As we reach the end of another year, we are in reflective mood at Our Lady’s looking back over some fantastic achievements and wonderful experiences. After such a busy, productive and successful year, we’re all looking forward to relaxing and recharging over the Christmas break.
January: The year got off to a great start with the launch of our student blog which has proved extremely popular. Led by year 10 Charlie, the students share the school news from their perspective and we look forward to all their new blog posts in 2019. Our year 7s enjoyed their interactive visit from the children’s author Tom Palmer who spoke passionately about how his writing career was born from a love of football. He then got the students involved in a penalty shoot-out!
February: Our expressive arts’ productions never disappoint and this year was no exception with our students rocking audiences with a fantastic musical extravaganza. ‘We Will Rock You’ received rave reviews and once again showcased the incredible talent within our school.
March: March got off to a frosty start with some unexpected snow days. Once the snow cleared there was great excitement when the Samsung VR bus visited our year 8s as part of a national schools outreach programme aimed at engaging young people in STEM subjects. We said goodbye two two much-loved and longstanding members of our catering team Mary and Janice and welcomed our new catering manager Miss Ashworth.
April: Olympic Judo player Sophie Cox visited us in April to lead a session with Our Lady’s Active students. She introduced our students to Judo, showed her impressive collection of medals including her World Championship title medal and led discussion about the qualities you need to develop in order to achieve.
May: Year 9 had fun on the Key 103 Media Bus which was visiting schools and colleges across Manchester in collaboration with Greater Manchester Higher who work with universities and further education colleges to provide quality outreach activities. The students worked with Key 103 and GM Higher staff to develop engaging radio commercials about higher education. Some of our Year 8s and 9s also embarked on a sigh-seeing trip of Paris.
June: In June we welcomed year 6 pupils from our local primary schools as part of our induction process for the children who had chosen to attend our school. It was a valuable opportunity for the pupils to get familiar with the high school. A talented group of year 9 students triumphed at a debating competition held at Manchester University where they discussed a range of different political philosophies and issues.
July: Despite being oversubscribed for September, we welcomed families to school for our Open Evening in July. All the departments worked exceptionally hard to ensure that visitors left the evening feeling well-informed about all an education at Our Lady’s has to offer. It was a month of celebration with not only the school prom for our year 11 leaver’s but the news that we had won the school communication award in the MEN School Awards!
August: Our year 11 leavers didn’t let us down when they returned to Our Lady’s to collect their GCSE results at the end of August. Despite the biggest shake up of the exam system for over a generation requiring the students to adapt to an even more demanding workload, they rose to the challenge and we were proud to announce our best-ever GCSE results!
September: Returning to school in September still riding high on our incredible exam success, it was time to open the doors to more prospective students and their families at our week of Open Days. These open events have proved popular as families approach the October deadline to decide which high school their child will attend and as a great opportunity to look around Our Lady’s on a ‘typical’ school day.
October: In October we once again showed our support to Macmillan with our annual ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. We were truly overwhelmed by the response of our new year 7s who embraced the form challenge to donate the most cakes! Our year 7s also got the chance to bond on our annual residential trip to Langdale in the Lake District and some of the year 11s went on their long-awaited trip of a lifetime exploring New York!
November: A month of both reflection and celebration. With the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War we paid our respects with our own special commemorations. Two of our year 11 students had the incredible and moving opportunity to visit the World War One battlefields of France and Belgium with Mr Brandreth. Back in school our class of 2018 returned to collect their GCSE certificates at a wonderful celebratory evening.
December: Well, what can we say? This month has certainly been a busy one to end 2018 on a high. As ever, our school community have embraced the chance to donate to many charities including the Hits Radio Mission Christmas Appeal. Members of the local community enjoyed visiting us for both ‘The Young at Heart’ Christmas lunch and our Christmas concert. We’ve worn Christmas jumpers to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and Francis House and enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner prepared, cooked and served by our talented school catering manager Miss Ashworth and her team.
What a year! Thank you to all our staff, students, parents/carers and the local community for your continued commitment and support. We’re so proud of all we’ve achieved together during 2018. We wish you a peaceful and joyous Christmas and look forward to what 2019 brings…