Schools In The News

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Winsford

Pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School have taken part in a wellbeing week.

Deputy headteacher Amy Butterworth said: “We wanted our pupils to develop their understanding of why wellbeing is so important and how they can equip themselves with the skills to ensure they lead happy and fulfilling lives.

“We used the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ as our focus, get active, connect, give, keep learning and take notice. A wide range of activities were organised to help develop understanding in each one of these areas and how they can have a positive impact on day to day life.”

Every child joined Forest School sessions to encourage them to be aware of their surroundings and connect with the outdoors.

Various sporting events gave youngsters the chance to take part in dance movements, yoga and team games as well as sessions hosted by Brio Leisure.

Librarians encouraged children to share a love of books.

The chaplain from St Nicholas Catholic High School worked with year 5 and 6 pupils and led a guided meditation session.

Children were taught about the function of the brain, healthy eating and positive mind set as well as discussing the impact of social media.

Lee Randle, one of the school’s five trained emotional literacy support assistants, introduced songs he has composed to show children that it is OK to feel different emotions.

Pupils raised more than £260 for YoungMinds by donating £1 to dress in yellow as staff raised awareness surrounding mental health.

Mrs Butterfield added: “The week was brought to a close with a wellbeing fair to celebrate the week’s events, which saw a variety of stalls and activities on offer for the children and parents to enjoy. The fair was also used to help signpost parents and carers to local services available in the town.


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Winsford

Pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Winsford have been kitted out in waterproof overcoats and trousers.

Every day youngsters take part in all sorts of exciting and inspirational activities through Forest School and Outside the Classroom but the weather often makes being outside challenging.

Headteacher Martine Gum said: “Whilst we like to say ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!’ there are occasions when children are sent to school for outdoor learning activities without the necessary or appropriate clothing.

“To ensure that all children are able to participate in all aspects of our creative and exciting curriculum we wanted to invest in heavy duty waterproofs.”

“With very generous funding from The Darnhall Exhibition Foundation and Friends of St Joseph’s PTA we have been able to purchase 60 sets of waterproof overcoats and trousers.”

“This means that Forest School can take place whatever the weather!”

Outdoor education is used to enhance children’s learning experiences and is a significant part of the school’s emotional literacy and well-being programme.

Taking pupils out of the classroom has been proven to help raise attainment and achievement, improve behaviour, learning and communication skills and increase pupils’ confidence.

St Joseph’s Forest School practitioners Ruth Sproston and Martyn Lewis are always looking at new and innovative ideas to develop the school’s outdoor learning opportunities and are seeking to create a cluster group for Forest School leaders to come together and share their ideas and experiences.
(Sourced from

St Chad’s RC & CofE High School, Runcorn

When the Big Bang careers event hit the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool in July, students from St. Chad’s Catholic & Church of England High School were there to gather ideas about careers in STEM-led businesses and organisations. Forty five year 9 students visited  the exhibition. They all really enjoyed the event and were a credit to both school, parents and carers.
The students took part in a wide range of activities including: news reading with local news teams, taking blood samples, some had a try at medical joint replacement, there were visits to the RAF exhibitors and some students even tried their hand at horse riding. One year 9 student, Shannon Baldwin,  was identified as an exemplary student during the trip to Big Bang Northwest and as such she has been invited to participate in summer training with the RAF to help her future job aspirations.

An excellent day all round where students were inspired to think widely about the variety of jobs and careers that an interest in STEM subjects can lead them into.






St Chad’s RC & CofE High School, Runcorn


Two St. Chad’s students spent a week in Arromanches, Normandy at the end of May, beginning of June, as part of the 306 Runcorn Squadron of the RAF Cadets.

Michael O’Hare and Shannon Baldwin were billeted at a campsite right outside this northern town and spent time with their squadron preparing for the D-Day services that we all saw on the news on 6th June. This service was commemorating the 75th anniversary of the event that was historically so important for the end of World War II. The two cadets, along with others from Runcorn and Merseyside, went by coach and ferry to Normandy for the commemorations.

During their time in Arromanches the cadets visited the war graves of French, British and German soldiers; went to the beaches of Omagh , Sword, Juno and Utah and they also visited Pegasus Bridge and a local World War II museum.

Preparations for the marches, parades and services they would attend on D-Day were a major part of the time spent in France. There was also a lot of uniform preparation before any marches and parades – a key element of being a successful cadet!

Shannon was privileged to support a war veteran, Len, and she accompanied him at the service and laid a wreath on his behalf – some of which was captured on Sky News. Both students said what an honour it was to be selected to attend and how proud they were to represent their squadron in Arromanches. This was Michael’s second visit to Arromanches and it was Shannon’s first. They have created amazing memories from such a special event.


