St. Mary’s is a place to thrive and we offer a diverse range of opportunities to our students.
Within school we have a number of mentoring programs where Sixth Form students support younger students in their learning, particularly in English and Maths. This has tangible benefits for those being mentored and encourages our more senior students to develop their personal leadership skills and contribute to our community. We also have a number of trained anti-bullying ambassadors that understand how to support other students and ensure we maintain a safe and caring environment for all.
In Year 13 our students have the opportunity to become an elected student manger. This role involves supporting and organizing key school events, contributing to charity fundraising initiatives and helping our Year 7 students when they start with us at St. Mary’s. From this group we also elect a Head Boy and Head Girl and a Deputy for each. This year our senior students have contributed greatly to the promotion of our Sixth Form and also to the decision making and direction of the school. Senior students sit on the Student Council and give a valued voice on behalf of our older students.
The Bambisanani Partnership
Other opportunities that are available include becoming part of the Bambisanani Partnership. This is a unique collaboration developed by St. Mary’s Menston in Leeds, UK and Mnyakanya High School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Bambisanani is the Zulu word meaning 'working hand in hand'. 'Bambisanani' aptly encapsulates the philosophy of the partnership which significantly now includes both the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University as key members. Our partnership uses sport as a major catalyst to develop international understanding, education, health and leadership. Each year, selected Sixth Form students complete a program of leadership development, culminating in a 10-day visit to Mnyakanya High School in South Africa where they work with young people, using sport to develop and pass on their teaching and leadership skills.
Many students also sign up for World Challenge. Past Challenges include those to the Himalayas, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The students raise money for the trips themselves and during their visit there is an expedition phase and a community project. This may be to work in developing a community resource such as a school, or a conservation project.
Many of our subject departments organize educational visits to enhance learning and progression. There are visits to London for subjects within the Creative Faculty, Geography visits to places such as Iceland or Italy and many other day or residential visits that aim to broaden horizons and support learning. Biannually there is also a Ski Trip to the USA.