Posted on Friday 9th November 2018

The Write Path-an international writing collaboration

Fifteen Werneth students in year seven took part in an engaging and exciting writing initiative on 7th November 2018.  Over the course of the day, six stories - started by well-known teen and children's authors - were added to by students from all over the UK and the USA. In total, seven schools were working collaboratively on our story starters. Each school had the stories for an hour: to read, add their own paragraphs, and upload to the website, ready for the next school to take over.  If you would like to look at our stories, click the following link, and then 'Stories 7/11/2018.
https://www.writepathint.com/ The fun doesn't stop here. We now have the opportunity to vote for our favourite stories, as there are prizes up for grabs for all of the participating students. Additionally, the stories will all be turned into a book in the early part of 2019, for students and relatives to purchase! An extremely famous, and wildly popular illustrator has agreed to illustrate the front cover, too. We are all looking forward to seeing our published stories in print!

This week has seen students participate in two events at Old Trafford through our partnership with the MU Foundation. The first event, WWE Anti Bullying, was on Tuesday, for four Year 7 students. It included 2 WWE wrestlers (Amber Moon & Dana Brook), and former Man United footballer Wes Brown. The day included a workshop around different types of bullying, and the effect they can have on people. The special guests spoke about their history of bullying and how they dealt with it. The students then got to finish the day off with a stadium tour and learn interesting facts about the club.

The second event was on Wednesday, where five Year 10 students visited Old Trafford to participate in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge. They have been working on their own business plan within school, and on Wednesday they delivered this plan to a panel of judges, Dragons Den style. The students presented with style, and represented Werneth exceptionally, gaining praise from all judges. One student stood from all the schools in attendance to win 2 match tickets for the Champions League game vs Young Boys at the end of November at Old Trafford.

Our school musicians will once again this weekend play a key role in the Cenotaph Remembrance service in Bredbury this Sunday.  Meanwhile in school, we have been creating our own memorial.  Year 8 student ambassadors Tyler, Elyce and Natalie have recycled plastic bottles to create poppies for the school remembrance wreath. It has been displayed in our heart space in the centre of school for everyone to see.


Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018

We return for the 8 week run-up to Christmas, and this half term is always full of key events.  Central to that will be our Presentation Evening for last year’s GCSE students on 15th November, and our mock examinations for our current Year 11.  Our Year 11s have been given their mock timetables today, and you can see a copy of it here.

On Wednesday 7th November Goyt Valley Youth Provision are presenting the parkour facility idea to our students. Please look at the designs that have been produced by Natural Sport and Russell Play and fill in the survey by clicking on this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goytparkour. Students will be able to fill out a paper copy at lunchtime on the 7th November. For more information click here.

Dates for your diaries …

Other events this half term include the launch of our Adidas Academy to Year 7 on Monday, Year 11 Parents’ Consultation Evening on 22nd November, Year 9 GCSE Information Evening on 29th November and our Christmas Concert is on 19th December.  A reminder to parents that students are not in school on Friday 7th December due to staff training.

Mrs Craven updated me this week with some good news with regard to our construction group in Year 11.  They have been successful in passing their functional skills mathematics qualifications.    Due to the pleasing progress of all individuals in the group it has now been decided to increase the ‘Certificate in Multi-Trade’ to a ‘Diploma’, which will entail stand-alone units in wallpaper hanging, fitting ironmongery, wall tiling, fitting skirting boards and architrave in a safe manner. The majority of these skills will test their maths ability as the units will require them to measure accurately and work out the amount of materials they will need to avoid excess wastage.  The students are showing great commitment to the course and are supporting each other well.   Some individuals are now beginning to work more independently and show high levels of maturity.  Four of the students completed successful work placements in July and spent the week with a supervisor learning various trades.  Supervisors all reported positive feedback and commenting on attendance, punctuality and enthusiasm during the week.   Congratulations to Construction Student of the Month, Bradley Sutton.

A massive thank you to Wyvale Garden Centre this week for their donation towards our gardening project in school.  Miss Harness is creating a garden area with some of our students, to help with ingredients for food technology lessons.

