Catholic Life of the School-Bywyd Catholig Yr Ysgol-

In this section of our school website, we would like to share with you and celebrate many of the elements which make St Mary’s Catholic Primary School so special.

We share  the joys and successes of our links with our feeder parishes, especially the Cathedral parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, and show how we work together to support the growth and development of our children’s faith and Religious Education.

Our Diocesan Section 50 Inspection 2019

“St Mary’s is an outstanding Catholic school.”

“The school is outstanding overall in providing and promoting Catholic Education. The school’s
Mission Statement ‘Learning and Loving, Caring and Sharing, through the Message of Christ’, is
clearly at the heart of all aspects of school life, and is well understood and cherished by the whole school community. The behaviour and attitudes of the pupils are outstanding, and pupils eagerly participate in all learning activities. Pupils say that they love their lessons in Religious Education and for many it is their favourite lesson. Standards are very high and should continue to rise given the ambitious culture within the whole school community.” Section 50  Dec. 2019

Diocesan-Section-50-Inspection-Report-December-2019.pdf (

Celebrating Mass as a school and within the Parish community

During the school year, we celebrate Masses both in the school hall and in the Cathedral. We come together as a whole school family for Mass at the start of the school year, in Advent, at the start of the New Year, for Feast days, to celebrate with our First Holy Communicants and at the end of the academic year with our Year 6 leavers.

We also celebrate shared year group Masses throughout the year, and offer the opportunity for parents, carers, family members and parishioners to join us, either in school or at the cathedral.

“The clergy are frequent visitors to the school and are extremely supportive of the work the school
does within the community. The Parish Priest is positive about the progress the school is making in
developing various aspects of its Catholic Life. He feels that the school makes a good contribution
to the spiritual life of its pupils and that teachers work hard to develop the pupils’ knowledge of the
Catholic faith.” Section 50 Inspection 2019

Please click on the link to view our Mass and Assemblies Planner 2023-24

Prayer life at St Mary’s 

In St Mary’s Catholic Primary School worship is central to the life of the school and is the main platform for exploring the school’s vision and mission. It is well planned and of high quality so that the whole school community is engaged on a journey of discovery, exploring the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.  Collective worship aims to be inspirational, invitational and inclusive, and will lead people to a threshold where they can witness worship and join in.

Through Collective Worship pupils are offered a space and a place for the telling of the Christian story. They are offered an understanding of worship through being invited to participate in or observe prayer, reading and reflection on the Bible, liturgy, sacrament and experience of the musical and other imaginative riches of Christianity.

Opportunities to reflect on the beauty, joy and pain of the world are given. Pupils are given time to consider their responsibilities to others and to grow in love and service. Time is given for celebration, both for the accomplishments of school members and to mark the seasonal festivals of the Christian (and other faiths) calendar. Pupils are offered time to be able to contemplate and develop spiritually

“Collective Worship is central to the life of the school and staff are highly skilled in helping pupils to
plan and lead Collective Worship. The school endeavours to include parents and carers in many
aspects of school life and every effort is taken to promote parental attendance at the wide variety
of liturgies and celebrations on offer. Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school and are
very appreciative of all that the staff do.” Section 50 Inspection 2019

Children from across the school, with the support of the parish priest, take part in a wide range of whole school and key stage liturgies including Masses, rosary, ashes services, the stations of the cross, reconciliation services, according to the liturgical year both in school and in the church. 


The opportunity for children to meditate is given after the lunch hour in every class. The level of child input is dependent on year group. The purpose of meditation in St Mary’s is to ‘Be Still’. Music can be utilised to aid reflection and the ‘Be Still’ prayer is recited in all classes;

Open my eyes, Lord.

Help me to see your face.

Open my ears, Lord.

Help me to hear your voice.

Open my heart, Lord.

Help me to love like you.


Curriculum RE- Religious Education, Values and Ethics

At St. Mary’s we recognise Religious Education, Values and Ethics (REVE) as a core subject of the curriculum and ensure that 10% of curriculum time is devoted to teaching Religious Education, as directed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

From September 2023, we have been using the new Religious Education Directory to plan our Religious Education, Values and Ethics curriculum offer at St Mary’s. The first five branch headings below form the main whole school REVE topics. (See table below)

Aspects of the new Religious Education Directory

Curriculum branches are the way that the programme of study presents its model curriculum. The model curriculum presents the expected outcomes in six curriculum branches . The model curriculum is rooted in the narrative of salvation history and leads pupils on a journey in each year of schooling that gives a sequence to the learning. As they revisit each branch in each year of school they come to a deeper understanding of its significance for Catholic belief and practice, which allows them to make links between the four knowledge lenses within the context of the narrative of salvation history.

At St Mary’s we have also agreed on ‘child-friendly’ REVE branch topics (see table above) to go alongside the main branches in order to support pupils’ understanding from Nursery to Year 6. 

Ways of Knowing set out the skills that pupils should be developing as they progress through their curriculum journey. We want the children to ‘know’ about their faith in more than one way; we want them to be able to understand, to discern and to respond ( denoted in the programme by the head, heart and hands icons.)

