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S T M AASpecialist R Y ’ SCollege CA THOLIC COLLEGE for the Arts & Applied Learning

newsletter Christmas 2009

Our Shoebox Appeal brings joy to children in need

The power of gifts M

ORE than 1,000 shoeboxes are now on their festive way, bringing Christmas cheer to children most in need.

Students in St Mary's and our partner primary schools have been filling the boxes for weeks with all kinds of gifts and treats as part of the annual Operation Christmas Child Appeal. And our Society of St Vincent de Paul hamper appeal has again been a great success. The hampers go to members of our local community. Thank you to those who have donated ~ and a happy, holy Christmas to all!

Four awards for Rόisίn

Year 7 students with shoeboxes ready for despatch



COMING SOON TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU Rehearsals are now underway for our next production … The Wiz , a modern musical take on an old tale, The Wizard of Oz. Make sure you don’t miss it!

We have a new Head! SEE PAGE 2

IXTH former Rόisίn Fattorini broke a school record at Presentation Evening, winning four major awards. Rόisίn, aged 16, received the Headteacher’s Award, the Unilever Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award, and the SMARTS Award for service to the school community. Rόisίn (pictured above) is in Year 12 studying A Levels in Biology, Maths, Physics and English Literature. She achieved 10 GCSEs earlier this year ~ nine A* grades and an A!

Cyber SAFE!  How to BEAT the internet nasties

Click the link to get help Left: the button to look for on St Mary’s website



HE internet used properly is a great place to be. We can learn so much, and have fun messaging friends and sharing photos of good times. But, just like when we’re crossing a busy road to join our friends on the other side, we need to Enjoying computers be on our guard too! safely at St Mary’s

That’s why we’ve been talking so much in class and in special assemblies about ‘cyber bullying’ and knowing how to recognise when something isn’t right in a computer conversation or on a website we might ‘stumble upon’! And it’s really important to remember that help is now immediately available just in case you need it. All anyone needs to do, whatever age they are, student or parent, is go to St Mary’s website and click the red button shown at the top of this page. It will direct you straight to a special police website where you can report anything at all that you are worried about, whether it’s bullying, hacking, viruses or inappropriate behaviour or material.


Welcome to our new Head T MARY’S has a new Headteacher.

Mr Tony Boyle was appointed by the school’s governing body and will join us after Easter. Mr Boyle, aged 45, is currently at SS Peter and Paul’s Catholic College in Widnes, where he has been Deputy Head for five years. He is married to Clare and they have six children. He said: ‘I am delighted to be able to take up the post of Headteacher of St Mary’s. In the short time I have spent so far in the school, I have been impressed by everyone I have met, most particularly the students.’

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Mr Tony Boyle pictured with Acting Headteacher Ms Patricia McDonough and Chair of Governors Canon Brendan Hoban

Right: Guest of Honour Peter McDowall presents awards to one of our top prizewinners, Sixth Former Rόisίn Fattorini who carried off five major prizes, including the Headteacher’s Award and the Unilever Award for Outstanding Achievement Left: Peter McDowall presents the Textile Designer of the Year Award to his nearly namesake, Year 11’s Patrick McDowell

Coming home to ‘the family’ of St Mary’s I

T was the night a former student was welcomed back to ‘the family of St Mary’s’ as Guest of Honour at our annual Presentation Evening. The prizes glittered as much as ever, and the evening sparkled even brighter than usual as more than 1,500 students and parents packed into the Sports Hall, and the applause raised the rafters. Radio City sports presenter Peter McDowall left St Mary’s Sixth Form in 1996 and is now a well-known voice of Radio City sports news. He is often the man delivering the Liverpool and Everton FC breaking news on City Talk 105.9. As our guest speaker he reminded us of his days at St Mary’s, when he was ‘Joe Average’ and was taught by Mrs Braid, Mr Cull, Mr Lally and Mr Duffy. He told students: ‘If you can keep a good character and make a difference in life, you can be immensely proud. My advice would be to take it all in, embrace experiences, deal with success as well as failure. School days are the best days of your life.’ Peter, a graduate in journalism at John Moores University, then shook hands and presented the awards and special prizes to more than 300 students ~ a real test of character! He said later: ‘Coming back to St Mary’s has filled me with great pride. I could sense that same pride in the students, being part of ‘the family’, and I am sure Right: Former St Mary’s student and Radio City they, like I was, are dreading the day when they have to talk about St Mary’s in the sports journalist past tense. I would like to think I am an early and decent judge of character, and I Peter McDowall was could sense by so many firm handshakes and locked-on eye contact that they will Guest of Honour at go on to great things in the future.’ Presentation Evening Some of the evening’s entertainment was provided courtesy of St Mary’s Singers

Roll of Honour pages 20 to 24

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Mapping out the future


EAR 7 students have again received free Ordnance Survey maps of Wirral thanks to a national scheme run by Natural England And to mark the occasion, Wallasey MP, Angela Eagle came to survey matters for herself. She met with students and helped to point out interesting Wirral landmarks. More than five million maps have been handed out since the scheme began in 2002. Putting St Mary’s on the map: MP Angela Eagle with Year 7 students

MP meets our School Council


URING her visit, Ms Eagle had a ‘power lunch’ with our newlyelected School Council Year Representatives (pictured left). The School Council meets regularly to discuss student issues.


