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!
With Mr Tierney retiring at the end of December 2019, the Directors are delighted to announce the Mrs Helen O'Neill has been appointed at the CEO of the BEBCMAT. Mrs O'Neill will take up post in February and is very much looking forward to her new leadership role. When appointed she told the Directors that, she was "really looking forward to working closely with all staff, pupils and their families and to seeing each child develop their God-given talents and become the best they can be".
A qualified teacher she has a Masters degree in education leadership and extensive experience of teaching and leadership in a range of schools across the North West and Midlands areas.
She is currently one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) working for Ofsted and was the national lead inspector for Ofsted’s curriculum research project. Mrs O'Neill has experienced working with a range of schools, including primary, secondary, special and independent.
On Tuesday 11th February, Bijay visited St Mary’s whilst over from Nepal for 2 weeks on an educational visit. He had an excellent day visiting a wide range of lessons including; English, Maths, Science, Art, Textiles, Music, History, IT and Computing. He also watched the Creativity & Enterprise Fairtrade assembly, met with the student council for a question and answer session, looked at the Lexonic work completed at St Mary’s, observed reading time with Year 8 and had a full tour of the Academy before going for Fish and Chips on the sea front. He’s had an absolutely fantastic day and could not sing the students and staff’s praises highly enough. Thank you for everyone who was involved in the day in some way. Miss Anderton.
Last week, the Chaplains and CAFOD team were busy organising fundraisers for this years' Harvest Fast Day with the theme "brighten up". On Monday and Tuesday, we held a bright coloured sweet sale, selling everything from sherbet to Skittles. On Thursday after school, our Y11 & Sixth Form Sport Leaders organised a Clubbercise class for us, using glow sticks, neon paint and disco lights to create a fantastic atmosphere and encouraging us to "brighten up" and get fit at the same time! On Friday, we had our annual "Brighten Up" day where students were encouraged to come to school wearing bright accessories and makeup. The school had never looked so sparkly! The canteen even put on a Harvest Fast Day Lunch for us of soup and bread to encourage us to take part in the Catholic tradition of fasting and abstinence on this day.
Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us to reach our fundraising total of £401!
A trip to Stanley Park went out last Tuesday with Rainbows Group for the annual planting of snowdrops in conjunction with local primaries. The bulbs were planted in memory of Donna Curtis (Donna's Dream House), an ex-pupil of St Mary's. The Edward Dee Fund, another local charity who work to raise awareness around the dangers of meningitis and sepsis, donated the snowdrop bulbs.
The group were then treated at the Stanley Park Cafe to juice and cake, paid for by an extremely kind member of staff. A good day was had by all and special thanks to the team Stanley Park Cafe who made us feel so welcome.
Well done to the 16 finalists of the doodle for google competition . Over 150 votes from across year 7 and staff came in and the winner can now be revealed as Lucy Patmore. A huge congratulations to everyone who took part and put effort into completing a design. Lucy and the other finalists can collect their prizes from Miss Perrett on Friday 4th October . Well done everyone, lets see what next year's designs bring.
Ellie Daley was part of the Air Cadets who met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to Blackpool. St Mary's are very proud that Ellie was chosen from her Air Cadets to represent them welcoming the Royal Couple.
On Tuesday 24th September, the whole school was given the opportunity to explore our Catholic Ethos by taking part in Ethos Day. Students spent the day in forms, reflecting on the special Catholic characteristics of our school with their form tutors. Time was spent learning about this year's Learning House themes and Saints and exploring how we can learn and grow in this regard in the year ahead. Many forms used the time to create artwork and displays, write prayers and reflections, and even play simulation games to explore their topics!
We also had the opportunity to think about our own gifts and our calling through Pope Francis' poem "We need Saints." Students thought about how each one of us is called to be a saint in our own way by utilising the great gifts and talents we have been given for the good of everyone. We also came together to celebrate Mass in the sports hall, which was based upon the parable of the mustard seed. We were reminded that "great things come from small beginnings," and that we all therefore have the potential to do great things, even if at the moment we may feel small and insignificant.
The sixth form had an "away day" to explore our Catholic Ethos, but had the opportunity to celebrate in school on Thursday 26th with their Learning House Mass based on the theme of serving others. Students worked hard to create artwork, write prayers and sing lovely songs to ensure that we had a really meaningful celebration of the Mass. Other Learning Houses will have the opportunity to come together to celebrate a Mass based on their theme at a future point in the year.
In all, we had a wonderful day and a fantastic celebration.
This week we have been selling brand new lines of stock which included new flavours of Divine chocolate, iced tea and flapjack, at our Fairtrade Deli Bar at breaks. 'Colour and Chat' featured some very nice illustrations of a female cocoa farmer, which the students discussed as part of the Empowering Women #shedeserves campaign. Also involving the #shedeserves theme the students across the school were encouraged to think of one inspirational woman and share their thoughts on them. Lastly the pupils have been taking part in a competition called 'Design a Divine' in which the prize is have their winning entry made, wrapped and posted to Divine HQ! Good luck to everyone who has taken part.