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St Mary’s Catholic College Wallasey

newsletter

News & Views from St Mary’s Catholic College

Celebrating our exam success

er Best Ev GCSE records in St Mary’s this year flew like skittles.

SE GC esults R

Our A Level Star Students

This led to a 12 per cent rise in the number of students securing the most valuable result of at least five GCSEs at C or above.

Most of the successes were fully expected but even our teaching staff were bowled over when the final figures were revealed.

And 26 individual students achieved at least five A* or A grades.

College records in English and maths were rewritten as 69 per cent of students achieved A*~C in English, and 60 per cent achieved A*~C grade in maths.

Equally impressive are the successes of students who entered St Mary’s with specific learning challenges. The college is justly proud of offering the best standards of education inclusively and comprehensively across the ability range of all children.

BALLOONS FOR PETER

Delighted St Mary’s students are now confidently embarking on the next step in their life education, most of them in the caring environment of our Sixth Form, which boasts one of the widest range of courses on offer in Wirral. A LEVEL STARS! SUCCESS at A Level means that most St Mary’s Sixth Form leavers are this month starting degree courses at the universities of their choice. These include Oxford, Durham and Bristol. Read more inside about our outstanding students.

Full story on pages 4 - 6 OUR LUNCHTIME REVOLUTION!

ART & FASHION SHOW PLUS CIRCUS SHOWCASE

Headteacher Mr Tony Boyle said: ‘We are committed to meeting the learning needs of every student. Our size allows us to offer a fantastic breadth of learning experiences and different subjects catering for the needs of all. ‘I am so proud of our students and staff who have gone the extra mile to secure these outstanding results. I would like to thank parents and governors for all their support and encouragement. Well done, everyone.’

Pictures galore on pages 14-17


On to Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, LIPA… pathways to success for St Mary’s students

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T MARY’S students continue to make their mark at degree level. Those who have gone on to excel in higher education include Rose Leyland, recently awarded a First Class Honours degree by Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Rose has just completed three years’ study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. James Openshaw also achieved a First, from Leeds, and has won a funded scholarship to study for a Masters degree. Kieran Fattorini won a First in Ancient and Medieval History at Birmingham and his sister Róisín is about to begin her course in Biological Sciences at The Queen’s College, Oxford. She follows Matthew Rylance to the city of dreaming spires. Matthew is currently in his second year reading French at Somerville College, Oxford, while yet another St Mary’s Sixth Form leaver, James Murray, is just entering his final year of Geography at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Daniel Bruce is off to Durham to study Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity, and Elisha Carter (pictured far right) has won a place to study Musical Theatre at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA - Paul McCartney’s ‘Fame School’). Daniel Bradford, currently achieving success in television and national Daniel Bruce: Róisín Fattorini: theatre tours, has just graduated from LIPA as one of only three Durham University Oxford University students this year to be awarded First Class Honours.

Rose Leyland: Cambridge ‘First’

James Openshaw: MA Scholarship

Matthew Rylance: Oxford University

Kieran Fattorini: Birmingham ‘First’

Maths challenge adds up to medals! Right: Our sharp young mathematicians celebrate their success.

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ATHEMATICIANS from St Mary’s have won medals in a national maths competition. The UK Mathematics Trust challenge is aimed at more able students up to Year 8. This year our young problem-solvers scooped four silver and 10 bronze medals. The winner of ‘Best in School’ was Matthew Holmes-Ievers, with silvers also going to Joseph Clarke, Joe Gilmore and Chloe Leeming. Bronze medal winners were Cameron Bradley, Jennifer Hanley, Anna Hughes, Brittany-lee Jamieson, Rebecca Openshaw, Kiran Wallace, Jake Waters, Rebecca White, Annie Wood and Connor Woodhouse.

HERE’S A SAMPLE QUESTION from this year’s challenge for you to try: The world’s largest coin, made by the Royal Mint of Canada, was auctioned in June 2010. The coin has mass 100kg, whereas a standard British £1 coin has mass 10g. What sum of money in £1 coins would weigh the same as the record-breaking coin? No cheating! Answer upside down on the opposite page !

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James Murray: Cambridge University

Elisha Carter in our production of

Mamma Mia!:

She is starting a degree course at LIPA. INSET: LIPA dance graduate Daniel Bradford


Radio stars!

