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.
Head of Year - Mrs Christie O' Rourke
7OR - Mrs Christie O' Rourke / Miss Natalia Rogers
7EH - Mr Jim Houldey / Mr Tom Evans
7O - Miss Holly O' Brien
7TO - Miss Laura Osborne / Miss Martha Tavinor
Salutations, my name is Christie Dunn and I am the KS3 English leader. Selecting one, favourite children’s book is really tough for me as books are kinda’ my thing! One series I read over and over again as a young girl was Little Women (there’s also Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys) by Louisa M Alcott. The Harry Potter books also spring to mind as a favourite – I have always loved what I like to call ‘blended fantasy’ because I like the idea that there really might be magic and mystery all around us in the real world. Hilary Over was my favourite teacher at school; she taught me A Level English. She is the kind of teacher I have always aspired to be. Her favourite trick was simply to say, ‘And?’ when you gave an answer and it had an incredible power to make you think deeper. In November 2019, I became a mummy for the first time and I have already started reading lots of books to my little boy so I hope he’ll grow up loving to read, just like me. You might be interested to learn that I fancy myself as a bit of a dog whisperer. I adore all dogs and when I walk past them in the street, they strain against their owner’s leads as they try to get near me – sometimes this even happens when I am in the car! My favourite breed is whippets as I love their gorgeous, long snouts and one day, I plan to have two of my very own and I have even chosen their names already.
I am head of music at St Marys Middle School. My favourite teacher at school was not surprisingly the music teacher Miss Aldis. I was always inspired by how many instruments she could play. My favourite children's author was Enid Blyton. My brothers and I loved reading his Famous Five books and had many adventures of our own exploring Poole harbour and neighbouring countryside.
I trained to be a teacher at the London Institute of Education as a secondary school music teacher and worked in many schools of the East end as part of my training before taking my first job in the West end of London. I left to be a full time professional harpist travelling the world performing on Cruise Ships and in hotels.
I am now content living in Dorchester with my two adorable girls Carmen aged 5 and Caprice aged 4. I continue to play for weddings and corporate events where possible and teach flute and harp to pupils in the DASP pyramid.
My hobbies now of course include; visiting play parks, baking elaborate birthday cakes and hosting playdates for little ones
Jim Houldey - I grew up in a small village called Gaunts Common near Wimborne, and having taught in Inner and Greater London for 16 years, I moved back to a similarly sized village a mile away from where I lived as a child. I am married; and have four children. Their names are: Ellen (who is 4), Emma and Isaac (who are twins and are 9), and Milly (who is 16).
My favourite children's book is Terry Pratchett's "The Truth". My Dad introduced me to Terry Pratchett's books and I have a signed copy of "The Truth". Terry
wrote: "To Jim. The truth shall make ye Fred." Interestingly (although he doesn't go by it) my dad's first name is Fred.
I have played many different sports; and still play cricket and golf. My favourite pastime is spending time with my children.
Not many people know that I reached Grade 5 trumpet when I was at school before I sold my trumpet to buy a guitar.
Miss O'Brien - Head of Computer Science & STEAM Co-ordinator
Someone who has inspired me is Nicki Cooper (@GeekyNicki) who is a fellow Computer Science and advanced skills teacher. I really admire how she has developed units of work and her passion for the subject.
I have only just recently discovered the author Katherine Rundell and she has become one of my favourite authors. I enjoyed her book Wolf Wilder and more recently Rooftoppers. Her use of language to describe settings and characters is wonderful. I would recommend any books by this author to expand children's use of literature.
My hobbies and interests include going for walks and bike rides in the woods with my son. We love seeing the different animals we can spot and collecting sticks of various shapes.
Hello, my name is Miss Osborne and I teach PE and science at St Marys Middle School. Additionally, I am the head of Year 7 and run the school residential trip to Pencelli. I am in my fourth year here and this is my first teaching job. I always wanted to be a teacher and was inspired by my PE teachers when I was at school: Mr Godbold, Mr Kinsey, Mrs Read and Miss Box.
I like adventures and have skydived in Australia and would love to travel to more places around the world. A dream is to travel across America. I have already falling in love with New York and would love to go back one day.
Something you may not know about me is that I’m a little (very) competitive, I like to think in a healthy way, but my tutor group may disagree. I also have a very sweet tooth and will never turn down a sweet. In my spare time I play netball in the local premier league. I play in GD and have managed to win many awards as a player and as part of a team.
My favourite author when I was a child was Jaqueline Wilson. I loved all her books, but my favorite has to be the Dustbin Baby. I also loved Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. This was a book we read as a class when I was at school and has been one of my favourites ever since.
Hello, my name is Miss Tavinor and I am teaching PE and science whilst Miss Osborne is off on maternity leave. I went to a middle school myself and feel extremely privileged to now have the chance to teach in one. It was as a result of my amazing middle school PE teacher that I felt inspired to become a teacher myself. I LOVE being outside and spend a lot of my own time walking, running, swimming and paddleboarding. I have always loved reading but particularly in the past 18 months I have really got back into it and have started a book swap with my friends. I read a massive variety of books and find it hard to choose a favourite, however when I was young I would have to say that my favourite books were A Series of Unfortunate Events written by Daniel Handler (under the pen name Lemony Snicket). For those that don’t know, I am currently training for my first marathon, I am by no means a runner so it is taking some serious determination and resilience to get to the start line!