A warm welcome to our school website. St Mary’s is an all-inclusive, Catholic Maintained, co-educational Primary school based in the Parish of Newtownards & Comber and situated in the beautiful grounds of Our Lady of the Visitation Church on Killinchy Street.
We are a unique, child centred, pupil focused primary school with a strong emphasis on the social, emotional. physical, academic and spiritual wellbeing & development of all our children from preschool to P7.
As a connected school community, governors, staff, parents and pupils strive to actively live out the teachings of the Christian gospels daily, through displaying the values of faith, tolerance, respect, kindness, love and generosity.
We strive to create, foster and maintain a focused learning environment, where everyone feels valued, nurtured, safe and secure.
We recognise the importance of you, our parents, carers and extended family and the pivotal role that you play in your child’s education. We welcome your support and trust.
St Mary’s strives to encourage and guide each child to achieve their personal best both academically and socially, ensuring confidence, happiness and contentment.
We invite you to browse through our website and our recent ETI Inspection Report, to furnish you with a flavour of the opportunities and experiences that our children can avail of.
We welcome school enquires and visits.
- We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in keeping with the statutory requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
- Our Teachers are fully trained in all aspects of the Northern Ireland Curriculum and are committed to continuous professional development.
- We provide learning experiences which challenge our children to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
- We plan individual education programmes for children with Special Needs.
- We provide opportunities for pupils to develop their IT skills through the use of computers, interactive whiteboards, iPads and Apple TVs.
Our children are encouraged to participate in a range of activities throughout the year including educational trips using both the local and wider environment.
Our School Day
|8.40 am:||School opens for all pupils with teacher supervision from the above time.|
|8.50 am:||School begins for all classes.|
|10.30-10.50 am:||Morning break|
|2.00pm:||P1 and P2 everyday|
|3.00pm:||P3 (Monday & Tuesday), P4, P5, P6, P7|
**School finishes at 2pm every Friday for all pupils.**
Our warm and caring ethos permeates all aspects of our school life. It reflects the values, attitudes, beliefs and practices of our Catholic faith and involves all members of our school community.
Through our Pastoral Care Programme, we promote the safety, well-being, and personal development of all our pupils and staff. This is reflected in our range of policies that have been drawn up in consultation with Pupils, Staff, Parents and our Board of Governors.
- Our Positive Behaviour Policy promotes positive behaviour through our Five Golden Rules and a range of Positive Behaviour Management Strategies. These include Pupil of the Week, Principal’s Award and Golden Time. The pupils’ success is celebrated at weekly Assemblies.
- Our Child Protection Policy facilitates disclosure, and safeguards and protects our pupils, enabling them to feel secure and free from emotional and physical harm. Records of Child Protection related concerns are kept safe, secure and confidential in the Principal’s office.
- Our Anti-Bullying Policy provides support and protection for our pupils, against those who would ill treat them in an emotional or physical manner, or through the use of the internet.
- Our Healthy Living Policy has the support of our school community and promotes healthy eating, through our Healthy Breaks Initiative. We work in co-operation with our parents to ensure that all food and drinks consumed at break time are healthy. Children are also encouraged to bring healthy food for lunch. Exercise is promoted through the P.E. curriculum, multi-skills development, swimming, football, netball, after school sport, annual sponsored walks and exercise initiatives such as the Dairy Council Fitness Programme.
- Our First Aid Policy, Administering of Medicine Policy and Intimate Care Policy, offer clear guidelines for Pupils, Parents and Staff in terms of provision, protocol and responsibilities. Parents are fully informed of the correct protocol, and signed agreements are kept in the Health and Well-being file box in the Principal’s Office.
**Copies of our Health and Wellbeing Policies can be obtained on request from the school secretary.**
Out and About In the Community
We have a strong sense of community, working with a common purpose to ensure that each child achieves their full potential. The school continues to develop links with local Primary Schools through shared experiences, activities and trips.
School and community are linked through:
- Participation in local events and with local groups such as the Comber Regeneration Group, The Horticultural Society, the local nursing homes, the Farmers Market and the British Legion.
- A strong Parent Teacher Association.
Wrap Around Child Care
After-School's Club runs from 2.00pm-6.00pm at a cost of £9 from 2pm-6pm and £7 from 3pm-6pm. This facility provides a homework club, ICT, crafts and indoor/outdoor play. It also provides a pick up service from Andrews Memorial Primary School and Comber Primary School at an additional charge of £2 per day.
Extra Curricular Activities
At St. Mary’s we offer exciting clubs and activities for our children, providing them with a variety of opportunities to help identify their interests and strengths.