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Please see our specialist COVID-19 page under the NEWS AND EVENTS tab for updated guidance for schools and parents to follow. Please DO NOT SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL unless you have no alternative and they cannot be looked after safely at home.

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

Which pupils should be attending school?


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The government has made it very clear that pupils should only attend school as a last resort and where there is no safe alternative for the pupils to be looked after at home.


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:


Please can I ask that all parents who may consider themsleves within one of the stated categories of workers use the form sent out with the letter yesterday to notify us of whether your child will be attanding school from Monday.  This needs to be done ASAP and by the end of the school day at the latest.   I have highlighted some of the key points below which all parents must concider when making this decision (the following text is taken directly from Government Guidance):


The government is asking “parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.”


“It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.”


“Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.”


“Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.”


“Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below (in the linked document). 


Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.”


“Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.

  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.

  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

  • Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.


If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below (in the linked document), and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision.”


Further advice and guidance for parents and carers is available here -

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 upcoming Easter holidays.


Whilst it is clear in the guidance that families do only need one key worker to qualify for educational provision, 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.  


Thank you for your continued support at this most challenging of times.

What do I need to bring to school?


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.
  • Colouring pencils and/or felt tips
  • School Closure exercise book to do your work in.
  • Change of clothes for dirty / mucky work
  • Packed lunch



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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