The Shadow Chancellor visits St Mary's

On Thursday 26th November St Mary’s was pleased to receive a visit from the Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP, along with our local MP, Sarah Jones.

During the visit, the Shadow Chancellor met with students from each year group, including our Head Girl and Boy, to discuss a range of issues, including life in school during the COVID restrictions as well as the impact of the virus on national finances. The visit was most timely as the previous day the Chancellor had announced new financial arrangements, including the changes to funding for public services.

Both MPs spent time with the Headteacher as well as other members of staff, thanking them for their hard work throughout the pandemic in ensuring that St Mary’s provided support for students throughout the lockdown and since.

Miss Garrett joins the SSAT Legacy Leadership Project

Sarah Garrett from St Mary's Catholic High School has been accepted onto the prestigious Leadership Legacy Project by SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network.

They will be part of an impressive group of future education leaders from across the country designated as SSAT Leadership Fellows. Successful Leadership Fellows are all in their first 2-5 years of teaching and have been selected by their headteachers as already showing the potential to become outstanding school leaders.

Involvement in the programme demonstrates commitment by St Mary's Catholic High School and SSAT to developing the next generation of system leaders. We already know the impact of this project at an individual level is very impressive. Leadership Fellows enrolled on previous years’ programmes have achieved increased leadership responsibilities at an early career stage, through exposure to a wide range of knowledge and information which boosts confidence levels. We also know the activities that the Fellows undertake have impact at classroom and whole school level and bring additional benefits in terms of whole school performance.

SSAT has been designing and delivering school leadership development programmes for 16 years and has over 14,000 alumni, among them some of the country’s most prestigious education system leaders. SSAT is fully committed to supporting the development of the next generation of education system leaders and is investing in this prestigious project, free to participating schools.

St Mary's face masks issued to all students

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement outlining the new rules to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and being in London, a high-risk area, all students and staff were issued with St Mary’s High School face masks on their return to school this week following the half-term break. In accordance with government guidance, all students and staff must wear a face covering while moving around the building in corridors and the school dining room.

If a student is exempt from wearing a face covering, their parent/carer must inform the school by email stating the reason for the exemption.

To read the Government's guidance on Face Coverings in Education CLICK HERE

Senior prefects presented with new blazers

Our new Head Girl and Head Boy, Dakota and Brandon, were presented with their new school blazers by Mr Shields, just a few days after they were confirmed in their new roles as student leaders for the next academic year.

Being visible to all members of the student community, being out and about at lunchtimes, our two new student leaders play an important role in the smooth running of our school. They coordinate the work of their pastoral and academic deputies, along with other Year 11 prefects. Dakota and Brandon will also help staff ensure that our new Year 7 students settle in to St Mary’s.

Did you know? All blazers worn by St Mary’s students, supplied by Hewitts of Croydon, are 'Eco Friendly', with their polyester material being made from recycled plastic bottles.

New Year 7 students welcomed to St Mary’s

As a special welcome to our school, each of our new Year 7 tutor groups were presented with a special cake to share during their first days at our school. Mr Shields, our Headteacher, and Mrs Jones, Head of Year 7, were delighted to visit each tutor group, welcoming them personally to St Mary’s. We are certain that all of our new Year 7 will achieve great things, and will look back with happy memories of their five years with us, when they complete their journey in 2025!

New Student Leadership Team Announced

Warmest congratulations to our new student leadership team, lead by Head Girl - Dakota, and Head Boy - Brandon. Their Pastoral Deputies are Ana and Zefitret, and the Academic Deputies are Rosheda and Alvin.

At a special assembly for Year 11 students, on Friday 11th September, Mr Shields announced the results of the school-wide election for the posts of Head Girl and Head Boy, along with their teams of deputies for the next academic year. Mr Bernard Tomkins, our Chair of Governors, was also present at the assembly to congratulate the newly elected prefects, and to thank all Year 11 students for the terrific start that they had made to the new term, and to wish them well in the year ahead.

While the Student Leadership team will be presented with their special badges of office later this term, they take over their responsibilities straight away and will remain in post until they begin their GCSEs in May next year. We wish them well in their new positions of responsibility and are certain that all students at the school will give them their full support in the year ahead.


Exam Results 2020

Warmest congratulations to all our Year 11 students who received their GCSE results earlier today. In what must be the most difficult year on record in any school, our students have shown remarkable fortitude and resilience.

We are especially delighted for the students who achieved their target grades, allowing them to progress to Post-16 education and training with confidence in what they have accomplished. We are proud of every single one of our students and wish them every success as they embark on the next stage of their education.

While congratulating our students, it is also appropriate to say well done to their parents and families for their support, especially over the past few months. Particular thanks also to all our staff, both past and present, for all their hard work with this year group.

Alice in Wonderland at St Mary's

On Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th March, St Mary’s students and staff presented an engaging adaptation of the much loved story Alice in Wonderland to audiences of parents, students and classes of children from local primary schools. Written in 1865 by Lewis Carroll, the story is well known and follows the adventures of a curious Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole and finds herself among enchanting characters of all kinds.

