St. Mary’s Anglican Primary School
                                                                         "Excellence Our Goal”

Established in 1922, St. Mary’s School located downtown in the heart of Belize City has always been at the forefront of society, offering quality education to the students from diverse walk s of life. In addition, the school promotes the expressive arts as well. The school has seen the achievements of many of its students and continues to motivate the student population in this era to strive for excellence. 

The mission statement of this institution is that St. Mary’s Primary School is “committed to equipping children with the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to develop themselves as whole and unique individuals becoming outstanding contributing members of society”. 

Our goals for 2010 are highlighted below:

 Work towards improving the quality of schooling the children received by adapting the National Curriculum and revising our course content based on the needs of society

Create  a more eco friendly school by instilling in children the appreciation for flora and fauna in their natural state and teach children  about conservation practices

 Increase academic performances and participate in activities that will contribute to the development of the school such as the Festival of Arts, Spelling Bee, Hugh Park Marine Quiz Bowl

Improve the school climate and strengthen human capacity within the school so that the teachers and auxiliary staff operate in an efficient manner

Encourage children to adapt a Christian way of life

Organize activities that will financially contribute to the school

The administrative team and faculty members operating under the guidance of the Anglican Diocese of Belize are committed to working hard to ensure that the children who enter the institution are prepared with the relevant skills and knowledge they need to survive in this challenging and competitive world. Character Education is at the core of our school curriculum. We are an organization that believes, if we want to see change in our society then we need to instil in our children a love for brotherhood, and country.

Culturally, the school population features children from minority groups who live in very impoverished situations including underdeveloped catchment areas. The parents have the school at heart but due to their economic constraints they are unable to contribute the yearly fees which are, vital for the operations of the school. Presently, the school functions with limited resources and this factor has led to some changes such as a reduction in the total enrolment. An audit of the school final records revealed that out of two hundred and seventy nine children only seventy of them paid the fees for the year 2009-2010. The tuition fee is fifty dollars a year and families having more than one child in the school get a reduction in fees. The students however, are full of vigour and they are determined to succeed because of their interest in learning.

Children come to school in tattered uniforms and most of them wear slippers rather than shoes.  It is very evident that the children lack basic necessities which should be provided from the home. A close examination of the school reveals that the Hispanic culture represent a large portion of the populace, followed by Creole descent children. Many of these children are poor speakers of English hence they have a language barrier within the classroom.

The school presently has fifteen classrooms. There are sixteen teachers and two administrators. Most of the teachers are presently in training either at the University College of Belize or at Saint Johns’ Junior College School of Professional Studies. Teachers are upgrading their academic studies in the field of primary education.

Every Thursday teachers are given an extra hour to plan together by grade level so that students are exposed to the same tutelage.  
The school is proud to boast of their athletes many of them who have become star students when they move on to higher education. The school also acknowledges the many students who are outstanding scholars who from time to time make visits and offer advice to the younger children.  
Over the past ten years we have seen the decline in support from the community and the parents. The school itself has undergone serious changes such as large turn- over of teachers. Teachers continue to upgrade themselves professionally and so after teaching at the school for, so many years they leave to pursue higher education leaving behind novice teachers to fill those gaps. Dysfunctional families to a large extent have produced children who are challenged by societal factors and some of these same children challenge the present system we adhere to by infusing acts of violence and misdemeanour within the school.  In an effort to strengthen the quality of teaching at the school teachers undergo, a stringent interviewing process, and are requested to participate in series of workshops ranging from Classroom management to teaching Reading.

The school itself is struggling to survive. The school is no longer encountering behavioural problems on a large scale however, past behaviours and lack of vision by stakeholders has led somewhat to its decline and negative labelling by the society.

