Painsley Students and Staff celebrate Ofsted joy

Painsley College Celebrates Outstanding Quality of Education

Painsley Catholic College is delighted to share the results of its recent Ofsted Inspection – with the quality of teaching and its Sixth Form receiving ‘outstanding’ judgments.

This is the College’s first full inspection since becoming an academy back in 2012 and comes after what has been a difficult couple of years for all schools and colleges with the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

Mrs Rachel Waugh, who has been the Principal at Painsley since 2018 said, “I would like to thank the staff for the part they played in the inspection, but more importantly the part they play in our College family on a daily basis.  As reflected in the ‘Outstanding’ grades, Painsley provides an exceptional educational experience, which would not be possible without the dedication of our wonderful staff.”

The report praises Painsley for its pastoral care and personal development of students, as well as the great academic progress all students make.

“Pupils enjoy a wide variety of enrichment opportunities. They take on leadership responsibilities and they serve the local community. Many pupils play in musical ensembles and take part in regular school shows.”

Inspectors also recognised that careers advice and guidance at the College is of particularly high quality.  Governance and leadership was praised and the report recognised that overall parent feedback was very positive.

Mrs Waugh continued, “At this point in time of the post-pandemic era, achieving ‘Outstanding’ in all areas of a full inspection would have been challenging.  However, we will work hard to respond to the overall ‘Good’ rating, and strive towards achieving ‘Outstanding’ in all areas as we move forwards.”

Painsley Students and Staff celebrate Ofsted joy
School Games Gold

School Games Gold Mark Award for BWH

We are delighted to announce that Blessed William Howard Catholic High School has achieved the School Games Gold Mark Award for the 2021/22 academic year.

 The School Games Mark, launched in 2012, is a government-led award scheme facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust. It rewards and recognises school engagement in the School Games against a national benchmark and celebrates keeping young people active.  BWH says it is 'obviously delighted' to have been recognised for its success.

 In addition to all the competitions BWH takes part in, the PE Department also offers weekly clubs that run at lunch time and after school, including basketball, netball and football, all of which have high levels of participation and enjoyment.

 Some of the school’s sporting successes this year include:

    • Y7 and Y8 students winning the District Athletics Competition.
    • Y8 Girls: District Rounders Champions in May.
    • Stafford Rugby Club tournament: Y10 winners and Y9 runners-up.
    • Y8 and Y10 District Football Champions, with Y11 girls also making it through to this stage.
    • Y9 Netball: runners-up in the Stafford Schools netball tournament.
    • Year 10 girls: reached the finals of the Staffordshire Indoor County Cricket Tournament in Wolverhampton.
    • Despite several players being away on the Year 7 residential trip to The Briars, we were still able to participate in the Stafford District U12 netball tournament held at Penkridge Middle School. The girls won one, drew one and lost two in their group matches to finish 3rd in their group.  Despite not qualifying for the semi-finals, it was a great first experience of inter-school competition!
    • Year 8 basketball team victory.
  • Y9 and Y10 boys played outstanding rugby in their first fixture of the year against Walton High School, winning 32-0!

Mr Brown, Principal , commented: ‘We are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of physical activity and school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who make our events possible.  We are committed to using the School Games to try and engage those young people who haven’t previously been active or represented our school and to try and ensure that all our students have a positive experience and want to try out new activities beyond school in our wider community.  We believe in creating a love of sport and life-long fitness, the power of physical activity and school sport, as well as giving opportunities to those young people that need it most, either as a participant, leader, official or volunteer."

