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

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 12:14

Inspired Scientists at Saint Paul’s!

PRESS RELEASE - November 2013

Pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently took part in an inspirational day at the school designed to introduce them to the wide range of careers available in engineering, and to show them that they can aspire to be engineers too!

Pupils from Years 8 and 9 were able to participate in the careers driven show organized by "Science Made Simple" which brought the brilliance of science to life with an amazing, high energy interactive event.

The show focused on the magic of engineering and the pupils were able to discover how engineers design cars that go hundreds of miles an hour, build structures that can survive earthquakes, and cook food by using only mirrors!
Saint Paul's has specialist status for Engineering and has a distinctive science and engineering ethos running throughout the school and is very keen to inspire and engage the pupils in Science and Engineering.

The event aimed to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists with fun and participative activities. The activities highlighted how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives.

Mr Daniel Spencer, Science teacher at Saint Paul's, explained: "The activities were great fun and very popular with the pupils. The sessions helped the pupils see how Science and Engineering can be applied in real life."

"The pupils were able to consider what engineering is, where it can be found and how it has changed our lives," added Mr Spencer.

"Science and Engineering are vital to the future of our country and involvement in projects such as this are a great way for us to encourage our pupils to enjoy the subjects and see them as both interesting and accessible," commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's. "We need to do everything we can to inspire the next generation and show them the future opportunities available to them."

For further information please contact: 

Jane McAuliffe-Hall

Publicity and Marketing Manager

St Paul's Catholic High School, a Voluntary Academy and Engineering College (Member of the Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust) Firbank Road Newall Green Manchester  M23 2YS

Tel: 0161 437 5841

PRESS RELEASE- October 2013

A group of pupils at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe took part in anti-bullying training where they were able to explore and understand the issues of bullying through a series of interactive sessions.

The pupils, all members of the School Parliament, took part in the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassadors training where they gained practical ideas and received tips on how to stop bullying, enabling them to prevent bullying and ensure everyone feels safe and happy in school.

The training provided the pupils with a greater understanding of the issue of bullying and allowed them to explore, through drama, scenarios Anti-Bullying Ambassadors may come across. They looked at the skills needed to support others and protective behaviours for keeping themselves and others safe.

“This was an excellent opportunity for our pupils, they left feeling inspired and with a clear action plan,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher. “The pupils took part in ideas sessions where they were able to share ideas and good practice and look at case studies and examples of schools who had effectively introduced anti-bullying practices.”

 “At school, we send out a clear and positive message that bullying is neither acceptable nor inevitable at Saint Paul’s,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We all play a part in working together to create a society where bullying is not tolerated and where we all respond to bullying quickly and appropriately.”

For further information please contact:

Jane McAuliffe-Hall
Publicity and Marketing Manager
St Paul's Catholic High School, a Voluntary Academy and Engineering College (Member of the Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust) Firbank Road Newall Green Manchester M23 2YS

Tel: 0161 437 5841

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:31


Every year we all agree that the Rite of Welcome is a most moving occasion for the whole school. It is a beautiful ceremony, unique to St Mary's School, which welcomes all new staff and pupils to our community. Newcomers have now settled into school life, and we all rejoice in welcoming them as being truly part of the family. The Rite of Welcome took place on 27th September 2013 in chapel, and began with a word of greeting from the Head, Mr James.

The ceremony is based on a beautiful liturgical service expressed through hymns and reflections. Centred on God's Word, each individual is greeted in love, prayer and friendship. Firstly, we are all invited to listen to pupils and staff giving their first impressions since arriving. The support and kindness at St Mary's are felt as each girl acknowledges the warm welcome received, and the help and guidance from her 'Guardian Angel', that is, the girl assigned to offer practical care. The new girls were both articulate and funny in giving their first impressions. They spoke of much kindness at St Mary's, the wonderful lunches, the long kilts, the school drive which can be daunting, but most of all, of their joy in belonging here. Miss McGirr, our new member of the Mathematics Department, spoke warmly on behalf of new staff.

An excellent address on joining St Mary's was delivered by Miss Radford, Director of Music, who last term celebrated forty years of work at the school! Her talk was amazingly good, anecdotal, humorous, informative and delivered with great joy! She spoke of her gratitude in belonging to a family where values are shared by all; she referred to the generosity of the nuns in the early days; she spoke of community as organic, rooted in faith; she underlined the dignity and uniqueness of each one.

The most moving part of this ceremony is when each new member is called by name and comes forward accompanied by their sponsor. They are welcomed, blest, and receive a rose, together with the school Prayer Book. With new names adorning the chapel walls, and big smiles all around, with beautiful organ tones of 'O Praise ye the Lord', we thanked God for our new members at St Mary's.

Miss Andrea (Chaplain)

For further information please contact:

Mrs Charlotte Stephens
Marketing Manager & Registrar
01747 857102
07581 308255



Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:13

Heythrop College joins The Cathedrals Group

Media Release from The Cathedrals Group (The Council of Church Colleges and Universities) 

For immediate release 30 August 2013

The Cathedrals Group* is delighted to welcome a new member. Heythrop College, University of London*, joins as a full member of The Cathedrals Group from this academic year. 

The Cathedrals Group of Church-foundation universities today welcomes into full membership Heythrop College, the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. 