Stephen speaks up for youth

IXTH form student Stephen Pollard is one of seven St Mary’s representatives on Wirral Youth Parliament and took the opportunity to make his voice heard at this term’s Youth Conference in Wallasey Town Hall. More than 70 student delegates from Wirral schools joined the day’s debates, followed by a full Council meeting. Stephen (pictured) told the assembly that it was ‘infuriating’ that all young people are judged by the actions of a few. The Year 12 student said: ‘Young people have had a hard time recently in the media, and I know from friends and fellow students at school that popular perceptions of young people are wrong and unjust and I hope that the conference helps raise awareness of this crucial issue.’ The full-day conference included special workshops centring on sexual health, diversity, intergenerational understanding and EAR 12’s James Malpeli is working with younger students in other Wirral mental health, but the overall theme was on the perceptions of young people. These were followed by a ‘hot-seating’ session where schools, focusing on knife crime and ways delegates were able to ‘grill’ Steve Maddox, Wirral Council’s Chief of combating this and other anti-social Executive, Jon Ward, Chief Superintendent of Merseyside Police, Lorna issues. James, who is currently studying a Hughes, reporter with Wirral News, and Billy Bradshaw, Youth Liaison Level 3 Diploma in Child Care, meets Officer for Merseytravel. Sixth Formers Joe McDowell, James Malpeli, monthly with police representatives and Tom Hall, Megan Hoey, Lewis Price and Shay Cannon also represented local councillors to report on progress. St Mary’s.


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Peter’s new tour of duty Wallasey-born Peter shows off his new legs on New Brighton Promenade


ORMER St Mary’s student Peter Dunning is a shining example of determination, ambition and courage. His remarkable qualities took him into the Royal Marine Commandos, the Royal Navy’s elite force. He passed with flying colours the country’s toughest skill and fitness tests to win the famous Green Beret. Then, when his unit was posted to Afghanistan last year, he made world headlines when the armoured vehicle in which he was travelling hit a landmine. Peter, now aged 24, lost both his legs. His devastating injuries have not deterred him from achieving more life goals, however. First he had to learn to walk again with the aid of artificial limbs. And then he had to get his head round the psychological effects of all the life-changing events, including spending five weeks on his back in hospital. But with typical lack of self-pity, he has just ‘got on with the job’ and since May has been wearing uniform again...but this time at a desk in a Royal Marines base. He now wants a new ’tour of duty’ ~ helping others who are going through similar experiences. ‘Joining the Marines was a big challenge and it tested everything I have both physically and mentally.’ he said. ‘Losing my legs has been an even bigger challenge, but I don’t let it get me down. Having a positive attitude is everything. What I really want to do now is help injured soldiers and act as a mentor to them.’ On the fateful day in Helmand Province, Peter had been sitting on top of a Viking vehicle with two colleagues at the controls inside. They were Right: on their way back to base on the last day of Peter’s their posting when Peter was thrown proud day through the air while one of his mates was in 2006 killed outright. The other received extensive when he was burns. Peter underwent emergency awarded his amputations to save his life in a field Green Beret hospital then was flown within hours to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham Peter with his form where he received specialist treatment. His rescue and near death was tutor Ms Keen covered by a documentary team who were nearby filming in the province. It was shown on ITV1 earlier this year.


We remember our heroes in school

Students raise money from the sale of poppies every year

ACH November we make a special effort in class and in assemblies to remember the sacrifices made by those who served in the two World Wars and other conflicts, including the Falklands War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Students sell poppies and all funds raised go to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. We also raised money for the Help for Heroes charity during St Mary’s Dance Festival.

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Mr Garland often encounters large sea creatures during his dives… from this inquisitive grey reef shark to tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, dolphins and the myriad species of fish inhabiting the Pacific corals.


IKE most people, when Science teacher Mr Jim Garland goes on a seaside holiday, he can’t wait to dive straight into things, enjoy the surf, see all the sights and take lots of memorable pictures.

Stunning deep sea pictures...all taken by our own Mr Garland!

Mr Garland as we are used to seeing him… with students in a Science laboratory!


However, Mr Garland literally does dive in and his holiday pictures are of objects many metres below the waves, submerged on the seabed! His amazing images ~ a small selection of which you can see here ~ are of such high quality that they have won major awards in specialist publications. And, last year, several were selected for a United Nations exposition in Paris. Mr Garland, whom St Mary’s students usually see only in front of a whiteboard in a Science laboratory, is now world-renowned for his technical abilities as an underwater photographer. As a zoologist, he takes many pictures of marine life, but his particular interest is photographing wrecked ships and planes, especially those from World War II in the sea beds near the islands of Micronesia in the South Pacific, and the Red and Mediterranean Seas. ‘It’s fascinating to see the vessels preserved after they were torpedoed, or shot down, and to learn the stories behind what you see’ he said. ‘Because the water is full of micro-organisms and therefore very cloudy, the challenge is to take clear pictures with the best possible lighting. Most of the pictures I take are literally from very short range with a fish-eye lens which enables you to get an image of the whole subject.’ Mr Garland’s wife, Heather, is his diving partner and ‘model’. The use of a model in underwater photographs helps to show the wrecks in human scale. Mr Garland , who has a degree in Zoology and an MSc in Ecology, first learned to swim at school in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and took his first dive while on holiday in Lake Malawi, Mozambique, 14 years ago. He soon got hooked on the hobby but it wasn’t until 2001 that he took a camera down with him. The intrepid cameraman is occasionally tempted to take pictures on dry land ~ natural history ones, of course ~ but , for him, nothing compares to the mysterious world of the seabed! Mr Garland’s close up of a US P-47D Thunderbolt near the island of Corsica, where it has lain since it was shot down by the German Luftwaffe at the height of the Second World War in 1943.

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You can see more of Mr Garland’s work by visiting Five of Mr Garland’s pictures were used in a special World Heritage Exposition in Paris last year.

Part of the wreck of the Seiko Maru, an armed Japanese cargo boat destroyed in 1943 by US dive bombers patrolling the Southern Pacific islands. This is the bridge telegraph which would have had the words ‘full steam ahead’ on it - but in Japanese! Many Japanese ships used in the Second World War were actually built in Britain.

world Amazing history from ‘Pearl Harbour’ to the Med

This is a Japanese ‘Jill’Torpedo dive bomber similar to the type used in the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. It now rests in the Truk Lagoon among the small islands of the South Pacific.

