Spirituality enables us to become aware of God, one another, the world around us and ourselves.
Spiritual development differs from person to person and is a very personal experience. Spirituality is a core component to ‘living life in all its fullness’ (John 10) as the mind, body and soul needs to be nurtured equally. At our school, Spirituality is explored through relationships with ourselves, with others, with God and the wider world beyond. (See our curriculum)
In keeping with our Christian Vision, we recognise that we are all created in God’s image and have a spiritual dimension to our existence. We nurture this through the academic rigour we bring to our work and through our passion to help children and adults to flourish and achieve their God given potential.
Children’s spiritual development is nurtured through all aspects of our provision. We believe it is important to develop strong relationships using our school Vision and Values as well as the development of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes. We give children opportunities to:
- Have regular time in the day for quiet and reflection. This might be listening to a story, lighting the candles in worship, listening to music, use of the reflection areas around school or the prayers said throughout the day.
- Have opportunities for creativity and using their imagination
- Sing in lessons and as part of our weekly worship
- Explore, express, share and compare feelings and opinions.
- Constantly reaffirm the importance of relationships. How we talk to and relate with each other is fundamental.
- Express awe and wonder, appreciate beauty in all its forms, and appreciate the connections and unity in the world
- Encourage each other to admit mistakes and to say sorry.
- Encourage everyone to show kindness, caring and compassion, and to express these in practical ways
- Explore the ‘Big Questions’ – particularly through our RE curriculum, topics, worship, theme weeks, news events and through nurture sessions.
- Read often, giving them opportunities to discuss and reflect. This includes both secular and religious texts, in particular the Bible.
- Begin to develop their own system of beliefs, which may or may not include religious beliefs.
- Reflect on the situations of others
Impact: how do we know this is being effective?
Spiritually has helped to develop children love and accept themselves and enjoy good relationships with each other. They take an interest and delight in the world around them and are open to what lies beyond the material (this may manifest itself in faith/belief in God). They are able to express and understand feelings, as well as respect those of others. They have a strong moral sense and a love of what is good. They are able to enjoy quiet and stillness, they possess an active imagination, and show joy in creativity and discovering new skills.
Our Shared Spiritual Vocabulary:
WINDOWS: giving the children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life’s WOWs (things that are amazing) and Oohs (things that bring us up short). In this, children are learning about life in all its fullness and glory. We provide WINDOWS throughout our curriculum. We have lessons with an awe and wonder focus using a variety of stimuli including photos, videos, music, current events ad real-life stories. In worship, what have we learnt today?
MIRRORS: giving children opportunities to reflect on their experiences; to meditate on life’s big questions and to consider some possible answers. In this they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others. MIRRORS throughout high quality RE lessons, children are consistently challenged to reflect on their learning about religion to help them learn from religion, regardless of whether they have a specific faith. As reflections on worship, what has this worship made you think about for you and your life and your life with others?
DOORS: giving children opportunities to respond to do all of this; to do something creative as a means of expressing, applying and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this way they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value. Children in our school can identify DOORS. They may hear of a local issue or an international event and request to take action through fund-raising and raising awareness – this is often done via school council, worship leaders but our children have the confidence that they know they are listened to and respected by adults in the school and will raise issues and concerns independently. As we leave worships, what have your take aways been? What are you going to do differently as a result of today's worship? What will stay with you?
In summary, Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than ourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe and wonder.