Knowledge lenses set out the object of study for pupils and indicate what should be ‘known’ by the end of each age-phase. They are referred to as lenses because they are things that we are looking at and they divide the content into four sub-sections for the study of Catholicism ( Hear, Believe, Celebrate, Live) and two additional lenses for the study of other religions and world views (Dialogue and Encounter.)

Sample Religion, Values and Ethics planning ideas:-

The Governing body Mission and Purpose Committee meet at least three times a year to discuss the Catholic life of the school, the RE Curriculum offer and the school’s outreach and mission opportunities which they report back to governors at the full governing body meetings. Governors are invited to school Masses, celebrations and learning walks. The Chair of the Mission and Purpose committee is Mrs L Robertson.


The whole school community meets for assembly every Monday and Friday mornings. On Mondays, the Criw Cymraeg lead a Welsh assembly and introduce the Welsh prayer and hymn for the week and teach the ‘Patrwm Yr Wythnos’. On Fridays, each class takes their turn to lead the assembly or Mrs Acton leads the assembly or Pupil Voice groups lead the assembly.

Parents and family members are invited to watch their child’s class assembly on a Friday afternoon.

During whole school assemblies on a Friday , children’s achievements, birthdays are celebrated and class attendance is announced. Once a month the ‘Tocyn Enfys’ draw takes place and prizes are awarded to the chosen children from FP and KS 2. Everyone works hard to achieve a Tocyn Enfys for using their learning powers and for trying hard to speak Welsh.

Separate Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 collective worships and assemblies  also take place once a week led by the Assistant Headteachers Mrs Jones and Mr O’Toole.

Messengers of Christ- Pupil Voice

Our ‘Messengers of Christ’ are pupils from Year 2-Year 6 who have been nominated by their peers to further enhance the Catholic Life of our school.

Each year, the new Messengers of Christ are presented to the school after the start of year Mass. They are given an olive wood cross by Father Nicholas and given a special blessing to serve as role models of the faith for the forthcoming year. Mrs Wilkinson and Mr O’Toole support the work of our Messengers of Christ.

Outreach and Mission at St Mary’s and links within the community

“Pupils have a very strong sense of social justice and respond generously to fundraising for local, national and international causes such as CAFOD, Mission Together and other local appeals. The school works closely with local Care Homes.” Diocesan Section 50 Inspection 2019

At St Mary’s, we fully embrace the Church’s teaching’s on social justice and do everything we can to live out our faith by raising funds for the needy in our society both locally, nationally and globally.  The Pupil Voice groups such as the Messengers of Christ, the School Council and the Eco Committee work collaboratively to plan a wide variety of events to fundraise, raise awareness and spread the word of God.

Here are some of the activities that we participate in each year:-

  • Harvest festival food collections to make hampers for school families in need in addition to the local homeless and food bank charities
  • Children in Need dress up day, dance-a-thon and bake sale
  • Reverse Advent calendar for local homeless charity
  • Rock-Your Socks day- raise funds for local Down Syndrome family based charity
  • CAFOD Lenten appeal- e.g. Big Lent Walk
  • Poppy day appeal
  • Nightingale House hospice Christmas jumper day

Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

Children are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist for the first time by catechists within their own parishes. Each year, usually on the Feast of Saints Peter and Saint Paul, we celebrate Mass in school with all our children who have made their first Holy Communion and offer them the opportunity to wear their First Holy Communion clothes once again. It is always a very special occasion and we invite the parish catechists to join in our celebrations. Children always enjoy a special party with cake and dancing in the afternoon!

Relationships and Sexuality Education 

The school governing body has approved use of  ‘Life to the Full’ published scheme of work which is in line with the new statutory relationships and sexual education code commissioned by the Catholic Education Service (CES) and complies with the Welsh Government R.S.E. curriculum.

The scheme offers a developmental programme to promote the holistic growth of children’s understanding of human relationships following the teachings of the Catholic faith. It is underpinned with the understanding that our deepest identity is as a child of God – created, chosen and loved by God. The programme is fully inclusive of all pupils and their families and supports the delivery of a developmentally appropriate curriculum for all.

Life to the Full offers a platform of creative resources that engage, inform and inspire our children and includes interactive video content, story-based activities, a wide range of teaching tools, original worship music and an accompanying programme of classroom prayers.

Life to the Full builds on the essential partnership between home, school and church so that all children are fully supported.

WG RSE guidance for parents 2022- New Curriculum for Wales

Relationship and Sex Education Consultation Process and Information for Parents and Carers

Please click on the link provided via the image below to access detailed information about the school’s statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) consultation process.
From September, parents will be informed about the mandatory RSE content to be shared with each class every half term. For the remainder of this academic year, teachers will inform parents about the remaining RSE content to be delivered before the end of the summer term via Seesaw.

Religious Education Policies

Religious Education Policy January 2019


Collective Worship Feb 2023

Relationships and Sex Education Policy 2021 (under review)

Family Service for use when you can’t get to Mass 

Spiritual communion