St Mary's supports The Catholic Children's Society

St Mary’s Catholic High School is delighted to support the work of The Catholic Children’s Society with a donation of £250. All the money raised by students and staff has gone into the Southwark Diocese Crisis Fund, a fund which provides immediate emergency support for local families facing a crisis in their lives.

Founded in 1859 the Catholic Children’s Society is one of the oldest charities supporting disadvantaged children and families in the UK. Its mission is to bring hope and change to children and families living in poverty, as well as those experiencing emotional and psychological distress.  It seeks to address material, relational and spiritual poverty.  Through its services they help children overcome disadvantage, achieve their full potential and have better chances in life.

The Catholic Children’s Society work with people of all faiths and none, drawing inspiration from Christian values derived from the Gospels and the teaching of the Catholic Church.

To find out more about The Catholic Children’s Society CLICK HERE

Rebecca visits 10 Downing Street

Year 10 student Rebecca had an experience to remember on Monday, 15th July when, as a representative of the Palace for Life Foundation and PL Kicks, she was invited to 10 Downing Street for an official reception. She met with the then Prime Minister Theresa May, who was very interested in finding out about the Palace for Life Foundation and PL Kicks as well as the other youth groups represented at the meeting.

Just before the meeting the representatives of Palace for Life and other clubs, including Manchester City and Aston Villa, had an impromptu kick-about outside No10 – possibly the first time this has ever happened in such famous surroundings! Rebecca has recently signed for Sutton Utd FC.

For more information about Palace for Life Foundation CLICK HERE

The Foundation’s website reports:

The reception followed the Government’s recently formed Ministerial Taskforce on Serious Violence and recognised role models, volunteers and frontline workers across the country dedicating their lives to reducing youth violence.

Mark Bright, Under-23 Director at Palace, said: “I was honoured to represent Palace at Downing Street and to help shine a light on the positive work being done by the Premier League and our Foundation to create safer communities for young people through sport.”

PL Kicks regularly engages children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities, in football, sport and personal development – providing a trusted, positive influence in high-need areas across England and Wales.

Malachi and Daniel, both 11, and Rebecca, 15 were selected to attend Downing Street thanks to their hard work and dedication at sessions this year, with Rebecca having recently signed for Sutton United FC.

George Henry, who also attended PL Kicks football sessions when he was younger, said: “PL Kicks is an excellent community initiative that provides access to free sport and social activities in areas where there isn’t always much for young people to do.

“I was really pleased we were able to bring Malachi, Daniel and Rebecca, it was amazing to see them playing football on Downing Street and enjoying the experience!”

The group joined representatives from Manchester City and Aston Villa to take part in a kick about before meeting the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to talk about PL Kicks and Palace for Life.

St Mary's Prize-Giving 2019

On Thursday, 16th July the school community celebrated the achievements of our students at our annual prize-giving evening. For each curriculum area teaching staff nominated one student in each year group to be rewarded for their hard work and achievement. 

This year’s prize winners are a true representation of everything that we stand for here at St Mary’s Catholic High School – these hard working, committed students are a credit to the school and their families. It is through such achievements that we are clearly able to see the skill, high expectation and commitment of the staff and students at St Mary’s and these prize winners are great examples of what we hope for from our students.

In addition to the subject awards, special pastoral awards were made for a student from each form group. These awards were given for outstanding engagement, exemplary behaviour and positive contribution to Form, Year Group and Whole School.

Congratulations to all the prize winners:

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
Religious Studies Patricia R D’A Ethan S Kingsley A Verdia A
English Jakub L Barira Z Ana R Maria-Lavinia F
Mathematics Vanessa F Rosa F F Rafaella B T Jeymibel R
Science Daniel M Muvah B Ragshidaa K Ilirjan K
Art & Design Jade D Richard R O J’Adore A Yilei D
Drama Allegra A Belen V-F Elvis Z Breea A
French Skye A Jennifer T Tyler N Andreea L
Geography Freddy D R Zoro G Neekaiya M  
History Christie K-M Luis R C Sabaoen S Amber C
IT Ioana S Oreoluwa A Rares B Kiara M
Music Love N-P Hania S Leon H Aiesha A
PE David O Tyler S-P Janeca W Emmanuel O
Spanish Cara Q Hisham R Conor L-D Meggy  T
Business Studies       Ronaldo B
Citizenship       Lais F
Enterprise       Imran T
EAL Gabriela M Mariam T Jamal K Mehari T
Library Award Hope A Mihai D A Alvin M Ebvia A


