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Aims & Objectives

St Mary’s School aims to offer all pupils and members of staff every opportunity to reach their fullest potential, in a secure, nurturing and supportive environment, where they can learn to live and work in harmony with others.

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, emotional, social and cultural development are promoted as they learn about cultures and beliefs beyond their own, in preparation for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

St Mary’s School aims to develop strong, resilient, thoughtful and compassionate individuals with a social conscience, who are prepared to consider their place in the world and take seriously their responsibilities as global citizens.  

In an environment which gives due regard to the safety, equality of opportunity, inclusion, physical and mental health and welfare of all who visit and work in the school, the school seeks to:

  • Develop a broad, varied, immersive and relevant curriculum that includes philosophical enquiry and that is both current and relevant. Pupils are encouraged to take a Christian view of the world and the curriculum includes important issues, such as nature and global warming, environmental degradation and climate change.  By ensuring that pupils think globally, and that they develop an understanding of the meaning of ‘disadvantage’, ‘deprivation’ and the ‘exploitation of the natural world’, we promote pupils’ character development, encouraging them to look beyond themselves, asking the ‘bigger questions’, and challenging social injustice. Pupils are encouraged to look for their own opportunities to model courageous advocacy, making small sacrifices to benefit others, showing respect and compassion, being positive, hopeful, charitable and aspirational, in all that they do. 
  • Continue to invest in the curriculum, resources and high-calibre staffing, to ensure the delivery of a rich, immersive and inspiring curriculum that leads to pupils developing a life-long love of learning
  • Have in place a well-structured continuing professional development  training programme which facilitates staff and pupils’ development 
  • Regularly review the effectiveness of governance, leadership, management and staffing structures to improve the school’s provision
  • Review the school’s communication systems to improve dissemination of information within the school and across the school and local community, developing ever-improving links with parents, prospective parents and friends of the school, including the Good Shepherd Trust and St Mary’s Church, Chiddingfold, as well as with two other local churches. 

This strategy has been developed by the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, Governors and Staff of St Mary’s School and has been approved by the Governors (January 2019). It will be regularly reviewed by Governors, and amended as required.

The School’s Self Evaluation and School Improvement Plans seek to celebrate achievements as well as to set out priorities for future school development.

The School’s Improvement Plan has been drawn up within the context of three main agendas:


This assesses the status of the School, as evaluated through the School’s systems of Self Evaluation and external assessment (e.g. Ofsted and SIAMS inspections, HMI monitoring visits, Early Year’s Review, review of governance and validation visits undertaken by consultants within the Good Shepherd Trust.

Five key outcomes for children

School leaders plan to deliver an education which ensures pupils:

  • Are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy
  • Are safe, self-disciplined and willing to take personal responsibility
  • Enjoy and achieve in all that they do
  • Make a positive contribution to the School and wider (local and global) communities
  • Achieve economic well-being, becoming self-sufficient, and having a good work ethic

The School Improvement Plan

The school improvement plan is a key strategy document for the school. The over-riding aim is to promote high standards, by focusing on the School’s strengths and areas for development.

Through systematic monitoring, the School ensures that all agreed processes are implemented, as intended.

Action Plans are regularly revised and amended, and an evidence base for evaluation is developed and recorded. School evaluation activities are built into school improvement planning. Regular review of needs and frequent updates of Action Plans, ensure that priority is given to those targets, which relate to learning objectives and teaching and learning strategies.

 There is a timetabled programme of monitoring and evaluating activities to assess the quality of teaching, learning, behaviour, attainment and progress. Together with staff appraisal, monitoring and evaluation activities, and pupil progress tracking, have a direct link with pupils’ achievement and staff performance.

Strategy for the development of the School

Foreseeable future: Vision and Mission

To be recognised as an outstanding, inclusive, Co-educational, Primary School, that prepares boys and girls, with an all-round, education to the highest possible standards, equipping them for transfer to Senior School and adulthood.