Below: Assistant Headteacher Mr Mike Chew with Sixth Formers Shay Collins, James Ali and BBC Radio Merseyside reporter Jimmy McCracken

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PPETISING news of St Mary’s newlook lunchtimes has been broadcast across Merseyside, live on radio! Mouth watering details of our new menus, which include delicious and freshly made items like burritos, roasted vegetables and spicy Chicken Jambalaya, were carried over the airwaves of a live show. Listeners to BBC Radio Merseyside got a tantalising taster of our new Chill and Fill dining arrangements when reporter Jimmy McCracken interviewed Sixth Formers Shay Collins, James Ali and Assistant Headteacher Mike Chew. Back in the studio, Helen Jones was filling in for regular presenter Sean Styles.The students explained what a difference the revamp is making to college life, pulling no punches about the shortcomings of previous arrangements. Shay, like James, is a member of St Mary’s College Council. She said: ‘There are all kinds of really good food available, like Chinese takeaways. It’s like an American movie, it’s really cool’. James added: ‘We weren’t happy with how things were, with the traditional seating and the long queues, but the new dining room is a great improvement. The food is really excellent too!’ The new seating arrangements ~ with its bar stools and café-style tables ~ plus the revamped décor, in citrus and fruit colours, have made a big impact on students. And unlike previously, the catering is now managed in-house, all kitchen staff being employed directly by the college. Key to the success of the new venture is chef John Medway, who masterminds the varied and extensive menus with input from the Student Council. He said: ‘All our dishes are now made freshly on the premises every day, from completely fresh ingredients. The meal deals provide excellent value for money, and a healthy balanced diet. The reaction we have had from the students has been fantastic.’ Our very own (rather appropriately-named!) Mr Chew, who has overseen the project, said: ‘We knew things had to change, and we consulted our students at every stage to make sure we were getting it right. We will continue to get feedback from them as time goes on, so we can make any changes necessary. We are very proud and delighted on all levels with what has been achieved.’

Fun & learning is our primary concern

St Mary’s Chef John Medway with students

GIFTED and talented students from our partner primary schools came to St Mary’s for a four-week programme of maths, English, art, music and trampolining. It was seriously fun! Did you get it right? Answer: £10,000

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Peter with some of the students who raised the most sponsorship

Peter Dunning and fiancée Laura Burton with Peter’s form tutor Miss Alison Keen. Peter left St Mary’s in 2001.

Balloons for Peter! T

HE sky over St Mary’s was a rainbow of colours as 1600 balloons broke free and soared up, up and away! Our Grand Balloon Race raised £2,000 to help former student Peter Dunning achieve his dream of competing in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Russia. Ex-Royal Marine Peter, now 26, lost both legs in a land mine explosion in Afghanistan two years ago. But after nearly losing his life, and having to battle back to full health, he is now a world class athlete competing internationally on the Great Britain Disabled Ski Team. Known to his friends and fellow competitors as Pete the Feet, he hopes to represent his country at the Sochi Winter Games in Russia. WELL DONE to the following students, all champion balloon-sellers: Emma Hughes, Niamh Tennyson, Amy Simpson, Jacie Leigh Robinson, Jodie -Leigh Clerc, Rhian Bayley, Hafiza Brepotra, Matthew Best, Lewis Daniesl, Lucy Hill, Jenna Wright and Edward Williams

After threatening rain, and then a shower at 2pm, the clouds parted and the sun came out right on cue for the release at exactly 3pm! Then the brisk southerly winds took the balloons northwards

Up, up and away to raise £2,000! SEE ALSO: Peter in a class of his own Page 18

Left and above: Peter gave the countdown and more than 1,000 balloons left the net, while others were released singly

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There was a carnival atmosphere on the Gra (St Mary’s all-weather pitch) as students and staff assembled for the release...to the accompaniment of a brass band medley led by Mr Dan Elson

Find out where the balloons ended up… see next page! Left: Keeping the balloons tethered on such a windy day was quite a challenge, but many hands made light work!

All hands to the helium pump!

Headteacher Mr Tony Boyle joins in the fun. One of his own balloons was returned from Lancaster

Left and below: Inside the Balloon ‘Factory’ in the Drama Studio. It was a very windy day, and threatening rain, so all the balloons had to be inflated indoors under gazebos!

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And the winners are..!

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HE winning balloon landed on the banks of the River Don in Aberdeen, Scotland...a distance of around 260 miles! Mrs Susan McGregor was taking her usual walk along the pretty riverbank path on June 19 when she spotted the yellow balloon with its tag. She said: ‘I always look to see if a balloon has a label on it as I remember my brother finding one in a hedgerow when we were children. It is a little like finding a message in a bottle—except this one had been airborne! What a brave and amazing young man Peter Dunning is. We wish him all the best for the Paralympics and all the other challenges that we are sure he will undertake.’ The balloon was bought by Katy Ehlen (pictured left) at Sacred Heart Church, Moreton. They both win £50. Second and third prizes of £30 and £20 are for two balloons found near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, one on a landfill at Seaton Delaval, and one at Shiremoor. The second prize is awarded to Emily Taylor, younger sister of Year 8’s Thomas Taylor. Emily is a student of SS Peter & Paul New Brighton. Third prize goes to Mr Derek Coleman of Wallasey.

