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ST EDMUND ARROWMSITH CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL WWW.ARROWSMITH.WIGAN.SCH.UK

SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST: 

Y7 Retreat Day

The Big Draw

Super Spellers

Music London Trip

Y11 Mass

For regular news and events from St. Edmund Arrowsmith, visit our website.

S E A News A Message from the Headteacher We were again delighted with our outstanding GCSE results, with so many pupils achieving fantastic results. I was absolutely delighted for the pupils who worked so hard to achieve such good grades. It was great to see the ‘Class of 2016’ again for Certificate Presentation Evening on 10th November-I am so proud of the pupils for the results they achieved, but I am even prouder of the type of young people they have developed into. Whatever courses they choose to follow I am certain they will be successful and work hard to make our world a better place. This first term is always very busy. We have welcomed our new Year 7 pupils, who have made a fantastic start to life at St Edmund Arrowsmith. We held a very successful (and very busy!) Open Evening at the end of September, Year 7 and 11 Welcome Masses, three Guidance Evenings, one Parents’ Evening, a dance showcase and our annual Advent Service. Special mention must be given to our school production, ‘The Dream Game’ which broke from tradition into a unique collaboration between the musicians, singers and dancers to produce exceptional evenings of entertainment in the three disciplines. I’m still not sure how the pupils managed to play, sing and dance all in a live performance setting, but what I know is that they were magnificent! The talent in our school never ceases to amaze me, superbly nurtured by our staff and supported by parents; it is this partnership that makes our school such a special place. As we enter the last week before the Christmas holiday we all look forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth and the preparation needed to celebrate this true meaning of Christmas. The staff and pupils have worked really hard to support various charities in the run up to Christmas: Wigan and Leigh Hospice, Water Aid, The Christies, CAFOD and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Christmas preparations started in the first week of Advent with morning prayers every morning in the school foyer and continue until 22 December. Our Advent Service at St Oswald’s was extremely well attended and last Friday, 16th December we hosted our ‘pensioner’s party,’ where over 100 guests from all eight of our feeder parishes enjoyed a Christmas dinner followed by entertainment provided by our pupils. All our guests received a small gift at the end of the afternoon. It was a fantastic occasion and I know our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This week we have our annual ‘Sweater for Soweto’ day, where staff and pupils come into school in a festive jumper and pay £1 towards our partner school in Soweto, South Africa, which raises money for the neediest of pupils to help them with basic equipment and meals. The jumpers get better and more entertaining every year! May I take this opportunity to thank all members of the school community for their tremendous and continued support; it is what makes our school so special. On behalf of the governors, staff and pupils can I wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas. MJ Dumican, Headteacher


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Outstanding GCSE Results Again! The day finally dawned, grey and miserable, for the long-awaited GCSE results. Would our pupils’ faces also be grey and miserable to match this typical British summer weather? The short answer to that question is an emphatic, ‘No’. Pupils' faces shone when they received their white envelopes, bearing the results of the many hard hours they had put into revision, putting their lives on hold for weeks on end, in order to gain a passport to the future.

It has been another year for outstanding GCSE results at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic “We are High School, Ashton-in-Makerfield, with a stunning 75% of pupils receiving 5 or more GCSEs including English and Maths. The school also did well under the government’s new tremendously performance indicator of Progress 8 with a score of 0.24. Headteacher, Mark Dumican, was naturally delighted and had this to say about the overall picture: “We are really strong proud of all of on all four of the new indicators: Progress 8 is 0.24; Attainment 8 is a B; the percentage of pupils with an A*- C in Maths and English is 75.1% and the percentage of pupils attaining our an E-Baccalaureate is 41.5.” pupils and their

We caught up with some of the pupils, as they mingled with their families and friends, to congratulate them on their achievements.” success. Leading the way for the school was Harriet Mr Dumican, Olurankinse, with a clean sweep of 10A* grades to her credit. Senior prefect, Harriet, was absolutely speechless with her Headteacher results, modestly commenting: “I am so proud of myself.” She left it up to her mum, who was struggling to hold back the tears, to speak on her behalf: “Harriet has worked so hard and doesn’t take anything for granted. I am so very happy for her.” Harriet is now off to Winstanley College, where she is doing things the hard way - taking Maths, Biology and Chemistry, with a view to working in medicine in the future. With results like this, we are certain that she will succeed!

