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ST MARY’S CATHOLIC V.A. FIRST SCHOOL

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1 ST MARY’S CATHOLIC V.A. FIRST SCHOOL
School Prospectus St Mary’s Catholic First school Lucetta Lane Dorchester Dorset DT1 2DD WEBSITE: Diocese of Plymouth

2 If there is anything else you would like to know
Welcome to St Mary’s The Governors and Staff at St Mary’s would like to welcome you to our school. We hope the pages in this booklet give you the information you need. If there is anything else you would like to know please contact us on: 2

3 Mission Statement Our School: building a community where all can grow,
knowing and learning about God’s love; realising our own worth; recognising our needs in the world today, based on the Gospel values and attitudes. Offers pupils and adults the opportunity to participate in different forms of prayer in school, the community and the parish – and to realise that this prayer touches everything we do. We will teach them to respect all faiths and cultures. Fosters a sense of wonder at creation by looking after our surroundings and caring for the people we work and play with. Encourages good relationships amongst everybody in the community and parishes that we belong to. Endeavours to create a happy and secure environment where everyone is welcomed, valued and respected and where everyone feels safe. Encourages all pupils and adults to reach their full potential at every level of school life, in the curriculum and in their play. Gives encouragement and positive, honest appraisal to children and adults on how they have worked and played and helps them know how they can improve and move forwards. Places a high value on fun and enjoyment, both in learning and at play. 3

4 St Mary’s... St Mary’s is a small school of up to 150 children with five classes, each with its own class teacher and teaching assistant.  In 1988 the school underwent renovation when the roof and all the outside walls were replaced. There are excellent facilities for Physical Education with a full size football pitch, playing field, netball court and swimming pool.   In August 2008 the school completed an ambitious ‘new build’ project. Land at the front of school was excavated and two new classrooms were built. The design was worked on by parents, governors and staff and the aim was to make the build as eco-friendly as possible. In September 2008, our Reception and Year One class moved into the large and airy rooms, each having their own outside classroom area.  The former Reception classroom is now used for ‘out-of-school hours’ care.   The hall is used for indoor P.E., drama as well as other activities including visiting theatre groups, bands and charity representatives. Children from Reception to Year 3 use it as their lunch hall too. 4

5 Who we are GOVERNING BODY We are made up of foundation governors (appointed by the Catholic Church), County governor, Parent governors and Staff governors. STAFF Teaching Staff A Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher, 5 Class teachers ( one for each year group), 5 Class Teaching Assistants (one for each year group), and a Special needs Teaching Assistant. Office Staff We have an Administrative Officer, School Finance Officer and an Admin Assistant. Support staff We have 6 Lunchtime Supervisors and a Cleaner. We also have a Clerk to the Governors. 5

6 Staff Names Teachers and Teaching Assistants Reception Class Mrs Warner-Lee and Miss Seeney Year 1 Mrs Carter-Miles, Mrs White and Mrs Puncher Year 2 Mr John and Mrs Hedges Year 3 Mrs Tucker and Mrs Willsher Year 4 Miss McDonnell and Mrs Oddy SENSTA Mrs Wood Head Teacher Miss Clayton Deputy Head Miss McDonnell 6

7 Office Staff Administrative Officer Mrs O’Malley School Finance Officer Mrs Rothwell Admin Assistant Mrs Wilson Lunchtime Supervisors Mrs Hedges Mrs Puncher Mr Ennals Mrs Wilson Mrs Rogers Mrs Lucas Cleaner Mr Salkeld Clerk to the Governors Mr Hoad 7

8 Governors Chair of Governors (Parent governor) Mr Jared Parkin Vice Chair (Foundation) Mrs Lucy Cullinane Head Teacher (Staff) Miss Jackie Clayton CSA Governor Mrs Katherine Seymour Foundation Governors Mrs Sinead Gannon Mrs Vicki Woodbridge Mr Saji Devassia Mrs Frances Blunt Deacon Nicholas Thompson Mrs Elizabeth Littlechild Parent Governor Mrs Katy Skinner Staff Governors Miss Paula McDonnell Mrs Debbie Wood 8