The propeller of a World War II Japanese ‘Emily Flying Boat’ which was shot down by US bombers in the Truk Lagoon, a Japanese naval base in the Pacific

The wreck of the Giannis D, a Greek cargo boat which sank in 1983 after hitting a coral reef in the Red Sea. All the crew escaped alive.

Mr Garland’s wife and diving partner, Heather, is sometimes the focal ‘human’ to give an idea of scale. Here she explores the wreck of Italian troop carrier Aida which sank in 1957 when it collided with ’Big Brother’, a reef island in the Red Sea.

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T was the night high fashion came to St Mary’s in the form of these fantastic outfits...designed and made by A-Level Art and Textiles students. They were modelled on the catwalk by Sixth Formers as the feature presentation of our Art & Fashion show in English Martyrs’ Church.

The night St Mary’s became a…

Clockwise from above: Model students carried it off with style, providing the perfect outlet for our A Level designers

Designer outlet

Right: Hundreds of pieces of impressive artwork made a church into an art gallery for the night! Head of Art Ms McWatt chats with GCSE Art students after the special exhibition of work in English Martyrs’ Church, which is used regularly by staff and students Page 8

More than an act for Tom

Tom Saunders (centre) with Director of Arts Ms Alison Keen and Year 13 students


RAMA graduate Tom Saunders took centre stage this term at St Mary’s to run a series of workshops for Sixth Formers. Tom, now aged 21, left us three years ago to study for a Drama Degree at Hull University. He was then snapped up by the prestigious Hull Truck Theatre Company and is now working as an educational co-ordinator. ‘I have loved being in Hull and now to get a job there is fantastic’ he said. ‘It’s a really great place to learn about theatre and drama.’

Comedy Brittany’s rôle for dramatic interlude Helen D

Right: Brittany as Sharpay with fellow Sixth Former Stephen Pollard in our production of High School Musical earlier this year

RAMA student Brittany Taylor made an entrance to The Central School of Music and Drama in London. She was chosen from hundreds of applicants to attend a special summer school where she got a five-day taster of what a degree course there would entail. Brittany, aged 17, hopes to study there next year when she finishes her A Levels. ‘It was brilliant’ she said. ‘I would really love to go there and make a career in acting, but I know how competitive it is.’ The Central School, just round the corner from Paul McCartney’s and Orlando Bloom’s houses in Swiss Cottage, has produced famous names like the late Natasha Richardson, Dawn French, Zoe Wanamaker, Kevin Whately and Sir Laurence Olivier.


ORMER St Mary’s Drama student Helen Webster (pictured) has appeared in her first professional role with Shameless star Tina Malone at the Unity Theatre Liverpool. Helen, 21, who is in her third year studying for a Drama Degree at John Moores University, landed the part of Hannah, the sister of a heart transplant patient, in Kerry Williams’ new comedy Meet The Deans. The production premiered in September for a five night run, and plans are underway to produce the play at other theatres. Tina Malone, who directed and starred, played the Dean family matriarch.


Dance, Drama and Music students had a post-Halloween Arts break at spooky Ingestre Hall, Staffordshire, former home of the Earls of Shrewsbury. Sixth Former Jack Murray’s verdict: ‘Quiz victories, Gothic horror, slaughter, late nights, hide and seek, fruit and chocolate went down extremely well…’

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Princess Diana, Lucie and a Bee Gee

Right: Robin Gibb, Ambassador for the Diana Award, meets Lucie Maddocks


IXTH former Lucie Maddocks’ personal qualities have led to a very special moment involving a Princess, a unique occasion at an impressive London City venue...and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. The 17-year-old St Mary’s student was chosen from thousands of applicants to receive the prestigious Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Award at a national award ceremony. She was nominated for her work as a volunteer carer with St Mary’s Mencap Youth Club, and her general contribution to school life. Her official accolade states: ‘Whilst taking part in noncurriculum activities such as Mencap, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, school netball matches and performing arts productions, she has shown tremendous personal strength and dedication which can be unusual in someone of her age.’ Lucie went to London accompanied by her mother Pat to attend the ceremony at Barclays Commercial Bank and met the famous Gibb brother, an official ambassador for the Princess Diana award, along with Sir Al Aynsley Green, Children’s Commissioner for England. Said Lucie: ‘It was a lovely experience, and meeting Robin Gibb was amazing. He was really nice to talk to.’ Lucie, who is currently studying AS Levels in Government & Politics, Sociology, Drama and Princess Diana Dance, is hoping to go to he Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Award was university to further her studies in law, criminology and launched in April 2000 to recognise and celebrate social work. As part of her award, Lucie received a special ‘outstanding achievement’ invitation to visit Althorp House in Northamptonshire, the and ‘inspirational qualities; ancestral home of the Spencer family, where Princess in secondary school Diana’s brother, Charles is the present Earl. But she will have students. Since the scheme to wait for next year’s summer season to take up the began, more than 13,000 offer...because she was otherwise engaged on a 10-day Tall students from more than Ships expedition! Lucie was one of only 15 students chosen 3,000 secondary schools from 300 Wirral school applicants and made the trip as a have received awards. complete sailing novice, along with two other St Mary’s students, Stephen Pollard and Grace Merrall.


