Our Values and Vision
We strive for the highest standards of personal, social and intellectual development in order to inspire the CREATIVITY of all within our community.
By emphasising the fundamental importance of RESPECT, we recognise that we are all unique and so support each other along our personal journeys of faith.
We value the SPIRITUALITY of every member of our community and provide opportunities for all to experience prayer, worship and reflection.
LOVE underpins every action we take and is the cornerstone of all we do.
All children are taught and understand the importance of the World Wars and celebrate these with respect and reverence during our Remembrance Day commemorations. Children purchase poppies and a two minutes silence is held during our ‘Special Remembrance Assembly’ when we remember those who lost their lives for our freedom.
The children and staff at St Mary’s support many local and world-wide charities and our strong school council respond to any national emergencies. We raise money to help those in need both in Britain and overseas. (CAFOD, NSPCC and the shoe-box appeal are just three examples) The children at St Mary’s are encouraged to develop a strong sense of moral purpose.
Each term the children learn about a different value, starting with Democracy. This is introduced within an assembly and then each class learns a little more by carrying out a differentiated activity. Some of our Year 6 children get the opportunity to learn more about where these values stem from by an annual visit to the Houses of Parliament.
Specific themes: Democracy:
Democracy is clearly evident within our school. Pupil's voices are heard through our school council and pupil questionnaires. The elections of class council representatives are based solely on pupil votes. Children are involved in creating the rewards and sanctions linked to our Behaviour Policy. They have more recently been involved in the introduction of our child friendly anti bullying policy. All decisions that affect our pupils directly are all made in consultation with them.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced through all aspects of school life. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The concept of the Rule of Law is also reinforced through learning activities in our PSHE/jigsaw curriculum. Children are taught to accept responsibility for their behaviour and understand that all unwanted behaviour has consequences attached. The school works hard to support all pupils to make positive behaviour choices. All children are directly involved in writing their own class rules, agreeing our school rules and the sanctions that could be applied if rules are broken. This enables our children to understand why rules are made and how rules help to keep the peace.
Freedom of choice and speech
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make positive choices, we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. We actively encourage our children to share their views and opinions as often as possible on a variety of issues. Through our Jigsaw lessons and work with the NSPCC, children are told about their right to say no and what to expect when they say no. They are offered opportunities to make choices as often as possible such as ‘House-point rewards, after-school Club Choices, greater challenges in class etc. We also support the children at St Mary’s to consider how their choices may affect those around them too, with a very clear notion of ‘…you could do this but what if…?’
One of our primary aims, based on Gospel values, is to ensure that every child develops both personally as well as educationally. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to these aims, what they mean and how they are developed and maintained. These aims are explicit throughout the school in the way we behave towards one another and treat one another. Pastoral support is given to any child to help develop self – esteem and the concept of respect. We are very lucky to have a wide and diverse school community which is a great opportunity to practise and develop skills of ‘mutual respect’.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing children's understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are regularly held. We follow the God Matters agreed syllabus for RE and use lots of other resources to enhance the PSHE curriculum. The children learn about other World religions and some of the festivals from these religions throughout the year.
We have welcomed leaders from other faiths in to school to deliver assemblies, workshops and discussions with our children.
We will continue to support and promote British Values because they support our children in becoming positive and safe citizens of Poole and the world!