9 DASP St Mary’s is a member of DASP (Dorchester Area Schools’ Partnership). The Dorchester Area Schools Partnership (DASP) came into being in Its mission is simple: to provide the best education for all the students who are educated in the Dorchester area. We are made up of 19 schools - 13 First, 3 Middle, 1 Upper, an independent Prep school and a Learning Centre. By linking our resources, expertise, enthusiasm and commitment we are able to provide a level of continuity in our educational provision that few can match. All of the schools are committed to working together to... ... provide a coherent education for all children ... share expertise and resources ... use common systems of recording pupils' progress ... ensure a smooth transition between schools. There are some parent resources on the DASP website – especially maths strategies that you can follow with your child at home: 9

10 Admission arrangements
Our Admission’s policy is enclosed in the addendum. For the purposes of this policy, the Governing Body of St Mary’s Voluntary Aided First School is the admission authority. Parents who wish their child to be admitted to the school should complete the Local Authority application form online at: The school asks that parents also complete a registration form – obtainable from the school office or on our website: Completed forms need to be returned to School Admissions ( ) by the closing date for applications. The school employs the Local Authority Co-ordinated Admission scheme to process all applications and they will notify parents of the result of their application. In accordance with government legislation, the governing body will consult with the Diocesan Board of Education, the Local Authority and other local schools in respect of the Admissions Policy. In Dorset, school places are offered to children from the September after their fourth birthday. Those children are entitled to attend school full time from September. 10

11 Reception Class and Key Stage 1
The School Day TIme Reception Class and Key Stage 1 9.00 a.m. Registration 10.30 – a.m. Morning Break 12.00 noon Lunch Break 1.15 p.m. Afternoon lessons 2.30 – 2.45p.m. Afternoon Break 3.15p.m. Finish School Time Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) 8.55a.m. Registration 10.30 – 10.45a.m. Morning Break 12.15p.m. Lunch Break 1.15p.m. Afternoon lessons 2.30 – 2.45p.m. Afternoon Break 3.25p.m. Finish School Registration Children who arrive after registration time will be marked as late. Reception class and Key Stage 1 registers close at 9.20a.m. and Key Stage 2 registers close at 9.15a.m. If your child arrives after this time they will be marked as absent for that session. If your child is late, for whatever reason, please report to the school office where you will be asked to sign them in. Please let the teacher know if someone other than the parent/carer is collecting the child at the end of the school day – in writing if possible. 11

12 Children are expected to eat sensibly and clear their own place away.
Morning Break Since the introduction of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in 2004, the children in Reception class and Key Stage 1 classes are offered a free portion of fruit or vegetables at morning break. Key Stage 2 children need to bring their own fruit or vegetable snack from home. These are the only snacks allowed at playtime. Drinks Up until the age of 5 children are offered free school milk which you can apply for (ask at the school office). You are able to order and pay for school milk for any age of child (ask at the school office). All children are encouraged to have water bottles in their classrooms – they may fill these throughout the day. Lunch Times (School Food Policy is in the addendum) Provision is made for the children to eat food brought from home or a hot school meal. Hot school meals are ordered from a menu – main, vegetarian or jacket potato choice daily plus a dessert. Meals need to be ordered one week in advance (ask at the school office). In the interests of safety, health and hygiene, certain restrictions have to be placed on the type of food and containers brought from home: Containers and drinking vessels must be unbreakable and leak proof Fizzy drinks and sweets are not permitted Children in Year 2 and above may bring in a hot snack in a flask e.g. soup Children are expected to eat sensibly and clear their own place away. 12

13 Starting School Other tips for helping them settle in quickly:
Before starting school it would really help your child if they could:  Change their own shoes - please try to avoid laces Dress and undress Use the toilet properly Wash and dry their hands and face efficiently Tidy up after using toys, apparatus, books etc.  Other tips for helping them settle in quickly: Encourage your child to complete every task undertaken (assuming it is within his/her capabilities), then this should help to increase the span of concentration which is necessary for learning in a school situation.   Provide wax crayons, thick pencils, felt-tipped pens etc., and plenty of large sheets of paper so that your child can develop hand muscles, hand/eye co-ordination and some control over a pencil. Cutting out is also very useful. These activities give opportunity for conversation with you and increase confidence. 13

14 Say nursery rhymes etc. together and read stories to help to develop language. A wide vocabulary and fluent speech are vital to progress in reading and writing.   After the pre-school visits, encourage your child to talk about his/her teacher (by name) and the activities and equipment in school. Play games with your child which encourage counting or recognition of shapes, e.g. Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, Snap, Jigsaws etc. Ensure that your child can obey an instruction. For reasons of safety this is necessary in the school situation.

