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What makes St Mary’s special?

St Mary’s is unlike any other school you’ll go to

Firstly, it’s relatively small, so everyone knows everyone else. When you join at the start of Year 7 you’ll instantly become part of a family that will support you over your 5 years here and makes sure that you get the most out of them.

It’s a Catholic school, so there are strong Christian values at its core that encourage mutual respect for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexuality. St Mary’s brings together people from all over the county, many of whom you won’t have met before, and enables you to form friendships that could last a lifetime.

The teachers here also genuinely want to help. I’ve noticed, particularly in this period of lockdown, that they all really want us to succeed at school but also understand that education is broader than lessons and encourages interest in sport and other hobbies. Something St Mary’s has taught me is that it’s important to try new things — if you’ve never tried a sport before, it's a perfect time to give it a go, and the same goes for acting, music, writing... The school does not pigeonhole you or put you in a box according to the type of person you have been in the past but rather encourages you to branch out and be creative.

The school is also special because of the pastoral system. Each year has a head of year (Mrs Walton for Year 7s) and you will have a form tutor who you can go to if you have any problems or need to talk. But it’s not just the teachers, the whole school environment is kind and if you’re nervous about beginning secondary school (as everyone is) we will completely understand.

Finally, on a practical level, St Mary’s is in the beautiful countryside, which is rare for a secondary school and has excellent sports facilities which are used regularly.

All in all, I could not be happier with what this school has offered me over the years and I hope you will get as much out of it as I have. 

C. Robertson (Year 11) — Deputy Head Girl.