St. Mary's - An Outward Facing School
We do all that we can to ensure that St. Mary's is outward looking, and reaches out to other schools, organisations, the community and the Parish. We are always looking for new ways to develop relationships further and provide the very best opportunities we can do for our children and their families. Here are just some of the ways that this happens...
Reaching Out to Other Schools
International School Links - We are in the process of making links with Sisophon School in North Cambodia. Many of our charity contributions reach Cambodia through our CAFOD links and we are currently writing letters to the children of this school and establishing links.
Inviting Other Schools to Workshops & Events - We regularly invite our Catholic partnership schools to GIFT team workshops and events such as our 'Lenten Workshop' below. Our last event was in March 2023 with the theme 'CAFOD's World Gifts'. We welcomed 10 schools to this event.
Inviting Other Schools to INSET and Sharing Good and Excellent Practice - St. Mary's has been at the forefront of organising joint INSET opportunities with cluster schools and often leading these using our own staff expertise or inviting expert speakers. Please see the video link below:
Links to Mount Carmel Secondary School - We have strong and well established links with Mount Carmel Secondary School, who work tirelessly to provide so many curriculum and out of school opportunities for our children. The transition policy above details the effective transition process we have in place. Our Year 5 children enjoy weekly visits to the school to enhance learning opportunities across the curriculum and we take part in a variety of events including choir singing, sport, drama and curriculum quizes. Please see below for all of the many transition opportunities we enjoy at this fantastic school.
Schools visiting our Eco-Classroom - It has been a pleasure to invite other schools to use our eco-classroom from as far away as Chorley and as nearby as Accrington.
Reaching Out to the Community
Our Family Liaison Officer - Wendy Schofield is a vital member of our team at school. She supports families throughout the school year (24 hours a day and 365 days a year) and is a constant source of support. Please visit the following link for more information about her important role:
Supporting Local Food Banks - We support our local food banks throughout the year with generous donations made by our families at school. Many of our families benefit from these donations too.
God's Gardeners - Our gardening club do a wonderful job, skillfully aided by Miss Schofield, of growing fruits and vegetables which we donate to the local food banks. We also ask members of the local community to help us. Father Tansey and Bob Turner are a great help and represent our local Parish and we also have a bee-keeper who visits school to explain to children about the importance of these creatures.
Involving the Community with the Eco-Brick Campaign - To help build our Eco-Classroom, we involved the local community who helped us collect over 3,000 Eco-Bricks!
Home Worship - Our children take home a Home Worship pack at several points in the year such as Advent, the Months of Mary and Lent. They then deliver Worship to their families at home. This has been extremely popular over the years.
Supporting Local Sports Clubs - We encourage our children to visit the local sports providers who provide out of school opportunities for our children, from drama to boxing and football to dance. We celebrate children's out of school success and achievements at weekly Celebration Assemblies.
School Uniform Bank - School helped to set up a uniform bank that could be accessed by some of our families who needed help to provide uniform for their children. This set up involved help from members of our community.
Collecting for Pastor Anne at the Baptist Church - Much of our charity work involves donations of food and clothing which is collected and distributed by the wonderful Pastor Anne at the Baptist Church.
Donating to Local Foodbanks - We make sure that throughout the year, any food collected goes to our local foodbanks. As mentioned, we also grow our own fruit and vegetables for the foodbanks.
Providing a Library for the Local Community - Our school library is open to the whole community who are encouraged to bring and swap books. This idea came about after the closing of the local library in Clayton-le-Moors.
Supporting Local Businesses - We make sure that we support and promote our local businesses at all times. We even use many of them for our infant and junior trips and visits.
Coffee Mornings and Bingo Afternoons - Our local community are invited to many events at school which have included bingo afternoons, coffee mornings and more recently, celebrations around the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
Inviting in Members of the Local Community - We invite local people in to talk to children about many different things. This could be a focus of our curriculum or celebrating a day such as when Reese Taylor visited us for 'Wheelchair User's Awareness Day'.
Our Governors - Our Governors play a very important part in the life of the school and are regular visitors.
Providing Gift Boxes for the Elderly - At Christmas, we have taken part in donating items and then boxing them up before delivering them to some of the elderly residents of the local area who do not have a family.
Wrap-Up Lancashire - We support this scheme to help donate coats during the cold winter months.
Residential Home Visits - We regularly visit the residential homes of Clayton-le-Moors as an opportunity to sing, dance and perform poetry. It is an opportunity to brighten up the lives of the visitors there and for our children to meet some important members of our community.
