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."



Press Release - April 2014

This week the SSAT announced that The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School (CVMS) in London's Holland Park has been awarded with two SSAT Educational Outcomes Awards. The prestigious school is one of the highest achieving state comprehensives in the country and this latest recognition proves the school's success and commitment to improving student results at every level.

In 1914 the school opened its doors as a national memorial to Cardinal Vaughan who was appointed as the third Archbishop of Westminster by Pope Leo XIII in 1892.  Since then, CVMS has continued to grow from strength to strength with its Catholic ethos and sound Catholic teaching preparing its pupils to meet their responsibilities as Catholics in society.

The school was identified for the SSAT awards by the significant added-value its teaching offers to pupils' education.  In-depth analysis of official Department for Education data was conducted on all state-funded schools in England, with CVMS scoring in the top 20% of national schools for progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results at primary school and their performance at GCSE.  Headmaster, Mr P Stubbings, said:

"I'm delighted: coming top of national tables is always nice, but what is so pleasing about this particular award is that it recognises the hard work of the teaching staff to make sure that our pupils make the best of themselves, whatever their starting point.  We never rest on our laurels, but are always seeking to improve- and that goes for the pupils, too."   

The school has been invited to receive their award at a regional celebration ceremony hosted by SSAT at The St Marylebone CE school in London on 6th May.

The Chief Executive of SSAT, Sue Williamson, said:

"The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial RC School should be congratulated for their exceptional achievement.  They have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students.  There is so much good practice that this school could share, and I hope many schools will join us at the celebration ceremony for the chance to network and share strategies with award-winning schools."

"These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial RC School, and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person.  I am proud that this school is a member of the SSAT network."

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:38

A Fantastic DASH for Saint Paul's

March 2014- Press Release

Staff and pupils from St. Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe took part in the first DASH (Diocesan Association of Secondary Headteachers) and Mini DASH meeting to be held at St. Paul's.

17 Headteachers and 80 pupils from the Diocese of Shrewsbury secondary schools attended the event.  This was the largest gathering of pupils since Mini DASH first started.

The event is organised by the Diocese of Shrewsbury with the aim of getting together pupils from a number of schools to share ideas and work on ideas for future collaboration.

Visiting headteachers and pupils were welcomed by the school's prefects and then the day started with breakfast.  Following this, the pupils completed some ice breaker activities enabling the pupils from the different schools to get to know one another.  

Pupils then looked at the words of Pope Francis and Bishop Mark Davies on the meaning of Lent and its great importance to Christians leading up to Holy Week and Easter.  

Each group was given a Station of the Cross to focus on and was asked to select some contemporary pictures that reflected the suffering of people in the modern world.  A prayer was then written by each group that related each station to the problems of today.

The Headteachers then joined the pupils who led all present in a very thoughtful and moving reflection.  The Headteachers were delighted to see the amazing collaborative work that had been carried out by pupils in such a short time.  Other staff present thought that a very meaningful and prayerful atmosphere had been created and it was apleasure to be a part of it.  

Mrs Lisa Baille, Assistant Headteacher and Head of RE at Saint Paul's, explained: "The pupils shared and discussed a wide variety of ideas and suggestions and were encouraged to take the ideas back to their own schools, passing them on and developing them.  All involved thoroughly enjoyed the day which culminated with all the pupils being presented with goodie bags containing items such as a prayer book and prayer card of St. Paul.  Many new friendships were made with pupils promising to remain in touch with each other."

"I was very proud of our pupils who were excellent ambassadors for the school and several people commented that the pupils who represented Saint Paul's were outstanding representatives and a credit to us," added Mrs Baillie.  

"It's important to meet as a Diocese, because, whilst all the people who met together are very different, we all have one thing in common: our faith.  The mini DASH is also a good chance to build up leadership skills, as the pupils in Mini DASH helped to plan the event," said MRS Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's.

"It was an excellent opportunity for the pupils to mix with pupils from different schools to get together and share their thoughts."

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