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St. Mary's Sixth Formers present research findings

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Three Upper Sixth Formers from St. Mary’s have been presenting the findings of the high-level research projects they completed during the summer holiday. Niamh Thomas, Sam McGuire and Philip Thornton competed against hundreds of other applicants to win bursaries from the Nuffield Foundation which enabled them to spend four weeks working alongside professional scientists.
Head Girl Niamh Thomas from Blundellsands undertook her research at Liverpool University and Unilever, working on a project which focused on the purity of polyacrylic acid which is used in the manufacture of products such as nappies. The acid becomes safer to use as its purity increases.
Sam McGuire from Southport was based at Liverpool John Moores University for his research which looked at the use of microscopic parasites to tackle the problem of harmful insects such as mosquitoes.
Philip Thornton from Crosby also conducted his research at JMU, working on a so-called ‘big data’ project looking at data sets so large and complex that they are difficult to process using traditional applications.
All three students spoke about the projects and their findings recently at the annual Nuffield Presentation Evening at the World Museum in Liverpool.
Niamh Thomas commented, “Working on this research was an interesting and valuable experience in its own right, as well as being a very useful addition to my Personal Statement for my UCAS application.”
St. Mary’s Head of Biology and Nuffield Co-ordinator, Nicola Addy, added, “Niamh, Sam and Philip have followed in the footsteps of a large number of other St. Mary’s students who have won these prestigious Nuffield bursaries over the years. They are a fantastic opportunity for our Sixth Formers to get involved in high-level scientific research, and I know they have learned a huge amount from their work on these three important and interesting projects.”


St. Mary's supports Remembrance Day events

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Students from St. Mary’s College played an important role in a number of Remembrance Day events this week. The whole school took part in a special ceremony on Armistice Day to commemorate the time in 1918 that the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.
As part of this service, the College paid tribute to former pupils who have been killed in action.  Their names are recorded on a plaque within the school building, where a wreath was laid in their honour. Staff and students observed a two-minute silence to mark the poignant occasion, and the Last Post was played by pupil Ben Shenton, 15, from Southport. The Exhortation was given by St. Mary’s Governor and former Head of Sixth Form, Daniel Magill, who taught at the school for 30 years before retiring in 2011.
Students from St. Mary’s were also involved in the Borough of Sefton’s civic remembrance events this week. Members of the Combined Cadet Force took part in the official ceremony at the Five Lamps in Waterloo, while musicians from the school performed during another civic remembrance event staged at the war memorial in Alexandra Park in Crosby. 
As well as these remembrance events on the home front, the Combined Cadet Force recently took part in a major European commemoration. They were invited by the Parachute Regiment to visit Arnhem in The Netherlands to take part in events marking the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, one of the most important battles of the Second World War.
Here they visited the graves of two former pupils killed in this critical campaign - Myles O’Shaughnessy and Michael Hebbert - whose names are included on the school plaque.
Principal Mike Kennedy said, “St. Mary’s has a strong affinity with the armed forces because of the thriving cadet contingent which is based here at the school. For this reason, Remembrance Day is a very special event here, giving the whole school community the opportunity to honour the courage and sacrifice of the British men and women killed during two World Wars and other conflicts.”

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