What is spirituality?

At Eastry C of E Primary we believe in developing the whole child, academically, emotionally and spiritually.

The essence of spirituality is difficult to define 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.

 

As a school, we have defined spirituality as:

  • Being curious
  • Being reflective
  • Being thoughtful
  • Being aware of ourselves and
  • Thinking beyond ourselves
  • Experiencing Awe and Wonder

 

Being curious:

We want to foster a sense of curiosity in our children to enable them to ask purposeful questions as they go through life. We do this in a variety of ways including.

  • Adults model curiosity when reviewing learning and exploring something new
  • Question led learning
  • Asking deep questions
  • Providing opportunities to explore and investigate
  • Allowing children to ask questions and follow these lines of enquiry
  • Questions to ponder and ‘I wonder’ in worship
  • Adapting planning in response to our children

Being reflective:

In a busy and often unpredictable world the ability to reflect is an important life skill. We nurture this by:

  • Using the question to ponder in worship
  • Seeking pupil voice
  • Allowing children to reach their own compromises in play
  • Asking open questions
  • Using learning questions- curriculum design
  • Using Headstart strategies for example the resilience conversation  
  • Having reflection/ prayer areas
  • Giving children targets and next steps
  • Dedicating time to review learning e.g. plenaries, marking
  • Allowing children to have access to calm and sensory spaces
  • Assessing to check understanding
  • Using restorative justice questions to reflect on behaviour

Being thoughtful

We see the importance of dedicating time to think. We value it in our curriculum in a number of ways, including

  • Child led responses and questions
  • Our school rules
  • The buddy system
  • Allowing children to plan their own lesson/ outcome choices in their curriculum
  • Getting the children to ‘prove it’ or ‘justify’ their learning
  • Allowing time for children to reach their own conclusion
  • Family worship linking to question to ponder

 

Being aware of ourselves

To be truly secure in the world children need to know themselves and understand who they are as an individual. We celebrate and promote this at Eastry through:

  • Praise being given is linked to school rules and values
  • The PHSE curriculum design
  • Children sharing their own experiences and celebrating them
  • Emotion coaching
  • Restorative justice questions
  • Pupil voice to plan
  • Emotion boards in classrooms
  • Small group support to nurture feeling awareness
  • Pride in their learning
  • Respecting each other by following our school rules

Thinking beyond ourselves

We want to encourage our children to be courageous advocates for others. They are given the opportunity to do this by:

  • Valuing friends and promoting friendships
  • Welcoming and working with our families
  • Organising charity events
  • Having good links with our local church
  • Working with our community and having a presence in it
  • Showing our school values especially compassion
  • Learning about the wider world
  • Learning about other’s beliefs and perspectives
  • Being actively involved in Forest school and learning about sustainability
  • Having British values woven through our curriculum

Experiencing Awe and Wonder

The magical moments in childhood when children are amazed and captivated give children the value of life in all it’s fullness. Not all Awe and Wonder can be planned, sometimes it’s in the magic of a snowy day, a rainbow in the sky and the natural world in all it’s glory. We do however believe we can enhance the awe and wonder children experience at school beyond responding in the moment. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Planning Inspire days in response of the needs of our children
  • Hooks to stimulate learning
  • Using technology to offer wider experiences
  • Offer real life experiences (bird box, chicks, visitors and trips)
  • Use big questions in R.E.
  • Learning questions starting each lesson
  • Sharing in worship and celebration and inspiring one another
  • Nurture children through sunshine club
  • Experiencing nature in our forest school
  • Using our wonderful school grounds