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#shedeserves success at St Mary's

Yzabelle with her winning creation

Fairtrade Fortnight ran from 25th February to 10th March and after being inundated with artwork, stories about inspirational women and competition entries, the Chaplaincy team were able to put finishing touches to the Fairtrade board, filling it with student contributions. A lot happened over the course of the fortnight, kicking off with a makeover to our Fairtrade stall. This meant lots of new stock including iced tea, Dairy Milk and, the massively popular, 'Oh so scrummy' flapjacks. The competition to 'Design a Divine' was judged and the winning bar created, with Yzabelle (pictured here along with her winning bar and badge) being crowned the winner. She had the opportunity to sample her very own fiery chilli chocolate bar. Completed artwork from the 'Colour and Chat' group now adorns the walls and International Women's Day was marked with a moving tribute to our staff and student's favourite inspirational women being shared from the Chaplaincy twitter @SMCA_Chaplaincy. Yet another Fairtrade Fortnight success #shedeserves!

A Level Results Day - Thursday 16th August 2018

A Level results will be available from 8am on Thursday 16th August for Year 13 and 9am for Year 12 in the dining hall.

Students with University places should bring their UCAS number and have a think about how to use Clearing (if you miss your offer grades). These details are available via UCAS.  
 
Please check what you need to do for student finance too.
 
Please can all students be reminded that the slip showing your results should be kept very carefully.  Certificates from examination boards are not available for collection until the end of October.  Year 13 students who are leaving St. Mary's need to remember to collect these important certificates. Watch the homepage for information.

 

A Level Results Day 2018

A Level Results Day 2018

St Mary’s Sixth Form students once again produced an excellent performance in their A Level examination results, carrying on the trend of previous years. A Level results saw a record-equalling 99% pass rate. 40% of all grades were at A*/A or Distinction* / Distinction, with 75% of grades above a grade C.  100% of students achieved 2 A Levels or equivalent passes, with a remarkable 99% of students achieving 3 A Level or equivalent passes.

There were many superb performances from students on the day. Aiden Ronson achieved 3 A’s and  1 A* and will attend King’s College, London to study Politics, Natasha Sieradzki achieved 2 A’s and 2 A*’s and will go on to study at Durham University. Jumael Zafar, who achieved 2 A’s and 1 A*, will now study Biomedical Science at Lancaster University. Toby Ashton achieved 3 A*s and 1 A and will go to Durham University to study Engineering. Students were quick to praise the Academy Sixth Form and staff:

Toby Ashton said “I am genuinely over the moon at the moment. My 7 years at St. Mary’s has been absolutely fantastic and I have loved every minute of it. I am now looking forward to attending Durham University to study Engineering”.

A delighted Jumael Zafar praised the support he received from the Academy: “I feel proud of the grades I received today. My time at St. Mary’s has been absolutely wonderful because of all the support I received from the amazing teachers. Without them I would not have been able to achieve this. I cannot wait to now get started on my Biomedical Science degree at Lancaster University”

Aiden Ronson was also keen to praise the teachers saying: “I am so pleased with my results. I could not have done this without the dedication and support from my brilliant teachers here at St. Mary’s. I will miss St. Mary’s so much, but I am now looking forward to attending King’s College, London to study Politics. 

Natasha Sieradski added “I am so pleased with how I have done and could not have asked for better. My seven years at St Mary’s has been incredible and I could not have got the results that I have without the continuous support from my teachers. I am looking forward to studying Law at Durham University”.

Head teacher Mr Simon Eccles was incredibly proud of students at the Academy:  “I am so pleased with our students and their achievements which are a result of hours of hard work and dedication by them. I would like to thank the team of staff at St Mary’s who supported and prepared the students so well, through providing innovative, high-quality lessons and in supporting students on their learning journey.  I would also like to thank our parents who have worked with us over the years in supporting the students and the Academy. I wish our students every luck in their futures.”

Unusually for schools and colleges in the region St Mary’s Year 12 students were also celebrating today. St Mary’s is the only sixth form college in the area to continue allowing all students a wider choice of four AS subjects in Year 12. This helps students have a better perspective of how they are progressing in their chosen subjects and the results were very pleasing with a 92% pass rate and over 58% of all grades at higher A-C or Distinction or Distinction *grades, with 19 subjects guiding students to higher A/B or Distinction * / Distinction grades.

