What is Spirituality?
At Parish, we pride ourselves in nurturing the spirituality of everyone in the school community. All children have an inborn spirituality. However, if spirituality is not nurtured, it can wither. Spirituality is not the same as religious faith, but it is the bedrock on which faith is founded. As a staff and governor team, we have agreed on a definition of spiritual development in our school community to support us as we talk about spirituality.
Spirituality is about how we experience life and therefore how we live our own lives! It is also about our relationship with our self, others, the world and with God. It even makes us aware of things bigger than ourselves and this often makes us say ‘wow’ but sometimes ‘ow’. It gives us the confidence to reflect, ask questions and challenge in many ways. It reminds us that we are valued and all unique.
To help everyone in school understand their developing spirituality staff explain it using clear language and symbols supported by the work of Liz Mills around ‘Windows, Mirrors and Doors.’ These symbols and explanation can be seen in every classroom in reflection areas and the symbols are used around school to show where evidence of developing spirituality can be seen.
How do staff support pupils in their spiritual development?
- Staff have a secure understanding of spiritual development.
- As a school, we have a culture within our school that recognises the importance of spirituality to individuals, both children and staff.
- We revisit spirituality as an area for consideration in our staff meetings and offer training.
- We ensure new staff are aware of our school policy on spiritual development.
- We use models to support our own thinking in spirituality, such as the ‘Windows, Mirrors, Doors’ approach.
- We are aware of spiritual development shown across four key areas of Self, Others, Beauty and Beyond (Andrew Rickett). We use the ‘Ricketts Grids’ to support our understanding of progression in spiritual development in these four areas of Self, Others, Beauty and Beyond.
- We actively use the language we have agreed on with staff to nurture an awareness of spirituality and its importance to well-being and development with the children.
- We aim to help each pupil to develop a spiritual understanding in terms of their own cultural context.
- We share with parents, whenever possible, the outcomes of our focus on spiritual development through newsletters, social media, displays and our website.
- We discuss spirituality with our church and others who can further support this further.
- Spirituality Spotlights are carefully planned throughout the wider curriculum across all subject areas through our consistent approach
With staff holding a secure understanding of our consistent school approach, opportunities for spiritual development are then woven throughout the curriculum supporting the ‘Building Blocks of Spirituality.’