For the full writeup, please see the Latest News area of our website.

Delighted faces, all around!

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Outstanding GCSE Results Again!

Luke Texon was the highest achieving boy in the school, amassing an outstanding 10A* grades. As yet, he is uncertain of his future career, but does know that Computing, Maths, Further Maths and Physics will be his chosen subjects to study at Winstanley College. With these amazing grades, the world is literally your oyster, Luke! Another high-flyer, who amassed an amazing 9A* and 1A, is Head Girl, Jessica Hollett. She thanked all of her teachers, who she claims, put more work into helping her achieve these results than she did! Like Harriet, she is Winstanley-bound, where she will study A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and French. Not normally a girl lost for words, I asked Jess for a quote to sum up her feelings today and she just had this to say; “I am made-up, just made-up!” Samantha Fairhurst emulated Jess’ results, again gaining a superb 9A* and 1A for her efforts. At this stage, all that she knows is that she wants to travel and complete voluntary work ‘somewhere’. But first, she is also off to Winstanley College to study Science and Maths, but as yet is undecided on what other subjects to take. With fantastic results like these today, Sam, you can take your pick! David Nolan was stood with his mum, wearing a huge grin, so I knew that his results would also be great. He admitted that he had done “better than he thought” and that he was “made-up” and that “he can sleep now!” As yet he is undecided as to whether his next step will be Runshaw or Winstanley, but his mum pointed out to him that: “You have until 12 o’clock to make your mind up!” Wherever he decides to go next on his journey, he does know that he will study Physics, Maths, Chemistry and History, so his impressive grades of 4A*, 3A and 2B will certainly stand him in good stead. Head Boy, Harley Beentjes claimed a remarkable 5A*, 2A and 3B and his natural ability in all things arty, will take him to Winstanley to follow A-Level courses in Art and Design, Graphic Design and English. Beaming from ear to ear, Harley commented: “I am ecstatic and absolutely overjoyed with my results and am looking forward to the future.”

With so many success stories to make him proud, Head Teacher Mark Dumican commented: “We are tremendously proud of all of our pupils and their achievements. The results reflect their hard work and effort, and also the commitment of the staff, who have worked tirelessly on their behalf. What a fantastic way for our students to end their five years at our school. We are delighted for the pupils and wish them every success in the future. We have a saying: ‘You never leave Eddies’ and we do hope the pupils leave us with many fond memories and will come back to visit us in the not-too-distant future.”


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The Final Straight

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The Mass was an uplifting way to start a difficult year celebrating everything we have done so far, plus the few remaining hurdles that lie ahead for us.

In many peoples' opinion, Year 11 is synonymous with stress, copious amounts of work, and time -consuming revision, due to the many important exams and the preparation and lead-up towards them. I am no different – while I feel confident and willing to tackle the many obstacles awaiting me in my fifth and final year of high school, there is a part of me that is dreading them, and the possibility that I do not achieve the grades I desire. However, this all changed for me when we had our Year 11 Welcome Mass on Wednesday 7th September 2016, as I am now comforted by the fact that I am not alone, and that all Year 11 pupils have the full support of our hard-working teachers throughout the coming year.

remembering the many Masses that I have attended here throughout primary school and high school, and knowing that this Mass would be one of the last I would ever go to with St Edmund Arrowsmith. With this in mind, I appreciated the occasion more than I would have normally; fully absorbing the information, and reflecting on what it meant to me and all of Year 11. I would like to thank Father John and Deacon John for the Mass and all the time and effort they put into preparing it. The music department and the choir were perfect as always, enhancing the wonderful atmosphere in church. Thank-you must also go to Maria, Mr Whitlow, and the chaplaincy group for helping to set up the Mass and readings, plus the Eucharistic Ministers for giving out the Host during communion.