£20: Good return! W

ELL done to Jack Yarlett and David Stinchcomb who both won £20 earlier this term...simply for taking a letter home and bringing a signed slip back into school. It’s to help make sure parents get important mailings like the Headteacher’s end of term letter and also...this copy of St Mary’s Newsletter!!! To have a chance of winning the next prize of £20, make sure your parent or guardian receives the Head’s letter AND the Newsletter, and return THE SLIP FROM THE HEAD’S LETTER to your form teacher. The lucky student will be chosen at random, Good luck! Your parent or guardian may be the next person to receive a phone call! Page 10

Year 10’s Jack Yarlett (left) and Year 9’s David Stinchcomb both won £20


T MARY’S was in the pink again for our annual breast cancer appeal and students and staff showed what Pink Power can do! They raised £700 for Breast Cancer Care from the sale of everything pink, from pens to sweets and feather boas. Our PE Dept organised a pink netball match (the ladies won 5-4!) and a rosy glow reflected through the school corridors as students paid 50p each for the privilege of wearing something pink. The event is organised in school by Science teacher Mrs Sandra Nettleton who lost a close friend to the disease in 2007. She said: ‘It’s wonderful to see everyone being so supportive. So many families have been affected by breast cancer.’

Teamwork nets cool charity profit

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Accounting for all that St Mary’s School Bank is now officially open for business!


ASH is flowing freely into the ‘in’ columns of St Mary’s School Bank ledgers...and pound for pound the venture is proving to be a great success among students. The Bank, run entirely by students for students, was officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by our Acting Headteacher Ms Patricia McDonough. Account-holders are now regularly making deposits and saving for those special times or rainy days. They can visit the ’branch’ any lunchtime in its prime location by the dining room. The idea is part of the Face2Face Finance programme for schools run in conjunction with the Natwest Bank. Said Business teacher Ms Shabreen Qasam: ‘We want to give young people direct experience of dealing with money, planning their own budgets and running a business. We are thrilled that it’s proving so popular.’ If you are interested in ’working’ for the bank or need advice, please Miss Qasam.

AND YOU CAN DESIGN THE BANK LOGO! Look out next term for details of our special competition

(Please note, Natwest Bank wi ll n o t Right: Ms McDonough use cuts the ribbon

to declare the bank officially open watched by NatWest manager Mr Rob Snowdon, Miss Qasam and student ‘staff’ and ‘customers’

Sixth Formers’ Floral note F

ORTY BTEC students found out at first hand from staff at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, what goes into running a real theatre as a business. They used the conference facilities (below and left) to help them in their Business and Performance Studies coursework, as part of a new educational partnership between St Mary’s and the Floral.

Business & Enterprise Page Page 12

Members of the Alison Clayton School of Dance added their own dazzling colour to the Dance Festival

Dance Festival 2009 The drama of dance...St Mary’s Year 12 dancers

The ladies of St Mary’s Strictly Dance Company who meet in school on Monday and Tuesday evenings

St Alban’s Players were simply luminescent in their dance presentation St Mary’s break dancers thrilled audiences with their athleticism

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E really rocked ‘em! The cast of We Will Rock You , our Dance Festival presentation of the Queen-inspired musical by Ben Elton, gave three evening performances for parents and then toured our partner primary schools in one exhausting week. And as you can see here, it was a visually stunning production.

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Hearing the story of the First World War at the gravesides of those who gave their lives

Battlefield lessons in sacrifice Right: The wreath laid by Year 9 students at the Menin Gate


ISTORY students saw at first hand the devastation of war in Flanders and Northern France when they toured the battlefields of the First World War. The Year 9s walked the Allied and German trenches, then visited museums, cemeteries and memorials at Tyne Cot, Hellfire Corner and Langemark. They laid a wreath at the Menin Gate and made a special detour to find the memorial in Arras of Matthew Carney’s relation, Private Henry McLinden of the Manchester Regiment who died, aged 24, on St George’s Day, 23rd April, 1917.

We will remember them: Matthew Carney takes a photo of his relative’s memorial

Listen up, we’re casting pods on the web


AN COOK, WILL COOK! Our own stars of the school canteen are district winners of this year’s Sodexo Education Star Team Prize. Sodexo manager Mr John Medway is pictured with members of his team.

Champion School Fantasy


The real badge members can now wear

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T’S a reality! St Mary’s now rejoices in the coveted title of Fantasy Football League Champion School. We have been awarded the accolade for our dedication to the growing fraternity which weekly employs great skill and judgement in choosing and managing teams with multi-million pound budgets. St Mary’s currently has 76 members including staff, students and parents. You can join them by logging onto:


OG on and listen to the latest podcast of our very own comedy double act ~ Joe McDowell and Ryan Stuart (pictured). The Year 11 duo have given their own take on this copy of St Mary’s Newsletter. Go to Click on Multimedia, then Podcasts.

Finding the American dream Jack Murphy cuts New York’s Empire State Building down to size

Joe Izzard, spirits undampened at the sight of the Capitol, Washington

At the feet of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Sunshine at last! Head of History Mr Mike Bird with Brittany Taylor and Jack Murray at the Washington Monument

‘If New York was so good they named it twice, then Washington should be named again and again and again…’


TUDENTS of A Level History and Government and Politics this term sampled the American dream. Now over the jetlag, JACK MURRAY recalls: ‘For years we had dreamt, for months we had planned and for days we had packed, but finally a group of aspiring politicians and historians set out on the journey of a lifetime. First, New York, the city that never sleeps. As our heads hit pillows and our eyelids closed, our dreams were too soon broken by the harsh light and the harsher knock of Mr Bird. ‘But we were soon walking around the United Nations building, the magnificent Rockefeller Centre, the harrowing Ground Zero. And then, under the black skies of New York, we found ourselves in sparkling Times Square. In truth, all the glitz and glamour got to our heads as we shuffled into the world famous Marriot Marquis Hotel for an evening of fun. ‘In the remaining (albeit wet) days we were transfixed by the skyscrapers, Central Park and the Dakota Buildings. Then, after a trip on the Staten Island ferry, we braved the rain yet again to stand metres away from the Statue of Liberty. ‘If New York was so good they named it twice, then Washington should probably be named again and again and again. As the days in Washington blended into one historical extravaganza, the true essence of the trip hit home. We weren’t just kids visiting the United States; we were students enhancing our knowledge of the world and growing further in love with our studies. ‘And it was all down to our tireless organiser, early morning visitor, brilliant teacher and all round lovely man, Mr Bird. His efforts were greatly helped by Mrs Belal and parent Ms Corlett. We thank them and America for making one week in October the best of our lives.’

