Parents choosing to send their child to St Mary’s are opting specifically for education within the setting of a Catholic school. We are part of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and, as such, we belong to the strong family of Catholic primary and secondary schools throughout the north-east. This is a very supportive network of schools with whom we share the same ethos.
We are proud of our Catholic tradition and take seriously our responsibility to nurture the Faith in our young people and to support them on their spiritual journey through life. We have the huge responsibility of helping to prepare our students for this life and their life to come.
Every day, students have the opportunity to join with their form tutor and fellow students in Morning Prayer, either in the form class, chapel or in assembly. This may be led by tutors but often it is the students themselves who lead prayer or who ask for prayers for particular people or causes. It is a wonderful part of school life and greatly appreciated by many students and staff.
There are also regular opportunities for collective worship throughout the year, in the form of weekly voluntary masses on Friday mornings and special liturgies. The school atrium has been the venue in our new school for whole school gatherings at different times of the year, including a Remembrance Day service, Christmas service and a Maundy Thursday service.
There are also increasing opportunities for reflection away from school. Each year group goes on annual retreat and students are also invited to attend the diocesan schools’ summer festival, which is also a very popular event with our students.
In addition to this there is an annual whole school Mass held in July. This is a fantastic event involving all our students, celebrating our year together.
Every few years, we welcome the Diocesan Youth Ministry Team who lead the whole community in a week-long mission. This event helps to further increase links between parishes and the school which continue to grow in strength.
We are enriched by children and staff of other faiths and we are proud of our inclusive approach to spiritual development. We actively seek opportunities in RE, form time and as part of the wider school life to explore how the varying faith traditions complement each other and strengthen us in our everyday lives.
The school is proud of the work it does in what we call faith in action, through our support for many good causes throughout the year. We are always so impressed by the generosity of our students in their charitable giving and by the care and concern which they show towards those less fortunate than themselves, at home and abroad.
In recent years, we have collected hampers for the region’s homeless and raised money to send Sixth Form students to Zambia to support a school for children. Students really do try to live out the message of the gospel.
Whatever your child’s faith background, you can be assured that at St Mary’s your child will have the opportunity to explore and develop their spiritual life in a secure and supportive environment, where tolerance, mutual respect and learning from each other are some of our guiding principles.