"Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual. And then we can say, 'I know at least how one is spiritual in that area'. To be vital, awake, aware, in all areas of our lives is the task never accomplished, but it remains the goal."
Brother David Steindl-Rast
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 our Christian Foundations being the 3 concepts of spirituality: Compassion; Courage and Justice. Throughout our curriculum, we plan a series of encounters (Windows - compassion) that open up the possibility of reflection (Mirrors - courage). Finally, the children are given an opportunity to put into action what they believe and value. (Doors - Justice)
“Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves.”
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
How do we do nurture spirituality?
• 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 ‘Just Like Us 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.
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). Children develop COMPASSION towards themselves, others and the world around them.
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. In order to reflect properly and honestly, we teach the children that it takes COURAGE to assess how they feel about experiences and what is going on in the world around them.
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. The children are given the opportunity to 'walk through the door' and truly live out our Christian Foundations of Compassion, Courage and JUSTICE.
To promote well-being and spirituality throughout the school, we have incorporated mindful activities into each school day.
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 School Council
As part of our after-school offer, children in Years 2-6 are invited to attend a ‘Walking Through Doors’ School Council 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.