St Mary's salutes 2020 exploits with virtual prize night

By Simon Hart

St Mary’s College in Crosby paid tribute to the achievements of its pupils at a prizegiving ceremony with a difference. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the normally high-profile event at the Metropolitan Cathedral was replaced by a specially produced video which appeared on the school’s website and YouTube channel in December.

The pre-recorded event was hosted by Year 7 pupils Amelia Johnson and Oscar Donnelly and included a pictorial review of the year by Principal Mike Kennedy and performances by some of St Mary’s talented young musicians. Mr Kennedy said: “Because of the pandemic for the first time in many years we were unable to showcase our pupils’ successes in the spectacular cathedral setting. That’s why we opted for a virtual event instead, and I’m very pleased at how much positive feedback we have received about the video.”

Mr Kennedy reported that in 2019/20 St Mary’s had maintained its tradition of both academic excellence and achievement in sport, music and other extra-curricular activities. Highlights ranged from a hit production of the musical ‘Bugsy Malone’ to St Mary’s first school trip to Japan. On the sports field, the U12 and U15 football teams each reached their age-group final in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) Small Schools’ Cup, with the U12s winning St Mary’s first national football trophy by defeating St Michael’s Middle School 2-1 in their final in October. Meanwhile, the U16 netball team were Sefton League winners and the rugby First XV reached the final of the Lancashire Cup.

Mr Kennedy added: “This virtual event enabled us to salute the many individual and team achievements of our pupils over the past 12 months. It also gave us the chance to thank our students, their families and our staff for the incredibly positive way they’ve responded to the many challenges they have faced in what has been a year like no other. In addition, we were able to pay tribute to the many former pupils, and parents and family members of current students, who have been on the frontline of fighting the pandemic, either as NHS staff or key workers in other sectors. They are our heroes of 2020.”