left in school, and I will embrace every moment we have together as a year group, knowing, with each assembly, that we are one step closer to going our separate ways and leaving school. The Mass was an uplifting way to start a difficult year celebrating everything we have done so far, plus the few remaining hurdles that lie ahead for us. While already confident for Year 11, with the work, exams, and duty as Head Boy, this Mass has reminded me that I am not alone, and that I have the support of teachers and my classmates, who I hope realised what we can all achieve this year, if we go that extra mile. The Mass was a nice reminder of why I love the school, and has inspired me to achieve my expected grades and to make the positive changes to a school which has provided me with so much during my time here.

Being dismissed from Period 3, fifteen minutes early, Year 11 began to line up in their forms in register order, before we began the walk to St Oswald’s Church. When by Tony Kemp, Head Boy sat in the church, I felt a sense of nostalgia, I have less than a year

Head Girl, Jade Boyle reads to the congregation

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Welcome, Welcome, Year 7

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The Year 7 Welcome Mass was held on Friday 30th September in St Oswald's Church. All of Year 7 and our form tutors attended and it was held to welcome all of the Year 7 pupils to the school and to wish us all success in the next five years.

Mr Whitlow prepares pupils for the Mass

Firstly, I and four others welcomed all the parents, pupils and teachers to the Mass. Year 7 pupils helped out as altar servers, readers and assisted with the offertory. St Edmund Arrowsmith’s hand was on display throughout the Mass and the priest told the congregation about the significance of it to the church and the school. Afterwards, I was one of the lucky five pupils who stayed behind to see his hand. I was presented with a picture of Edmund Arrowsmith and his hand, containing lots of interesting information on the back, plus a St Edmund Arrowsmith medal!

I thoroughly enjoyed the service and thought that everyone helping out did a wonderful job. I am really looking forward to future Masses in school, as we all come together to celebrate our Catholic Faith. by Charlotte Cunliffe, 7C

Year 7 pupils brave enough to read to the congregation

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Very Worthy Recipients At our annual awards ceremony in July, we wrote on the website about the whole, wonderful occasion and the recipients of the many awards. But we wanted to take this a step further this year and let you see it from two of the worthy recipients perspectives…

I hope that I can inspire others at St Edmund Arrowsmith to grasp any opportunity that the school offers and to always try your best.

On the last Thursday of the school year, St Edmund Arrowsmith’s Annual Awards Ceremony took place. This ceremony is the last one I will take part in whilst still in school uniform, which is a frightening thought. I feel throughout my time at St Edmund Arrowsmith I have been an extremely dedicated pupil, taking part in various sports and activities such as captaining our school football team and leading our Young Enterprise team to the National Final in London, all of which has helped me to be where I am today – Deputy Head Boy of our school and a proud winner of the Liam Disley Award. The Liam Disley Award, for ‘Outstanding Contribution to School Life’, is an accolade which has been won by a female pupil every year. When Mr Dumican announced that this year a male student was to receive the award, I felt a little bit nervous. When I was finally announced as the winner I was in shock and did not know what to say. I felt extremely proud and honoured to receive the award as I was being recognised for all the hard work I had put into the school. I hope that I can inspire others at St Edmund Arrowsmith to grasp any opportunity that the school offers and to always try your best. Now that I enter my final year at this outstanding school, I hope to transfer all my hard work into revision and come out with the grades that I want. From my perspective, the Liam Disley Award is a prime example of someone that will always put 110% into everything that they do, whether that be revision, music or playing a sport. It shows that you should never give up and keep focused on your end goal – you will achieve it. I hope to return to next year’s award ceremony to see another worthy recipient collect this prestigious award. By Adam Smith, 11C2

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On Thursday 14th July, our whole school awards ceremony took place. This was my last ceremony at St Edmund Arrowsmith, as next year I will have finished my exams and left the school. It has only just recently dawned on me that my time at this school is coming to a close. During my time here, I have achieved much more than I thought. I am now a senior prefect, have been a maths mentor and I am part of several sports teams. The past four years have gone so fast and I am looking forward to buckling down this year and await my results in August and hope that all the hard work over my time here will pay off!

