School News (125)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:31


Every year we all agree that the Rite of Welcome is a most moving occasion for the whole school. It is a beautiful ceremony, unique to St Mary's School, which welcomes all new staff and pupils to our community. Newcomers have now settled into school life, and we all rejoice in welcoming them as being truly part of the family. The Rite of Welcome took place on 27th September 2013 in chapel, and began with a word of greeting from the Head, Mr James.

The ceremony is based on a beautiful liturgical service expressed through hymns and reflections. Centred on God's Word, each individual is greeted in love, prayer and friendship. Firstly, we are all invited to listen to pupils and staff giving their first impressions since arriving. The support and kindness at St Mary's are felt as each girl acknowledges the warm welcome received, and the help and guidance from her 'Guardian Angel', that is, the girl assigned to offer practical care. The new girls were both articulate and funny in giving their first impressions. They spoke of much kindness at St Mary's, the wonderful lunches, the long kilts, the school drive which can be daunting, but most of all, of their joy in belonging here. Miss McGirr, our new member of the Mathematics Department, spoke warmly on behalf of new staff.

An excellent address on joining St Mary's was delivered by Miss Radford, Director of Music, who last term celebrated forty years of work at the school! Her talk was amazingly good, anecdotal, humorous, informative and delivered with great joy! She spoke of her gratitude in belonging to a family where values are shared by all; she referred to the generosity of the nuns in the early days; she spoke of community as organic, rooted in faith; she underlined the dignity and uniqueness of each one.

The most moving part of this ceremony is when each new member is called by name and comes forward accompanied by their sponsor. They are welcomed, blest, and receive a rose, together with the school Prayer Book. With new names adorning the chapel walls, and big smiles all around, with beautiful organ tones of 'O Praise ye the Lord', we thanked God for our new members at St Mary's.

Miss Andrea (Chaplain)

For further information please contact:

Mrs Charlotte Stephens
Marketing Manager & Registrar
01747 857102
07581 308255



Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:13

Heythrop College joins The Cathedrals Group

Media Release from The Cathedrals Group (The Council of Church Colleges and Universities) 

For immediate release 30 August 2013

The Cathedrals Group* is delighted to welcome a new member. Heythrop College, University of London*, joins as a full member of The Cathedrals Group from this academic year. 

The Cathedrals Group of Church-foundation universities today welcomes into full membership Heythrop College, the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. 

With just under one thousand students, Heythrop will be the smallest member institution but as a specialist provider of theology and religious studies, it equates to one of the largest providers in the UK and sits well with the other members. Collectively more than 44% of all UK theology and religious studies students (undergraduates, postgraduates and research students) are at Cathedrals Group institutions.

The Group’s newest member institution will also be its oldest. Other member institutions were founded by the Churches from the nineteenth century onwards for the purpose of training teachers for Church schools. The earliest foundation was that of the University of Chester in 1839. 

Heythrop College will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church) in 2014. In 1971 a Royal Charter established it as a College of the University of London, with a mission ‘to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit’.

Professor Joy Carter, Chair of The Cathedrals Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester said: ‘I am delighted that such a distinguished institution as Heythrop College is joining The Cathedrals Group. We share an explicit Christian heritage that underpins a strong commitment to common values. These include developing strong ethical principles in all aspects of higher education, and building communities that embrace and value diversity. Heythrop’s ethos and academic strengths in teaching and research within theology and religious studies complement provision in other Cathedrals Group institutions. We look forward to building on our common strengths and values together.’


The Revd Michael Holman SJ, Principal of Heythrop College, said: ‘Joining The Cathedrals Group is an important step for Heythrop as we seek to engage more actively with other institutions with Church-based foundations, in the promotion of theological and philosophical education. The values of our particular, Jesuit tradition complement the collective mission of the wider Group, through our commitment to providing an education which is formative of the whole person and which facilitates understanding, promotes social justice and serves the public good. I look forward very much to our collaboration with The Cathedrals Group in the months and years ahead and believe it will be a mutually beneficial affiliation for staff, students and supporters from across the spectrum of Group members.’