Read some of the fascinating stories

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INNER Mrs Susan McGregor on the banks of the River Don where she found the yellow balloon bought by Katy Ehlen.

Over 60 balloons returned!

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RAEME Chapman MBE was playing golf near Lancaster on the day the balloons were released. At the sixth hole he noticed what he thought was a piece of litter on the fairway and went to pick it up. He said: ‘I walked over to clear it (I hate litter!) when I noticed it was a piece of card, with a broken balloon attached to it. I was delighted to read that it was a charity event and it had travelled about 60 miles from Wallasey’. Mr Chapman was awarded the MBE by the Queen for his own charity fundraising in the Millennium Honours List. He is currently raising funds for the Institute of Cancer Research.

Thomas Taylor with his sister’s balloon that travelled all the way to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then back again!

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Aberdeen

EN Griffin was training for a charity event on a fell top in County Durham on June 18 when he found a balloon bought by Niamh Tennyson of Year 8. By a strange coincidence, Mr Griffin is a senior teacher at another St Mary’s, St Mary’s Catholic High School, Tyldesley, near Wigan. He said: ‘If it had landed two feet to the left no one would ever have found it , as the heather would have covered it up. It’s a fantastic cause, and it’s great that your school is doing this for Peter.’ Mr Griffin, originally from Co Durham, added: ‘My brother, who is in the RAF, has just returned from Afghanistan after four months, so it really hit home’.

Newcastle-upon Tyne Durham

Charity swimmer’s surprise discovery near Lake Windermere

June 17, 2011: Off they went!

Kirkby Stephen Windermere Lancaster Blackpool Wallasey

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EEN swimmer Helen Garner was taking part in the British Gas Great North charity swim in Lake Windermere the day after the balloons were released when she came across the pink balloon (left) bought by Mrs J Turver. And by an amazing coincidence, Helen, who lives near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was raising money for the ex-Servicemen’s charity Combat Stress, as she has done for the last six years. She said: ‘What a determined and inspirational chap Peter is. He is making such a difference to both life and his own life with his superhuman effort.’ Helen has always kept an eye out for tagged balloons ever since she was a little girl. She added:’ Having waited so many years to find one, I certainly won’t be deterred from keeping my eyes peeled for more!’

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‘Lambing Live’ star finds a balloon!

NDREW Marston was walking on his farmland near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, on July 21, checking that all was well with his very large flock of sheep when he happened upon a burst purple balloon with its tag. Andrew and his family were stars of this year’s BBC Two’s Lambing Live series. Sadly the name on the balloon tag had been obliterated by the wet Lakeland weather!

Mr Marston is pictured above with BBC presenter Kate Humble.


Our Sixth Form votes for an alternative

LEFT: Daniel Platt (centre) chaired the hustings where students set out their arguments in favour of and against AV

We said YES to AV!

RIGHT: Election day and St Mary’s students put AV to the vote

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LECTORAL reform is definitely on the political agenda as far as St Mary’s Sixth Formers are concerned! As the nation went to the polls, St Mary’s Sixth Formers staged their own carefully-scrutinised ballot of opinion. And the result, unlike the one given by the British electorate, was a resounding YES to changing the country’s voting system in favour of the Alternative Vote. The referendum was organised by Year 13’s Daniel Platt, who chaired hustings which gave both Yes and No camps the chance to set out their arguments. When votes were counted, 56.7% were in favour of AV, and 34.3% in favour of keeping the present first past the post system. Said Daniel, who hopes to be a politician himself and has a place to study Politics at Salford University: ‘The Yes Campaign seemed to have had an advantage because students have little fear of change. This was also true throughout the UK in predominantly university areas. ‘The referendum is the purest form of democracy that this country offers. It allow voters to directly express their opinions on how the country should progress on a particular issue. ‘There was a great debate throughout the day among St Mary’s Sixth Formers, and I would like to congratulate both campaigns for their effort and time. I hope the experience of taking part in a real political debate and referendum has a lasting effect on all the students.’ Of course, those students who had reached their 18th birthday and had received polling cards were then able to go along to their local polling stations and take part in the real thing!

‘The purest form of democracy’

Vive la différence!

