Who are we, at St Marys?
We are a church founded academy that promotes the Christian character of the school through all areas of its work from curriculum design through to school leadership. The mission that motivated our founders still burns brightly and staff, governors and pupils work together to ensure our values underpin everything we do. Our historic link to the Church of England is very important to us and a significant influence on our academy ethos. All staff are expected to be sympathetic to the inclusive Christian ethos of the academy. We are proud that visitors frequently comment on the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the academy that this creates and further development of this is paramount to achieving our aims.
Our school is committed to provide our community the unconditional love and dedicated service that they need to reach their full potential. At St Mary’s we provide all of God’s children the opportunity to enjoy a purposeful, aspirational and inclusive curriculum, which provides the wisdom and knowledge to flourish in God’s world.
We aim to ensure that pupils leave here:
- Believing in themselves, with high self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Respecting other’s values, beliefs, feelings and points of view.
- Able to model our Christian values in their daily lives.
- Being able to communicate effectively with peers and adults.
- Being able to read and write with enjoyment and apply maths with fluency at an age appropriate level.
- Computer literate with a confident typing speed.
- Have an understanding and appreciation of the Arts and a secure knowledge of the world around them.
- Understand how to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay safe including in the virtual world.
- Recognising the positive contributions, they have made to the school and wider community.
How then, do we live?
A flourishing child in God’s world is any member of our community. Our staff, pupils and parents as well as the wider community that we can influence, are all shown the unconditional love that God has shown us. We know that life lessons can be hard to learn and that reaching our full potential involves compassion, friendship, service and forgiveness. These are the core Christian values that underpin our work. They form the heart of all of the decisions that we make and ethos of our school community.
Our values are captured most prominently in the parables of the Two Sons and the Good Samaritan. The Two Sons teaches us that some people need more time and compassion than others to flourish and that our actions have consequences for which we must take responsibility. The curriculum at St Marys offers a wealth of opportunity, which is enjoyed by our pupils. Some, like the younger son in the parable, will need more time, compassion and encouragement than others to develop the skills to do this. At St. Mary’s we teach everyone that mistakes are part of life’s adventure and through forgiveness and compassion, we can live well together.
The Good Samaritan teaches us to show friendship through the acceptance of others, looking for the best in everyone without prejudice. In our school, children are encouraged to be kind, welcoming and generous. The same parable teaches us the importance of service to others, even when this is costly to us or we find it difficult.
- FriendshipFriendship: Trust, feeling comfortable in each other’s company, being able to share joys and sorrows are all features of friendship and we know that friendship is a high priority for our children. During term time, the children will actually spend more time with their friends than their families! We encourage healthy friendship where people can grow, have faith and confidence that they can be themselves without judgement.
- CompassionCompassion: The father in the parable of The Prodigal Son is not just forgiving. He is described as being filled with compassion, but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20) The father seems to understand everything that his son is feeling and responds by giving him everything he needs: a whole-hearted welcome, acceptance and love. Understanding that others need more to achieve their potential is also valuable learning from this parable.
- ServiceService: The parable of The Good Samaritan shows we should serve those in need whoever they are. Such service is not offered to gain some advantage for ourselves. ‘Going the extra mile’ involves sacrifice, putting ourselves out for someone else’s benefit. This is modelled in all that we do here at St. Mary’s—our staff in the work with our pupils and you as a wider community in the work we do for our charities; particularly Burkina Faso.
- ForgivenessForgiveness: In school with so many pupils interacting on a daily basis, there will be times when pupils have altercations and fall out. Sorry can be said very easily, so we encourage our community to really think about the impact of their actions on others and seek to restore the peace, finding true forgiveness with a conscious effort to not repeat the action. Of course this can take time and with a team effort from home and school, we are certain we can achieve this.
Below is a link to a summary of what being a Church of England Academy means:-