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!


Nepal 2019

Nepal 2019
Are you in Year 10, 11 or 12 and interested in going to Nepal in 2019 for an incredible trip of a lifetime? 

If you are, or would just like to find out some more information about what the Nepal trip involves, please come and find Mr Mannino, Mr Heyes or Miss Anderton for more detail and information on how you can get involved. Application for all deadlines are June 2018.


St Mary’s win U12 Lancashire cup first round

U12 Cricket CompetitionSt Mary’s progressed to the next round of the U12 Lancashire Cup with a nail biting 5 wicket win over Ripley St Thomas Lancaster on a lovely spring afternoon.

Stanley Howarth won the toss and asked Ripley to bat first on a very interesting wet wicket. They were rewarded with two wickets in the first four overs, both bowled by Howarth. Just when Ripley started to score runs Sainsbury joined the attack and was rewarded by taking the next wicket. A partnership of thirty then thwarted the St Mary’s attack. Howarth and Waterhouse then returned and both took a wicket and kept runs to a minimum. Ripley finished on 64/5. Howarth finished with 3/2, Waterhouse 1/6, Sainsbury 1/15 and Lowe 0/8 all off four overs.

Sainsbury and Valentine opened the batting for St Mary’s and started strongly. However wickets fell steadily and they were reduced to 22/4. Howarth however had other ideas, dominating partnerships with Lowe and the unbeaten Utomi, who played intelligently and ran very quickly between the wickets. St Mary’s finally winning with three overs to spare and Howarth unbeaten on 35 not out.

A great team performance Griffin, Shobuj and Power outstanding in the field, the bowlers bowling a good line and length and Howarth waiting for the bad ball when batting. Still a lot to build on in particular team encouragement, giving away too many extras and shot selection. However a very encouraging start.


Year 12 BTEC PE Visit to the University of Cumbria

Year 12 Visit University of Cumbria

On Tuesday 24th April the Year 12 BTEC National PE students visited the University of Cumbria. They had a small taste of university life as they had a tour of the campus, a talk about courses they could study, lunch in the canteen and information on finance. However the most exciting part was going into the sports lab where they experienced and witnessed equipment at a hands on level that has only been previously covered at a theoretical level. Students has a one and half hour session in the sports lab led by the Head of Medical and Sport Sciences Tim Barry. They were able to witness one of the student ambassadors perform a VO2 max test, while they were actively engaged in collecting data which they later analysed. Tim was able to provide insight into sports jobs for the future which all sounded very exciting. This was a valuable day of learning providing students with the practical opportunity as well as consolidating their learning in preparation for their upcoming exam. Tim was particularly impressed with the students knowledge and their approach to the day. The students were a credit to St. Mary's.


Past Pupil Achievement

Book cover designFormer student Katie Hilton was a keen Graphic Designer during A Level, she went on to complete a Foundation course into Art & Design before being accepted onto a Graphic Design and Visual Communication course at Blackpool & the Fylde University and is currently in her second year of studying. The University has been completing a live project with Penguin Publishers for students across the country from various different Universities. Their brief was to redesign the front and back cover from a choice of 3 books, Katie picked ‘Noughts & Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman.

Over 3000 students entered the competition and Katie’s design has been shortlisted as one of the top 10 entries in the UK.

Katie now has a week to rework and edit her design before resubmitting her work and the winner being announced, the winner receives an incredible prize of £1000, the front cover being published and a 4 week placement at Penguin Publishers in London.

Good Luck Katie!!!!


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

New PE Kit Consultation

Dear Parents,

The PE department would like to consult you on a potential new PE kit for September 2018. The current PE kit (red polo shirt, blue shorts, and blue football socks) has been in circulation now for well over 10 years. The PE department believe that it is outdated and doesn’t serve the purpose it was intended to some years ago.

As it currently stands the PE department do not offer any provision for warm winter clothing. As a result pupils are wearing coats, hoodies, jackets, leggings (all that vary in style and colour) etc. to stay warm when their lessons are outside. This in turn makes the delivery of practical PE more difficult.

The PE department have recently contacted local businesses to tender for the provision of new PE kit. After discussion with a focus group of pupils and staff we have narrowed down the options to two different kits. Both kits are made from durable material that is specifically designed for taking part in sport and exercise.

The school are looking at a phasing in the new kit. It would be compulsory for all of the new year 7 intake but optional for years 8-11 – that is to say that pupils may stay with the old red polo / blue shorts until a time comes that they need to replace their kit. If pupils wish to wear leggings / tracksuit pants / mid layer this must be the SMCA new PE kit. Pupils can of course decide that they wish to wear the new PE kit and purchase that.

