'Serving others will change the world.'
Pope Francis, 2018
At St. Mary's, we are aware that we are called to act out our faith. Being a Catholic is about showing our love for God by serving others in our daily lives. Our mission statement 'Learning to Live Out Our Calling with Compassion and Love' is at the core of the life of our school. We strive to actively live out our lives by listening and understaning the teachings of the gospel. We serve those around us with compassion and love and carry out our own personal discipleship.
We wanted our school mission tagline to be a reflection of the values and aims of what we believe our true mission to be. The children were asked to think about what they believe our mission is and then to capture it in a mission tagline.
Our Student RE Leaders and Staff Mission Team considered all of the children’s entries. They felt that the winning mission statement encapsulated our daily attentiveness in being open to listening to God’ so that we know what he wants us to do, to us carrying out his work and to do so through the two special values of love and compassion.
Our new mission statement tag line is:
'Learning to live out our calling with compassion and love.'
To celebrate and explore our mission we held a Mission Day. All of the children took part in drama, music and art activities to both explore and celebrate out new mission.
Our School Song
As part of our new Mission line launch, Year 6 have helped to write a new school song;
At St. Mary's from over the water, in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.
As children of God we are guided, to learn and to grow through this time.
The water on our badge is no mystery. It's there to remind us of our history. The Lyme Brook running beside our school, surrounded the castle and protected its walls. CHORUS
The castle had a chapel and so do we. God has been worshipped here for centuries. We have a special garden where we go to pray. It's a quiet peaceful place to reflect on our day. CHORUS
Mary is our mother and the star of the sea. Father Paul is our priest at Holy Trinity. We go to the Library and the Cinema in town. We are often at John Fisher and the College has us round. CHORUS
There's fitness clubs on after school. We are a healthy bunch. The gardening club grows lots of veg. We have it for our lunch. We sing and play in music clubs with opportunities-to bring our music into the community. CHORUS
Catholic Life Pledges
Our calling to serve has led us to support each other and the wider school community through a very challenging time. We have served by focusing on charity projects, school community projects and environmental projects. Through these projects we answered the call to help those in greatest need of our love and compassion.
Our Chosen Charity Projects
As part of our Year 1 pledge, we have collected and donated food to a local foodbank. We have a special link to this foodbank through one of our St Mary's family's The children loved dropping the food off and talking to the volunteers about how a foodbank works.
This half term, Year 2 have been collecting and donating food to help those in need. We donated our food to the Alice Charity who were very grateful for our help and support!
The children decided they wanted to be charitable in helping others less fortunate. So we decided the best gift we could give was to raise money to pack shoeboxes to bring great joy to children on Christmas Day.
The children promised to do this in our Collective worship and took home their pledge to share with their families.
For our first pledge, the children decided to raise money through their artwork. In creating their beautiful pictures and ordering such lovely gifts for their family, they have contributed to the £7 million pounds that has been raised by Funding Creations. This money is used to contribute to much needed funds and the children have had a fantastic time creating some beautiful works of art. Their families have also been able to benefit by purchasing some precious gifts to give this Christmas.
The children in EYFS decided that they would like to raise money for the Marie Curie Charity. The children created their own art work, inspired by the Marie Curie logo and they planted their daffodil bulbs which successfully grew into beautiful daffodils. The children then sold their art work and the daffodils to their parents and friends of the school. All of the money raised was sent to the Marie Curie Charity.
Children in need charity fundraiser
The children in EYFS raised money for the children in need charity. The children wore their own clothes and took part in a variety of fun activities for children in need.
NSPCC number day in Reception
The children supported the NSPCC charity by coming to school dressed as a their favourite number and taking part in number activities throughout the day.
Year 1 Donated to The Foodbank
A big thank you to our wonderful Year 1 families. We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity in supporting our Catholic Life pledge to make a food donation to those in need in our local community. The children helped us to fill six bags of food, which we have donated to the food bank. Thank you so much Year 1 ! Your donations have been greatly received and will make a real difference to those people in need.
Love Thy Neighbour
Year 1 supported our local Care home by raising money for through the 'Love thy Neighbour' competition. Well done to Mason in Class 2L. He was the lucky winner of the chocolate hearts . There were 65 and his guess was the closest at 63. We are sure that the £80 raised will be very greatly received by Rowan Court Care Home. Yet again we cannot thank all of our St Mary's Families enough for your supporting our Catholic Pledge.
CAFOD Family Fast Day
The children in Year 2 made a Catholic Life Pledge to raise money for CAFOD’s Family Fast Day. The children replaced one of their meals with something simple and reflected on how fortunate they are to be blessed with more than enough food to eat. The children brought in small donations from their family and made posters to raise awareness. In total we raised £90 for CAFOD
Golden Mile CAFOD Fund Raiser
Year 2 continued to support funds for CAFOD. For one of the Catholic Life pledges the children completed a sponsored golden mile run to raise money for CAFOD World Gifts. Fortunately the event took place during a lovely dry day! All donations received went directly to the CAFOD Word Gifts Project.
Year 3 Raising Money for Mental Health
Our children in Year 3 decided to carry out one of their Catholic Life Pledges to support Mental Health Charities. The children saved their own money that they would have otherwise spent on treats and instead donated the money for a greater cause. The children were given a full tube of smarties and they were asked to return it with 20p coins in. We were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity that has been shown. Thank you.
Year 4 Supporting the Rotary Club's Purple for Polio Campaign
Year 4’s Catholic Life pledge has been to plant crocuses to support Purple4Polio campaign. Rotary clubs help to plant millions of purple crocuses every year to raise awareness for efforts to end polio. When a child receives their life-saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine. Year 4 support the raising of funds for the Purple4Polio campaign by planting their own crocuses.