Notes to Editor
The Cathedrals Group is an association of universities and university colleges with Church foundations, serving more than 100,000 students. This is almost 5 per cent of all UK students, making The Cathedrals Group about the same size as the university sector in Wales. It is the only grouping in the higher education landscape based on ethical principles informed by faith-based values. The Cathedrals Group is a registered charity under its official title, The Council of Church Universities and Colleges.
A principal object of the Cathedrals Group is to contribute to the well-being of society. Member institutions share a strong commitment to values such as social justice, respect for the individual, and promoting the public good through work with communities and third sector organisations. 
Other Cathedral Group members are: Bishop Grosseteste University; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Chester; University of Chichester; University of Cumbria; University of Gloucestershire; University of St Mark & St John; Leeds Trinity University; Liverpool Hope University; Newman University; Roehampton University; St Mary’s University College, Twickenham; University of Wales Trinity St David; University of Winchester; and York St John University.
Heythrop College is the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. With just under 1,000 students, Heythrop offers a personal learning environment, tailored to the needs of the individual student. In 2014 Heythrop will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 1614 by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church). In 1971 Heythrop became a college of the University of London, with a mission to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit. Today Heythrop retains a modern Catholic ethos whilst offering an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives. In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, Heythrop also provides a resource for faith communities and others through the work of the Centres and Institutes. College staff have a wide range of expertise, with particular strengths in Abrahamic religions, interfaith relations, ethics, philosophy of religion and psychology of religion.
Information about The Cathedrals Group can be found on their website at: 
Information about Heythrop College, University of London can be found on the College’s own website at:
For more information and comment, please contact:
Sue Boorman, General Secretary of The Cathedrals Group
Tel: 01438 814868 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Amy Fenton, Marketing & Recruitment Manager, Heythrop College
Tel: 020 7795 4244
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:24

Outstanding GCSE results again at The Barlow

Press Release - 22 August 2013

Students at The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury have once again surpassed all expectations, with an amazing 97% of all students achieving the highest possible GCSE results of at least 5 A*-C grades. Students at The Barlow performed well in all subjects, with 88% awarded A* - Cs in Science and 72% gaining those grades in English and Maths.

The Barlow’s results are significantly above the national average and maintain the school’s excellent performance record. The outstanding results place The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing schools in Manchester.

The top 10 GCSE achievers scored a massive 91 A*-A grades between them. Eleven of those belonged to sixteen-year old Lauren Flaherty from Didsbury. Lauren said, “I am so happy with my results especially with my A*s in Biology and Geography. I’m going on study these subjects alongside Spanish and English Literature at Xaverian College. I worked really hard to get my grades. All my teachers were very supportive and the extra revision classes and past paper practice they organised really paid off. I’m going to miss everything about The Barlow, especially the teachers and my friends. I’m looking forward to going to College and then on to University.”

Head Teacher Mrs Claire McCarron said, “We are all absolutely delighted with the outstanding success of all our students. The high numbers achieving excellent grades in the more challenging academic subjects show that The Barlow continues to prepare its pupils for the challenges of A-Level and beyond. These results confirm another outstanding year for our students. Both the students and our excellent, committed teachers have worked hard and have received the full support of parents and Governors. It has been a real team effort. Congratulations to our students on their well-deserved success.”

The school has recently received its second national award in two years from The Schools Network (SSAT) for its outstanding achievement. The Barlow has received national recognition for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country. 



For more information please contact:

Kathryn Carr, Marketing & Communications Manager

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

0161 445 8053 


22 August 2013

Students at Mary Immaculate can be proud of their achievements, with another set of record-breaking GCSE results. The school is delighted that performance in nearly all indicators have improved on last year.


There were some outstanding performers who excelled in their studies. These include: Magda Wiktorzak achieved a total of 16 GCSEs with 4 A*s, 1 A, 7 Bs and 4 Cs; Jessica Sweeney achieved 3 A*s, 4 As, 5 Bs and 1 C; Karolina Wabia 4 As, 2As, 6 Bs and 2 Cs; Joshua Jermyn 1 A*, 5 As, 5 Bs and 1 C; Krzysztof Jakubiak scored 1 A*, 4 As, 5 Bs and 2 Cs along with an AS in mathematics; Jackielyn Green 2 A*, 7 As, 5 Bs; Amy Searle 3 A*s, 4 As, 6 Bs and 1 C; Finally, Zach Lewis achieved 1 A*, 6 As, 6 Bs.