15 Policies These policies can be found on our website : Admission Appeals Anti-Bullying Policy DASP ICT Policy St. Mary's Admission Policy Pupil Discipline Policy E-safety Policy Health and Safety Policy Pupil Discipline Addendum Freedom of Information Policy Child Protection Procedure Policy Food Policy Complaints Policy 15

16 Policies cont. Safeguarding Policy School Uniform Policy
Rewards Policy Single Equality Policy Criminal Record Checking Policy Collective Worship Attendance Policy SEND & Inclusion Policy St Mary's Equality /Objectives Handout/Accessibility Plan School Development Plan Overview St Mary's Equality Information   

17     Curriculum St Mary’s Catholic First School believes in a Curriculum that encourages the spiritual and educational growth of each child in the school. Our Curriculum includes the National Curriculum, but also includes areas that we feel are of help to the children i.e. a moral and social curriculum. In every area of our teaching we remember that a child is not just a container for facts and attainment targets, but is a spiritual being who also needs guidance in the learning of their faith and in the learning of their individual worth. Our aim is to enable each child to work to the best of their abilities and to feel confident and secure during their successes and failures. We accept that each child will face small failures in life and we encourage them to face these failures and grow through them; a child who only faces success will be unprepared for all areas of life. We encourage children to work in many different styles and groupings – this helps their social skills and makes them adaptable to new areas.   The children are grouped in single year groups from Reception class to Year 4. The intake in Reception class is in September and is supported by a Nursery Unit (Haycorns pre-school) on the school site. There is good liaison between the staff to ensure a happy move from Nursery to school. Children also come from other pre-schools in the Dorchester area.   In Foundation and Key Stage 1, much work is done in a topic – linking different areas of the curriculum. In Key Stage 2 there is a development of subject areas, with cross-curricular work, to enable the child to see the identity of each subject.   We believe in equal opportunities for all, be this gender, race or ability and encourage each child to achieve their best and to reach their full potential in all areas of their life.

18 Handwriting We teach children to use the cursive style of handwriting from Year 2 upwards. 18

19 Special educational needs and Disabilities
SEND Co-ordinator—Miss Paula McDonnell Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator – Miss Jackie Clayton All our children have their own needs but occasionally children experience difficulties in learning, which need to be addressed through additional support, both at home and at school. Children with special needs are taught, for the most part, alongside their peers, with occasional one-to-one tuition for reinforcement or computer based work. Our Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant is employed by the school specifically to help children in this way. Extra reading time is also provided by Dorset Reading Partners (volunteers) and by parents. Some children with more profound needs, occasionally may require a greater level of support and this is brought about through the Statementing process. Children who show a gift for a particular area of the curriculum will be given opportunities to use this to their potential. Whenever concern is expressed by teacher, parent and/or child, it becomes the responsibility of the class teacher to act in the child’s interests, in liaison with the Special Needs Co-ordinator and Head Teacher. A number of diagnostic tests are available and may be administered by teachers and/or Teaching Assistants. The results of such tests and of Standard Assessment Tests and Tasks at the end of Key Stage 1 are used to determine the amount and type of help which children may need. A special programme, which addresses the needs of individual children, is then drawn up. This ‘Provision Map’ is followed by all those involved in teaching the child. Progress is monitored closely and parents are closely involved in supporting their children through stages of concern and reviews. 19

20 Behaviour The Governors, Staff, Parents and Children of St Mary’s are proud of the behaviour shown by the children during the school day. We have rewards and sanctions in place (please see the policy on our website) and these extend to the playground. Poor behaviour is dealt with swiftly. The children are involved in creating their Class Charters and rules and are always clear about our expectations. Visitors to the school often comment on how well the children behave and how helpful and courteous they are. With all the DASP schools we encourage our children to follow the 7 Cs CONSIDERATE COMMUNICATIVE CARING COURTEOUS CO-OPERATIVE CONSCIENTIOUS Each class nominates a ‘Citizen of the Week’ CONFIDENT 20

21 Holidays We will keep you informed about school term dates and holidays by way of school newsletters. We ask parents to arrange family holidays during the school holidays. From 1st September 2013 new Government attendance regulations removes reference to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make it clear that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. First schools and Middle schools in the St Osmund’s mini pyramid have agreed to follow a common policy on granting leave of absence, but it is up to the Head Teacher of your school to decide whether or not the absence will be authorised. Children’s present attendance levels will be taken into account when making a decision. Head Teachers determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. Our updated Attendance Policy is on the school website. 21

