Sports Academy visit Cumbria University

SMCA Sports Academy pupils recently visited Cumbria University to sample their sports degree courses. Pupils took part in sports rehabilitation and fitness testing workshops. A great day!

Year 6 PE Olympic Challenge Winner

Open Evening Olympic Challenge WinnerCongratulations to Elliot Ward from Roseacre Primary School who was the winner of the Year 6 PE Olympic Challenge during St. Mary's Open Evening. A magnificent achievement with over 200 pupils entering. Well done Elliot.

Royal Shakespeare Company

RSC Visit 2019

On Wednesday 9th October St. Mary’s was lucky enough to host the Royal Shakespeare Company. The ‘RSC’ is known the world over and we were privileged to have our very own private performance of the ‘First Encounters’ tour of the Merchant of Venice.  This performance was for 180 specially invited pupils only, and went down a treat, with 3 of our own pupils taking part in the performance acting as ‘casket bearers’. The pupils loved seeing the action happening right in front of their eyes and were captivated during the hour long play.

As well as this our very own Shakespeare club members got to work with the actors and actresses for the day to experience what it is like working behind the scenes in theatre. They got to take part in a team warm-up as well as work with the props and costumes used in the performance. Within our Shakespeare club we have two VIP ambassadors, who represent the school at various events. To top off their Wednesday Finley Hough and Katie Lambshead got to work behind the scenes at The Grand Theatre during the evening, when the RSC did a public performance.

Anyone wanting to join Shakespeare club should come to the Drama Hall on Tuesday after school, or speak to Miss Pollett or Miss Thackwray. With special thanks to Miss Anderton who made the gorgeous caskets for the performance.


Mrs Dorothy Lavelle Obituary

It is with great sadness that the family of Mrs Dorothy Lavelle announces her passing after a brief illness, on October 5 th 2019, at the age of 83.

Dorothy passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and will be lovingly remembered by her three sons, her daughters in law and her four grandchildren.

Dorothy was an integral part of Catholic education in Blackpool for 30 years.  She began her teaching career at Sacred Heart School Blackpool in 1956, teaching all ages.

In 1961 she became part of the teaching staff for St Catherine’s Girls School, following its creation from girls aged 11 and upwards at both Sacred Heart School and St Kentigern’s Girls School.  The school was initially based at Thames Road, before moving to new premises on Garstang Road.

Dorothy’s primary subject was Geography, but in later years she became Deputy Head, first at St Catherine’s Girls School, then, following its amalgamation with St Thomas’, at All Saints High School and finally following a further merger at St Mary’s RC High School.

Dorothy retired from teaching in 1984.

Her funeral service will be held at St John Vianney’s Church, Blackpool at 11.30am on Thursday 31st October.  All are welcome to attend. Please make any charitable donations to Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Creating a Snowdrop Carpet in the Park

Planting snowdrops

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.

Stanley Park Cafe

CAFOD Harvest Fast Week

Brightly Coloured Sweets Sale

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!

Doodle for Google

Doodle For Google St Mary's Winning entry

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.  


Ethos Day 2019

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.

Meet Our New Gap Year Chaplains

Daisy WedgeHi! I’m Daisy, I’m 22 years old and from Brighton.

I’ve had a great start to the school year as one of the “gaplains” at St Mary’s. During my time here, I’ll be helping in the chaplaincy, running clubs, and volunteering with CAFOD. I also get to go on a really exciting international trip to see the work CAFOD do abroad. In my spare time, I like baking, swing dancing, and getting lost in the woods.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone better, and I hope I can learn a lot, and also make a positive contribution to St Mary’s this year!

Francis Romano

Hi my name is Francis and I’m one of the two Gap Year Chaplains spending a year with the Chaplaincy team at St Mary’s. I come from a village called Headcorn in Maidstone, Kent.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and hope that this term has started well!As a Gap Year Chaplain I work with both St Mary’s and CAFOD, so Daisy and I will be available for anyone interested in CAFOD and their work all over the world. We’ll also be doing clubs and activities throughout the year as well as helping with prayers and masses.

GCSE Star Students Shine at St Mary’s

St Marys GCSE 2019Ten student stars opened their results to reveal 29 grade 9s and 32 grade 8s between them. The group, pictured here, includes: Roberta Rogers-Smith, Darcie Lovell, Sebastian Ebel, Dichhya Sunar, Natalia Konewecka, Jessica Duffy, Michael Woof, Louis Hawkes, Anna Wignall and Hannah Villarino.

A delighted Roberta said “I had some of the best years of my life at St Mary’s, thanks to the amazing teaching staff”. Darcie added her thoughts: “I have loved my time at St. Mary’s, thanks to the wonderful teaching staff and facilities.” Jessica was also grateful to the Academy’s staff saying: “I am very pleased with my results and I am very thankful for all the support from staff. I look forward to continuing my journey at St. Mary’s Sixth Form” and a very happy Head girl Hannah Villarino, who will also be joining the Academy’s Sixth Form College added: “I’m very happy with my results and all the hard work was definitely worth it. I’ve enjoyed my 5 years at St. Mary’s and I am thankful for all the support from my teachers.”

Special mention goes to Anna Wignall and Venice her guide dog, also pictured. Anna is severely visually impaired and the first student to complete her main stream education at St Mary’s supported by a guide dog. Anna completed all of her examinations in Braille, passing all of her GCSEs, including an incredible 2 grade 8s, a grade 7 and 2 grade 6s. Anna was over the moon with her results saying: “My time at St. Mary’s has been amazing and I am so happy with my results. I am looking forward to joining St. Marys 6th form to carry on my studying.”

The number of students achieving a grade 4 or better in English and Maths at the Academy was 60%, the second year running that the Academy has achieved over 60% for this benchmark.  Results were very pleasing in English with 76% of students achieving above a grade 4 in English Language or English Literature. These were backed up by solid results in Maths. Students also performed well across a range of subjects including Sciences, Spanish, Geography and Art subjects.

A delighted Headteacher, Mr Simon Eccles said, “Our Year 11 students have produced another good set of results for St Mary’s. This is a result of the hard work and commitment of our students and the fabulous support of our staff and students’ families”

Mr Eccles was delighted to see students performing so well adding, “Solid results across A Level and GCSE show that the Academy continues to develop from strength to strength. This is a good set of results. I am particularly pleased that students continue to perform well across a number of subjects showing the Academy’s commitment to allowing students to select a balance of subjects that interest them. Huge congratulations go to Year 11 on their results; we are looking forwards to welcoming many of them back in Year 12. I would also like to thank our dedicated staff who continue to deliver innovative teaching based on the latest evidence and research from our research school and for their excellent pastoral care for our students; thanks also to the students’ families for their support and partnership over the last five years.” 

Any Y11 student with 5+ grade 4s or better including English & Maths, from either St Mary’s or any other local secondary schools, who would like to join our thriving Sixth Form can contact Mrs Burrough (Head of Sixth Form Learning House) on 01253 396286 or alternatively complete an online application on the Academy’s website.