Our Vision – Believe and Achieve (Matthew 19)
At Welwyn St Mary’s, we are committed to providing the best educational experiences for our pupils and to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our life and work. We aim to provide a secure but challenging environment where all feel valued and develop a lifelong love of learning. Our Christian values underpin every aspect of our school life and our intention is to encourage each of our pupils to develop and express their spiritual capabilities. Thus each member of the school community is respected and encouraged to work and worship together in an atmosphere of security, trust and co-operation.
Our vision ‘Believe and Achieve’ Matthew 19, is to inspire us all to be the best we can be by believing in ourselves, each other and in the teachings of Jesus. Believing in ourselves will give us the confidence to succeed. Believing in each other will empower others to do their best and by following the teaching of Jesus shows that His teaching drives all aspects of school life.
Our Aims and Christian Values
Stand firm, and you will win life. Luke 21:19
We provide the best learning experience by challenging and supporting our pupils and developing courage and perseverance to help them strive to their full potential.
So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace and that helps strengthen one another. Romans 14:19
For the whole law is summed up in one commandment: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Galatians 5:14
We create a safe and caring environment where all pupils feel valued, respected, secure and have a strong sense of self-worth.
Fill your mind with those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable. Philippians 4:8
Let us be concerned for one another to help one another, to show love and to do good. Hebrews 10:24
We develop our pupils intellectually, spiritually, socially and emotionally, guiding them to become generous and compassionate individuals who naturally show friendship and forgiveness to others.
Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbour to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now. Proverbs 3: 27
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastics 4:12
We develop and maintain strong community links within our school, with parents and families, our village and the world beyond as we strive to serve others.
I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. John 13:16
We ensure equality of opportunity for all members of our community.
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
We equip our pupils to be trustworthy citizens with a strong sense of justice and moral purpose and guide them to always being truthful.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
We foster creativity and innovation, showing thankfulness for all the opportunities we have.
Church of England Voluntary Aided status
Welwyn St Mary’s has strong links with the church of St Mary’s in the village. This Christian foundation was established over 250 years ago by Dr Edward Young, Rector of Welwyn, who opened a school for 16 boys aged 7 to 14 in 1749. The school moved to London Road in 1859. Welwyn’s population grew and, after the closure of the adjacent secondary school, the school moved to the current buildings which were extended and redesigned for primary use in 1985.
The Rector of Welwyn continues to keep in close contact with the school, taking assembly every week and an annual school Eucharist. The children attend St Mary’s church for major festivals and visit it as part of the R.E. curriculum. Several school governors are church or diocesan representatives. Everyone in the school community is encouraged to share the love, trust and sense of fellowship that being in a church school can bring.
The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership
Our character education at Welwyn St Mary’s was showcased nationally by the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership. We are proud to have had the opportunity to share in this way.
Developing Pupil Leadership through Character Education
Welwyn St-Mary’s is a medium-sized, two-form entry primary school in the village of Welwyn, in the London outer fringe. The school has created and embedded a range of dynamic leadership opportunities for pupils based on the development of their character. The have included an innovative Peer Mediator Programme focusing on pupil relationships, and a wide range of other pupil leadership roles within the school, including school council, environmental groups and sports leadership. Training programmes have been well focused and over time, the focus on character education has provided a rich framework for developing pupil leaders.
Through focusing on pupils’ character development in leadership, the school has seen a great increase in the proportion of children wanting to serve as leaders, and has also embedded a culture where service is a tradition and a norm. The school recognises the importance of highlighting and celebrating their values constantly through collective worship, pedagogy and behavioural expectations, whilst recognising that the development of servant leadership with their pupils has made a significant impact on the sense of mutual flourishing across the school for both staff and pupils.
It is true that the vast majority of schools will have pupil leadership opportunities, but the principle here of basing these opportunities in the development of pupil’s character, particularly in relation to service, has been fundamental to culture created in this school context.
Leadership Virtues in Action
Leaders have established an approach to pupil leadership that has focused on servanthood and placing others first. This has been modelled by staff, creating a strong culture of giving and respect, enabling all members of the community to flourish together.
Leaders have placed their confidence in their pupils, not giving lip-service to the notion of leadership development, but rather allowing pupils to take on a wide range of leadership opportunities that make a significant difference to the culture and ethos of the school.
Leaders embody humility in their approach to development of character through pupil leadership. They provide opportunities for pupils to taken on real leadership issues and, through their humility, have seen pupils grow in confidence and dedication to one another.