Alumni

Regardless of when you left St Mary’s High school you can always recall the great friends you made, experiences you enjoyed, subjects you were passionate about and the amazing grades you achieved.

Class of 2023 – A snippet of our year 13’s amazing results, Destinations and choice of study.

Alumni (ID 1255)

 Libby PLibby Partington - “I had an amazing time at St Mary's and I always felt I had so much support from all of my teachers, which made it possible for me to get a place studying Medicine at the University of Liverpool. The skills I learned at St Mary's will be incredibly useful during my career as a doctor.”

 

 

 

 

Libby PDaisy Poole - “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at St. Mary’s, as all of my teachers provided extensive support and guidance which enabled me to excel and secure a place at Durham university 😊”

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming part of St Mary's Alumni is a chance to discover our network of former students and offer your help to the current cohort.

Here at St Mary’s, our Alumni Association has been created to help you remain in contact with your peers, build lifelong networks and to support your career progression as well as promoting and celebrating your achievements with current students at St Mary’s. 

We would also like to give you the opportunity to support the current cohort in various ways.  Our Alumni will offer support to our current pupils with their life decisions, subject choices and career options.  You could provide help and support to our pupils by answering questions students may have about university courses or jobs. You could even offer work experience, which may help a student secure employment in the future. You could attend careers sessions, deliver sessions, be part of a Q&A, and also by allowing us to use your success story in promotional material for St Mary’s High school.

Benefits

The following benefits are currently available for members of the Alumni Association:

  • Lifelong careers advice
  • Alumni Newsletter
  • Invitations to school events
  • Invitations to speeches from special guests

 Meet the St Mary's Alumni

 

David Morris – “During my time at St Mary's Sixth Form I was supported by 4 crucial members of staff who really helped guide me and keep me grounded whilst pushing me to pursue my dreams. Ian Bennet, Simon Wright, Owen Rayner and Catherine Dainty created a perfect atmosphere at St Mary's Sixth Form, They helped us achieve our educational goals but also provided that mentorship at this pivotal age where we bridge straddled the gap between childhood and adulthood. I remember lots of one-to-one chats about my future, how I could avoid distractions and how I would best be able to achieve my goals. Whilst I was aware this was their job it always felt like they genuinely cared about our wellbeing as much as our Education which I think is vital for students at this age.

During my time at St Mary's Sixth Form I was Chair Person of the committee, which required me to represent the pupils at leaving ceremonies, organise social events and be a link between staff and students. I was recognised with the outstanding contribution award at our leaving mass which was a real honour. Thank you for your support during my time at Sixth Form and helping me become who I am today 15 years later.”

 

A-levels Studied

P.E (B), General Religious Studies (B), Psychology (C), Biology (D) (History A/S Level)

Edge Hill University

BA Hons 2:1 Physical Education and School Sports 

Career

Chief Executive of 2 organisations – Become a Champion Ltd which is a sports coaching company, we go into schools providing PE and School Sports, Staff CPD, and After School Clubs. I also run a Not For Profit Organisation Called Boxing For Better C.I.C. which aims to engage and inspire young people from underserved communities across Wigan & Leigh. We also work with a variety of other groups on our communities such as SEN children, Adults with disabilities, Adults on License (Probation), Home Educated Children and we offer Holiday Camps for children on Free School Meals.

 

Ella O’Conner - “Looking back on my time at St Mary’s I now realise how valuable the support and encouragement I received from tutors was in helping me get to where I am today - even though at the time I tried my best to resist the support. It was no secret that I did not enjoy studying in my time at sixth form (this has no correlation to the classes or ability of the tutors). I mostly spent time thinking about what I could do instead or worrying about my next steps and did not put the effort or work into my studies or grades. However, I will never forget the small talk I had with my Geography tutor Mr Ross. He encouraged me to go on to study Geography at university despite my current grades. Which is exactly what I went on to do. I loved my degree and found my passion within human geography and international development studies. My time at university has sparked within me a want to further explore and learn more within the human geography field. During my current travels I have found myself questioning the world around me. I have witnessed in person the benefits charities and big corporations have had on countries whilst also seeing the effects of natural disasters and war, and how communities have not recovered many years later. My A level case studies have effectively been brought to life. I am grateful that my tutors did not give up on me during A Levels when I was already giving up on myself.”

A-levels Studied

Psychology- B

Philosophy, ethics & Religion- B 

University of Chester 

Bachelor of Arts First Class Honours

Geography and International Development Studies 

Career

I graduated University in 2022 and struggled to get a job once I moved home. I had no idea what to do with my degree but had a long dream of travelling and having some time off after studying for what appeared to be years on end. That’s when I decided to travel. I went into a retail job for 6 months to build up the bank account and then headed off to South East Asia at the end of February 2023. I am currently (November 2023) in Australia continuing my travels.

