St Austin’s Children help Launch Special Edition Postbox In Honour Of Poet

left to right: Lucy Jones, Felix Fleming, Poppy Newman, Elliot Frost and Kondwani Nkhomafrom St Austin’s reading poems at the launch of the new postbox in Stafford Market Square

To celebrate National Poetry Day, Royal Mail launched a special edition postbox in Stafford town centre, the childhood home town of poet laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy.  Students from St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School, which Carol Ann attended from 1962 - 1967, were invited to attend the launch and read some of her best loved poems, selected by the poet laureate herself.

The launch was attended by local MP, Jeremy Lefroy and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Stafford who enjoyed listening to the children’s readings.

Situated in the Market Square the postpox will be in place for just a month and is adorned with quotes from some of Carol Ann’s most famous poems.   The postbox will be in full working order for the duration of its customisation.

Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail said: “As one of the guardians of the written word, we relish the opportunity to celebrate the work of Britain’s most treasured writers. Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry is studied by children across the UK, so it’s fantastic that children from her former primary school can join us in honouring her in this way.”

Carol Ann Duffy said: “I’m thrilled to have my poems in the Market Square, a place dear to my heart. And I’m delighted that children from St Austin’s will be involved - as this was the school where I was first encouraged to write poetry by the wonderful Mrs Tilscher.”

St Austin’s Catholic Primary School is holding an Open Evening on 24th October at 6pm for parents interested in enrolling their children.


Music Mark Awarded to The Painsley Catholic Academy High Schools

Music teachers Miss Bennett and Mrs Reardon-Davies with some of the many students at Painsley Catholic College who enjoy taking part in Music.

The two high schools within The Painsley Catholic Academy, Cheadle based Painsley Catholic College and Stafford based Blessed William Howard are delighted to have been awarded the Music Mark Award, which allows the schools membership of this organisation.

Music Mark is an organisation who lobbies for, and champions, a government supported, high quality, music education provision for all school aged children and young people which addresses diversity, equality and inclusion at its core.

Both schools were nominated by Entrust Music Service, the local music provider, due to the value that they places on music.

The schools’ latest Music GCSE results were very impressive with a 100% pass rate and 78% ‘good passes’ (at the top grades 7-9) at Painsley and 100% of passes at grade 5 and above for Blessed William Howard.

“Both schools have always placed great value on music.  Not just as part of the curriculum, but also as an aspect that can enrich and add value to the school experience in a wider context.” commented Head of Music at Painsley College, Miss Hannah Bennett.


Cross Country Victory for St Thomas’ Primary School for Second Year Running

St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School children delighted parents and staff with their win at a recent competition between the six Catholic primary schools of The Painsley Catholic Academy, North Staffordshire.

The competition was held at Painsley Sixth Form College, in Cheadle, where the children, all age 7 to 11, competed for the Cross Country trophy.

St Thomas’ won first place, with second place going to St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School (Caverswall) and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (Uttoxeter) came in third.

Mr Matthew Jones, PE Co-ordinator at St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School commented, “Our school prides itself on encouraging all its children to participate in physical activity during school hours.  We also encourage all children to participate in competitive sports throughout the year so it was fantastic to see almost half of our children from Year 3 to Year 6 taking part and enjoying themselves.  Of course, they were extremely happy to bring the trophy back to St Thomas’!”

Zara Shenton (age 10) said “I really enjoyed taking part.  All the parents were cheering and it was a great atmosphere. I was very proud to be the first girl over the line for St Thomas’.”

Ethan Walker (age 10) won his age group event and said.  “I enjoyed taking part in the cross country, and after this I went straight to the swimming baths and had to swim 1 mile!”

Both Zara and Ethan swim for clubs in the local area.



Blessed William Howard increase number of top GCSE grades for Maths and English

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School is delighted with its latest GCSE results with strong performances demonstrated by its students across the board.   The school has seen a significant increase in the number of strong passes (grade 5 and above) in the combined basics qualification (which includes the key subjects of Maths and English GCSE).

Other subject areas that have secured outstanding results include Music with 100% of passes at grade 5 and above.  History has seen an impressive 61% of students obtain grade 7 or above and 83% of Geography students achieved a standard pass or above (grade 4 – 9).

Top performers include :-

Huda Daghem and Jacob Callaghan who both scored 6 9s   and 4 8s

and Aisia Lee who scored 7 9s,  1 8 and 2 7s

Acting Headteacher, Mrs Louise McKie commented, “Our students have really made us proud this year and deservedly got the grades that they worked so hard for.  As well as seeing more strong passes in English and Maths, we have also seen an increase in the number of students eligible to continue their academic study at Blessed William Howard Sixth Form and look forward to welcoming them back in September.  Well done to everyone and many thanks to our staff and parents who made this possible.”