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Sixth Formers JOHN KENWRIGHT and JAMIE COLLINS (pictured) were among 40 A Level students from different schools who spent a week in France on work experience. Here John send s a ‘postcard from Lille’: OODBYE Wallasey, Bonjour Lille! Learning le Français is

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always a challenge, and sometimes the vocabulary tests, irregular verbs and the endless exceptions to the rules make you wonder what’s wrong with just raising your voice and enunciating broken English syllable by syllable! But bridging the gap between two cultures reinforces the importance of learning a foreign language. I’m working in a clothes shop called Oliver Grant (a very English name!), brushing up on my les vêtements vocabulary while Jamie has to think rapidement on his pieds in the hustle and bustle of La Chicorée restaurant in the centre of Lille. Our work experience in France is becoming unforgettable, and the perfect way to become bi-lingual. The friends we have made are great fun, and we go out every night. I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do, speaking French, in France!’

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Walking through sunshine and showers, tired but happy!

Clockwise from left: Bronze hopefuls go for it!

D of E: Going for Bronze, Silver and Gold!

Above and right: St Mary’s students setting out on their Silver expedition. Below and right: Going for Gold.

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Herr Kasper sends ‘Postcard from Leipzig’

‘So, mate, what part of Liverpool are you from?’ G

Above: Dennis’s home town of Leipzig, Germany, is a major centre of learning renowned for its specialisms in music, astronomy and optical science. Left: Dennis spent eight months working with students and staff at St Mary’s Below: Dennis with members of St Mary’s Languages Department

ERMAN Language student Dennis Kasper knew his English skills were coming along better than he expected when a Liverpool taxi driver asked him what part of Liverpool he was from! The 22-year-old Languages graduate obviously picked up the local accent very accurately during his time in St Mary’s and through sharing a student flat in Liverpool city centre. Dennis, who left his home town of Leipzig to work as a German assistant in our Modern Foreign Languages Department, was a familiar face in St Mary’s for the best part of three terms. In a special message to students and staff he tells how he thoroughly enjoyed sampling the Englishness of life in Wallasey and Liverpool. He writes: ‘I still remember being on the plane to Liverpool last September, listening to the pilot speaking in a strange dialect and not understanding a single word. I didn’t ‘I remember realise then that this dialect ~ Scouse ~ would soon be all around me!’ hearing this He adds: ‘It is astonishing how quickly you pick up these influences and how my strange pronunciation has changed. I remember sitting next to a taxi driver one day when he asked me which part of Liverpool I was from as, by that time, I had started to adopt the dialect dialect. However, due to sharing a flat with a Welshman, and talking to him a lot, one day I and not was even considered to be Welsh!’ Dennis enjoyed many other things during his eight month stay, including visiting Anfield, understanding the home of Liverpool FC, and a tour of Wirral’s many places of interest, courtesy of our a single word’ own Languages teacher Mrs Lynn Lloyd. ‘By the way, I love Port Sunlight!’ he says. Dennis also contributed greatly to the life of St Mary’s by helping students from all year groups in their German studies: ‘I really enjoyed working with all of them, as we had so much fun together. Nevertheless, I am hoping some of St Mary’s German students also learnt at least a few words or a little grammar from me. Most importantly, I hope they realise that learning a foreign language can offer you great opportunities, such as going abroad, teaching in schools and getting to know different aspects of a country’s culture.’

Snails with garlic? It’s got to be France!

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EAR 8 French students (left) had the chance to try escargots (snails... with garlic!) during their sojourn near Calais, northern France. They also had croissants and pain au chocolat - a little gentler on the palate! And their taste of continental culture didn’t stop there. They enjoyed the delights of a sealife centre in Boulogne before visiting Ypres in Belgium. Très bonne idée! A la prochaine (till next time!)

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Some of our first Hair and Beauty ‘graduates’ celebrate the end of their course

Brush up on YOUR skills!

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Learning how to give a professional finish to curly hair

T MARY’S first adult hair and beauty ‘graduates’ have already brushed up their skills in hairdressing, eye treatments and waxing. And a new 10-week course in hairdressing is starting mid-September for a new group of adult students. Other courses will be announced soon. St Mary’s Hair & Beauty Academy is a City & Guilds Approved Training Centre.

If you are interested in joining any of the courses, please ring our Hair & Beauty Academy team for further details on 0151 201 4508.

Liking their style!

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EAUTY students sampled a day of professional treatments at Carden Park luxury health spa in Chester as part of their Year 12 studies (pictured below).

OUR STYLISH Year 11 students (right) are just entering the second year of their VRQ qualification in Hairdressing, which is an ideal springboard for a career in the Hair and Beauty industry. The VRQ is the first step towards NVQ Level 2. They are pictured with teacher Mrs Loretta Evans.

