Prayer and Ethos at Saint Mary’s

“Ethos” is used to describe the “feel” or character of an institution. We use the phrase “Catholic Ethos” to refer to that distinctive “feel” of a Catholic school, whereby we are living out the teachings of Jesus in everything we do and are. “Catholic Ethos”, while having many connections with the teaching of Religious Education, is much broader. It is not so much a subject to be taught, but rather a way of life to be learned and lived.

The Diocese of Salford has given us a framework to help think about our ethos, commonly known as “The Five Ws.” They are five words which help us to understand how our Primary School is a faith school: Word (of God), Welcome, Witness, Welfare and Worship. They focus our minds on what it is to be a “Catholic School” Click on a Word below to find out more!


The Word of God inspires everything we do. Read more here!


Welcome is all about our communion with one another in the family of the Church: read how we deepen our belonging and invite everyone to be part of our community!


Our Christian duty is to "Love One Another" - find out how we do this both in school and with those in need, and the charities we support.


Prayer and Worship is central to our school's daily routine: read about our daily services and prayers here!


Our faith is alive and active! Read all about our acts of witness through our support of charities.



You may also want to read our Ethos Policy

And here’s a poem the children use to remember these five words!


To help us think about our faith
And all that we proclaim,
We have a set of magic words -
“5 Ws” by name!

The first is WORD – for we will speak
what Jesus tells us to:
We’ll pray and love and be the best
in everything we do.

The next is WELCOME – say hello
and join us in our school!
We’re one in God, in love, in faith:
this is our golden rule.

The third is WELFARE – we will care
for everyone we meet:
For pupils, teachers, parents, friends,
the needy in the street.

And fourth comes WORSHIP – praising God
for many wondrous things!
We lift our hearts on high in prayer
through Jesus, King of kings!

And last is WITNESS – not the least,
for here is our ideal:
Our faith is active, shown to all,
it’s living, seen and REAL!

So just five words to help us think
of all that we believe,
And how - with Jesus by our side -
His WAY we can achieve!