School News (97)
Press Release - February 2015
The children from the Green Fingers Club at Saint Paul's High School in Wythenshawe are passionate about developing their new school garden and have been out and about raising money to fund this development.
This week a group of the enthusiastic pupils gave up their Saturday to “bag pack” at a local supermarket to raise money to support the creation of the Gifted Garden and Outdoor Classroom.
Mrs Angie Holland, who organized and supervised the fund raising, said: “The children freely gave up their spare time and were very enthusiastic about helping the shoppers. I was very impressed; they were fantastic ambassadors for Saint Paul’s.”
Mrs Cathie Halbert, who isleading the projectand helped alongside the pupils, said: “The pupils are dedicated to the creation of a beautiful garden which everyone at the school and in the local community can share. They are rightly proud of the work they have done so far and are looking forward to developing the garden further. We have already been impressed by the range of fruit and vegetables which they have grown. We are pleased to see that this is having a positive impact on their food habits and attitudes encouraging more healthy food choices.
We are bonding well as we work together to overcome our fear of creepy crawlies! I have been really impressed by the way the pupils ‘get stuck in’ to the grubby tasks with as much gusto as the high profile tasks. The year groups are spreading as we have now have Years 7-10 involved now. It’s a great way for the pupils to mix socially as well as in a work environment.”
“The garden will offer many benefits to the school including hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines such as science, nutrition, maths and the arts,” explained Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “Already, whilst working in the garden, we can see the pupils developing skills such as the communication of knowledge or emotions which will help them be more successful in school.”
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Notes for Editors
- Saint Paul’s received congratulations from the Rt Hon David Laws MP Minister of State for Schools when they were recognised as one of the 100 most improved schools in the country.
- At the last Ofsted inspection of the school, the following comments were made by the inspectors: “Good teaching enables students to make good progress and achieve well. Relationships between teachers and students are strong. They result in good behaviour.”
The report stated that the school is “enabling students to learn effectively and make good progress. Attainment is rising rapidly as a result. Achievement for all students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those with English as an additional language, is good.”
- The Ofsted report is reinforced by the preceding inspection of the school by the Diocese of Shrewsbury under the guidance of the Bishop of Shrewsbury. The Diocese report stated “Saint Paul’s is a good Catholic school. The Head and Senior Leadership Team have a clear vision ….. an outstanding feature of the school is the pastoral care of students and the support of staff.”
- On 1st April, 2013 Saint Paul’s Catholic High School joined with St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School and St John Fisher and Thomas More Catholic Primary School to form the Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust (MAT – Multi Trust Academy). St Elizabeth's Catholic Primary School later joined the Trust.
- Saint Paul’s was the first school in Manchester to be awarded Engineering College status.
- The work of Saint Paul’s drama teacher, Ms Ellie Brookes, was recognised with her winning the much coveted North West Teacher of the Year Award. Also Head of Humanities at Saint Paul’s, Ms Ursula Gallagher, gained third place in the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year category of the Northern Area Teacher of the Year.
- Lively approaches to teaching maintain vigour and ensure that firm foundations are established for higher level work. The school has a modern approach to learning supported by a programme of constant refurbishment and development of its facilities and resources.
- The aims of the school are to:
- Teach and foster a Christian perspective in all that it does
- Provide teaching of the highest calibre
- Promote excellence in all areas
- Develop the ability, talents and character of each pupil, enabling them to make their own unique contribution to school life
- Encourage boys to play their part in helping the community run smoothly and effectively, by taking on responsibility and leadership
Press release – CatholicYouthWork.com Launch, Feast of St John Bosco, 31st of January
Don Bosco Goes Digital! A Fresh Resource For Youth Ministers
Today, on the feast of St John Bosco, the Salesians re-launch CatholicYouthWork.com a resource for everyone who is involved in working with young people in the Church. It offers a place for resources, jobs, a forum to share ideas and find support as well as somewhere to keep up to date with the latest youth ministry news and events. Dermott Donnelly, Chair of CYMFed, the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation in England and Wales, said, "this is a fantastic resource that will help strengthen and support the Church's important work with young people".
