The community is a key part of life at St Mary’s, and an aspect of school life we have actively developed over the years.
Within the school environment, children of all ages are encouraged to mix and make friends. We operate a buddy scheme at the beginning of each new school year, when a Year 6 pupil will be paired with a child in Kindergarten or Nursery and will help them settle into school life, play with them during breaks and generally make them feel welcome.
We also have a School Council, where two children from each year group in Year 1 and up are elected by their classmates to represent them, giving them a voice for their often fantastic ideas and an opportunity to contribute to decision making within the school.
We actively encourage parents to get involved in school activities as well, whether that’s coming into the school to give a talk about their profession, reading a story to younger children at the end of the school day or attending one of the many parents’ events organised by Friends of St Mary’s.
Over the years, we’ve also developed excellent links with organisations and people within the wider Henley community, and regular excursions provide a wonderful opportunity for the children to see and engage with life outside the classroom. Swiss Farm, where our outdoor classroom is located, and Holy Trinity Church are just two of the places that children visit regularly.
Our connections with local sports clubs such as AFC Henley, Henley Hawks and the Upper Thames Rowing Club also enrich our pupils’ learning by providing specialist facilities and in some cases even coaching.
Community is an important part of life in Henley, and a concept that we want our pupils to embrace and respect.