With just under one thousand students, Heythrop will be the smallest member institution but as a specialist provider of theology and religious studies, it equates to one of the largest providers in the UK and sits well with the other members. Collectively more than 44% of all UK theology and religious studies students (undergraduates, postgraduates and research students) are at Cathedrals Group institutions.

The Group’s newest member institution will also be its oldest. Other member institutions were founded by the Churches from the nineteenth century onwards for the purpose of training teachers for Church schools. The earliest foundation was that of the University of Chester in 1839. 

Heythrop College will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church) in 2014. In 1971 a Royal Charter established it as a College of the University of London, with a mission ‘to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit’.

Professor Joy Carter, Chair of The Cathedrals Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester said: ‘I am delighted that such a distinguished institution as Heythrop College is joining The Cathedrals Group. We share an explicit Christian heritage that underpins a strong commitment to common values. These include developing strong ethical principles in all aspects of higher education, and building communities that embrace and value diversity. Heythrop’s ethos and academic strengths in teaching and research within theology and religious studies complement provision in other Cathedrals Group institutions. We look forward to building on our common strengths and values together.’


The Revd Michael Holman SJ, Principal of Heythrop College, said: ‘Joining The Cathedrals Group is an important step for Heythrop as we seek to engage more actively with other institutions with Church-based foundations, in the promotion of theological and philosophical education. The values of our particular, Jesuit tradition complement the collective mission of the wider Group, through our commitment to providing an education which is formative of the whole person and which facilitates understanding, promotes social justice and serves the public good. I look forward very much to our collaboration with The Cathedrals Group in the months and years ahead and believe it will be a mutually beneficial affiliation for staff, students and supporters from across the spectrum of Group members.’

Notes to Editor
The Cathedrals Group is an association of universities and university colleges with Church foundations, serving more than 100,000 students. This is almost 5 per cent of all UK students, making The Cathedrals Group about the same size as the university sector in Wales. It is the only grouping in the higher education landscape based on ethical principles informed by faith-based values. The Cathedrals Group is a registered charity under its official title, The Council of Church Universities and Colleges.
A principal object of the Cathedrals Group is to contribute to the well-being of society. Member institutions share a strong commitment to values such as social justice, respect for the individual, and promoting the public good through work with communities and third sector organisations. 
Other Cathedral Group members are: Bishop Grosseteste University; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Chester; University of Chichester; University of Cumbria; University of Gloucestershire; University of St Mark & St John; Leeds Trinity University; Liverpool Hope University; Newman University; Roehampton University; St Mary’s University College, Twickenham; University of Wales Trinity St David; University of Winchester; and York St John University.
Heythrop College is the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. With just under 1,000 students, Heythrop offers a personal learning environment, tailored to the needs of the individual student. In 2014 Heythrop will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 1614 by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church). In 1971 Heythrop became a college of the University of London, with a mission to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit. Today Heythrop retains a modern Catholic ethos whilst offering an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives. In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, Heythrop also provides a resource for faith communities and others through the work of the Centres and Institutes. College staff have a wide range of expertise, with particular strengths in Abrahamic religions, interfaith relations, ethics, philosophy of religion and psychology of religion.
Information about The Cathedrals Group can be found on their website at: 
Information about Heythrop College, University of London can be found on the College’s own website at:
For more information and comment, please contact:
Sue Boorman, General Secretary of The Cathedrals Group
Tel: 01438 814868 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Amy Fenton, Marketing & Recruitment Manager, Heythrop College
Tel: 020 7795 4244
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:24

Outstanding GCSE results again at The Barlow

Press Release - 22 August 2013

Students at The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury have once again surpassed all expectations, with an amazing 97% of all students achieving the highest possible GCSE results of at least 5 A*-C grades. Students at The Barlow performed well in all subjects, with 88% awarded A* - Cs in Science and 72% gaining those grades in English and Maths.

The Barlow’s results are significantly above the national average and maintain the school’s excellent performance record. The outstanding results place The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing schools in Manchester.

The top 10 GCSE achievers scored a massive 91 A*-A grades between them. Eleven of those belonged to sixteen-year old Lauren Flaherty from Didsbury. Lauren said, “I am so happy with my results especially with my A*s in Biology and Geography. I’m going on study these subjects alongside Spanish and English Literature at Xaverian College. I worked really hard to get my grades. All my teachers were very supportive and the extra revision classes and past paper practice they organised really paid off. I’m going to miss everything about The Barlow, especially the teachers and my friends. I’m looking forward to going to College and then on to University.”

Head Teacher Mrs Claire McCarron said, “We are all absolutely delighted with the outstanding success of all our students. The high numbers achieving excellent grades in the more challenging academic subjects show that The Barlow continues to prepare its pupils for the challenges of A-Level and beyond. These results confirm another outstanding year for our students. Both the students and our excellent, committed teachers have worked hard and have received the full support of parents and Governors. It has been a real team effort. Congratulations to our students on their well-deserved success.”

The school has recently received its second national award in two years from The Schools Network (SSAT) for its outstanding achievement. The Barlow has received national recognition for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country. 



For more information please contact:

Kathryn Carr, Marketing & Communications Manager

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

0161 445 8053 

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