AliceGallery ClickHereFollowing the success of last year’s production of Charley and the Chocolate Factory, this year’s show did not disappoint, with much fine acting, singing and dancing throughout the show. Over months of rehearsals Mr Turiansky skilfully directed the production, supported by other staff leading the music and dance. Special thanks must be made to Miss Wheeler and Miss Adams. Behind the scenes thanks also to Mrs Wiseman, Mrs Goodwin, Mr Taylor and the site team for their work on costumes, set design and construction. In addition, thank you to all the additional members of staff who made this production possible.

Warmest congratulations to all the students from Years 7 – 10 who took part in the production. Your talent, hard work and enthusiasm made this show such a memorable success. The main characters parts were outstanding and special mention must be made for Belen who portrayed the main character, Alice.

Alice  Belen
White Rabbit Shauna & Akeelah
Cheshire Cat Ragshidaa, Alicja & Ellie
Mad Hatter Pawel
March Hare Aida
Tweedle Dee Allegra
Tweedle Dum Love
Caterpillar Brandon
King of Hearts  Serena
Queen of Hearts Sascha
Doorknob Ayvea
Principle Royal Cards/Chorus Lacey, Ellie, Sabina & Ellen
Rose Sara
Petunia Thando & Christie
Daisy Princess
Violet  Shakira
Lily Dominika & Favour
Chorus Kaychanel, Sarah & Neveah
Chorus Captain Angel & Paula
Mathilda & A.S.M Dakota
Sea Creature Captain Kara
Dancers & Party Guests Laura, Alicia, Lucy, Grace, Billan-Amina & Jennifer
Director Mr M Turiansky
Choreographer Miss M Adams
Conductor Miss J Wheeler
Deputy Stage Manager Conor
Sound Technician Elvis





Christmas Hamper Collection 2019

During Advent, as our school community prepared to celebrate the birth of Jesus, all tutor groups were encouraged to contribute food, drink and toiletries to the school’s annual Christmas Hamper Collection.

Once again, our students surpassed all expectations with the quantity their donations, which were delivered with great pleasure to two local charity groups for distribution to the those most in need in our community. 

On Wednesday, 18h December, Matthew Turner, our School Chaplain, accompanied a group of Year 10 students to the headquarters of Croydon Commitment's Christmas Appeal with boxes of toiletries for their Hygiene Bank collection, and further boxes of foodstuff was delivered to our local parish's St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP).

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The SVP is a part of an international lay Christian voluntary organisation actively working with the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised. It seeks to respond to the call every Christian receives to bring the love of Christ to those it serves in the spirit of the Gospel message. The SVP at St Mary's Church meets every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 4.00pm-5:30pm in the Parish Prayer Room

This Christmas Croydon Commitment are tackling three key social issues; homelessness, loneliness and isolation, and hygiene poverty, and we are working in partnership with Croydon Neighbourhood Care Association, The Hygiene Bank, Beauty Banks and Crisis. The Hygiene Bank and Beauty Banks to raise awareness for hygiene poverty and source toiletries for those living without access to such products.

Croydon Schools' Badminton Champions

Warmest congratulations to our badminton team who have won the Croydon Sports Partnership KS4 Boys 2019 Badminton Championship held on 28th November at the South Croydon Sports Club.

The tournament included all secondary schools from across Croydon. The St Mary’s team won ten out of their twelve games in the round-robin stage of the tournament, two out of three games in the semi-finals, and then won all three games in the final against the Thomas More School team.

Congratulations to our boys: Jamal, Qasim, Syed and Hitarth.

Miss Adams reports: “The boys played amazingly well, displaying great skill and determination. It was so lovely seeing them working together and as a result were really proud of themselves! Each boy represented St Mary’s with pride and are great ambassadors for our school.”

It was a great year for Catholic schools in the tournament with St Mary’s winning the Boys’ Competition, and Thomas More as runners-up. Coloma Convent School were the winners of the Girls’ tournament.

New Views Theatre Course at St Mary's

On the 6th November selected Year 9 & 10 students were visited by the actor and playwright Yolande Mercy, who delivered a two-hour session on playwriting on behalf of the National Theatre’s ‘NEW VIEWS’ playwriting course.

By the Spring all will have written a 30-minute play, on a subject of their choice, to be entered into a competition where the best judged play will be performed by professionals at the National Theatre.

As part of the programme, a visit was arranged to see ‘Master Harold and the Boys’ on the Lyttleton stage at the National, in order to see how top playwriting and acting could influence pupils’ own efforts.

Through participating in the New Views programme our students will have the unique and exciting opportunity to:

  • Explore their talent and sharpen their approach to research, as well as their ability to develop and articulate ideas on key ethical questions and dilemmas.
  • Develop a sense of connection to the arts, a lifelong enthusiasm for theatre and an understanding of the power of theatre to engage audiences in serious debate.

