St Mary’s C of E Primary Academy: The Next Chapter

In September 2021, St Mary’s Primary Academy welcomed Trevor Marsden as their new headteacher. Trevor is an experienced educator, who has led schools in the UK and overseas. Most recently Trevor was the founding Head of Primary of a world leading ecological school in Dubai.

With family roots in Yorkshire, Trevor has received a warm welcome from students at St Mary’s and is excited to take on a new project. St Mary’s has been on a bit of a journey over the last few years but it is now starting to press forward with school improvement. As he comes to the end of the first term in post, Trevor has begun to plan for the future and set out the next chapter for St Mary’s C of E Primary Academy:

Christian Vision

The school is situated in the very heart of Hunslet in the shadow of the spire of the now demolished St Mary’s church. Central to the future of the school is to further develop a caring Christian vision that brings light and hope to all our fantastic students and families – regardless of faith.

We know our students will grow up into a world that is different from the one we have now. Sometimes I worry about the future that they will have but I do believe it will be bright. I want students at St Mary’s to lift up their heads and let their light shine, as I know they can achieve their dreams with God.

Curriculum that inspires

Although I have been a Headteacher for a number of years, my first great love in education is still teaching and learning. Over the next few years, I want to develop the school’s curriculum. I want every child to love coming to school and I want every parent who sends their child to St Mary’s to know their child is getting a great education.
I have been fortunate to live and travel to many countries around the world. A great curriculum should not only prepare a child for the next stage of their education but it should also help them prepare for an ever-changing and exciting world that they will live in.

As a boy, I grew up in the north east of England and went to a school very much like St Mary’s. In primary school, I struggled with reading and writing. Through the curriculum and the wider activities in school, I began to dream of what my life could be like.

I love the quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist – he articulates the purpose of the curriculum so well:

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”

Carl Gustav Jung, The development of personality (1970).

Heart of the Community

St Mary’s is very much a community school and many of the families who bring their children to us have done for many years. Ultimately our job at St Mary’s is to serve the community.

We plan to do this by, firstly, gradually transforming the school environment. I want school to look amazing and feel amazing so all the community can be proud of it. I am also aware that some parents may not have had positive experiences when they went to school.

We want all parents to fell that they can come to St Mary’s and join with us on the exciting journey ahead. With the help and involvement of the community we can achieve so much more and I look forward to the journey ahead.