Our Core Principles
We are a Catholic school for whom Christ is at the centre of all we do. We have distilled our core values into four key areas, which permeate and underpin our school ethos: Prayer, Service, Knowledge and Aspiration
Rooted in scripture, the Eucharist at the Centre
First and foremost, we are proud of our Catholic faith - Christ is central to our daily lives. At St Margaret Mary, children treat others with respect and care, their behaviour towards others is true testament to the Gospel values and a testament to our children’s spiritual, moral and social development. Our school recognises all as children of God and therefore there is an intolerance of discrimination as we recognise each other as a part of the body of Christ.
Visitors to our school comment on how our children positively greet and interact with them and these comments are reinforced by those made in the local community, parish and deanery. Our children’s friendly attitude speaks volumes for our school’s response to developing the whole child.
From the moment visitors enter our school, the Catholic ethos is evident; in classrooms, in the staff room, in the Head’s office and in communal areas. The Catholic identify of our school is very strong. Throughout the school there is clear evidence of our catholicity, this is regularly commented on by visitors. The school corridors are adorned with RE displays showing various things - these range from academic work to examples of our children being witnesses to God. In addition, there are scripture quotes on walls focusing on the importance of Christ’s teachings and religious art is displayed throughout the school. Our classrooms and corridors are a place of peace and prayer as our children are called to be witnesses to Christ’s teachings.
Serving the Community
At St Margaret Mary we encourage a truly hands on experience to faith driven by our children. There are regular meetings with the chaplaincy team regarding the liturgical calendar and fundraising ideas; furthermore, these children give up their own time to man the chapel at break time for special events - be this the Rosary in May or quiet reflection in Lent.
Service to those in need is embedded within our school. We have a whole school approach to charity - this includes each year group being allocated a Corporal Work of Mercy. Our children respond regularly to the needs of others outside the school community - they have worked tirelessly with groups such as the SVP and the KSC as well as visiting local care homes and the hospice.
Other deeds have seen our children visit and tend local cemeteries, working ecumenically and cleaning other denominational churches; their most recent venture is setting up a dementia café within the parish. The children spend time learning about different causes and the need to respond positively in assemblies, RE lessons and in class.
Furthermore, our children have been enthusiastically involved in, among other things, CAFOD’s Give It Up! Campaign, Water Aid Appeal, Operation Christmas Child and The Race for Life. Our sense of service and dedication to charity is driven by the command given by Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” The motto of our children is “Ubi Caritas”, which translated means "Where charity is true, God is there."
Exploring God's creation
Apart from home, school is the single most important place in the lives of most children and it is the place where memories are made.
A child’s experience of school plays a vital part in their lives and will determine their academic, social and, probably, future employment. It is the role of our school to develop the whole child and we do this through faith formation and a curriculum that enhances experiences.
St Margaret Mary has an extending school day - our children benefit from a knowledge based curriculum where various foundation subjects are delivered by subject specialists. Here we promote the arts and dance and drama are delivered to all classes.
As a Catholic school, we see it as our duty to promote, enhance and develop every child’s God given talents. We are dedicated to the holistic development of each child and we do this through providing a vast array of learning experiences both in and beyond the classroom.
These experiences range from working with employers and professionals from the local area to performing Shakespeare at The Theatre by the Lake. It is the aim of our school to provide our children with the same opportunities and quality of education as that of any child in the country. Our key principles are: Knowledge, Prayer, Service and Aspiration and these form the backbone to everything that our dedicated staff do.
Our children get various opportunities to develop their knowledge beyond the classroom - they are given the opportunity to visit museums, galleries, theatres, castles and even touring shows . Moreover, we have religious retreats and residential weekends throughout Key Stage 2 – the aim of these are to develop all aspects of the child whilst providing valuable learning opportunities.
St Margaret Mary School is a place where children grow and blossom, they develop personality and confidence, and opportunities are provided no matter their age or background. We continue to be thankful to every child, member of staff and indeed, parents, who continue to support us on this journey.
Aspiring for Greatness
Our school’s aim is to show and develop our children’s God given talents whilst ensuring awe and wonder in learning. Our knowledge rich curriculum gives the children a wide range of understanding of our country and the world around us. This understanding is supported with trips as far afield as Edinburgh, London, Holy Island and York.
As a Catholic school, we keep prayer central to all that we do. This gives the children the chance to say thank you for all the opportunities they receive, it enables them to pray for those that they love and to consider those they consider as less fortunate than themselves. It might sound deep and complicated but it is part of everyday school life for our children. It helps them to develop tolerance for, and understanding of others as well as the ability to understand themselves better. We believe in, and aspire for our children to be the best as we prepare them not just for adult life but for life in heaven.
The community of St Margaret Mary is about every child and their achievement, their happiness and their development. Academia is but one of the many strands of a truly holistic approach to education and we at St Margaret Mary are truly committed to the development of every child in their preferred field. Not all children are lucky enough to have the opportunities for enrichment provided to them by their families and therefore the school’s role increases and thus we support schemes like the Children’s University to drive home the idea of aspiration.
Furthermore, not all parents are confident to engage with the academic aspect of schooling and therefore enrichment activities outside of the school day allow families a means to support the development of their child. We aspire for greatness and we believe that all our children should aim high and fulfil their potential.