School Games Gold
Cycle for Sanctuary

Cycle For Sanctuary 29th June

All of the schools in The Painsley (North) Catholic Academy are taking part in a cycle ride for charity on Wednesday 29th June.  It will involve a team of riders who represent each of the schools cycling from St Mary's Leek to St Joseph's Uttoxeter and calling in at each of the other schools enroute throughout the day. Money raised is going to support St Chad's Sanctuary in Birmingham who provide a place of welcome and support to refugees and asylum seekers.   If you are able to support this event - please donate via our JustGiving page:
A schedule of the times is below:
St Mary's Leek (start) - 8.15am
The Faber Catholic Primary (Cotton) 9.45/10.15am
St Giles Catholic Primary (Cheadle) 11.15am / 11.30am
Painsley Catholic College (Cheadle) 11.35/11.45am
St Filumena's Catholic Primary (Caverswall) 12.30pm - depart 1.20pm
St Thomas' Catholic Primary, Tean - 1.45pm / 2pm
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Uttoxeter - 3pm
Cycle for Sanctuary

St Dominic’s Primary is OUTSTANDING!

St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School in Stone is celebrating reaching official ‘Outstanding’ status in its recent Ofsted inspection.  Teachers, support staff and students are all delighted with the result. The school was previously judged to be ‘good’ in its last full inspection in 2012 and in a short inspection in 2019. Since 2018, the school has become a member of The Painsley Catholic Academy and recently extended its provision with the opening of a pre-school nursery facility on site. All areas of the school were judged to be outstanding during the two day inspection at the end of March. This includes the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and Early Years provision. The report states; “Everyone at St. Dominic’s does their very best to live up to the school’s mission “As Children of God, we Love One another. Consequently, this is a very friendly and caring school. Leaders have very high expectations for every pupil’s academic success. They place equally high importance on developing pupils’ consideration for others…leaders provide an extremely wide range of exciting and innovative activities to meet pupils’ interests and develop their talents. Leaders have designed the curriculum so that pupils link what they learn to the world beyond school….Behaviour in lessons and around school is exemplary.” Mrs Dianne Stokes, Head teacher at St Dominic’s commented, “I am delighted with this report which acknowledges the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the staff and school community.” St Dominic’s takes children from age 3 to 11 and welcomes children of all faiths.

£16,500 Raised by The Painsley Catholic Academy for CAFOD’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal. 

The Painsley Catholic Academy is delighted to announce that its schools have collectively raised £16,500 for CAFOD’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.  The academy comprises two Catholic high schools and thirteen Catholic Primary schools in Staffordshire and started their fundraising in March.

Primary school activities included sponsored walks, fun runs, making and selling craft items including their own story books, bake sales, film nights and many more.  Two primary schools asked students to bring in loose change and used the coins to fill in a large map of Ukraine. A special mention should also go to St Filumena's Catholic Primary School who raised a massive £2446 with their ‘Walk For Ukraine’, where the children completed laps of the sports field within a set time.

At Blessed William Howard Catholic High School, in Stafford, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Uttoxeter and Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle, students brought in a huge quantity of items to be shipped to Ukraine – items such as bedding / torches and long-life food, in addition to raising almost £10,000 in funds.

Painsley College asked students to use a £1 donation from the RE Department and to make it grow by investing it into their own personal fundraising activities. Blessed William Howard students organised a whole day of activities for the school, including 'sponge the teacher', tuck shops, penalty shoot outs and rowing competitions.

St John’s Catholic Primary School in Great Haywood near Stafford is one of the smaller schools in the academy, and has welcomed three Ukrainian children into its family this term.  Head of School, Mrs Lucy Snaith, commented, “The school community has raised over £150 for the CAFOD appeal but what has been really amazing is just how lovely our children have been in welcoming our three new students and going out of their way to make them feel at home.”

Mr Steve Bell, CEO at The Painsley Catholic Academy said, “I am immensely proud of the efforts of all of our students, from age 3 to age 18, they have all taken this campaign to their hearts.  Thank you also to parents and staff who have supported the various initiatives throughout the academy.”


Awards Evening to Celebrate Success 

Painsley Catholic College was delighted to be able to return to a face to face awards evening on Wednesday 6th April, after a couple of years of disruption due to Covid.  The event was still scaled down, in order to reduce infection risk, however, 147 students were invited to receive awards on the special evening with one guest to accompany them.

