St Mary’s Family of Schools consists of:
- St Alban’s R.C. Primary School, Walker
- St Catherine’s R.C. Primary School, Jesmond
- St Charles’ R.C. Primary School, Gosforth
- St Lawrence’s R.C. Primary School, Byker
- St Mary’s R.C. Primary School, Forest Hall
- St Oswald’s R.C. Primary School, Gosforth
- St Stephen’s R.C. Primary School, Longbenton
- St Teresa’s R.C. Primary School, Heaton
- St Vincent’s R.C. Primary School, Walker
Students are also welcomed from many other primary schools across the city and North Tyneside.
The Family of Schools work very closely with each other with many projects and activities offered to students from Year 4 to ease the transition to secondary school. We find that most children settle quickly and really enjoy life at St Mary’s, their new school. Parents are often surprised at just how easily their children manage the various changes such as the travelling, the larger school, the older students and the many different lessons. However, we work hard to ensure that the transition is as easy as can be.
Strong primary/secondary links
Successful transition starts while the children are still in their primary schools. Regular meetings are held between ourselves and our feeder primary schools which together make up the St Mary’s Family of Schools. The schools work together on various initiatives and transition programmes. For example, Year 4 students come to St Mary’s for Science sessions and Year 5 attend a topical conference such as Climate Change, Fairtrade and Respect, as well as a day of high school lessons. Year 6 visit us for master classes during the year in some subjects. Then, in the summer term, all children who will be starting St Mary’s in September attend the school for two full days during which they have a taste of what high school life will be like. These days also provide the children with the opportunity to meet their new form class, make new friends and get to know the teachers and the layout of the school. In addition to this, our teachers often visit the primary schools to teach sample high school lessons in their subjects. We liaise very closely and listen to what our primary colleagues tell us about your children. This in turn helps us to respond effectively to their needs, ensuring that all children will be happy and settle in easily at St Mary’s.
Partnership with parents
Our partnership with parents is crucial. Your child’s success depends on the quality of our work together. There is no substitute for personal experience so we encourage parents to tour the school during the working day. Simply telephone to make an appointment. In the summer term, there is a further meeting for parents to provide you with lots of information about the transition and to give you the opportunity to meet key staff and to share any new information.
The summer school at St Mary’s is becoming a great and very enjoyable tradition. It is open to all Year 5 and Year 6 students and runs in the first week of the summer holidays. Many different activities are on offer at the summer school such as Sports, Cooking, Design and Technology, ICT, Science and Drama to name but a few. This week helps the children become accustomed to the school and the staff and to meet their new peers. Through all of this, the children become more familiar with life at St Mary’s, which helps to allay fears and gives them confidence and excitement for the move from primary to secondary school.