Year 10 Science Students at St Mary's University

Fifteen Year 10 students were invited to attend a science practical skills day at St Mary's University, Twickenham on the 31st January 2018. The targeted group were higher learners who are studying three separate sciences as GCSE core and option subjects. The aim was to take students through some of the key practical activities that they have to study to complete their GCSE course.

The day was organised by the School of Education, with our pupils taught by university students studying on the science PGCE course. This gave the PGCE students a chance to engage with secondary school pupils and allowed our pupils to use the excellent laboratory facilities at the university.

Our students completed a range of experiments, including: using ticker-tape-timers and an air-track in Physics; completing a rate of reaction experiment in Chemistry; investigating osmosis in potatoes and how drugs affect heart rate (on a water-flea!) in Biology - this involved adding caffeine and then alcohol to the water surrounding the fleas and observing their heart rate change under a microscope.

SIMMS Sci8xAll students had an excellent time completing the experiments, and especially as they then had the chance to use the university cafeteria for lunch afterwards!

Thank you to St Mary’s University staff and students for their hospitality and expertise in ensuring our science students had an excellent experience.

To view a gallery of pictures from the visit, click on the image below:



St Mary's remembers victims of the Holocaust

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 students from St Mary’s, along with students from three other Croydon Schools, took part in Croydon Council’s commemorative service in the presence of the Mayor, council officials and special guest, Wlodka Robertson, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto.


The event began with the lighting of a memorial candle at the Town Hall was followed by a special service in the Council Chamber where students from the four schools gave presentations on various aspects of the Holocaust. St Mary’s students presented their work on a special ‘Postcard Project' where they read out messages to victims of the Holocaust using information from this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day Trust theme of The Power of Words.

HMDPic3bHolocaust survivor, Wlodka Robertson, spoke movingly of her memories of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, recalling her experience of the Holocaust and how we must help combat hate in the modern world.

During the week leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day special assemblies were held for each year group at our school using resources from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Not only were victims of the Nazi Holocaust remembered, but also those who suffered in more recent genocides.

Year 8 explore the enchanting 'Harry Potter - A History of Magic' Exhibition

All Year 8 students explored the world of spells, potions, mythical creatures and divination at the popular ‘Harry Potter – A History of Magic’ Exhibition at the British Library on Wednesday, 24th January.

In a combined History and English department trip students were able to see rarely seen treasures of the world famous British Library as well as artefacts relating to the creation of the Harry Potter series of books. The exhibition commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the very first J K Rowling book - ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone’.

SMHS HP Pic5zThe year group, split into small groups, were expertly lead by British Library staff through some of the sections of the already sold out exhibition. With most of the of the students having read at least one of her books, it was invaluable that they were able to see a number of J K Rowling’s original notebooks in which she hand-wrote her stories, along with her numerous edits, corrections and redrafts. Many of the British Library’s treasures were on display alongside the Harry Potter artefacts showing that the roots of most modern stories of myths and imagination go back many centuries.

Over the next weeks students will be using their visit to the exhibition as inspiration for work in school, especially creative writing. Particular thanks must go to Mr Harvey, along with his colleagues, for organising this valuable curriculum experience for the students in Year 8.

Bishop Paul blesses the altar in our new School Chapel

Bishop Paul Hendricks blessed the altar in our new oratory-style school chapel at a special Mass on Tuesday, 16th January. The chapel. which has been re-established after several years absence, is situated at the heart of the school and will allow the sacrament of Mass to be held for tutor groups and RE classes on a regular basis. It will also be a focal point for liturgies and quiet reflection in our busy school environment.

The simple oratory-style chapel has been enhanced by the addition of the new altar, along with an icon of The Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a gift from Fr. Michael Scanlon, on behalf of our local parish church; and a special ‘Mercy Cross’ - a gift from Sr. Patricia Bell in commemoration of the long standing relationship our school has with the Sisters of Mercy. In addition, a ‘Lampedusa Cross’ has been placed in the chapel, from CAFOD, as a reminder of the significant role the school has played in supporting refugees in recent years.