I was incredibly impressed in the final week of last half term with the quality and presentation of food from our Year 11 Hospitality and Catering group’s examination.  I felt they were producing food of a professional standard!

Over half term, 8 Year 9 students were provided with the opportunity to flag bear for the Champions League game at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Juventus. The flag bearing consisted of the students standing in the centre circle pre game, holding the Champions League flag as the players enter the pitch. The atmosphere was amazing, and the students represented themselves and the school exceptionally.  We also had the opportunity to hand out some match tickets to students for the Juventus game, where there were 3 lucky Year 9 winners who got to attend the game.  Manchester United Foundation continues to support us with improving achievement too, currently working with our Year 11 students in Mathematics to focus revision.

Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Thursday 18th October 2018

As we break up for half term, I reflect back on a week of pride with the production of High School Musical.  Our team of performers in drama, dance and music once again produced a fantastic show at Romiley Forum to three paying audiences this week, and our primary feeder schools.  As ever, I was very proud of the talent on show, and can see that the future is safe with some of our lower school students taking first steps on the stage.  On behalf of all of the students, I would like to thank the many Werneth staff, returning students and volunteer helpers who made the show such a success.   Here are a selection of memories from the week ...

Meanwhile in Maths, Mr Brighton was proud to reward sixty students this week with a certificate and badge for endeavour or excellence in Mathematics this half term.  Well done to everyone who has excelled in this crucial subject.

We have said a fond farewell to one of our teaching assistants Mrs Eyre, who retires this week.  Mrs Eyre has supported many young people with excellence over many years at Werneth, and she also plays a key role in many events, particularly with High School Musical where she plays a key role every year.  We wish her every success for the future!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable half term.  We will welcome our students back on Monday 29th October.

Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Friday 12th October 2018

Today is a Stockport-wide initiative to raise awareness of the funding issues within all Stockport schools.  Please read the information on our website, contact your MP William Wragg and sign our petition in school reception if you can.  This is a very real concern for every headteacher, and impacts on the education of our children. Read more here

Meanwhile, back in school …. Fundraising to sponsor a guide dog has continued this term with year 7 pupils joining the team. The pupils have organised refreshments at various school events and year 9 pupils organised a disco for our new year 7s. However, we are still quite a long way off our target of £1500. If we manage to raise this, not only will we get to name our sponsored dog but we will also get a visit from them too! With this in mind, Thursday 18th October will be a non-uniform day where we request that pupils donate a minimum of £1 to be able to come to school in their own clothes. This can be paid via Parent Pay. Your support in this matter, as we try to demonstrate to the pupils how they can have such a powerful and positive effect on someone else’s life, is much appreciated.

After several weeks of rehearsal, all the cast and staff are very excited about our upcoming “High School Musical” show week.  We have performed an extract from the show in each year group assembly and the response has been fantastic!  So many pupils have said “it’s amazing” and that they “can’t wait to see it properly” at Romiley Forum.  If you haven’t got your tickets already, you can order them through the school office, Mrs Eyre or the Production Team.  Alternatively you can email us at show@wernethschool.com.  First night is on Monday and we finish Wednesday.  Tickets start from £5:00.  Please come and support our school!

In football, Mr Brierley was delighted with the fantastic cup results for Y7 (7-2) against Reddish and Y9 (4-1) against Priestnall to progress to the Quarter Finals. Well done to both teams!

Year 10 Caterers have been making cheesecake this week with a focus on presentation and portion control. They have worked beautifully well and produced some lovely, professional looking products. Miss Harness took three photographs from the students showing the most progress since the start of the year.

Our Year 11s received a motivational talk from national guest speaker David Hyner on Thursday, discussing the importance of goal setting and how to revise.  Our Year 11s seemed to really enjoy his wacky style of presentation and it was good to see their confidence increase.

Our students are looking great in their uniforms, some of which are brand new.
Could I just ask that you put your child's name on items, so that we can get them back to them as quickly as possible - especially bags/PE/Expressive Arts kit and shoes?  It is amazing how many items we have already just after one half-term!
Many thanks.

Finally, a reminder that school breaks up next Thursday at 3.10pm for half term as Friday is a staff training day.  School returns on Monday 29th October.

