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Welcome to St Mary's C.E. Middle School

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 and acceptance.

Our aim is to give every pupil the chance to achieve their God given potential in all areas of their life and 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.

Information for pupils in school

IMPORTANT - Informing the school if you want you child to return


It is vital to our ability to plan staffing levels and travel arrangements that you let the school know as soon as possible of your intention to send your child back to school.  You must inform the school office, either by phone or by email, by the end of school on Thursday each week if you are intending your child to return.  Please also inform us if you have decided to withdraw your child from school if they have been attending.  

Unless we have already been notified, the earliest your child can now return to school will be on Monday 29th June.

Please Note:  We are approaching capacity with our 'bubbles' for all of our groups.  It remains the process that pupils in Years 5, 7 and 8 should only be in school if there is no safe alternative for pupils to be looked after at home.

Returning to School

We have created this video to help pupils understand how school will be different when they return to school following the Corona virus school closure period. We would suggest that all pupils returnng to school, and those who may have been in school already, watch this video to help with organisation on the first day. There will be lots of staff on duty and the first day back will be a chance to go over these arrangements and make sure that all pupils are clear on the new procedures.

Arrangements for pupils attending school after Monday 1st June 2020


The following guidelines will be in place for all pupils attending school from Monday 1st June.  There will be strict arrangements to ensure the health and safety of all pupils and staff (necessary due to the increased number of pupils in school).  These procedures have been put into place following the recently produced government guidance.  The four key documents can be found below:



It is essential that you talk to your child before they return to school.  The learning environment and the style of learning will be very different to what they are used to.  Pupils have restrictions on who they are able to socialise with and what they are able to do whilst at school.  A video explaining these changes will be posted on the school website next week to explain to pupils what to expect.  Please notify the school if you feel that your child is particually anxious or worried about returning to school.  A display of the key rules and guidelines to keep them safe will be on display in all classrooms being used.


Further specific information regarding the arrangements for the reopening of schools (published by the Department for Education) can be found below:


How will lessons and classes work?


  • As the school is now formally reopening, we are moving away from offering a form of childcare provision (as suggested in the original guidance) and will return to an educational based provision for all pupils in school. 
  • Pupils will be following a modified timetable in their classes.  The more 'fluid and relaxed' atmosphere and lesson style that we have been using up to this point (with the children of key workers and vulnerable families in school) will stop.  I understand that this will be different for the pupils who have been in school during the closure period and will require them to adjust to new, more formal,  routines.
  • Timings of the school day will be different for each class.  Break and lunchtimes will be staggered to reduce the number of pupils on the playground at any one time.  Pupils will have a morning break, a lunchbreak and a short afternoon break.
  • Pupils in school will be doing the same work as a pupil at home.  In school they will receive the adult support that is possible whilst maintaining appropriate social distancing.
  • Pupils will be supported in activities to catch up on lost learning and activities to reinforce some of the tasks that have been studied at home.
  • Some of the activities undertaken during the week will be to address pupil wellbeing and will give them time to participte in calming and reflective style activities.
  • Pupils, including those of key workers/vulnerable families/pupils with EHCP, will be taught in a group of no more than 15 pupils.  In Year 6, each tutor group will be split into two smaller groups.  For pupils attending school in other year groups, they will now be taught in a group with other children from their own year group (up to maximum of 15 pupils per class).
  • Pupils of key workers and vulnerable children in Year 6 will be in classes with the rest of their year group and not taught as a separate group.


How will we be supporting SEND and vulnerable pupils?


  • Our SEND team will be working to support additional needs, primarily within the classroom environment, and the TLC will be available to access the provision.
  • TLC will only be available during lesson times to offer necessary pastoral support to meet the individual needs of pupils at this difficult time.


How will we maintain social distancing?


Before reading this section, all parents need to be aware that it will not be possible to maintain a strict 2m distance between pupils whilst at school.  This is recognised in the guidance from central government.  The provisions put in place are to limit contact to a consistent core group of other children and adults. 


