As St. Mary’s is a Roman Catholic School everything we do is based on the teachings of Christ. Following the Gospel messages is central to life in our school. We actively encourage children to reflect on their own beliefs and feelings and promote the respect of others’ faiths, feelings and values.
To aid children’s spiritual development during their time at St. Mary’s they will take part in:
- Learning about other faiths – comparing and contrasting beliefs and actions across the different faiths.
- Visits to places of worship- Catholic Church, Synagogue, Mosque.
- Masses at our church for feast days and special occasions.
- Class liturgies- each week, a small group of children in every class plan and lead a liturgy in their classroom.
- Whole school liturgies- once a term, each class plans and leads a liturgy for the children and parents.
- Year 4 attend the Youth Village for a special retreat to celebrate their sacramental preparation.
- Year 6 attend the Youth Village with other schools across the Diocese for the ‘Primary Festival’, where they get to reflect, pray, sing and dance together.
As we follow the Gospel messages, our children are given a very clear understanding of morality. We actively encourage children to recognise the difference between right and wrong and apply this understanding to their own lives. The children’s moral development is aided in school by:
- Class charters drawn up by the children and teacher at the beginning of the year.
- Behaviour ladder code, which, ensures that all of the children are aware of the consequences if they choose to make a wrong decision.
- ‘Values Based Education’ programme – each month Each month a new value is introduced, developed and promoted by all staff in every aspect of the school. Assembly and collective worship themes are linked to the value.
- Circle time and PHSE&C lessons will be used as formal opportunities to discuss and promote values within each classroom with informal opportunities being utilised wherever possible e.g. playtime.
- UN Rights of the Child displayed in every classroom and referred to during lesson where appropriate.
- Codes of conduct used for Internet safety and bullying which are shared with parents.
- Internet Safety- posters are displayed in every classroom and referred to when necessary.
- Children are taught about how to stay safe on the Internet, making them aware of age restrictions on games, social media websites.
- School council – children’s ideas and views are discussed in class meetings led by the children and then two representatives take these to the school meeting to be discussed.
At St. Mary’s we actively look for opportunities to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This academic year, we have supported CAFOD, St. Cuthbert’s Care, MacMillan Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation and our local food bank.
- We also encourage our children to participate in a variety of social community events. This academic year, our Mini Vinnies have held a Christmas morning tea session with music from our choir for the elderly in our local area.
- To encourage our children to cooperate well with others, we have buddies and playground leaders. Children in Year 6 are buddies with children in Reception to help them around school and children in Year 5 are playground leaders at lunchtimes in the Key Stage 1 playground to promote fair play and teach the children to play team games.
- To encourage our children to resolve conflicts effectively, we use ‘Mediators- a scheme which helps children who are finding making and maintaining friendships tricky. We also have ‘Buddy bus stops’ and markings on the playground to promote independent resolving of conflicts.
At St. Mary’s we want the children to understand and appreciate the range of cultures within our school and further afield. There are many opportunities that we give the children to learn about a range of cultures:
- As part of our RE curriculum, the children learn about Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
- International week- each class looks at county/countries for the week, learning about food, festivals, and traditions.
- We have our own school council, consisting of two representatives from each class who bring forward the ideas and views of the classes. The school council help to make decisions about activities we hold in school and resources for the children.
- British values themed weeks throughout the year.