Play misty for on a New York rooftop

By the John Lennon memorial in Central Park, New York

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(That’s Chinese for…)

Chinese students paid a visit to St Mary’s earlier this term

Hong Kong Golden times on Hong Kong Island

With China in their hand


OUR St Mary’s Sixth Formers had the trip of a Hong Kong and mainland China. They were part of a group of students chosen from hundreds to take part in annual exchange visits organised by Wirral Executive Youth Board.

The Tian Tan ‘Big Buddha’ in Hong Kong which symbolises the relationship between man and nature, people and religion

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Here, REBECCA CORKILL remembers the magic: ‘Hong Kong was astounding, but also claustrophobic. The pollution and heat made it nearly impossible to breathe, and hygiene masks were worn everywhere. In public places you’d see signs proclaiming that the handrails were disinfected three times an hour! Hygiene is a major factor of every day life, and if you were crossing a border and you looked ill, you would be taken away to have your temperature taken. If it was too high, you wouldn’t be granted entry. Fast food shops sold things like Apple Green Tea, with jelly balls at the bottom, to ’stinky tofu’ which, hence the name, really did smell! ‘We enjoyed the Ladies’ Market (where the tourist prices are really high) and went so often that the shopkeepers shooed us away when they saw us, knowing we wouldn’t buy anything. Going to the Big Buddha (pictured left) was like stepping into a movie...and we ate at a ‘Vegetarian Monk’ restaurant. ‘Mainland China was completely different. Red traffic lights didn’t mean a thing, and one day we spotted five people on a motorbike. People stopped and stared at us because we were Westerners, and the children ran up to us and asked for our autographs like we were celebrities. But we slept on planks of wood, with no mattress, just a grass mat. ‘The food was amazing, from dumplings to tofu as a dessert (cold, slimy and impossible to eat). Meal times are a priority for Chinese people. They spend hours a day sitting around a table, socialising. We witnessed many Chinese traditions, from opera to martial arts, but also many more modern tourist places like the Disney Train and Ocean Park. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever forget going to ‘the Peak’ and seeing the whole of Hong Kong Island lighting up the sky at night. I would definitely like to visit again, especially to see the people we met.’

No Cambridge blues for Jimmy Right: Jimmy at Trinity Hall

St Mary’s student elected First Year Rep for Trinity Hall


T MARY’S Sixth Form leaver Jimmy Murray has been elected to the student committee in his first weeks at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He will hold the post for a year, with unique opportunities to make his mark in one of the country’s most respected seats of learning. Jimmy, aged 18, got straight grade As at A Level in Geography, Business and Drama to win one of the few and coveted student places at Trinity, one of the university’s oldest colleges. And as you’d expect of a geographer, he has his future all mapped out. When he graduates in three years’ time, he plans to travel the world before entering a different kind of world...the world of politics. ‘I was asked at my interview why I wanted to study Geography if I wanted to be a politician. So I told the panel that I didn’t believe you could be any good at politics if you didn’t know about people and places. It must have been a good enough answer!’ he said. Jimmy (pictured left in more familiar surroundings!) is privileged to be studying in one of the most picturesque colleges, founded in the 14th Century on the banks of the River Cam. The former St Mary’s student is in hallowed company since alumni include names as diverse and famous as the writer J B Priestley and the actress Rachel Weisz. Jimmy’s own political beliefs are aligned with ‘Old Labour’ and one of his heroes is veteran parliamentarian Tony Benn. ‘I really admire him as a man and as a politician. He has made a unique contribution to British politics’ said Wallasey-born Jimmy, who last year represented the young people of Wirral on Wirral Youth Parliament.


URING his life at St Mary’s, Jimmy was a regular cast member in school productions, studying Drama at A Level, so it comes as no surprise that he has been also treading the boards in one of Cambridge University’s first productions of the year...playing Randle McMurphy, the character portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (see picture below). In his first despatch to us, Jimmy writes:

‘Cambridge is absolutely fantastic! There is just so much going on here it is unbelievable... the Cambridge rollercoaster. The pace of life is very fast, and there's so much to do in so little time. Everyone I have met have been really nice and down to earth which has made the whole experience that little more enjoyable. I have my own Trinity Hall gown now to wear to our (Harry Potter-style) formal dinners, which is a little different to grabbing a crisp buttie from Irene's! ‘In the second week the rat race for play auditions began. Some people were running to 12 auditions a day, so I decided to get in on the action. I attended three auditions and was offered a role in each of them. ‘I picked the role of McMurphy in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', not realising that the play was opening in two weeks’ time at the Fitzpatrick Theatre. Thankfully we had an amazing director and an excellent cast, after a couple of 12 hour rehearsals we were ready. The play ran for five nights and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. ‘ ‘Then, after fierce competition from nine others and a three-day election campaign I have just been elected Trinity Hall's First Year Rep and will hold the post for a year. ‘As you can imagine I'm over the moon and can't believe my luck! ‘Looks like the slogan "Don't Be Cuckoo! Vote Jimmy" worked after all.’

‘Harry Potter style formal dinners’

‘Looks like the Don’t Be Cuckoo, Vote Jimmy slogan worked!’

