Newsletter 20.07.22

Newsletter 20.07.22

Message from our Chaplain Mairie
Celebrate – Mass to celebrate the end of the School Year
Despite the heat, the whole school appreciated the opportunity to come together in faith to celebrate the return to this lovely tradition. Tailored to the weather conditions, we were delighted to welcome Fr Peter to celebrate with us, together with our school choir and musicians. This Mass is the first whole school Mass for many of the students (and some staff) and it was wonderful to hear the responses and hymns sung with such enthusiasm. 
Many thanks to all who were involved in making the Mass such a success, especially all those people who work behind the scenes. We look forward to continuing in the new school year.
In the meantime, please do have a blessed and restful holiday.



Sports Presentation Evening
It was fantastic to celebrate the wide range of talented sports students at the Sports Presentation Evening.
Congratulations to all the students who have represented school and shared their community success.
Special mention to Sophie Morrin for being awarded the Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Looking forward to next year!
Mrs Simms
Bugsy Malone 

A slice of 1920’s New York came to St Nicholas last week as Alan Parker’s 1976 musical comedy was brought to the school stage.  Running over three nights the production team and students delivered a fast paced and slick show really capturing the essence of what made the film so iconic.  What was so heartening to see was the inclusion of so many students who hadn’t been involved in any productions before (in fact half of the cast were Year 7) and who brought performances that they can be proud of to the boards.  

If you take into account that a large portion of rehearsals for the show had to take place against the backdrop of a global pandemic, what was delivered becomes even more astoundingThe Students and Staff worked tirelessly (stepping up several more gears as opening night approached) with set dressing (thanks must go to Ms Lowe for her NY skyline backdrop), prop making (the famous splurge gun had to be replicated, thanks going to Mr Bowden for making it happen) and costume making (ably handled by theatre veteran Sue Chatt) coming together to perfectly set the scene.  

The sourcing and provision of professional lighting and sound installs (thanks to Paul Edwards, Ian Wiper and Lyndsey Downes) erased any hint of stigma of a ‘school production’ and gave the students an experience that enhanced their performances even further. 

The music is so evocative of that era and the band, made up of both students, staff and members of the local community, gave the show its feel and forward motion and added to the creation of the ‘Grand Slam’ speakeasy club at the centre of the story (thanks going to MD Mrs Mc Kenna and all the talented musicians involved). 

Thanks must go to all of the staff and PTFA members who gave up their time to help with the show, many of whom were backstage, helping students, keeping all nerves at bay and handling the ever-important front-of-house duties. Thanks too to Mr Humphries and the brilliant site team for being constantly on hand to deal with all the organisation and setting of a school show in such a timely and professional manner.  

The showcase of such talented members of the school and wider community has to led by a single minded and very professional team with a wealth of cross-discipline experience, so heartfelt and sincere thanks must go to Mrs Milborne, Ms Lowe, Mrs McKenna, Mr Rushworth and Mr Barker for their creativity, vision and sheer hard work to bring this show to the school stage. 

Well done to everyone for delivering such a great show to a very appreciative audience over the three night run. 

See you at the next one? 

Mr Makin 

A 55 year connection with St. Nicholas – saying goodbye to Mr Humphries

On his retirement we celebrate Mr Humphries’ long relationship with the school and his dedicated service

I was lucky to be able to meet with Mr Humphries, our long serving Facilities Manager, to talk about his life, his career in the army and his time here at St. Nicholas.

I started by asking about his career before he joined the school. Mr Humphries was born in Altrincham and grew up in the local area. He attended St. Nicholas himself from 1967-72 meaning that his association with the school goes back an incredible 55 years. Mr Humphries was extremely active and fit as a youngster and recounted how he would sometimes run from Weaverham to Little Leigh where he worked on a farm. As there were few job opportunities in the area at the time Mr Humphries joined the army in 1973 and served for 23 years.

