St Mary’s – the spiritual journey
St Mary’s serves a geographically defined catchment area and is the designated school for a specified community, we are a Church of England, Voluntary Aided (VA) School. This means that the Church owns the school and that the majority of school Governors are appointed by Salisbury Diocese. St Mary’s is keen to develop an ethos that is underpinned by the Christian values of respect, forgiveness, justice, equality and acceptance. These values both underpin our daily work and our policies and procedures.
Collective Worship is distinctively Christian in nature and includes a prayer and/or quiet moment of reflection and a hymn.
Parents wishing to withdraw their child from Collective Worship must write directly to the headteacher, who will arrange a meeting.
During the first term of Year 5 children have the opportunity to prepare for, and then participate in, the Act of Communion. Preparation takes place during RE lessons when pupils learn about the significance of the act of Communion and the distinctiveness of a Church School. A Communion Service is held after the first half term where children who have been baptised and have parental consent can receive Communion for the first time. This is a special moment and parents, family members and friends are warmly invited to attend the service.
Religious Education (RE)
All Year Groups have one discrete RE lesson a week. During these lessons children not only learn about the Christian faith but also about other religions and cultures. This allows children to start reflecting upon and developing their individual beliefs. The school sees its role as educating, not indoctrinating, and the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of individuals are respected.
The School also organises ‘Awareness Evenings’ so that pupils and their families can find out more about other faiths. These usually take a ‘hands-on’ approach and are both informative and fun.
In Year 8 pupils have the opportunity to attend Confirmation classes before they leave St Mary’s. The classes culminate in a Communion Service where the children involved are confirmed into the Church of England.