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Prize Winners 2009 John Hardman Memorial Award Lauren Wylde Unilever Award for Outstanding Achievement Hannah Heathcote, Carl Doherty Unilever Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement Danny Bruce receives the Headteacher’s Award

Stephen Pollard, Rόisίn Fattorini Richard O’Neill Memorial Award James Murray

Headteacher’s Award

Ron Roberts Memorial Award

Danny Bruce, Rόisίn Fattorini

Luke Bennett

Governors’ Award for Citizenship

Princess Diana Memorial Award Lucie Maddocks

Daniel Broeders, Hannah Brown, Vanessa Nokes, Joseph McDowell Sean McKeon Memorial Award Shannon Sample

Peter presents the Sean McKeon Memorial Award to Shannon Sample


Natalie Taylor receives the Award for Choreographer of the Year


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Prize Winners 2009 YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Zoe Riley, James Williams Jack Jones, Shannon Sample Levi Griffiths, Jessica Osborne Kerry Davies, Richard Jackson



Jessica Howell, Daniel Shields John Bargh, Dylan Brannagan, Amie Carney, Adam Carragher,


YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Chelsea Mearns, Stephen Pickles Patrick McDowell, Hannah Yeates Megan Bowly, Stuart Dunlop Kathryn Soundie, Ryan Stuart




YEAR 10:

Callum Hibbard, Emma Moran

YEAR 11:

Rόisίn Fattorini, Darius Lesley

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Amy Butterworth, Nathan Smith Tara-Leigh Duncan, Darragh Doyle Jessica Foulkes, Kieran Furlong Lucy O’Hare, Jordan Haines



100 HOURS: 150 HOURS: 200 HOURS: 300 HOURS:

HSA Awards are sponsored by St Mary’s Home School Association

Community Service Katie Brown, Rachael Conlon, Awards and Awards for Youth Leadership Rebecca Corkill, Christopher are sponsored by Thompson, Rebecca Tolcher Lions International Niamh Gregory, Mark Ridgway Siobhan Cambridge, Kieran Comer, Daniel Williams Rachel Clark Jack Harrison



BEAUTY Francesca O’Donnell, Rebecca McKenna

CONSTRUCTION Seon Lamb-Davies, Ryan Simpson

Page 21


SILVER: Lucy Archer, Anthony Brear, Daniel Bruce, Kate Burnett, Lee Charlton, Mitzi Clarke, Jamie Collins, Ashley Cotton, Anthony D’Arcy, Rόisίn Fattorini, Natasha Heaney, Jessica Herndlhofer, Hollie Brook Ella Hornby, Alex Howard, Kate Hoy, Daniel Hutton, Harry Johnson, Lee Lavery, Rachel Lavery Lucy Maddocks, Alana Lynch, James Malpeli, Kate Menear, Grace Merrall, Matthew Morgan David Morgan, Andrew Morris, Anthony Peters Stephen Pollard, Kathryn Poyning, Vikki Rainford, Rebecca Reed, Callum Rutherfod, Lauren Sanderson, Heather Simpson, Kyle Smith Emily Smith, Nichola Squires, Rosie Williams, Chloe Witchell-Chibber

BRONZE: Chloe Bennett, Declan Carberry, Tom Carew, Shelby Connor, James Croman, Rosie Cull, Beth Cumming, Karl Davies, Jessica Dermody, Rebeka Dodd, Richard Donnelly Jessica Eastwood, Harry Fitzgerald, Rebecca Foulds, Mark Geggie, Thomas Gibbins, Jonathan Gregory, Callum Hibbard, Gabriel Hobro, Ashleigh Hoolahan, Ben Johnson Lucy Keating, Seon Lamb-Davies, Philip Makinson, Ashley Mayes, Rebekah Morgan, James Murray, Maria Noone, Matthew Quinn, Amy Ralph, Josh Rylance, Aaron Shardey Jennifer Skeggs, Ryan Stuart, Joseph Tarpey, Kerrie Whiteside, Kyle Williamson, Emma Woodward


Gold Awards are presented nationally

YEAR 7: Sherise Anglesey, Daniel Broeders, Polly Corke, Joshua Harwood, Lewis Kenwright, Alex Mather, Cerys Mattocks, Jessica McNamee, Jacob Melia, Marnie Melia, Cavan O’Brien, Gregory Sandalls, Kale-Ann Sands, Sophie Saunders, Nathan Smith, Joshua Stride, Ellise Taylor, Bethany Woolley, Stephanie Naylor, Hannah Sale, Jack Scheffel-Birch, Hayley Cook, Kyle Davies, Jacob Moore YEAR 8: Ben Ayers, Nathan Buxton, Niall Crilly, Andrew Donnelly, Peter Donnelly, Jamie Evans, Rebecca Farrell, James Jolly, Kayleigh Kavanagh, Anna Marsh, Patrick McDowell, Alexander Meyer, Rebecca Randles, Olivia Slevin-Smith, Tabitha Tinkler-Ferguson, Matthew Travis, Luke White, Adam Williams, Edward Williams

YEAR 9: Ryan Andrew, Sebastian Bowe, Adam Carragher, Richard D’Arcy, Sean Delaney, Stuart Dunlop, Eve Eaton, Ciaran Gregory, Elizabeth Johnson, Louise Jones, Melissa Jones, Rhys Morgan, Shimal Nemat, Kieran Sands, Jack Yarlett, Ian Astill, Rosie Flanagan, Craig Hughes, Daniel McCloud, Luke McMillan, Robyn Moore, Tanita Ncube, John Barr, Caitlin Birch, Sophie Clarke, Jessica Foulkes, Mark Hughes, Daniel Mellon, Lisa Naughton, Dylan Brannagan, Amy Brunt, Katie Brunt, Joshua Evans, Amy Parrington, Elliot Saunders YEAR 10: Christy Benson, Dawne Boden, Jordan Burghall, Thomas Gibbins, Jonathan Gregory, Petina Liu, Kathryn Soundie, Matthew White, Philip Makinson, Charlotte Nugent, Rachel Wickham-Jones, Matthew Jones, Joseph McDowell, Richard Donnelly, Charlotte Edwards, Richard Jackson, Amy Ralph

