"Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward
from him.” Psalms 127:3

“Not all of us can do great things but we can do
small things with great love.” Blessed Mother Teresa

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Faith, Values and Ethos

Our School

St Mary's RC Primary School, Harrington is a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided School with accommodation for 210 children in the main school and 26 in the Nursery. It was built to replace the original 19th century building in Church Road Harrington.

The school serves the parish of Christ the Good Shepherd Workington which includes the areas of Harrington, Distington, Branthwaite and Lowca. Pupils who are not members of the parish and other Christian denominations are also accepted with the approval of the Governors. At this moment in time approximately 74% of our pupils are from other Christian denominations.

In welcoming the child into the school we offer them a Catholic Christian caring ethos where they can learn and develop in a secure environment and where they can display good manners and respect for everyone.

We see the child as a special part of God's creation, with special gifts and talents. It is our aim to lead the child to promote his or her own learning and development, achieve high standards and have high expectations of themselves. Our responsibility is to help prepare the child to be a positive part of God’s creation and a responsible member of society.

The school has 7 classrooms, a Nursery, a nurture room for group work and a hall which is used for PE, drama, performances and assemblies as well as a dining hall. 

There are extensive grounds which are being enhanced through grants and the efforts of local groups, staff, parents and the pupils. We have a newly built MUGA which enables us to play sport outside all year round.

The Ofsted inspections in March 2006, June 2009 and May 2012 recognised St. Mary’s as an outstanding school. The last religious inspection recognised St. Mary’s as a good school where there is a happy caring community which provides a secure moral framework for the pupils. We were also re-accredited with Healthy School Status in June 2009. It was recognised that the aspirations of the school’s mission statement is evident in the everyday life of the school. We also obtained a bronze Kitemark for PE and Sport in which reflects our commitment and dedication to sport and fitness for all. We were also awarded a Gold ‘Arts Mark’ status in 2014 which recognised the schools exceptional creativity through all the creative arts. Our annual summer musical performances are acclaimed by parents and the wider community as superb dramatic and musical entertainment for families to enjoy. We are also a  "Centre of Excellence" for financial education. 


Our Mission Statement

Jesus said: 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” The second resembles it: “You must love your neighbour as yourself.”

(St Matthew Ch. 22 v. 37 - 39.)


St Mary's School intends at all times to make

Christ's Commandments central to every aspect of

school life. St Mary's School exists to provide a safe,

caring atmosphere of mutual respect, in a Catholic,

Christian context for all involved in its mission.


Each individual will be led to his or her full

potential spiritually, physically, socially and

intellectually so that all may grow to know, love

and serve God more fully and to value themselves

and others.


We constantly share these ideals with the children. The words of the Mission Statement have been expressed in the following way so that they can be more easily shared with the children:




Jesus told us to love God

and love one another.


We do this by showing respect

and by caring for each other.


We want all of us to do our best

at all times and

take pride in ourselves because each of us is special to God.


The Value of Catholic Education

However close or loose the tie may be with a Catholic school, we all have deeply held views about our schools, because we consider them to be exactly that: “Ours”. The question of what they should be, do and teach vexes us all.

The purpose of the Catholic school can be summed up as follows: To share in the mission of the Church. The mission of the Church varies according to the needs of God’s people. A mission hospital and pharmacy does not teach, but provides appropriate healthcare for the people in need. A prison chaplaincy team does not arrange week-long retreats in monasteries, but makes present in the very place of detention the support of Christ who came to set prisoners free. Our Catholic school respond to the needs of the children, families and parishes of which they are a part. They provide education, care, support, nurture, stability, and information in a context of proclaiming the Gospel and feeding the faith of all who make up the school community.