 

Lucy Orrell  -   “I loved studying at both St Mary's high school and St Mary's sixth form. My chosen A-levels meant that I could apply for the degree I wanted which was Diagnostic Radiography. My psychology teacher Mr Bennett also helped me write my personal statement which ultimately got me my place at uni along with my interview. Mrs Barnes (A-level geography) taught me not only geography but life skills also. She is a teacher I will never forget and often think about! She made me a better learner and a better person :)”

Royal University of Salford 

BSc Diagnostic Radiography

Career

Senior Diagnostic Radiographer at Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

 

 

 

  Abigail Crocker -  “All the staff at St Mary's were brilliant, always supporting you in the path you want to take in life. I enjoyed studying psychology the most, as it's very interesting learning about the human mind, and you will use it in all jobs/ university you go to in the future, as you will more than likely interact with human beings. I apply maths the most to my job, however maths is not essential to study if you go down the same path as me.”

A-levels Studied

Physical Education- A, Psychology- B, Math's- C

Royal University of Salford 

Environmental Science, Quantity Surveying Degree Apprentice course

Career

Degree apprentice Quantity Surveyor 4 days a week, and study at university once a week. 

 

Azli Gumusgoz – "Staying on in Sixth Form was the best decision I could have made, the staff are so supportive and personal and really helped me during my studies to achieve the grades I did. My art teachers, Mrs Walker and Mrs Casement, especially helped me during my portfolio submissions and without them, I doubt I'd have made it to the University of Edinburgh. I owe this school alot and miss it so much."

A-levels Studied

Art BTEC - Distinction*

English Language & Literature - A*

Psychology - A* 

University of Edinburgh – second year 2023-2024

Painting (BA)

 

Ellie Shepherd - “My time at St Mary's was full of support and encouragement from every single staff member. Whether that be academic support or emotional, the staff really go above and beyond to provide the best learning environment and overall college experience as possible. I felt that all the students at St Mary's were seen and treated as unique individuals, and this personal support is one of the key reasons I have been successful after sixth form. During college, I enjoyed biology, yet it was the teachers from the science department who were able to turn my interest for the subject into a passion, where I now study biological sciences at Durham University. I am grateful for my time at St Mary’s and to the staff who have every student's best interest at heart, across all subjects and departments. This was especially apparent during the pandemic, where the sixth form provided student support that was unmatched in comparison to other surrounding colleges, and helped me personally through the difficult time without my grades suffering. I highly recommend St Mary’s and I am very thankful to the staff for my great experience!”

A-levels Studied

Psychology - A*

Biology – A

History - B

Durham University - Second year 2023-2024

biological sciences

 

Sarah Brown – “I really enjoyed my time in St Mary's High School and Sixth Form. The opportunities and support from the drama and music department to undertake roles and experiences in exciting productions locally and around the UK allowed me to be confident enough to apply for one of the world's most prestigious drama schools, which I attended! Although my current role is incredibly different to the subjects I studied for in my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, I have found the skills and knowledge transferred remarkably well and I attribute that to the excellent teachings of the Drama and English departments. Additionally, studying psychology of course has provided more obvious skills in my current role and I was glad to be able to utilise skills from all of my subjects in my subsequent career, even though they may not have been the obvious choices. I was glad to be able to pursue creative subjects with full support that a career in it was achievable and worthy.”

A-levels Studied

Drama (A), English language and literature (A), Psychology (C)-

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Bachelor's degree class of 2011 Theatre Practice; Film - Theatre Practice: Performance Arts BA (Hons) 

Queen Mary, University of London

Master's degree class of 2012 Film Studies MA Hons

Career

Police Constable- Major Inquiries Unit (Cold Case Homicide and complex investigations), Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard

 

Andy Shuttleworth – “The support and encouragement I got from St. Mary's allowed me to succeed and get to a place at UCLan, and then the University of Liverpool. St Mary's was the foundation of my educational career, without which I would not have attained my PhD. Without St Mary's the adventures of my career would not have happened: I would not have worked in Israel, Saudi Arabia, or Iraq as an archaeologist; I would not have worked with colleagues from Cambridge and Oxford to better understand human evolution; would not have worked in the Smithsonian in Washington DC; I would not have excavated and help artefacts that were over a million years old; and I would not have be where I am today: happy and helping the students of the today who will become the professionals of tomorrow. All of this stems from St. Mary's. I didn't really appreciate it at the time (who does?), but looking back, it all started at St Mary's.

