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Painsley’s Les Miserables Production “A Fantastic Performance”

The musical production of Les Miserables produced by Painsley Catholic College took place on 15th and 16th February 2017. The production caused a great stir in the local community, who were stunned by the outstanding level of performance that the aged 11-18 students produced.

The production was developed with great attention to historical context and psychological realism, which provided an original and exciting take on the classic musical, also taking an innovative approach to set design. The atmosphere was electric with the live Painsley orchestra providing the exceptional music for the whole production. All of the above factors resulted in the audiences giving a standing ovation on both nights of the production.

The acting and singing standard from the students and everyone taking part in the play was to a high professional standard. Several of the cast members were also Sixth Form student directors who undertook much of the creative work for the production themselves. In addition, the lighting and stage management were flawless and complemented the acting wonderfully.

Creative Director and Head of Drama, Ms Phillips, also dedicated a lot of time supporting and directing the play with the student directors. The cast and directors rehearsed tirelessly for months to approach this beloved musical with genuine care and attention to detail.

Mr Bell, Principal, has received many letters from members of the public who came to see the show congratulating the College on producing a show which could easily have been seen in the West End. Some of the comments received include:

“I’ve just been treated to the most wonderful production of Les Miserables by the pupils of Painsley Catholic College”

“The singing, the music, the entire production were all phenomenal”

“Les Miserables – a fantastic experience. It was magnifique.”


Year 8 Visit to The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

On Friday 27th January just over 100 Year 8 students visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden. After an early start both coaches arrived at the studios and commenced their tour. Students were informed of how the Harry Potter book series rose to fame and attracted a world-wide following of fans.

From here students learned about how screen-writers adapted the books into the films with which they are familiar. After a short film explaining the involvement of the crew behind the scenes students started their tour on the set of the Great Hall. Students were able to learn about how the films brought the Harry Potter stories to life not only by the directors, producers and actors but by the art department and creative teams. They studied the costume design and production, the work of the make-up and prosthetic artists, the artwork by concept artists and model builders, the products of the prop designers and makers, the work of the set designers, and the contraptions made by creature effects.

Students were able to ride a broomstick and use ‘green screens’ to create the effect of them flying a broomstick over a cinematic backdrop. They climbed aboard the Hogwarts Express and saw how the set was adapted for each of the films. After lunch some students peeked into the Knight Bus and knocked on the door of 4, Privet Drive.

They continued the tour studying more of the work by the creative departments such as the work of the Graphic design team. One of the highlights was walking around the large model of Hogwarts castle with its individually painted bricks and fake snow. Students ended the tour by entering a recreation of Olivander’s wand shop where thousands of individually made wand boxes feature the names of cast and crew.

The day was an enjoyable insight into the world of film-making and the creative teams who work to imagine, design and create to ensure that the magical world created by J.K Rowling is just as magical on screen. Many thanks go to Year 8 for their excellent behaviour and the staff members who organized and assisted with the trip. – Miss Cooke


Year 10 Textiles Students at Derby Theatre

On Friday 6th January 2017, Year 10 Textiles technology students were taken Derby theatre.  In the morning, they met Tim Heywood, the theatre’s Head of Wardrobe, who gave a workshop talking about his job as a costume and set designer. Tim has worked on various film and TV productions including Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia.


In the afternoon, everyone watched the matinee performance of Alice in Wonderland.  The aim of the visit was to provide students with an insight into costume design, pattern cutting and to experience an exciting ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the industry.  The show went down a treat and certainly allowed the students to take lots of ideas back to the classroom and use in their GCSE textile coursework.  A brilliant day was had by everyone and the students behaved impeccably.


“Tim was very funny and entertaining and he had lots of knowledge of the world of costume design” said Abbie Sergeant and Rosie Hammond.

“It was a really interesting day out and totally different to what I thought it would be like” said Chloe Beardmore.

“It was really good to look through Tim’s portfolio.  I thought that his sketches were amazing.  The set and the costumes were great, especially the stage which kept moving around” said Olivia Rolfe.

“We were lucky to listen to Tim talk about his work as he is highly regarded in the costume industry.  I liked the fact that the actors were playing musical instruments in the show as well as acting.  It was clever how it was all put together” said Mollie Ash.


