Celebrating Achievement

“Students’ achievement and progress, within St. Mary’s and the wider community, is rewarded through regular celebrations, displays and online.”

St. Mary’s firmly believes in the promotion, recognition and reward of achievement of pupils.

We seek to:

  • Reflect and instill the values of the school
  • Recognise student achievement in all its forms
  • Increase the self-esteem of all students
  • Reinforce good behaviours and attitudes
  • Encourage the pursuit of excellence, self improvement and service to others
  • Motivate students to be the best that they can be
  • Create and maintain a positive school environment for students and staff alike.


Every school day offers the opportunity for staff to recognise and reward the achievement, effort and behaviour of students.
Praise and positive reinforcement of students in lessons and beyond is a significant motivator.

Pupil Planner

The Pupil Planner is an excellent way of informing parents of particularly pleasing work of a student.
Key Stage 3 pupils recieve ‘commendations’ in their planner for any element of good work or behaviour staff think appropriate. Commendation Certificates are awarded annually:

  • 75 commendations – Gold Award
  • 50 commendations – Silver Award
  • 25 commendations – Bronze Award

At Key Stage 4 the planner has a section for recording ‘Good Performance Comments’

Attitude and Performance Grades

Attitude and Performance grades are recorded in all subjects two or three times a year depending in the Year Group. Student Progress Leaders will write to parents of students who have demonstrated particular achievement, effort or progress.

Letters and Postcards to Parents and Carers

Particularly outstanding achievement, effort and progress is recognised with a letter or postcard to parents. All subjects have their own postcards designs.

Attendance Certificates

Attendance certificates are presented annually to those students with 100% attendance and those pupils whose attendance has shown significant improvement.

Form Periods and Assemblies

Form Periods and Assemblies provide regular opportunities to recognise and celebrate achievement.

Press Releases

Outstanding achievement such as Awards, Certificates, success in competitions is recognised with a Press Release and photograph being sent to the local media.

Our stmarysmenston.org Website

This website stmarysmenston.org is updated daily and provides an excellent way to publically celebrate the achievement of individuals or groups. The most popular news stories receive over 10,000 pageviews.

Twitter and YouTube

We use our official Social Media channels on Twitter  @StMarysMenston and YouTube to highlight pupil achievements.

General Letter

The general letter to parents and carers is an excellent way to celebrate the achievement of individuals and groups.

Awards Assemblies (Years 7, 9 and 10) and Presentation Evenings (Key Stage 3, 4 and 5)

The awards assemblies and presentation evenings are treated as high profile events.
Annual Awards Assemblies for Year 7, 9 and 10 will take place during the school day during the summer term. The Key Stage 3 Presentation Evening for Year 8 students takes place in the summer term and the Key Stage 4 and 5 Presentation Events take place in the autumn term following the publication of public examination results in the summer.
In addition to general academic awards all subject areas have awards for achievement and progress, there are specific Sports College awards for Excellence, Progress, Achievement and Leadership. All Faculty areas present awards for outstanding leadership and there are awards for conduct and contribution to the school and wider community.  Success in inter-form and inter-school competitions can also be recognised on these occasions. Whilst the categories for awards are well established the school is always looking to extend the recognition of achievement.

Governors' Awards

Special Governors Awards can be presented for any outstanding achievement beyond the normal categories.

Michelle Stott Award

The Michelle Stott Award is presented annually in memory of Michelle who died in 1989. The Award is presented to a Year 11 girl for outstanding progress in Physical Education.

The Stephen Botterill Award for excellence in the physics of force and motion

The Stephen Botterill Award for excellence in the physics of force and motion is awarded annually. The prize is to remember and celebrate the life of Stephen Botterill. Stephen was a St. Mary’s Menston pupil who loved steam power and physics.

The Molybdenum Prize for Creative Thinking in Chemistry

The Molybdenum Prize is to remember and celebrate the life of Mrs Mo Hooley. Mo was an inspirational teacher whose love of Chemistry was recognised by everyone. She always put the needs of the children first and was a colleague, mentor and friend to many staff.

Sbonelo Magwaza Award

Sbonelo Magwaza was an outstanding young leader from our partner school in South Africa who was mentored by St. Mary’s students. Sbonelo died in 2010 and annual awards are made for outstanding leadership relating to the Bambisanani Partnership at both St. Mary’s and Mnyakanya.

Bambisanani Partnership Award

Bambisanani Partnership Awards are awarded to students and members of the wider community for outstanding contributions to the Bambisanani Partnership.

Awards from External Agencies

We seek to make use of  external awards schemes, including:

  • Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People
  • Diana Certificate of Excellence
  • Leeds Rotary Club Youth Awards: Service Above Self
  • Aireborough Rotary Club Awards: Community Service
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Award


At Masses such as our Year 13 Leavers' Mass and Feast Day Mass we celebrate pupil achievement.

Displays around school

One of the main aims of our displays around school is to celebrate pupil achievement.

Annual Rewards Day

There is an annual Rewards Day for students in Years 8 – 11, who meet the set criteria for a positive contribution to school life. The visit is a full day off-site, co-ordinated by the Pastoral Team. In recent years, the destination was LightWater Valley theme park.

Lightwater Valley September 2016