Skip to content ↓

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development

We develop our pupil's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through our everyday teaching and whole school rules, routines and practice.

Spiritual Development

  • Through our RE Scheme, pupils are taught to reflect on their own beliefs and to respect the faiths, feelings and values of others. Each class finds out about a different faith and they take part in visits to various places of worship. 
  • There are frequent opportunities for prayer and quiet reflection throughout the school day including:

-Daily collective worship

-Class prayers

-Each class has a Prayer Corner

-Annual processions

-Class assemblies based on RE topics

-Visits to Church

-Access to a Prayer Garden for quiet reflection

-Class and whole school masses

-Opportunities to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation

  • Through our annual One World Week and topic based geography work pupil's enjoy finding out about the world around them. Pupils are encouraged to talk about their family background and their various beliefs.

Moral Development

  • Our school ethos, teaching, school rules and Behaviour Code/Policy support the rule of English civil and criminal law.
  • We work closely with local public service workers (including the police and fire brigade) teaching pupils to respect the work that they do and developing an understanding that we live under the rule of law for the protection of all. This work includes safety workshops, a Citizenship Day for Year 6 and the Community Police accompany us on our visits to Church.
  • Our everday practice teaches the children to recognise  the difference between right and wrong.
  • Our whole school Behaviour Policy teaches the children that their are consequences of their behaviour and actions (including sanctions if they make the wrong choices).
  • Pupils investigate stories with morals and ethical issues through their RE lessons, collective workship and debates in English study. They are encouraged to give reasoned views and to appreciate the viewpoints of others. 
  • The children find out about inspirational people from history including Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela whilst debating ethical issues.

Please click here for our Whole School Behaviour Code

Social Development

  • A considerable amount of time is spent in the Early Years setting on developing social skills and helping pupils to build good relationships.
  • Social and other life skills are developed through everday practice, PSHE work, SEAL activities and Life Bus visits. Social skills such as turn taking are developed in class through group/paired work and various class debates. Pupils are given the opportunity to work with lots of different groups including children from different abilities, religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. 
  • A range of extra curricular activities are offered at St. Mary's and all pupils are encouraged to take part. Parents and pupils are signposted to various events in the community through fliers sent home and information included in our weekly newsletter. All pupils are given jobs to do in class and our pupils in Upper KS2 are given various whole school responsibilities including House Captains, House Point Monitors, Junior Road Safety Officers and Play Leaders. Through our PSHE work pupils are taught to cooperate with others and how to deal with conflict. Our Friendship and E-Safety Weeks are used to promote a caring ethos across our school.
  • The children are actively encouraged to have a voice in school. Our pupil School Council meets termly, helping the children learn how they can actively influence decision making through a democratic process. We also have an Eco Committee who debate ethical issues striving to make our school a more environmentally friendly place. Pupils who wish to represent their class are asked to give a speech to their classmates and they are then voted for in a democratic way. Click here for further details.
  • Pupils who have problems developing particular social skills are supported through their individual IEPs and intervention programmes such as PALs, Attention Hillingdon, Lego Therapy and Social Stories. We work closely with outside agencies such as the Hillingdon Speech and Language Team and Behaviour Support.

Cultural Development

  • Through our Geography and History work pupils are given an understanding and appreciation of how a wide range of cultural influences have shaped their own heritage and that of others.
  • During our One World Week pupils reflect on the range of different cultures within our school. Pupils are invited to share their nationality and experiences of their family life and to come to school dressed in clothes associated with their nationality. This prepares pupils for life in modern Britain. Each class studies the culture of another country in more detail and they share this with other classes as a part of our Passport Day. 
  • Through their Citizenship work pupils in KS2 explore the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy. They study how the law works in Britain and contrast this to forms of government in other countries. Past projects have included workshops as a part of the Young Enterprise Scheme and visits to the Houses of Parliament.
  • We offer a variety of clubs in school and actively encourage all pupils to participate. We take part in wider community events including borough sports competitions and actively encourage our pupils to act as responsible role models for our school.

Promoting British Values

Click here for our 'Promoting British Values' Policy

The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all school to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and  beliefs.”

Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. At St Mary’s these values are  reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Democracy is fully embedded within our school. An obvious example is our School Council and Eco Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action, pupils vote in secret using ballot etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. Pupils have open discussions in class and will discuss ideas and thoughts.

Older children often decide on charities they would like to raise money for and how they will raise the money. They work together giving each other different roles and responsibilities in raising money for charities and communicating their ideas to the whole school.

Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. All children decide together their class rules at the beginning of the year. We also carry out pupil questionnaires and speak to the children concerning their opinion of different aspects of school life

We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.

Pupils cover work on democracy and the rule of law through PSHE lessons and activities undertaken as a part of the Young Ambassadors Scheme. This year, our pupils have been lucky enough to be visited the Mayor of London - Boris Johnson and also the Mayor of Hillingdon - George Cooper (this included the opportunity to ask them questions about their role in the local community). 

The Rule of Law

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind  laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules. We also have a clear set of values we follow as a school set out in our behaviour policy. Children have clear rules on how we treat and respect each other. As a school we all work together following these rules and values.

Another way we cover the rule of law is during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.

Individual Liberty:

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We use the language of ‘Right Choice’ and ‘Wrong Choice’ across the school beginning in Lower Early Years. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young  pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety teaching, assemblies, Citizen Day for Year Six and  workshops for children.

Mutual Respect:

Part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy has revolved around core values of our School Code such as  ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means  and how it is shown. Displays around the school promote respect for others and these values. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy with ‘Our School Code’.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

We are a Catholic school that recognises and celebrates different faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.

At different times within the year, our pupils learn about other faiths, cultures and their beliefs. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by teaching and learning in RE. We have a ‘One World Week’ annually when we learn about and celebrate different cultures and faiths. Pupils will be visiting other places of worship over the following year.