Year 4 The Alice Charity
For one of the Catholic life pledges, the children in year 4 kindly donated food to the Alice Charity, which supports those people who are in need.
The Alice Charity
For one of their Catholic Life Pledges, the children in Year 5 wanted to help a local charity who supports families in crisis in our city. The Alice Charity asks people to be a 'Community Champion' and spread love and kindness by donating any resources to support vulnerable families. The children in Year 5 and their families rose to the call and donated extremely generously to this worthy cause. All donations were gratefully received.
Food For Our Families
Just like the children in Year 5, the thought of families struggling during the pandemic was a calling which was felt by many across the country. Led by one of our Year 6 teachers, Mr Bridgewater, our school wanted to ensure pupils don’t go hungry during the school holidays. There was concern that lots of household may have been unable to meet the threshold for food vouchers provided by local authorities. Using social media we promoted the Food for our Families campaign. The project gained rather over whelming support and with an initial thought that £500 may be raised, almost £400 was raised. This enable hundreds of households to receive a food package during the holidays.
Each package included around £16 worth of food to last a child for a week.
The packages included tins of soup and baked beans, boxes of pasta and rice, milk and orange squash, ham, cheese, yoghurt packs and bread. Families' received fresh fruit and vegetables, along with some treats such as crisps and biscuits. We were even able to cater for people with special dietary requirements such as vegetarians and those who eat halal food. Mr Brigdewater and other teachers delivered the food parcels to families homes during the school holiday.
Our Chosen School Community Project
School Community Defibrillator
As a school community our children were moved by unfortunate events that have affected families in our school community and the media. Tragically some our families have lost adults and children who have suffered cardiac arrests and could have been saved by a defibrillator. We know that a defibrillator is the ONLY device that can help when someone has a cardiac arrest. With the effective and speedy delivery of treatment, survival can be raised to 70 percent, but this requires CPR (chest compressions) and also use of a defibrillator. The chance of survival decreases 10% per minute after a cardiac arrest, so the faster help can be given the better the outcome. The school with great support decided to raise money for a defibrillator to be housed at the entrance to the school so that it is ready available to the school community and the wider community. With a set target of £1200 needed, the children began to promote activities to raise funds. Some of our Year 5 children organised a cake sale, we had a 'Name the Teddy Competition', Red Heart Day and many donations from parents and friends of the school.
God's Creation - Environmental Projects
We answered the call to protect God's creation by speaking up and speaking out about changes in our local environment. Unfortunately this year our school and our school community have experienced the unpleasant effects of a local landfill site. We feel strongly about protecting God's creation and at times like these we know that we have to speak up about changes which can harm God's creation. We want our plant to be sustainable and at the very least we need to be able to enjoy our planet and breathe healthy non polluted fresh air. The landfil has meant that local residents have needed to stay inside with their windows closed due to the foul smell being omitted from the landfill. Those with asthma and other medical conditions have struggled greatly.
As part of our Catholic Life Project for Summer 1, we thought more about how we could be stewards of the earth and in particular of our school environment. As a year group, we scheduled time to tidy up our school grounds using litter pickers. It was amazing how much litter we found in the bushes, grids and the pedestrian zones around the site!
The children in Year 4 as part of World Ocean thought about the impact that rubbish especially plastic has on our oceans and seas. They found out that a lot of sea creatures especially the turtle are becoming critically endangered. They brought in rubbish from home and used this to create their own turtle collage.
The children discussed ways in which they can play their part in taking care of God’s Creation. We explored how we can be stewards in our daily vocation. Our Year 1 children pledged to make a difference at school and it was clear to see how a small thing can make a big difference to our environment. Not only does it look tidier but it’s also a much safer place for any visiting wildlife too! We created posters to make our message loud and clear and displayed these around our school grounds.
World Ocean Day
We know that 70% of God's wonderful plant is covered by the ocean. The ocean absorbs gases which protect us from global warming, the ocean is a source of food and a source of medicine. Unfortunately our human actions are harming the oceans. Many of the species that live in the ocean are being destroyed by plastic which is polluting the oceans. We decided to stop and raise awareness of this during World Oceans Day.
Taking Care of our Own Environment
We have been making sure that the earth around our feet is well nourished and taken care of. Year 1 planted seeds and nurtured them for many months until they grew and could be transferred from their pots into the ground.
Nursery and Year 5 children have been looking after our environment by helping to clean up the environment by collecting waste which always gathers in the hedges. Nursery have also been taking care of their environment by litter picking in the outdoor area.
Sharing Produce from our Environment
It was very rewarding harvesting our vegetable crops from our school garden. The crops had been planted by our gardening club earlier in the year. We successfully grew potatoes, green beans, red peppers and chillies. All of the produce was given away to very grateful families in our school community.
Acts of Kindness
As part of our Catholic Life pledges this year Nursery wanted to share their love with the residents of Rowan Court. Each child created a heart to add to a string of bunting. We hope it brings joy and brightness to the care home!
St. Mary's are extremely happy to share how one of our Year 5 pupils are living out their Catholic Virtues this week.
Ozzy has shown great compassion and love by taking time to create some care packages for the children experiencing the awful events in Ukraine. He has put together boxes of books, blankets, warm clothing and toiletries to provide the children there with some comfort.
What a kind-hearted member of our school community... We are very proud to have you at our school!
An Act of Kindness and Compassion
We have been moved by this young man. Following a lesson about Jesus entering our world homeless, Archie felt inspired to provide for the homeless couple currently living on Wolstanton Marsh. An inspiration to us all. Well done Archie!