Friday, 23 March 2018

Votes for Women!

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 have been studying the Suffragettes in their History lessons.

This week they were lucky enough to be able to bring the topic to life with a visit to the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester. At the centre they took part in an interesting workshop and learnt lots about the origins of the movement. They dressed up as Suffragettes and were eager to hear about what life was like back in 1903 when the very first meeting of the Suffragettes took place. 

In addition to their visit to the Pankhurst Centre, the boys and girls also visited the Holy Name Church to marvel at the amazing Gothic architecture and the stunning Whitworth Art Gallery.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "As well as being fascinating and informative, the trip enabled our pupils to learn valuable skills, especially our Year 6 pupils who are going off to secondary schools soon, including travelling by bus and looking out for dangers when getting on and off buses. The children learnt to watch out for cycle lanes and to develop awareness of walking along crowded footpaths. It was an action-packed day out and we all enjoyed visiting parts of the city that a lot of us had not seen before."

Friday, 16 March 2018

A Fascinating Trip to Manchester City Centre's Libraries

Year 6 pupils enjoyed a trip to The Portico Library and Manchester Central Library as part of their focus on reading and their enrichment programme.

At The Portico they were fascinated by the tour of the library and the historic collection of books. They learnt about the founding members of the library and how the library still operates as a subscription library to this day. They examined some very old books and were particularly taken with the marbled paper at the front of the books.

The staff shared with them details of the history of the library and pupils were surprised that women were not allowed to be members of the library until sixty four years after it first opened with the advent of the Married Women's Property Act in 1870.

The children found out a little about the Peterloo Massacre and the involvement and views of some of the members of the library in 1819.

Pupils then had a short walking tour of Peter Street and visited the former Free Trade Hall (now the Radisson Hotel), the site of the Peterloo Massacre and Manchester Central Library at St Peter's Square. They compared the more modern surroundings of Central Library which was opened in 1934 to the Portico which opened in 1806.

Library Walk at Central Library

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "We are fortunate to live in a city that houses two fantastic libraries in the heart of the city centre. We can often take for granted the area that we live in but finding time to explore and learn about historic events and buildings that are right on our doorstep is a great way for our pupils to expand their knowledge and for teachers to take learning out of the classroom."   

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Open Morning - Saturday 17 March 2018

Our next Open Morning will take place on Saturday 17th March 2018 from 10am until 12 noon. The morning provides an opportunity for families to learn more about life at Stella Maris and meet staff and pupils.

We have limited spaces available in some year groups for an immediate start and for Pre-Prep 1 and 2 (Nursery and Reception) for September 2018 start.

There is no need to book in advance, families are welcome to turn up on the day.

For further information please contact Lindsey Farrelly on 0161 432 0532 or email

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Celebrating Reading on World Book Day and Beyond!

World Book Day sparked a month long celebration of the joys of reading across the school.

We took part World Book Day on Thursday 1 March 2018 with a brilliant house book quiz; a closely fought contest with Mark pipping Matthew to the trophy by one point!

Pre-Prep pupils came to school dressed as their favourite book character and brought with them a book featuring the character to share with their classmates. We had everything from Snow White to Hairy Maclary!


The 1 March also saw the start of the superb 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge run by education specialists Achievement for All. Children have been reading in school and at home every day and recording the number of minutes they have read for. They have been surprised how quickly the minutes fly by when enjoying books, magazines, comics and even reading comprehensions! The whole school enjoyed a lovely, tongue-twisting story from Miss Maiden as part of the Challenge. The Challenge concludes on Thursday 8 March.

Children are also taking part in Manchester Airport's Six Book Challenge. By the 16 April pupils need to have read six books and completed a line on the challenge grid which challenges them to do a range of activities such as 'reading under a blanket with a torch' or asking someone to read to them'. The bonus challenge is to read a book in an unusual place - one of our Year 6 pupils has completed this section by enjoying his book at Wembley Stadium!

Reading is also forming the basis for some of our school trips this month with pupils visiting several libraries including, the Portico, Manchester Central and the Heatons.

Headteacher Norah Johnson commented "We pride ourselves on being a school full of keen readers with all pupils from Pre-Prep to Year 6 enjoying some reading time in school and at home each day. Reading is the key that unlocks a world of education, understanding and pleasure. It is by far the most important skill in a child's quest for success and achievement in life. In an age of increasing internet popularity, there is a great danger that the power and importance of reading is being undervalued and is in decline. Now, more than ever, parents and teachers need to encourage children to become enthusiastic and capable readers. I am pleased to say that at Stella Maris teachers and parents work in partnership to ensure this is the case. The challenges, activities and trips that the children are taking part in help us keep reading at the forefront."

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Exam Success for Year 6

Year 6 pupils are celebrating outstanding results and offers of places at the top schools across the region. The school maintained its on-going record of every Year 6 pupil receiving an offer from their first-choice grammar school. 

Pupils were offered places at Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School for Girls, Stockport Grammar School, Alderley Edge School for Girls, Cheadle Hulme School, St James’ Catholic High School and St. Bede’s College, as well as passing 11+ exams in Trafford. In addition, four schools offered one pupil a music scholarship. 

Headteacher and Year 6 teacher, Mrs Norah Johnson commented: “This has been an exceptional year with each pupil receiving an offer from their first-choice school as well as offers from other schools too. Pupils and parents are now in a fantastic position to be able to choose between a number of excellent schools for their secondary education. It has been another competitive year with large numbers from across the region sitting Grammar School exams.  I am very proud of our children and their level of success and the way in which the parents and children have handled the whole process. We’ve continued to have lots of fun at school throughout the exam and interview period. Our children move to secondary schools across the region as happy, confident individuals and enjoy a seamless transition.”

Year 6 pupils alongside Stella Maris Headteacher, Mrs Norah Johnson

Monday, 26 February 2018

A Focus on Local Heritage

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 were lucky enough to attend an excellent workshop hosted by Dr Alexandra Mitchell, Group Archivist at Manchester based Peel Group. Peel Group is one of the biggest privately owned companies in the UK and owns many iconic Manchester assets including the Trafford Centre and the Manchester Ship Canal.

As part of her role, Dr Mitchell researches the history of Peel Group and regularly delivers talks to various history groups and other organisations.

She spoke to pupils about the history of Manchester Ship Canal. The children were taught about the reasons why it needed to be built and the seven years it took to complete the 36 miles stretch of water. They examined photographs from the time of construction of the workers and discussed how they were dressed, the tools that they used and what their lives they would have lived.

The workshop then focused on the opening ceremony of the canal in 1894. Queen Victoria attended to officially open it the children learned. Dr Mitchell showed them some interesting objects including an old map of the canal, a moustache cup, some glassware with pictures relating to the opening of the canal and an old coin.

Following the visit, the children then designed posters advertising the opening ceremony as an extension activity.

Year 5 Teacher, Mrs Hesketh, commented "The workshop was fascinating and the children were completely captivated by Dr Mitchell's vivid account of the opening ceremony of the Manchester Ship Canal. They also enjoyed examining the artefacts and trying to guess what the strange cup was used for - they were surprised to hear it was to allow gentlemen to keep their moustaches dry while drinking a cup of tea!".

Monday, 19 February 2018

Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Pupils in Pre-Prep and Years 1 and 2 got together to celebrate the Chinese New Year by taking part in a number of different activities.

First on the list was trying some yummy Chinese food including spring rolls, noodles and fortune cookies!


Children then enjoyed creating some beautiful Chinese inspired art.


The final activities of the day were writing our names in Chinese script and performing a dragon dance!