To champion and rejoice in those we serve, creating an environment where excellence is achieved and potential fulfilled.
Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” John 10:10
In our church school, all aspects of school life reflect a Christian ethos and this policy is based on Christian principles. We aim for all members of our school community to work together, where we all strive ‘to champion and rejoice in those we serve, creating an environment where excellence is achieved and potential fulfilled.’ Individuals feel valued and are encouraged to fulfil their hopes and aspirations, this includes their spiritual development.
What is it?
At The West Grantham Church of England Primary Academy we believe that it is important to provide all children with a range of opportunities to help them develop spiritually. We believe that spiritual development may not be synonymous with Religious Education and Collective Worship and can be explored through many different curriculum areas, these are carefully planned and sequenced within our novel based curriculum.
Why is it important?
Christians believe that God became human and therefore always strive to be the best human they can possibly be. As educators and in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010, we want to help every child to be the best that they can be and have a duty to support the children to achieve this; part of this responsibility is to help children develop spiritually. At The West Grantham Church of England Primary Academy, all aspects of school life reflect a Christian ethos and policies are based on Christian principles.
What do we aim to achieve for the children?
- The children become increasingly aware of the concept of self- the inner person and the way that this shapes an individual’s perception of themselves as a unique human being. The children reflect on the relationship they have with their sense of being a unique person.
- The children become increasingly aware of the concept of others – a growing empathy, concern & compassion of how to treat others. The children reflect on how their values & principles affect their relationships with others.
- The children become increasingly aware of the concept of a physical and creative world – a growing relationship with beauty through the ability to respond emotionally to experiences of the wonder of the natural world and the results of human creativity. The children explore their understanding beauty and the affect this has on their perception of and relationship with the world.
- The children become increasingly aware of the concept of the beyond – a growing relationship with the transcendental and the ability to explore experiences beyond the everyday. The children search for meaning in their very existence and their place in the greater scheme of things.
- The children develop an understanding of the beliefs and values of Christianity and other world religions. The children are respectful of the beliefs and values of others.
- The children develop an understanding of the ethos of a Church school and the content, language and symbolism of the Christian faith as a way of understanding our meaning and purpose in life.
- The children develop the ability to question and to deepen their thinking.
- The children develop their ability to express their thoughts, ideas, feelings and their beliefs.
How do we do it?
- We provide and plan for a wide range of opportunities for children to develop spiritually in all areas of the curriculum.
- We provide and plan for a wide range of opportunities for children to develop spiritually through Worship.
- We also promote spiritual development opportunities through our wider curriculum, for example: ‘Say no to Bullying Week’; ‘Inter faith Week’, ‘Sports Week’ and through other extra-curricular activities such as the school drama productions.
- We provide areas for quiet reflection in school and in the outdoor environment.
- We provide opportunities for prayer, including silence and stillness.
- When planning for spiritual development we focus on 3 areas: Windows, Mirrors and Doors. This brings to life what Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37-38 when He said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
- A) WINDOWS: Experience – The learning about We give children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways, to wonder about life’s ‘Wows’ (things that are ‘awe-full’ and make us wonder and be grateful) and ‘Ows’ (things that are ‘awful’ and make us wonder and ask questions). Our curriculum and life itself are full of opportunities to recognise this sensitively.
- B) MIRRORS: Reflection – The learning from We provide children with time for reflection, both alone and together. We give children opportunities to reflect on their individual and collective experiences, to look inward & consider the big questions of life. In this, they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others. Some opportunities give more purposeful space – especially RE lessons and Collective Worship – but across our whole curriculum we aim for opportunities (unexpected or planned) to pause and reflect, so that together we make the most of all these times. Our Pastoral team give opportunity for ongoing deliberate space for reflection as well as staff and pupil support.
- C) DOORS: Growth – The learning to live by putting into action what we believe. We give children opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something to express this in a way creative, active, or purposeful way as a means of expressing, applying and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value.