At St Mary’s School we offer each of our pupils the highest quality education in a safe and stimulating environment.
We strive to develop confident and well-rounded children who are happy and equipped to deal with the challenges of the twenty first century. Each child is encouraged and enabled to fulfil his or her spiritual, physical and academic potential.
We aim to promote life-long learning in our pupils, for them to respect themselves and others, and to develop a real sense of the local and wider community. St. Mary’s maintains a warm, nurturing atmosphere in which pupils, staff, parents, governors, the parish and local community all work together. We believe that we provide a unique primary education.
Our ethos is simple: children are at the heart of everything we do, because we believe that children who are interested in what is on offer are far more likely to be motivated and engaged with their learning. It is our aim to support our pupils to develop into confident, enthusiastic, life long learners, who are not afraid to take risks in order to further their learning.
English and mathematics benefit from a wide range of opportunities for pupils to develop their skills through practical activities and real life contexts. For example, our pupils organise the school’s annual enterprise day; the children effectively run this as a business, balancing the budget, organising timetables and programmes and looking into issues of Health and Safety.
Topic-based learning is also central to igniting pupils’ interest and love of learning; this exciting approach not only encourages links between subjects, thus strengthening learning and promoting deeper understanding, but also allows pupils to develop their understanding of how to learn, not just what to learn. We encourage pupils to formulate the questions they want to address – rather than being told what the important issues are.
Furthermore pupils are encouraged to make decisions about how to achieve by seeking out expertise within the local community and further afield. The skills and strengths of not just our staff, but of those in the wider school community have been identified and subsequently used appropriately to support our curriculum.
The Early Years curriculum is followed by the children in Foundation Stage, where children are encouraged to self direct their learning, carefully monitored by the teacher.
A summary of this curriculum is provided for parents prior to their child starting school. Many of the excellent principles upon which the Early Years curriculum is based, are considered in curriculum planning further up the school too.
Key Stage 1 & 2 children follow our curriculum which takes into account the National Curriculum.
At St. Mary’s school we are eager to ensure that our pupils are fully immersed in reading and that they enjoy reading for pleasure in their own time.
The children continue their reading journey with us through the use of a scheme that we are now using called Read Write Inc. which has been highly rated by Ofsted.
Read Write Inc. provides our children with the essential skills needed to recognise letters and combinations of letters as sounds. The children therefore have the ability to sound out and blend these sounds together in order to read words and sentences with confidence.
This is a fantastic scheme which will provide our children with the necessary tools to become expert readers and writers by the end of Year 1!
We all read every day from 11.30am until 12pm in small guided reading groups of approximately 6 children which allows the teachers to assess the children’s comprehension and fluency.
We also have a wide variety of reading schemes that we use in school and that the children take home to read with their parents, including Oxford Reading Tree, New Way, Rigby Rockets, Fireflies, Snapdragons, and many more.
We have our own well-stocked library that the children are encouraged to take books from and the library van comes to visit every two weeks.
Our wonderful parents and friends regularly come into school to listen to the children read and we often have older children in school listening to the younger children read or reading a story to them.
A number of other events and activities occur during the school year to promote the love of reading, e.g. World Book Day, performances, assemblies, poetry day.