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During the ceremony, once the Liam Disley award had been presented, Mr Dumican announced a new award, ‘The Peter Phillips Award for Outstanding Progress’. When my name was read out to receive the award, it was very much unexpected. I was so very honoured to receive the award from Mr Phillips himself and felt heart-warmed by his kind words. Being the first-ever person to receive this award is a privilege. I couldn’t believe that out of an entire year group, I was the one chosen for the award. Going up to receive this award was very overwhelming and seeing that everyone in the room was praising me for my achievement. This new award is based on academic achievement. I have always tried my best in school and I want to leave knowing I couldn’t have done anything more in terms of work and revision for my GCSEs. Last year was very stressful, but in order to get the grades I want, I am going to continue working hard. I am very pleased with the progress I have made throughout my years attending St Edmund Arrowsmith and I am happy that it has been recognised by the people around me. From the very beginning of school in Year 7, teachers begin to teach you the skills needed for your GCSEs. All the work you will do for five years will all lead to one point - your exams. Keeping on top of everything can be difficult, but you must never give up, especially when you’re so close to the end goal. I think this is what the award is about, always trying your hardest and never giving up. I look forward to returning next year and passing the award on!

By Anna Darcy, 11L2 Congratulations to both Adam and Hannah, who are shining examples of what St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School pupils are all about.


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Retreat Day for Year 7

Eagerly lining up to start their Retreat Day

On Thursday, 15th September, 7C and 7M went on a Retreat Day. We went to Our Lady Immaculate Church in Bryn with: Maria (the chaplain); Mr Burgess; Mr O'Callaghan; Miss Lyon and Mr Whitlow, who ran the retreat. Firstly, to get to know people better, we played People Bingo. We had to walk around the room asking staff and pupils questions and if they answered ‘yes’, we put their name in a square on the bingo card. Then we watched a video about two of Jesus’ disciples on a journey to Jerusalem and when Jesus appears to them. We discussed the video and talked about our life journeys and when Jesus is around us. Our second activity was to write and draw our life journeys so far from the day we were born to the day that we started at St Edmund Arrowsmith. We wrote down everything that was memorable to us and drew pictures to go alongside.

Writing our life journeys, so far S

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Retreat Day for Year 7

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After that we went into the church and we learned about the holy water, genuflecting and the baptismal font. We also looked at the statue of St Edmund Arrowsmith and discovered why our school is named after him.

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When we had finished in the church we listened to the song ‘My Bonny’. Whenever a word started with the letter ‘b’ we had to go from sitting to standing or vice versa. It was 7C v 7M and our form, 7C, won with a score of eight out of ten.

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We then talked about the school badge and what it means. The palm leaves symbolise martyrdom and victory over death; the red hand symbolises St Edmund Arrowsmith’s hand, which his family kept and passed on to St Oswald’s Church; and Pro Petro Et Patria is Latin for ‘For Peter or Pope and Country’, as Peter was the first Pope. Then we created our own badges and motto with four things that we liked or that meant something to us. Before the end of the day, we reflected on what we had done and said a final prayer. Maria (the chaplain) said, “I have been very impressed about how respectful everyone acted, especially in church. I have really enjoyed getting to know Year 7.” Overall, everyone in Year 7 enjoyed the retreat day and had a lot of fun. We had the chance to get to know our form and form tutor better and it was a memorable experience. By Charlotte Cunliffe, Alicia Johnson and Layla Thorpe. 7C

Wide smiles all around!


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Open Evening Wows Once Again!

