Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:31


Every year we all agree that the Rite of Welcome is a most moving occasion for the whole school. It is a beautiful ceremony, unique to St Mary's School, which welcomes all new staff and pupils to our community. Newcomers have now settled into school life, and we all rejoice in welcoming them as being truly part of the family. The Rite of Welcome took place on 27th September 2013 in chapel, and began with a word of greeting from the Head, Mr James.

The ceremony is based on a beautiful liturgical service expressed through hymns and reflections. Centred on God's Word, each individual is greeted in love, prayer and friendship. Firstly, we are all invited to listen to pupils and staff giving their first impressions since arriving. The support and kindness at St Mary's are felt as each girl acknowledges the warm welcome received, and the help and guidance from her 'Guardian Angel', that is, the girl assigned to offer practical care. The new girls were both articulate and funny in giving their first impressions. They spoke of much kindness at St Mary's, the wonderful lunches, the long kilts, the school drive which can be daunting, but most of all, of their joy in belonging here. Miss McGirr, our new member of the Mathematics Department, spoke warmly on behalf of new staff.

An excellent address on joining St Mary's was delivered by Miss Radford, Director of Music, who last term celebrated forty years of work at the school! Her talk was amazingly good, anecdotal, humorous, informative and delivered with great joy! She spoke of her gratitude in belonging to a family where values are shared by all; she referred to the generosity of the nuns in the early days; she spoke of community as organic, rooted in faith; she underlined the dignity and uniqueness of each one.

The most moving part of this ceremony is when each new member is called by name and comes forward accompanied by their sponsor. They are welcomed, blest, and receive a rose, together with the school Prayer Book. With new names adorning the chapel walls, and big smiles all around, with beautiful organ tones of 'O Praise ye the Lord', we thanked God for our new members at St Mary's.

Miss Andrea (Chaplain)

For further information please contact:

Mrs Charlotte Stephens
Marketing Manager & Registrar
01747 857102
07581 308255



Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:13

Heythrop College joins The Cathedrals Group

Media Release from The Cathedrals Group (The Council of Church Colleges and Universities) 

For immediate release 30 August 2013

The Cathedrals Group* is delighted to welcome a new member. Heythrop College, University of London*, joins as a full member of The Cathedrals Group from this academic year. 

The Cathedrals Group of Church-foundation universities today welcomes into full membership Heythrop College, the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. 

With just under one thousand students, Heythrop will be the smallest member institution but as a specialist provider of theology and religious studies, it equates to one of the largest providers in the UK and sits well with the other members. Collectively more than 44% of all UK theology and religious studies students (undergraduates, postgraduates and research students) are at Cathedrals Group institutions.

The Group’s newest member institution will also be its oldest. Other member institutions were founded by the Churches from the nineteenth century onwards for the purpose of training teachers for Church schools. The earliest foundation was that of the University of Chester in 1839. 

Heythrop College will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church) in 2014. In 1971 a Royal Charter established it as a College of the University of London, with a mission ‘to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit’.

Professor Joy Carter, Chair of The Cathedrals Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester said: ‘I am delighted that such a distinguished institution as Heythrop College is joining The Cathedrals Group. We share an explicit Christian heritage that underpins a strong commitment to common values. These include developing strong ethical principles in all aspects of higher education, and building communities that embrace and value diversity. Heythrop’s ethos and academic strengths in teaching and research within theology and religious studies complement provision in other Cathedrals Group institutions. We look forward to building on our common strengths and values together.’


The Revd Michael Holman SJ, Principal of Heythrop College, said: ‘Joining The Cathedrals Group is an important step for Heythrop as we seek to engage more actively with other institutions with Church-based foundations, in the promotion of theological and philosophical education. The values of our particular, Jesuit tradition complement the collective mission of the wider Group, through our commitment to providing an education which is formative of the whole person and which facilitates understanding, promotes social justice and serves the public good. I look forward very much to our collaboration with The Cathedrals Group in the months and years ahead and believe it will be a mutually beneficial affiliation for staff, students and supporters from across the spectrum of Group members.’