Mr Dawson and Mr Philpott. Two of the most dedicated History teachers I have ever had. Without them I would not have found a love of archaeology, and their teaching allowed me to take a step back and analysis/interpret an archaeological artefact with nuance and objectivity. Something which comes in handy when you're looking at an object that is a million years old! They fanned my passion for history, taught me how to write and communicate my thoughts/opinions, and made learning fun.  Mrs Walsh and Dr Drury. Two very different, but very dedicated, Biology teachers. Mrs Walsh had the raw passion whilst Dr Drury approached things from a softer angle which was greatly appreciated. Both helped me learn in different ways, and I'm not going to lie I've adopted aspects of their teaching styles when giving a lecture or seminar. I can still recall the enthusiasm of Mrs Walsh when we dissected an eye, and the calm passion of Dr Drury going over Biochemistry.   Mr Lucas. I wasn't a natural mathematician, I often struggled with numbers and formulas. To this day, my 'B' in GCSE Maths is an achievement I'm very proud of. So, when I took on A-Level Statistical Maths I knew it was going to be a struggle. Eventually it proved to be too much, but Mr Lucas always provided his time to help me get through a difficult set of equations and attempted to show me different ways on how to work things out. He was also the first teacher who sat me down and told me it was okay if I didn't understand this, or that it didn't come easy to me. That it would not be the end of the world, and better for my mental health, if I were to drop the subject. Ironically, in Archaeology, I use statistical analysis often and I always think of Mr Lucas when doing do.  Mr Smith. It's amazing, thinking about it now, what lessons prove useful in later life/career. Mr Smith, in Design Technology, would have been one of those that I wouldn't have thought would stick but through a quirk of fate has proved to be of some significance. His classes were always fun (I think we were one of the first years he taught) but his lessons on how to undertake technical drawing have remained. It may surprise him to know that his teaching has been most valuable when on-site as an archaeologist. Indeed, thanks to his skill as a teacher I was able to draw and plan an archaeological site in Iraq. That drawing has since been published, and I have a copy of the original, which I would like to show him some day if given the opportunity.  Mrs Firth. I only ever had RE with Mrs Firth, but her openness, kindness, and honesty have always stuck with me. Being a Roman Catholic school, it could have been very easy for St. Mary's to stick with Christianity but through Mrs Firth we were introduced to Judaism, Islam, and other religions. She did so with no prior assumption on these different faiths and answered our questions honestly and openly. I'm not one with the faiths, but my career has brought me into touch with people who are (Bishops, Imams, Grand Rabbis and the like) and her approach was the one to take: respectful, curious, non-judgemental.  All of the support staff. It can be too easy to focus on the teachers, but the support staff at St Mary's also made my time at school that much easier. From the dinner ladies who served our food with a smile (and sometimes gave us food even if we couldn't afford it), to the admin staff who gave us information when needed (such as bursary pay dates and the like), the Brother John and his joyful laughter. Their presence helped. I enjoyed History. Without doubt the major subject that was of value in my archaeological studies and career. It wasn't about the dates or the events, but about how to analyse and interpret those events and the individuals involved. This skill, taught very early on in St Mary's, has been of immense value to me: how to look and interpret a source and read between the lines. Without this, archaeology would have been infinitely hard. With this, it was a puzzle to unravel. And a joy to do so.”

A-levels Studied

History - A

Biology - C

General Studies - C

Chemistry - E

I also began Statistical Mathematics but dropped out after a few weeks to my shame.

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

BSc (Hons) Forensic and Investigative Studies, 2:1 (Hons)

University of Liverpool

MSc Palaeoanthropology, Distinction

University of Liverpool

PhD Archaeology, Pass.

Career

Ten years as an Associate Professor of Archaeology in various Universities (Durham, Queen's Belfast, Liverpool), currently working in Higher Education to create a positive student experience.

Abbey Edwards – “I attended both St Mary's High School and Sixth Form in which I studied Psychology, Sociology and Health and Social Care. My teachers for these subjects included Miss Ashton, Miss Kelly, Mr Bennet and Mrs Mills - individually they all showed me a great deal of support as I prided myself in always giving 100% because I knew I wanted a career relating to each subject. St Mary's guided me through choosing a university course as I had no idea what to do but had an idea of wanting to do healthcare. Each subject helped me to gain the expectations of studying mental health nursing as each topic within the subjects had different aspects linking to a wide range of skills for my future education. 

Especially, Health and Social Care this helped me to gain the necessary skills for working within an NHS healthcare setting especially with vulnerable people. I struggled to know which career path to go down, but HSC gave me the opportunities to explore the wide range of jobs available out there, with this I decided to go down the nursing role. 

The encouragement and support from St Mary's allowed to gain an offer at University of Manchester studying Mental Health Nursing - as I enter my third year, I am one step closer to qualifying as a Mental Health Nurse and am excited to start my future career.”

A-levels Studied

Psychology - A

Sociology - A*

Health and Social Care Distinction*

University of Manchester

Mental Health Nursing (2021 - present)

 

Tom Dutton – “St Mary's was a part of my life, both in High School & 6th Form, for over 7 years, I received second to none support from all aspects of educational life including academic, pastoral & UCAS. St Mary's allowed me to start my life and decide what path I took. There is no aspect of school life that I didn't enjoy and I'm always grateful for all the teachers and support staff who inspired me throughout my own time.”

A-levels Studied

 

Business - Distinction*

Computing - Distinction*

Travel & Tourism - Distinction**

Manchester Metropolitan University

BA (Hons) Events Management with Industrial Placement Year

Degree achieved: 1st Class Honours Degree

Career

Commercial Operations Business Consultant at Arcadis

Be part of our Alumni

If you would like to be part of our Alumni group here at St Mary’s – please contact Mrs Hook using the form below.

If you have any ideas about how we can make the association better for either you as a former student, or our current cohort, please email with your ideas.

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