Monthly Archives - April 2019

Special Preview of Alton Towers New Dungeons Experience for Painsley Students

Over forty pupils from Painsley Catholic College were treated to a private Alton Towers ‘Dungeon Experience’ before the new 2019 feature and the park was opened to the public. Work began on transforming what was ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ into the Alton Towers Dungeon in September 2018 and was completed in just six months – 45,000 man hours.   The 23 actors employed as part of the experience wanted to perfect their performances with feedback from their target audience and so invited Painsley to send a select group of students to the park. The trip was an ideal fit as part of the Mastery Programme led by Painsley’s English department designed to improve the pupils’ communication skills and boost their confidence. During the ‘Dungeon experience,’ the pupils engaged with characters and stories as they journeyed through a variety of different scenes connected with Alton Towers and the local area.  These stories ranged from Dick Turpin to Molly Leigh, the infamous witch of Burslem.  The students were then interviewed by the team about their experience, which gave them a chance to practice their spoken language skills whilst providing valuable feedback to enable the actors to fine-tune their performances. “Listening to the ghostly stories told by the Alton Towers performers has helped the pupils to better understand the use of dramatic language as well as inspiring their imaginations.  They all really enjoyed this experience; it was a fantastic opportunity to engage with local stories and provide a stimulus for future work.  Because it was so interactive, it really brought the students’ learning to life.” commented Mrs Hopkinson, Head of English at Painsley. Pupils and staff were selected to participate with a variety of the stories, including being locked in a cell, being put on trial and being subjected to treatment for the plague. Pupil, Cara McCarney (Year 8) said, ‘It was fun and scary at the same time – we also learned about torture and its place in history.” The new Alton Towers Dungeons Experience opened to the public on Saturday 23th March.

Painsley Footballers Celebrate winning County Cup

Footballers at Painsley Catholic College, Cheadle, are celebrating their latest victory which has seen the team win the title and cup for the best team in Staffordshire.

The team has performed consistently well all year and as yet, remains unbeaten.  The County final was played away against Thomas Alleyne’s High School in Uttoxeter and was a close game (1-1) decided on penalties.

“The boys are a great team, highly skilled and with a great understanding of team play.” commented Football Coach and PE Teacher at Painsley Catholic Academy, Mr Paul Allen.  “They really deserve this win and should be congratulated on their commitment and attitude.

“The first round of the cup saw us play away at De Ferrers Academy in Burton-Trent, where the team won 2-1.  We scored the winning goal in injury time and during the game, James Wright, our goalkeeper, saved two penalties, one of which was the last kick of the game.

“In the quarter final we played Trentham High School at home. It was a very close match but we ended up winning 4-3. The semi-final was played away against Excel Academy (Stoke-on-Trent) where the Painsley team won 5-0 in a comfortable match qualifying to face Thomas Alleyne’s in the final.  The final game was close and despite a strong start ended 1-1 going straight to penalties.  Painsley achieved a 100% record in the shootout, with four out of four goals scored, taking them to victory and winning them the title.  Well done!”


St Austin’s Children Safe+Sound ready for Easter Holidays

On Monday 1st April children from St Austin’s Catholic Primary School attended a special Safe+ Sound event organised by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) at Stafford Fire Station, Beaconside. Safe+ Sound is a workshop designed to support children and other members of the community to make informed and positive choices improving their health, safety and wellbeing. Partners come together at Community Fire Stations around the County to deliver interactive workshops on subjects such as fire safety, emergency first aid, drug and alcohol awareness, road and truck safety, anti-social behaviour, personal safety (internet and online safety), water safety, rail safety and emotional wellbeing. The events are SFRS’s mobile education programme which is delivered with partners including Staffordshire Police, the Canal and River Trust (C&RT), Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), St John’s Ambulance, DHL, Ministry of Defence Medics, Network Rail and the Safer Roads Partnership. “The children really enjoyed the activities on the day and it was fantastic that such a diverse range of safety messages were delivered in a way that made it interesting as well as educational.  I think the children were particularly taken with the big truck and fire engine.  They also enjoyed being taught CPR using dummies and practising putting each other in the recovery position.  Our students behaved very well and showed a great understanding of online safety.” commented Mrs Michelle Hoyle, Head of School at St Austin’s Catholic Primary School. Helen Wood, Education Manager for SFRS, said: “We’re thrilled to hear how much children from St Austin’s Catholic Primary school enjoyed the Safe+Sound sessions. The programme is designed to allow children to learn interactively, which we feel is the best way of them understanding the importance of our safety messages.  For example, our partner delivery company DHL, bring a large lorry to sessions so children can experience for themselves how difficult it is for a driver to see them, and they learn how to keep safe around large vehicles. “As the weather gets warmer and school holidays approach we typically sees an increase in outdoor fires so we also deliver sessions covering our Flames Aren’t Games (FAG) campaign. This campaign aims to reduce the numbers of outdoor fires by educating young people about the danger fire setting poses to them and to others.” Over recent weeks 1,200 children have attended Safe+ Sound events.