High Stile, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1EB
At Dunmow St Mary’s we aim to provide a rich, meaningful learning environment with high quality teaching where every child is given the opportunity to develop independent learning skills through a curriculum based on first-hand experience and enquiry. We want our children to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens and we aim to work in partnership with parents, the Church and the local community to achieve this. The focus in the classroom is on challenge, engagement, enjoyment and achievement. We encourage a growth mind set so that mistakes are seen as a pathway to new learning.
As a Church of England school we have a strong pastoral structure and Christian ethos. We value the uniqueness of every child and aim to provide a happy, caring environment where everyone can reach their potential both academically and personally. We aim to create a culture of mutual respect and tolerance. We are an inclusive school and have high expectations for all. Much of our success is due to our highly motivated staff alongside hardworking pupils and supportive parents, Governors and the church team.
Please visit the website regularly to keep up to date with what is going on. We hope you find all the information you need. Please feel free to contact the school with any queries you may have.
Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
At Dunmow St Mary’s we are extremely proud and well known for our delivery of the core and other foundation subjects via our ‘creative curriculum’. Each half-term every year group embarks upon a topic around which teachers construct exciting and stimulating lessons. These topics may be book-based such as our ‘Narnia’ and ‘Firework makers daughter’ topics; enterprise such as our ‘Charlie and the Chocolate factory’ or ‘mantle of the expert’ where children take on the role of an expert within a particular context e.g. our ‘Space’ and ‘Naturalist’ topics.
We provide as many opportunities as possible for children to learn through first-hand experience so they can learn by ‘doing’ not watching. This might involve pulling up vegetables on the allotment; filtering and testing water from the River Chelmer; participating in an Indian dance workshop or re-enactment of ‘Macbeth’; finding the Gruffalo in our copse; pond dipping in the school pond; visiting the fish counter at the local retailer or conducting an archaeological dig on our school grounds in search of Roman treasure.
We balance this topic based approach with a real sense of rigour and commitment to achieving the mastery level required for each year group in the core subjects of maths, reading, spelling and grammar, writing and science.
We build on the innate curiosity and sense of enquiry that children have and encourage a growth mind set so that mistakes are seen as a pathway to new learning. Our aim is for each individual child to develop a lifelong love of learning that will ensure they are successful in all that they attempt.
We would encourage you to talk to your class teacher in the first instance with any concerns you have. Teachers are often available at the end of the day or appointments can be made via the office. On a Wednesday afternoon we also run an open class session straight after school for parents to pop in and see children’s work or have a chat with the teacher. There will also always be a member of the senior leadership team available to meet with should you have unresolved issues or confidential concerns you wish to raise. Please remember if we don’t know there is an issue then we can’t help resolve it.
Special Educational Needs Coordinator SENCo
Please speak to our SENCos if your child has specific learning needs or you have concerns about their educational progress.
Pastoral Care Team
“The school is a place of reconciliation and support. No one feels unfairly dealt with or ignored. The school behaviour policy is based around pupils understanding what they could improve rather than just a punishment. This means everyone is given time to be listened to and promotes fairness. Behaviour around the school is linked to a clear policy that aims to teach children how to resolve issues.” SIAMS report October 2019
Led by Mrs Nikki Waldock the pastoral care team supports their class teacher in looking after the emotional welfare of your child. We recognise that children often have worries, concerns and problems that are difficult for them to manage and we can support them and help them learn coping techniques with 1:1 time and attention. We work closely with parents at all times and are keen to build strong relationships so that we are best placed to support your child. Where we believe it will benefit a child we are able to include them in our mentoring programme. We have a team of trained mentors who work with children on an ongoing basis: the focus might be developing confidence; helping build friendships; listening to worries or building strategies for successful learning.
Ultimately our goal is for your child to be happy and to be able to fulfil their potential.