THREE YEARS’ FULL ATTENDANCE: Sebastian Bowe, Katie Brunt, Ciaran Gregory, Elizabeth Johnson, Robyn Moore, Lisa Naughton, Shimal Nemat, Rhys Morgan


Page 22

Peter presents prizes to two of our younger students

Prize Winners 2009 PHYSICS


Reece Grant, Marnie Melia Adam Woolsey, Hannah Brown Luke Catherall, Robyn Ashton Matthew Quinn, Lucy O’Hare

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Kieran McDonald, Melissa Kazara Craig Davies, Hannah Brown Jan Taylor, Megan Bowly Luke Armstrong, Charlotte Edwards

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Alex Mather, Rachael Kinnear Steven Cassidy, Eleanor Herndlhofer Dylan Brannagan, Charlotte Sale Thomas Gibbins, Camila Falencka

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Brand Gillam, Rhiannon Carr Jamie Evans, Alex Saunders Ciaran Gregory, Laura Hoey Ryan Tsang, Jennifer Skeggs

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Ross Mather, Ellise Taylor Patrick McDowell, Miranda McCabe Sebastian Bowe, Vanessa Nokes Carl Dunn, Jessica Eastwood

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Daniel Hardwick, Madelaine Hummerston James Jolly, Tabitha Tinkler-Ferguson Jack Trafford, Kate Croft James Ali, Simone Fisher

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Andrew Mather, Danielle Usher Edward Williams, Cody Clement Marc Rutherford, Jasmine Owen Elliot Dudley, Jade Hawitt

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Conor Rogan, Jennifer Briggs Darragh Doyle, Rachael Robertson Daniel Shankland, Kate Croft Jason Hill, Rachael Wickham-Jones





GEOGRAPHY Joshua Stride, Georgina Haines Ciaran McCulloch, Anna Marsh Michael Nolan, Rosie Flanagan James Murray, Alex Sutherland

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Daniel Broeders, Molly Johns Matthew Gibbins, Frances Turtle Stephen Williams, Charlotte-Ann Fildes Joseph McDowell, Ella Redvers-Rowe

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Ryan Brocklebank, Alanis Duncan Paul Campbell, Jessica Chard Michael Nolan, Shimal Nemat Shaun Anglesey, Emma Moran

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Jack Wood, Bethany Turner David King-Hogan, Courtney Saville Stuart Dunlop, Lily Dootson Karl Davies, Amy Flynn



BUSINESS STUDIES Niall O’Donnell, Charlotte Nugent


Stephen Pelletier, Ashleigh Hoolahan



YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:



YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Jake Gargan, Kayle-Ann Sands Noe Bersier, Tara-Leigh Duncan Peter Cattle, Megan Bowly Matthew Jones, Emily Antley

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Kane Stapleton, Kaisha McLoughlin Connor Moran, Eve Eaton James Skipper, Abbie Ross Marc Waterhouse, Rebekah Morgan

YEAR 7: YEAR 8: YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Joshua Harwood, Stephanie Naylor Daniel Conlon, Millie Locke Connor Leeming, Molly Mason Keith Bond, Holly Croft




YEAR 7: Sean Murray, Louise Benson YEAR 8: Liam Garnett, Paige Simpson YEAR 9: George Roberts, Megan Hoey RESISTANT MATERIALS Year 10: Tom Carew, Laura Corlett GRAPHICS Year 10: Ryan Simpson, Lucy Keating FOOD Year 10: Sean Graves, Leah Morris

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE Jessica Killen, Ashleigh Bradley

Subject Prizes are sponsored by St Mary’s Home School Association

Page 23

Prize Winners 2009

Our Presentation Evening audience was swinging to the rousing sound of St Mary’s Swing Band

Sports Awards Players of the Year BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR YEAR 9: YEAR 10:

Joshua Kavanagh Joshua Nolan


Abbie Sanford Beth Hoolahan




Erin Haig, Lewis Moynes Rachel Davison, Abe Dobson Jordan Downey Tyler Adamson, Joshua Barrett


Page 24

Liam Hirst Jamie Cumming Sebastian Bowe

Benedict Perez Dominic Swift


HE theme of this year’s National Poetry Day was ‘Heroes’ and 150 students and staff in St Mary’s certainly made a heroic effort in rising to the challenge of providing wall-to-wall poetry from morning registration to home time. Continuous poems were shared with different year groups in the Library —and a third of the poetry was original and read by the poet! We were honoured to welcome as our guest speaker Suffolk-born poet Rebecca Goss (pictured below centre) who lives in her adopted Liverpool.

Teaching Assistant Mr Doherty reads his own poem - on the subject of library fines

Scary stuff from a Year 8 student and Roald Dahl

Poetic Justice Poets’ Corner...our special guest poet Rebecca Goss meets Sixth Formers and members of the English Department

Teaching Assistant Ms Helsby reads Dr Seuss’s Yertle the


English teacher Miss Yates shares ‘I Wish I Was Our Sammy’ from Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers

Page 25

The survivors T

HEY have survived! These Sixth Formers are the hardiest members of the 90-strong group who began their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award four years ago...and now their Gold Awards are within their grasp.