Grooming for a good career

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IXTH FORMER Lucy Williams created this stunning wedding hairstyle (pictured left) as part of her VRQ Level 2 Hairdressing course. Meanwhile, two other Sixth Form students, Hayley Roberts and Eamee Boden, have both landed jobs at hair salons in Great Sutton and Neston where they will be able to complete their NVQ Level 3 in Hairdressing.

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Mapping out some street art in Liverpool

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DORNING a Georgian town house in Seel Street, Liverpool, is this stunning street art, the socalled Beauty of the Beast: No 1 Beauty Salon for Monsters. A-Level Geographers enjoyed a close look at it while following a trail from Liverpool One via the newly refurbished Lime Street Gateway to consider areas of the city centre in need of change. The work will form part of their A2 studies and provide a useful local case study of urban change.

Ghosts and Vikings galore in old York

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CARY, fascinating and inexhaustible...the many attractions of York are hard to beat! These Year 7s learned about the city’s ghosts, crept around the Dungeon museum, experienced sights, sounds and smell of the Vikings in the Jorvik Centre and marvelled at the magnificent York Minster...as well as enjoying a boat trip on the Ouse.

Beneath the splendour of Strasbourg Cathedral

A few walks in the Black Forest...

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EARNING about French and German culture in the Black Forest region of Germany were these Year 10 students (right) who visited the town of Freiburg followed by the city of Strasbourg, sampled the local cuisine and rounded off their trip with a day at the famous Europapark, the third biggest theme park in Europe.

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A packet of wet wipes can make all the difference to a soldier in the Afghan desert... K

Mrs Kay Hurst

AY Hurst has a thing about shoeboxes. She collects hundreds of them every year, fills them with toiletries and treats, and sends them to British soldiers in Afghanistan. A packet of wet wipes might seem a small thing to people who live within easy reach of shops and supermarkets, but it can make all the difference to young soldiers sleeping rough in the desert landscape of Afghanistan. Shower gel and deodorants are at a premium for the six-strong ‘forward patrols’ who are sent on scouting missions, Students and staff have sometimes separated from their units for helped launch Kay’s days on end in temperatures of up to 40 Afghanistan appeal degrees Celsius. Retired secretary Kay, who lives in Wallasey, has been sending shoeboxes to the troops for the last four years. She collects donated items from friends and neighbours, organises them into gift-packs for men and women soldiers, and posts them from the Post Office in Wallasey Road, Liscard. She sends between five and ten parcels a week...and as long as each box weighs less than two kilogrammes, the postage via BFPO (British Forces Posted Overseas) is free. She said: ‘Making sure the shoeboxes are as full as possible, but still under two kilogrammes can be quite tricky. If they are just two grammes over, you have to pay the postage.’ Kay, who grew up in an Army family, knows at first hand what young soldiers have to deal with. Her father was Major G C Baxter of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who served most of his 36 years in Africa and India. She said: ‘It can be very hard sleeping in the desert sand with no facilities. And a considerable number of the young men and women who join the Army do so because they have no families, for whatever reason. So just a small gift of a few baby wipes and shower gel to wash their hands or even clothes can mean so much. They also really appreciate sweets, magazines and puzzle books. I have had many letters of thanks from soldiers in Afghanistan, and it is really moving to read the things they write.’ Kay sends shoeboxes to the Quarter Master in Camp Bastion, who forwards them to the particular soldiers, or groups of soldiers, who need them most. She told St Mary’s students and staff how last Christmas the soldiers’ regular parachute drop of Army rations ended up behind enemy lines, in the hands of the Taliban, but that luckily some of her shoeboxes had been added to the emergency truck which was despatched along with MALL treats that really go the ammunition. ‘I had a lovely down well with our service letter from one of the soldiers, men and women in Afghanistan saying how wonderful it had been include: travel wash, shower to receive the gifts. They arrived on gel, shampoo, sun lotion, wet Christmas Day.’ One of the parcels sent to Camp Bastion wipes, toothpaste, contained fairy lights which helped to make at least one tent look a little more festive! She added: ‘I don’t actually think our forces toothbrushes, roll-on antiperspirant/deodorant, should be in Afghanistan at all. But the fact is, they are there. I just tissues, chewing gum, sweets, sachets of drinking feel that if I can make their lives a little bit more bearable by chocolate, doggy treats, magazines, paperbacks sending parcels, then it’s worth it.’ Kay, who is also a busy and puzzle books. No aerosols, member of Wallasey Ladybirds, has also sent donated items from please! If you want to donate, St Mary’s, Wallasey Sea Cadets and Sarah J’s Hairdressers, please take items to the Literacy Wallasey and the Wallasey Women’s Institute.