"We know there are lots of people out there doing great work with young people", Chris Knowles, Editor of the site said, "they're all doing fantastic things, having amazing ideas and putting exciting plans into action, but the problem is that we're too often disconnected from one another. This site is a place we can all come together to share ideas, resources and good practice, and was designed specifically to facilitate this. So we invite you to come onto the site, join the forum and start to share ideas and resources!"
The Salesians have invested in the site since taking it on last summer, Provincial Fr Martin Coyle thought it was important to start this new project because "it's a great way to use new technology to help those who minister to young people, there really isn't anything else like this out there. This year we celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco, so while he wouldn't recognise a website if he saw one, he did love new technology like the railways and the modern printing presses of his time, things that made it easier to bring people together and share the Gospel. This project is particularly appropriate way for us to continue to live out his mission today"
The site is a resource that is offered completely free of charge, anyone can register to get involved in the forum and receive our resource and ideas emails. The site is strengthened by more people getting involved because as they get involved in sharing resources and ideas, we can better resource and support people in their work. Last year we attracted between 5 and 11 thousand page views each month, and we hope this will grow as we keep the site up to date with new resources and ideas for people who work with the young in the Church.
Notes for editors
- http://CatholicYouthWork.com - new site live now
- The site relies on local practitioners getting involved in the site, sharing resources, ideas and good practice as well as being there to support others.
- CatholicYouthWork.com has over 900 registered users and last year attracted between 5 and 11 thousand page views each month.
- Jack Regan created the site in 2007 out of a desire to use the internet to bring people in Catholic youth work together to share ideas and resources. Over the years the site grew and had a thriving community forum, but in time became too big to be managed on a voluntary basis alongside full time work. Jack Regan is now Youth Advisor for Arundel and Brighton Diocese.
- The Salesians bought the site in the summer of 2014, and they have been planning and developing the new site in consultation with many people involved in youth ministry. Responsibility for it going to Salesian Link, the Media and social communications office of the Province.
- Chris Knowles, the new editor has been involved in youth ministry for many years, having worked as a Lay Chaplain at Loreto 6th Form College in Manchester and Savio House, the Salesian Retreat Centre in Macclesfield
- The site is supported by donations, paid job adverts and a substantial contribution from the Salesians of Don Bosco in Great Britain.
- The bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco is on the 16th of August 2015, a series of events celebrating it are planned, more information about this can be found here http://www.salesians.org.uk/bi-centenary/2015-celebrating-the-bi-centenary-of-don-boscos-birth.html
Flame2 is the largest National Catholic Youth event of 2015, taking place in the SSE Wembley Arena on Saturday 7th March 2015.
Doors open at 11, and Flame2 starts at 12, finishing at 5.30pm.
The SSE Wembley Arena will be filled with 10,000 young people from across the country, receiving faith-filled inspiration from world class speakers. Confirmed speakers include Cardinal Luis Tagle from Manila, Philippines; Baroness Sheila Hollins; Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP; and David Wells.
Throughout the day speakers will give bursts of input, interspersed with world class music and drama, in an atmosphere full of joy. Music will be provided by double grammy award winning Matt Redman and his band. The day ends with a time of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Flame2 is open to anyone in school year ten and above, up to young adult (i.e. aged approx. 14-21).
Bookings will be accepted from groups of ten or more.
Below is a letter from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbiship of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Press Release - 15th December 2014
The goal of Parliament Week is to engage young people with the democratic process, and this was certainly embraced by the pupils of Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe. As part of Parliament Week the pupils engaged in a multitude of activities aimed at raising awareness and understanding of Parliament and democracy in the UK.
The aim of Parliament Week is to highlight the work and history of the UK Parliament, how it is relevant to UK citizens and how pupils can get involved in the democratic process. The event was founded in 2011, and is co-ordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords.
