High Stile, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1EB
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 other key church personnel will continue to visit school to deliver assemblies for the children.
In October 2019, we had our Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools and were judged good in all categories. The report says:
“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. Staff, pupils and parents feel valued; one parent said, “This is a real community, it doesn’t matter who you are you are welcomed and included”. Senior leaders demonstrate a passion for the success and well-being of pupils at Dunmow St Mary’s. The vision and values are central to leaders’ decision-making as they seek to ensure that every pupil is successful. As a result of the strong vision and commitment of staff, instances of bullying are very rare and dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Pupils enjoy school and feel safe. Hence attendance is above the national average.”