Andrew Conroy



Posted on Friday 5th October 2018

This Thursday, a group of 42 Year 11 students visited The Lowry Theatre to watch the National Theatre’s touring production of Macbeth. Students thoroughly enjoyed the performance commenting that ‘it really makes a difference when you see it on stage instead of reading it. It makes me realise how much Macbeth changes in the play’.  Year 11 are studying the play as part of their GCSE English Literature course and the performance helped many of them to see the play in a new light. 

A Group of Year 10 students hosted a Coffee Morning this week in support of MacMillan Nurses.  This event gave them the opportunity to practice their Key Skills around Customer Service, Planning and Finance.  The event was well supported by staff from across the School who complimented the Students on their organisation and Customer Service.  Overall the event was a great success, building on their confidence and also raising £100 for this very worthy cause.

We have had a week of innovative learning experiences this week.  Our key stage 3 classes have been working on Maths projects in the hall, coming up with answers to complex questions concerning Old Trafford – for example, how many square centimetres are there on the pitch, and how many gallons of drinks are served on a match day.  We are trying to embed a thirst for Maths as a crucial subject at GCSE.  Meanwhile, in Science, some of our Year 11 students experienced an express revision session this week aimed at embedding some of the complex scientific requirements for GCSE, delivered by external providers.  They enjoyed the session, and we will be providing further sessions for Year 11 through the year.

Congratulations to our “Book of Excellence” winners this week:
Year 7 Libby for Art
Year 8 Natalie for Computing, Kieran for Geography
Year 9 Adam for Food Technology
Year 10 Laykon for Design Technology, Roshna for English
Year 11 Rose for Drama


Next Friday, all Stockport headteachers at primary and secondary level are publicising a key message to highlight the shortages in funding received by Stockport schools.  I will be publicising the message below more openly on our website next week.  However, in the meantime, please have a read of our joint statement and plea for action:

Our Children in Stockport are Worth More: A Day of Positive Action by Stockport Schools Friday 12th October 2018

Stockport is one of the worst funded education authorities in England. Even with the new funding proposals our children receive less money per pupil than many of the local Greater Manchester authorities and we currently sit in the worst half funded of schools in the country having previously been136th of 150 authorities. On average our students attract around £1000 per pupil less than those who attend Manchester schools.

Representatives of primary and secondary head teacher groups met with Damian Hinds in June to put forward our case for better funding. They explained the great divide between our schools funding and others in the country and the impact that this was having on our schools.

School leaders have continued to make difficult choices to best resource our schools and provide the best opportunities for our learners but with rising costs, demands to maintain school buildings and the continuous challenge of meeting expectations for all, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Currently, we are proud of the outcomes for our children and despite the funding constraints we are able to provide quality first teaching for all. Our school budgets however, are quickly diminishing in real terms and as schools approach breaking point very difficult decisions regarding provision will inevitably have to be made.

As a collective of school leaders across all phases and settings we continue to call on the Secretary of State for Education to increase funding for all those within early years, primary, secondary and special schools. 
We ask that as parents, you continue to lobby our local MP William Wragg to make them aware of our situation and to further reiterate the circumstances our schools are in.

Last week, Head teachers from all over the country took the unprecedented step to illustrate their concerns over school funding by staging a march from Parliament Square to Downing Street to present a letter highlighting concerns. Stockport was represented in this march.

For pupils with additional needs we are concerned that the High Needs budget is not fit for purpose. Schools are under enormous pressure to provide appropriate entitlement of support as numbers continue to increase and pupils are presenting with a range of complexities in many cases. Under the proposed formula schools are increasingly challenged to deliver on outcomes for learners identified with additional needs.

Funding for early years childcare is also stretched, particularly as a result of the introduction of Government funding levels for 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare. School budgets are not equipped adequately to cover the basic costs of delivery.

Funding for Stockport’s schools in recent years remains out of line with inflation and although some schools saw a modest increase in funding for 2018-19 this has been eroded by increasing costs including salary and pension increases, growing recruitment costs, inflation and the burden of paying into the Apprenticeship Levy.

