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Spirituality

The Church of England's Vision for Education states a core desire that children will experience life in all its fullness (John 10:10). At St Lawrence we believe that we need to give all our children the chance to allow them to grow into the people God is calling them to be.
 
We believe that is is essential to explore Spirituality by educating the whole child, providing opportunities to be still and reflect, to explore their own spirituality and to respect others' spirituality and much more.  Spirituality enables our children to be happy, flourish and succeed and live life in all its fullness. 

What is spirituality? 

  • Religion and worship
  • Relationships to other and/or to God
  • Evocative or favourite places and experiences
  • Creativity and responses to Art and music
  • Mystery and what we can’t really understand
  • Prayer, silence and meditation
  • The opposite of what we can touch and feel (the material world)
  • Experiences which take us beyond ourselves
  • What is everlasting, or transcendent or ultimate

Spiritual development differs from person to person and is a very personal experience. For this reason, it is difficult to put into words. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith. For Christians in church, spirituality is about developing a deeper understanding of and connection with God. It is about God’s way of being with us and our way of being with God. Through this we are able to respond to the loving nature of God as revealed through the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A school is not a church, but it is a collection of people who come from a variety of backgrounds for the purpose of education. Family backgrounds may be very different and spiritual development must take account of the varied circumstances of staff and pupils.

Therefore, in light of this and in light of our school’s distinctively Christian vision, at St Lawrence Primary School, we consider that Spirituality makes us who we are. It is our ability to reflect about our beliefs. It is being able to inform our perspective on life and our interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.

As part of our approach to spiritual development, we use the follow strategy in our school:

 

WINDOWS: giving the pupils 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, pupils 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.

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MIRRORS: giving pupils 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 are used throughout high quality RE lessons; pupils are consistently challenged to reflect on their learning about religion to help them learn from religion, regardless of whether they have a specific faith.

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DOORS: giving pupils 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. 

Pupils in our school 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 pupils have the confidence that they know they are listened to and respected by adults in the school and will raise issues and concerns independently.

 

Impact

As a school, we intend that pupils will not only be able to develop spiritually and engage in spiritual opportunities, but that they will begin to reflect on the importance of these experiences for their lives. 

Children are:

  • able to share their own beliefs and values and know that they can take a stand to defend them
  • self-aware and show empathy to the experience of others in and out of school
  • loving towards themselves and believe in their own potential
  • imaginative and creative
  • comfortable with taking part in reflection, prayer and being still
  • forgiving and able to say sorry
  • responding creatively across a range of subjects
  • inspired to take action and often link actions to their beliefs or school values
  • understanding that mistakes are a part of learning and growth
  • able to share what difference reflection makes to them
  • curious and open minded
  • able to explore and articulate spiritual and ethical issues in age appropriate ways
  • appreciative of the goodness in their own lives