  • To minimise contact between groups, only pupils in the same tutor group will be allowed to mix with each other during the school day.  Pupils who have friends in other tutor groups will not be able to mix with them whilst at school.
  • Each class will have a limited number of adults (at a maximum of 5) who will have contact with their class during the week. 
  • Pupils will remain in one classroom for all of their lessons unless they are undertaking learning outside or are using the PE facilities.
  • Each pupil will have a designated desk in the classroom where they will work for all lessons.  They will not share this desk with any other pupil.  The seating plan for each room will be strictly enforced.
  • Pupils will not be able to use locker areas or lockers whilst they are at school.  Pupils should bring a SMALL bag to school and this will be kept under their desk throughout the day.  Please consider that this means that there will be no secure place for pupils to leave valuables and, therefore, they should not be brought to school.
  • Pupils will be designated an area of the playground to use whilst at school and they will need to stay in this area at all times whilst at lunchtime or breaktime.  Please note: this area will be used at different times of the day by pupils in other groups.
  • Each class will have a separate side of a playground area assigned to them.  Members of their tutor group in the other class will be on the other side of the playground but will not be allowed to mix.
  • Pupils will eat their packed lunch in their classroom.  Pupils who have free school meals or who order a hot lunch will eat theirs in the dining room.  
  • There will be designated toilets for each of the classes in school with one toilet being shared by the 15 pupils in a class.  No more than one pupil from a class will be allowed to go to the toilet at a time.
  • There will be a one way system in operation across the school site which pupils will be expected to follow at ALL times.  Pupils will be briefed on this on the first day in school.


How will minimise the spreed of virus through touching surfaces / sharing equipment?


  • Pupils will be asked to supply their own writing equipment when coming into school.  They should have a pencil, a writing pen, a ruler, a pair of scissors, a rubber and a pencil sharpener.  It would also be useful if pupils could have a set of colouring pencils and a glue stick of their own.  The school office is able to sell the above items at cost price should pupils need to purchase them.
  • Pupils will be given a tray with a lid to keep on their desk.  All of their work books and learning materials will be kept in this tray.  The tray will be cleaned each day.
  • Staff will not be taking in books or work for marking to avoid transmission of the virus.  Feedback will be given on whle class level or through self marking of work.
  • Any specialist equipment, for example for use during science lessons or art lessons, will need to be cleaned immediately after use and should not be shared between pupils.
  • Pupils will not be allowed to bring in any balls or items to play with on the playground.  Pupils will also be encouraged to avoid touching the fences outside.
  • Pupils will be asked to minimise any contact with surfaces around the room other than the desk they are sat at.  
  • Doors across the site will be open to avoid the need to touch handles with the exception of those doors which are fire doors and need to be shut off for the purposes of safeguarding entrance to the school site.


What additional cleaning measures will be put in place?


  • The entire school building and sports hall will be having an anti-microbial fog deep clean on Friday 29th May to disinfect all surfaces and objects in the school.  The school will therefore be closed to ALL pupils on this Friday.  This treatment will remain effective on surfaces for 30 days.

  • Each of the teaching rooms used by pupils will be cleaned thoroughly each morning before pupils arrive.  

  • Staff in each teaching room will have a supply of cleaning products for wiping down surfaces and equipment as needed during the school day, including door handles.

  • Pupils will be given opportunities to wash their hands regularly throughout the school day.  There will also be hand sanitizer available in each classroom area.

  • Toilets will be cleaned in the middle of the school day and also at the end of each day.


How will school meals work?


  • Local Food Links will be offering a limited meal service during the partial reopening phase.  There will be one hot and one cold option per day.  You can find a copy of the special menu here.
  • The normal book and pay online service will not be in operation during this time.  School meals will need to be booked through the school office and payment sent to school.  This must be done by the Thursday before the week your child would like a hot meal.
  • Free school meal pupils will automatically be given a meal and the school office will contact parents to ask for their preference.