SPEAKOUT! Challenge

On the 14th November, St Mary’s were host to Elaine Powell of the Speakers’ Trust for a day-long session on public speaking techniques as part of the Jack Petchey SPEAKOUT! Challenge, involving 25 year 10 pupils, who, by the end of the day, delivered a two-minute speech on a topic of their choice.

The key determinants for success were structure, enthusiasm and a strong call to action at the end. ‘All participants acquitted themselves really well’, reported Mr Turiansky, ‘and the less confident in the group surprised themselves and their peers with the fluency of their delivery.

’ Six shortlisted candidates will present their speeches in year 10 assemblies in the new year, with the highest-scoring individual representing St. Mary’s in the Croydon regional final around Easter.

The SPEAKOUT! Challenge is a programme managed and delivered by Speakers Trust, the UK’s leading public speaking organisation and is supported and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation. The challenge gives free communication skills training to Year 10 students in every state school in London and Essex, empowering over 20,000 young people each year.

Runners-up in the London Mock Bar Competition

On Saturday 16th November, a team from St Mary’s took part in the Mock Bar Competition. The competition took place In the courtrooms of the Inner London Courts in Borough, where the pupils successfully prosecuted and defended their cases against teams from other schools.

A variety of roles were undertaken, including: barrister, clerk, usher, witness and juror. The pupils had been training for several months during lunchtime breaks and after school, with the expert help of a real barrister. Each case was tired in front of a real judge and the score based on the successful completion of the different roles.

The Mock Bar competition is for pupils from Year 10 through to Year 13. With a team drawn entirely from Year 10, our pupils knew it would be tough: ten teams competed in the London heat, each completing three separate trials. A final between the two most successful teams was the reward for a long Saturday of exciting work. The final was close and our pupils should be proud at how well they performed.

This is the first time the school has taken part in the Mock Bar competition. To come second in the heat was both unexpected and well-earned.

Well done to: Jaanai, Blessing, Dakota, Angel, Sofia, Brandon, Chelsy, Ashley, Gabriella, Janeca, Nada, Sascha, and Rosheda.

Netball Fixtures Return!

We are delighted that St Mary’s Catholic High School has re-established netball fixtures against other schools after a gap of twenty-five years. The school previously enjoyed a strong reputation for sporting fixtures across a wide range of sports for both boys and girls, so it is to the credit of staff and students that our school is able to offer these invaluable healthy lifestyle opportunities once again. You will recall that last year saw the introduction of rugby as a sport at our school. 

Our girls’ PE teacher, Ms Adams, reports: “It is wonderful to see so many girls turn up for netball training after school each week. Many were active netballers at primary school and are keen to continue the sport throughout their time at secondary school. While they are continuing to develop their skills, their enthusiasm for the game is terrific. They are keen to represent our school in the range of fixtures we have now established.”

While our first fixtures for Years 7 & 8 against Harris Purley ended in close defeats, it will not be long before they are catching up to the standard of other teams. It was a wonderful experience for the girls who deserve great credit for their hard work and commitment.

Macmillan Coffee Morning Success

St Mary’s Macmillan Coffee Morning, held on Friday 18th October, was a huge success, raising a grand total of £606. In preparation for the morning, students and staff brought in home-made and shop-bought cakes and biscuits for sale in the school’s court yard at break time. With so many donations received it was decided to continue the sale throughout lunchtime as well.

Each of our five school houses tried their best to raise the most money for Macmillan Cancer Support, and as a result were eager to sell the most cakes by creating wonderful signs tempting customers to their individual stalls in the courtyard.

The houses raised the following amounts:

  • St Bernadette £81.36
  • St John Bosco £ 36.77
  • St Thomas More £72.10
  • St Peter £54.76
  • St Theresa £122.32

The remainder of the amount raised came from the parents’ coffee morning and staff coffee afternoon events.

We were delighted that Ben from the Macmillan’s Coffee Morning Team acknowledged our school’s efforts in a tweet: “Please thank all those involved for their support! It means a lot. All the best - Ben - Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning Team.”

Year 11 Art students visit Banksy's pop-up shop in Croydon

Year 11 Art students, along with our Head of Art, Mrs Goodwin, visited Banksy’s pop-up shop in Croydon town centre. The exhibition, called Gross Domestic Product, opened in a vacant unit on the corner of Church Street and Frith Road early on Tuesday 1st October.

The shop featured the Union Jack stab vest worn by Stormzy at Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, as well as a Tony the Tiger rug and a cradle surrounded by CCTV cameras.

Banksy’s installation encouraged students to consider how to make their own GCSE artwork more imaginative and challenging. His collection of thought-provoking artworks is usually the centre of attention, so this was an opportunity not to be missed for our students. It's not often a famous artist opens a shop, without any prior announcement, on our doorstep in Croydon!






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