Pastoral Awards

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
7B  Emmanuel A 8B  Kadijatu B 9B  Jaanai R-H 10B  Chantelle G
7P  Jade D 8J  Barira Z 9J  Pawel L 10J  Anpu D
7T  Sara N 8P  Belen V-F 9P  Neekaiya M 10P  Bryanna C
  8T  Zara M 9T  Syed A 10T  Maria C



Years 9 & 10 Rewards Visit to the South Bank

As a reward for Year 9 & 10 students who recorded achievement points for behaviour, attendance and hard work a special trip was arranged for them to visit London’s South Bank in the last week of this busy term. For some students, despite living relatively close, it was their first visit to this part of our capital city.

London’s South Bank is a hub of cultural activity. A two-mile procession of diverting arts and entertainment venues and events, popular with Londoners as well as the millions of travellers who visit every year. The area’s modern-day life began in 1951 with the Festival of Britain. 

Students took in The Royal Festival Hall, which has now expanded into the Southbank Centre, the concrete ziggurat of the National Theatre, the London Eye, HMS Belfast, the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and more. Students and staff then crossed the river to visit St Paul’s Cathedral.

As well as being a great place to soak up some London culture, the South Bank was just perfect for our students to wander along the River Thames and drink in the view of the city skyline -a reward for a year of hard work and achievement.

International Showcase at St Mary's

St Mary’s students, parents and staff celebrated the rich diversity of our school with a special International Showcase and Talent Evening on Thursday, 11th July. The school community has students and staff from well over sixty different countries across the world, each one adding to our special ethos, showing that we are a truly universal community.

Taking advantage of the recent warm evenings, the showcase was held on the upper playground, adjacent to the school hall. The main feature of the International Showcase was a catwalk display of wonderfully coloured international costumes, with both students and staff proudly showing off their own special heritage. In addition to the fashions, our community shared the tastiest dishes from across the world, all of which were prepared with great skill by students, parents and staff.

SMHS IE July2019 3bThe entertainment for the evening was provided by a students’ talent show with some excellent performances, many in various languages, accompanying the fashion and food. This was another wonderful opportunity to show off our students’ God-given talents.

Well done to the following students who participated in the Fashion and Talent Show:

Year 7

Portia, Cassidy, Sara, Allegra, Jade, Favour, Nery, Princess, Zana-Lee, Thando, Sean, Kyrece, Marieclaire, Akeelah, Vanessa, Prince, Emmanuel, Malachi, Nicole, Shakira, Christie, Dominika, Cara and Rebecca.

Year 8

Belen and Brandon.

Year 9

Ikimot, Luc, Princess, Paula, Blessing, Zef, Nada, Angel, Mario, Rodrigo, Jemma, Ana, Leon, Sofia, Neekaiya and Cole.

Year 10

Feranmi, Aphinayaa, Dilkushan, Chantelle, Hannah, Roshini, Anika, Bryana, Hitarth, Hamel, Dylan and Michael.

'The Animal Experience' visits St Mary's

On the last day of the spring term we welcomed The Animal Experience to our school. Our students had a unique opportunity to learn about a wide variety of rare and endangered creatures within the safety of the classroom.

The wide selection of animals, including: a meerkat, monitor lizard, tarantulas, tree frogs, a chameleon and a flying display by an eagle owl, allowed students an experience that they will never forget. Students learnt about the individual animals, their natural environments, the unique adaptations that allow them to survive, and related topics such as environmental issues and biodiversity.

We were delighted that all Year 5 pupils from our neighbouring St Mary’s Junior School were able to join us for this fantastic experience.

Thank you to the Science Department for organising this wonderful experience.

School Production - 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

For two nights before half-term our school hall was transformed into the magical world of Roald Dahl as a talented cast of students from Years 7 to 10 performed ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ to capacity audiences. Warmest congratulations to all the students who took part, as well as all the dedicated members of staff who made this school production so memorable. We were delighted that Year 5 pupils from St Mary's Catholic Junior School were our special guests for the dress rehearsal.

Mr Turiansky's programme notes state: “It is always the most exciting activity to bring alive words from a script into a living, breathing spectacle, and taking the text of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ from the page to the stage has been a wonderful journey for me. Miss Laghzaoui and I have been blessed with a most committed cast across the year groups who have developed these colourful characters into a wonderful piece of entertainment that I’m sure you will enjoy. As well as my heartfelt thanks to the cast and musicians, I must also show my gratitude to all the unseen pupils and members of staff whose assistance in mounting this production has been as invaluable as it has been essential. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the work of our pupils and staff in this production!”