How will pupils get to school and what are the arrangements for dropping them at school?


  • Following the change in the law, it is now a requirement for any person using public transport to wear a covering over their mouth and nose.  School transport is not classed as public transport and it remains the discretion of the family on whether a mask is worn.  However, school transport services would advise your child to follow this guideline if at all possible.
  • The bus companies have confirmed that a normal service will be in operation from Monday to transport children to and from school.  There will be social distancing measures in place on the buses and we ask that all pupils follow the directions of their bus driver at all times.  It is essential that you notify us if your child is going to return to school so that we can notify the bus companies who may need to change the vehicles used to accommodate more pupils.
  • Only one person is allowed to bring their child to school or meet their child at the end of the school day.  This means that siblings of pupils who are not currently at school should not be attending the school site.
  • Parents who want to drive their child to school will need to understand that the car park is likely to be busy at drop off and pick up times.  Please consider dropping pupils away from school and asking them to walk the remaining distance onto the school site.
  • The school site will be open to pupils from 8.15am (please do not drop your child at school before this time).  Upon arrival at school, pupils must go directly to the playground, locate the line for their class and stand on one the markers (set 2m apart).  Please must not go over and talk to pupils in other class lines.  Pupils will be invited into school at 8.40am.
  • Parents who wish their child in person should wait on the path out of school at a distance of 2m from each other (marked out on the path).  Please DO NOT come up to the school office or wait in the area by the building work so that the path is clear for pupils to travel to the school buses.
  • The top car park will be for staff use only.  The lower car park will be reserved for parental use as much as possible.
  • Parents must remain in their cars at the end of the day and pupils will come to you.  Please do not congregate on the front steps or on the slope UNLESS this is by prearrangement with a member of school staff.
  • Pupils will be released from their classrooms to go straight to their bus.  A bus register will be taken on the bus before departure.


Should pupils be returning in school uniform?


  • Pupils should attend school in uniform from Monday 1st June.  However, pupils will not be required to wear their normal school shoes.  Please can pupils wear trainers or sports shoes to allow for the flexibility of low impact active learning outside.  Pupils will also not be required to wear a school tie.  Pupils do not need to wear a school jumper to school if it is warm weather.
  • Guidelines suggest that normal washing of school uniform is required.  If it is possible to wash clothes daily, please do so.  
  • Pupils will be asked to come to school in their PE kit on days when they have a formal PE lesson.  This will avoid the need for pupils to change for their PE lessons.  They will not need their PE kits on the days where PE is not on their timetable.


What will my child need to bring to school each day?


  • Your child needs to bring the minimum equipment to school possible.
  • Pupils will need a packed lunch (unless they are planning on using the food service delivered by Local Food Links).  
  • Pupils should have a filled water bottle.
  • Pupils will need a single pencil case containing a pencil, a writing pen, a ruler, a pair of scissors, a rubber and a pencil sharpener.  It is also useful to have a glue stick and some colouring pencils.
  • Pupils should bring in their home learning exercise book.
  • Pupils MAY wish to bring hand sanitiser to school for their own use.  This MUST NOT be shared with any other pupil.


Other important information


  • Please avoid coming into the school office area and use email or phonecalls to contact members of the school staff.  No parents must enter the rest of the school building, sports hall or playing fields at any time (unless invited to do so by a member of the school staff).
  • Mobile phones must be kept in bags at all times once on the school site and must be off (not just on silent).  Normal school rules apply regarding mobile phones.  Any phone seen will be taken, cleaned and put in storage until a parent collects it from the school office.  Please note that no phones will be collected in by any teacher and pupils will not be able to lock them away securely.  Therefore, all phones are brought into school entirely at your own risk.