Marc Belli, Headteacher, said “We are both delighted and proud with the results achieved by our students this year. Their efforts throughout the year have been rewarded with stunning outcomes. We have seen some significant improvements in a number of key areas and we hope to build on these next year. I should like to pay tribute to the efforts of all the teaching and support staff who have challenged the students to perform to the best of their ability. Furthermore, we are blest with excellent support from all of our parents who have played a key role in ensuring our students achieve the results they deserve. Finally, we wish all of our students every success in the future and look forward to inviting them to return for our annual awards evening next year.”

Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:18

Flying High with GCSEs at All Hallows

Press Release - 22 August 2013

All Hallows students are flying high following an excellent set of GCSE results for the Class of 2013. 88% of students gained five or more GCSE results at A*-C including 66% with English and Mathematics. ‘Achievement for all’ also figures strongly at All Hallows with all student regardless of ability or learning challenges gaining one more qualifications and academically gifted students clocked up super results with twenty three students gaining 8 or more A*-A; M. Barton (10), F. Billings (11), E Brown (8), N. Burton (8), H Corcoran (11), T. Cumberland (8), J. Cunningham (12), M. Curley (8), O.Haigh (12), A. Holland (9), E. Kane (9), R. Lindley (8), R. Macbryde (11), S. Maguinness (8), H. Massey (12), A. Mills (11), B. O’Donovan (8), H. Pickup (11), L. Powell (12), A. Prior (8), I. Skidmore (8), P. Waite (8), R. Williams (11).  

Principal, Mr Billings said ‘Fantastic results today. We are delighted for our students and their teachers. They have every reason to be proud and we are looking to one of our highest recruitments to our Sixth Form. These results will be a passport to many more opportunities for them in the future.’ Finola Billings, who is also the Principal’s daughter, said ‘I’ve worked hard for these results and I’m really looking forward to studying History, German, English Literature and Philosophy A Levels in the Sixth Form. ’ Nathan Wanjau, who joined the college in Year 10 said ‘I’m so proud, I managed to catch up and gain 7 A*-As, All Hallows has really supported me and I’m looking forward to life in the Sixth Form.’ Overall this has been another excellent year for All Hallows.



Notes to the Editor

1.All Hallows is an 11-18 Catholic Voluntary Academy and National Support School located in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

2.Students are a very wide geographical area beyond Macclesfield, including, Handforth, Wilmslow, Stockport, Poynton, and Congleton. The students mentioned above : M. Barton (Congleton), F. Billings (Macclesfield), E Brown (Macclesfield), N. Burton (Bollington), H Corcoran (Sutton), T. Cumberland (Macclesfield), J. Cunningham (Stockport), M. Curley (Sutton), O.Haigh (Macclesfield), A. Holland (Macclesfield), E. Kane (Macclesfield), R. Lindley (Congleton), R. Macbryde (Macclesfield), S. Maguinness (Macclesfield), H. Massey (Handforth), A. Mills (Macclesfield), B. O’Donovan (Macclesfield), H. Pickup (Congleton), L. Powell (Macclesfield), A. Prior (Macclesfield), I. Skidmore (Macclesfield), P. Waite (Macclesfield), R. Williams (Disley). N. Wanjau (Macclesfield).

3.OfSTED and denominational reports have both judged All Hallows to be outstanding.

4.In 2012, All Hallows was commended for being in the top 20% of non-selective schools for value added performance at GCSE in 2012. A Level results regularly place the college in the top 100 comprehensives in the country and we expect the same this year.


2013 A Level Results Press Release 

Sunshine, Smiles and Success for Students at All Hallows

It was sunshine and smiles for Sixth Form students at All Hallows Catholic College collecting as they collected A Level results supporting the college’s reputation for nurturing outstanding academic achievement for all. With an overall pass rate close to 100% and with over 60% of students receiving A*-B grades, nearly all students met or exceeded their challenging targets. Principal, Tony Billings said ‘Our students have really taken to heart our college motto ‘aspire not to have more but to be more’, and their results reflect their hard work and dedication to study. These results are well deserved and we wish them the very best for the future.’ 

