Please check out below the extra opening times during the summer.
Pat Winston, Principal
The South London Under – 14 Gaelic Football team returned to Ireland at the end of June to compete in this year’s Feile. Following last year’s success, the team was promoted to Division 3; there were twelve students from St Paul’s Academy in the panel of twenty.
An estimated 10,000 people attended the final session of the three days of football which was staged at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. Nearly 5,000 girls and boys took part in the competition.
South London won their group games with victories over teams from Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo. In the quarter final they recorded a comfortable victory over Crosserlough of Co. Cavan. In the semi final, we came up against Athlone of Co. Westmeath; the game ebbed and flowed with both teams having the ascendency at different stages periods. At the end of normal time, the teams were level and there followed a period of extra time. The game continued to follow a similar pattern and when the final whistle blew, South London had prevailed by the minimum, a one point victory! The team then moved on to play Aughnamullen in the final. The game received considerable media coverage in both the local and national press.
The Irish Independent reported: The boys Division 3 final was, for many the game of the day as South London stunned Monaghan’s Aughnamullen to record a 3 – 02 (11points) to a 0 – 08 victory, which equalled the best ever performance by a British team in the Feile. A 2 – 02 (8 points) haul from the hugely talented Will Ozono who recently signed a contract with Crystal place – lit up the final.
The complete panel of players are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication in the lead up to the tournament. Next year, Division 2!!
On Tuesday 24th June, 6 primary schools from the local area participated in a boys’ Gaelic Football festival held at St Paul’s Academy. The level of enthusiasm, skill and fair play displayed by all teams involved was fantastic, with many players impressing staff and spectators at St Paul’s Academy with their outstanding ability to play Gaelic football. The tournament was a remarkable example of the great benefits that can be yielded as a result of sporting partnerships between secondary and primary schools. Staff from St Paul’s Academy have been working in the local community helping to introduce young people to the game of Gaelic football. Such a tournament was testament to the brilliant work that is taking place within the community and it was evident to see the benefits that our young people and local primary schools are gaining from such collaboration.
The boys’ Gaelic football tournament was exciting from start to finish with many games contested extremely closely. In the semi-final match, St Mary’s overcame a very determined and impressive St Patrick’s team to record a one point victory and go through to the final by the narrowest of margins. The final of the day was contested between St Mary’s and St Thomas More and proved to be the showcase game of the day with non-stop action and fantastic skills displayed by both teams throughout. St Mary’s came away eventual winners of the final, pulling out all the stops with their experience of last year proving valuable in helping them to be crowned champions. The final between these two teams was the best ever standard at St Paul’s Academy, with both teams displaying high levels of skill, determination, end to end action and above all great sportsmanship.
Special mention should be given to Joseph A from St Patrick’s for his very impressive goalkeeping skills in every match throughout the tournament. James P from St Mary’s was top scorer tallying a very impressive 10 goals and 5 points with Finn Healy from St Mary’s being awarded player of the tournament for his impressive football skills and athleticism.
Well done also to Our Lady of Grace, St Peter's, St Thomas a Beckett and all the staff from St Paul’s Academy who helped to organise and manage the tournament and make it such a wonderful day.
Dulwich Harps GAC in partnership with St Paul’s Academy has recently returned from a very successful seven-day tour to Ireland with their U14 panel where they played seven games of football against teams from Counties Armagh, Down, Louth, Mayo and Roscommon and won all of them – the Magnificent Seven! There were many highlights from the tour including a victory against St Colman’s College, Newry! View photo gallery.
Throughout their time in Ireland the party was accommodated by local families; for the first part of the tour with families from the St Moninna’s GFC, in Killeavy, Co. Armagh and for the final part families from the Castlerea St Kevin’s GFC, Roscommon. The tour also provided a number of cross-curricular opportunities for the party including a visit to Croke Park in Dublin. At Croke Park, the party was given a full history of the development of the GAA over the last 130 years with a particular focus on the amateur status of the games. It was highlighted that it was a privilege to be selected to play for your parish (club) and the very best players were then selected for their county. Across Ireland there are many fine examples where communities have developed around the GAA Club. At St Moninna’s, the GAA Club has a superb sports complex and four changing rooms. The playing surface was first class and the next phase of development will be a second pitch.
