St. Mark’s is on the outskirts of Swanage, an attractive resort on the Dorset World Heritage coast, an area renowned for its natural beauty and interest.
The school, founded in 1855, was completely remodelled in 1961, when a hall and two classrooms were added, giving five classrooms, which are light, spacious and well equipped. A new resource room was added in 2002 to provide additional teaching space and a library. The school has a heated learner’s swimming pool and a small playing field with an adventure playground. There is an onsite pre-school.
<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->The school is well resourced with two networked computers in each class and several stand-alone computers. The teachers also have laptops provided. There is an interactive whiteboard in each class.
The present staff consists of Head, Deputy Head, four full-time teachers, secretary, finance officer, seven teaching assistants, four meals staff and one cleaner. The children in KS1 each have full time teaching assistant support. We also have a strong body of voluntary helpers including parents, governors and local students.
The staff work as a friendly and supportive team. The school has well-developed systems for planning, assessment and target setting. Staff are encouraged and supported through a programme of professional development and performance management.
We are a small Church of England First School linking closely with the Parish Church and Diocese of Salisbury. Being part of the Christian family greatly influences all aspects of school life.
We currently have children aged 4+ to 9 years, with class sizes limited to 30. St. Mark’s Parish Church is next door to the school and children often visit St. Mark’s for services and other related activities.
Above all we are a purposeful, safe and happy school where children love to learn.
We are very proud of the behaviour of our pupils. We have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and enjoy a great deal of support from parents in this matter.
As part of our Behaviour Policy at St. Mark’s the children create a set of class rules each year. These rules are then shared across the whole school and contribute to what is known as our School Golden Rules.
Our Golden Rules are used as a basis for our behaviour and shared expectations. As with children’s learning and the assessment of their learning, at St. Mark’s we believe that the more ownership children have of their behaviour, the more they are able to discipline themselves.
Our School Golden Rules
- Treat other children and adults with respect
- Look after our school and its environment
- Use kind hands and voices
- Listen to one another
- Move around sensibly and play safely
- Allow others to work and play in peace
Each class uses these golden rules to discuss and create their own classroom rules. Staff encourage children to follow these rules by:
- Setting a good example
- Giving children opportunities to take responsibility for themselves and others
- Praising good behaviour and work