The school aims:-

  1. to be financially prudent at all times
  2. to maintain and develop premises and accommodation that meets relevant standards
  3. to retain and recruit the best possible staff
  4. to remain competitive and unique at the same time as sharing expertise, with other local providers, and with schools within the Good Shepherd Trust   
  5. to expand our role in the wider community, including developing global links
  6. to explore opportunities for expanding the creative and sporting provision
  7. to provide relevant high quality resources
  8.  to be vigilant and to promote care of the environment and resources
  9. to create an ethos that values inclusion and learning for all
  10. to promote excellence and the highest standards and expectations in all areas of the curriculum
  11. to  enable pupils to work independently as well as cooperatively
  12. to promote a spirit of enquiry
  13. to promote independence of thought
  14. to promote high standards of behaviour and good manners  
  15. to  create a happy and stimulating environment
  16. to promote self-discipline, personal responsibility, integrity, self-esteem and confidence
  17. to promote empathy, tolerance , respect and humility

Development Priorities

St Mary’s School prepares boys and girls for the future, as educated, caring, confident citizens, able to make a valuable contribution to society. We aim to foster a life-long love of learning and an appreciation of the value of personal health and financial security, at the same time as encouraging virtues such as empathy, tolerance, respect and humility.

Development priorities at St Mary’s School include:

  1. Curriculum development planning and an annual review, to ensure  the needs of pupils are met
  2. Maintenance and development of our reputation as a unique and inclusive family school, with strengths in many areas of the curriculum
  3. Encouraging parents to make a long-term commitment to the School
  4. Promoting high standards of teaching and an excellent work ethic via regular professional review and constructive feedback, timely and effective induction training, mentoring and peer observation, sharing best practice, and through the provision of adequate opportunities for continuing professional development. Subject Leaders are encouraged to take responsibility for their curriculum area and to be accountable for subject leadership and development
  5. Sustaining aspirations for pupils at all levels of ability, including those with specific and additional learning needs, by encouraging a good work ethic, having high expectations of all pupils and by personalising learning through individual target setting, differentiation in planning and by sharing and reviewing learning objectives with pupils and their parents
  6. Developing ICT/Computing competency to prepare pupils for the modern world and, to the extent that, in the event of temporary, unforeseen school closure, or long-term absence, pupils can access learning from home
  7. Recruitment, retention and development of high quality staff which is crucial to the ongoing success of St Mary’s School. Giving thought to the way in which Teaching Assistants are deployed to enable teaching staff to manage the core activity of the school
  8. Ongoing and timely maintenance and further development and improvement to the school buildings and premises, staff room, reception areas, offices, classrooms, school grounds and play equipment. Security, interior and exterior décor
  9. Careful monitoring and assessment of pupil progress and thorough and consistent reporting so that parents are fully aware of their child’s strengths and areas for development and they are encouraged to become partners in their child’s education and development.
  10. Ongoing improvements to communication with parents so that they feel consulted and included in matters relating to their  child’s education and our reputation for customer care is enhanced
  11. Ongoing improvement to communication with the wider community (including pursuing further global links)
  12. Promoting and advertising the school to ‘feeder’ Nurseries and providing school tours to prospective parents and local agencies
  13. Further developing and strengthening relationships with the local community by forging good relationships with other schools in the area and maintaining relationships with prospective Senior Schools for St Mary’s pupils.
  14. Considering how support for disadvantaged families might be extended to provide appropriate opportunities for all pupils including those from families with limited means
  15. Promoting self-esteem and confidence, in the belief that these are important predictors of future success for pupils. Future marketing activities will promote this and will introduce additional marketing materials including press features, prospectus and website developments, ongoing review of the current position and strategies for the expansion of the existing market.

The school’s detailed Improvement Plan sets out how these Aims and Objectives will be put into action and achieved. The Plan has been prepared by the Headteacher, in consultation with Governors, Trust Directors, Senior Leaders, Subject Leaders and the staff team.