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.
Last Tuesday, we were fortunate enough to be able to take 29 of our Year 8 students to the Houses of Parliament for the day. It was part of an initiative from the Parliament Education Service and way back in September I had to wait on hold for what seemed like (and possibly was) hours to try and get some tickets for our school. We managed to get the Tuesday in February and we were whisked to London in a brand new coach - another grateful provision by the Education Service. As a part of our PHSE and Citizenship curriculum, Democracy and British Values are key components and this experience really does help to bring that aspect to life.
After 4 hours of me discovering just who the loudest students were (and remembering why I’m not a fan of the songs from Grease…) we arrived just in time to witness the annual MPs pancake race around the green outside Parliament. We were then ushered through the airport-style security and into the Palace of Westminster. It was an incredible building and the guides were extremely knowledgable about the building, democracy and lots of other quirky facts - I for one did not know that if all the doors were open from the House of Lords to the House of Commons the Queen and the Speaker could basically look at one another across the entire length of the Palace!
On the subject of the Speaker, we timed our visit (completely fortuitously) with the Speaker’s procession through the Palace to the House of Commons. Our students were right at the front to see the ceremony unfold and witness the mace being taken to the House. John Bercow MP (the Speaker) waved at the students and thanked them for coming to the Houses of Parliament - he is apparently a very big fan of children visiting to learn about democracy.
We got to look in briefly on a debate in the House of Lords and then we were met by our local MP, Oliver Letwin (thanks to some persuasive emails from Ruby) who answered questions from our students for around 40 minutes. The questions were at times very tough (Mr. Letwin’s words to me afterwards) and ranged from what the Government were doing about Junior Doctors and the NHS to Brexit and what it could mean for them.
We then had a workshop looking at women suffrage and the engagement of the pupils was fantastic. The staff commented to me afterwards how well behaved and enthusiastic the pupils were - always a great thing to hear when out on a visit.
It was then back on the coach for another long drive back to Puddletown. All members of staff ion the trip commented on how well behaved the students were and how thoroughly enjoyable the day was. Hopefully we can get some more tickets to go and visit again next year.