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On 28th September, St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School’s Open Evening took place. The event was designed to welcome Year 6 pupils who were hoping to come to our school in September. Year 11 prefects were on hand to show our guests around and answer any questions they may have. Each department was doing something for everyone to enjoy and to showcase just what our school has to offer. We can’t quite believe that it was 12 months ago that we, Year 6 pupils at the time, came to have a look around and now we are here, and loving every minute of it! As roving reporters, we visited each department throughout the evening and thought we would share with you just some of the many highlights that we saw. In P.E. there was lots of activity: they had netball and volleyball on for years 9,10 and 11. Year 7s were doing football on the astro-turf and they also had some pupils performing on the trampolines. The English department were displaying the Bookbuzz books. Bookbuzz is where every Year 7 pupil, through their library lessons, gets to choose a free book from a wide range of available titles. They also had the BBC School Report set up with a ‘green screen’ and desk. The school gets involved with the School Report every year. It gives pupils the chance to shine in all aspects of journalism, from writing and producing, to filming and interviewing. It is always one of our most popular extra-curricular activities.

For the full article, please see the Latest News area of our website

Possibly the most exciting area in school was the science department as a lot of different things were happening! In one classroom they were burning acids and alkalis, in another they had six-day-old chicks, (called Nugget, Goujon, Drumstick and Wing) in another they had a machine that made your hair go static and every classroom were experimenting with various different scientific techniques. An experiment that stood out to us involved a ping-pong ball and a hairdryer. When the hairdryer is switched on and the pingpong ball is held over it, the ping-pong ball 'levitates'. The science department had set up a course where you had to try and get the ping-pong ball through a series of loops. It was very tricky, but also lots of fun! In the Library there was a game where you had to ‘say what you see,’ to win a chocolate and the answers were all well-known catchphrases. You were also invited to browse through the books to see what fantastic books they have for the pupils to read. An excited Year 6 pupil said, "So far I think it is really, really good. I can’t wait to come to this school!” We think the Open Evening was a fantastic success and that all the Year 6 pupils and their parents enjoyed it too. All of the things which were on display tonight were a really good way to show what our school has to offer to all of the prospective pupils fortunate enough to join our family in September! S

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By Charlotte Cunliffe and Layla Thorpe (7C)


'The Big Draw'!

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This week, the annual Big Draw brought some more exciting activities to our school - and to the whole nation. The aim of the Big Draw is to “promote drawing as a valuable learning tool and fundamental skill for people to enjoy” and I’m sure that if you were involved in one or more of the three workshops (after school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), you will agree that it has definitely been a success! We have viewed the Micro and Macro World and taken inspiration from tiny cells, to planets in the universe that seems never-ending. We can zoom in to find amazing colours and patterns in everyday objects that seem normal and we can zoom out to see planets, the Milky Way, Orion’s Arm and the furthest reaches of the universe that we are currently aware of. However, due to the speed of light, we can’t see the entire universe, so it could well be infinite… When experiencing these two methods from pictures, videos and much more, it made us realise that: compared to cells, we are larger than we think; compared to the universe, humans are like tiny, little dots that seem unimportant or irrelevant in the universe – which may seem quite a terrifying theory, but it could be quite true; everything that exists is made out of smaller `things` and the world around us is much more beautiful than we think.

During the three sessions, we’ve: sketched in different ways; experimented with colour, and tonal shading; wet paper and splashed different colours of ink onto the wet pages, in order to create magnificent universe scenes or abstract cells; used needles to spread ink out like veins and trees; experimented with Photoshop to make beautiful designs; layering and decorating with fine liners, threads and collage… as well as making a huge mess on the art tables! We have all had great fun this week and I’ll definitely be coming back next year for more. If you’ve missed out for whatever reason, give it a try next time – you don’t have to consider yourself “Good at Art”, we can all create some form of art and this has been a great opportunity to experiment with different methods that you wouldn’t usually think about… by Robyn Lind, 9L1


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A Musical Treat in London On Friday 23rd September, the music department took devoted members of last year's Year 7 choir on a trip to London. All gathering in the canteen, the staff and pupils got ready for the five-hour coach journey to the capital. When we arrived in London, we went to the Rainforest cafĂŠ for our tea. Eating around gorillas and thunder and lightning, a magical atmosphere was created and we all thought it was great! After dinner, we set off for our hotel, ready for a good night's rest as we had a very busy day ahead of us tomorrow.