Students from Years 7 to 10 received Outstanding Attainment and Progress Awards, 64 of these going to Year 7 students who started at the College in September.  Students from Year 11 received Subject, Outstanding Effort, Senior Sports, D&E Matthews Award for Cricket and Special Awards and students from Year 13 received fourteen Special Awards.

Sophia Ferocino, James Howard (Year 10 students) and Madelyn Hammonds (Year 8) received the Robert Bickerton Endeavour Award, given to students who received the most number of nominations from all departments within the school and who have also had at least three 100% effort certificates this academic year.  William Simpson (Year 10) was the Faith in Action award.

Special guests in attendance included Cllr Sue Walley, Mayor of Cheadle, and her consort, Mr K Walley who presented a civic award to Emre Tezgel.  Cllr L Swindlehurst, Mayor of Leek) and her consort and Mr P and Mrs A Lomas from the Cheadle Rotary Club.

Mr Steven Bell, as Chief Executive Officer of the Painsley MAC, was the Guest of Honour and he presented the awards.

“The Painsley Catholic College Annual Awards evening is one of the main events in our calendar,” commented Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College. “Although we had to reduce numbers this year, it was fantastic to be able to return to holding the event in person.  We have an excellent cohort of students and it is amazing to be able to reward our learners with such a prestigious event.  Congratulations to all of our winners, and my thanks to our special guests who were able to attend.”

The College has also had presentation ceremonies for all year groups following the evening to share additional awards for effort, sport, drama, music, UK maths challenge and world book day winners.
Painsley finalists

Painsley Students Celebrate Majority Win at Future Journalist Awards  

Painsley Catholic College is delighted to announce that twelve of its students have made the winners list of this year’s Future Journalist Awards.  The awards were announced during an awards ceremony held at Staffordshire University.

The awards are an annual competition hosted by the university’s journalism department and organised by third-year Sports Journalism students.  Open to young people aged seven to 18, the competition gives aspiring journalists a way to showcase their work, submitting an article, review, or blog, or creating a short video or audio clip.  Of the 18 awards available to secondary school students, Painsley students were awarded 12, an overwhelming majority.

Danielle Booker, PR lecturer at Staffordshire University, said: “We had a record number of submissions this year, with over 500 entries, and the standard of the work was extremely high.

“Due to the pandemic, this has been our first in-person awards ceremony since 2019 and it’s been fantastic to welcome our finalists and their families and teachers to the university.

“I think we have some extremely talented young people, ready to be the next generation of bloggers, vloggers, broadcasters and journalists.”

During the ceremony, special guest speaker Laura Watson, business editor at The Sentinel and Stoke-on-Trent Live, shared highlights from her career and provided advice on pursuing a career in media.

“It’s really important that we encourage children to get involved from a young age, so they know what’s expected of them,” said Laura.

“There was nothing like this around when I was at school, and I think the competition is a really good way of showcasing the industry to aspiring journalists.”

Sports commentator Seb Hutchinson, who completed a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism at Staffordshire University, recorded a special video message for the awards.

Seb has worked with the UK’s leading sports broadcasters such as Sky, BT Sport, and ITV, and has covered some of the world's biggest sporting events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Rugby World Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.

Each winner received a £50 Amazon voucher and an opportunity to take part in a Newsday experience in the University’s newsroom facilities.

Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College said, “ I am thrilled and incredibly proud of our finalists, runners-up and winners. What an incredible achievement! All those who took part are to be congratulated on their amazing talents and achievements, this is a wonderful accolade for each of our students and indeed our college.”