Charlie Pic3Website

Cast - Charlie, Tyler, Conor, Ragshidaa, Rosa, Princess, Kadija, Belen, Thando, Jade, Akeelah, Sara, Allegra, Ellie.

Oompa-loompas - Brandon, Favour, Love, Alicja, Maria, Cara, Portia, Zoe, Dominika, Rebecca, Christie, Sophia, Aretha, Chelsy, Sascha,

Choir - Nicole, Shakira, Jennifer, Dakota, Cole

Crew - Aphinayaa, Feranmi, Meggy,

Musicians - J Chapman, P Bridgwood, T Laghzaoui

Director - M Turiansky

Musical Director - T Laghzaoui

History Makers – Our first ever school rugby team

To mark their historic achievement, students in our first ever rugby squad were presented with special certificates at an assembly. They each then signed a special Harlequins rugby ball which has now taken pride of place in the school’s trophy cabinet.


The students were invited to take part in their very first Harlequins Rugby Development Day just before the end last term. Our students played in several matches against other schools - showing amazing team work, spirit and determination. Having checked through the school archives dating back to 1955, we are confident that this team were the very first to represent St Mary’s in a full-contact rugby competition in our school’s history.

Thank you to the Harlequins coaches for all their hard work with our students. This has been a wonderful start in this new sport for our school.

SMHS RugbyBall Pic1website

Teaching is Thriving!

Our school features prominently the latest edition of St Mary’s University’s alumni magazine, ‘The Simmarian’. An article entitled ‘Teaching is Thriving!’ celebrates the strong relationship between our two Catholic educational establishments. It states:

‘As a university, St Mary’s is focused on the important themes of employability, sustainability and community. This is evident in so many schools across London and beyond, where former trainee teachers are making valuable contributions to education, including in positions of senior leadership.

At St Mary’s Catholic High School in Croydon, Patrick Shields is the current head teacher. He studied at St Mary’s University in 2003 and has maintained strong links, including bringing his whole school staff to the University for development days. Patrick’s team includes many Simmarian teachers and there are always trainee teachers on placement at the school.

Ten teachers are taking an MA in Catholic School Leadership illustrating how the partnership between St Mary’s University and St Mary’s Catholic High School supports the development of Catholic teachers in senior leadership roles. “I am a proud Simmarian and value the partnership between St Mary’s University and my large Catholic secondary school in Croydon,” said Patrick.

“There are so many ways that we can work together, including initial teacher training and CPD collaboration. At a time of considerable challenges for the profession, our high-quality partnership is invaluable and mutually beneficial.”

This is one important way in which St Mary’s University contributes to the teacher supply and professional development needs of the local community, including our many Catholic partnership schools.’

CLICK HERE to download The Simmarian - Winter 2019 Magazine


Sarah Jones MP plants Queen's Commonwealth Canopy trees at St Mary's

St Mary’s was delighted to welcome Sarah Jones, our local Member of Parliament, who came to our school to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project. She has also planted trees at a number of other local Croydon schools as part of this global environmental legacy project, in coordination with the Woodlands Trust.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives, which involves all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. This means that that our pupils at St Mary’s, many of whose families are from the Commonwealth, are part of this special global environmental community.


The project, launched in 2015, was established in the name of Her Majesty the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. It is committed to raising awareness of the value of established indigenous forests, and saving them for future generations, as well as planting new forests.

SMHS TreePic2ZSarah Jones was accompanied in the planting of a silver birch, a hazel and a rowan tree by Head Girl - Sonia Obiokafor and Head Boy - Errikos Biniakou. It was particularly special to also welcome back to former St Mary’s student Brigitte Graham, who is one of Sarah Jones’ parliamentary aides.

Christmas Hamper Appeal

A big THANK YOU to the manager and staff at our local Tesco Express on Wellesley Road who, once again, generously donated several bags of grocerties to our Christmas Hamper collection, in support of Croydon Commitment's #500CroydonHampers Appeal.

Three Year 9 students collected the bags of groceries which will be added to our growing collection of food to be distributed to those in need in our community. Already, pupils, parents and staff at St Mary's have responded brilliantly to this year's appeal, including one Year 7 student's family who donated a wonderful collection of groceries for our appeal (pictured below).

