At St. Mary’s School, we recognise the pivotal role that quality careers education plays in shaping the future of our students.

As part of our commitment to providing enriching experiences, students from Year 7 to Year 10 and the Sixth Form recently had the exciting opportunity to participate in the BBC Bitesize Careers Roadshow. This one-hour session, led by the experienced BBC presenter Kathryn Wilson, brought together students and professionals in a dynamic and engaging setting.

The event featured a panel-style discussion with three professionals from our local community, each offering unique insights into their career journeys. The professionals, a graduate engineer, a BBC social media journalist, and a simulator technician from Guys and St Thomas’ in London, shared their experiences, qualifications, personal anecdotes, and invaluable advice on work experience. Kathryn Wilson skilfully guided the conversation, creating an interactive platform where students could ask questions and gain real-world perspectives.

The diversity of professions showcased during the Bitesize Careers Schools Tour highlighted the vast array of opportunities available to our students. The graduate engineer spoke eloquently about the exciting world of engineering, the BBC social media journalist shed light on the dynamic field of journalism, and the simulator technician offered a glimpse into the healthcare sector.

St. Mary’s is immensely proud to play a part in the Bitesize Schools Tour, which aims to raise awareness of career aspirations among secondary pupils across the UK. By bringing professionals directly into the school environment, we provide our students with practical insights and advice, helping them make informed decisions about their future paths.

The event emphasised the importance of relevant qualifications, shared personal anecdotes to make career paths relatable, and provided valuable advice on work experience and essential soft skills for the workplace. These interactions with professionals working in our local area serve as a powerful catalyst for inspiring our students and broadening their horizons.

Our commitment to careers education goes beyond the classroom, and events like the BBC Bitesize Careers Roadshow underscore the significance we place on preparing our students for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. We believe that exposure to diverse career paths and direct interactions with professionals significantly contribute to the holistic development of our students, empowering them to make informed choices and pursue their aspirations.

As we continue to prioritise career-focused initiatives, we are confident that such experiences will leave a lasting impact on our students, instilling in them the confidence and knowledge needed to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the professional world. St. Mary’s remains dedicated to providing a robust foundation for our students, ensuring that they are well-equipped to pursue their dreams and make meaningful contributions to society.

Within the Aspire Business & Enterprise Academy 2023/24 Young Enterprise Company Programme we had the highest number of students register.

This meant that we created two YE teams that will not only compete against each other but also against all the other school teams in Hertfordshire.

Having established the teams, and their all-important names, the teams set about creating products for sale.

One team, ‘Embrace’ created some beautiful bracelets which sold very well including a personalised option where customers could choose their own colours and design to be made in front of them. Our other team ‘Recorked Charm’ is focused on sustainable products all made from corks and they started with Christmas gifts and decorations such as reindeers and trees.

At the beginning of December both teams attended the Ware Dickensian Evening where they set up their stalls and sold directly to the public taking both cash and card payments. Despite the freezing cold temperatures, the students showed outstanding resilience and determination creating and presenting their stalls which looked professional and welcoming. Both teams managed to sell many of their products resulting in profits.

It was amazing to see the confidence of the students grow as they spoke to many members of the public explaining what they were doing and selling their products. Feedback from the students included; “We managed to work as an effective team while approaching customers in a friendly manner giving us first-hand experience selling to people.” And “We had a great experience selling our products and greeting new people in Ware”.

This year, both teams, have decided to support a charity very dear to both their own and schools’ heart; Chrisoforos Charity Foundation. To do this they have all provided one share of each business so that a portion of any profits will be donated and in addition they promoted the charity at events with a donation bucket for collections.

We are very proud of their hard work and dedication, along with their accomplishments to date and we are looking forward to what they will deliver in the coming months.

On Tuesday 16th Jan, four KS3 debate students were invited back to the Broxbourne Council Chambers to deliver their speech on what they want the Borough of Broxbourne to be like in fifty years’ time.

This year, 2024, the borough celebrates its fiftieth birthday.

The speech was originally created and presented as part of the annual Broxbourne Mayoral Debate in November and the students were asked to return to deliver their speech again, this time though to the Environmental Sustainability Panel of the Council.

We felt honoured to be asked back over other local schools who originally participated, and the four students again rose to the occasion, speaking in front of a chamber full of adults, speaking passionately and eloquently on this important environmental issue.   Congratulations go to Gabriella, Mason, Isaac and Megan; a great team.

We would like to congratulate Selena, Jada and Sudefia from the 6th form for passing their GCSE Maths in the November exam series. We are very proud of their hard work and commitment.

KS5 Mathematics Higher Level Problem Solving Seminars

Jerina, Kamsi, Khyar, Reuel and Stepans from Year 12 are participating in a series of 10 problem-solving online sessions, along with students from schools across Hertfordshire and Essex. These interactive sessions are designed to give students the confidence to apply for university courses that require, or take into consideration achievement in an admissions test. Our students are enjoying the interactive nature of the course and the content is helping them develop and build on the skills already being taught in their A level maths lessons. Not only this, but the students are developing lifelong skills that ensure they are highly competitive in their chosen fields.

On Friday 1st December 2023 the Year 12 Finance and Year 13 Business students visited the Bank of England.