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Winsford

Pupils at St Joseph’s RC primary school in Winsford have rescued battery hens and are now learning how to look after them.

The free range birds have settled into their new home and have already laid 36 eggs!

Headteacher Martine Gum said: “The children were absolutely fascinated that the eggs were still warm and amused that they come out of the hen’s bottom!

“The children will be collecting the eggs and learning how to care for the hens, making sure they have food and are cleaned out, ensuring their basic needs are met.

“The hens will support children in learning about empathy and will provide a listening ear to anyone who wants to tell them their worries.

“It has been a very positive venture supported by the wider school community.”

Mum Sarah Thornton who volunteers for Fresh Start for Hens (FSFH), a not for profit organisation dedicated to rehoming hens, organised the adoption.


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Winsford

A CUTE little purple dragon is helping children to relax, increase their self-esteem and gain confidence.

The furry toy called Burt, which stands for breathe, understand, regulate and think, has become an emotional literacy mascot at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Winsford.

The character is part of a comprehensive programme of emotional wellbeing and resilience work which teachers have developed over several years.

The school now has four emotional literacy support assistants who support pupils on a one-to-one basis and in group activities.

Sessions focus on self-esteem, social and friendship skills, anger management, loss and bereavement.

Another scheme called Thrive develops social and emotional wellbeing, helping pupils to engage with life and learning.

Theraplay promotes active emotional connection and Forest Schools give pupils the chance to learn in a natural environment.

Loving terrier Teddy and Belle, a Teacup Chihuahua, also support children’s emotional wellbeing.

Teddy provides a listening ear without any judgement and loves children to pet him, listen to them read and confide in him.

Burt stops have been introduced at the school on Woodford Lane to give pupils a place of sanctuary if they are feeling anxious, worried or stressed.

Children are being encouraged to wear positive thinking glasses to encourage them to view things from a different perspective or look for the positives to help them in moving forward.

Headteacher Martine Gum said: “The children can use the Burt stops as a safe place to go if they are experiencing any difficult feelings or dysregulation. They can then be identified and supported by peers or adults to work through the Burt steps to help in regulating themselves.

“Each class has a Burt plush supported by a Burt cool bag which contains a selection of visual strategies and sensory resources for children to access which helps support them with their emotions.

“Children can access these resources independently or with the support of an adult.

“We are very grateful to the Friends of St Joseph’s Parent Teacher Association who have raised funds for the Burt stops.”

St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Altrincham

St Vincent’s recognise that loneliness is an ever-present problem within our community. With over 5 million elderly people living on their own, and 50% citing television as their main source of company our Mini Vinnies decided to contact the Cyril Flint befriender charity.

Cyril Flint, an elderly pensioner living on his own in the Trafford area, was a classic example of one such individual. Having spent 20 lonely Christmas holidays on his own, since the passing of his wife, Cyril’s story not only evoked a wave of compassion within our community, but it also made us want to do something to help.

We invited local elderly pensioners to school for afternoon tea. They also enjoyed entertainment from the children. The children performed Irish dancing, performance poetry and our choir sang songs from the past. It was a truly remarkable sight to see the children engaged in conversation with our guests. Our Mini Vinnies will be making sure we maintain our links with this very special charity.

St Monica’s Catholic Primary School, Appleton

Year 2 at St. Monica’s in Warrington produced a tableau based on ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci to help them to think about the disciples’ feelings. Their sense of occasion and stillness was amazing.


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Sale

The children and parents at St Joseph’s Primary School showed overwhelming generosity in support of CARITAS Shrewsbury  and Trafford Social Services by donating over 500 toys for children in the  community, who are in need of a loving gift this Christmas. #giftsoflove

The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, Runcorn

Cheshire’s youngest police officers have been given the opportunity to quiz the county’s decision makers on how they can make their community safer.

Year 6 children from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Runcorn – who make up Cheshire Constabulary’s Mini Police team – have taken part in a Q&A session with the police and crime commissioner, Runcorn’s chief inspector, local councillors and a local housing provider.

They asked PCC David Keane, chief inspector Sarah Heath, Cllr John Stockton, Cllr Stef Nelson and representatives from Riverside Housing how they can put measures in place to tackle issues that affect their community including littering, road safety and knife crime.

The Mini Police officers also had the opportunity to present the work they’ve carried out so far to other pupils at the school.

The children have been working on three key priorities for their community; protecting the local environment, helping vulnerable people in the community and road safety.

The Mini Police officers were sworn into their roles in June and were given a police uniform based loosely on a regular officers’ uniform to help them feel part of the police family.

Over the last six months they have taken part in litter picks, delivered food to the local food bank to support hundreds of families in the area and taken part in a speed check exercise.

PCSO Paul Barker brought the successful mini police scheme to Cheshire thanks to funding from PCC David Keane.

