School News (123)

Elliot Heald, a 10-year old from St Elizabeth's RC Primary School, Wythenshawe, has beaten over 6,000 budding young designers from across the country to win a nationwide sock design competition.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade products sold in the UK, the Catholic aid agency CAFOD – a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation – teamed up with SockShop to launch the special competition for 7-11 year olds to design an exclusive Fairtrade-themed sock.

Designs were submitted by more than 6,000 pupils from a staggering 142 schools, but Elliot, a Key Stage 2 pupil, was selected as the winner thanks to his beautifully creative design, and understanding of Fairtrade. The panel of judges impressed by Elliot's design included award-winning actress Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya Branning on Eastenders, and a senior designer from SockShop. As a prize, Elliot will receive a £100 voucher to spend at SockShop and will see his design made into a limited edition sock which will be sold on the SockShop website.

On finding out that he had won the competition, Elliot said:

"We learned about Fairtrade in school and I really enjoyed it because it's interesting to see how you can help other people. When I was designing my sock, I remembered that Fairtrade is about paying people a fair wage for things that they produce. It's about making people happy. So that's why I designed a sock with a smiley face made out of fruit.

"I can't believe that I won the competition. It really is amazing and I'm so excited that my design has been made into a sock and is being sold by SockShop. There are no words to describe the feeling!"

Jo Joyner said:

"I know it's a cliché but it truly was so difficult to choose the 10 finalists and then even harder to choose a winner. There was so much thought, time and creativity that had gone into the designs. Some of the slogans were worthy of a top ad agency! Most impressive was the fact that all the children seemed to have grasped completely the concept of fair trade.

"Elliot's design impressed the judges because it said so much in such a simple way. The smiling face out of the fruit demonstrating the happiness that fair trade brings. Crucially, in terms of a design, the colours, the fact that the design is on the ankle of the sock and the sense of humour displayed made Elliot's a really wearable sock. Congratulations!"

CAFOD Schools Programme Team Leader, Monica Conmee, said

"We are absolutely thrilled at the number of schools and individuals who entered the competition from all over the country. It's clear that the children have loved learning about the important issues surrounding Fairtrade in an interactive and creative way, whilst taking part in a unique competition. This has been the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of Fairtrade products in the UK."

CAFOD works with children, young people and young adults in England and Wales to deepen an understanding of the causes of global poverty and injustice, and offers ways to take action to bring about a just and sustainable world.

Visit to view the designs from all the runners up and the competition winner.

For more information please contact Ellie Wilcock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / on 020 7095 5451 or 07540 265 715

Year 6 pupils at St Benedict's Catholic Primary school in Atherstone are celebrating the completion of their new classroom in a new block exclusively for the school's oldest pupils.

Following on from being re-confirmed by OFSTED as a "Good" school and achieving excellent SATs results, the school has looked to increase the number of pupils it can accept each year. But there simply wasn't enough space to do this and provide much needed before and after school care as well.

In November 2013 Warwickshire County Council endorsed the school's plans for the future and allocated £165,000 to fund the new facility. Only one other school in Warwickshire was awarded funding at the time.

School head teacher Mrs Susan Shannon said; "This new classroom in its own block gives our Year 6 pupils a little independence and a taster of life at secondary school. We have decorated to look more 'grown up' and the children have new state of the art white board, air conditioning and wifi."

She continued: "I am delighted that Warwickshire County Council has considered our school to be a priority for spending at a time when funding is tight and take this as a great vote of confidence in our ability to provide a fantastic education for children from Atherstone and the surrounding villages."

To mark the official opening of the Year 6 block the building was blessed by Fr Michael Miners at a ceremony attended by pupils, parents and a number of invited guests from, local schools, the Local Authority, City Sites who built the room and the Diocese.

For further information please contact:

Mrs Susan Shannon, Head Teacher – 01827 712320


By The Bristol Post | Posted: February 05, 2014

IT'S been a hot topic in political debates around the country for years, but to date there appears to have been more talk than action on the 'living wage' in Bristol. But one city school is leading the way by introducing it – the first in Bristol to do so.

Since the start of the year, St Bede's Catholic College in Lawrence Weston has been paying all its employees a minimum of £7.65 per hour, a rate deemed to be high enough to cover the costs of living in Bristol.  

As a result, 20 workers at the secondary school and sixth form have seen a pay increase.

It was governors at the school who decided to bring in the salary rise, despite the likely consequence of the move being a reduction in the college's budget.
The school's principal, Catherine Hughes, said: "There was generally a welcome to this change when employees were told. Although governors recognise this will have a consequent impact on the budget, that is not justification for paying people less than a fair amount.
"We feel that it was important to become a living wage employer as it is an expression of our solidarity with those individuals and organisations striving to achieve fair pay for all."