Charity Events - We make sure that all of the community are invited regularly to the charity events we hold in school.
Local MP's - We have a good relationship with Sara Britcliffe who has visited school to listen to the opinions of children on climate change. This led to school being mentioned in parliament.
Our Local Artist - We have a local, professional artist who visits school regularly to spend a day with each class through the year to engage in exciting art and D.T. activities.
Stay & Read Sessions & Phonics Workshops - We regularly invite parents in to school to share their children's education, whether it be through stay and read sessions or meetings aimed at helping children learn at home.
Reaching Out to Organisations
The Knights of St. Columbus - The Knights of St. Columbus are an Order of Catholic men who believe in 'Serving God by Serving Others'. They visit our school to meet our children and to sponsor theme days which other schools are invited to.
The Eggsplorers Team - This group visit us regularly at school and provide 'Eggsplorer' activities for the children to take part in at various times in the Liturgical Calendar.
Emergency Services - Members of the local Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance Services regularly visit our school to teach children about the important work they do and how children can stay safe.
Whatmore Used Plastics Factory - We are proud of our link with Whatmore and our Year 6 children visit this local factory to look at career opportunities that might be relevant to them and the qualifications that are needed. See the link below for more information:
Oswaldtwistle Theatre Company - We have very strong links with this theatre group. They visit school to put on performances for our children which have included eco-assemblies and World Book Day activities. We also visit them for the yearly pantomime and drama events and for regular dance competitions and events.
Wild Bird Organisation - This group voluntarily visit school to enhance our curriculum and appreciation of some of God's magnificent creatures.
Hyndburn & Accrington Sports Partnership - We pay an annual subscription fee to take part in a whole host of sporting competitions against others schools through one off games and tournaments. We have received the Gold Standard Award for 4 years running to show the commitment we have to providing these opportunities. Please visit the link below for more details...
Jo Whalley School's Counseling Service - We are extremely lucky to have Jen Hutchinson work as a play therapist at our school. She represents 'Jo Whalley Counseling Services' and provides a safe space for children who may be experiencing difficulties, helping them to explore their feelings and emotions in a non-judgemental environment. Please see the link for more details:
CAFOD - Bob Turner, our CAFOD representative, is an ever present at our school. He regularly leads Worship to talk to children about fund raising opportunities and climate change.
Accrington Stanley F.C. Community Support - This football club provides lots of activities and support for the local community, not least the Year 3 shirt giveaway and stadium tour each year.
Open the Book - One of our favorite times in the term is when 'Open the Book' visit us to perform stories from the Old Testament during Worship.
FUNDA Sports - We employ FUNDA to provide a P.E. curriculum, Breakfast and After-School Clubs and an After-School Sports Club for every class throughout the week. Please see the link below for more details...
CORAM Life Education - We use this organisation for a selection of our PSHE curriculum as well as the Life Education Bus which visits annually to teach parts of the Science and PSHE curriculum in a practical and exciting way.
Rhema Theatre - This theatre company visit school to perform Religious dramas and are always an important part of Holy Week for our children.
The Rotary Club - This company regularly visits our school to talk to the children about their important work in the community. They also donate a dictionary for each Year 6 child.
Reaching Out to the Parish
60th Anniversary of St. Mary's Church - We recently celebrated this monumental event by hosting lots of different events in school and Church which were well attended by members of our Parish.
GIFT Team Led Worship at Church - Our children have planned, led or contributed to several Masses at weekend Church.
Parish Participation - Members of the Parish are invited into school at lots of points in the year and are ably welcomed by our GIFT Team.
Parish Picnic - These events are the ideal opportunity for members of the Parish to meet our children.
Parish Friendship Group - This group meet monthly on a Monday afternoon and it has been lovely to join them with some of our children to play games and socialise with them for the afternoon.
Stations of the Cross Service - Our GIFT Team have taken part in these services over the last few years, involving the Parish community.
Churches Together Concert - The three Churches of Clayton-le-Moors and Altham unite each December for a carol concert.
Class Worship - Class Worship takes place in Church each Thursday morning. Please see link below for more information:
Remembrance Day - We make sure that we visit members of the local community and significant landmarks in the local area, such as the Church gardens and Memorial Cross to pay our respects to the fallen soldiers.
Opening of the Eco Classroom - Members of the Parish were invited to attend the opening of the eco-classroom by Bishop John Arnold and take part in a special Mass.