At this church school, all aspects of school life reflect a Christian ethos and this policy is based on Christian principles. We aim for all children to work together to fly high like an eagle, this includes their spiritual development.
What is it?
At Monkton Church of England Primary School, we believe that it is very 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. As a school, we focus on the idea of 5 concepts of spirituality: self-awareness, creativity, reflection, imagination and empathy. Our starting point is our pupils’ own ‘Big’ questions about life and from this we plan a series of encounters (Windows) that open up the possibility of reflection (Mirrors). Finally, the children are given an opportunity to put into action what they believe and value. (Doors)
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 Monkton, all aspects of school life reflect a Christian ethos and all 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 and then have opportunities to reflect.
• 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 imagine as this allows them to breathe, to dream, and to be fully present to the wonder of it all.
• 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. In particular through Religious Education, English, Maths, RHE, Science, Humanities, Art and Music.
• We provide and plan for a wide range of opportunities for children to develop spiritually through Worship including: whole school and class services.
• We also promote spiritual development opportunities through our wider curriculum, for example: during our themed weeks such as ‘Equalities Week; ‘Anti-Bullying Week’; ‘Healthy Bodies Week’ and ‘Spirituality Week’. We also promote spirituality through other extra-curricular activities such as the school drama productions and residentials.
• 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 is woven into our Collective Worship and our themed learning. Evidence of planning for this can be found in each Classes ‘Curriculum Overview’ forms.
What is Windows, Mirrors, Doors?
A) WINDOWS: Encounter - The Learning about life. We give children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways, to wonder about life's 'Wows' (things that are amazing) and 'Ows' (things that bring us up short).
B) MIRRORS: Reflection - The learning from life. We provide children with time for REFLECTION. We give children opportunities to reflect on their 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. Give emotional, physical and auditory space.
C) DOORS: Transformation - The learning to live by putting into action what they believe. We give children opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something creative 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.
To promote well-being and spirituality throughout the school, we have incorporated mindful activities into each school day. These activities can be anything that promotes our 5 areas of spirituality (self-awareness, creativity, reflection, imagination and empathy).
Please see below for a list of current activities that each class takes part in:
Types of Mindful activities
- Mindful colouring
- Daily gratitude
- Nature Walk
- Daily mile exercise
- Learn about the world
- Guided meditation
- Listening to music
The expectation is that children will complete the daily mile exercise 3 x weekly and then 2 other mindful activities to complete one activity per day.
Walking Through Doors Club
As part of our after-school offer, children in Years 3-6 are invited to attend a ‘Walking Through Doors’ Club aimed at giving something back to the school, local and global community. The children run events and charity stalls to raise money for a variety of worthwhile causes.