Qualification for The English Schools Swimming Association Championships at The London Aquatic Centre

Callum Mcready, Ethan Halden-Evans, Mitchell Cartlidge and Charlie Gordon qualified for the English Schools Swimming Association championships at the London aquatic centre. Their achievement is remarkable and they should be very proud of the way they performed on the day. Qualification for the championships is extremely competitive which meant that they raced against the top swimming colleges in the country during the finals in London. Well done boys!


GCSE ‘Artist in Residence’ Experience

On Monday 4th November and Friday 8th November Year 9 art GCSE students participated in their ‘Artist in Residence’ experience. Students worked with locally-based artist Joanne Ayre and were introduced to various ceramics techniques with the help of a specialist. Students Learned about how to handle clay properly and how to use a variety of materials and techniques. They had the chance to experiment with techniques for creating texture and made a vessels using slab-building which was inspired by natural forms. Students commented; ‘I really enjoyed the clay because it gave us the opportunity to make a vessel inspired by a natural form’ and ‘I really enjoyed the day because it was a very good chance to explore new and creative ways to present our artwork.’ Other students said ‘I really enjoyed the day because we had the experience to meet an artist from the British Ceramics Biennial and make our vessels’ and ‘I enjoyed the day because it gave us a chance to experience working with clay and being creative’ . The students were mature and fully engaged with the project. This work will enhance their current projects and inspire ideas for future work. Many thanks to our artist Joanne Ayre for her expertise and for inspiring or students.


Year 7 and 8 Brilliant Club – University of Leeds Launch Trip.

12 students from year 7 and 8 had the opportunity to visit the University of Leeds on the 31st of October to take part in the Brilliant club. Students enjoyed study skills sessions and a tour of the university as well as a chance to begin their studies for the project.  The students will be studying the topic of ‘Will Ebola be the Next International Pandemic?’ and have already begun their PhD tutor led sessions here at Painsley. The students have received high praise for their work and participation so far and are looking forward to completing their projects with a 1500 word essay. A huge well done to all the students for their work and effort so far.


Chaplaincy Commissioning Mass

On Tuesday 27th September 2016 the chaplaincy crew attended the Chaplaincy Commissioning Mass at St. Chad’s Cathedral. The trip was a great success and the students thoroughly enjoyed the mass, here are some comments made by the students about their day at St. Chad’s Cathedral.


On Tuesday 27th September I accompanied other students to St. Chad’s Cathedral Birmingham for the Chaplaincy Commissioning Mass. The highlight of the day was the Mass where everybody joined together to celebrate the work they do in their schools to promote the Gospel values. Being a member of the Chaplaincy Crew means to me that I am very privileged and enables me to build on my faith and to help me strengthen as a person.


Going to St. Chad’s Cathedral was very special for me. My favourite part was the homily and the singing. I didn’t know any of the hymns but I soon caught on, they were quite upbeat. We were given a chaplaincy blessing from Bishop Robert. Bishop Robert was extremely kind and his homily was great. I didn’t know that there were so many schools with a Chaplaincy Crew.


Today I went to the Chaplaincy Mass at St. Chads. It was a very special event for myself as it was the first time I received my own chaplaincy blessing and the first time meeting and going to Mass with Fr. Eric. To be in the Chaplaincy Crew, it allows me to explore and understand my faith. It also gives me opportunities that I have cherished and values greatly.


Today we went to St. Chads Cathedral for a Mass to celebrate school chaplaincy. School Chaplaincy teams from across the Diocese came together to be blessed by the Bishop.

My favourite part of the Mass was the singing everyone joined in and it was wonderful to hear. To me being part of the chaplaincy crew means being part of a big family and it is a way of showing my love to God.


I enjoyed going to the Chaplaincy Mass today at St. Chads Cathedral. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed seeing every other schools own chaplaincy teams. To me being in the Chaplaincy Crew shows my love for God and I feel part of one big family.


I really enjoyed today, especially Bishop Kenny’s homily. He spoke about sign posts and paths we can choose to take. Being part of the Chaplaincy Crew is a warming feeling as you know you are part of something special.


Today I really enjoyed going to St. Chads Cathedral. Bishop Robert was so kind during the Mass. We all had a chaplaincy blessing for the first time. Being in the chaplaincy crew means a lot to me because there are so many people to make friends with and we make religion cool and fun.