At Saint Paul’s, the pupils took part in an open debate group, a Question Time with the Head Teacher and the week culminated with whole school parliament elections.
“We were very keen to get our pupils involved in Parliament Week and raise their awareness of the democratic process,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher. “The programme of events at Saint Paul’s was designed to inspire, engage and connect our pupils with parliamentary democracy. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for them to take part in a nation-wide initiative that helps them become better informed about their Parliament.”
“Parliament Week was a great opportunity for our pupils to engage and connect with politics and their Parliament,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The Week also offered a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work and history of the Houses of Parliament and to discuss Parliament’s relevance with students.”
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 January 2015
At the Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch
Bryanston St, London W1H 7EH
"Be Ambitious for the Higher Gifts"
Please contact David Dawson for more infomation and to book a place: dtdawson100 @ hotmail.com
Press Release - May 2014
A group of pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently took part in a Big Car Wash where they washed cars in order to raise money for Henshaws Society for Blind People.
The Year 10 pupils wanted to support a local charity and chose Henshaws because of their work with the blind and the visually impaired in the local community.
The aims of Henshaws are to improve the eye health of people living in the UK and eliminate avoidable sight loss. They also deliver excellent support to people with sight loss and enhance the inclusion, participation and independence of the blind.
The fund raising was led by Year 10 pupil, Niamh McLoughlin, who had a great desire to help the visually impaired and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in her organisation of the week-long event.
"Niamh wanted to offer her support to Henshaws whose vision is to enable people with sight loss and people with other disabilities to build the skills and independence they need, to achieve the future they want," explained Ms Claire Bowman of Saint Paul's.
"She was inspired by the charity and wanted to help those with sight loss to achieve their full potential in life, enabling them to live independent and fulfilling lives."
Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's, said:
"We are all very proud of Niamh and the initiative she has shown in raising the profile of Henshaws Society for the Blind and the commitment of her time and energy. Fundraising by students is a regular activity at Saint Paul's, it involves fun activities that help others and build group cooperation. We encourage fund raising activities which deepen students' understanding and enhance their potential to become well-informed active citizens."
Press Release- May 2014
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, the lead school in the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP) Teaching School Alliance, has been selected by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to become a national teaching school – an important role in raising standards.
Teaching Schools and Teaching School Alliances will take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools.
Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are all rated as "outstanding" and mark a shift towards school-centred training. They work with partner schools in an alliance, including at least one university, to ensure high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.
They raise standards through school-to-school support, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful head teachers.
Mary McAndrew head teacher of St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School and National Leader of Education said:
"The CSP Teaching Schools Alliance is a group of schools in Bradford and Keighley who are committed to raising standards within Bradford and beyond by offering our pupils learning opportunities of the highest possible quality, enhanced by our distinctive Catholic ethos."
"Combining the wealth of expertise from our Alliance Members, including primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges, the Diocese of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University, we are able to offer professional development opportunities in a wide range of fields and bespoke school to school support, which will ensure that the CSP is at the forefront of improving outcomes for children."
"The greatest benefit of being part of the CSP alliance is that it is owned by all our schools, all working together ensuring that a distinctive Catholic element is woven throughout all our work. Our firm belief and guiding principle is: 'Not my school but our schools'."
Press Release- April 2014
It's not every day you get to perform with a music legend, but that's exactly what happened for the pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe when they were invited to sing with pop icon Gary Barlow on his recent tour.
The school choir delighted a capacity audience with their vocal talents when they were selected to sing with Gary at the sell out concert at Manchester Phones4U Arena.