On the first full day of the tour the team took part in a light training session in Killeavy. Later in the day the team moved onto St Colman’s College to play against their Year 8 team. St Colman’s College has an outstanding record of success in schools’ football by winning both the MacRory Cup (Ulster Championship) and the Hogan Cup (All Ireland) on a number of occasions. Our team started very apprehensively and after trailed by five points; the team then began to play good quality and by the half time break, they were leading by six points. In the second half both teams ensured that all panel members were given playing time and Dulwich Harps emerged with a 12-point victory. At the end of the game a presentation of a replica Sam Maguire Cup was made to the captain of the St Colman’s team in appreciation of the College hosting the fixture. During the evening, the team had the opportunity to watch an Armagh senior league fixture between our host club Killeavy and Madden. Despite trailing at half time, Killeavy emerged victorious at the end of the hour. Our first full day was concluded with a meeting with Stevie McDonnell, a member of the Armagh All Ireland winning team in 2002. After a brief introduction Stevie led a question and answer session – our panel were amazed by Stevie’s contribution to Gaelic football and the amateur status of the sport.
Our programme in South Armagh was concluded with the Killeavy Invitational Tournament; Silverbridge Harps GFC and St Patrick’s, Lordship in Co. Louth and our hosts made up the teams. We won the three games in the round robin tournament and then beat St Patrick’s in the final.
On Sunday, our panel and mentors were guests of the Ulster Council at the championship fixture between Derry and Donegal. This was a sell-out fixture and we were very privileged to be given tickets; we were also able to meet up with many friends from Limavady Wolfhounds, the host club for last year’s South London Feile team.
The panel left Killeavy and en route to Roscommon had a visit to Croke Park. The team concluded their tour with victories against Castlerea St Kevin’s in Co. Roscommon and Ballintubber GAA in Co. Mayo. In Castlerea, the teams competed for the Con McLoone Memorial Shield; this was in memory of Con McLoone who had given unstinting support to the development of underage Gaelic games at Dulwch Harps before his unexpected death last year. En route to their final fixture in Co.Mayo the panel visited the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis and was given a guided tour by Cathal Gregg, a current member of the Roscommon team.
During their visit to Ballintubber, the team were able the famous Ballintubber Abbey and after their fixture against the local team they were entertained to a formal meal at Corley’s Hotel.
Whilst in Ireland, we found out a great deal about the structures for football within counties at underage level. It is clearly evident that there are excellent links between club and county teams. For example, club competitions are played in the early months of the season (March – May) and then the focus goes onto county development squads. With this model the mentors of the county teams are able to see players in club action before selecting their squads.
In many counties at U14 & U12 level, in competitive fixtures players are only permitted two plays. This ensures that all players are fully engaged, helps the weaker players to develop their skills and reduces the amount of physicality within games; referees have also commented on the significant benefits to this approach to play.
The tour was made possible by the hard work of Tom Denning, Anne McLoone, Martin Kane and their Lotto Committee for their fundraising campaign. Sharon Reel and her colleagues at St Moninna’s Club, Killeavy and Colm Larkin and his colleagues at Castlerea St Kevin’s are to be congratulated for the way that they had opened their doors and made all of our boys so welcome in their homes.
