Thurston Visit

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36 Year 8 students set off for Thurston Outdoor Education Centre on Monday 9th October for a week of activities in the Lake District. The group split into 3 groups for the week on arrival at the centre (Langdale, Grizedale and Yewdale) and completed a series of activities through the week with the instructors and members of staff. The students all had the chance to do abseiling, kayaking, paddle boarding, a mountain walk, cave exploring, indoor climbing, sailing, jetty jumping, night walks and the ever popular ghyll scrambling. Each member of the group was pushed to their absolute limits, either by the activities or the weather! A great effort by all students to support each other and work together to overcome every challenge put in front of them.

Well done to all students and staff involved!

Mr Hook, Mr Welford, Mrs Currey, Miss Golby

Rugby Ambassadors Course

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3 St Mary’s Year 10 students attended Kingston Park today to take part in the first module of the RFU Rugby Ambassador’s course. The course is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of students to enable them to become coaches and referees both inside and outside of the school in the future and has been previously been an incredible support for the growing rugby clubs in school. Ben Jubb, Jack Pilling and Alex Histed were chosen for this year’s course thanks to their outstanding commitment to rugby in school. The first module was a Level 1 Rugby Refereeing course held at Kingston Park. The students worked hard in workshops all morning to improve their knowledge and confidence, before using their skills to referee the Year 7 & 8 Festival taking place at Kingston Park in the afternoon. The boys all received excellent feedback for their refereeing and were complemented by other members of staff on their confidence and decision making. Upcoming modules will cover Level 1 Coaching, Scrum Factory and Rugby Ready and will enable the students to lead coaching for Year 7 & 8 students in the future, something which will be a great help as rugby club continues to grow!

Mr Hook

The Year 10 football team travelled to Walker on Wednesday for their 2nd league fixture of the year. After making a winning start to the season against Benfield confidence was high.

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Y10 Football vs Benfield

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St Mary’s hosted Benfield today in their first league game of the 2017-18 season. The boys started brightly and took a deserved lead when some good pressure from Jamie Mundy led to a simple tap in for Sam Lievesley. Benfield hit back quickly and despite a fine save from Joe Ferguson the attacker quickly followed up to tap home the rebound. A defensive mistake from a Benfield goal kick then left a simple 1v1 for the Benfield striker and he made no mistake, slotting the ball past Joe to make the score 2-1. St Mary’s didn’t let their heads drop and were driven forward by the new central midfield pairing of Alex Warton and Jack Pilling. Ben Jubb made a tremendous run down the left and played a fantastic cross to Jamie Mundy. Despite his size Jamie rose above the defence and finished superbly to level the score with an excellent header. St Mary’s started to dominate possession and began to attack regularly, taking the lead with another well taken Jamie Mundy goal to make the score 3-2 at half time.

Ethan Kortenbach settled well at centre half alongside John Carr and the pair worked well to keep Benfield at bay in the early stages of the second half. More excellent work from the midfield set Jamie through again and he made no mistake to make the score 4-2, completing an excellent hat-trick. Benfield wouldn’t go away and quickly got back into the game however, with a well taken finish making the score 4-3. St Mary’s continued to attack well and Jamie Mundy scored his 4th, finishing nicely after the Benfield keeper had blocked his initial shot well. Caleb Lowery and Toby Caisley came on and both were fantastic, making countless interceptions and doing their best to hold on to the lead with some excellent tackling. With 5 minutes to go Benfield piled on the pressure and only an outstanding save from Joe Ferguson kept the score at 5-3, diving full stretch to his left and getting fingertips to the ball to tip it round the post. Benfield had their rewards shortly after when a rash challenge gave away a needless penalty. An excellent finish buried the ball in the bottom corner leaving St Mary’s a nervous 4 minutes to hold on to seal their first win in 3 years. The boys worked hard and despite some nervous moments clung on to seal the win 5-4.

There were some excellent performances from all involved, particularly Jamie Mundy (4 goals)and Ethan Kortenbach, but Alex Warton making his first start in central midfield was a deserved Man of the Match for his all- round display.

MOM – Alex Warton

The team:

Joseph Ferguson, Will Campbell, John Carr, Ethan Kortenbach, Thomas Storey, Matthew Dyter, Jack Pilling, Alex Warton, Ben Jubb, Sam Lievesley, Jamie Mundy, Toby Caisley, Damon Baghi, James Keller, Joshua Williamson, Caleb Lowery, Daniel Hawkins.

Mr Hook

Cricket and Rounders House Competitions

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Year 7 & 9 students all took part in the Inter House Cricket and Rounders competitions in the final fortnight of the school year. There were some outstanding performances across all competitions, with all students competing and performing to the best of their abilities in a series of fixtures. A special mention to the group of students from all year groups who officiated the fixtures, without whom the competitions would have been much more difficult to run.