A delighted Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Jennifer Burrough explained that: “Part of our success is due to the close family feel of our Sixth form. We offer a clear support system which enables every student to receive the targeted help they need. It is this care and pride in all of our students that makes our Sixth form unique.”

Enrolment for students from all Blackpool schools to St Mary’s remains open for applications and can be found through the Academy website at this link.

Any Sixth Form student who has not received their results today can collect them from the main reception on Monday 20th August from Miss Caton.

Academy Extra Actors and Designers Show Off Their Fabulous Skills.

Academy Extra Showcase posters

As a child did you ever imagine performing on stage in front of an audience of over 150 people? Or does even the thought of it fill you with nerves? 
 
Well, if the amazing young actors and designers of Academy Extra were nervous on the evening of Thursday 17th May, they certainly didn't show it! It was on this incredible evening when Academy Extra held our annual showcase and this year it was bigger and better than ever. 
 
Every single child who attended covered themselves in glory as they confidently and skillfully performed 7, YES 7!, shows in front of a huge audience. The showcase was full of fun, laughter, energy and enthusiasm and everyone had such a great time. 
 
A huge thank you must go to Matthew Hodgkiss in Year 10 for his impressive role as Technical Director and Mr Heyes, Mrs Evans and Miss Caton for their commitment and energy in ensuring Academy Extra continues to be a wonderful experience for the young people of Blackpool. 
 
Roll on next year!

 

Active AOK Week

AOK 2018

Our sixth annual Acts of Kindness Week was celebrated earlier on this month.  Throughout the week we made over £100 for charity selling bracelets and lollipops.  We celebrated Mass with special prayers, with those in need of kindness in mind.  A recycling plastics project for the Year 7's was also launched with a bang, we've already filled a wheelie bin with bottles.  Staff also took part in a successful act of kindness week, with acts of kindness being carried out all over the Academy.

Adoremus National Youth Congress

Adoremus National Youth Congress

On Saturday 8th September, an enthusiastic group of students set out on an adventure to Liverpool to take part in the Adoremus National Youth Congress. Nearly 1,000 young people gathered in the Echo convention centre for a day of music, drama, talks and workshops on the theme of “Eucharist.” Guest speakers included Archbishop Vincent Nicholls and Katie Prejean (who came all the way from America) and testimonies from young adults who talked about their faith. We even heard a special letter that had been written to us on behalf of the Pope! To top it all off, the whole event was recorded for BBC Radio 4 and broadcast on Sunday morning. The day was part of a wider programme that ran across Liverpool for the whole weekend and finished with a huge procession through Liverpool. This was an event unlike anything seen in the UK for a long time: the last National Eucharistic Congress took place in 1908. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of such a historic event, and our student representatives did us very proud!

 

Aleks' Nicaragua Blog

Gappers and staff of Mary Barreda Association

CAFOD “Gapper” Aleks Adamczyk shares about the time she spent with the Mary Barreda Associaltion in Nicaragua.

How did the torture and killing of a married couple lead to eight thousand Nicaraguan children, teenagers and women being helped every year to stay safe, free from violence and exploitation?

Inspired by Mary Barreda and her husband Felipe, who during their lives responded to God’s call to serve the most vulnerable people in their community, the Mary Barreda Association was founded almost 30 years ago by three women who have carried on this legacy.

Mary Barreda Association works on the prevention and special protection in the areas of domestic and sexual violence, commercial sexual exploitation, high risk child labour, prostitution and HIV.

Arriving at the Mary Barreda centre 

When you arrive, the building is not hidden away, but nor is it advertised. You can’t see any banners, posters or leaflets outside. I come to understand later on that this is for the protection of the people they serve.

We’re welcomed by Rosa Maria, the director of the centre. She’s incredibly warm and, in a grandma-like manner, beckons us inside where she hugs us all individually asking our names. It is tiny gestures like this that make us feel special and wanted there.

How many women and children walked through those doors and have been made to feel safe here, I still ask myself. The Association is somewhere they know they will experience kindness, warmth, trust and equality and where they will not be judged. They are given time, space and attention by people who care for them.

Learning more about the project

There are psychologists, lawyers, doctors, nurses and social workers on site who do their very best to ensure that every child, teenager and woman is listened to and given the support they need to face the troubling situations they’re currently in.