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2nd June 2014
Over the last four weeks, the Academy has held its annual Advent Charity Appeal. This year we have raised in excess of £9,500.00 and the Student Forum decided that we would support a range of charities at local, national and global level. They included:
Some of these you will be very familiar with, but others such as ELF (Elimination of Leukaemia Fund), we are supporting for the first time. However, all of these charities have one thing in common; they have all had direct impact of members of our community.These events have generated a great amount of money and, as always, we are very grateful for the generosity of parents and carers, not only in financial terms but also in supporting the ideals which underpin our community.This is the season of peace and good will; the time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
For secondary schools, the penultimate week of August is the most nerve-wracking of the whole year as the GCSE results are published. No matter what has happened throughout the year, schools are often judged, rightly or wrongly, by this statistic alone, even though this raw data out of context means little. Having said that, we are delighted to have matched last year’s success in achieving 63% A* – C including English and Mathematics despite the fact that this year’s Year 11 cohort came to St Paul’s with lower Key Stage 2 data than the 2012 students. 92% of students achieved 5 or more A* – C which was a fantastic achievement for a large number of students who came to St Paul’s in September 2008 with very little prior attainment. These results greatly exceed the targets set for us using nationally applied criteria
As always, it is down to the commitment of staff, the support of families and the wider community and, of course, the hard work of the students themselves that we are able to achieve such marvellous outcomes. These outcomes not only allow students entry to post-16 institutions, but also give them huge confidence in their own ability. This is true for our most academic students, one of whom achieved an amazing 17 A* and A grades, and who should now be aiming for the best universities, as well as those students who favour a more practical approach to learning; many did not believe they would be able to access post-16 courses, let alone think about going to university.
Again, many subjects have exceeded their targets, with Mathematics achieving a phenomenal 82%* A – C with 28% achieving A* and A. Summer 2014 is also looking extremely positive for the Mathematics department, with a significant number of students already having finished the GCSE course with A* and A grades. P.E continues to produce outstanding results, with 100% of entries again achieving A* – B while in English Literature and Chemistry, all candidates who took the summer exams gained A* – C grades. Religious Studies exceeded their target, as did Music and many subjects exceeded the national average.
The 2013 Year 11 cohort was an outstanding group of young people who contributed hugely to our community in many different ways. Usually, the younger students are the most enthusiastic fund raisers, but last year, Year 11 raised more money than any other year group. They were leaders both in school and out of school, taking an active role in local primary schools, in the local care home, in musical performances, in liturgies and assisting at all school events. We thank them for sharing their talents and for leading by example and we wish them every success in the future.
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Section 48 Inspection Report - St Paul’s Academy is an outstanding school, offering a highly effective Catholic education within a very inclusive community.
The Academy has recently had a Section 48 Inspection and the report has now been published. Click here to view the report.
We have returned from a magnificent weekend in Derry with South London, including 11 students from St Paul's Academy in the panel of 20, being crowned Division 4 All Ireland Champions. Ninety six boys' teams took part and South London were placed in Division 4 with 15 other teams.
South London opened the competition with comfortable victories over the two local teams Limavady Wolfhounds GFC and Dorie Trasna GFC. In our final group game we came up against Enniskillen Gaels of Co. Fermanagh; we had to win this game to progress in the competition and our opponents had an unbeaten record for the last two years! The game ebb flowed and flowed with both teams having the ascendency at different stages. With two minutes remaining South London trailed by a point but up stepped Will Ozono to score three unanswered points which helped us record a two point victory. This game was described by many of the large attendance as being the game of the tournament!
In the semi-final, South London recorded a comfortable victory against the Champions of Co. Westmeath, St Loman's and in the final they defeated Ennistymon of Co. Clare by 2 -12 (18pts) to 1 - 00 (3pts) to win the All Ireland title.
The South London featured on Marty Morrissey's programme The Championship Matters and the clip can viewed from the link: http://youtu.be/24kAu6IWkCs
A flyer with full details of the scheme and an application form can now be downloaded:
St Paul's Academy is featured on BBC Scotland. A film crew from BBC Scotland spent a day at St Paul's filming as part of a Newsnight documentary on successful schools in London.
The U14 Gaelic Football team in partnership with Dulwich Harps GFC has recently returned from a six-day tour to Ireland. During their time in Ireland, the team recorded comfortable victories against Boyle GFC, Co. Roscommon and Lavey GFC, Co. Cavan. However, in their remaining games the team recorded narrow victories:
Congratulations to our young mathematicians who took part in the annual maths challenge. Our results this year have been outstanding! 11 Bronze, 3 Silver and 2 GOLD awards by Stephen Tipper & Sean Galvin. Stephen is the first candidate in 15 years to achieve a score which entitles him to enter the Junior Maths Olympiad. Well done to all our students!''
