It’s hard to believe there are just a couple of weeks of term left until the Easter break.
As a school community we knew we were ready for the Ofsted inspectors to see the wonderful work that happens here on a daily basis and that hard work has secured our new Ofsted rating. We are officially a GOOD school, graded GOOD in all areas of the inspection. You can read the full Ofsted report here.
This has been a real team effort, reflecting the dedication, drive and commitment of all the staff combined with the positive attitude and strong work ethic of our students.
The Ofsted Inspectors recognised the effective action taken by Our Lady’s staff to improve outcomes since the last inspection, noting good attitudes to learning throughout Our Lady’s. They have recognised us for what we are – a diverse, happy and outward looking community where outcomes are good. This is a fantastic achievement for our community and we would like to publicly thank everyone for helping to drive Our Lady’s High School to the rating we know we have deserved for a long time.
So, besides all the Ofsted excitement what’s been happening? Lots of activities and events take place at Our Lady’s each week – all contributing to our fantastic school environment. The 20th anniversary of World Book Day saw a number of activities throughout the week to encourage our students to develop a passion for reading, including ‘drop everything and read’ sessions and a book swap in the school library. Comedy Fantasy author, Alicia L Wright joined us on Wednesday 1 March sparking imaginations with a series of workshops throughout our Year 7 forms. She read extracts from her books 'Miss Prince' and 'The Map is the Treasure' and the students had the chance to answer questions about her books, writing as a career and how to get the ideas for stories.
Our Year 10 students are out and about on their work experience placements for the next couple of weeks. This is such a valuable exercise in terms of guiding our students to make informed choices about their future career paths, so it’s hoped they will return to school feeling motivated and inspired.
Talking of feeling inspired, Ben 401 came into school to visit our year 8 students. Ben Smith from Portishead was bullied at school and as a result attempted to take his own life. After leaving university, getting married and securing a high-powered corporate job, he appeared to have it all. But Ben wasn't happy.
He spoke candidly to our students about the pivotal moment that changed his life for the better. He quit his job, walked away from his marriage, and came out as the person he was, committing himself to raising awareness of the impact bullying can have on young lives. Ben went on to run 401 marathons in 401 days raising over £330k for the charities Kidscape and Stonewall as well as spreading his message that we should all accept each other for who we are. Ben spoke about the hurdles he overcame, the people he met along the way and how he ran his way to happiness. The students then put their questions to Ben and his answers proved that the bullies never win.
You can read more about Ben's incredible challenge and his important anti-bullying work on his website.
Ben found keeping active helped him overcome the tough times and here at Our Lady's we encourage all our students to keep moving. Well done to our year 8 boys Handball team (Muhamad Rizvi, Daniel Olowookere, Jakub Koloszko, Josh Sannoh, Elvis Aguh, Martins Adonry, Seamus Farren, Natnael Gerezgher) who won the Manchester championships earlier this month and our year 8 girls who got secured the silver medal
We’re delighted that Our Lady’s is representing the Greater Manchester schools Catholic cup football finals this week after the weather preventing it from taking place last week. Good luck to all involved. We’ll update the website to let you know how they get on.