On the 16th of October there was a change from the normal timetable for Year 9 and Year 10 students, as St Mary’s invited a touring theatre group into school to give a performance.

The Upfront Theatre Company introduced ‘In Harm’s Way’, a play and interactive lecture exploring wellbeing, mental health, risky behaviour and the varying forms that can take, and positive coping mechanisms. It is designed to follow the PSHCE curriculum and focused on current issues that affect young people today. We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health, but sometimes it is not an easy subject to talk about with young people. And with 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from a mental health condition in their lifetime, it is something we must talk about. A YouGov/MQ and Forster survey in 2016 showed that 51% of young people would be embarrassed to talk about mental health. Young Minds, PAPYRUS, Childline & NSPCC have all said ‘more open and frank conversations should be encouraged with children.

The actors started with an introduction and clarified some of the fact, figures and myths surrounding mental health. Then the play followed the friendship of three Year 9 students over a 2 year period and explored mental health, coping mechanisms & emotional well-being. Through separate struggles with risky behaviour, they explored the dangers, consequences and help available for some of these problems. Following the play, there was a 30 minute post-show lecture, which picked through the main issues and identified any questions prompted by the story. Key scenes from the play were replayed and students were encouraged to impart advice to the character putting herself in harm’s way. The students had the opportunity to suggest actions to help each character, explore the role and the level of responsibility of the friend as well as the person struggling. There was a positive response from students by seeing mental health issues discussed in such a different manner. In Harm’s Way invited students not only to observe and invest in the characters’ stories, but to advise them. This pro-active approach will encourage them to apply this advice in their own lives.

The maths team have launched a half termly celebration to honour the hard work and dedication over the course of the year named “Mathematician of the moment”.

Every student has a chance to be nominated by their teachers, who will be looking for acts of high effort, going the extra mile in and out of the maths classroom.

Congratulations to this half terms nominations:

Uzziah, Koneil, Nicole Yvie, Anne-Marie, Saida, Efe, Maddison, Troiquon, Kaylan, Davita, Mia, Noah, Kairu, Imogen, Haydar, Tyler, Oligert, Shumaila, Rosie, Yigit, Taylan, Peter-John and Scarlett.

Below are some of the quotes for this half terms winners:

“She tries her best in every lesson and her effort is paying off. She is getting better in every lesson.”

“For being naturally curious and motivated to understand mathematical concepts by asking a lot of questions and exploring ideas.”

“Yvie has made a fantastic start to the year, She focusses on her work, and completes practice to the best of her ability.”

On Thursday 19th October, the Year 11 GCSE Drama students went to see ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ at the Noel Coward Theatre, London.

The production was truly ‘magical’ with lots of trickery and surprise and was unlike anything they had seen before. In an audience of lots of school groups, our students personified the ethos and values of the school. As always, the students behaved impeccably; they were an amazing audience and a joy to take. There is so much to draw upon for the forthcoming exams and it was a pleasure to see them astounded and amazed by the production and performance techniques we saw on the stage. We really hope that some of the students will be considering Drama and Performing Arts as an option in the sixth form and look forward to many more opportunities to take the students to the theatre.

Following their success in the District competition last year, the year 9 boys football team were entered for the County Cup.

They travellled to Ashlyns school in the first round on Wednesday 18th October. The team started the game exceptionally quickly and went close to scoring multiple times in the first half. The Ashlyn side had a very strong goalkeeper who kept his side in the game with a number of important saves.

At half time, the boys were told that they would need to deliver a clinical finish to beat the opposition keeper. Jesse delivered on this request shortly after the break when he broke away down the left hand side, cut back across a defender and whipped the ball in to the top corner giving St Mary’s a 1-0 lead. It was a cagey end to the game as Ashlyn’s pushed on to try and equalise. St Mary’s showed a lot of resilience and kept their opponents out taking a 1-0 win away from home.

There is defintiely room for improvement but a strong performance from all! Definitely worth all of the traffic on the M25. The boys progress to round 2 of the cup where they take on Leventhorpe.

A virtual session designed to help you understand how to best support a young person through their DofE journey.

Yr 7s and Yr 8s have been busy making authentic Caribbean Dishes-Patties and Jerk Chicken Wraps in celebration of Black History Month.

They had a great time and as you can see the food produced looked and tasted amazing.

The Hospitality and Catering students have been looking at types of food services over the past two weeks.

As a result, they were tasked with creating sample buffet items for an 8-year-old’s birthday party. They selected group leaders who led really well: Aaliyah, Kayden, Atahan, and Teegan. As you can see from the pictures, their creations are incredible and any 8 year old would love to have them for their party food!

On 25th September Year 7’s participated in Team building activities at Tolmers activity centre in Cuffley.

The aim of the day was to work on team building skills, give students the opportunity to form new relationships as well as develop existing ones and to build confidence. Students worked really well together and had an excellent day.

On the Tuesday 3rd October, our Year 12 and Year 13 mathematicians took part in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge.

This national challenge consists of 25 maths problems which test students’ logical thinking, ability to problem solve, and extension of understanding to the mathematical ideas they cover in their maths lessons.

Our Bronze awards were Quincy (yr 13) and Omar, Reuel and Alisha (yr 12). Our Silver awards went to Huseyin

Well done to all those that participated! For anyone who would like to take part next year, the UKMT website has a comprehensive collection of past papers which can be used for practice. These challenges are meant to be fun, and are meant to push you out of your comfort zone, so they are an excellent resource for students who enjoy a challenge.

Year 9 Drama work Autumn Term 1

Year 9 have been working hard on exploring the play Noughts & Crosses, adapted from Malorie Blackman’s novel by playwright Dominic Cooke.  They have been specifically learning about the structure of the play, the important and relevant themes of segregation and apartheid, the characters and the staging of the play.  They have had to take on a variety of roles and consider how they would use their vocal and physical skills to portray their characters on stage and how they want the audience to think and feel at key moments from the play and problem solve how they can best achieve this.