On Tuesday, this week we hosted the annual CCRS Conference for all of the trainee teachers in Wigan and West Lancashire Catholic Schools Direct. As part of their yearlong training course, the trainees complete a double module of the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies and the daylong conference gives them training in a number of aspects of the course. As the lead school in this initiative I was asked to open the conference. I outlined to the trainees what I believe, as a head teacher, makes a Catholic school so special. The trainees then enjoyed a thought-provoking session from Deacon Paul Mannings from the Archdiocese of Liverpool who focused on what makes Catholic schools distinctive.

Five pupils from the St Edmund Arrowsmith chaplaincy group were then questioned on a "Pupil Panel" for half an hour, where they showed just how much of an impact being in a Catholic school has had on them. Before a buffet lunch, Fr John Gorman celebrated mass in the school chapel and then in the afternoon, the Chaplain of St Edmund Arrowsmith, Maria Ruane, led a session on the role of the chaplain in Catholic secondary schools.

The response from the trainee teachers about the day was overwhelmingly positive and they felt really secure in their understanding of what makes Catholic schools such special places to work in. Mrs Cole (our history teacher and lead practitioner) is the director of the programme this year and did a wonderful job organising the day and ensuring the trainees gained so much from the experience.

Mrs Ainsworth told me that her 8X1 geography class have been working on their renewable energy presentations and she is really impressed with their efforts and the quality of their work. They have made models, videos, role plays and even baked delicious cakes!! - proving that they are not only excellent geographers, but also very creative!

Last week, Miss Foster took twelve, year 8 girls to the 'Digital Her Roadshow' and were inspired by the many female role models working in the digital and technology industry. They completed workshops with auto trader, designed their own apps, made personal emojis and tracked down a missing person using intelligent software. They were a credit to the school and would now consider working in the industry.

Our staff work so hard to create opportunities for our pupils – thank-you for all your efforts!

Posted by Mrs G Taylor on 13 March 2019