The Painsley winners are listed below:

Years 7-9

Written Runner-up: Louis Mellor

Written Runner-up: Holly Jones

Written Winner: Millie Bradshaw 

Audio Runner-up: Lucy Kieher-Knapper

Audio Runner-up: Eli Hughes

Video Runner-up: Scarlett Nichols

Video Runner-up: Jacob Konen

Video Winner: Isabelle Histead 

Years 10-11

Written Runner-up:  James Thorley

  Years 12-13

Written Runner-up: Lucy Davies

Special prize winners:

VR Experience Winner: Lila Melnykevicova 

Co-op Hamper Winner: Elizabeth Booth


Beauty and The Beast Performance from Students

From 16th-18th February, over 80 Painsley Catholic College created the enchanted world of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the well loved fairytale which tells the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is trapped under the spell of an enchantress.

The high-selling production at Painsley was created by the team of students from age 11 to 18, who were not only performers, but stage managers and technicians too. The musical was a complete team effort being lead by Miss Chloe Hickey, Drama Subject Lead at Painsley. Miss Hickey was assisted by 4 student directors and a student choreographer, all in Y13 at Painsley Sixth Form who helped to direct and choreograph the performance, and with vocal coaching by Mrs April Reardon-Davies. Senior students were also involved in the creation of the set and props design.

There was superb musical direction from the Head of Music, Miss H Bennett, who ensured not only that the pit band sounded wonderful, but gelled the cast and band together seamlessly.

"The musical was a wonderful opportunity to allow students to enhance their performance skills within a ‘professional’ context, working with peers they may not have known otherwise. Taking part in a full scale musical, whether as a performer or backstage, is something that every student should be proud of." said Miss Chloe Hickey.

With huge numbers such as ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Gaston’ the cast excelled in all areas, giving an outstanding performance on all nights with fantastic choreography and singing. The students hard work in the months leading up to the musical was extremely evident, with advanced choreography and superb vocals. The lead cast members gave an outstanding performance, retelling the classic musical with huge amounts of passion and talent. Definitely young people to keep an eye out for in the years to come!

One audience member commented: "it was absolutely amazing, everyone must be so so proud. I honestly had tears in my eyes watching, I really can not put into words what a fantastic performance Painsley put on this evening."

Another saying: "We all had a fantastic time.  Everyone's gaze was glued to the stage (and to the band) throughout the performance.  It was so lovely to be able to join together as a wider community and enjoy some live entertainment with a shared enthusiasm."

"Well done to all involved! We are already looking forward to  next years musical at Painsley Catholic College in February 2023!" added Miss Hickey.

NB Photo credits: Nick Barber 2022


Cross Country Stars for Painsley

Painsley Catholic College enjoyed some fantastic performances by some of its students at the County Cross-Country, ranging from Year 7 to Year 13.
The College had a handful of students qualify for the next stage, which is AMAZING.
Congratulations to the following student, who won their age group race with ease: Fynn Churton – Year 13, Nathaniel Rowe – Year 10 and Caitlin McCarney – Year 9!
Well done!

Blue Peter Trip Makes Waves for St Austin’s

Twenty-Six Year 4 children from St Austin’s Catholic Primary School, Stafford, had their big break into TV last week. The children were invited to the Peter Studios, Media City, Manchester, to take part in a live show and to be part of the studio audience. The children were at the studio for four hours, allowing them to take part in the dress rehearsal and then have a quick break before the live show.  After meeting the presenters and crew the children also got the chance to ask them lots of questions about working in TV and filming Blue Peter, as well as meeting Henry- the Blue Peter dog. “The children loved seeing the studios, cameras, lights and how everything comes together for a live show,” commented Miss Vaz, who accompanied the children. During the show the children appeared on the screen lots, cheering enthusiastically and doing countdowns as well as dancing and clapping as the live band performed. At the end of the day, they were all presented with Blue Peter badges which will allow them free entry to lots of UK attractions. Mary Alcock (age 9) said, “My favourite part was stroking Henry the dog!” Finley Docksey (age 8), “Being on Blue Peter made me feel excited and I can’t wait to go to places using my Blue Peter badge.” “The whole day was really exciting and I loved meeting all the amazing presenters," said Isla Redwood-Sayce  (age 9).