Spirituality at St Meriadoc CE Infant Academy
School Mission Statement: Through enjoyable, memorable learning, supported by our core Christian Values and high expectations, we can aspire to make educated choices in order to flourish to live a rich and fulfilled life.
School Vision Statement: God Believes, We Believe, I Believe!
School Motto: Believe You Can
Our children are all individual and unique; they have all been on very different journeys and continue to travel their own individual journey, but our mission is to ensure that we develop the holistic child, so that they can flourish and live life to the fullest.
What is our definition of Spirituality?
Spiritual development focuses on an individual’s own personal beliefs and values and their resulting behaviours. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith. Through spiritual development, children are able to understand their own feelings and emotions and this enables them to reflect and to learn. Spirituality is a very personal experience and is very difficult to put into words. We all interpret it differently, from person to person, and it often develops within us at different stages of our life.
As a church school, we are focused on developing the mind, body and soul of adults and children alike. We believe that spirituality should influence all aspects of education and life, therefore we aim that all areas of the curriculum contribute to spiritual development.
Spiritual development is not about becoming, more spiritual, it is about realising or becoming more and more aware of oneself and their natural, innate spirituality. This can be a slow and gentle process, at other times there might be significant stages of realisation, which are part of the ongoing ‘developing’ process. People don’t reach a finished state of spiritual development, but participate in the ongoing process of spiritual realisation.
As a school, we have defined spirituality as:
'Spirituality is something we feel inside ourselves; is not something we can see. It is about being curious, expressing and sensing the feelings of delight, awe and wonder, to empathise and to consider the views of others, to ask questions, to be inspired and be aware of something ‘bigger’ outside ourselves.”
As an infant school it is important that we use age appropriate language to define spirituality, so when talking to our children we will refer to:
- A sense of awe and wonder - The 'WOW' moments of life
- Caring for our world and those in it - listening to each other and the world around us
- Wanting to love and to be loved by people
Awe and Wonder
Children are born inquisitive, and it is our duty to nurture this natural curiosity and guide them towards looking at the world and noticing, with awe and wonder, the natural and man-made delights all around us. We want to encourage them to ask ‘big questions’ about life, religion, nature, science and any other area of fascination. We pride ourselves on offering continued continuous provision throughout the school from Nursery to Year2 to nurture and encourage children's curiosity and creativity.
Caring for Nature and Living Things
We provide many opportunities for children to learn about nature and the role they play in protecting our world. As a Church School, this is especially important. We have our very active School Council: Rights Ambassadors who ensure children are receiving their rights. All children receive sustainability lessons in our polytunnel, where they grow their own fruits, vegetables and flowers and look after nature such as making bird feeders and bug hotels. Through science and topic work, children learn about the world and how they can care for living things. Our School has been awarded RHS Gardening Level 3 award and we are working towards Level 4.
We are a very caring school and pride ourselves on our ethos of family. Through our Christian Values, we teach children to care for friends, family and the community. Indeed, our curriculum includes learning about those we love and those who love us.
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. We foster the process of 'Chat and Catch' where we reflect, meditate or pray and the listen or look for a response in the world around us. 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 children, parents and staff; recognising and respecting the faith or non-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 Collective Worship;
- Participating in activities which promote the skills allowing them to engage in examination of and reflection upon religious and non-religious belief and practice;
- Conducting themselves towards others considerately;
- Respecting the views and beliefs of others;
- Respecting each other's rights.
Parents can help through:
- Adopting a positive attitude to the value of spiritual education;
- Supporting the school’s ethos and acts of community worship;
- Respecting the views and beliefs of others.
Spiritual Development is the 'heartbeat' of our school and to encompass how it is lived out at St Meriadoc it is expressed through our Wheel of Spirituality.
See below for our Spiritual Development and SMSC Policy.