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St. Mary's Menston

The 2010s

There are many albums of St. Mary's Menston photos from the 2010s on Flickr

March 2011 saw the opening of our floodlit Artificial Turf Pitch. It was blessed by Father Tom O'Connor and opened by Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development. The pitch was part of a £750,000 investment in sport at the school which also saw all remaining grass pitches drained. The project was part funded by a £325,000 grant from the Football Foundation.
Robert Pritchard was appointed as headteacher in April 2011, taking over from Catherine McMahon.

In May 2011, a team from St. Mary's were the overall winners of the Geography Association's 2011 Blencathra Worldwise Challenge trophy.

The school was one of the first to achieve the Naace ICT Mark in June 2011 and was awarded  Youth Sport Trust Gold Partner School status in March 2012. 

The 2011 German Exchange marked the silver jubilee of the link between St. Mary's and Franziskus-Gymnasium in Germany. Newspaper articles calculated that 1,420 students had taken part over the 25 years.

The name of our school was changed to St. Mary's Catholic High School, Menston. Our school's eight values, established in 2012 are based on the Beatitudes.

In July 2012, the Department for Education published data showing how many students progressed to further or higher education or training for each school, college and local authority in England. St. Mary's Menston were included in the top ten non-selective schools in the country which send students to Oxbridge.

In September 2012, St. Mary's were redesignated as an International School.



In March 2012, plans were announced for Catholic schools across the Leeds Diocese to investigate teaming up to form trust academies that would no longer be under local authority control. The Governing Bodies of St. Mary's and five other schools considered a proposal of converting to Academy status in 2013 and forming together a Catholic Multi-Academy Trust (CMAT). A consultation period considering Catholic Multi-Academy Trust took place between September and October 2012. The academy conversion  took place on March 1, 2013.

St. Mary's is part of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust. The Trust is named after Bishop William Wheeler, the Bishop of Leeds from 1966–1985.  

The logo for our Catholic Academy Trust is Bishop Wheeler’s Episcopal Coat of Arms.

Our School Prayer was adopted in June 2012:


In the name of the Father and of 
the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Today Lord, I will be the person 
you intended me to be. I will be 
the best I can possibly be.

Mr T Rothwell and Miss C Garrett took over from Mr Pritchard as Acting Headteachers in April 2013.

On 22 November 2013, St. Mary’s students Kavi Appuhamy and Chloe Tindale met HRH Prince William as representatives of the Bambisanani Partnership, at a Diana Award ‘Inspire Day’ in South Shields.

St. Mary's was awarded Fairtrade School status in December 2013.

In February 2014, St. Mary's became the fifth school in the country to become part of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport.

A 2014 Inspection under the Section 48 framework for Catholic Life and Religious Education judged the school outstanding in all area.

Our headteacher Mr Darren Beardsley took up his post on 1 September 2014.

St. Mary's received an Outstanding Ofsted Report in December 2014


On 31 March 2015, plans for a two laboratory Science Extension were announced. They will be the first new classrooms at St. Mary's since 2001.

In June 2015, St. Mary's became a Global Learning Expert Centre, in recognition of all our global learning and international work.

During the Academic Year 2014–15 the school celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Events included our 50th Anniversary Mass, concelebrated by the Bishop of Leeds, Marcus Stock and a whole school photograph was taken. At the close of the Mass, Bishop Marcus gave us a new standard: he said we are exceptional.


In July 2015, David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher left St. Mary's after 35 years of service.

In October 2015, St. Mary's became a Teaching School.

During 2015 and 2016 we celebrated the Jubilee of Mercy.

In February 2016, we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of our German Exchange with our partner school Franziskus Gymnasium Vossenack. 1,724 pupils have taken part over the years.

In July 2016, our new Science Extension (to the Morse Building) was opened, offering two new purpose built laboratories for our young scientists to enjoy.

In 2016–17 Miss Margaret Hattersley joined St. Mary's Menston as Deputy Headteacher.

In December 2016, St. Mary's said goodbye to Deputy Headteacher, Miss Catherine Garrett, who left St. Mary's

In September 2017, our Sixth Form Common Room was extensively refurbished and Mrs Diane Gaskin took over from Bob Lavery as the Chair of our Academy Council.

In November 2018, a video was professionally produced showing life in our Sixth Form:


In February 2019, St. Mary’s celebrated a partnership with CAFOD that has seen it raise more than £50,000 for the Catholic overseas development agency CAFOD for more than 20 years. School Chaplain Mrs Findlay said: “St Mary’s Menston is proud to have embraced CAFOD as one of its main charities since the school opened in 1964”.

In June 2019, Department for Education figures revealed that St. Mary's Menston as “the best state school in Leeds when it comes to securing a place at a Russell Group university".

In July 2019, St. Mary’s was once again judged Outstanding in all areas in a Section 48: The Catholic Life of The School, Collective Worship and Religious Education Inspection.

In November 2019, St. Mary’s received the CAFOD Livesimply Award. The award is given to Catholic communities - parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – as a response to Pope Francis’ invitation to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.