Unfortunately due to poor weather the Year 8 competition was unable to run leaving the overall standings as follows:

1st place – Lindisfarne – 54 points

2nd place – Bamburgh – 52 points

3rd place – Warkworth – 29 points

4th place – Alnwick – 22 points

Year 7 Players of the Day – George Darwood, Alistair Gibson, Alex Sinclair, Rebecca Ferguson, Katie Motion.

Year 9 Players of the Day – Muizz Sheikh, Connor Milne, Jack Pilling, Grace Taylor.

Mr Hook

Canterbury Kit Design Day

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As part of the RFU All Schools Initiative St Mary’s students travelled to Ryton RUFC to take part in the Canterbury Kit Design Day. As part of the RFU programme 3 students (Ben Jubb, Jack Pilling, James Hepburn) were given the opportunity to work directly with Canterbury designers to come up with a new strip which will be created and delivered for the Y8, 9 and 10 rugby teams later in the year. With a range of options on par with high level club and international sides the students worked hard to come up with a range of designs using inspiration from a wide variety of club and international shirts, including the recently released England Rugby shirt. The boys worked hard on the day and collaborated well, eventually coming up with a design that they all agreed was the best for the school.

We look forward to seeing the completed versions in early February!

Mr Hook

St Mary’s Outstanding Exam Results 2017

Congratulations to all of our Year 11 and Sixth Form students for the outstanding results that they have achieved this summer.

Fantastic A level performance

Our Sixth Form students have performed superbly well this year, setting new records for the school.  The A level pass rate was 100% for the third year in succession.  An impressive 1 in 3 academic A level grades was an A*/A, with almost 2/3rds graded A*/B, far exceeding the national and regional averages.    Students’ performance in vocational A levels was equally impressive, with 100% of entries being Merit or better, and 83% Distinction.  All of our students secured excellent university places to study a wide range of courses.  Four of our students are off to Oxford and Cambridge to study Medicine, History and Politics, Engineering and Modern Foreign Languages.  Three are off to Durham to study Law, Computer Science and Software Design.  In fact, our students will be beginning life as undergraduates at 30 different universities around the UK, including 15 Russell Group institutions.  Well done to each and every student and we wish you the best for the future and look forward to hearing about your continued success in the years ahead.  Congratulations also go to our year 12 students who performed brilliantly in their AS levels, also gaining the best results in the school’s history.

Outstanding GCSE results

St Mary’s is celebrating the tremendous achievements of its Year 11 students who have also set new records for the school this year with their fabulous GCSE results.  For the third year in succession, more than 80% of all GCSE exam entries were A*-C and 99.8% A*-G.  Most impressively, 33% or 1 in 3 of all entries were A* or A.  This is an increase on last year’s 31% A*/A, despite the much publicised harder course content in the English Language, English Literature and Mathematics.

Special congratulations go to all of our students for their outstanding performance in these extremely challenging, newly reformed GCSEs, graded 9-1.  Over 80% of students obtained the new Level 4+ benchmark in Maths, English and English Literature.  Almost 60% achieved the Level 5+ benchmark in both Maths and English.  These fantastic results are well above the national averages.  Early indications are that they are among the highest in the north-east.

As reported in the national press, grade 9 in English and Maths was reserved for exceptional performance and, nationally, approximately 3% of students actually achieved this level in Maths and English Literature, and only 2% in English Language.   Schools could have only expected a very small handful of grade 9s to be obtained by a very small number of students.  We were thrilled, therefore, that at St Mary’s, our students’ performance at this level, far exceeded the national average, with 32 grade 9s achieved by 22 students representing 12% of the year group.  This included 13 grade 9s in Maths and 19 grade 9s across the two English subjects.  There were also 4 A^s (higher than A*) in Further Maths GCSE.   Special congratulations go to three students, Erin Pennock, Peter Robinson and Joseph Stonor who each achieved three grade 9s in addition to a string of A*s in their other subjects!    This is a tremendous achievement as it has been estimated that only 2,000 students out of approximately 500,000 (or 0.4%) achieved three grade 9s!

As ever, results across all 25 GCSE subjects and 5 vocational subjects were really impressive, contributing to the highest overall results in the school’s history.  Our congratulations go to every one of our students.

Word of thanks

Congratulations and a HUGE thanks go to our talented and dedicated staff who, as usual, worked tirelessly to support all students preparing for public exams.  We also thank all parents and carers for their great support of their children and of the school.

J Foster

Headteacher