Crosby college celebrates its 2023 successes 

St Mary’s College in Crosby held a special event recently to put the spotlight on the school’s many successes over the past year.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral was again the spectacular setting for the college’s annual prize-giving ceremony which reviewed the achievements of pupils over the last 12 months.

The VIP guest at this year’s event was former head boy, His Honour Judge Paul Burns, who was appointed as a Circuit Judge in 2022 following a very successful career as a barrister.

He is currently the Designated Civil Judge for Staffordshire and Shropshire where he is responsible for the leadership of civil judges and the management of civil work in the area. He is also authorised to sit as a judge in the High Court.

VIP guest His Honour Judge Paul Burns pictured with St. Mary’s Principal Mike Kennedy, Head Girl Olivia Newton and Head Boy Ellis James.
VIP guest His Honour Judge Paul Burns pictured with St Mary’s principal Mike Kennedy, head girl Olivia Newton and head boy Ellis James

In a very personal and well-received speech Paul decided to focus on his time at the school, rather than looking back on his legal career.

He took as a starting point an old photograph featuring himself and a group of other young St Mary’s pupils who have since gone on to become a BBC producer, consultant to the CEO of Deliveroo, head of markets for an international travel group, a former professional cricketer and a successful farmer.

In addition, two former students have become solicitors, one a doctor, another a dentist, one a commercial banker and another the owner of a successful motorcycle design and repair business.

Paul commented: “Was this group success just pure coincidence? I think not. We had great support from home, and a great education from a great school. These factors were the key to our future success.”

Addressing current pupils at the school directly he added: “Each and every one of you will have great opportunities at St Mary’s. Look out for them. Don’t let them pass you by.”


His Honour Judge Paul Burns addresses the audience during the event.
His Honour Judge Paul Burns addresses the audience during the event

Meanwhile, in his speech at the ceremony principal Mike Kennedy rounded up the highlights of the last year at the college, telling guests that St Mary’s had again maintained its tradition of both academic excellence and encouraging achievement in sport, music and a range of other activities.

Mr Kennedy reported that the school had enjoyed another successful summer in public examinations.

Its attainment 8 score (a measure of GCSE grades across the full range of subjects) put the school at the top of the Sefton league table and also the Archdiocesan league table of 36 Catholic schools across the wider Merseyside area.

Elsewhere there was success to report from St Mary’s teams on the sports field, particularly in netball, rugby, football and athletics, and further sporting successes in fencing and table tennis.

Musical highlights of the year included the school’s annual Philharmonic concert, the senior music tour to Lake Garda and the return after four years of the ambitious – albeit rain affected – Proms in the Park event.

The year also saw an acclaimed production of the Greek tragedy Oedipus at Southport’s Atkinson Theatre, as well as other school trips including a rugby tour to northern Spain and a visit to Berlin organised by the modern languages and art departments.

Meanwhile, St Mary’s continues to offer students the choice of more than 50 clubs, societies and related activities each week, from baking to Japanese appreciation and knitting to world mythology.

The year also saw continued success for pupils in the challenging Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme and the college’s popular and thriving Combined Cadet Force.

In his address, the principal also highlighted pupils’ efforts in support of a wide range of charity fundraising projects during the year.

There was also praise for staff, governors and parents for their contribution to life at the college, and the many successes featured during the ceremony.

Summing up, Mr Kennedy described being principal of St Mary’s as a ‘privilege’ and a ‘delight’, saying: “I want to offer my congratulations to all our prizewinners today. You have achieved very well and with great credit in so many areas.

“But I also want to congratulate everyone who is part of the St Mary’s community – it is your values, your character and your initiative which are the real achievements we are celebrating this evening.” 

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