Y10 & 11 GCSE PE Shugborough Trip

33 students and 4 staff members went to Shugborough outdoor adventure centre. They took part in climbing or kayaking for the whole weekend. The climbers climbed the roaches and the kayakers took on the downward slalom course that GB Gold medallist Joe Clark trains at in Stone.

They will each get a score that goes towards their practical GCSE PE scores which will give them a great chance of achieving excellent overall GCSE grades. They climbed and kayaked solidly for four days and were absolutely exhausted by the end of it which shows what a great effort they put in. Congratulations to all staff and students involved in this successful PE trip.

Many congratulations to Adam Peaty

Many congratulations to Adam Peaty – our first Olympic Gold!! What a fantastic swim from our former student!!


Year 9’s Modern Foreign Language Trips

Year 9 Students took part in modern foreign language trips with some students going to France, Germany and Spain. A Huge thank you to Mrs Oates, Mrs Martin and Mrs Smithson for organizing the trips and thank you to all other staff who participated on the trips. The students have come back with great memories from the trips that they will cherish.


Year 11’s Celebration Day – Message from the Principal.

I had the honour of taking part in the Year 11 Celebration Day last Thursday. The students looked very smart and thoroughly enjoyed the special celebrations during the day. The Year 11 Mass, celebrated by Fr Michael Dolman, was a particularly enriching and spiritual part of the day. I must admit that it did not feel like 5 minutes since the year group’s Year 7 Mass of Welcome! Time at secondary school goes by very quickly and it is essential that we do not waste a single moment. I encourage all students to work their hardest, join clubs, take part in sports, live their faith and, of course, enjoy great friendships! It was interesting to note how many students felt so sad to be leaving this phase of their education and the special times shared during the 5 years. Perhaps we should all try to remember the well-known saying, ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift – use it well!’


Painsley KMF Young Engineer of the Year Competition

The KMF Space Team has successfully launched their competition capsule and the video has been submitted! The finals are on the 7th July so watch this space.

The video covering the project can be viewed here…



STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Evening at Painsley Catholic College

On 16th May, a selection of year 7 and 8 students, along with some year 4 and 5 students from our feeder schools, attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) evening at Painsley Catholic College. The evening was designed to give the students a real insight into the STEM subjects. A great evening was had by all!


The Year 11 Boys’ Football Team Success

The under 16 boy’s football team had a fantastic week last week. After winning 5-2 on Tuesday against the Cheadle Academy to become South Moorlands football league champions, they then went on to secure an emphatic 5-0 victory over St. Peter’s Academy in the Sentinel Cup final at Vale Park on Friday night. They now have the treble in their sights, which they could secure in their up and coming league cup final.


Year 9 Functional skills

Congratulations to all of the Year 9 students who recently passed their functional skills exam. 9A* and 9A1 were entered for the level 2 exam and the rest of the year group sat the level 1 paper. The students worked hard for several weeks prior to the exam in January preparing for the exam. All of this work should help support them in their GCSEs in Year 11, particularly bearing in mind the greater problem solving content of the new GCSE.


Math Tutorial Videos Available

Access them from the website, under  ‘Secure areas’, select ‘Painsley VLE’. Ask your child to login using their normal username and password. Select ‘Media Area’, then ‘Tutorial Video’, followed by ‘Maths’ and finally ‘GCSE ‘How to’ videos.



Update:   Refugee relief aid effort

Thank you so much for all of the donations for the Calais refugee relief appeal. We have had a tremendous response.Your kindness and consideration are greatly appreciated. All the items were distributed to those in need over the half-term break. Special thanks goes to the students who helped to sort and package the items ready for delivery at Alton Castle. Please do continue to pray for the refugees, their families and all those who are helping this cause.



Refugee relief aid effort

Calling all students, your generosity and kindness are required to help those in desperate need!

Over half term the Kenelm Youth Trust in conjunction with the Birmingham Catholic Youth Service (BCYS) are travelling to Calais to provide much needed relief for the refuges.

We are collecting items to produce much needed survival bags or boxes. These items can include, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, water, rice, pasta, colouring pencils and canned foods. All donations can be taken up and stored in the chapel. The final date for donations is Tuesday October 20th.

Any problems, queries or if you would like to get involved with this initiative see Miss H Smith. Thank you for your continued support.

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