CAFOD Brighten Up the Harvest Week

Harvest Week Events

St Mary’s Academy was a sea of colour last week as staff and students came together to “brighten up” for CAFOD Harvest Fast Day.

On Monday and Tuesday, we had a bright coloured sweet shop at break times in the Deli Bar, selling Sherbet, Skittles and other brightly coloured sweets.

On Wednesday, some brave (or should that be foolish?) teachers put themselves in the firing line, as students paid to throw brightly coloured water balloons at them. A HUGE thank you to Mr. Allen, Mr. Webb, Mr. Ip, Mr. Thornton, Mr. Faulkner, PCSO Lizzie and Miss Smith who braved the cold and got absolutely soaked for this great cause.

Friday saw the whole school brighten up for CAFOD. Students came to school with neon or glitter makeup and accessories. The CAFOD team opened a “salon” at break and lunch, covering as many students as possible with neon face paint, nail varnish and glitter. It was fantastic to see so many students getting involved and raising as much money as possible for CAFOD.

The money is still being counted, so we don’t have a final total yet, but once it is all in, we will send it to the DEC for the relief effort in Indonesia following the terrible earthquake and tsunami that has devastated so many communities. A huge thank you to all who got involved, especially our CAFOD team who worked hard to organise the events and activities that took place throughout the week.


Introducing the St Mary's Girls Active Leaders

Girls Active Leaders: Grace Dixon, Annie Wills, Lexi Moat, Bobbie Harris, Caitlyn Rogers, Jess Murphy, Evie Wrigley, Olivia Hawkins, Jasmine Berrisford, Molly Hall.

The Girls Active Leaders team is made up of year 9, 10 and 11 students. They have all volunteered to give up their time to help share their enthusiasm and passion for sport. They will be taking a very active role in the PE department throughout the year from promoting, supporting and leading different sporting activities and helping to raise the profile of girls PE. Thank you to all the girls in advance for the hard work they will put in this year - You will make a difference!

Pictured are - Grace Dixon, Annie Wills, Lexi Moat, Bobbie Harris, Caitlyn Rogers, Jess Murphy, Evie Wrigley, Olivia Hawkins, Jasmine Berrisford, Molly Hall.


Snowdrops for Donna

Rainbows group planting snowdrops.

Last week we took a selection from our Rainbows group to plant snowdrops in Stanley Park.  This was the second year in succession that we have joined other schools from the Blackpool area as part of our local work with the charity Donna's Dream House on Chapel St, in the centre of Blackpool, planting these wonderful blooms.  They should begin to grow in about three weeks time and flower mid-January onwards.
Thanks to all at Stanley Park and Len (and all his team at the Dream House).

Warton Crag

Warton Crag

On the evening of Tuesday 11th September students in the Yr11 GCSE PE class went to Warton Crag near Carnforth; where they were videoed abseiling for their practical course-work. They were advised and guided by Mrs Perry, and Graham Little of 'Outdoor Education.'
The students start next week on a course of climbing in order to develop their confidence and skills before gaining further marks for the 'Individual Activity' element of their course.


Nepal Trip

Nepal Trip 2018

This July, St Mary’s Catholic Academy and Baines Secondary School took a group of students to visit the beautiful country of Nepal for 12 days for an unbelievable and once in a lifetime experience. 
Students stayed in the wonderful Kathmandu Guest House which is surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of Thamel, here students have time to relax and explore the local area, visiting all of the different shops, trying the local cuisine and speaking with the local community. During the visit, students embrace the culture of Nepal with visits to various different Hindu and Buddhist Temples, including Swayambhunath, the infamous Buddhist monkey Temple where they climbed a few hundred steps to see the incredible views of Kathmandu from the top and Pashupatinath Temple which is located on the banks of the Bagmati River where the students received Hindu blessings and rubbed shoulders with the local Holy Men. They also visited the Eco-Project Foundation which is an incredible organisation helping families by farming their own foods, building their own homes out of glass bottles and providing mothers and fathers with work to support their children.