The trip allowed them to gain a greater understanding of the role of the Bank of England and what they do to help support and manage the UK economy.

They had a talk which outlined the history of the Bank of England, followed by a tour around the Bank of England Museum. The students were astonished how money and banking had changed over time and enjoyed being able to take their learning from the classroom into the real world.

Students showed great enthusiasm asking some insightful questions, showcasing their knowledge and understanding of what we are currently studying. The students also engaged in a range of activities, including trying to manage the rate of inflation for the UK economy and competing to pick up a real gold bar weighing 13kg.

The students took particular interest in the ‘Slavery and the Bank’ exhibition, where they were able to look into the role the bank had in the slave trade. They were touched to see the names of the slaves taken displayed and honoured as well writing their own touching messages to contribute to the cause. The students had a wonderful day being in the city and bringing their learning to life.

Are you seeking an opportunity to play a role in delivery the curriculum in a dynamic school? If so, St Mary’s CE High School is looking for a Textiles /Technology Teacher to join us from Easter 2024.

The school takes induction for those new to the school, and their continuing professional development very seriously. Please read what the Head Teacher has to say about this here: Induction and Development.

We are looking for an inspirational candidate, to deliver the curriculum focusing on strengthening the good foundations that are in place to help take the school to the next level.

Applicants do not need to be practising Christians, but would be expected to uphold our Christian principles of trust, forgiveness, compassion, thankfulness, friendship and love, as well as our vision where, ‘Through God’s love, we are the rich soil where seeds flourish and roots grow’.

In line with this vision, we are committed to developing you in the role, both in the short term through a supportive induction programme, and in the long term through Leadership CPD (e.g. NPQML or NPQSL).

St Mary’s CE High School is committed to providing a safe and caring learning environment, founded on our Christian principles. We continue to develop an excellent standard of education for all students, allowing everyone to achieve their full potential regardless of ability or background in a safe and inspiring community.

The Ofsted inspection of 2023 stated that:

“The school has a well-designed, ambitious curriculum. This is evident in the good quality of pupils’ learning demonstrated in lessons and in their books.”

“Pupils live up to leaders’ expectations of their behaviour. Pupils follow the well-established routines in lessons and usually focus on learning.”

And that “Pupils are proud of their school.”

St Mary’s CE High School is one of three church secondary schools in Hertfordshire, all of which are within the Diocese of St Albans. The school is well recognised in the local community for its high-quality provision and outstanding inclusion agenda.

The SIAMS report of January 2020 said that we have “an exceptionally inclusive and caring community”.

St Mary’s is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The successful applicant will be required to undertake online safeguarding training and all positions are subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Two references will be sought for every candidate that is called for interview. St Mary’s is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Application Deadline: 9am on 15th February 2024

Interviews: TBC – we reserve the right to interview suitable candidates ahead of the deadline

The maths team have launched a half termly celebration of our maths students, to honour their hard work and dedication over the course of the year.

We are happy to announce this half-term’s nominations for “Mathematician of the moment”.

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

Congratulations to this half terms students:

Jay, Caitlin, Themoulla, Holly, Jahwe, Chanita, Jerusha, Cailey, Luis, Steph, Ruby, Andrew, Anton, Jaelyn, Clara, James, Blaise, Tawananyasha, Nimah, Nojus, Nabilah, Anshika, Demi, Jecholia

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

“Significantly improved attitude to learning and commitment in maths lessons – very impressive.”

“Persisting through challenging problems and are willing to put in the time and effort needed to be successful.”

“He quietly and efficiently gets through the work. He enjoys his work and is making good progress.”

During the final week of the Autumn term, Mr Price and Mr Lakole participated in a charity badminton match.

The stakes were high with the victor crowned “best staff badminton player 2023/2024”. The event took place over two lunchtimes with the year 7s, 9s, and 11 able to watch the first match on Monday, and the 8s, 10s, and sixth form able to watch the second.

It was a shaky start for Mr Price, losing to Mr Lakole in 9 minutes with a score line of 21-9. Not content with such a score, Mr Price rallied back on day 2. In a surprising turnaround, Mr Price secured the second match with a very comfortable 21-6 and taking the title by score difference.

The event raised £93.50, and was combined with the total raised for “Christmas jumper day”.

On Monday 27th November the Year 12 Business Students had a magical time at the Warner Bros Studios: The Making of Harry Potter. This trip allowed them to put some of their classroom theory into context, with one of the world’s biggest studios, and film franchises.

The students took part in a workshop where they were able to learn about the success and profitability of the franchise, how social media was used in their marketing campaign and the importance of adapting to their target audience. They even got to write and present their own storyline ideas and how they would optimise the use social media to promote their ideas. There were some interesting and unique ideas from our students, so we may have some future movie producers here at St Mary’s!

After the workshop, we took a tour of the studios where we were all so impressed with the secrets behind the movie; from the Gryffindor common room, to Dumbledore’s enchanting office and flying cars!

This was a great way for our students to see how their studies can link to their future chosen careers.

As exam preparation season begins for our year 11 and 13 artists, I wanted to turn the attention to the wonderful art work that is being created by our year 10 artists.

Here is Milena Pisha’s interpretation of ‘The World Around Us’, focussing on perspective and painting.