22 Health HEALTH We encourage children to wash their hands regularly, and always after going to the toilet, and to put their hands over their mouths when coughing etc. Schools are places where germs can easily be picked up and we ask that you follow the guidance on when to keep your child off school: If your child has an incidence of vomiting or diarrhoea they must be kept at home for 48 hours after the last episode. If your child has a notifiable illness e.g. measles, then please ring the school office for the health advice issued to schools. If your child has a cold and has a bad night and stays off school, please bring them back if they are well in the afternoon – we will contact you if they are too poorly to be in school. School Nurse Drop-in sessions take place on a monthly basis at school and you are welcome to come and chat privately with the nurse if you have any concerns about your child.. There are three members of staff who are qualified First Aiders and one who is trained in Paediatric First Aid. All staff train in Emergency First Aid at work. Daytime contact details are vital for school staff to be able to get in touch with parents or carers and you will be asked on an annual basis to complete a contact sheet. 22

23 Parents and Volunteers in School
Parents – you are most welcome to come and volunteer in school if you have a couple of spare hours – either on a weekly basis or every now and then. Perhaps you have an interesting job or hobby that you could share with the children, or maybe you could support some reading in the class. We always ask for volunteers to help out on trips etc. Drop in to the office if you are able to offer help. Students – we offer placements to NVQ students from Thomas Hardye School and Weymouth College; to teacher training students from Bath University and from a German University. The children benefit from the extra support in class and we are able to support the training of people interested in working within education. Community volunteers – we use the Volunteer Reading Scheme to support children who are late starters to reading or who have not yet developed the love of reading. We also have volunteers from our parish and local community who give their time to supporting our children in a variety of ways. 23

24 Home/School Agreement
We ask our parents and children to read and sign the home/school agreement. It states what you can expect from us and what we ask of you. By working together we can create the best environment within which your child can flourish. This document embeds values and expectations shared by all DASP schools. It is the outcome of consultations involving school children and adults in the DASP community. Whilst it recognises differences which exist between schools in the pyramid, it sets out guidelines which are consistent in all DASP schools.

25 Home/School Agreement
The School’s Educational Responsibilities We acknowledge our responsibility to support parents in the nurturing of their children towards human wholeness within a Christian community and therefore we will:- Provide a friendly, warm welcome and a secure, stimulating, Christian learning environment Value your child and help them to make good spiritual, moral, emotional and academic progress Treat your child with dignity and respect Show our faith in Jesus Christ by our teaching and worship Try to provide the best possible education through enthusiastic teaching rooted in our beliefs, values and skills. Provide information about progress and opportunity to talk to teachers. Inform you about school policies and activities Set, mark and monitor suitable homework Send home an annual report on your child’s progress Contact you if there is a problem in attendance or punctuality Inform you of concerns about behaviour, work or health Challenge your child to strive for excellence in personal, social and intellectual development Make provisions for your child in line with the outcomes of “Every Child Matters” Parent Responsibilities I/We acknowledge that we are the primary educators of our children and have an irreplaceable role to play in supporting our children’s learning in school. Therefore, I/we will try to:- See that my child attends school on time and suitably equipped Provide uniform and encourage pride in wearing it Inform the school of any concerns or problems affecting my child’s work or behaviour Support the Christian values of the school community Give opportunities for home learning and support homework from school Support the school policies including the school bullying policy Attend parents evenings and discussions about progress Encourage enthusiasm about learning and enjoyment of school Talk about my child’s school experiences and encourage them to do their best Support the Catholic community and school governors in the maintenance of the school buildings Endeavour not to take holidays during term time Pupil’s Responsibilities I will try to use wisely my own special talents given me by God. Therefore I will try to:-  Get to school on time  Wear my school uniform and bring everything I need Take care of school property and keep the school tidy  Learn something new each lesson and always do my best  Share my feelings honestly and politely and be kind in the things I say and do  Behave sensibly so that we can be happy and safe as we learn  Think for myself and be responsible for my actions  Keep the school rules and treat everyone with respect 25