London was a great weekend that we will never forget

When Saturday came, we had breakfast in the hotel to give us the energy for our fun-packed day ahead. We got on the coach to head to central London. At eleven, we arrived safely, ready for our trip on the London Eye. There were some spectacular views from the very top of London, accompanied by some lovely singing from Mr Doyle! After a roam around the shop we went into the 4D experience. It was a short film, taking us all around London. We then had a brief walk to Covent Garden where we had some free time to grab a bite to eat and do a little shopping. Later on, the coach took us to Tower Pier for a Thames cruise to Westminster Pier. Then, off we went for our Bella Italia pizza in Baker Street, famous for Sherlock Holmes and Madame Tussauds. After we had eaten, we went to watch Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre. The atmosphere was amazing and we were all sat in our seats just in time for the start. As the lights went down, all the actors started singing and we really got the feeling of the West End. The show was amazing and I am sure it has inspired some of us to try and be in a West End musical 'when I grow up'! On Sunday, our last day, it was time for breakfast, thankfully a little later than Saturday's. We had to put our suitcases on the coach ready to go home, however, our adventure in London hadn't ended just yet! We went to the iconic Leicester Square with M&M and Nickelodeon World for a bit of shopping and lunch. Then, sadly, it was time to start heading back home. We stopped off at a service station on the way for a few snacks and drinks to keep us going for the remainder of the journey. London was a great weekend that we will never forget and I would like to thank Mrs Alvarado, Mrs Whitfield, Mr Masheder, Mr Doyle, Miss Gallagher and Neil. It was amazing! I really recommend to anyone in Year 7 to join the choir. You will get some amazing experiences, such as London and Let's Sing, as well as the opportunity to perform in showcases at school. I know that I will continue with choir until I leave St Edmund Arrowsmith.

by Katie Murray, 8O

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Disciplined Debate at the Town Hall 5

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On Thursday 13th October, myself and Luke McConnell attended the first ever ‘Big Borough Debate’ at Wigan Town Hall as part of Local Democracy Week 2016. The topic of debate for the evening was ‘Should education be compulsory up until the age of 18?’ Prior to the debate we were both asked to prepare a small statement conveying our views on the subject. Both of us were for education until the age of 18. Once we arrived at the Town Hall we went into the Town Hall Chamber were the room was split down the middle: ‘for’ on the right and ‘against’ on the left. Each participant was allocated their own seat and microphone and given some paper and a pen to take notes on. As the debate began, everyone in the room had to rise as the mayor and mayoress of Wigan entered and then sat at the front of the room along with the other councillors. After that, we (the participants) took it in turns to read out our statements in front of everybody. As it turns out the room was very unbalanced, because there was almost double the amount of people for education until the age of 18, than against it. After everyone had read their statements, we were now able to build on points said or argue against them. Both sides presented very strong arguments for their case, but there were evidently some small inaccuracies within the arguments from the against side. However this was overlooked as they were clearly very passionate about this topic. In the end there was no winner as both sides had debated their points extremely well and the councillors said that this debate was the most civilised debate that they had ever been a part of. Overall it was a very enjoyable evening and I would be delighted to participate in the debate next year. by Aleyna Adamson, 11S2


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All Saints Day Mass

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On 1st November, it was All Saints Day. This is a Christian festival to honour of all the saints and martyrs in Heaven. It is also a Holy Day of Obligation, in which all Catholics are invited to attend Mass. Therefore, to celebrate this occasion, the chaplaincy group prepared a Mass which we held in the school hall, and invited staff, pupils, parents and grandparents to attend. This is the first time for years that we have been able to hold a Mass in school, as we are usually on our half-term holidays.