During Advent, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our saviour, who came into the world not to be served, but to serve others. It is this message of service that we encourage in all of our students at St. Mary’s.

We are encouraging each student to make a contribution to a Christmas Hamper in their tutor group. We hope that each student will be able to donate a minimum of one item to their tutor group’s hamper which will then be shared amongst those most in need in our community through the organisation Croydon Commitment. Please note these items do not need to be expensive, but are intended to be given as gifts in order to share this season’s blessings.

Tutor groups will be making hampers for families who are in need in our local community, and who may not be able to afford or enjoy some of these items this Christmas.


They should bring in items such as:

  • Christmas Cakes
  • Selection boxes
  • Biscuits
  • Boxes of Tea
  • Tinned food
  • Boxes of Chocolates
  • Jam
  • Honey
  • Other Spreads
  • Long life-milk

Year 9 Explore The Natural History Museum

On Thursday, 18th October the Humanities Department took all of Year 9 to the world famous Natural History Museum at South Kensington, London. The visit was linked to their humanities curriculum and allowed the students to experience education outside of the classroom environment.

Milenah & Ragshidaa in Year 9 described their experience: ‘Although we were told what to expected we were blown away by all the exhibitions. We revisited topics we have studied in class in a more practical manner. There was one display were you could experience the actual effect of an earthquake, along with another display showing two victims in Pompeii after the Mount Vesuvius explosion. We even had the opportunity to touch a meteorite that is millions of years old. We had a great day out and learned so much.’

St Mary's Rugby - History Makers

St Mary’s students were invited to take part in their very first Harlequins Rugby Development Day just before half-term. Our students played in several matches against other schools - showing amazing team work, spirit and determination. Having checked through the school archives dating back to 1955, we are confident that this team were the very first to represent St Mary’s in a full-contact rugby competition in our school’s history.

We are delighted that our relationship with Harlequins is going from strength to strength. While it will be some time before our school is able to compete fully against other local schools who have successfully played rugby over many years - this has been a wonderful start in this new sport for our school.

UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s Beacon School

St Mary’s has been selected as one of the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s Beacon Schools, one of only three schools in the Greater London region to be selected this year.

The University College London Centre for Holocaust Education recruits up to twenty secondary schools each year in England, committed to enhancing teaching and learning about the Holocaust. The selected schools will become dynamic hubs serving a network of local schools and will work with the Centre in order to improve teaching standards, raise pupil achievement, and strengthen our Social, Moral, Spiritual & Cultural (SMSC) provision.

Humanities teacher, Miss Clancy is our school’s Lead Teacher for Beacon School status, receiving additional support and training as a key element of the Beacon School training process.

St Mary’s is committed to the view that the study and understanding of the Holocaust is a critically important part of all students’ education, especially at a time of growing intolerance in our society.

Harlequins' rugby coaches put St Mary’s students through their paces.

We were delighted to welcome rugby coaches, Andy Campbell and James Collins-Clark, from Harlequins FC to St Mary’s on Thursday, 27 September, running workshops and training sessions for Year 9 & 10 students throughout the morning. It was impressive to see how well the students engaged with the activities, as for a number of the girls and boys it was their first real taste of this sport.

Throughout the sessions skill, agility and quick thinking were in evidence, especially as the students competed in mixed teams in touch-rugby games, in a sport so often solely associated with physical strength.

We are pleased that our links with Harlequins continue to develop, following on from a number of training sessions last year, culminating in a party of students visiting The Stoop for one of Harlequins home games in spring term.

Year 7 experience The Riot Act in their first week!

Our new Year 7s were treated to a wonderful multi-media performance from theatre group The Riot Act on the key theme of road safety. While the drama focused on the important issue of being safe on the roads there was much in the performance to engage the audience on issues such as peer pressure, being responsible, the consequences of dangerous behaviour, and much more.

Particular thanks is due to the three members of The Riot Act cast who presented this important topic in such an engaging and entertaining manner. Following the performance, they organized a workshop with the year group in order to reinforce the key messages of the production.

The issue of road safety is important for our new students as many are traveling to school unaccompanied for the very first time from across the local area. At St Mary’s staff are always present outside of school at the end of each school day in order to ensure an orderly exit from our site and also to remind students to use the official crossings available to cross the busy main roads and tramways around Croydon.

The theatre group are taking their production to schools around the capital over the next few weeks.

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