David said: “The Mini Police have been doing an amazing job over the last few months working hard to make their community a safer and happier place to live. They have really shown a commitment to working with their community to make a real difference.

“Mini Police is a fantastic scheme which educates young people about responsibility and the importance of contributing positively to their community. I hope that in the future, we can roll-out this scheme to other schools across Cheshire.”

PCSO Paul Barker added: “I’m incredibly proud of our Mini Police officers. Across the last six months they have made a real difference in their community by getting hands on and problem solving local issues that are important to them.

“They are a real asset to Runcorn local policing unit and a brilliant addition to the policing family.”

John McDonald, head teacher of Holy Spirit Primary School, said: “The children are enjoying the deepening relationship with community and seeing themselves make a difference. They have gained a greater insight into local problems and now see themselves as solution finders. I have seen them visibly grow before my eyes.

“This fits our Catholic ethos of service for others and they have become more aware of social justice issues. This project can only lead to them being effective and good citizens filled with a desire to help those most in need.”

St Anselm’s Catholic College, Birkenhead


The Edmund Rice International (ERI) ambassadors had the opportunity to travel to Geneva in order to understand more about the work of the ERI; in terms of advocacy and their work with the United Nations.

Once arriving in Geneva we visited the ERI offices and met with Brian Bond (Christian Brother) and the Director of Edmund Rice International.  He talked us through the specifics of the jobs undertaken and the role of ERI. Following this we picked up our passes for the UN and had a tour of the grounds, we then explored Geneva.  It was a great experience spending time with the ambassadors of other Christian Brother schools.

The next day we sat in on the Universal Periodic Review of Liechtenstein, which is a process all UN Member States go through in order to review their record of human rights. It was a fantastic experience to see at first-hand how the UN functions and the impact a group like the ERI can have on a geo-political scale.

During our time in the UN we observed a conference focused on the Israeli and United Arab Emirates violations of human rights.   Following this we toured the nearby Red Cross museum which was both an informative and enjoyable experience.

We would like to thank everyone involved with Edmund Rice International and to those who organised this amazing experience

St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Altrincham


A PRIMARY school in Altrincham has raised over £1000 to help scientists get back on their feet after the fire at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute next door to The Christie Hospital.

Youngsters from St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, in Altrincham, know all about the important cancer research taking place at the centre in south Manchester as they have heard talks by Dr James O’Connor whose children attend the school.

After hearing about the fire – which broke out on April 26 and saw more than 100 firefighters tackle the blaze – the children decided to put on a cake sale to help fund a special appeal page put up by Cancer Research UK.

Headteacher Anita Harrop said: “St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School in Altrincham is committed to helping those in need.”

“When the children heard about the fire at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute they were determined to do something to help. A cake sale was organised and the children helped to sell the cakes throughout the day. Everyone was so generous with their cakes and everyone gave generously to this very worthy cause. The children were also inspired to help because they had heard about the excellent work that goes on in cancer research in Manchester. The children have heard talks by Dr O’Connor and so they are aware of the important cancer research work goes on. We hope that our donation to the appeal will help to rebuild this vital resource.”

Dr O’Connor, who attended the bake sale, is from Hale and who grew up in Altrincham. He works in lung cancer research and is based at both the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and The Christie Hospital. His work looks at how imaging techniques can be used to improve treatment plans for lung cancer patients. Last year he won the Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship award which supports clinicians working in areas spanning basic and translational research.

Dr O’Connor said: “It was an incredibly thoughtful thing for the pupils to do to help me and my colleagues after the fire. I’d like to thank everyone from St Vincent’s for their fundraising.”

Friday 17th March 2017

The pupils at St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School have been learning about the Fairtrade Foundation and the difference they make to farmers across the world. Throughout the last fortnight, junior pupils have been visiting the classes in the infants to share their learning and explain to younger children about the importance of supporting Fairtrade suppliers. This school-wide project has culminated in “Fairtrade Friday” where all 639 pupils, plus staff, together enjoyed a Fairtrade break time of bananas and juice. This was followed by an afternoon tea party where members of the local churches visited school to listen to the choirs and hear about the Fairtrade appeal. We liaised with the local Co-Operative store. They were kind enough to provide us with a range of tasty Fairtrade produce which was sampled and enjoyed by all.

It has been inspiring to see the children embrace the Fairtrade spirit and show real empathy for farmers who often work so hard for so little. One Year 6 pupil told tea party guests, “After learning about Fairtrade over the last few weeks I feel it is so important to buy Fairtrade products. We have nice things and live in nice surroundings; the farmers who provide us with so much should also be able to enjoy life and have the opportunities that we do.”

At St Vincent’s we believe supporting Fairtrade is vitally important; we aim to buy as many supplies as possible from ethical sources.