Clanfield Church of England Primary School

Spirituality

Developed September 2023 and rolled out January 2024

At Clanfield we believe it is important to give children space to develop their own faith, beliefs and values to develop their own spirituality (without adults giving ‘the answers’ all the time).

Our Christian vision influences all we do, but we are very careful to ensure this is done in an invitational way, without any compulsion to take part in prayers unless the child chooses to. We believe it is vital to teach children to be respectful of different ideas and beliefs, and to listen to new ideas and think them through before making up their mind about what they believe. We provide the skills and opportunities for children to explore areas of spirituality, so that they can develop spiritually as well as emotionally and academically

What Is Spirituality?

It is very difficult to put into words what ‘spirituality’ actually is because it is a very personal experience. It differs from person to person, and often spirituality changes within people during their lifetime. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith. Spiritual development of pupils will be shown by their knowledge of and respect for different people’s faiths, feeling and values. It will be shown in their sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves and others.

As a school, we have defined spirituality as:

 

“Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves, our connectedness with others. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, being (deeply) reflective, releasing our own creativity, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves.”

 

How we aim to develop a strong sense of spirituality:

  1. Have regular opportunities in the day for quiet and reflection. This might be listening to a story, lighting a candle in Collective Worship, going for a walk or sitting still.
  2. Provide many opportunities for creativity and using the imagination with time for silence.
  3. Value and utilise opportunities for play in all year groups from R-6.
  4. Sing often, especially with others, with music playing in the background where possible and the whole school community always joining in.
  5. Encourage regular moments of prayer. This can take many forms but should include being thankful and saying sorry. Allow children the opportunity to open themselves to God. Teaspoon prayers
  6. Regular opportunities for stilling exercises in lessons, worship and meetings
  7. Provide frequent opportunities for children to explore, express and share feelings within commission work
  8. Constantly reaffirm the importance of relationships. How we talk to, and relate with, each other is fundamental.
  9. Provide opportunities to express awe and wonder, appreciate beauty in all its forms, and appreciate the connections and unity in the world. Take time to wonder.
  10. Encourage each other to admit mistakes and to say sorry. Recognising and owning up to faults is an important healing and restorative process. Using restorative approach where needed
  11. Opportunities to also reflect on challenging aspects of life, including sadness and loss
  12. Encourage children to show kindness, care and compassion, and to express these in practical ways. (eg: how we treat each other every day; charitable works; looking after class pet)
  13. Explore ‘Big Questions’ across the curriculum and not just in RE
  14. Use a range of resources to ensure the best possible experiences in school eg dance, music, outdoor learning.
  15. Read often to children and give them opportunities to discuss and reflect. This includes both secular and religious texts, in particular the Bible.

In summary, we will have a common understanding across school and will be confident that spiritual flourishing takes place in its best form. So – whether it’s through immersing ourselves in the Clanfield allotment, Forest School, or residentials; wondering at art, literature, and music through creative learning; listening to our own interior life through our Zones of Regulation policy for example and embedding reflection throughout the curriculum; finding our place and voice in the world through compassionate social awareness and meaningful connections with our local community; it will run through everything we do.

In Ruby Class we have been taking time to reflect in a quiet corner in our classroom, using a candle and the teaspoon prayers. We have also been celebrating World Ocean Day, the children put their feet in water and sand to experience the ocean. They reflected on our learning about World Ocean Day.