Friday 12th October is a day we would like our voices to be heard. Rather our children and families’ voices to be heard. Schools in the authority will be carrying out a range of activities to look further into how more funds could and would enhance the learning experiences for our children.

Our children will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the educational experiences they feel they are entitled to.

Parents will be invited to write to and talk to local MPs to share the collective view.
We look forward to a positive day of action and one where we have a chance to share our thoughts and further improve outcomes for our children.

The Schools of Stockport.

Andrew Conroy



Posted on Friday 28th September 2018

It’s been a long and productive week here at Werneth, with plenty of news items to report on ….

I’ve been pleased to receive a number of complimentary letters over the last few weeks from parents commenting on the transition of Year 7 students, and how well students have settled.  It is always pleasing when we hear that some of our students with the most complex needs have been supported well on this journey.  That’s where our SEN department fit in, and they cope with a whole host of complex needs every day in school.  This week I was delighted to attend a ceremony where one of our teaching assistants was rewarded and recognised by a national company for her work within the department.    Mrs Sutcliffe has worked in the SEN department at Werneth School for 27 years.  She is a highly motivated and enthusiastic member of staff, and is passionate about her job role.  She is one of the first in the school building, and often one of the last to leave every day! Mrs Sutcliffe goes above and beyond to find out about our SEN students and to form good working relationships with them.   She thoroughly deserves this award. Well done Mrs Sutcliffe!

There’s a real buzz in the air with our all-new Geography department this year….  Mr Nicholls, our new Head of Geography, reports that “38 Year 11 Geography pupils went out to the river Noe in the Peak district this week. They completed a river study for their GCSE whereby they measured how parameters such as velocity and discharge changed as you move down the river. All of our pupils were incredible. They were in the river, working as teams to complete the tasks as well as working alongside instructors from the outdoor centre with scientific equipment. Well done and thank you to all those involved.”

Thank you to Mrs Smith from our English department, who organised a welcome disco for our Year 7 students this week in our Main Hall, in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  The event was well attended by Year 7s and also some of our teachers too!

Our PE department took a coach of students to Old Trafford on Tuesday, to watch Manchester United’s League Cup defeat to Derby County.  It was an exciting penalty shoot out and I hear the students really enjoyed the occasion.  Mr Brierley reports that it’s been difficult to keep the smile from Mr Sims’ face though, as a committed Derby County supporter.

A reminder that our ever spectacular school production is taking place the week after next.  “High School Musical” will take place at Romiley Forum from Monday 15th October until Wednesday 17th October.  Tickets can be obtained from our school office, or from Mrs Eyre in school.  I’ve had a few sneak previews of some of the musical dance routines, and I’m sure it will maintain the excellent standards of recent years.

We are having a push on punctuality at the moment.  Attendance matters, but so does being on time.  When we are asked to provide references for colleges and employers, it is always one of the first questions we are asked.  A reminder that students should be in school at 8.40am ready for registration.  We are also concerned that a small number of our students are smoking outside of school, and bringing cigarettes into school with them.  As such, we are currently implementing a new regular search system where we have suspicions of this: all about maintaining and pushing standards. 

The school were delighted to be awarded a number of trophies at this week's Stockport Schools Sports Partnership Presentation.  The schools were awarded trophies for 'Commitment to Leadership and Volunteer' and 'Commitment to Sporting competitions'.  

Finally, a serious note to end on.  You may have heard that 1000 headteachers from across the country are marching in Westminster today to protest against cuts to school budgets.  I don’t have the time to do that, but I wholeheartedly support their message.  As you may be aware, Stockport is one of the poorest funded local authorities in the country, receiving an annual budget that is almost half that received by southern schools.  It’s a struggle to balance resources and make decisions on what we can and can’t do as schools in this area, and I believe that isn’t fair on our young people.  I hope we can look towards a future where the government invests in young people to create a brighter future for our country.


Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Friday 21st September 2018

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am very keen to develop as many of our students as possible to become the leaders of tomorrow.  We have many student leaders in school, ranging from sports leaders to environmental leaders to leaders working with teachers in developing learning.  I was really pleased this week to see that our School Council have been busy working with Transport for Greater Manchester. They have produced a video called ‘School Buses for Beginners’ to help our new students with travel arrangements. The video has been shared with our local primary schools.