We celebrated by singing wonderful, uplifting hymns, and remembered all the great saints and what they had done for us.

Maria, our school chaplain, had organised for Father John to lead the Mass. She also selected readers and chose other pupils to take up the offertory. We celebrated by singing wonderful, uplifting hymns, and remembered all the great saints and what they had done for us. After that amazing service, Father John, Maria and Mr Whitlow invited everyone who attended the Mass to come and relax, and have a chat with tea, coffee and even some biscuits! The chaplaincy group heard so many amazing comments about the Mass and we all thought it was remarkable. I have to say that we all really enjoyed it and hope that we are able to repeat it again next year. by Chloe Stowell, 9S2

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Year of Mercy Update

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Sunday 20th November 2016, will see the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in the Catholic Church. During the last twelve months, Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to focus on Corporal Works of Mercy and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

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The Spiritual Works of Mercy are acts of compassion, by which we help our neighbours with their emotional and spiritual needs. The seven acts of Corporal Mercy are kind acts by which we help our neighbours with their material and physical needs.

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Last year, our IMPACT group met to decide how we could mark the Year of Mercy in school. It was agreed that all could focus on the spiritual act of praying for the living and the dead, but the corporal acts of mercy were divided between the year groups. The then, Year 8 IMPACT group were asked to focus on “giving drink to the thirsty.” They chose to raise money for two charities, Save the Children and WaterAid. Over the last twelve months, they raised £300 which has been divided between the charities and sent off to support their work. Water is a resource that we take for granted in this country. WaterAid is an international charity driven by a vision of a world where everyone has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid works all over the world. Just £15 can help provide a person with access to safe water. We have helped ten people to access clean water. Save the Children started in 1919 as a result of actions taken by governments after the First World War which left children starving across Europe. Since that time, the organisation has focussed on meeting the basic needs of children all around the world, trying to make sure that all children are fed, have access to water and a safe place to live. They have also provided education programmes around the world and vaccination programmes to tackle poverty and ensure that “no child is born to die.” The money we have raised will pay for one child to live in a safe shelter with access to food, water and education for six weeks. Although the Year of Mercy is almost over, our work is most definitely not. This year has given us an opportunity to think about how we can best meet the needs of others, whether physically or spiritually, and this is a good starting point for us when we meet as a group in the future. Thank you to all of those who have supported us and continue to support our work. Year 9 IMPACT group.

Some of the Year 9 IMPACT group study a book about the Year of Mercy


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Hail Howard—Super Spellers The Year 8 Spelling Bee Final took place on 21st October, 2016 and was the result of weeks of hard work by Year 8 pupils, Year 8 form teachers and English teachers, especially Mrs Lomiiko, Mrs McLoughlin, Mrs Graham and Mrs Taylor. The semifinal round took place on Wednesday 19th October and competitors had to build on the scores achieved by the team on that date. Wonderful banners and posters decked the hall which students had produced in support of their teams. Mr Halliwell welcomed Year 8 to the competition, Mrs Payne talked about the importance of good spelling and the Bee was ready to begin!

Mrs Taylor was already expecting standards to be high – level 3 spellings needed to be used in the semifinal to ensure pupils were knocked out or the competition could have gone on all night! – and her expectations were fulfilled. However, not only was the spelling very good, but Year 8 students were very cool under pressure. The cheering crowds, ticking clock and competition pressure did not faze them one bit, as they easily rattled off words like expert lexicographers. One by one teams were called up to the microphone and tested. One by one they impressed their peers and earned their final scores. Playing tactically, all of the teams had opted for tougher spellings to try and glean extra marks, but words like acceleration and miscellaneous proved a step too far for some. The audience were gripped and eager to know: which team had triumphed? As is tradition, Mr Dumican was called upon to announce the winners. Almond House were runners up with a score of 60 points, beaten only by Howard on an excellent score of 67. The team, comprising of Adam Holcroft, Josh Knowles, Aleyah Stockley and Ruby Meyrick, certainly did themselves, the rest of their form and their form tutor, Mrs Crompton proud! A huge well done must go to everyone who took part, especially the victors and also to Matthew Duffy who won the Last Man Standing Competition, and who, for the second year running, was crowned the Best Speller in Year 8.