Notifying school of your child's attendance


  • Parents will need to notify the school the week before they wish their child to return to school.  The deadline for notification is by end of school on the Thursday for attendance the following week.  We need to inform staff, most with their own childcare concerns, whether they will be required to work and give them time to organise the appropriate childcare.  The school will be strictly enforcing this requirement.
  • If you decide to withdraw your child from school during coming half term, please make sure that you notify the school immediately, as this may impact the level of staffing required in school.
  • Should your child be ill (but not with coronavirus), please use the schools normal absence line to report their non-attendance at school.
  • School registers will be taken daily but parents will not be fined or penalised for their child not attending school at this time. The registers are purely for the local authority and central government to monitor the level of children in school.


Please note:  Confirmation of first aid procedures and the protocol for dealing with a suspected outbreak of the virus will posted here during the next few days.


Arrangements for pupils attending school until Friday 31st May

The arrangements below are in place whilst the school is closed (except to pupils of key workers, children with EHCP and children of families deemed as vulnerable).  There will be revised guidelines in place once the school starts the process of partial reopening, starting with Year 6 pupils being allowed to attend from Monday 1st June onwards.

Which pupils should be attending school?


The government has asked all schools to open to a very small number of pupils during the current national crisis.  This is for pupils who are from a vulnerable family or those where one parent is a key worker.  The specific guidance document can be found here: Key Worker Information.  Please can I ask that all parents who may consider themsleves within one of the stated categories of workers to notify us of whether your child will be attanding school at least 24 hours before you are asking them to attend.


These are very clearly exceptional times and we continue to be commited to working with our local community to support essential infastructure as part of a nationaly coordinated emergency plan.  We will do all we can to sustain this provision for as long as required, Monday to Friday, including through the holdiay periods.


Whilst it is clear in the guidance that families do only need one key worker to qualify for educational provision and you are being encouraged to send your child into school, we ask that this option should only be used when there are NO OTHER OPTIONS OPEN TO YOU.  We, like all public services, are operating with a depleted workforce and the system is under conciderable strain.  We need total cooperation within the community to make these arrangements work for the good of all members of society.


Anyone with questions should contact the school office where we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible.  Please be aware that the volume of email traffic and phone calls are extremely high at the moment and a response may be slower to reach you than normal.   The school office is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm each day.


What do I need to bring to school?


Up until half term, if you are coming into school during the time of school closures, you DO NOT need to come in school uniform.  You are going to be doing at least one physical activity a day and so it would be good to be in something you can do sport in.  You will also need to bring the following items into school with you:

  • Pencil Case with pen, pencil, ruler etc. ~ The school will not be able to supply you with basic writing equipment and we are not allowing sharing of another pupils writing equipment.
  • Colouring pencils and/or felt tips ~ Pupils will need to use their own and we will be asking pupils to to share their sets with other pupils.
  • School Closure exercise book to do your work in ~please bring this in as you will be spending part of the day working on the home learning tasks set by teachers.
  • Packed lunch ~ School meals will be restarting in school from 1st June 2020.  Until this date, all pupils will need a packed lunch (including those on free school meals).



Absence procedures regarding self-isolation for pupils attending school


  • Pupils (of those adults who are key workers or in a household considered vulnerable) should attend school unless they feel unwell – if any member of your household has any of the following symptoms they should remain at home for 14 days from the time the symptoms started: a new and continuous cough and/or a temperature.  This includes if symptoms do not get any worse over the 14 days or are very mild.  Please see the section on the previous page 'What to do if you show symptoms' for what further action you should take to limit the possibility of spread in the local community.  St. Mary's C.E. Middle School ask that all parents and carers follow this guidance for their children with immediate effect.
  • If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally by phoning the school absence line and clearly stating that you are self-isolating your child for 14 days in line with government guidance.  Your child, and any siblings, will be marked absent for 14 days (10 school days and 4 weekend days), 
  • You will not need to phone school each morning providing it is clear from your original message that the absence is due to self-isolation.  However, if it is confirmed that you or any member of your family have contracted the virus, please do notify the school immediately.
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