The living wage is an hourly wage rate calculated to take into consideration the costs of housing, transport, food and basic essentials for the worker and their family.
In November 2012, the Catholic Bishops' Conference passed a resolution that fully endorses the principle of the living wage and encourages Catholic organisations and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.

Their resolution recognised that fair wages were essential to the "common good" of society.
The term living wage came to prominence in Bristol when it became one of the election pledges of Labour mayoral hopeful Marvin Rees, who lost out to George Ferguson in the race to become the city's first elected mayor in 2012.

He promised to introduce a living wage in Bristol if he was elected to the figurehead post. He pledged to bring in a rate of not less than £7.20 an hour for all council employees and hoped it would be extended across all firms and organisations throughout the city.
Mr Rees said he would have started the living wage from day one of taking office, which would have made Bristol the first council in the country to implement such a policy.
He said evidence had shown that a living wage made business more ethical and also brought down absenteeism, built a more stable and less transient workforce and improved the quality of work that people carried out.

Eventually, all the candidates bar one pledged their to support for the living wage for Bristol.
The living wage was originally a figure determined by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University as a sum people can reasonably live on.

Read more:


Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:53

Saint Paul’s Pupils Join Youth Parliament

Staff and pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe were delighted to receive the news that their Head Boy, George McIlroy, and Head Girl, Mary Jayne Chadwick, have been elected for the Manchester Youth Parliament.

The Manchester Youth Parliament, part of the UK Youth Parliament, which is run by young people, provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.

Now that they have been elected, George and Mary Jayne will be expected to find out the concerns and needs of other young people in their constituency, and represent these views to decision makers on a local, regional and national level.

The Youth Council have been given their own office inside Manchester Town Hall to reflect how serious the Council is about working with young people and listening to their voice.

Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher, explained: "This is a fantastic opportunity for George and Mary Jayne; during their term of office they will have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of events projects and campaigns. They will be able to get to know their local MP and provide feedback for meetings at the House of Commons."

"Whilst working Members of the Youth Parliament, the pupils will be able to develop their communication, debating, negotiating and public speaking skills. They will also have the chance to gain greater knowledge of politics and current affairs and enhance their ability to look at an issue from someone else's perspective, "commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's.


For more information please contact:

Jane McAuliffe-Hall
Publicity and Marketing Manager
St Paul's Catholic High School, a Voluntary Academy and Engineering College

Tel: 0161 493 2859

E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 24 February 2014 15:59

Students Running to Nationals

Press Release- February 2014 

Two pupils from Austin Friars St Monica's School are ranked in the top four in the North of England after excelling at the Northern Inter Counties Cross Country.

Camilla McKnespiey (aged 13) and Esme Davies (aged 12) helped Cumbria to win the Northern Inter Counties Cross Country event recently in Durham. In the year 8/9 girls race, Camilla finished 1st and Esme finished 4th out of a field of 70 girls from Durham, Cleveland, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. Both girls will now represent Cumbria at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in March where they will be racing for their England vests.

Also this year, Camilla and Esme both performed exceptionally well at the English Schools Fell Running Championship at Queen Katherine School, Kendal. In the year 8/9 girl's race of 140 competitors, Camilla and Esme ran brilliantly, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The School would like to wish Camilla and Esme all the success at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in March.


For further information please contact: 

Andrew Hullock
Marketing Administrator
Tel: 01228 550 719 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 13 February 2014 14:27

Ealing student wins national poetry competition

Press Release-

A Year 11 pupil and budding poet at Ealing school, St Augustine's Priory has clinched first prize at the prestigious T.S Eliot Shadowing Prize Competition.

Ridhi Thukral was awarded the top prize after submitting a 500 word essay in support of Daljit Nagra, a professional poet and teacher who was nominated for the T.S Eliot Poetry Prize. Ridhi, a pupil of the independent Catholic girls' school, was inspired by the poet when he visited the school's English department and led a poetry workshop.

The pupil's winning essay highlighted her appreciation for Nagra's "artistic scope and multi-dimensional flair", as well as his "colloquial approach." Ridhi was invited to attend the prize giving and poetry reading at the South Bank Centre.

The T.S Eliot Shadowing Prize is hosted by the Poetry Book Society in association with the English and Media Centre. The awards are aimed at pupils aged 14-19 years old, who have a flair for poetry and an appreciation for the arts.
The prize is also designed to encourage teachers and students to read new exciting poems, published that year but aren't necessarily part of the National Curriculum or set text lists.

Ridhi Thukral said: "Winning this award was a great way to begin 2014. I am passionate about poetry and literature and Daljit Nagra is someone who particularly inspires me. Having the opportunity to meet him at our school in 2012, strengthened my love of poetry and opened my eyes to a variety of styles and tones."

