At Marlow Church of England Infant School aim to give children the opportunity to develop their spirituality. It is our role in school to inspire, create and recognise that spirituality exists in everyone.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, wrote:
Church schools know that their viscera is not just about acquiring skills and good examination results. It is about forming people who have the moral strength and spiritual depth to hold to a course and weather ups and downs. It is about forming people who know that economic competition is not more important than family life and love of neighbour, and that technical innovation is not more important than reverence for the beauty of creation....
We consider that Spirituality makes us who we are. It is our ability to reflect on our beliefs. It is being able to inform our perspective on life and our interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.
In helping us to reflect on who we are, spiritual development allows us to think about how we can improve the lives of others and as a result improve our happiness through sharing, caring and being kind. It is about our relationship with ourselves and others.
Spirituality allows us to experience and appreciate the beauty of our world and all things great. It is that sense of enjoyment and being fascinated and curious to learn about ourselves, others and the world around us.
We started the new academic year in September 2021 with a whole school 'Spirituality Day'. Throughout the day our Key Stage 1 children learned about and were helped to become more aware of their own spirituality through the use of the concept of Mirrors, Windows and Doors. This concept is summarised below.
Appreciating the world around us
The World: giving 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). In this children are learning about life in all its fullness.
Reflecting and thinking about ourselves and how we feel about things
Ourselves: giving children opportunities to reflect on their experiences; to meditate on life’s big questions and to consider some possible answers. In this they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others.
Thinking about how others feel
Responding: giving 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.
During our Spirituality Day the children used these concepts to explore their own spirituality and feelings in many ways, such as:
- Taking time to reflect about what aspects of nature make them say 'WOW' and thinking of how this made them feel
- Being thankful for their friends - sharing what good qualities that each of the class members have
- Considering their own qualities and reflecting on which quality is their best one
- Making hearts showing the people they are thankful for and using colours that please them
Everything they made has been used to decorate our outside Reflection area.