The GCSE Mathematics results from the March series have been published and our students have achieved a record breaking set of results. 81% of the cohort have achieved A* - C grades with 33 students achieving A/ A * grades. Congratulations to our students and the Mathematics Team.
In the Autumn Term 2012, a short film was made about our English department for the Ofsted website as an example of good practice. It shows fragments of lessons where talk, collaborative work and film have been used as tools for learning.
This is the link to the film:
As you will all be aware, we had our much anticipated Ofsted inspection on 23rd and 24th January. Schools now are only informed at lunchtime on the day before a two-day inspection is due to start as inspectors want to see what “normal” looks like. We think that this is a much fairer way of inspecting a school than giving weeks or months of notice, during which time staff anxiety levels would rise and panic would set in. With a no-notice inspection, staff and students are not thrown into a situation which becomes false, and therefore a much more realistic view of the school is formed by the inspectors.
However, ours was no ordinary inspection. Most schools of our size would expect one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and three additional inspectors, but we welcomed on the first day two HMI and two additional inspectors. On the second day, we welcomed four HMI, one additional inspector, a member of the policy team and the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove! Obviously, this came as something of a surprise, but we embraced the opportunity to show Mr Gove what a fantastic school we have and how proud we are of our community. This was the first time that Mr Gove had observed an Ofsted inspection first-hand and he appeared impressed by what he saw, however, there can be no doubt that the presence of Mr Gove and the extra inspectors added a different dimension to the inspection, as some staff had four adults, including Mr Gove, observing a lesson and students. Interestingly, some students also felt this pressure and were reticent about answering questions in lessons which were being observed in case they gave the wrong answers. This clearly demonstrates the close relationships between staff and students!
As far as the report itself is concerned, we are very pleased with the outcomes; the first statement made is that “This is a thriving and well-led academy” and the report goes on to say “This is an extremely welcoming place. Students are a great credit to themselves and to the academy. They are polite, friendly and helpful, and they behave superbly. They attend very regularly because they enjoy school and value their education”. The dedication of teachers was noted by the inspectors and it was seen that as a result of this, students “achieve well and leave with very good examination results”. We were also delighted that the excellent links we have with the local community were acknowledged.
Of course, we are never complacent and the inspectors rightly pointed out areas where we can improve. Our aim is to make sure we are outstanding in all areas and we are aware that, as we move from being a small school to being a much larger school, some new, more sophisticated systems need to be put into place. An example of this would be the need to evaluate the progress that different groups are making and we have recently appointed a new, full-time Data Manager, who will co-ordinate and analyse information from all Learning Zones, in order to give us a holistic picture about all students’ progress.
I would like to thank all staff and students, as well as parents and carers, for their tremendous support, not only during the inspection, but also on a day-to-day basis. The inspectors were hugely impressed by the positivity of the feedback they received from all members of our community and acknowledged that huge contribution this makes to the success of our Academy.
6th February 2013
The community of St Paul’s was delighted to welcome newly crowned British Pentathlon record holder and London 2012 Olympic gold medal hope Jessica Ennis to the Academy. As part of the Olympic trail of inspiring London to the Games in July, Jessica on behalf of Aviva, was welcomed by not only students of St Paul’s but of a number of local primary and secondary schools, on what was a glorious sun-filled day of sporting celebration and inspiration.
Machindo Mwambazi, a Year 10 Sports Leader at St Paul’s Academy was chosen to represent London Schools at the International Inspiration Olympic Gallery launch recently at the Museum of London where he met Lord Sebastian Coe, Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Machindo’s sporting photo was chosen to represent London at the Gallery and will now be displayed at the Olympic stadium during the London Games 2012.
Sport at the Academy is the catalyst for an enriching and stimulating learning experience. Engaging with our extended communities through sport is a magnificent enhancement to our unique education.
Creating a 'can do' attitude Enterprise Education is fundamental to Saint Paul's Academy's development, allowing students to develop different skills, which will enhance their potential in later life.