SMHS Chapel Pic8bFollowing the Mass Bishop Paul and the invited guests met, for over an hour, with students and staff. The guests included: Prof. Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor at St Mary’s University and former British Ambassador to the Holy See; Cllr. Toni Letts OBE, Mayor of Croydon; Rt. Hon. Sarah Jones, MP Croydon Central; Msgr. Hugh Connolly, Irish College Paris; Sr. Patricia Bell, Sisters of Mercy; Sr. Patricia Devine, Salesian Sisters; Dr. Maureen Glackin, Head of School of Education, St Mary’s University; Mr. David Butler, Director of Education and Youth Engagement, Croydon Council; Kate Ambrosi, Head of Economic Engagement, Croydon Council: Mr. Pat Winston, Principal of St Paul’s Academy; and Barbara Ring, Chaplaincy Advisor at the Education Commission.

To view a gallery of photographs from the event click on the image below:

Increased demand for places adds two new tutor groups to Years 8 & 9

Due to the increased demand for places at our school, two new tutor groups have been added in Years 8 and 9. The new tutor groups, called 8J and 9J, are named in honour of St Joseph, the patron saint of workers. The growing popularity of our school is due, in no small part, to parents' recognition of the wonderful progress our school is making, including recent local and national school awards and the latest Ofsted inspection, which rated St Mary's as good in all categories.


December - 'Star Students'

'Star Student' awards are celebrated in recognition of those pupils who go above and beyond the normal call of duty. At St Mary’s we are rightly proud of the achievements and efforts of our students and want to encourage all our pupils to aspire to be 'Star Students'.



The awards for November - December

Year 7 - Bartosz Skorek

For always working hard in lessons and being extremely helpful to staff throughout the term.

Year 8—Neekaiya Mark

For having a positive attitude towards learning and a high level of progress in lessons.

Year 9 - Jose Artur Domingos

For personal conduct and being receiving a significant number of achievement points.

Year 10 - Christyana Goncalves

For gaining more than 100 achievement points and no behaviour points this term.

Year 11 - Breanna Mukherjee

For being the highest academic achiever in the year group and for consistent effort in all pieces of work.

Advent - Students raise £1025 and donate over 200 tins of food

Our charity focus for this Advent has been to support Croydon Commitment with their hamper appeal for the Croydon Neighbourhood Care Association; the aim of which is to supply 500 Christmas hampers for local senior citizens.

We started our campaign with an own-clothes day, which raised an amazing £1025.00.  The following week, students were asked to donate a tin of food for the campaign - 204 tins of food were donated.

Special mention must go to 10P Form Group who donated a total of 82 tins, half of which were due to Mr Bonto, their Form Teacher, asking for help from our local Tesco Express on Wellesley Road. 

We would also like to thank ASDA for their support of the Croydon Commitment hamper appeal.

St Mary’s Sports Leaders - making a difference!

On Thursday, 30th November St Mary’s hosted the local heat of the London Youth Games Sportshall Athletics competition. Coordinated by the Croydon School Sports Partnership, teams from six local primary schools took part in the closely contested competition. Well done to our Year 10 Sports Leaders who officiated throughout the event, ensuring that it ran smoothly and our visitors had a great time. 

The London Youth Games encourages students to take part in the sports both as competitors and Sports Leaders. Our Year 10 students will continue their training towards further participation in various events later in the academic year.

We were delighted that local schools were able to make full use of our Sports Hall facilities for the Sportshall Athletics competition with pupils taking part in various skills events as well as relay obstacle races. Congratulations to the pupils and staff from Heavers Farm Primary School and Selsdon Primary School who go through to Borough finals; and well done to the Fairchildes Primary Academy, Christchurch CofE Primary School, Robert Fitzroy Primary Academy and The Crescent Primary School for taking part in the event.

Starting in 1977, the London Youth Games is the largest youth sports event in Europe, with over 125,000 students participating throughout the year in 30 different sports and games - culminating each summer in the finals at Crystal Palace. With over 2000 volunteers supporting the various events, it is a fantastic opportunity for students, in their role as Sports Leaders, to help organise and officiate at the various heats throughout the year, providing them with invaluable life-skills for the future.