Under the musical direction of Gary Barlow and Saint Paul's Music teacher, Mr Daniel Hodsdon, the choir performed "Sing" the Official Diamond Jubilee song co-written by Gary Barlow and renowned musical theatre composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber. The song was originally performed by artists across The Commonwealth to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The Choir had been busy in rehearsal for their big moment on the stage and they were rewarded with the incredible opportunity to sing alongside Gary Barlow and received a fabulous standing ovation after their performance. They certainly made Wythenshawe proud and gave the audience a night to remember!
One pupil said: "I can't put into words how amazing it was, it was one of best experiences I've ever been involved in. Singing in front of an arena full of people with Gary Barlow was mind blowing!"
Daniel Hodsdon explained: "We aim to provide a varied musical education at Saint Paul's, introducing children to the joy of music and the value in performing with others. To be given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform with Gary Barlow was fantastic. I felt so proud when the choir's performance concluded with thunderous applause echoing throughout the arena."
"To Sing 'Sing" alongside Gary Barlow was an incredible triumph for our school choir," said Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's. "It was an amazing opportunity to showcase their remarkable talent and energy."
For Further information please contact:
Press Release- 25th April 2014
On Wednesday 2nd April Thornton College School for Girls hosted an inset training event for staff from all members of the Milton Keynes Liaison Group of Catholic Primary Schools.
There were over one hundred attendees including Head Teachers, Religious Education coordinators and staff from six schools in the Milton Keynes area of the diocese including: St Bernadette's, St Thomas Aquinas, St Mary Magdalene's, St. Monica's and Bishop Parker. The theme of the afternoon was 'Pass It On,' and the focus was on how to make bible stories relevant to everyday life.
The event began with afternoon tea, a chance to catch up with old colleagues as well as making new acquaintances. The group then went to the chapel where they had a prayerful reflection by Sister Mary James, the School Chaplain at Thornton, on the theme 'We are God's Instruments.'
This was followed by an inset training session by Matthew van Duyvenbode from the Bible Company and this time the theme was 'Pass It On'. His talk was thought provoking and provided a great deal of insight which can now be used to make bible stories relevant to children in our RE lessons.
Mrs Rose Darwin, Assistant Head and Junior School RE Coordinator at Thornton College said;
"We were delighted to welcome staff from the schools in the Milton Keynes area of the diocese to Thornton College. Colleagues were able to share ideas for assemblies and lessons and everyone commented on how helpful the afternoon has been."
For further information please contact: Kirsty Hassan 01280 812 610
Champion Irish dancing sisters Niamh and Roisin Redmond are looking forward to the challenge of their young lives when they take part in the Irish World Dancing Championships at the Hilton Metropole in London this weekend.
The Davyhulme duo who both attend St. Antony's Catholic College in Urmston will be among 3,000 competitors at the global event which starts on April 13th.
Both girls started dancing when they were just four years old and have won a host of regional and national awards. Niamh has previously qualified as North-West irish dancing champion while Roisin has been runner up. The world championships however, is Irish Dancing's blue ribbon event.
Niamh, 15, said, "My aim is to get a recall for the final set dance and hopefully make it into the top twenty," while Roisin, 12, added, "If I could get into the top fifty I'd be pleased."
Both girls want to become Irish dancing teachers and work in the growing number of touring worldwide productions pioneered by the legendary Michael Flatley.
Mum Bev, who works at St. Antony's, said: "This is Irish Dancing's showcase and anyone who is anyone will be there, including Michael Flatley, who will officially open the event."
Bev added, "The girls have never competed against each other because they are in different age groups but have always been very supportive of each other, and for us its a family affair. All six of us will be going down to London and looking forward to a great few days."
The girls, who both train at the Morgan School of Irish Dancing in Manchester, complete up to five training sessions per week. With all that training in technique and endurance under their belts, the girls are confident but not complacent ahead of the event.
Niamh said, "We have trained and trained and have the necessarry technique and stamina, but it's all about getting it right on the day."
St. Antony's Catholic College Headteacher fiona Wright has said: "The girls have performed at a number of school events and always mesmerise the audience with their flawless routines. Everyone in the school community will be cheering them on."