About Our School
St Mary’s is a small school, offering a nurturing environment where children can grow and learn. Our children benefit from knowing, playing and looking after each other. Staff know every child, and every child is supported to grow in skills, knowledge and confidence.
We have four classrooms and a newly-refurbished Nursery. Classrooms are equipped with modern smartboard technology, and every child has access to an iPad or Chromebook to support their learning. At break times, the children play in our small but well-equipped outdoor playground. They also enjoy weekly outdoor learning sessions at nearby Holmehill. For lunches, PE and school performances we are able to use the adjacent church hall.
About our team
We have a great team of committed and inspiring teaching and support staff in St. Mary’s. Strong links with the wider Dunblane learning community, Active Stirling, and others allow us to access specialist support for sports and other learning experiences.
St. Mary’s has a composite class structure. The structure of the classes may change from year to year, depending on the size of the different year groups. In 2020-2021 we have a Nursery, a Primary 1/2/3, a Primary 4/5 and a Primary 6/7 class. Class sizes are capped at 25, although they are often smaller than this. The school has capacity for 88 children from P1-7.
Children at St Mary’s benefit from continuity, with a small number of classrooms and a small committed pool of teaching and support staff. The composite structure means that children often have the same class teachers for two years at a time. This means that the teachers really get to know the children, and have the opportunity to support each child’s learning and development over a longer period.
Mixed age peer interaction also supports learning. Younger children learn by working with and observing older pupils, while older children revise and share skills with their younger classmates. Children are encouraged to help and support each other inside and outside the classroom.
Special Educational Needs
Our staff are passionate in our aim to get education right for every child, and we make particular efforts to support pupils with additional support needs. Staff work together and with other agencies to ensure the right support is in place for our pupils. All support staff, class teachers and educators keep up to date with training and research for continued professional development. A Support for Learning teacher works directly with pupils requiring additional support in the classroom environment, and we also receive support from other agencies such as Educational Psychology, ASN Outreach, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and CAMHS.
To ensure support is relevant and making a positive impact we follow the GIRFEC model (Getting it Right for Every Child) where regular staged intervention meetings, catch up sessions and ‘team around the child’ meetings take place. You can find more information about our support on Stirling Council’s Learning & Education website.
Transition to secondary school
The Dunblane learning community supports the transition to high school for all P7 children in the Dunblane primary schools. All P7 children have the opportunity to attend a three-day residential outdoor adventure at Dalguise activity centre in Perthshire, enabling children from different Dunblane primary schools to get to know each other. Transition to Dunblane High School is further supported through several high school visits and activities.
Children at St. Mary’s benefit from a range of extra-curricular activities. Parents and local residents support weekly STEM, art, chess and badminton clubs, as well as school participation in sporting events such as Active Stirling competitions, or the Scottish Orienteering Championships. Our GLEE club were ‘Esprit de Glee’ champions in 2019, when the school also came 2nd in the regional Euro Quiz.
Children develop performance and theatre skills through participation in shows, recitals and parent assemblies. There are also opportunities to take on leadership roles within the school as house captain or by joining the Pupil Council.
Our School Handbook
Our School Handbook pulls together lots of essential information about St. Mary’s. You can download and read our Handbook here. If you have any questions that are not covered in our handbook, please contact us.
St Mary’s was the first ever school in Dunblane, and the first self-governing school in Scotland. The school was established by the church in the nineteenth century to provide education to poor children in the parish.
Originally, the school stood in Mill Row in a house called ‘Auld Licht’ (old light). In 1850, the Kippendavie Estate gifted the land in Smithy Loan and the school moved to its present site. During the Second World War, the school was used by the army to house Polish soldiers and St. Mary’s pupils were taught at the public school. Until 1970, the school had only two teachers. In 1997, it was extended to incorporate additional classrooms and the nursery.
Dunblane, FK15 0HQ
Scotland - UK
Phone & Email
Mon-Fri: 9am - 3:15pm
Autumn Term: 18 Aug - 8 Oct