by Mrs Payne, Head of English Super Speller, Matthew Duffy

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‘Just Join In’

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Organised by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, Wigan Warriors Community Foundation, Wigan Youth Zone and the Wigan School Games Organisers. The day aims to ‘celebrate football and promote further opportunities for participants. Every Player Counts is a new football project funded by the Wembley Stadium National Trust and delivered by Wigan Athletic Community Trust’. On Thursday 20th October, 2016, the transition pupils attended a fun-packed day of activities at the Soccerdome. It started off with a big welcome ceremony before all secondary schools that attended where split up and sent off to specific football pitches to commence their activities. The morning session consisted of all pupils developing their football skills within a round robin structure. This opportunity also enabled them to make new friends from other schools as well as show off their football ability. After dinner, pupils took part in a football tournament which allowed them to apply all the skills they had developed into a game situation. “Even though we did not finish at the top of the league, I have had a really good time with my friends” quoted Miss Mollie Marcroft from 7G. However, the day did not end there. At around 2pm, the pupils had a surprise visit from a couple of Wigan Athletic players, Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs, which ended their day on a high, as all the pupils got to play on the pitch with the stars. After speaking to the pupils on the bus journey home, I think we can safely say, the day was a great success! by Miss Darbyshire, HLTA Transition

Having a breather!

Honing their football skills

Learning from the experts


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Prepare the Way for the Lord “Prepare the way for the Lord” is our school’s Mission Statement – something that we all try to live out day by day. During Advent – a season of preparation for the coming of Christ into the mess of human life – it takes on a much more important role in our school. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told that it was John the Baptist who was sent to prepare the way for the Lord by baptising people in the Lord’s name as a sign that we had turned away from sin. During Advent it becomes increasingly important to turn away from sin and seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation. By doing this, we are moving any obstacles that might be blocking our own paths to Christ. Forgiveness of our sins ensures that the path to Christ remains straight and clear. But Advent isn’t just about repenting – we need to fully prepare in every way that we can to ensure that this season is filled with God and not just our messy, busy everyday lives. Clearing out life’s obstacles as well as our wrong-doings during this season is invaluable for our prayer and reflection on the coming of Jesus Christ. Imagine yourself walking through life with a backpack on your back. It’s heavy! Weighed down with all your worries and hopes and fears and memories. It is filled with good times and bad, grudges and sadness, joy and love. Absolutely everything is packed into that backpack! If you are anything like me, then you may tend to hoard things – hold on to things for years and years out of nostalgia or “just in case I ever need it again”. Last week, when clearing out my wardrobe to find winter clothes to send to the Syrian refugees I found it difficult to part with one particular jumper that I had had since I was 11. I am now 24 and there is no way that I will ever be small enough to ever wear it again – but still, it was difficult to let go. The same can be said for our backpack of life. Sometimes we find it difficult to let go of things like anger or resentment. If someone has been unkind to us, it is all too easy to hold a grudge against that person for years. But that is not preparing the way for the Lord! That is not making our path clear for him. In carrying that heavy backpack, we are weighed down and struggling along that path towards Christ and it will not do our backs any good to haul all that baggage around. Advent is the time for us to clear out our backpacks. Get rid of all the heavy stuff weighing us down. Keep only what we need – happiness, love, friendship, compassion, forgiveness. Remove everything we don’t need – grudges, jealousy, doubt, anger, unkindness. Our backpacks will be lighter and our journeys made easier and so we can welcome the birth of our saviour refreshed and well prepared. Maria, School Chaplain

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Autumn 2016 Newsletter  
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