It was our Post-16 evening yesterday, where colleges and apprenticeship providers were present in school to meet parents of Year 10 and Year 11 students: over 130 sets of parents attended the event.  A reminder that, if you need signposting help with careers or options when students leave school, you can contact us in school for help via Mrs Lewis.  We are reminding Year 11s of key dates in assemblies, and completing valuable preparation work in Life Learning lessons.

Book of Excellence winners this week:

Year 7 Eve – Practical work on cells in Science
Year 8 Luke – homework on Native American culture in Art
Year 9 Lucy – Research in Photography
Year 10 Alexandru – Descriptive writing in English
Year 11 Caitlin – Independence in Science

Looking for a part time job?  I’ve been asked to advertise this by Stockport local authority …. we currently have several vacancies in the Romiley area. The jobs are advertised on the council website but we are still struggling to recruit.  We tend to find the job attracts retired people looking to top up their pensions or midday assistant staff.  It may be that some grandparents are looking for work.

It's that time of year for tummy bugs and the like. Could we ask students to remember to wash their hands before they eat and after using the toilet. Let’s keep those bugs at bay!

Finally, a well done and thank you to our great Werneth bake off contestants from last week’s Open Evening.  Mrs Oakes writes that “ eight students from all year groups participated in the challenge to bake a pastry, biscuit or cake of their choice using our fantastic kitchens in A12.  Prospective parents and students were given the opportunity to taste the delights and then each item was judged by Miss Harness, Mrs Oakes and Mr Conroy.  The judging was tough, but joint winners were Kate from Year 11 and Eloise from Year 9 with their chocolate and peanut butter swiss roll, and carrot and walnut cake.  Very close runners up were Bryony from Year 11 with pink cupcakes, and Libby from Year 7 with vanilla cake.  Congratulations also to Amelia (Year 7), Tommy (Year 9), Tyler (Year 8) and Alex (Year 10).  They all worked so hard to create gorgeous dishes.  Keep baking everyone!”



Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Friday 14th September 2018

I was very proud of our students and staff this week as we showed off our school to families at our annual Open Evening on Thursday.  We had well over 200 families looking around the school.  It was lovely to hear the many positive comments about the welcoming feel of our school, alongside the many new and exciting resources at Werneth.

Our Year 7 new starters have had a second excellent week: we are very proud of their start to their secondary school careers.  I have had the pleasure to teach many of them a lesson on developing independence this week and been impressed with their contributions.  They have also taken part in introductory sessions on a range of themes such as developing respect, maintaining excellent attendance, study habits and pride in their work.

We have also had our first winners of our "Book of Excellence" award this week, for students who display excellent work in a particular subject:

Winners were Callum in Year 7 for Maths, Harley in Year 8 for Art, Sophie in Year 9 for Chemistry, Gemma in Year 10 for Photography and Naomi in Year 11 for Science.  All received their awards on Friday!

A reminder that our website now contains an additional tab where – if you wish to book any of our school resources in the evening or at weekends – you can do so electronically via the website.  We offer very competitive rates for both outdoor or indoor use of our facilities, and of course all money generated is spent on our students to improve their education.


Attendance REALLY matters

I have already sent this message out to parents but we still have too many students who have missed the start of term due to holidays taken in term-time. Missing school for any reason is likely to deprive a child of educational opportunities and hamper their progress at school.  Although I acknowledge that it is much cheaper to take holidays outside of school holidays, giving permission for leave of absence in term time has to be balanced against the effect on students’ progress at school.

In September 2013 the government abolished the right of headteachers to authorise absence specifically for holidays and, therefore, leave of absence from Werneth School will now only be granted if exceptional circumstances exist. The effect of this change means that the government expects it to be extremely unusual for leave of absence, including for holidays in term time, to be permitted by schools. It is now very rare for Werneth School to authorise any time off school for the purpose of a holiday.