Notes to Editor
The Cathedrals Group is an association of universities and university colleges with Church foundations, serving more than 100,000 students. This is almost 5 per cent of all UK students, making The Cathedrals Group about the same size as the university sector in Wales. It is the only grouping in the higher education landscape based on ethical principles informed by faith-based values. The Cathedrals Group is a registered charity under its official title, The Council of Church Universities and Colleges.
A principal object of the Cathedrals Group is to contribute to the well-being of society. Member institutions share a strong commitment to values such as social justice, respect for the individual, and promoting the public good through work with communities and third sector organisations. 
Other Cathedral Group members are: Bishop Grosseteste University; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Chester; University of Chichester; University of Cumbria; University of Gloucestershire; University of St Mark & St John; Leeds Trinity University; Liverpool Hope University; Newman University; Roehampton University; St Mary’s University College, Twickenham; University of Wales Trinity St David; University of Winchester; and York St John University.
Heythrop College is the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London. With just under 1,000 students, Heythrop offers a personal learning environment, tailored to the needs of the individual student. In 2014 Heythrop will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 1614 by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church). In 1971 Heythrop became a college of the University of London, with a mission to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit. Today Heythrop retains a modern Catholic ethos whilst offering an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives. In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, Heythrop also provides a resource for faith communities and others through the work of the Centres and Institutes. College staff have a wide range of expertise, with particular strengths in Abrahamic religions, interfaith relations, ethics, philosophy of religion and psychology of religion.
Information about The Cathedrals Group can be found on their website at: http://cathedralsgroup.org.uk. 
Information about Heythrop College, University of London can be found on the College’s own website at: http://www.heythrop.ac.uk.
For more information and comment, please contact:
Sue Boorman, General Secretary of The Cathedrals Group
Tel: 01438 814868 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Amy Fenton, Marketing & Recruitment Manager, Heythrop College
Tel: 020 7795 4244
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:24

Outstanding GCSE results again at The Barlow

Press Release - 22 August 2013

Students at The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury have once again surpassed all expectations, with an amazing 97% of all students achieving the highest possible GCSE results of at least 5 A*-C grades. Students at The Barlow performed well in all subjects, with 88% awarded A* - Cs in Science and 72% gaining those grades in English and Maths.

The Barlow’s results are significantly above the national average and maintain the school’s excellent performance record. The outstanding results place The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing schools in Manchester.

The top 10 GCSE achievers scored a massive 91 A*-A grades between them. Eleven of those belonged to sixteen-year old Lauren Flaherty from Didsbury. Lauren said, “I am so happy with my results especially with my A*s in Biology and Geography. I’m going on study these subjects alongside Spanish and English Literature at Xaverian College. I worked really hard to get my grades. All my teachers were very supportive and the extra revision classes and past paper practice they organised really paid off. I’m going to miss everything about The Barlow, especially the teachers and my friends. I’m looking forward to going to College and then on to University.”

Head Teacher Mrs Claire McCarron said, “We are all absolutely delighted with the outstanding success of all our students. The high numbers achieving excellent grades in the more challenging academic subjects show that The Barlow continues to prepare its pupils for the challenges of A-Level and beyond. These results confirm another outstanding year for our students. Both the students and our excellent, committed teachers have worked hard and have received the full support of parents and Governors. It has been a real team effort. Congratulations to our students on their well-deserved success.”

The school has recently received its second national award in two years from The Schools Network (SSAT) for its outstanding achievement. The Barlow has received national recognition for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country. 



For more information please contact:

Kathryn Carr, Marketing & Communications Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

0161 445 8053 


22 August 2013

Students at Mary Immaculate can be proud of their achievements, with another set of record-breaking GCSE results. The school is delighted that performance in nearly all indicators have improved on last year.


There were some outstanding performers who excelled in their studies. These include: Magda Wiktorzak achieved a total of 16 GCSEs with 4 A*s, 1 A, 7 Bs and 4 Cs; Jessica Sweeney achieved 3 A*s, 4 As, 5 Bs and 1 C; Karolina Wabia 4 As, 2As, 6 Bs and 2 Cs; Joshua Jermyn 1 A*, 5 As, 5 Bs and 1 C; Krzysztof Jakubiak scored 1 A*, 4 As, 5 Bs and 2 Cs along with an AS in mathematics; Jackielyn Green 2 A*, 7 As, 5 Bs; Amy Searle 3 A*s, 4 As, 6 Bs and 1 C; Finally, Zach Lewis achieved 1 A*, 6 As, 6 Bs.


Marc Belli, Headteacher, said “We are both delighted and proud with the results achieved by our students this year. Their efforts throughout the year have been rewarded with stunning outcomes. We have seen some significant improvements in a number of key areas and we hope to build on these next year. I should like to pay tribute to the efforts of all the teaching and support staff who have challenged the students to perform to the best of their ability. Furthermore, we are blest with excellent support from all of our parents who have played a key role in ensuring our students achieve the results they deserve. Finally, we wish all of our students every success in the future and look forward to inviting them to return for our annual awards evening next year.”

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