5 November 2014
Press Release - For immediate release
The Church of England Education Division and Catholic Education Service have called for action on Religious Studies GCSE
The Church of England's Education Division and the Catholic Education Service (representing over 6,000 schools and 1.7 million pupils) have welcomed the Prime Minister's commitment to launch a new set of criteria for Religious Studies qualifications at GCSE and A-Level without delay.
The two religious bodies have worked closely with Department for Education officials to draft the new criteria, which ensures that Religious Studies offers pupils breadth, rigour and a rich understanding of systems of thought held by three quarters of the world's population.
The Church of England's Chief Education Officer, Rev'd Nigel Genders, said: "Looking at the world today, it is hard to overstate the importance of equipping the young people of this country with a challenging and rigorous education which includes religious literacy. This new set of criteria will provide qualifications which do exactly that, and I hope the government will act to launch them publically as soon as possible."
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference Department of Education and Formation, said: "In Catholic schools, Religious Education forms the core of the curriculum which is why we have worked closely with the Department for Education in developing a rigorous set of criteria. We are therefore excited about the opportunities that these will give our schools in delivering an academic study of religious education which conforms with the Bishops' requirements, and look forward to the imminent launch of the consultation."
Press Release - May 2014
A group of pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently took part in a Big Car Wash where they washed cars in order to raise money for Henshaws Society for Blind People.
The Year 10 pupils wanted to support a local charity and chose Henshaws because of their work with the blind and the visually impaired in the local community.
The aims of Henshaws are to improve the eye health of people living in the UK and eliminate avoidable sight loss. They also deliver excellent support to people with sight loss and enhance the inclusion, participation and independence of the blind.
The fund raising was led by Year 10 pupil, Niamh McLoughlin, who had a great desire to help the visually impaired and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in her organisation of the week-long event.
"Niamh wanted to offer her support to Henshaws whose vision is to enable people with sight loss and people with other disabilities to build the skills and independence they need, to achieve the future they want," explained Ms Claire Bowman of Saint Paul's.
"She was inspired by the charity and wanted to help those with sight loss to achieve their full potential in life, enabling them to live independent and fulfilling lives."
Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's, said:
"We are all very proud of Niamh and the initiative she has shown in raising the profile of Henshaws Society for the Blind and the commitment of her time and energy. Fundraising by students is a regular activity at Saint Paul's, it involves fun activities that help others and build group cooperation. We encourage fund raising activities which deepen students' understanding and enhance their potential to become well-informed active citizens."
Press Release- May 2014
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, the lead school in the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP) Teaching School Alliance, has been selected by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to become a national teaching school – an important role in raising standards.
Teaching Schools and Teaching School Alliances will take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools.
Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are all rated as "outstanding" and mark a shift towards school-centred training. They work with partner schools in an alliance, including at least one university, to ensure high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.
They raise standards through school-to-school support, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful head teachers.
Mary McAndrew head teacher of St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School and National Leader of Education said:
"The CSP Teaching Schools Alliance is a group of schools in Bradford and Keighley who are committed to raising standards within Bradford and beyond by offering our pupils learning opportunities of the highest possible quality, enhanced by our distinctive Catholic ethos."
"Combining the wealth of expertise from our Alliance Members, including primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges, the Diocese of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University, we are able to offer professional development opportunities in a wide range of fields and bespoke school to school support, which will ensure that the CSP is at the forefront of improving outcomes for children."
"The greatest benefit of being part of the CSP alliance is that it is owned by all our schools, all working together ensuring that a distinctive Catholic element is woven throughout all our work. Our firm belief and guiding principle is: 'Not my school but our schools'."
Press Release- April 2014
It's not every day you get to perform with a music legend, but that's exactly what happened for the pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe when they were invited to sing with pop icon Gary Barlow on his recent tour.
The school choir delighted a capacity audience with their vocal talents when they were selected to sing with Gary at the sell out concert at Manchester Phones4U Arena.
Under the musical direction of Gary Barlow and Saint Paul's Music teacher, Mr Daniel Hodsdon, the choir performed "Sing" the Official Diamond Jubilee song co-written by Gary Barlow and renowned musical theatre composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber. The song was originally performed by artists across The Commonwealth to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The Choir had been busy in rehearsal for their big moment on the stage and they were rewarded with the incredible opportunity to sing alongside Gary Barlow and received a fabulous standing ovation after their performance. They certainly made Wythenshawe proud and gave the audience a night to remember!
One pupil said: "I can't put into words how amazing it was, it was one of best experiences I've ever been involved in. Singing in front of an arena full of people with Gary Barlow was mind blowing!"
Daniel Hodsdon explained: "We aim to provide a varied musical education at Saint Paul's, introducing children to the joy of music and the value in performing with others. To be given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform with Gary Barlow was fantastic. I felt so proud when the choir's performance concluded with thunderous applause echoing throughout the arena."
"To Sing 'Sing" alongside Gary Barlow was an incredible triumph for our school choir," said Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's. "It was an amazing opportunity to showcase their remarkable talent and energy."
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