Monthly Archives - November 2018

Official Opening of New Nursery St Mary’s Primary School, Brewood

Mr Brown with nursery children.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Brewood, the top performing primary school in Staffordshire, is celebrating the opening of its brand new nursery classroom.   The nursery was officially opened by Mr Karl Brown, Principal at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Stafford (BWH).

The informal ceremony was attended by prospective parents, school governors and local dignitaries from Brewood Parish Council. As well as presentation on life at St Mary’s, the morning also featured musical performances from BWH students who used to attend St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.  Both schools are members of the Painsley Catholic Academy.

Mrs Bernadette Corbett, Executive Headteacher at St Mary’s commented, “We are so delighted with this new facility that we wanted to mark the occasion with an event. It was fantastic to see former students coming back and chatting to our existing students.   All the children who took part in the morning performed excellently and made me very proud.”

St Mary’s has provided a nursery for the local community for the past two years, but it has always operated in a separate building - the old school house - which belonged to the Parish.

Mrs Bernadette Corbett decided it would benefit the nursery children and the whole school if they were relocated into the main school building.

The new space is attached to the main school and offers a much more versatile environment, as it allows the children a more free-flow experience to outdoor learning throughout the day. The children also have direct access to the main school hall and other facilities allowing them to be fully integrated members of the school family.

St Mary’s Nursery can now take up to 15 children a day from 2-4 years of age, in a modern environment designed specifically to meet the children's learning needs in a stimulating and safe way.  The building fully complies with the expectations of the Early Years Foundation Stage giving the children stability and consistency.

St Mary’s was officially listed as the fourth best performing primary school in the country last year.


St Thomas’ placed in top 3% of Primary Schools in the Country for Phonics Screening

St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School in Tean, has received a special letter of recognition from Rt Hon Nick Gibb, MP the Minister of State for School Standards.  The letter congratulates the school on its 100% success rate in the recent phonics screening check, a result which places St Thomas’ in the top 3% of primary schools in the country.

The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England.  It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how their children are progressing in phonics. It helps to identify whether children need additional support at this early stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

There are two sections in the 40-word check which assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1.  It is an informal school-based check that lasts no more than 15 minutes with the class teacher to evaluate how well the children can sound out and blend sounds in order to read simple words.

The check is not about passing or failing but ensuring appropriate progress is being made.   All schools and academies in England must take part in the phonics screening check unless they are an independent school.

St Thomas’ Acting Principal, Sarah Baxter, commented, “As a school we are very proud of all of the hard work that the children, parents and teachers do every day to ensure that everyone is the best that they can be. Reading is the gateway to success and these children are firmly on that path.”

Mrs Lindsey Gidman, Literacy Lead, with some of the children who took the phonics test (now in Year 2)

Painsley Student Wins at her First Horse of the Year Show

Painsley Catholic College student, Emily Bettany (14) from Staffordshire, is celebrating some fantastic results at the recent Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham which took place from 3rd October to 7th.   This is the first time that the young rider has attended the show and promises not to be the last. On the Saturday Emily was asked to ride a pony for another member of her team and was delighted to win the championship in the main arena at night watched by over 10,000 people.  Emily rode Drakemyre, Puttin’ On The Ritz  (Alfie) for the Till family and was delighted when he came first in the Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year Championship.  Emily also appeared in the TV coverage. Emily also came 6th and 7th in the show hunter pony and mountain and moorland large breeds on the Sunday. Emily’s days at the Horse of the Year Show involved getting up every morning at 4am to warm up and then practice throughout the day until show time. “I am really grateful to my school for allowing me to take part in this wonderful experience, also to my family and friends whose support and enthusiasm has meant the world to me.” commented Emily.