Above: Watching an impromptu rugby match against some Army squaddies at Nant Peris campsite, North Wales Left: By Llyn Peris at the end of their Final Expedition after a full ‘greaseup’ meal at the famous Pete’s Eats Café in Llanberis

St Mary’s winning run Our success is due to ‘experience, guile and gamesmanship’ When the overs were over…the victorious St Mary’s Taverners. Back row, left to right: Mr Killoran (PE), Mr Farthing (Maths), Mr Duffy (History), Mr Charles (Science), Mr McBurney (Science), Mr Evans (formerly of Science). Front row: Mr Tottle (Bosco Centre), Mr Lee (Maths), Mr Brown (Science), Mr Henshaw (PE), Mr Evans (guest).

THEY are the great unbeaten. Our staff cricketers, aka St Mary’s Taverners, have knocked all the rest for six in a Cheshire league’s 2009 season. Mr Malcolm Charles, the team’s official chronicler and captain, explains how the feat was accomplished and shares with us his wicket wisdom. He writes:


O understand this impressive feat, it is necessary to point out first of all that the rules of staff cricket are not quite the same as Test Match Cricket. Each team bowls up to 20 overs; and each bowler has a maximum of two overs. There are no decisions related to LBW (that’s leg before wicket, for the uninitiated), and in the rare event of reaching 25 runs, a batsman must retire (usually through lack of breath). There is a distinct lack of any youth policy in staff cricket since, (as you may have noticed from the above photograph) there is a distinct lack of youth among St Mary’s Taverners. But the resulting combination of experience, guile and gamesmanship has enabled the veteran cricketers to win all four games of the series. It is vital here to stress that cricket in general is a game of two halves, one team bats and then the other one does. One can have a good half or a bad half but halfway through, the halves can change complexion and a better second half can compensate for a poor first half, if you know what I mean. There are no half measures in staff cricket. Following the success of the 2009 season, there are now plans for two series of three matches each in the 2010 season. Sponsorship is being sought from Radox, Algispray and Zimmer.’

Page 26

Amy tumbles for gold T

ALENTED gymnast Amy Catherall has won a gold medal in a North West competition.

Amy (pictured left with some of her trophies and medals) was selected to represent her club, Birkenhead Gymnastics Club, in tumbling at the North West Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool. The tiny gymnast, who is in Year 7 and celebrates her 12th birthday this month, trains at least six days a week ‘because it’s fun’. She began to train in earnest two years ago, and has recently added trampolining to her many skills.

League toppers


UR ladies’ netball team are now unbeaten and top of their league this season.

And Alicia wins in water

YEAR 9’s Alicia Thomas (right) is a star swimmer with Wallasey Swimming Club and the 13-yearold’s trophy shelf is fast filling up with shields and medals. Alicia is pictured right with the Mersey Ferries Championship Challenge Cup. She trains regularly at Guinea Gap Baths.

The A team (pictured), captained by our own Head of Girls’ PE, Miss Nicola Lam are eight points clear of the opposition in Division 3 of the Birkenhead Netball League. St Mary’s B Team are back to winning ways after losing a couple of matches in Division 4. Said Miss Lam: ‘We’re really pleased with how things have gone this season, and both teams are pushing for promotion.’ The netball squad trains each Sunday evening and they are looking for new members. If you are interested and are aged 18 or over, please ring Miss Lam at school on 0151 639 7531. In the Wirral Schools’ League, our junior netballers are doing well, with an unbeaten Year 9 team counting a 12-1 win over Ridgeway High among their achievements.

Luke’s Olympic splash LUKE Nixon (left) swam for Great Britain in the Deaflympics in Taipei, achieving five Welsh records and five national under 15 age group records. Luke, who is deaf, is the son of Mrs Anne Nixon, St Mary’s Health & Social Care teacher and they live in Wrexham, North Wales. Luke, aged 14, is now in training for the European Championships in Germany, June 2010.



INNERS of the St Mary’s Got Talent Competition 2009 were Luke Bennett and Connor Hodgson who faced tough competition from other talented students in a two-day lunchtime fundraiser. They gave a spirited rendition of The Beatles’ early Sixties hit She Loves You to carry off the 2009 trophy. The event raised more than £200 to help elderly residents of Leighton Court, Liscard, and was entirely organised by Sixth Form students. Page 27

Hanna’s triumph Champion athlete named Merseyside Young Sports Person of the Year


RITISH trampoline champion Hanna Moses has been named 2009 John Moores University Merseyside Young Sports Person of the Year.

Sixth Former Hanna, received the honour at a special gala dinner in the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool before flying out last month to join the GB international team and competing in the World Senior Championships in Russia. Hanna’s event is the double mini trampoline (DMT) ~ dubbed the ‘kamikaze sport because of the skill and danger it involves ~ and she is now a realistic British hope for the 2012 Olympics. The award ceremony was watched by world gymnastic champion Beth Tweddle, snooker legend Dennis Taylor and world champion football freestyler John Farnworth. She said: ‘It came as such a surprise to win, because I never thought I was in with a chance. I can hardly believe it, but I am really delighted.’ Hanna, who hopes to study PE next year at degree level, has been a serious athlete since she was just five, becoming British Tumbling Champion at the age of nine, and first being selected at the age of 11 to represent Great Britain. She switched to DMT in 2005, training intensively to perfect her timing and balance. She is currently British Champion. Receiving the award she said: ‘None of this would have been possible without my dedicated coaches and parents who have supported me through every up and down and have never stopped believing in me.’ The Awards are sponsored by the Merseyside Sports Council which provide bursaries for young sports people in the region.

Year 7 rugby champs


UR Year 7 Rugby team has won the annual HSBC Merseyside Rugby Festival, their first major tournament. The lads (pictured right) will now represent Merseyside in the North West Regional Finals in January at Preston Grasshoppers RFC. Members of St Mary’s Year 7 rugby squad with coach Mr Adam Ritchie

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Christmas 2009  

This is a newsletter for St. Mary's Catholic College. The author of the newsletters is Mrs. E. Webster. This publication is copyright St. Ma...