Mr Humphries’ army career struck me as an illustrious one defined by many achievements and honours. He explained how he had served in the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, twice in Germany and twice in Northern Ireland as well as various other places in the UK. He reached the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 and was responsible for 224 men and women in the Royal Logistic Corp Squadron. All that running to Little Leigh obviously served him well as he ran the London Marathon twice and also the Berlin Marathon as well as many half marathons. Mr Humphries sporting achievements don’t end there! He was also a squash coach and a Northern Ireland Army Plate Champion (an ultra-running event). A very proud moment for Mr Humphries was running to raise money for the Paddington ward at Northampton General Hospital in 1989. He ran 45 miles in 5 and a half hours (which is about a mile every 7 minutes). He raised £1000 for the hospital. What an incredible achievement and a testament to how fit Mr Humphries must have been at that time and how dedicated to the cause.

In 1996 Mr Humphries left the army and after working in security and gaining some new qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety, a job was advertised for a Site Manager at St. Nicholas in 1998. When the Headteacher at the time, Mr Boyle, rang him to tell him he had been successful at interview, Mr Humphries reply was ‘Thank you. I won’t let you down’. He explained that what he meant by that was that he wouldn’t let the school down and I’m sure you’ll agree that he’s lived by that commitment ever since.

As Facilities Manager, Mr Humphries has been best placed to see the changes in the school buildings over the years. In terms of student numbers the school has more than doubled in size since the 1960’s and various building work, including multi-million pound projects, have transformed the school. This includes the building of the Sports Hall, the Science block and the Drama and Art rooms. The English corridor (as it is now) has remained the backbone of the school and is part of the original building from 1965. For Mr Humphries it is the part of the school most recognisable from when he was a pupil here.

I asked Mr Humphries about memorable moments over the years and was surprised to learn his most memorable moment was just this year when he attended the Year 7 residential (the first time he has ever been on one!) in January. He was pleased to be asked by Mr Woods and with Mrs Humphries permission said yes and threw himself into all the activities. He was zip-wiring, building buggies with his group and getting a bullseye in archery. What he enjoyed the most was what he described as the ‘grace’ of the students and their wonderful behaviour and attitude on the trip. He talked very warmly about the respectful and deserving nature of the students and it was clear to me that his interactions with the young people here have enhanced his working life.

Finally, I asked what retirement had in store for him. As you would expect, someone with such an incredible lust for life was not going to just be simply putting their feet up. Mr Humphries plans to write a book based on the alphabet, for example ‘A’ is for ambition and attitude. As well as this he will spend some time redecorating the house and has volunteered to help out at the school if he is needed.

It is very hard to sum up such an unbelievable life and an almost unbroken connection with the school over 5 decades. Mr Humphries words to Mr Boyle on accepting his position here seem to speak volumes, ‘I won’t let you down’. After a life of service, both to our country and to our school and young people, every member of staff and student at the school should know that Mr Humphries’ hard work and dedication has meant that he has lived out that promise and we are all very grateful.

On behalf of all the staff and students, I want to wish Mr Humphries a very happy and fulfilling retirement. You will be sorely missed.

By Laura Baglole

Mrs Hornsby: the heart and soul of St. Nicholas Catholic High School

We sat down with Mrs Hornsby to reflect on her 17 years as a RE teacher at this school.

We started by asking Mrs Hornsby why she had become an RE teacher and she told us that she originally chose to be a PE teacher and went for an interview at her college. However, she had forgotten her PE kit so they recommended that she try a different subject! Between Mrs Hornsby’s A-levels of English and RE she decided to pick RE and became the RE teacher we all know and love.

We found out that Mrs Hornsby originally came to the school through a connection with the Headteacher at the time, Mr Boyle. Mr Boyle had been her teacher at St. Chad’s in Runcorn and so she wrote to him asking if there were any positions available. She got accepted as a part-time teacher teaching A-Level Philosophy & Ethics for a short period of time. Afterwards, she got an official position to be a full time RE teacher at St Nicholas – that was in 2001. After a few years off when her children were very young she returned and has been here since 2005.

We asked Mrs Hornsby what she enjoyed most about working at the school and she said that she enjoyed seeing the students responding to new information, the ‘light bulb moment’ and building personal relationships with students. Mrs Hornsby spoke very fondly of the students who she taught and was form tutor to right through the school and how this had been one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Also very important to her is the Catholic ethos of the school and the sense of community spirit she, and so many others, have enjoyed working here.