‘The fact is, our soldiers are there. If these parcels help, it’s worth it.’

 Kay has also recently begun to send parcels to sailors and Marines on ships patrolling the Libyan coast. Page 12

Gifts from Wallasey arrived by emergency truck on Christmas Day

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Base in St Mary’s or leave them at the School Office. Thank you!


Left: Sweeping the desert sands for improvised explosive devices (IEDs)

Little things can make a big difference

‘Our whole team will smell lemony fresh!’

Lemony fresh: Deborah (centre back) with her unit

D LCpl Deborah Kerr and Vroom the German Shepherd who sniffs out explosives

OGS play an important part in sniffing out and tracking down explosive devices on the front line in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Deborah Kerr and her canine friend Vroom, as in the MoD picture, left, are in constant danger. There were some doggy treats in a recent parcel she received from St Mary’s. She wrote back: ‘Vroom says thank you for the beef treats. He goes mad when I pull them out of my pocket, so I take it he really likes them. We have been out tasking a few times, but luckily there have been no pressure pads or enemy contacts so far. Vroom loves the fact he goes out on really long walks, well, that’s what he thinks it is! The lemon shower cream smells great, thank you. The whole team’s going to smell lemony fresh☺Thank you for everything.’

‘Sincere thanks from 1 Rifles Battle Group’

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AJOR ‘H’ Heys is Quartermaster of the 1 Rifles Battle Group, currently on a six-month tour of duty, based along the Helmand River. He writes: ‘I would like to pass on my sincere thanks for your very kind and generous gifts. As the Quartermaster I am based out of Camp Bastion with a small team of about 21 people and we are responsible for resupplying all the forward locations (front line soldiers). ‘The first two months here has been a roller coaster of emotions. So far the Battle Group has suffered three fatalities and many more injured, some very seriously. We have also had numerous lucky individuals who should have been killed but have walked away with minor injuries. The living conditions in the 23 small Check Points are very, very basic, although morale still remains very high amongst the troops. The pace of life for the lads is extremely busy. Not only are they in regular Warrant Officer 2 Eddy Edwards has been in the Army for 18 years, with contact with the insurgents (enemy) but they also many tours of duty in the world’s trouble spots: Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq have to fight relentless heat which is generally up in and now on his fourth tour in Afghanistan where he maintains the 40s. communications links for Operation Herrick out of Camp Bastion. He writes: ‘We push as much stores forward as we can; this includes any welfare boxes that we receive. To ‘It is nice to see the Forces are more accepted back in receive a box or a card is always very much the UK. I remember years ago where we used to hide appreciated by all the troops from the oldest soldier the fact we were in the Army. Receiving the parcel has to the youngest member of the Battle Group. This is especially applicable when one is feeling low reminded me that people have definitely changed. It’s following the death or injury of a friend. Again, I also nice to Heat, see adust, CH postcode as my family (mum would like to pass on my sincere thanks from all and danger. and dad) live in North Wales, where I was brought up. ranks of the 1 Rifles BG to all the residents of I really appreciate the time and effort you have put in Wallasey who have so kindly donated to all the boxes you have sent. These include Sarah J for a soldier. Take care. Hairdressers, Wallasey Sea Cadets and staff and pupils of St Mary’s College.’

Ed d y

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Art & Fashion Show

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Fashion sense! T

HE styles were simply stunning. Our catwalk came alive with colours, textures, fabrics. It was a fashion explosion! The outfits here are just a small sample of the many that delighted the audience at St Mary’s first-ever fashion show in the Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead. It was a triumph! And every gown was the original work of our AS and A Level Art & Textile students. To complete the Summer Art Exhibition, also on show was a collection of impressive Art coursework produced by GCSE and A Level students. Year 13 student Rebecca Reed (below, third from left) won the award for Most Outstanding Art Student for her contribution over seven years at St Mary’s. Rebecca is pictured with talented artists Siw Cattle and Anthony Greenwood.

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(It was so authentic you could almost smell the sawdust!)

AUDIENCES flocked to St Mary’s ‘Big Top’ over two nights where the theme of Circus was explored through exciting dance, drama and music!

Big Top Hat! Circus Parade courtesy of Holy Spirit School, Leasowe

Lady Gaga-inspired dance ROLL UP, ROLL UP!: The Ringmaster and assistants from Holy Cross School, Birkenhead

Entry of the Gladiators: St Mary’s Swing Band

The Media Circus… dramatically portrayed

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Clowning around with the Circus theme


Members of St Mary’s community dance group Move It! which meets on Saturday mornings

Circus stars: Younger members of Move It!

