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Church and School

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:

• Self-awareness
• Reflection
• Reasoning
• A sense of enduring identity
• Good relationships
• Cooperation and empathy
• The formation of long term ideals
• Responsibility

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. We are very lucky to have the Reverend Ruth Patten lead school assemblies regularly and for the children to know her as a member of the local community.

Church links

“We are very proud of our links with Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School and consider them part of our church family here at St Mary’s.  I thoroughly enjoy spending time with the children in school, whether in assemblies or on other occasions.  We also have a student on placement for 3 years (Sam Smith) who has set up some lunchtime clubs in school and is helping to strengthen our links.  We also love welcoming the children to St Mary’s Church so that they can learn more about the building, about the life of the church and the Christian faith, and so that they can worship there too.  We hold services for the children in St Mary’s for Harvest, Christmas and Easter and it is a joy to hear their enthusiastic singing, their confident reading and their thoughtful prayers.  St Mary’s Church doesn’t belong to the church, it belongs to the people of our town, so we like to be able to welcome people into their church building as often as possible!”

Revd Ruth Patten, Priest in Charge of St Mary’s Church

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’