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School will be opening its doors to future students and parents for its annual Open Evening on Monday 24 September, 6pm – 8pm.


A-Level Results mark Painsley’s New Sixth Form as One of the Best in the Country

The average grade achieved by a student was a B, which is a remarkable achievement. Other noteworthy results include the fact that 7% of students achieved A* grades, 25% A*/A and 54% A*/B with 100% of students achieving A*-E grades. It is difficult to pick out individual subjects but results are especially favourable in Maths, Physics, English Literature, Religious Studies, Psychology, Geography, History, Economics and Textiles. The College is delighted that all subjects have performed brilliantly. Some of the top performers include: Emily Faux who achieved 3 A* and is going on to study International Relations at the University of Leeds; Jack English who achieved 2A* and a grade B and is going on to study Physics with Astrophysics also at the University of Leeds; Samuel Jones with A*, A, B who is going on to study Chemistry at the University of Liverpool; Rebecca Maddox A*, A, B who plans to consider her options in terms of a higher apprenticeship; and Rachael Robinson who achieved an A* and 2As and will study Psychology at the University of Bath. Mr Stephen Bell, Principal, stated, “We are delighted with the results of the students especially in light of a brand new sixth form and new curriculum for A-level students. I would like to congratulate the students on their magnificent achievements and thank the staff for their true dedication and commitment, which has enabled the students to achieve their true potential. Success runs throughout the academic and vocational routes with all students able to reach their next steps. We wish them all the very best of luck in the future.”

Outstanding Academic Achievements for Painsley Catholic College

Painsley Catholic College is celebrating a set of truly outstanding GCSE results with 92% of the Year 11 students at the non-selective academy achieving the new standard pass (grade 4) in English and 88% of the candidates achieving grade 4 or above in maths. Furthermore, the College is delighted with the fact that over one third of the students achieved a grade 7 or above in English and maths (a grade 7 is the equivalent of the old grade A). Performance was strong in the other subject areas including history in which 11% of entries were graded at grade 9 (this is higher than the old A* standard) and 47% of entries were at a grade 7 or above. Music achieved an amazing 78% at grade 7 or above. This is despite the GCSE examinations becoming more demanding.

The results place Painsley, once again, as one of the highest achieving schools in the whole of the country.  Mr Stephen Bell, Principal at the College, said, “I am delighted to report these wonderful results.  Like all Principals, I was anxious about the changes that have been made by the government with the new, more demanding GCSEs placing additional expectations on individuals.  However, the students and staff have shown their determination to achieve the highest possible grades.  I am very proud of the responsible attitude that the students adopt towards their studies and am full of praise for the staff who motivate them to achieve their potential.  The results secure the College’s reputation as a centre of excellence where children are happy and successful in a caring, studious and disciplined environment.  To achieve these results in evermore rigorous GCSE examinations is testimony to the efforts of the students, staff, parents and directors.”

Parents interested in sending their child to Painsley should be aware that parents will have the opportunity to visit the College on Wednesday September 19th at 7.00pm for a tour of the facilities on offer and a talk from the Principal and senior staff.


Overall Average A-Level improves by a whole Grade for BWH Students

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School students were celebrating their excellent exam results today.   The school has seen a significant increase in the overall pass rate and the average A-Level grade has gone up to a grade B, which will place the school’s Sixth Form amongst the highest performing in the whole of the County.   99% of all academic entries at A-Level were graded A* - E, with 1 one in 5 grades being a grade A* or A – a wonderful achievement! Top performing students included: Grace Callaghan who achieved the highest grade possible in every exam she sat. (A* in Chemistry, A* in Physics, A* in Maths, A* in Further Maths, A in Further Maths AS and A* in her Extended Project Qualification).   Grace will be going on to study Physics at Durham University. Andrew Turner – A* in Further Maths, A in Maths, A in Computing and A in Physics.  Andrew will be studying Computer Science at Warwick University. Niamh Dale – A* in Fine Art, A in Religious Studies, B in English Literature.  Niamh is planning to take a Foundation Art Course before continuing with Art at Degree level. Johnathan Li – A in Maths, A in Further Maths and B in Physics.  Jonathan is going on to study Aerospace Engineering at Southampton University. Acting Headteacher, Mrs Louise McKie commented, “We have seen some outstanding academic results this year and a further improvement on last year.  This is due to the hard work and commitment shown by students and staff, as well as the support of parents, all working in partnership towards shared goals. I would like to congratulate and thank everyone who has helped to contribute to our success. I am delighted that the vast majority of students wishing to progress to the next tier of education have been successful in gaining a place on a course of their initial choice, many at Russell Group universities.  I am confident that, by the start of next week, all will be placed.  This is a real success.  Well done to all.”