A group of top performing students managed to gain two or more A*-A grades with one of their number, Alex Warwicker, succeeding in passing seven A levels, 6 at A*-A, with one B. These happy students with their destinations are: Beth Clayton (2A*,1A,1B, Newcastle, Biomedical Science), Patrick Devaney (3A,1B, Leeds, Natural Science), Olivia Ford (3A, Manchester, Medicine), Laura Hallworth (3A, Nottingham, Nutrition) Victoria Moorhouse (2A, 1B, Law), Abi Plant (2A,1B,1C, Leeds, Psychology) Stuart Plant (3A* Nottingham Trent, Sport Science), Matthew Shenton (1A*,1A,1B, York, Mathematics), Elinor Terry (1A*,2A,1B, Glasgow, German). Mrs Garvey, Assistant Principal, Head of Sixth form said ‘We congratulate these students on top performance at A*-A. We also say a big ‘well done’ to all top performing students who met and exceed their target grades. This has been another superb year for smiles and tears of joy on results day!’

Beaming with a smile, Olivia Ford who lives in Macclesfield said ‘I’m over the moon, I’m going to study medicine which has always been my dream – I just want to thank all the teachers, All Hallows has been a great place for me.’

Brother and Sister Dream Team

As a brother and sister from Bollington receive their A level results on the same day, one can only imagine the anticipation in the Plant family. Stuart and Abi Plant are a brother and sister ‘dream team’ who are justifiably ‘over-the-moon’ with their results. Stuart, who is delighted with his 3A* grades will be progressing to Nottingham Trent University to study Sports Science after a gap year playing cricket in Australia. Meanwhile his Sister, Abi is taking up a place at Leeds university to study Psychology with her 2A, B and C grades. Stuart  and Abi who live in Macclesfield were delighted with their results and proud mum said ‘I keep telling everyone All Hallows is a great school. My children have had all the right advice and support they needed.’

International Successes at All Hallows!

All Hallows is proud of it emphasis on learning in an international context, with pride of place being given to languages and it seems language is no barrier to learning at All Hallows! Students from the Phillipines, Poland and Bulgaria, for whom English is a second language managed to attain some fantastic A level results. These students and their destinations are: Juliene Dolot (Phillippines, 1A, 2B, Sheffield, Accounting & Finance), Wiktoria Segelin (Poland, 2A, 2B, 1C, Geography), Anna Paa (Phillipines, 2B, 1C, Nottingham Trent, Media), Marta Tomczak – (Poland, 1B,1C 2D, Manchester Metropolitan, Business and Languages), Nadia Mihova (Bulgaria, 2A*,1D, Salford, Counselling and Psychotherapy). Olivia Segelin said ‘I’m so happy can go to my first choice university’ and Juliene Dollot who joined All Hallows in Year 9 said ‘The teachers are great and I’m really pleased my hard work has paid off.’ Marta Tomczak added ‘I was nervous about getting the results but so pleased I’ve got my university place.’ 




Notes to the Editor

1.All Hallows is an 11-18 Catholic Voluntary Academy and National Support School located in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

2.Students are a very wide geographical area beyond Macclesfield, including, Handforth, Wilmslow, Stockport, Poynton, and Congleton. 

3.OfSTED and denominational reports 


Press Release - 15th August 2013

Students at Austin Friars St Monica’s School have recorded 61% overall of top A*, A and B grades at Advanced level in 2013 and an overall pass rate of over 99%.

Headmaster, Matt Harris, said: “This year’s students have achieved some excellent A level results improving on the very pleasing results last year.  We are delighted that over a third of all the grades obtained were A* or A and I would like to congratulate all our students on their hard work to achieve this success.”

Top-scoring students are Ed Ball (4A*), James Leitch (2A*2A), Beth Fenna & Fiona O’Hare (2A*1A), Amy Hill and Pui Yu Liu (1A* 2A) and Hamish Matthews (3A).  

Ed has a scholarship to read Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, James has an Organ Scholarship and is reading Mathematics at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, Beth is looking to study Accounting and Finance at Leeds, Fiona is off to Glasgow to read Dentistry, Amy is to read Philosophy at St Andrews, Veterinary Medicine beckons for Pui Yu at Edinburgh while Hamish is taking a gap year before reading Medicine in 2014.  



For further information please contact:


Julie Sutherland

Marketing Manager

Austin Friars St Monica’s School

Etterby Scaur




Tel 01228 550760

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





Wiktor Daron and Kathleen O’Kelly both retired this academic year from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe. Mr. Daron’s teaching career spanned thirty seven years, including twenty years of headship and twenty eight years of service to Catholic schools. Mrs. O’Kelly retired after thirty one years in teaching and seventeen of which were in Catholic schools. 

