Thank you for visiting the website for St. Mary's C.E. Middle School. We are a 9-13 middle school situated on the outskirts of Puddletown, a small village in the beautiful Dorset countryside. We are a church school with an ethos built on the core Christian values of respect, forgiveness, justice, uniqueness, equality, acceptance and kindness.
We look to inspire our school community and give them the tools to thrive in the modern world, summed up by our school aim of 'Inspire today to shape tomorrow'. We are proud to have been assessed as an outstanding church school in our last two Church of England inspections. We expect the highest standards in both academic work and behaviour and we place our children at the centre of everything we do.
The pupils, staff and governors are very proud of our school and we hope that this website will allow you to see why. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet you in person.
To celebrate 55 years since the school opened, we have created this page to record many of the important events that have happened at St. Mary's since it was opened in the 1960's. We have collected together photos, newspaper articles and other materials to give you a look back at our collective history. Should you be in any of the photos or can add memories to this page, please contact the school office and we will get back in contact with you. We have arranged the information in chronological order, started with the earliest memories. We hope that you find this interesting.
We have gone right back into the archieves to find photos of what the school looked like when it was first built. How many differences can you see with how the school looks today?
Here is an excert from the headteacher's log book (a daily diary that headteachers had to keep by law) for the day that the school opened.
Thursday 7th January
St. Mary's Church of England Special Agreement Secondary School opened today.
Only the classroom block and the administration wing was ready. Much equipment in the way of desks, tables etc. has not arrived.
Even the tarmac leading to the school has not been put down - I dread to think how the school floors will look by the end of today.
Obviously the school is far from ready and the opening could well have been at Easter 1965. How it seems appropraite that we should have opened at the (start) of the pantomime season!
Many wishes of good fortune. I was particularly pleased with the letter from A.D, headteacher of All Saints C.E. Secondary School, Wyke Regis.
The school sits on a hillside and above the school there are a number of farming fields. The fields had recently been ploughed and overnight there was very heavy rain. The mud from the fields was washed down onto the school site and collected at the doors that are now used for Year 5 pupils. The water and mud built up until the doors gave way (if you look carefullly at the photos, you can see how high the water level got to). The whole of the lower ground floor (the library, Year 6 area, office area) was flooded and covered in thick mud. By coincidence, all of this happened the day before the school was due to be inspected by Ofsted! Click here to go to the Daily Echo Article about the mudslide.
The school held a special event to celebrate the opening of, what was known at the time as St. Mary's Modern School, in July 1965. As part of the event the original pupil who was choosen to present flowers to HRH Princess Margaret when she visited to open the school returned to the school. The event was covered by the Daily Echo and you can read the article here.
The whole school was involved in producing our first ever Christmas CD album, 'Now That's What St. Mary's Call Christmas'. Each tutor group produced a separate track for the CD as well some whole school carols and a specially written version of the 12 days of Christmas. We made a special advert for the CD that you can see below.
St. Mary's Middle School was lucky enough to be involved in a Dorchester wide arts event that was organised to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landings. The event saw all three Dorchester Middle Schools and Thomas Hardye School come together to perform a brand new musical tribute to the missions composed by Geof Edge. The children rehearsed the songs over two terms and performed in a stunning concert at 'Moonbury' rings in Dorchester, directed by well known musician Alasdair Malloy. As part of the project we were also visited by a local artist who made space themed willow models with the children, some space science workshops where children built and fired rockets or found out about the things you need to do to train as an astronaut and a man who actually worked on the Apollo projects in the USA and designed some of the science experiments performed on the moon. The video below will tell you all about the event. Despite a last minute postponement due to a huge storm, the concert went ahead a few days later and was a truly special night.