Whilst out in Nepal, the students spent 4 days at Shubhakamana Academy where they completed a Teaching Project within the school. This was a really exciting opportunity for students to get involved with the community by providing exciting lessons for children of varying ages. This opportunity allowed the students to plan lessons of their choice; with a focus around conversational English and key words and terminology, allowed them to work with students from different schools and teach exciting and engaging lessons to the children in Nepal. On our final day of the School visit, Shubhakamana Academy put together a celebration event of dancing, singing, speeches and a lunch cooked by the school of local delicacies for us to sample together. The visit to the school really does make the trip very special and the St Mary’s and Baine’s students make lasting friendships with the Nepali children. 
Towards the end of the Nepal trip, we travelled down to Chitwan National Park where the students went on an amazing adventure involving a jeep safari where we saw various different animals including crocodiles, spotted deer, monkeys and a very rare sloth bear, a canoe ride with crocodiles (one of which jumped out of the water at us), washing and feeding the elephants, a walk through the jungle trying to spot wild animals, an elephant safari ride and a visit to the elephant orphanage. 

The students had the most incredible time, and if you would like to join the next Nepal group for summer 2019, or are interested in going out to Nepal in the future, please come and find either Mr Mannino or Miss Anderton for any more information or detail about this really special trip.


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!


St Mary’s Students on Cloud 9

GCSE Results 2018

A group of five students were on cloud nine at St Mary’s Catholic Academy; they achieved 20 grade 9s and 18 grade 8s between them. The group pictured above includes Daisy Court, Rebecca Morgan, Sophie Saglam, Dominic Walker, Amelia Weaver and Alina Sladkiewicz.

Rebecca Morgan was over the moon with her results, achieving eight grade 9s. “I feel very pleased with my results. I worked very hard and felt supported by my teachers all the way. I have really enjoyed my time at St. Mary’s and want to carry on at their VI Form College to study Chemistry, Biology, Spanish and join the Health Academy”.

Alina Sladkiewicz said, “I feel relieved now that I have my results and I am so grateful for all the support from the teachers. I will be staying at the VI Form and studying Chemistry, English Literature and Psychology.

Our Deputy Head Boy Dominic Walker was thrilled with his results. He said, “I cannot believe the results I have got. I am very excited and cannot thank the staff enough. It has been a very exciting journey so far.”

A record breaking set of GCSE results for St Mary’s students saw 62% of students achieving a grade 4 (C Grade equivalent) or better in English and Maths, with 60% of students achieving grade 4 / C or better in five subjects including English and Maths. Strong performances across subjects contributed to a record year. Results in English were particularly pleasing, with 78% of students achieving above a grade 4 in English Language or English Literature.

The latest Government measures look at the grades students gain in eight of their GCSEs called Attainment 8. This year’s Attainment 8 grade set a new record for the Academy at 46.11, better than the national average for 2017.  These 8 grades are also used to calculate Progress 8 which looks at the progress students make in the same 8 GCSEs,  from a starting point based on their Key Stage 2 results and in comparison to all other students nationally. Whilst this Progress 8 data will not be available until later in the year, things are looking hugely encouraging. As Headteacher, Mr Simon Eccles explains, “Our Year 11 students have produced a record breaking set of results for St Mary’s. Their Attainment 8 data is above last year’s national average and is a result of the hard work and commitment of our students and the fabulous support of our staff”

Mr Eccles was delighted to see students performing so well adding, “Strong results across GCSE and A Level once again this year show that the Academy continues to build from strength to strength. This is a very pleasing set of GCSE results, students should be proud of their achievements. I would like to congratulate Year 11 on their results and the progress they have made, we look forwards to welcoming many of them back in Year 12. I would like to thank the staff who continue to develop innovative teaching based on the latest evidence and research and deliver excellent pastoral care in addition to thanking parents for their support and partnership over the last five years.” 

Any Year 11 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 at


GCSE Results Day - Thursday 23rd August


The Academy will be opening up its doors at 8am for Year 11 students to collect their results. Student should enter the Academy through the student entrance and sign in before you collect your results in the dining room. 
Everyone at St Mary’s wishes all the students the best of luck. 
Remember it’s a seven year journey and we hope as many of you can sign up for our Sixth Form as possible. 


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.