If due to exceptional reasons you do need to request leave of absence please submit a Leave of Absence Request form to me at least 4 weeks before the start of the proposed absence. Forms can be downloaded from the website or can be obtained from school. I take the issue of school attendance very seriously and parents should be aware that where leave of absence is taken during term time without permission, we will ask the Local Authority to issue an Education Penalty Notice fine. Similarly, where parents take their child on holiday but inform school of illness, we must ask for medical evidence and request an Education Penalty Notice fine if this is not received.

Andrew Conroy

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Posted on Friday 7th September 2018

Welcome back!

I hope all of our families had an enjoyable summer, and it is really pleasing to see our students return to school with a very positive approach to their learning.  I’ve also been delighted with our new Year 7 students, who have had an enjoyable and productive week: they already know their way around the building and I have heard many positive comments from staff about their enthusiasm and hard work.

We were pleased in the summer that our ex-Year 11s produced a set of examination results that continued to move the school in the right direction.  It will be a while before I am entirely happy with our results, but this year showed some clear improvement in many areas.  The number of higher grades at GCSE improved markedly this year, with many more students achieving the highest grades 7s, 8s and 9s.  It was lovely to see the hard work rewarded by outstanding grades.  Our English department maintained the positive results from last year, and achievement in both Maths and Science improved in terms of higher grades and students achieving the crucial grade 5 or above.  We experienced significantly improved results also in Computing and Geography, whilst maintaining excellent results in Drama, Food Tech, PE, Music and all of our suite of Visual Arts subjects.  We are determined to continue this positive trend as we start to whip our new Year 11s into shape for the Year 11 journey ahead.

You will have heard no doubt of the national shortage of teachers and how difficult it is to recruit teachers at times.  I am pleased to report that Werneth School is fully staffed, and we welcome a number of new colleagues to our school:

Mr Nicholls is our new Head of Geography, and Mr Millson joins him as Geography teacher.
Mr Golzar and Mr Caswell join our Science department, whilst Miss Harmer, Mrs Rowland and Mr Loizou are new teachers in our Mathematics team.  Miss Bygrave joins us in the English department and Ms McCall is a new member of our Academic Support team, working with our Year 11 Alternative Curriculum group.  We welcome them all to our Werneth team of staff.

Developing student leadership is always a passion of mine, as we strive to create the leaders of tomorrow in our school today.  So it is a particular pleasure to tell you that our School Council are now officially the face of the ‘We Love Stockport’ Campaign.  As recognition of their involvement, the school and students were rewarded with a visit and vouchers from Councillor Bailey, taking the  light hearted comments well about being on the side of Stockport’s bin wagons. As a school, we are very proud that they have put themselves forward for this opportunity and are helping lead the way on recycling and protecting the environment.

Over the Summer, Manchester United Foundation ran a primary school holiday club at Werneth over two weeks. There were a total of 24 young people who participated over the two weeks. The club consisted of classroom activities, football and dodgeball. The children were very well behaved and participated in every activity really positively. There were also two Year 10 students who volunteered and helped Phil McGrath, our Hub Development officer, over the two weeks, and they engaged really well with the young people.

Confirmation that Street Reds, our Friday night free football session, is back up and running now after the Summer break.  Anyone between the ages 8 and 18 are free to attend on our astro turf pitches.  You just need to complete a consent form on arrival before participating.

We are pleased to present a summary of our excellent partnership with Manchester United Foundation.  Click here to read

Could I remind parents to let us know via Year Inclusion Managers if any of your contact details have changed over the summer ( mobile number, address etc ) and also to ensure that clothing and equipment is fully labelled: it’s amazing how quickly items are lost.

Year team leaders are often the first point of contact in school.  This year, they are:


Year Achievement Leader

Year Inclusion Manager

Senior Leader linked to year group

Year 7

Miss L Taylor

Miss Cherrington

Mrs Dee

Year 8

Mrs Massey

Miss Hunt

Mrs Kennedy

Year 9

Mrs Tonge

Mr Jones

Mr Bolland

Year 10

Mr Mujagic

Mrs Lumsden

Mr Norman

Year 11

Mr Bennett

Miss T Taylor

Mrs Chantler/Mrs Foy

Finally, a reminder that it is our Open Evening next Thursday, 13th September.  School is open from 5pm to 8pm.

Andrew Conroy

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