During her 17 years at St Nicholas, the school itself has changed over time. Mrs Hornsby said that the school has had many new buildings: the Sports Hall, drama studio and the art block. Teachers, Headteachers and the departments have changed as well. Mrs Hornsby reminisced about chalkboards and cheque book style report cards before the days of projectors and Teams. However, some aspects of the school have stayed the same. She told us how there are still many teachers and staff that have stayed: Mr Brown, Mrs Buckley, Mr Humphries and Mrs Simms to name but a few! The crucial thing that hasn’t changed is how the gospel values and Catholic ethos have stayed the same throughout her time here.

Mrs Hornsby’s children have also come to St Nicholas while she was teaching here. She explained how it was wonderful to hear all the nice things said about them from teachers and how she felt lucky to see her children during Sports Day and other school events when other parents couldn’t be there. She would know if her children had gotten a reward (or otherwise!) and she could keep up to date on the activities they were doing.

There have been many students that have left a big impression on Mrs Hornsby’s life. She has known many of her students’ families so it was great to make a strong connection with them. Some of her A-level classes had a strong bond with her and some say that she inspired them to take Philosophy and Ethics at university. One student wanted to go on to be an RE teacher, which was an especially proud moment.

We asked Mrs Hornsby about her plans and hopes for the future. She plans on resting after the past 2-3 years when Covid made teachers and students study or work from home. Spending time with her family, especially her Mum is a priority and perhaps a calmer job, such as working in a library. With less work every day and night, she hopes to have more time to go out with friends, go out for lunch and get fit.

Mrs Hornsby’s time at St Nicholas has been memorable and she said how amazing it was to be a teacher and teach all her wonderful students.

The Choir will definitely miss her and the passion she puts into singing.

We wish Mrs Hornsby all the best in the future and are very glad that she forgot her PE kit all those years ago as so many students have benefited from her time as a much-loved RE teacher.

By Jamae Gordula and Naomi Whitton

Inspiring, hardworking and generous with his time

Mr Brown has shaped the life of countless students at St. Nicholas since 2002

We were delighted to sit down with Mr Brown and ask him about his time at the school.

As many of you know, Mr Brown was a pupil here from 1979-84 and his father worked here for many years making him part of the fabric of the school.

We started by asking Mr Brown about how he got into teaching and found out that his father insisted that he went back into education after he left school (even though Mr Brown wanted to get a job!). After completing his degree in Business Mr Brown originally wanted to get a job in that field but luckily for us he became a teacher. Mr Brown feels that making him return to Higher Education was one of the best things his father ever did for him. His first teaching job was at Sir Thomas More in Crewe for 5 years and after that he taught at Brine Leas in Nantwich for another 5 years. However, when a job came up here Mr Brown applied straight away because of his connection to the school and as so many of his own teachers were still working here. He stayed for 20 years!

We wanted to know more about Mr Brown’s father and his time at the school and Mr Brown explained that his dad was one of 12 original staff members here when the school opened in 1965. Mr Brown told us lots of funny stories about his father’s time at the school. The one that sticks out is about Doug, who was Mr Brown Senior’s dog and who was a regular attendee at school. According to Mr Brown, Doug was easily the most popular member of staff and even joined in with PE lessons. We heard about Mr Brown’s best friend, Rob, losing his temper during a cricket match because he was caught out by Doug! We imagine that Doug made the most legendary catch in the history of the school!

Next we asked Mr Brown about his own career and what he has enjoyed about being a teacher. Seeing students’ progress and develop as individuals is something he has really valued and he’s been inspired personally by the resilience of some of the young people he has taught over the years. Mr Brown also mentioned the community of staff at the school and the camaraderie that exists between teachers being so important. Mr Brown was keen to point out ALL the staff at St. Nicholas make a difference – cleaners, canteen staff, site staff and office staff.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Brown has seen many changes to the school over the last few decades. The size of the school building has changed drastically since he was in Year 7 in 1979. It was only the main frame of the school and it increased in size over time. Mr Brown has seen the Sports Hall and Science blocks built as well as Art and RE. The 6th Form block was built the year he started in 1979 was only one floor so they put an extra floor on top several years later.

However, some things about the school have stayed the same. The gospel values and the Catholic ethos have always been strong and Mr Brown has felt it has been an important part of his role as a teacher to promote and encourage those values in the students.