Congratulating Ridhi on her win, Sarah Raffray, headteacher at St Augustine's Priory said: "Ridhi is a very accomplished pupil and we are very proud that she has received this national recognition. I would also like to congratulate the other girls at the school who entered the T.S Eliot Shawdowing Prize. Poerty is an important tool in teaching and studying English language and literature. We encourage this creative discipline at the school by inviting respected authors and poets including Daljit Nagra and Faber Poet, Tom Warner, to come and mentor the girls and share their work; it's an approach that continues to inspire and encourage our pupils."


For further information please contact:

Rachel Mortell 01932 829077 

Press Release- February 2014

A Year 7 pupil at Austin Friars St Monica's School travelled to the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London to receive a Lambeth Achievement Award.

Henry Johnson-Ferguson (aged 12) was one of a select number of school pupils across the country to be awarded with a Lambeth Achievement Award. Henry, who performed exceptionally well in his Key Stage 2 tests, was selected for the award by gaining level 5+ in Reading, Writing, Teacher Assessment and a Maths test.

Henry received a letter from Cathy Twist, Director of Education Learning and Skills for Lambeth who said, "The award ceremony will celebrate the achievement of not just pupils but also the contribution and commitment of families and teachers."

Henry said, "When I got the award I felt very proud. It was a shame because of the rain, but due to the Tube strike I got to cycle across London on a Boris bike."

The School is very proud of Henry's achievements and we look forward to sharing his future achievements with him.

- ENDS -

For further information contact: 

Andrew Hullock
Marketing Administrator

Tel: 01228 550 719 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Release- February 2014 

A group of pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe took part in a special event at the Cornerhouse in Manchester to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The pupils were able to learn more about the desperate journeys faced by Jewish families as they fled their homes, and countries, to escape the Holocaust during World War II.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Naeem ul Hassan, introduced the event and the guest speaker, Paul Laiken, producer of No Place on Earth. Paul talked about his experience of making the film and the memories of the some of the survivors forced to live in the Ukraine caves.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Each year there is a national theme which provides a focus to the event; this year's theme was Journeys.
Miss Ursula Gallagher, Head of Humanities at Saint Paul's, explained: "The pupils were able to learn how journeys themselves became part of genocide, and how the journeys undertaken were often experiences of persecution and terror for so many people who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides. They were also able to look at the life stories of some of the survivors and how, in many instances, journeys of return have been part of the experience of rebuilding."

Miss Gallagher continued: "It is important that we involve young people in this learning so we can develop a legacy which teaches the next generation about respect and tolerance and instills the message of peace."

"This important event gives us an opportunity to take time out to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other atrocities and to look at how we can avoid such things happening in the future," commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's. "The victims of the Holocaust and the terrible injustice which they suffered should never be forgotten."

For further information please contact:

Jane McAuliffe-Hall

Tel: 0161 499 0000

Direct Dial Tel: 0161 493 2859

E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 27 January 2014 16:18

St Mary’s Awarded University Title

Press Release- Monday 27th January

St Mary's University College, Twickenham is delighted to announce that on Thursday 23rd January 2014, it was awarded full university title by the Privy Council.
It means that it will officially change its name to St Mary's University, Twickenham and marks an exciting landmark in the institutions 164 year history.

Dr Arthur Naylor, Interim Principal, said, "These are exciting times for St Mary's and the granting of University title will facilitate its development both at home and abroad."
St Mary's Chair to the Board of Governors Bishop Richard Moth said, "This is excellent news for St Mary's and recognises all that the University offers to students and staff alike."

The news follows the announcement that St Mary's Board of Governors has appointed Francis Campbell as Principal. He will join the University in April 2014.

For further information please contact:

Marina Boor, Senior PR and Marketing Officer on 020 8240 2350 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruth Mellor, Marketing Manager on 020 8240 4083 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013 13:17

School's harvest mass helps local foodbank

5th November 2013

Children at St Benedict's Catholic Primary School in Atherstone ended their Autumn half-term with a special harvest mass remembering the hard work farmers put into producing our food, as well as thinking of those people who do not have enough to eat.
This year donations from the school children and their families were sent to Tamworth foodbank as well as to 26 elderly or sick parishioners in Atherstone and the surrounding villages.And, because hunger is a global problem, the children also prayed for those around the world who do not have enough to eat.
Mrs Susan Shannon, Headteacher at St Benedict's said "It is heartening to see such a generous response from the school's families.We know that those who receive the harvest parcels are always touched that others are thinking about them and this is one of many ways in which we encourage the children to care for their wider community."

For further information please contact: 

Head Teacher Mrs Susan Shannon – 01827 712320

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