As another academic year begins, we take you on a journey through the previous year as we celebrate a year in the life of EMS.  Click the links along the way to read the full stories and look through the pictures.

Or if you want a quick highlight reel of images from the year then watch this video!


A new term begins and our new cohort of fresh-faced Year 7 students arrive for their first taste of life at EMS.

While they were settling in our Year 13 Biologists were straight to work as they visited Newcastle University for a workshop on DNA Profiling (Story Here)

Later in the month, our House Teams organised a Charity Coffee Morning and invited Parents and Carers of their new intake of Year 7 students to a Coffee Morning to raise money for five special charities.  They raised over £560 which was split equally.

Auditions and rehearsals for the 2017 Musical, Annie! also started.


In October, our Sixth Form students were visited by retired immunologist and Holocaust survivor, Martin Stern.  A real treat for anyone who got to see the talk. (Story Here).  While Year 12 and 13 were still talking about the talk, a group of 46 Year 9 & 10 students were heading out on retreat to the Youth Village and our first house competition of the year, Cross Country, was getting underway.

Back and recovered from the retreat, Anne-Marie, our school Chaplain, started Rosary Studies with Year 7 students in their RE lessons. There they learned about the special relationship between Jesus and his mother and were each given Rosary beads and shown how Catholics use them in prayer.


A group of Year 10 students took part in a Global Entrepreneurship Week competition – and won – for the third successive year!

November is officially musical month at EMS and around 800 audience members over four sell-out nights got to witness the culmination of the previous 7 weeks of rehearsing, planning and building as we brought the Annie! to St. Anne’s Hall stage. Annie, played by Year 9 student, Emily Barnard, tells the unforgettable story of a young girl forced to endure the misery of an orphanage run by the greedy Miss Hannigan, played by Year 13 student, Alice Relton.  It was a huge success with many messages of support being left on the school’s social media channels. This year is Oliver – keep your eyes out for tickets soon!

Another of our annual House competitions also got underway with the Advent Wreath Making competition.  Always a popular one and starts getting you into the Christmas Spirit as we enter December.


A surprisingly busy month on the run up to Christmas with plenty of stories. It starts with Amy McBean, one of our Sixth Form students being selected as an NCS Ambassador.

The Year 12 students were organising fundraising events galore as part of their MET course including Candy Cane Hunts, Football Tournaments and a Go Green Day.  All the money raised went to CAFOD.

We took part in our annual whole school Christmas Jumper Day to support local charity Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group. This was the third successive year of supporting and raised £1040 for them.

Keeping in line with the charity fundraising, representatives from Miles 4 Men came into school and we donated a cheque worth £1,856.63 from our mini fun run we did as part of the Year 6 transition in the previous July.  Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the event had to be postponed and re-visited when the students joined the school in September.  The students completed the runs in their PE lessons. (Story Here)

We then moved onto our annual Awards Evening with Guest of Honour, football legend, Kevin Ball.   Kevin joins a long list of celebrities, including Jeff Stelling, Jonny Wilkinson and the late Ronnie Corbett, who have supported the event since the very first back in 1981. The awards evening is held to recognise the achievement of pupils from both lower school and sixth form over the previous academic year.  A fabulous night in the school calendar.

From this, we moved to St. Hilda’s Church on Hartlepool’s historic headland, who played host for our Annual Christmas Concert. There was standing room only as people poured through the doors to enjoy an evening of carols and readings in the stunning venue, once again stamping its popularity in our busy calendar of events.

And Rest……


After the Christmas break, we held a Year 9 Vocations Day. When students are in Year 9, they begin to make choices that could impact the future of their education, they take their options! What better time to talk to them about the plan that God has for them. Students were encouraged to think big, not to set their heart on only one ambition but to know that wherever they go, God will be with them.

We popped into Mrs Quinn’s Year 12 Biology lessons to see them dissecting lambs hearts.  You’ve heard of the expression ‘Pulling on the Heart Strings’ – Head over to the Story to actually see them!

Then it was back into the House Competitions, this time a Year 7-9 Quiz.  Always a popular event with the students.  Blessed John Ingram defended their title to take the trophy and more importantly, those precious House Points.


February brings the next of our big music events – EMS Live! The re-invented Rock Night (which wasn’t very Rock anymore) gives the whole school the opportunity to get up on stage in St. Anne’s Hall to perform.  2018 saw a bigger line up than ever before with a packed running order of songs from students from Year 7 right through to Year 13 some treading the boards for the very first time. As usual, the staff got involved too with the Music Department, Mr Hammond, Mr Hope and Miss Finken all having a slot and getting in on the fun.  There’s videos of performance in the story.

This month also saw the launch of a new website feature we are pretty proud of at EMS – Stranded Island SongsBased on the popular Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs, every fortnight Mr Morrison asks his fellow colleagues to take on the difficult task of picking eight songs, a book and a luxury item to take with them when they are stranded on an island.  What started out as a demo of recording in an ICT lesson is here to stay.  Season 1 finished before the summer and we are hoping to bring Season 2 in October.

