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"Be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love".

1 Corinthians 16 vs 13-14

Enabling children to flourish and succeed


Our approach at the St Mary's C of E first starts with acknowledging that spirituality will be a different experience for all individuals and that pupils will be at different stages of their own journey.


Offering spiritual experiences at school for different world views and faiths, will allow our pupils to understand how they see life as a whole. Spirituality will offer space for reflection, appreciation, and an opportunity to grow together. This space will be open-ended and undetermined and will allow our pupils the autonomy to lead their own independent thinking whilst developing a sense of self, alongside the strength gleaned from their peers. As a school, we see this opportunity for personal growth as an imperative part of the learning experience, securing resilience and self-belief in the young people in our care.


Spirituality is common and natural for all young people.  


The everyday experiences that our pupils will encounter will be to ask the ‘big questions’ and allow them to explore the awe and wonder of the world around us. Spiritual experiences will offer time and space to consider topics that are possibly unknown or challenging as concepts but central to the development of individual values and beliefs. The experiences will explicitly develop our pupils intellectually, emotionally and morally. They will learn to pause, consider, and listen to encourage inspiration to learn more and develop wisdom through reflection. They will know how to affirm their thoughts, feel rooted in self belief and have the courage to lead change for the better.


Children and staff have explored their own feelings and ideas of spirituality. They have shared their own expressions on classrooms, Collective Worship and in staff meetings.


Staff have created their own definition of spirituality:


Spirituality is our unconscious feelings of who we are, what we love and care for. It brings us together to respect each other’s differences and values, with love and acceptance. It suggests there is more to life than just what we experience, connecting with something greater than ourselves.

At St Mary’s we define SMSC as:

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Moral: Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

Social: Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.

Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

We recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a fundamental role in their ability to learn and achieve.  We aim to provide opportunities and an environment in which pupils can explore and develop their own values and beliefs as well as foster high standards of personal behaviour and a caring attitude.  As such, SMSC is not just a curriculum focus, but infiltrates into the ethos of the school through the development of positive attitudes and values.


At  St Mary’s we have created our own Pupil Personal Development Curriculum which is on our school website.

We are committed to offering our pupils the opportunities to:

Identify, reflect on and explore experiences

Understand the differences between right and wrong

Discuss and take an interest in moral issues

Celebrate a diversity of cultures within the school and beyond

Develop and talk about their own attitudes and values

Take responsibility for and make well-informed decisions

Develop an understanding of social responsibilities and citizenship

SMSC development is crucial for individual pupils and it is crucial for society as a whole.

Partnership: Links with the wider community

Visitors and members of the local community are welcomed into school.

Pupils are taught to appreciate their local environment and to develop a sense of responsibility to it.

Links are made with other teachers and schools across the trust, taking part in trust-wide events for our pupils.

Teaching and Learning: How SMSC is addressed

Development in SMSC takes place across all curriculum areas, within activities that encourage pupils to recognise the spiritual dimension of their learning, reflect on the significance of what they are learning, and to recognise any challenges that there may be to their own attitude and lifestyle.

Class discussions give pupils opportunities to:

  • Talk about personal experiences and feelings.
  • Express and clarify their own ideas and beliefs.
  • Speak about difficult events and issues, e.g. bullying, bereavement, LGBT etc.
  • Share thoughts and feelings with other people.
  • Explore relationships with friends/family/others.
  • Consider others’ needs and behaviour.
  • Show empathy.
  • Develop self-esteem and a respect for others.
  • Develop a sense of belonging.
  • Develop the skills and attitudes that enable pupils to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally — e.g. empathy, respect, open mindedness, sensitivity, critical awareness
  • Listen and talk to each other.
  • Learn an awareness of treating all as equals.
  • Agree and disagree.
  • Take turns and share equipment

St Mary's Spirituality Policy

Pupil's Personal Development Curriculum