St. Mary’s School can perform academically like any other school if given the support and dedication by stakeholders involved. The school simply needs people from the community or an agency to assist in any way possible so that the school can stand on its feet again and reclaim the distinguished name that it once had. Over the Christmas Holidays 2009 partners involved sat down and restructured the staffing so that the teachers teach and function at the level they are best suited for. We revisited the curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education and extracted what we feel is best to be teaching our children. In addition, the school has created their plan of action with goals they plan to work towards achieving as well. The teachers who offer their knowledge and expertise every day with limited resources are on board and have agreed to do their part.   

The school drastically needs financial assistance to remodel the entire building since its collapsing. There is evidence of steel being exposed and potions of cement falling from time to time. The steps are bulging due to corrosion and eventually will collapse. The children bathroom needs complete renovations. Most of the doors are falling off. There is an open drain in the school yard that presently creates an eye sore to the pedestrians that traffic to and fro, including tourist arriveing in cruise ships.

There is a feeding program which ensures that over one hundred children get a warm meal for the day. Additionally, there is a dental program which provides our students with free access to dental care. Both programs are concurrently managed by the church under the leadership of Canon Leroy Flowers.

Research tells us that schools are “institutions pre-eminently designed to deal with intellectual things”. The average critic of our schools expects us to do things that the school was never created to do. Society on a whole expects us to develop individuals with a high moral character, in concert with, the home, church and the society.  Society however, is changing at an unprecedented pace. Technology, recessionary economies, changes in the nature and structure of the family and unsettled political conditions both at home and abroad are all having negative impacts. It is likely that these changes will continue and may even accelerate in the years ahead. Undoubtedly, these changes will have implications for education. Schools both respond to change in the larger environment and are themselves agents of change. The way in which schools educate children influences the role that those children will play in the world of tomorrow. Schools help shape the future because they are one of the agencies that shape the children and adolescents who are the future.

Schools are vehicles of imparting knowledge, thus allowing learners to acquire and construct new ideas. If schools are given the support they need then children and teachers will perform better and there will be less acts of crime.

The school is located in a Tourism Zone and for that reason the entire school needs to see a renaissance. We are willing to do our part by seeking funding through other initiatives but right now the school really needs the help of civil society.

One achievement that the school is proud to mention is the Environmental club which is made up of teachers and students. The goals of the Environmental club are:

  • Create a more environmental friendly school
  • Educate the public and the school populace with information about the impact of human activities on the  environment
  • Teach about the impact of climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer
  • Teach skills required in the use of organic materials
  • Promote the use of recycling materials in arts and craft
  • Become advocates for conservation and sustainable practices
  • Liaison and develop a network with other non- profit organizations, schools, and people of interests that support conservation practices.   

The members of the Environmental club have drafted a plan of action to make the entire school population learn more about taking care of our resources. So far students have viewed much documentation on flora and fauna including marine ecosystems. The children in the upper grades have been a part of the Hugh Parkey Foundation that engages students in interactive workshops and field trips to Spanish Bay Lookout where they get firsthand opportunity in seeing mangroves, coral and sea grasses in their natural state simultaneously learning about the importance of these species.  

How will your company benefit if you contribute significantly to the mission and goals of the school?

  • Your company will be recognized as an organization that considers education as a stepping stone to transforming the minds and behaviour of our young citizens
  • By adopting our school the society will applaud your determination in recognizing the need to help children who simply cannot afford to pay a minimal fee in receiving quality education
  • Your company will additionally open doors for other children who will see our institution as a vehicle for learning.
  • We will become partners in the Go-Green concept and convince our children of the  importance of conserving our natural resources
  • Overall, you will make a significant contribution to society by becoming  a recognized stakeholder in Education

There is a well known Chinese proverb that states, “Learning is a lifelong process. Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere”. Join forces with St. Mary’s Primary School and you will help to produce a generation that is prepared to take total responsibility for land and marine ecosystems. Our school welcomes any resource material that can be donated in an effort to making our initiative a success as well.

The administrative team, faculty and student body thank you for your kind attention., and God bless.