For the past ten years Mr. Daron served as Headteacher and Mrs. O’Kelly as Deputy Headteacher of St. Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Manchester. During this decade, standards in the school have risen significantly and the school is now one of the most improved one hundred schools in the country. The school is housed in an impressive new building, successfully sharing the site with a school for pupils with special educational needs. The school has an engineering specialism; excels in technology, sports and creative and performing arts; has established strong links with the local community (including Manchester University and Manchester City Football Club) and supports many local and international charities, including an orphanage in Thailand (which is visited by groups of staff and pupils). Most recently, the school has become an academy, linking with a group of Catholic primary schools, to form the Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust. 
Throughout their careers both Mr. Daron and Mrs. O’Kelly have maintained their dedication and passion for Catholic education, providing strong leadership in every aspect of school life and acting as positive role models for both staff and pupils.
Friday, 26 July 2013 14:38

Saint Paul’s School Parliament


Pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe have formed a School Parliament with the aim of increasing the involvement of young people in the life and decision making of the school.
Each member is elected onto the School Parliament and, once elected, the main purpose of the group is to represent all the pupils of the school, which means that the Parliament is a forum for active and constructive pupil input into the daily life of the school community.
School Parliament members represent all pupils in each year group at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School. They are elected by the pupils to represent their ideas and views.
Currently the members are very busy promoting new initiatives like the new pupil newsletter called ‘Pupil Voice’ which has interesting articles and competitions. They are working with teachers in school to make Saint Paul’s even better and they are getting involved in the local community and other schools to promote ‘Pupil Voice’.
Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher, explained: “The purpose of the School Parliament is to give the pupils a real voice within a manageable system and encourage the students  to take ownership and responsibility for their school. At the same time it enables staff to gain pupil perspective.”
“The School Parliament also raises awareness amongst the pupils about democratic systems and rights in line with Citizenship education and allows them to gain important life skills, such as speaking and listening skills, teamwork, problem solving, oral reasoning skills, self esteem and self confidence,” added Ms Davies.
 “The position of Member of School Parliament (MSP) is one of responsibility and one which provides an important connection between pupils and staff. Becoming a MSP is a valuable goal, it plays an important part in a pupil’s personal development and opens their mind to new levels of responsibility and participation in a very positive way.” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “

Press Release - 19 July 2013

Youth homelessness charity Depaul UK is calling on the UK’s Catholic schools to get involved with its first ever annual sponsored Sleep Out/Sleep In and raise vital funds to support their nationwide work with young homeless people.

The Sleep Out/Sleep In will take place on 27th September 2013, to coincide with the Feast Day of St Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of charity whose work and values inspires the work of Depaul UK.

Schools can hold their sleep out in the playground or playing field. Students can also sleep inside the school.

The Sleep Out/Sleep In comes at a time when the need for support for young homeless people is particularly pressing. Most recent figures show that around 80,000 young people will experience homelessness in a year and that the number of young people seeking help from homelessness organisations and agencies is rising.

Tim Harford, Depaul UK’s Head of Donor Care and Individual Giving said, “We’re really hoping to build on the tremendous support we’ve had from the Catholic community to date with our first ever annual Sleep Out/Sleep In.  It’s not just an opportunity for schools to raise funds for the work we do with really vulnerable young people throughout the country- young people who have often had to cope with challenging situations since they were very young -it’s also an opportunity to encourage pupils to think about those less fortunate than themselves and put into action the virtues of charity and compassion.”

Depaul UK’s Sleep Out/Sleep In is supported by the charity’s patron, The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.  The Archbishop says: “ Depaul UK helps young people who find themselves homeless to overcome their circumstances, which are often traumatic. It does so by helping them to find stability, a place to call home, and a hope for their future.  As patron of Depaul UK, I am pleased to offer my endorsement of this sponsored schools Sleep Out/Sleep In.  Schools wishing to participate do so with my encouragement and blessing.”

Teachers can register their school and get further information about how to organise and hold their Sleep Out/Sleep In at  For any questions email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0207 939 1276. 




Notes to Editors

1) About Depaul UK. Depaul UK is the UK’s largest youth homelessness charity. It provides and supports over 125,000 bednights a year to homeless and vulnerable young people and has helped more than 50,000 people since it was founded in 1989. The charity continues to work with more than 5,000 young people a year. Depaul UK is the new name for Depaul Trust, Registered Charity No .802384. Twitter @depauluk


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