26 P.T.A. St Mary’s has an active and supportive PTA, of which all parents are automatically members. The PTA organise various events throughout the school year; including a Christmas Fair, Summer Fair, occasional fashion shows, plant sale, spooky disco etc. A few years ago they introduced a ‘Secret presents shop’ before Christmas – the children are able to buy a small gift for their family members without them knowing what it will be! This year at the Christmas Fair, children can have a hot dog meal. They can also visit Father Christmas. In the past the PTA have raised enough money to provide playground equipment, the outdoor classroom, musical instruments and contributions towards materials needed for school productions and special activity days. The Committee are elected annually at the AGM which is held in the Autumn term. They are always looking for new members to share ideas and manage events. The PTA is a sociable group which enjoys helping to provide the children of St Mary’s with an enhanced school environment. 26

27 OFSTED St Mary’s was last inspected by OFSTED in July As a Voluntary Aided school we also have a Section 48 OFSTED report by the Diocese of Plymouth.   St Mary’s was judged to be a good school with outstanding features. Some of the main findings were: This is a good school. It has made significant improvements in all aspects of its work since the previous inspection. Pupils have good levels of attendance and say they love going to school; parents endorse this. The good teaching, curriculum, care, guidance and support all contribute positively to pupils’ achievement. Most aspects of pupils’ personal development are outstanding by the time pupils leave the school Academic attainment is also strong in several areas. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, leave the school with well above average attainment in reading, writing, mathematics and science. Pupils’ attainment is also high in art and design. Pupils’ enthusiasm for learning was frequently seen in lessons, and their positive attitudes are a key reason for their good achievement and attainment. The ability to work collaboratively has a marked effect on pupils’ quality of learning as well as their social skills. 27

28 Assessment Progress and attainment are regularly assessed in a variety of ways. Continuous assessment happens every day and children are assessed against learning intentions in their lessons. They are also encouraged to self-assess and to think about what they do and don’t understand. Every half term we track the children’s progress and change our teaching programmes and interventions accordingly. In addition, children are more formally assessed at the end of Year 2 and these results are sent to County and to OFSTED where the school is judged against local and national data. Your child’s results are also sent home to you. All children receive an annual report, in the summer term, which shows their progress in the core subjects. Each term you are invited in to discuss your child’s progress each term. 28

29 Extra Curricular activities
In association with the DASP music office, a number of peripatetic music teachers visit the school to give lessons in a wide variety of instruments. After school during the second half of the summer term, and through the summer holidays, the outdoor, heated swimming pool is open, weather permitting. The trained lifeguards organise the supervision of the children during this activity. Gardening club runs during the growing season. Football club ‘Footie4Dorset’ run two football training clubs a year – one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. Various sporting opportunities are offered throughout the year. Eco club will be up and running again soon and also a film club. 29

30 Uniform It is our school policy that all children wear uniform when attending school. We feel it promotes a sense of pride in the school and makes children feel equal to their peers in terms of appearance. We ask that all parents who send their children to our school to support the school uniform policy. Please find the school uniform policy in the addendum. 30

31 Haycorns Haycorns is our pre-school unit. They take children from the age of 2½ - 4 years. It was opened in 1988 and was established by the school to provide a smooth transition from home to Reception for children going into St Mary’s. The work that they do with the children recognises that each child develops individually with different strengths; they aim to provide ‘education’ in it’s widest sense, not merely a means of accelerating the child’s formal learning. Specific skills are taught through structured play activities. Haycorns uses the school environment regularly, having weekly access to the school hall for physical education, drama and movement; we also have theatrical shows visiting for the children’s entertainment. If you would like to enquire about a visit to look around Haycorns or registering your child please telephone during school hours. 31

32 Kids’ Zone Kids’ Zone is an out-of-school child care provider on our site. It is run by Haycorns and caters for children at the beginning and end of the school day, breakfast club is from – 9 am and after school care is from 3.15 to 6.00p.m. (There is a choice of collection times, fees apply) They take children from 4 years of age and provide a homely and welcoming environment. They are a child led setting and have lots of fun activities. Children are encouraged to get involved with cooking and to use the outside area for outdoor play. The afternoon sessions include a snack such as crumpets and cheese or houmous with breadsticks and vegetables. Children are also welcome to bring a snack from home. They offer themed sessions from time to time – open to all children – and the food will reflect the theme. 32

33 Addendum Please find enclosed the following policies:
Admissions policy Food policy Uniform policy


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