As a church school and a place where everyone can ‘have life to the full,’ we aim to create an environment that will nurture people’s minds, body and soul. We believe that spirituality should influence all areas of education and life. Therefore, we ensure that throughout the curriculum there are rich deep thinking opportunities which contribute to pupils’ spiritual development.
Spiritual development relates to fundamental questions about the meaning and purpose of life which affect everyone, and is not dependent on a religious affiliation.
As a church school we are guided by the Christian faith and Christian values which Christians hold dear. However, we truly welcome all and we openly encourage children to reflect in the way that suits them best, enabling them to participate in an ongoing process of spiritual realisation and to flourish in a way that will help them find peace, comfort and strength throughout life's ever changing journey.
The ‘Windows, Mirrors, Doors’ approach developed by Liz Mills, has helped East Bergholt Primary School to develop its thinking about spiritual development across the whole curriculum:
Windows: Giving opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways. Learning about life in all its fullness. This includes both the things that amaze us and challenge us.
Mirrors: Giving opportunities to reflect upon our experiences. To meditate on life's big questions and consider some possible answers. Learning from life by exploring our own insights and perspectives and those of others.
Doors: Giving opportunities to respond, to do something creative in order to express, apply and further develop our thoughts and convictions. Learning to live by putting into action our beliefs and values.
If you, as a parent/carer/guardian, would like to understand more about supporting your child’s Spiritual Development please look at the video below from the National Institute for Christian Education.
How is Spirituality Nurtured?
At East Bergholt Primary School we offer endless opportunities for all children and members of the school community to explore spirituality. As a Church of England school this often reflects our distinctively Christian character.
Children’s spiritual development is fostered through all aspects of our provision. It is about the relationships and the values that we consider to be important, as well as the development of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes. We give children opportunities to:
- Express personal beliefs and compare views with others, sharing feelings and opinions through discussions and stories.
- Begin to develop their own system of beliefs which may or may not include religious beliefs.
- Experience a love of learning through rewarding their enthusiasm and by encouraging exploratory play and learning.
- Reflect upon the world around them and show a sense of awe and wonder towards aspects of the natural world or human achievement.
- Reflect on the situations of others through role play, stories.
- Experience a range of stories, music, art, drama and dance
What is the Role of the School Community?
In school we give opportunities for reflection, in lessons and collective worship, children develop an understanding of looking back and reflecting on what they have experienced. This may take the form of looking back and taking from the past, from a Bible story, from a picture/icon/view/learning experience. The focus is to help us in our lives today and tomorrow.
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 pupils, parents and staff; recognising and respecting the faith background of the children and their families;
- Taking part in, and supporting, collective acts of worship;
- Being good role models in their conduct towards other members of the community;
- Promoting an attitude of respect for other people and for others’ views;
- Nurturing consideration for and generosity towards others.
- Drawing on the experiences of pupils and their families during religious education lessons and beyond;
- Recognising and being constantly aware of the needs and backgrounds of each individual pupil;
- Being willing to develop their own knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and the faiths of others;
- Having a positive attitude to the value of spiritual education.
Children can do this through:
- Taking an active part in acts of collective worship;
- Participating in activities which promote the skills allowing them to engage in examination of and reflection upon religious belief and practice;
- Conducting themselves towards others considerately, in line with the code of conduct;
- Respecting the views and beliefs of others.