Olympic 400m Athlete and former St Mary’s student, Donna Fraser, also took part in the London Youth Games representing Croydon in the finals at Crystal Palace.

To view a gallery of images from the Sportshall Athletics event, click on the image below:


Year 11 student Alexandra Grant - ‘Celebrating Young People Awards’ Nominee

We are proud to announce that Year 11 student Alexandra Grant was shortlisted for The Joseph Cardijn Award at the ‘Celebrating Young People Awards’ at a special ceremony in Leicester Square on Thursday, 23rd November. The Award is in recognition of young people who uphold the dignity of workers, helped people into work, or shown example to their colleagues.

Alexandra has been volunteering with St John Ambulance since she was nine years old. Starting off as a badger, she has now moved on to being a cadet. Alexandra is very committed to St John Ambulance and displays their ethos in every aspect of her life.

Alexandra sees assisting an individual in a crisis, however small, is a crucial element in upholding the dignity of those in need. She also shares her skills with others in order to build the confidence of other volunteers.

Over 1,000 individuals and groups were nominated for one of the six Celebrating Young People Awards. There was a shortlist of six nominees in each category. For Alexandra to be one of the final six in a category is a huge achievement in itself, she can be very proud of this alone, and we at St Mary’s can be rightly proud to have her among us.

'The Awards are an opportunity for the Catholic community to celebrate the enthusiasm, commitment and incredible difference young people make to the lives of countless people, inspired by Catholic Social teaching.' - Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

St Mary's Welcomes the National Citizen Service

St Mary’s has signed up to take part in the NCS (National Citizen Service) and today (Friday, 24th November) welcomed Sylvia and Ade who gave a presentation to Year 11 students on the great opportunities there are for individuals and groups taking part in the programme. Pleasingly, the vast majority of our students signed up today for more information, with a view to taking part in this life-changing opportunity in the summer of 2018, just after their GCSE examinations.

NCS is a three-part programme for 15-17 year olds. It’s perfect for boosting CV experience, personal statements, and UCAS forms. It’s also an unforgettable experience which builds confidence and independence.

The programme is a government-funded initiative that brings together schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals to build a stronger and more cohesive society. It never costs more than £50, and financial assistance can be requested.

The programme’s three parts are:

Phase 1 – Adventure
Develop confidence, meet new people, and build your team on an outdoor residential.

Phase 2 – Skills
You and your team work together to learn a new skill in sport, media, photography, music, drama, enterprise or art.

Phase 3 – Social Action
Each team creates a project and pitches it to local business leaders in our NCS Dragon’s Den. You’ll then make your project a reality in your local area.

The NCS programme also helps teenagers connect to their local community through social action projects designed and delivered by the young people themselves.

For more information on the NCS please visit:

Pupil Progress 'Gold Tie' Awards

Following the Year 11 mock examinations at the end of last term, pupils had lots to celebrate. Many had made very good progress in some or all subjects. This progress was measured from ‘Mock 3’ in Year 10 to the mock examinations sat earlier this term.

In order to recognise the very best achievements, those pupils with the very best progress were awarded with special gold ties. More of these ties will be awarded in January once the second set of mock examinations have been sat.

It is anticipated that we will be awarding even more gold ties as pupils respond to their individual targets set and interventions put in place.

The pupils in the picture highlight that hard work and commitment do pay off. They are also great ambassadors for our school and will act as strong role models to students across the school. Well done and congratulations to the following Year 11 students who were awarded their Gold Ties:

Elina Figuera, Juan Lucena Castillo, Jeremiah Nruah, Juan Guillermo Martinez Lugo, Nathan Henry, Nerea Zambrano Belevan, Chrispus Kivumbi and Brajan Budini.

Past Pupils’ Awards Evening 2017

On Tuesday, 7th November, we welcomed back last year’s Year 11 students, along with their parents, to our annual prize-giving celebration evening.

