Feature

Junior school has the X Factor

St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School (SMMJ) received a surprise visit this week from ex-pupil and X Factor competitor Gary Barker!

It was the first time that Gary had been back to his junior school in 19 years and staff were absolutely delighted to see how well he was doing. Both children and staff were entertained with his singing and very taken by his warm, friendly manner.  

Deputy head Ruth Culley, said: “Gary joined the children in assembly and sang both of his audition songs, a birthday song to one of our children and the R Kelly track - ‘I believe I can Fly’ – it was a wonderful experience for the children and Gary really enjoyed re visiting his old school!  

“In fact Gary’s first audition at a talent competition was actually at SMMJ!

“Gary took the time to take a trip down memory lane and looked around his old school including his Year 6 classroom and although there had been many changes, Gary said he had very fond memories of his school years at SMMJ.

“Gary spoke to the children about ‘resilience’ – which is one of the nine school values at SMMJ and emphasised to the children that if you try hard enough you ‘can be whatever you want to be’.

“It really was a privilege to welcome Gary back to school and we send him the very best of luck as he continues to pursue his dream of winning the X Factor!  

“Thank you for such a special visit Gary”.

The school also had a very special visit from John Burland from Australia, John is an educator and composer who has been writing and recording religious music for children and adults for over twenty years.

Each year John travels to more than one hundred Catholic communities celebrating our Catholic Faith through the gifts of music and song.

John also writes the ‘Come and See’ programme. The children participated in a wonderful Mass with him at SMMJ church and sang their favourite hymns to movement. It was a fabulous opportunity for the children, which they thoroughly enjoyed and further enriched their curriculum.

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