Finally, Mr Brown told us about his plans for the future. He stated that now is the time to change routine and start somewhere new. He is thinking of doing some supply work at his old school, Sir Thomas More in Crewe. There may be a new business venture in the works too which will enable him to see more of the country and relax.

I think we can safely say that the business world’s loss has been our gain. We thought long and hard about a way to sum up the contribution that Mr Brown has made to the school and the legacy he (and his father) will leave behind. We felt it was best summed up with dedication, enthusiasm and fun.

St Nicholas Catholic High School is grateful to have had a teacher like Mr Brown.

By Jamae Gordula and Naomi Whitton

Hot Weather 
Thank you to our students for rising to the challenge of coping in the very hot weather during the past week.
They have all looked smart in their PE kits and have gone about their day with calmness and a positive attitude.
The Lucas Briscoe Memorial Benchball Competition

After a minute’s silence in memory of Lucas Briscoe, the sports hall was buzzing yesterday with Year 10s playing in the interform bench ball tournament.

Thank you to Lucas’s mum for coming and handing over the trophy to the winning form 10 Ward.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our summer raffle. We will let you know who won in due course & details will be on our Facebook page too. 
We would like to thank Fresh Floral Design for wrapping our hampers. 
Thank you also to: The Hollies Farm shop, Abbeywood Estate Delamere, Vale Royal Golf Club, Chester Race Course, The Badger Inn Church Minshull, Kerry Countrywax, Crafty Sense of Fun & Poppy Rose Tea Room for your generous prizes.
Please consider giving the Lottery a try – good luck.🍀
Save the date:
We will be holding a car boot sale on the school site on Saturday, 24th September during the morning. We will send out more details soon.
Our next meeting is Monday, 12th September at 6.15 pm in school – everyone is welcome. 😊
We wish you a safe, fun and happy summer.
Thank you as ever.
Your PTFA 
“May you be proud of the work you do, the person you are and the difference you make.”
Medical information
Please complete form C to consent to your child carrying their own inhaler, it would also be helpful if you could provide a spare one to keep in the medical room.
Individual Healthcare Plan
For any child requiring an Individual Healthcare Plan, ie: Diabetics, anaphylactic etc please complete our new IHCP
For any students requiring medication whether it be short term or every day, please complete form A.
Year 10 trip to Alton Towers.

Last Friday Year 10 had their rewards trip to Alton Towers.

They had a fabulous day and the teachers even met a ‘fantastical beast’

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Expedition:

Our Year 12 students will be undertaking their Gold Qualifying Expedition in Snowdonia from Saturday 3rd September- Tuesday 6th September.

Please make sure medical forms are up to date and transport has been organised.

Good luck to all involved!

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Training Days:

Our Year 9 and 10 students will be undertaking their Bronze Training Days on Saturday 10th September (9.30-2.30 at school) and Sunday 11th September (9.30 start walking from school, 2.45 pick up at Delamere). Please make sure medical forms are up to date and transport has been organised.

Now it’s time to sort the teams and sort out your equipment. We look forward to taking up the challenge with you!

For further information click here

Miss L Forsey –DofE Coordinator

Accelerated reader success
Uniform exchange

Please keep the Uniform Exchange in mind if you are sorting out your child’s school uniform or if you need items for next year.

Year 7 Memrise Competition

Well done to all Year 7 students who entered the MFL Memrise competition.  The winner with the highest number of points was Darcy Randle, and Trinity Mullen won the prize draw containing all entrants.  Mrs McAleenan will find you with a prize.  

Activities for the summer holiday

Vacancy – Cleaner

Cleaner required Permanent contract, 44 weeks per year, 10 hours per week, £9.48 per hour. 5.30am until 7.30am Monday to Friday.
Start 01 September 2022, contact Dawn Poole ( or Fleur MacCready ( by e-mail with letter of interest.

Summer Holiday School Meal offers

Upcoming Dates

SCHOOL CLOSES  –  Wednesday 20th July 2022 (12.30 finish)

A-Level results day – Thursday 18th August – school open from 8am
GCSE results day – Thursday 25th August – school open from 8am

SCHOOL RE-OPENS – Year 7 and Year 12 – Monday 5th September
SCHOOL RE-OPENS – All students – Tuesday 6th September

For future dates click here


“Everyone matters, so attendance matters”

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