If CAFOD’s support for this partner were limited to helping them write gender policies and provide accountancy training for the office staff, that would be a lot, because this strengthens the whole organisation, making it run more easily. But it’s far more than that. What Mary Barreda Association does is transformational.

CAFOD supports a three-year programme that helps young women who are survivors of sexual exploitation. Through the project, the young women grow in dignity. They learn that decisions about their lives and work are theirs to make. They are empowered.

They receive vocational training which gives them practical skills qualifying them as hairdressers or beauticians and supports them to get set up in work. Because of the support they receive, some of the young women want to go to university and, on the day we visited, two of them received confirmation emails of their places.

Looking towards the future

I came away from this day with a head full of thoughts. I couldn’t put into words how I felt. I felt the pain of some of the women myself, and pain for the staff at having to deal with situations that no one should ever have to deal with.

But Mary Barreda Association allowed me to see the hope that the project gives:  that, with years of hard work and the dedication of the incredible staff, people’s lives can and do change. For me, Mary Barreda Association has shown me the hand of God, reaching out to people who haven’t had the easiest of starts. This fills me with great hope.

Aleks' Pre-Trip Blog

AleksOn Monday, we waved a temporary goodbye to Aleks, our “Gapper”, who has set out for her trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua. She will visit CAFOD’s partners and learn about the projects that the money we raise support. While away, Aleks will be visiting education projects in universities, women’s empowerment projects in local communities and climate projects in towns and villages. She will hopefully also learn about the life and impact of Blessed Óscar Romero, one of our Learning House Saints.

We look forward to hearing about her trip over the next few weeks, but this is what she had to say about her forthcoming adventure before she left:

“What I know is that God will put us in the right places at the right time. Whomever we meet, whatever we see and experience will help us all and I can’t wait to experience it all! Meeting people we pray for, seeing CAFOD’S partners at work overseas and being able to be a witness back here with you. I simply cannot wait!

“That’s why, as a part of my prep, I am making an alteration to my own life. I’m letting God take control and trusting that what he plans for us is right. Swapping anxiety for excitement and prayerfully waiting for a visit that will change our lives.”

After a journey lasting 24 hours, including a short stopover in America, Aleks has arrived safe and well in El Salvador and spent a day resting ahead of her first visit to a CAFOD partner. Keep checking the website here at the Gaplains Blog page and our twitter page @TheGaplains for all the latest updates!

Blackpool 5K

Blackpool 5K

Over the past 8 weeks 26 girls from year 7-10 signed up to do the Couch to 5K programme. They have worked extremely hard, training every Monday in College followed by a further 2 training sessions in their own time. On Saturday 21st April 16 of the girls took part in the Blackpool 5K. It was a lovely sunny day with 182 runners taking part in the event. Victoria Sosin was the first of the St Mary's team to cross the finish line, coming in overall 21st Place with a time of 23:43.61, next was Naomi Wrigley in overall 35th Place with a time of 26:23:36 followed by Jess Hill in 43rd Place with a time of 27:04.30. these were great finishing times well done. However all the girls were amazing, demonstrating commitment and a determination to succeed and achieve their goal of running in a 5K race. I am very proud of you all. Thanks also to the PE staff who ran in the race to support the girls and to Miss Anderton for producing the T-Shirts!

The girls involved were: Victoria Sosin 8S, Naomi Wrigley7R, Jess Hill 10H, Natalie Wrigley 9R, Maddison Hartgen 8T, Jasmine Berrisford 8R, Maddie Procter 8E, Sofia Ruocco 7M, Isabel Weaver 7F, Amelia Warchol 7F, Mirriam-Al-idori, Hope Hunter 9R, Eva McCullough 10C, Evie Wrighley 8H, Lita Floyd 8R and Laila Powell 10M.

More photos can be seen on the gallery.

Mrs Roberts

Blackpool is a Fairtrade town

Fairtrade logo

Blackpool has been awarded Fair Trade Town for the second term running. Since becoming a member of the steering committee to get this award St. Mary's has facilitated most of the meetings and been a central part of the town team. Our Fairtrade Co-ordinator, Mr Gibson, has acted as Schools Representative. We will be working closely over the coming weeks to share not only what we are doing in Fairtrade Fortnight but to publicise the work going on in the town also.