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.
Following the release of detailed guidance from central government, schools will reopen to all pupils from September 2020. The provision will be full-time. These pages are to inform you of all the arrangements that St. Mary's C.E. Middle School will put in place to ensure that the return to school is safe for both staff and pupils. The arrangements are based on the document entitled 'Guidance for full opening:schools' which can be accessed by clicking HERE. Please note that any text in blue italics has been taken directly from the government guidance document.
The following passage is taken from the government literature and explains their rationale for pupils returning to school (abridged).
It is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term...The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased, our NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and we are clear about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within schools...The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school. We know that school is a vital point of contact for public health and safeguarding services that are critical to the wellbeing of children and families...Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)...We are, therefore, asking schools to prepare to welcome all children back this autumn. While coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, this means making judgments at a school level about how to balance minimising any risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) by maximising control measures with providing a full educational experience for children and young people. Schools should use their existing resources to make arrangements to welcome all children back...In welcoming all children back this autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined below to reduce the risk of transmission. If schools follow the guidance set out here and maximise control measures, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively....While our aim is to have all pupils back at school in the autumn, every school will also need to plan for the possibility of a local lockdown and how they will ensure continuity of education.
It is strongly advised that you talk to your child before they return to school. The learning environment and the style of learning will be 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. We will be going through all of these changes as part of the return to school in September. Please notify the school if you feel that your child is anxious or worried about returning to school and will arrange for a member of staff to talk to them to help reduce this.
The school will follow the advice from Public Health England and establish a set of actions that all staff and pupils must follow whilst on the school premises. There are:
Toilet areas will be designated for use by pupils in a particular key stage. Toilets will also be cleaned more regularly.
There will be a one way system in operation around parts of the school site to reduce the congestion in corridor areas and to limit the chances of pupils from different key stages mixing. We will brief pupils on the movement around the site once we return to school in September. While passing briefly in the corridor or playground is low risk, schools should avoid creating busy corridors, entrances and exits.
There will be restrictions on pupils visiting their locker areas during the day to avoid congestion and crowding in these areas. These arrangements will be discussed with pupils during the first few days in September.
Each of the teaching rooms used by pupils will be cleaned thoroughly each evening or 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.
Toilets will be cleaned more regularly.
Arrival by Car
Arrival by foot
Your child needs to bring the minimum equipment to school each day. This should only be the essential equipment for each day. Pupils should share any of their possessions with anyone else in school or borrow equipment from another child.
It is expected that all pupils who are able to come to school in September do so. Pupils will only be authorised for not attending school if:
The following passage is taken directly from the governments guidelines for the full reopening of school.
In March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school. Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply. These include:
We understand that parents may be very anxious about their child returning to school. Please contact your child's class teacher or the school office if you have concerns. We strongly advise that pupils attend school from the beginning of term wherever possible so that they take part in the reintegration activities on the first few days and become familiar with the new way in which the school will work.
We will work with any family who are struggling to get their child back to school or have concerns about them returning in September. However, the school does have a legal obligation to ensure that every child attends school and so will have to follow Dorset Council's procedures if needed.