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Developing Spirituality

At St Mary’s we are concerned with the development of children’s mind, body and spirit. Our school's understanding of spirituality is grounded in the Judaeo-Christian tradition and influences all areas of education and life. 

Spirituality is an innate human capacity. It enables us to become aware of God, one another, the world around us and ourselves. As a school, we provide children with openings for spiritual development through windows, mirrors and doors. 

  • Windows – giving children opportunities to gaze and wonder; to be aware of the world in new ways. Children learn about life in all its fullness. It’s here that children encounter and learn about life. 
  • Mirrors – giving children the opportunity to reflect on their experiences, to look inwards to consider the bigger questions of life: exploring their own insights and those of others. It’s here that children reflect and learn from life. 
  • Doors - giving the children opportunities to respond creatively and expressively. In doing this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value. It’s here that children experience transformation, putting into action what they believe. 

These openings are explored through:  

  • teaching and learning driven by the school’s Christian vision statement and associated values; 

  • planned and unplanned spiritual opportunities for spiritual development;  

  • collective worship;  

  • spaces in the school for reflection, stillness and prayer;  

  • an outstanding RE curriculum;  

  • links with our local church. 

Spiritual development cannot be measured and continues throughout our lives. However, opportunities offered to children for spiritual development will be monitored and evaluated in the following ways: 

  • observing and listening to children;  

  • regular discussion at staff and governor meetings alongside the school’s Christian vision and values;  

  • sharing of classroom work and practice; 

  • ensuring that staff have a clear understanding of what spirituality means in this school by providing them with induction and development training; 

  • evidence from pupils’ work, e.g. reflective diary, RE books, SMSC work, creative writing, art; 

  • regular inclusion in the SEF; 

  • CPD opportunities and sharing examples of good practice with other schools.  

Our Developing Spirituality article is based on work by Liz Mills, John Ortberg, Richard Foster, the Diocese of Exeter, The Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, London Diocesan Board for Schools and The Stapleford Centre.