It was pleasing to see so many of our former students celebrate their achievements, not just in the GCSE examinations, but also their commitment and hard work over the last academic year. In addition, service to the school and outstanding attendance were also recognised. Prizes for individual subjects were nominated by the teaching staff based on progress, achievement, effort, behaviour and enthusiasm for the subject.

Mr Shields welcomed the students back to the school and reminded them of their contribution to the school’s achievements, particularly in the past year, with the award of Croydon School of the Year and our successful Ofsted inspection. He also spoke of the values which the school had instilled in each student over the years and reminded them that, regardless of where their careers take them in the years ahead, they would always remain part of the St Mary’s family.

SMHS PrizeNight2017 PicYThe recent passing of Mr Maurice Reaney (Headteacher 1955-1986) was also commemorated with a reflection on his time at the school as well as his legacy to St Mary’s pupils - past, present and future.

The evening continued with the award of prizes by Mrs Englefield and Mrs Aboyade, following which students collecting their GCSE examination certificates. Special mention must be made of Roshidat Olawale who was awarded the annual Headteacher’s Award by Mr Shields. Deacon Tony started and finished the evening with prayers, including our special School Prayer.

Student Awards 2017
Religious Education Roshidat Olawale                   
English Literature  Janice Teye
English Language           Geraldine Unuigboje
Mathematics   Prakaash Sasitharan
Science Core D’andre Douglas
Science Triple Ayomide Otemolu
MFL – French Elijah Myersli
MFL – Spanish Cheissy Castano
Community Language Didar Karesie
History                                 Toluwanimi Mojola
Geography  Mehmet Demir
Drama Sarah Egbuonu
Art & Design Mikayla Aiyudubia
Physical Education Jahiem Daw
Product Design   Lamar Eccleston
Child Development Jordanne Harty
Ecdl                                       Subira Mohammed
Business Studies Luciana Serban
Finance Joel Mathew
Health & Social Care Helen Aworetan
Pastoral Prize Jeremiah Chima
Overall Achievement Geraldine Unuigboje
Award for Sports James Agho
Headteacher’s Award Roshidat Olawale


Special Commendadtion for Service to the School
Ruben Pereira                                    Head Boy
Jordanne Harty Head Girl
Prakaash Sasitharan Deputy Head Boy (Academic Affairs)
Kenaz Rodrigues Fernandes Deputy Head Boy (Welfare Affairs)
Roshidat Olawale Deputy Head Girl ( Academic Affairs)
Bilquees Sheikh Deputy Head Girl (Welfare Affairs)



100% Attendance Awards
 Noman Ahmad                           Elijah Myers
 Reuben Andoh  Roshidat   Olawale
 Helen   Aworetan  Sarah   Oyeneyin
 Jahiem Daw  Ruben Pereira
 Sarah Egbuonu  Oluwatoyin   Sotimehin
 Jesse   Frimpong  Anna Maria   Ssemuju
 Jordanne Harty  Tatiana Tomas   Pegado Correia
 Esther   Johnson  Geraldine   Unuigboje
 Debora Momoh  






























Please click on the image below to see a gallery of photographs from the event.


Maurice Reaney RIP

Of your mercy, please pray for the repose of the soul of Mr Maurice Reaney, Headteacher of St Mary’s Catholic High School 1955 – 1986.

Born on 8th September 1923 - Maurice attended St Elphege’s Junior School, Wallington and The John Fisher School, Purley. On leaving school, he worked for Coutts Bank before serving in the Royal Tank Regiment during the Second World War. Fighting in N.Africa and Italy, he rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in 1945.

From 1947-1949 Maurice trained to become a teacher at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, after which he took up his first teaching post at St Mary’s RC Junior School, Croydon. In September 1955, Maurice was appointed as Headteacher of the newly constructed, St Mary’s Secondary Modern School (renamed St Mary’s Catholic High School in 1971). He led the school for 31 years until retirement in 1986, and was awarded the Papal Cross for his services to Catholic Education.