In the Diocese of Lancaster we have 83 school with around 21,000 children and young people. Over 30% of our children are not of the Catholic faith. Of the 70% or so who are, very few of them will be from homes and families that are regularly practicing their faith through participation in Sunday parish Mass. These facts do not mean that our schools cannot fulfil their role in the mission of the Church. On the contrary, it means that the mission accomplished by our schools is far-reaching and necessary. A Catholic child from a practicing family is catechised and encouraged through the school. The school, rooted in the parish, reaches out into hearts, homes and communities that otherwise would never be reached. Without the school, so many people would never hear the Gospel preached, they would never experience how the discipleship of Christ can be lived, they would never see the Christian virtue consciously modelled, they would never have an opportunity to pray, to hear the scriptures proclaimed, to experience the Eucharist. Our schools create an environment where the name of Christ is spoken with reverence and with an invitation to encounter Him.

In the past our schools provided education for the poor, and catechesis for families who were conscious they were very much part of the life of the parish. Today the need is much more urgent. It is to provide evangelisation for those who have never heard the Gospel preached, and will most certainly not have access to the Good News through other means.

Do not underestimate the depth of this need. Christianity is gradually retreating from many aspects of public life and culture in Britain. Our schools are a beacon of hope, a city on a hilltop. They are also the leaven in the batch, working courageously to knead the presence of Christ into the hearts and lives of the children. Without the schools would we be evangelising at all? What is the value of the Catholic School? Priceless!

Canon Luiz Ruscillo (from September 2017 edition of the Catholic Voice)


Catholic Values and British Values

This is a Catholic school which seeks to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words and actions, and Catholic doctrine and practice therefore permeates every aspect of the school’s activity. We provide a Catholic curriculum, which is rich, broad and balanced, recognising that every pupil is unique and is created in the image of God (Gen 1; 27).Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their vocation and to be well equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world. Catholic Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” (Pope St John Paul 11) and the foundation of the entire educational process. We also provide a wide range of extra - curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.




RE Inspection Report

Catholic Life Information

We are delighted with the support we received today, Wednesday 27th September, for our Macmillan Coffee morning.  We raised £260.43 and the children enjoyed baking cakes to support this fantastic charity.

We would like to share a presentation from the Lancaster Diocese Education Service which our Governors reflected on at our last Governing Body Meeting. Please click on the link below:

Prayer and Liturgy

Prayer and Liturgy is planned around the Liturgical year and seasonal feasts.

Our pupils often lead communal Prayer and Liturgy in the school hall, in church and in class. We wholeheartedly welcome parents, friends, governors and the local community to share in our celebrations and they are always really well attended.

Each class invite parents, friends and governors to a termly school lunch, which is always followed by Prayer and Liturgy.

Whole school celebrations take place annually for Lent/Easter, Advent/Christmas, Harvest time and at the end of summer term. Our school hall is full of parents, friends and local community who tell us how wonderful our pupils are – a real credit to the school and their families.

Prayer and Liturgy takes place daily in each class. Our pupils are respectful and reverend during our Prayer and Liturgy and will lead Prayer and Liturgy at least weekly. Themes for Prayer and Liturgy are selected and teachers help children to plan appropriate hymns, scripture, prayer and reflections using a variety of religious resources and media. This is a contemplative and often meditative experience for both pupils and adults. We want our pupils to feel close to God and experience his love especially at these times.

Whole class celebrations take place termly and each pupil will contribute to the Prayer and Liturgy through prayer, scripture, song, dance and art. PowerPoint presentations often help to reinforce the Gospel Values which we focus on during these whole school celebrations.

Our school has had three outstanding Section 48 Religious Education inspections in 2006, 2009 and 2012, which were preceded by three outstanding Ofsted inspections. We strive to maintain these high standards and encourage each child to do their best.

Our mission as a thriving Catholic School is to help each individual grow in their Faith journey. We help our parents in the Catholic formation of their children and teach Religious Education, Prayer and Liturgy as the core of the curriculum. The Gospel values are replicated in the Spiritual life of the school and our pupils thrive in the knowledge that they are safe, loved and nurtured in this outstanding school, where Jesus Christ is at the centre of all we do.