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GCSE Presentation Evening 2021

Former pupils of Corpus Christi celebrated their GCSE awards at the school’s annual Presentation Evening held on Thursday 25 November in the school hall.

The packed hall including families, staff and guests celebrated the achievements of former pupils throughout their five-year education at our school.

After an opening hymn, Head of Year Mr Horn welcomed principal guest Maria McGeoghan, governors and parents and started the evening with a prayer.

Our Vice Chair of Governors, Mrs Lyn Butler introduced herself and then told the ex pupils how proud they should be of themselves, particularly with all they have dealt with over the last 18 months- school closures, the transition to online learning, the stress and uncertainty created by the pandemic. She spoke about how school days prepare you for the rest of your life and is confident that their time at Corpus Christi will have instilled values and formed a solid foundation for their future lives. Parents should be proud of their sons and daughters who, with their guidance, have achieved so much, even though there has probably been much ‘tough love’ along the way. Mrs Butler also paid tribute to the teachers and staff for their hard work.

Headteacher, Mr John Hankin, then gave an address, thanking everyone for attending and mentioning that he felt he shouldn’t be the person stood there as headteacher as he wasn’t in the Headteacher post when they attended Corpus Christi. He explained that he had contacted their former Headteacher Mr Hubbard to see if he would like to attend the event to wish his last year group all the best for their final farewell, but he instantly declined (much to the attendees’ amusement) showing he most definitely is thoroughly enjoying his retirement! Mr Hankin talked about how proud the school was of all its pupils, highlighting the fact they have adapted under challenging circumstances and missed the usual events where they would ordinarily celebrate their time at school. He told of his and fellow staff member’s wish for the pupils, now young adults, to reach their full potential and to be the best person they can be. Finally, he introduced our special guest, Maria McGeoghan, listing her impressive achievements during her career in Journalism. He thanked her for joining us on the evening to present special awards and prizes.

Presentation of certificates by Mrs Butler to all students then got underway with every pupil coming to the stage in groups to receive their certificates.

Maria McGeoghan, a former pupil of Corpus Christi from 1973 to 1978, then addressed the audience initially about her memories of being a pupil at then St. Thomas More, long before the days of social media and mobile phones. She started by saying it was ‘spooky to be back’ in the hall, after fondly remembering the school discos she attended. Her family, originally from Holme Slack, still have close ties to the school, with one of her six brother John having recently been on the governing panel.

Her extensive career ranges from being the first female editor of the Manchester Evening News, a producer on the Victoria Derbyshire BBC Radio Five Live show, and she currently holds the post of ‘Head of Internal Communications and Engagement’ for the BBC in England, Scotland and Wales. Communication has turned out to be more crucial than ever, with the majority of staff working from home in the pandemic, ‘a global pandemic was never part of the script!’ she told.

The successful journalist brought many laughs with her questioning, asking if anyone had thought of eating dog biscuits, in an attempt demonstrate her first point, being honest! She went on to give invaluable advice, reinforced by her own experience, which included 10 main points: if you don’t understand, then ask; be kind; cherish your work experience; keep in touch with people; strengthen the areas you have weakness in; don’t be late; stick to your guns; hold your hands up if you’ve made a mistake; volunteer; believe in God and you will always have someone by your side.

Maria used her wit and stories of experience to expand on each point, adding how she’s learnt these treasured lessons. For example, she was once late for an interview and somebody said to her ‘you are assuming your time is more important than mine’, something which stuck with her.

She congratulated all pupils, hoping they all enjoy celebrating their achievements at tonight’s ceremony, wishing them every success in their journeys in life, ending with the inspiring words ‘The world is yours- go and grab it’.

Maria McGeoghan was then invited back onto the stage to present the subject awards, together with each head of department announcing the winners, providing reasons why each winner had achieved the award.

Subject Prizes:

English LanguageSzymon Kotula
English LiteratureHeli Bhakta
MathsYusef Kamal
BiologyZubeda Merchant
ChemistryZeid Al-Arqan
PhysicsRishabh Parekh
Double ScienceOlivia Cleminson
RELucy Simpkin
GeographyMax Sury
GCSE PEEllie-May Duffy
Sports ScienceMaddison Ash
ArtKate O’Donnell
Business StudiesReon Hines
GermanGeorgia Walkden-Fenerty
HistoryJosh Dickinson
Computer ScienceCharlie Shorrock
Resistant MaterialsCharlie Knowles
Child DevelopmentCharlie Iddon
DramaKatelynn Baines
Food TechnologyJoshua Hardman
GraphicsAdam Newton
TextilesFatima Babar

Mr Hankin went on to present the ‘Special Recognition’ prizes which started with several past pupils receiving Senior Leadership awards for outstanding contributions to school life, culminating with the Head Teacher’s Prize for Head Boy and Head Girl. Pupil achievements, both academic and school life generally were read out prior to the special awards being presented with recipients coming onto the stage, always accompanied by applause to receive their award.

Special Prizes:

John Rawthorne ShieldICTHollie Stone
Vaughn ShieldCreative ArtsEllie May Swindlehurst
Simpson ShieldScienceZeid Al-Arqan
Basil McGowan ShieldSchool LifeAdam Newton
Cannon Taylor ShieldOutstanding Effort and EndeavourCaitlin Stoney
Michael McDermott Memorial TrophyEndeavour and Role ModelOlivia Cleminson
Bishop Foley TrophyAcademic ExcellenceEllie-May Duffy
Knights of St ColumbaService to SchoolAli Mohseni
Bernard Loffler Memorial TrophyMaximising Potential at School Umayr Amin
Headteacher’s Prize for the Head Boy and Head GirlCharlie Shorrock and Heli Bhakta

Mr Horn presented a special gift of thanks to guest speaker Maria McGeoghan. The evening’s event then concluded with the closing hymn ‘Sing it in the Valleys’. Head of Year Mr Horn finally wished all pupils happiness with the hope that they all fulfill their dreams in the future and the school will look forward to hearing about their journeys. He ended by playing a slideshow montage of photos from the pupils’ five years at Corpus Christi.

Later, refreshments were served in Il Cenacolo by the catering team giving former pupils the chance to catch up with friends, teachers and form tutors.

GALLERY IDS TO USE – 5838,6024,3835,4830,4856,6291,5676,3115,4823,5576

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: