of the parish I would like to thank you all for an amazing production of 'The Gospel comes to Thanet'. The parishioners are still talking about it and it was one of the highlights for me during St Augustine's Week.”

Everyone in the school helped – Mr Dave Fry – the school caretaker – with painting the marvellous backdrops, Mr Bishop – Year 3 teacher - with the hymns and music, the parents with costumes and helping the children to remember their lines and Mrs Butchard-Thursten – the Deputy Headteacher- with writing and directing. David Turner  - the Chair of the Governors said he was delighted in the way the school supported the local parish initiatives about ‘The Catholic Year of Faith’ and John Letts – the Headteacher – is immensely proud of the children and the way they really enjoyed the drama of their religious education lessons and entertaining the general public. “The children are very, very excited about the DVD and keep coming to me with a new list of people to send it to”.


School children compete nationally to gather the most declarations of support for local fruit.

Children of All Hallows are calling on the people of Macclesfield to help them in their quest to gather as many declarations of support for local fruit as possible.

As part of the fruit-full schools project, All Hallows is one of 200 schools across England, which will be aiming to collectively gather over 100,000 pledges in support of local produce from their surrounding communities.

The school, having already established its own orchard as part of the project, will be in competition to gather the most reasons why their community loves and supports local produce.  If they win, they will be awarded funds to commission a local artist to create a permanent fruit related art installation in their school grounds.

In addition, anyone that gives their reason why they love local fruit will be in with a chance of winning a stunning new fruit press from Vigo Presses ( worth £220.00!

The competition comes as a part of the ‘Fruit-full Schools ‘project, a scheme designed to help increase the numbers of the UK’s orchards, whilst reviving some of the long-forgotten local fruit varieties.  The school has now participated in the project – developed by the national school grounds charity- Learning through Landscapes, for four years.

The Fruit-full project is helping children across the UK to establish and maintain traditional fruit orchards within their school grounds in partnership with their local communities. All Hallows now hopes to put Macclesfield’s love for local fruit on the map, by asking them to show their support by submitting a short reason why they love local food. Martin Blades (Assistant Principal) explains, “There are so many reasons to support locally grown fruit- it increases business for local farmers and trades, helps preserve the heritage of local varieties, conserves energy in food miles and therefore fresher, more nutritious fruit can be consumed. We are hoping our community will join the school by pledging support by adding a short reason why they love locally grown produce”.

Pledging support costs nothing and takes less than a minute online on the Fruit-Full Schools website alternatively you can visit All Hallows to pledge at the school.



Six teachers from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently enjoyed the amazing experience of visiting a secondary school in China. The visit by the teachers was part of the school’s focus on developing international relationships and widening the cultural experiences of its pupils.
Saint Paul’s has developed a partnership with the Beijing Huimin School which will benefit both schools through the sharing of expertise and practice, as well as providing opportunities for students and teachers to experience vastly different cultures.
The teachers had the opportunity to visit Beijing to experience the wonderful architecture, both old and new, and see some amazing places of historical and cultural interest including the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China, with the intention of gathering research for a whole school China project for Year 7 starting in September.
“We spent the majority of our time in Beijing Huimin Middle school, observing and delivering  lessons whilst experiencing Chinese culture with new eyes,” explained Ms Rebecca Coyle, Second in Visual and Performing Arts at Saint Paul’s. “The staff and pupils were very welcoming and intrigued by our presence. Pupils were confident in questioning, I found teaching and researching in Beijing invaluable, a pleasure and an honour.”
Ms Coyle added: “I would love to visit again to further aid the growth of school partnerships and curriculum development.”
“We observed several lessons and also gave some lessons focusing on our school and the Manchester area,” explained Mr Peter Ramsay, Assistant Headteacher and Head of Engineering at Saint Paul’s. “The pupils in our classes were really keen to learn and behaved impeccably.”
Mr Ramsay added “We also focused on supporting the staff with their English lessons, the Chinese pupils had an excellent standard of English, We spent some time helping to plan future classes with the English Faculty.  The Chinese teachers are very keen to learn new approaches and teaching styles, and they take any advice and new ideas enthusiastically.”
“This is another excellent opportunity to continue to develop and strengthen our links with China,” said Saint Paul’s Head Teacher, Mr Wiktor Daron. “Working with the Beijing Huimin School will allow us to enrich our curriculum and support language awareness and learning; and to provide professional development opportunities for staff. We have already had several delegations of Chinese teachers visit us and I have followed this up with two visits to China.”

Thomas Reynolds was awarded a citizenship award by Bishop Thomas McMahon at Brentwood Cathedral in recognition of his role as an altar-server.  

Thomas is an altar-server in his local parish and at staff/student Masses every Friday at 8.15 during term-time.  Thomas feels strongly about his faith and says it has provided him with a direction in his life.  

As he says, “If you believe in God you find ways to be better.”  

We believe that Thomas is an excellent example of a young man who puts his faith into practice by serving others and, as a result we nominated him for this award.  

The photograph shows Thomas, with his award, accompanied by Miss Heaphy outside Brentwood Cathedral.  He received his award from Bishop Thomas McMahon alongside pupils also receiving awards from 60 other schools in the diocese; including Thomas’ brother Euan, a pupil at St Alban’s. It was both a moving and inspirational occasion hearing of the fantastic work being carried out by our young people in Catholic schools.


23 May 2013 

Basketball is a sport which has steadily grown in the last 7 Years at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy. We have been fortunate this Year to have had the opportunity to work with a highly qualified American Basketball coach who was brought over by the Academy to work with our gifted and talented pupils in Year 10 and 11. For two weeks in October the boys were put through their paces with intensive coaching sessions for 4 hours a day and this has helped the young men to have another incredible season.

The Year 11 team, for the fourth Year running, are undefeated in local league fixtures and have won the league and county cup for the fourth Year in a row. They have also competed in the English Schools premier competition and have won every single game. They go into the Final Fours at Nottingham Wildcat Arena on Saturday 18th May for the third straight Year with the opportunity to be the best school in the country at this age group. 

The Year 10 team have also had a good Year, narrowly missing out on winning the local league by 1 point.  In the County Cup they made the final but unfortunately  lost out by a small margin.  All of the Year 10 players were a credit to the school and are working hard in training ready for next Year.

We have had a very productive season overall and have an up and coming Year 8 team who are showing signs of developing into a very strong team and these young men qualified for a Derbyshire areas final and finished in third place.

Page 7 of 9