At St Mary’s, we are committed to providing your daughter with an education that will prove to be a solid foundation for a whole lifetime of personal fulfilment.
For young people to thrive, learn and achieve, they must feel content, relaxed and secure. At St Mary’s each individual is known and understood and there is a culture in the school community – our staff as well as our students – of caring for each other, celebrating successes and working through difficulties. In this environment, our young people develop the strength of character and the self-confidence they need to make the very most of the life that lies ahead.
We strongly believe that the best success is when school, students and parents/carers work together.
The School undertakes to provide:
We expect parents to agree that they will do all they can to ensure that their daughter:
We ask that parents also:
In our friendly and warm community, each girl is known, valued and cared for as an individual. As a relatively small school, with a staff dedicated to meeting the needs of each and every student, we are able to focus on ensuring that girls at St Mary’s have a very happy school experience and leave us with the confidence and the skills to make the most of the life that lies ahead. Wellbeing is ‘taught’ in a variety of ways; students gain a better understanding of wellbeing through school assemblies, form activities and Senior School wellbeing days. Resilience is also enhanced as it is incorporated through the curriculum in individual subject areas and on school trips, including activities week and the DofE programme.
At St Mary’s mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of our agenda and we are always looking for new ways to support our students and parents. As a result of this we have recently been awarded Anti-bullying Ambassador Status from The Diana Award. The programme’s trainers work with students aged 11-15 to change the attitude surrounding bullying and has a strong peer-to-peer focus, with trainers giving young people the skills and confidence to become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors within their schools.
St Mary’s is proud to be a ‘Girls on Board’ school. That means that when our girls experience some turbulence in their friendships – which is inevitable from time to time – we take an empathy-based approach to supporting them. The approach is described in more detail on the GirlsonBoard.co.uk website and key members of the St Mary’s staff are fully trained. Girls on Board has won many national prizes since its creation in 2017 and has been adopted by over a thousand schools world wide. It has proved to be a very effective way of creating lasting harmony amongst girls in school and St Mary’s is committed to its use.
The School have also invested access to the Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub, a website for students, parents and teachers that provides a wealth of resources and information, including webinars and podcasts. If parents would like further information and/or to register for the site, then please see the Teen Tips website or contact Assistant Head Pastoral, Miss Crewe via the St Mary’s School app.
Our Personal Social Health Education programme continues throughout the school and aims to develop communication, social and life skills so that students leave St Mary’s as confident, articulate, mature young women, with high self-esteem. These qualities stand them in good stead throughout their lives and are valued by employers. Careers advice is also given and there is preparation for further education, ensuring a smooth transfer to the sixth form of each student’s choice.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in line with the few ‘school rules’ that we have in place. We aim to provide a caring, friendly and safe environment, ensuring the wellbeing of all members of the community. Students have the right to feel safe at school. Bullying at St Mary’s will not be tolerated and any incidents that are reported to us are dealt with in line with the school policy (this can be found on the school website). Incidents of bullying are extremely rare in this school, but we must never be complacent and think it would never happen here. Bullying is defined as an action that is repeated over time and that intentionally hurts another student or group physically or emotionally. The term bullying is sometimes used inappropriately; it is important that students, staff and parents understand the correct meaning, so that we can all work together in the interests of all students.
Further information can be found in the Parents’ portal.
Girls joining St Mary’s have the support of a ‘Buddy’ – a student in Year 8. The Buddies take their roles seriously and carry them out with pride. They lend a helping hand or provide a friendly smile and generally help new students to settle. Buddies participate in a programme of activities throughout the year to help them integrate and share in the new experiences they are having at St Mary’s.
Girls in Years 10 and 11 act as peer counsellors – ‘Listeners’. They are elected and trained to support pastoral care at St Mary’s, volunteering during breaks and lunchtimes to support others in whatever way is required.
In addition to the school ‘Buddies’ and ‘Listeners’, there are many people to whom girls and their parents can turn for help if they have any questions or concerns. All staff at St Mary’s are dedicated to our students’ wellbeing and parents’ peace of mind.