Puppet dancers Cirque Magique: the magic of circus

Balancing Act: Cirque Magique Send In The Clowns: Year 7 Boys’ Choir

Dramatic moments in the circus ring Cirque Magique: St Mary’s Gifted & Talented dancers held us Spellbound!

All the fun of the Big Top

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Peter in a class of his own A

FGHANISTAN veteran and former St Mary’s student Peter Dunning joined our Enrichment Week programme, giving talks to groups of students on his remarkable recovery after losing both legs in a landmine explosion. Peter, now a world class skier on the GB Disabled Ski Team, demonstrated his prosthetic limbs and the specially-designed ski equipment he uses. Pictured right: Peter on the day he was awarded his Green Beret as a Royal Marine.

All part of St Mary’s Enrichment Week Programme...

What a tall order!

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ROM paper money to paper buildings, Enrichment Week offered reams of opportunities to our students! They improved their paper qualifications by designing and trading in their own currencies and building facsimiles of some of the world’s tallest buildings. Overall winners were these Year 7s (above) who created the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.

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All the fun of the Trade Fair! THE world was their oyster! All the fun of the Trade Fair came to our Sports Hall when Year 8 made and sold their own produce to Year 7 students, staff and visitors during Enrichment Week. The theme was Countries of the World.

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NDIAN dance, drumming to a different beat, cooking healthy meals on a student budget and learning how to save lives with CPR ...all part of Enrichment Week. Students from Years 7 to 12 also took part in cultural visits, university visits and many more activities too numerous to include here!

Tuning up for The Big Sing

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Left and below: Who could forget

The Big Sing

led by staff of the Music Department? Below Mr Jordan treats us to his inimitable rap repertoire.


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T WAS the night they really became grown-ups! Our Sixth Form leavers, resplendent in their prom dresses and dinner suits, tripped the light fantastic at St Mary’s Annual Leavers’ Ball at The Holiday Inn in Liverpool. The highlight of every Sixth Former’s calendar, after the exams are left far behind, it was an occasion for all to mark the official end of seven years of secondary education. Good luck - we will miss you!

Above: Mrs Nichola Porter has retired after many years’ service to St Mary’s, and to the Sixth Form. She is pictured here with Head of Sixth Form Mrs Linda Jones and students Ella Hornby and Grace Merrall.

Good luck to you all! Page 21


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Angelic music to harp on about

HE beautiful sound of harp music floated down St Mary’s corridors as Year 8 students attended special workshops in our Music Department. Classes learned how to make sweet sounds from a host of angelic string instruments which, to the casual observer, can look devilishly difficult to master! The workshops are part of St Mary’s rolling Arts4U Programme.

Best Enemy, best friends

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AKING time out for a quick rehearsal before performing in St Mary’s Music Festival were popular local band Best Enemy with members (pictured left, top to bottom) Matthew Gillespie, Mike Nolan, Marc Terry and Chris Marriott who are all in St Mary’s Sixth Form.

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XPLORING outer space in Art: Year 7 students (above) show off the results of their special project in Mr Reynold’s class which took much effort and concentration over three weeks.

Keeping fit with style

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EAR 9 girls who excel at PE get a very special kind of reward in St Mary’s...they are allowed a pampering session at our very own Hair and Beauty Academy! These hardworking PE students (left) were some of those who went to the Academy in Wallasey Village and returned with new hairstyles or manicures. It more than makes up for the ruffled look after vigorous exercise on the Gra!

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In the swim of sports leadership!

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UR Sports Leaders transfer the skills they learn at St Mary’s to students at our partner primary schools! These Year 11 students took part in a team building day at Manley Mere, Frodsham, where they kayaked, windsurfed, paddle-boarded and braved the mud of the adventure trail. They then ran sports days for SS Peter & Paul (New Brighton), Holy Cross (Birkenhead) and Wallasey St Joseph’s schools plus a rounders competition for Holy Spirit School, Leasowe.

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MPLOYMENT and life skills: proud achievers in the national ASDAN award programme (pictured top left).

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OOK, all shiny: Sixth Formers (above) held a sponsored car wash in the staff car park to raise money for their trip to Tanzania next year. They will run community projects for Camp International.

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RAMATIC interlude: Year 9 students at Ingestre Hall Residential Arts Centre, Stafford (left).

