Our vision is to
inspire and grow a compassionate community of excellence.
A happy place for
our children to shine for God, for each other and for themselves.
John Bradford (1995) stated ’For a human being, especially a child or
young person, to have a full quality of life, spirituality in all its aspects
must be nurtured and affirmed.’
In all that we do at St Mary’s Church of England
Primary School, we endeavor to nurture and value spirituality.
What is spiritual development?
Spiritual development differs from person to person and is a very
personal experience. For this reason, it is difficult to put into words.
Spirituality concerns a person’s relationship with themselves, with others,
with God (or the transcendent), and with nature and the environment.
Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be
spiritual without having a particular faith.
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
In summary, spiritual development is a growing awareness of self and
one’s consciousness of relations with others, oneself, the world and the
divine. At St Mary’s we believe that the whole of life gives opportunities for
character growth. As educators we strive for the best for academic outcomes for
our children, but we also believe that to allow children to flourish, education
has to be holistic. We have to shape character and the people our children will
become – resilient, empowered and strong characters.
Spirituality is a growing awareness of
- Who I
am – friend, character, challenges and responses, understanding myself.
- How I
connect to others – family, friends, characters in a book or on TV, those
treated unjustly, characters in history, those I may engage with online.
- How I
feel about the world around me - the
wonder of animals , places I gop on holidays, the natural world.
- how I
feel about the divine – do I have a faith, is it growing? Opportunities for
aim to nurture spirituality
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:
regular time in the day for quiet and reflection. This might be listening to a
story, listening to music, use of the reflection areas around school or the
prayers said throughout the day.
modelling of attitudes to others, self and the world.
opportunities for creativity and using their imagination.
- Sing in
lessons and as part of our weekly worship.
express, share and compare feelings and opinions. This is planned into all
subjects across our curriculum, but it more focused within our PSHE/ RSE using
the Heartsmart scheme, worship and RE lessons. Other structures such as
Restorative Justice, Mindfulness and ‘I wonder’ questions, are used to support
reaffirm the importance of relationships. How we talk to and relate with each
other is fundamental.
awe and wonder, appreciate beauty in all its forms, and appreciate the
connections and unity in the world.
each other to admit mistakes and to say sorry. Recognising and owning up to
faults is an important process that allows us to heal and grow from our
experiences. We use structures such FAIL (First Attempt In Learning) and
everyone to show kindness, caring and compassion, and to express these in
practical ways. (eg: how we treat each other every day; charitable works;
often, giving them opportunities to discuss and reflect. This includes both
secular and religious texts, in particular the Bible.
to develop their own system of beliefs, which may or may not include religious
on the situations of others through role play or stories.
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
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.
Children often volunteer to pray at the end of Collective Worship.
Our children build strong relationships and genuinely want to make
They are able to enjoy quiet and stillness, they possess an active
imagination, and show joy in creativity and discovering new skills.
Our courageous advocacy work demonstrates hearts that want to make
Children show a resilience and a respect for life.
Role of adults in promoting spiritual development
All members of the school community have a responsibility for
helping to nurture children’s spiritual development.
School staff can do this through:
- Establishing and maintaining a partnership between children,
parents and staff; recognising and respecting the faith background of the
children and their families.
- Understanding and considering the needs and backgrounds of each
- Using our School Vision and Values to be positive role models
within the community- promoting respect for other people and their views,
showing consideration for and support towards others.
- Drawing on the experiences of children and their families to
support teaching and learning across the curriculum, including RE lessons.
- Being willing to develop their own knowledge and understanding of
the Christian faith and the faiths of others.
- Taking part in, and supporting, Collective Worship.
- Having a positive attitude to the value of spiritual education
can do this through:
- Respecting the views and beliefs of others.
- Using our School Vision and Values to help themselves and others
- Taking an active part in Collective Worship.
- Being active learners within lessons to enable them to engage with
and develop the skills needed to enable them to fulfil their God given
- Participating in learning that allows them to engage in
examination of and reflection upon a range of religious belief and practice.
and Governors can help through:
- Adopting a positive attitude to the value of spiritual education.
- Supporting the school’s Christian ethos and acts of community
- Supporting our trips to St Mary’s and other places of worship.
- Respecting the views and beliefs of others and demonstrating this
Spiritual Development at
the Heart of the Curriculum
Aspects of spirituality|
A sense of
the mystery of life |
– poetry & texts |
the moment learning
to hatch in Reception
sense of awe and wonder |
– small things and bog things |
of all our senses
outside / Millennium Green work
sense of the human capacity for choice, decision making and personal
everything in Love’
time/ break time routines |
through choices and emotions
/ suggesting consequences
targets in work
choices in and out of the classroom
self confidence in expressing inner thoughts |
in the memory garden
A sense of joy
and self-worth and the worth of others |
and Safety within school
effort and achievement
any behaviour which puts the other down/ lack of dignity.
curriculum which all can access.
awareness of disappointment and failure, suffering and pain, decay and loss.|
Science/ Stories/ PE / RE/ PHSE |
values of compassion and courage
protection / safeguarding issues