As Headteacher, he was known as a leader who had great care for the welfare of pupils and staff in his care, while at the same time successfully leading the school through a period of great change in education. To mark his retirement the Croydon Advertiser wrote: “Under his leadership the Croydon Catholic School…seems to have stood like a rock in an ever more erratic educational sea… St Mary’s has stuck with ideals of sport and academic achievement…instilling the values of the Catholic Church as important as anything else it does.”

SMHS MRPic2Perhaps it is no coincidence that Maurice, born on the Feast of Our Lady’s birth, served his entire career in Catholic Education establishments dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Maurice visited Lourdes on many occasions and, as evidence in the school’s log book shows, during his time as Headteacher of St Mary’s he ensured that prayer and worship was foremost in the daily life of the school.

In his retirement, Maurice continued his life-long dedication to his  parish of St Elphege’s, as well as supporting many other charitable causes, including the Alzheimer’s Society. He was a proud and active member of The John Fisher Old Boys Association, editing its newsletter faithfully for over forty years with a style and wit unique to Maurice. Amazingly, he continued to play football for the Old Boys Association until he was 71 years old.

Tom’s Midnight Garden is a book which many of Maurice’s former pupils will recall had special significance for him, as he read it to every Year 7 pupil in the school. In the book, Tom, determined to stay in the garden for ever, wishes to “exchange time for eternity”. We can be assured that Maurice has now exchanged his time for eternity and is now in the arms of Our Lady, to whom he was most faithfully dedicated.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

October 'Star Students'

Star Student awards are celebrated in recognition of those students who go above and beyond the normal call of duty. While we have selected one student from each year group, there are many others who could equally be called ‘Star Students’ here at St Mary's.

Star Pupils

September - October 2017

Year 7:   Brandon K. For being helpful during Open Evening.

Year 8:   Ragshidaa K. For consistent excellent classwork.

Year 9:   Rashma K. For the most achievement points in the year group.

Year 10: Amrullah S. For the most achievement points in the year group.

Year 11: Rebecca S. (Head Girl) For leading by example, punctuality and for always doing what is asked.

Art Students Walk with Andy Warhol

Year 11 GCSE art students took advantage of this month’s exciting Warhol Croydon Art Walk and exhibition organised by Croydon’s trailblazing RISE gallery.

Following the Warhol-inspired walk, our students were given a unique insight into the life and times of the American artist, a leading figure on the pop art visual art movement. The walk was the centrepiece of the Warhol Croydon celebrations throughout the town in September.

While the day of the walk was wet it didn’t dampen the students’ interest in this world famous artist. Following the walk students took part in an art workshop at RISE gallery where they had the opportunity to produce work inspired by the pop-art movement.

Kaira in Year 11 writes: “The trip was very successful and all the students who took part really enjoyed it. The walk, led by Kevin from RISE gallery, lasted about one and a half hours and took us across Croydon.

In the workshop at RISE gallery we learnt more about Warhol and the other pop artists, including how they were influenced by different cultures. We also learned about various art techniques and styles which will help us greatly in our GCSE exams this year. We were given a chance to create our own art work using colours used by Warhol.

My favourite pieces were Warhol’s famous ‘Campbell Soup’ as well as the other street art venues we visited.”

To see a gallery of photographs from the Warhol Walk, please click on the image below:

St Mary's students run Year 6 Retreats in local Catholic Primary schools

Students from St Mary’s have attended two local Catholic primary schools to run retreat days for Year 6 pupils.  On Friday 15th September they attended St James the Great, and on 22nd September they attended St Chad’s.

During the day they explored using their God-given gifts and talents for the good of the wider community.  Various games were used to explore the theme; time was spent outside looking for God’s creation and the work of humans, and we also had to learn to trust each other, just as Abraham had put his trust in God. We finished the day with each child lighting a candle, and joining together in praying the Our Father and the St Mary’s school prayer.  All the Year 6 pupils received a prayer card from St Mary’s.

With our school’s growing success, we are aiming to share our talents, not only in running successful retreat days, but across a number of curriculum areas with our local primary schools.

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