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Real trophies for fantasy football managers Left to right: Mr Walsh, Brett Cotton and Mr Logue show off their trophies

THE BEST OF THE REST, AND THE STAFF BOOBY PRIZE…

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HE teams are in their dreams, but at least the trophies are real! Congratulations to this year’s winners of St Mary’s Fantasy Football League. Overall winner is Mr Aiden Logue with his team The DT Fivers, Parent Mr Francis Walsh is overall second with FC Tutter Town and Year 10’s Brett Cotton third with Brett’s All Stars 11. Mrs Rebecca Jones carried off the FA Cup with Jonesy’s Ponies. FA Cup winner Mrs Jones

Year 7 Winner: Danny Tarpey The Daggers Year 8 Winner: Liam Clark Liam’s XI Year 9 Winner: Nathan Brady Brady FC Year 10 Winner: James Jolly Jolly Army Year 11 Winner: Alex Naylor The Real Tranmere Staff Winner: Mr Laurence Tottle Dynamo Bosco Parent Winner: Mrs Maxine Walsh Maxie’s Marvels FA Cup Runner Up: Mr Steve Cotgrave DylanZach United Commiserations to Staff Booby Prizewinner Mrs Jill McAloon and her team Macca. Better luck next season!

Agreement on Munich: It’s amazing!

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N agreement was made in Munich earlier this year by the young linguists of Year 8: it’s an amazing place to visit! They flew to Germany to see the famous new Allianz Arena, home of the famous FC Bayern Munich. They browsed the outdoor markets (great fun!), went to the BMW Museum, then set off on a thought-provoking pilgrimage to the nearby Dachau concentration camp. There they learned about the history of the Holocaust and the Nazi Final Solution which attempted to annihilate the Jewish race in Europe. Student Jennifer Hanley said: ‘It was so sad, but informative. I cried a bit and was upset, but I think everyone should have the chance to visit a concentration camp.’ Page 24


St Mary’s premier footballer

Jonny celebrates a goal in customary style

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ORMER St Mary’s student Jonathan Walters has achieved one of his ambitions this year...to play in an FA Cup Final at Wembley. The Stoke City striker kicked off the prestigious match against Manchester City in May and played a blistering 90 minutes against some of the biggest names in English football. After a magnificent struggle, underdogs Stoke came away with an honourable defeat, 0-1, against the richest football club in the world. Jonathan ~ Jonny to family and friends at St Mary’s ~ transferred to Stoke last year for £2.75 million where his impressive goal-scoring has ensured regular appearances on BBC 1’s Match of the Day. In fact, he rammed home two goals in the semi-final against Bolton to ensure his club’s appearance in the FA Cup Final and later dedicated them to his wife and family. Jonny, now aged 27, is married to Jonny in Year Wallasey-born Joanne and they have two daughters, Scarlett, 5, Sienna, 3, and now a baby 10 son, Eli. His career in football has taken him on a route between several clubs, after first signing for Blackburn Rovers. He has played for Bolton, Hull, Wrexham, Chester, Crewe, Barnsley and Scunthorpe. He said: ‘It has been tough on my family moving around. That’s who it’s for, my wife and kids.’ The goal tally Stoke City team for his debut season with Stoke is now mates share the joy of another Walters 11 in 40 appearances. He added: ‘It’s goal been enjoyable over the years, and I have had to do some tough work. I need to do some more tough work to stay here.’ St Mary’s students and staff sent Jonny a giant poster with a good luck message just before the Cup Final. He said: ‘It was great to know people were thinking of me. It was a shame we didn’t bring home the Cup, but it was a fantastic experience.’ Jonny left St Mary’s in 2001, after attending Sacred Heart Primary School in Moreton. His brothers Aidan, James and sister Samantha all came to St Mary’s.

Soccer coach Chris invades Indiana club

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All-American boy...well, not quite! St Mary’s former student Christian Hall has graduated from Webber International University in Florida.

HRISTIAN Hall has invaded the ranks of a well-known American soccer club. The former St Mary’s student, now 24, has been awarded an internship with the Player Development League of Indiana Invaders FC, both playing and coaching for the team. Wallasey-born Chris is yet another talented St Mary’s footballer now making his mark in Indiana Invaders professional leagues. He recently graduated FC badge from Webber International University in Florida, where he achieved a BSc in Business Management and a Major in Sports Management. Chris was also captain of his university’s soccer team for three years, and now hopes to carry on his career in the US as a permanent football coach. Indiana Invaders FC has so far produced two players who have played in the World Cup, and three who have played in the World Cup qualifiers. Page 25


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T was the day hundreds of St Mary’s students in Years 7 to 10 decamped to The Oval Sports Centre, Bebington for our annual Sports Day! We took our lunches with us, and made the most of the drizzly weather. And as you can see here, spirits were not dampened!

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St Mary's Newsletter Summer 2011