St Mary’s School Ascot has a long history of providing financial support to children who would otherwise not be able to afford a St Mary’s education, and we place great importance on the school’s means-tested bursary scheme. This scheme is funded by the school and the St Mary’s School Charitable Fund (Charity number 800450), which was established for the purpose of providing funds for the St Mary’s School Ascot bursary programme. The scheme operates two types of means-tested bursary: admissions and hardship. Each case is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly, subject to the school’s ability to fund these within the context of its overall budget. This year the value of means-tested bursary awards totalled £507,422. This provided assistance to 29 pupils, of whom eleven benefited from in excess of 80% remission of fees, and six of these benefited from 100% remission of fees. Information about fee assistance through means-tested bursaries is provided to all applying to the school and is published on our website.
The school undertakes work and activities for the public benefit throughout the year with children from local schools and with the local community, and these are fundamental to the Catholic ethos and spirit of the school, and in line with its charitable objectives. They are core activities for staff and pupils alike, who welcome them as part of our day-to-day life. The significant investment in time, energy and resources into our work with local state schools reflects our belief that these activities are the most effective way of broadening and widening access to St Mary’s resources to the public, including those in poverty.
This year we have continued to develop our close relationship with the two local state schools with whom we have formal Memorandums of Understanding: Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School. Our engagement with these schools involves both the sharing of resources and the dual use of teaching staff:
Charters School Latin GCSE. St Mary’s Classics Department continues to provide Latin language teaching to support Year 10 and 11 pupils at Charters School studying for Latin GCSE in one after-school lesson per week at the Charters site in Sunningdale. Last year six Year 11 pupils successfully completed the new 9-1 Latin GCSE and this year seven pupils will be entered. St Mary’s also provides text books, Latin language and literature teaching resources, handouts and revision booklets.
St Francis Primary School university taster events. St Mary’s has developed two two-hour courses for Year 5 and 6 pupils from St Francis to give them a taste of university-style education. These highly successful courses are run at and entirely resourced by St Mary’s, and include contributions from the Art, History of Art, Classics, Music, ICT, Drama, Science, Music and Modern Foreign Languages departments.
This year St Mary’s hosted 24 pupils and four staff from IntoUniversity (Charity Number 1118525) for a two-night residential stay free of charge, thereby facilitating primary school children from deprived areas of west London to gain an understanding and taste of university life. The school made minibuses and drivers available for their visit to the University of Surrey.
Other examples of activities carried out this year for the public benefit include:
Nine Lower Sixth pupils from Mulberry School came to St Mary’s in July 2018 for an Oxbridge Preparation Day run by an outside provider. This involved a full programme of activities including personal statement workshops, a talk by a former Oxford admissions tutor and introductory practice interviews.
Support with UCAS applications for two state school pupils.
Annual joint interview afternoon with Charters and Mulberry Schools for Upper Sixth Oxbridge candidates and applicants to courses requiring an interview. 28 Charters School pupils and 17 Mulberry School pupils attended. All interviewees were provided with written feedback.
Russian Club and Mandarin taster lessons
Provision of a safe but exciting venue for the St Francis Forest School on a weekly basis throughout the year
Provision of facilities and resources to allow Charters School Music Department to use St Mary’s as an INSET venue.
Council planning conditions restrict the use by others of our athletics and hockey facilities.
Details of our arrangements with Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School can be found on the Schools Together website: http://www.schoolstogether.org