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I offer you a very warm welcome to St Mary’s Catholic High School, situated in Chesterfield and serving the parishes and families of North East Derbyshire for 152 years. St Mary’s is an outstanding school and I am tremendously proud of the examination successes our young people achieve. St Mary’s is consistently ranked as one of the top performing comprehensive schools in Derbyshire and indeed the country and we work tirelessly as a community, for the pursuit of further improvement. However, my understanding of education is also rooted in laying the foundations needed for life. I believe that school must enable young people to build their spiritual life as well as their intellectual and moral capacity.
Through the commitment of all members of the school community and the talents of my outstanding teaching colleagues, we therefore aim to tap into our pupils’ sense of awe, wonder and curiosity and so contribute to their spiritual growth.
The relationship between home, school and parish, with young people at the centre, created in the image of God, is essential for them to flourish and fulfil their human potential. The staff at St Mary’s work tirelessly to support our young people and I am greatly indebted to them for their dedication to their work.
As a Christian school we are called to work for a fairer world. St Mary’s therefore always supports those on the margins of society and educates our young people to see the world through God’s eyes, whilst we both challenge and support them to act for justice.
Education to me is a means of becoming a more effective partner with God. At St Mary’s we are not only about preparing young people for further education or the workplace but about the development of the whole person and finding ways to use newly acquired skills and knowledge in the service of others.
Our evangelical mission is also very clear to us. I hope and believe that St Mary’s is a place where young people become ever more aware of the gift of faith, not simply through the school’s rich liturgical life but through the day to day interactions and the relationships centred at the heart of the school. Our young people are exceptional and I believe that they are the school’s greatest ambassadors.
I sincerely believe that St Mary’s is a place where faith, hope and love are fostered because the school is part of such a broad and supportive community of families and parishes, who share our belief that teaching is not just about communicating content but about forming young people. I therefore remind myself amidst the busyness of each day to keep my gaze fixed on Christ; he walks constantly at our side at St Mary’s and sustains us with his love as we strive to fulfil our mission; ‘to live, love and learn in the light of Christ’.
With very best wishes