|St Mary`s C E VA Middle School|
|Puddletown, DT2 8SA, UK Dorchester|
+44 (0)1305 848293
St. Mary's opened in September 1980 as a Church of England Middle School in the premises of the former Secondary School. In September 1999 it became a Voluntary Aided (VA) school which provides the Governors with various rights and responsibilities for the management and maintenance of the school. It caters for children of all abilities within the 9-13 age range and serves an area of over one hundred square miles in the very heart of Dorset.
We are extremely fortunate to have fine modern buildings on a beautiful site. The excellent facilities are well suited to the needs of our children and provide four virtually self-contained Year Group areas, each with 3 or 4 teaching bases round a practical area, a central Library / Resource Area readily accessible to all the children, and specialist rooms for Music, Science, Home Technology, Art/Ceramics and Craft Design Technology. The large hall is also the gymnasium and the Dining Area, situated behind the stage, also serves as an extra teaching area. Beneath the Dining Area are the changing rooms with showers. Outside there are hard netball and tennis courts, extensive playing fields and a heated swimming pool.
As a school, we have given much thought to the kind of place we wish St. Mary’s to be. Accordingly we shall aim:
- To create a happy, caring and Christian environment in which everyone is valued;
- To offer a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which helps children of all abilities to realise their potential;
- To expect high standards in all aspects of school life;
- To encourage positive relationships with parents, governors, schools within our pyramid, local Churches and the wider community.
We are always conscious of the need to maintain good links with our First Schools and Upper School to ensure continuity of learning, and the requirements of the National Curriculum make effective liaison even more important. As we share Key Stage 2 with First Schools and Key Stage 3 with the Upper School, our curriculum is jointly planned and is constantly reviewed to make sure that it meets statutory requirements, builds upon what has gone before, is broad, balanced and relevant to the needs of the children in our care, and provides a sound preparatory base for the future. We are part of the Dorchester Area Schools Partnership, an organisation representing the whole pyramid of First, Middle and Upper Schools in the Dorchester Area, and frequent meetings are held between colleagues in the different schools to promote development and continuity of records and curriculum.
In accordance with the National Curriculum, all the children at St Mary's are taught English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Technology, Art, Information & Communication Technology, Music, Drama, PE and Games, Personal and Social Education, and Religious Education each week, with French being introduced in Year 6. There are daily Literacy and Numeracy lessons for Years 5 & 6.
Several clubs, team practices and other activities take place during the lunch break as so many children travel home by bus. There is wide opportunity and children are encouraged to participate, for we regard such activities as a valuable part of our curriculum. For those activities which take place after school or at weekends, a permission slip with details is sent home in advance for parental signature and return. Without the return of this slip, children may not take part, for we all must know of their whereabouts.
A number of visits, both locally and further afield, are arranged to support and enrich the work in the classroom. We also organise a residential visit to France in Year 8 which is incorporated into a whole school activities week near the end of the Summer Term. The Activities Week will involve all children in a wide range of trips, residential visits and on-site activities that will broaden and enrich their learning. Although we subsidise visits from school funds whenever we can, generally we have to rely upon the willingness of parents to cover most of the costs. We always hope that all children will be able to participate, and would not want anyone who would benefit to be excluded from any of our educational activities because of the cost involved. Any parents who may be in difficulty are invited to contact the Headteacher in confidence so that we may offer assistance if possible.
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