Please see below the list of optional (O) and essential (E) items of PE kit for both girls and boys:


Polo Shirt (E)
Shorts (E)
Tracksuit Pants (O)
Mid Layer (E) - This would replace the old rugby top
Socks (E)

Polo Shirt (E)
Leggins / Shorts / Skort (one item must be bought, multiples optional)
Mid Layer (E)
Socks (E)


It is very important to St. Mary’s that parents get value for money. We believe that both of the new kit options reflect this sentiment. Please see below a breakdown of prices – items in red essential items, items in black optional (all prices reflective of pupils aged 11-12)

The current prices of SMCA PE kit are as follows (this is the kit that pupils are currently wearing):

Red Polo (embroidered with school badge) ranging from £8.99 to £13.99
Socks - £6.99
Shorts (embroidered with "St. Mary’s" as text) - £8.99 / £7.99
Rugby shirt - £21.99

New PE kit - Option 1 – Falcon kit:

Polo (embroidered with school badge) - £12.99
Socks - £3.99
Shorts - £7.99
Mid Layer (embroidered with school badge)   - £17.99
Leggings - £11.99
Tracksuit pants - £14.99
Skort - £14.99

New PE kit - Option 2 – Aptus kit:

Polo (embroidered with school badge) - £14.99
Socks - £3.99
Shorts - £9.99
Mid Layer (embroidered with school badge) - £19.99
Leggings - £13.99
Tracksuit pants - £19.99
Skort - £15.99

Finally we would like to gauge students and parents opinions on the introduction of a new PE kit for St. Mary’s pupils.

Students please fill in the Google Form here to provide the department with feedback.

Parents please fill in the Google Form hereto provide the department with feedback.

There will also be an opportunity to meet me to ask any questions and look at both kits on Thursday 26th April at 8.20 am and again at 4.30pm - 5.30pm the same day. If you would like to take this opportunity please report to reception at the allotted time and ask for either myself or Mrs Horne.    

We look forward to hearing from you soon

Mr. Reidy
Head of PE 

Installation of Bishop Paul Swarbrick

Bishop Paul's Episcopal Ordination
On Monday 9th April, four very lucky members of the St. Mary’s community were fortunate to attend the episcopal ordination of our new Bishop, Bishop Paul Swarbrick. Bishop Swarbrick was formerly the chaplain to St. Mary’s, and we felt honoured and privileged to be among the congregation at the service.

Mr. Eccles and Miss Smith were joined by Eddie Loy (Y7) and Jane Schwab (Y8) for the installation, which lasted a mega 2 hours 15 mins! Although it sounds long, the Mass completely flew by, as we were all wrapped up with the excitement of participating in such a special event. The Cathedral was filled with wonderful music and singing, as well as more Priests and Bishops than Miss Smith has ever seen gathered in one place! The ceremony of handing on the ministry from Bishop Campbell to Bishop Swarbrick was incredibly powerful, as was witnessing all of his fellow Bishops lay hands on and pray for our new Bishop at the very start of his ministry.

To finish the Mass, Bishop Swarbrick addressed us all for the first time. His speech was full of humour, faith and the promise of a fantastic 15 years ahead until his retirement! He even had time to pause for a photo with us at the end, even though he was surrounded by a whole crowd of parishioners and family wishing him well for the future.

All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with memories that all of us who attended will remember fondly for a long time to come.


Rotary and BAE Technology Competition

Rotary competition
On Friday 16th March two teams from St Mary’s competed in the annual Rotary BAE Systems Technology Tournament held in Lytham St Anne’s. The teams were given the challenge of engineering a rocket launcher that was required to shoot a device 3m into the air before releasing a parachute landing it back down as close to the launch pad as possible. The teams had to brainstorm, discuss and design different ideas and solutions to produce a portfolio of work, they then had to spend 3 hours manufacturing and testing their final engineered design. Both groups produced some interesting and creative solutions which they then tested against other teams from various different Blackpool Schools and Colleges. A big well done and congratulations to the Y11 KS4 team who came 2nd in their category, narrowly missing out by 2 points on first place!!

Thank you to both teams for competing on the day:

KS4 team: Jess Hill, Jamie Jackson, Antonia Harris, Roy Smith.

KS3 team: Joshua Ellis, Neo Ross, Abbie Billenness and Brooke-Leigh Johnstone

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.