In this month, a group of our Year 13 students embarked on a trip to the Northern Stage in Newcastle to see The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet which is currently touring the UK. (Story Here) and we held a Non-Uniform Day to raise money for our five House Charities and our Lent charity, The Alan Shearer Foundation.

Our set of Sports Leaders who had been working on their qualification since June received their certificates. The award involved 36 hours of both guided and peer-to-peer learning and the aim of the award is for students to develop vital life skills such as teamwork, communication, planning and organisation through sport, and receive a formally recognised qualification.


Did it snow in March?  Really?  Three days off school because the UK ground to a halt?  Yep, that’s right we did!  Seems like a lifetime ago now and we’ll have ‘snow’ more of it thank you.

One Night Only is a complete showcase from our Music & Performing Arts Department combining all the disciplines we teach here at EMS.  Our GCSE and A Level Musicians, our GCSE Dance group and A Level Performing Arts. As if that wasn’t enough, then we opened it up to any other student who wanted to take part which culminated in a fabulous performance. Dancing, Singing, Musicians – the full package! All performed for One Night Only by the talented students of EMS.

March also saw the launch of the new EMS Parent App. I’ll not mention too much about that here, however, if you are a parent/carer of a child in school you NEED to get the app.  Full instructions and everything you need to know is on the website.

Our EMA also held their annual Easter Egg Tombola – always a popular couple of break times with the students!

We had our annual House Gaming Competition for Year 10 & 11.  Game of choice – Fifa!  Won by John Boste

And finally, Ignite – this year’s Hip Hop troupe competed in the Hartlepool School’s Hip Hop Competition.


April in a generally quiet month as we get ready for those GCSE Exams starting in May and the Easter Holidays.  One great bit of news was the results of our Section 48 Inspection.

It’s ‘Good’ news for the staff and students at The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College. Leadership, Catholic life, Collective Worship and Religious Education were praised in the recent Section 48 inspection which completes the Section 5 Ofsted inspection from 2017. Inspector Pat Witte described the overall effectiveness as ‘Good’ across the board stating: “English Martyrs is a good Catholic school. Staff and pupils display a sense of belonging to this highly supportive community.”

We are pretty proud of this!


In May, we have our annual House Public Speaking CompetitionThis year we had that many entries we had to split it into two categories (Y7-9 & Y10-11).  Have a look at the story on the website for the winners and videos of their performances.  There are some extremely thought-provoking topics.

Our House leaders also selected all the Year 10 students who would go on to don the Yellow Tie and become prefects for the coming year.

The GCSE and A Level exams begin.


In June we launched our new Recommended Reading List.  The list of books, compiled by Mrs Fox of the English Department, is a large selection of books split into two age categories. 

Season One of Stranded Island Songs concluded with Mr Hammonds episode – Listen here.

The end of June always sees the celebration of the exams finishing for our Year 11 and 13 students.  The weather was glorious (for a change) for our Year 11 Prom at Hardwick Hall.  The students donned their sparkly dresses and sharp suits for the event most students look forward to their entire school lives.


In July our final two house events take place.  The first is the House Chess Tournament and later in the month, we have Sports Day. The last chances to grab points before we crown the winners on the final day of term.  This year the overall winners were John Boste.  You can see a full list of the house events and points on the House Teams page.  Hurry though, we’ll be resetting them soon!

We also held a sponsored Readathon. Student’s were sponsored to read their books for the entire school day to raise money for the Read for Good Charity.

Hannah Reece of Year 13 was awarded Schools’ Physicist of the Year 2018 at the Durham University awards ceremony in association with the Ogden Trust. 

Our Year 12 Biologists had their 3-day field trip.  The Story for this one was written by year 12 student, Lucy Tindall and it is a great read. Well done Lucy!

Year 11 leaver, Cole Kiernan signs for Sunderland Football Club.   He has been signed up to Sunderland AFC’s Scholarship Programme and is well on the road to becoming a professional footballer in the coming years.  He’s been attending the Academy Programme on day release during his time at EMS.

We invited you to Meet the Masters. Students who are top achievers in their year group for all three terms in an academic year are awarded The Masters Certificate to acknowledge their excellence.

And finally, nothing closes the summer term like the annual Summer Concert. The concert is the final event of the school calendar held by our fabulous Music and Performing Arts department.  The evening showcases the hard work that is put in by our students year after year in the different extra-curricular clubs held by the department.

Summer Holidays Begin!


While everyone is enjoying their summer, our Year 11 and Year 13 students are eagerly anticipating their GCSE Results and A Level Results.  Turns out neither groups had anything to worry about and it was excellent results all around.

And that brings us up to the present where we are all rested and ready to start the final school year in the old building.

The above is a mere snapshot of what goes on in a year at EMS – follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to share the journey with us as we move into the 2018-19 school year.