Dunmow St Mary’s C of E School/ St Mary’s Church
In this Church of England School the ethos is founded on Christian values and beliefs and in particular on the unique capacity and worth of each person as both an individual and as part of the community. The values and attitudes promoted by the staff influence the behaviour and attitudes within the school. The quality of relationships and the atmosphere within the school reflect an appreciation of its shared values.
As a school we aim to provide learning opportunities that will enable pupils to:
• Sustain their self esteem in their learning experience
• Develop their capacity for critical and independent thought
• Foster their emotional life and express their feelings
• Experience moments of stillness and reflection
• Discuss their beliefs, feelings, values and responses to personal experiences
• Form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships
• Reflect on, consider and celebrate the wonders and mysteries of life
• Embrace diversity
We hope that this will develop:
• A sense of enduring identity
• Good relationships
• Cooperation and empathy
• The formation of long term ideals
We use the Values for Life programme which teaches the children about crucial values such as Perseverance, Respect, Forgiveness, Trust, Responsibility and Justice.
Our school has strong links with St Mary’s Church in Great Dunmow. The first church on the present site at Church End was built around 1250. It was almost entirely rebuilt during the fourteenth century, and the tower added about a hundred years later. The children have the opportunity to visit the church for special Christian celebrations such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter and as part of their curriculum studies in religious education.
Our year 3 children develop a greater understanding of the church’s place within our community through their “A Special Place” topic with weekly visits to St Mary’s.
The local minister Reverend Ruth Patten has just been appointed as an Archdeacon. During the interregnum period we will maintain our strong links with the church and Reverend Lea Williams and Tara Russell will continue to visit school to deliver assemblies for the children.
In December 2014, we had a statutory inspection of Anglican Schools and were judged good in all categories. The report says:
‘Dunmow St Mary’s motto is ‘Enjoy and Achieve’ reflecting the school’s positive, purposeful and happy atmosphere which is clearly based on its Christian foundation. There is a ‘family feel’ which encourages mutual support with, for example, older pupils volunteering to help younger children at playtime. This is seen as a reflection of the school’s Christian ethos. As one child said, ‘It’s important to put our values into practice so that we live good lives’