"Let all that you do be done in love"
Spirituality makes us who we are. It is our ability to reflect about our beliefs. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith. It is being able to inform our perspective on life and our interest in and respect for different people's faiths, feelings and values. It is those times in our everyday lives that affect or change us in order to make us a better person. It helps us to think about who we are, how we can improve the lives of others and as a result improve our happiness through sharing, caring and being kind. 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 in learning about ourselves, others, the world around us and beyond.
In this sense, spirituality and our school vision - Let all that you do be done in love - are intertwined: love for ourselves, love for one another, love for our world and love for learning. It is our aim to find effective ways of developing our pupils aspirations; their sense of identity, self-worth and belonging; their principles, beliefs and values; their appreciation of the world around them, encouraging them to take responsibility and become conscious of the choices they make.
"To feel connected to something bigger than yourself"
"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"
At Hanging Heaton CE (VC) J & I School, children's spiritual development is fostered through all aspects of school life:
- We allow our pupils to understand and explore values and beliefs, Christian beliefs and beliefs that are personal and relevant to them and the way in which they impact on peoples' lives.
- Children are given opportunities to compare views with others, sharing feelings and opinions through discussions and stories.
- We are a very caring school and pride ourselves on our ethos of family. Through our Christian Values and curriculum, we teach children to care for friends, family and the community and learn about those we love and who love us. We provide opportunities to understand feelings and emotions and develop understanding and empathy.
- Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their experiences as well as learn from these.
- We allow pupils to grow and flourish, respect others and be respected.
- Children are born inquisitive, and it is our duty to nurture this natural curiosity and guide them towards looking at the world and noticing, with awe and wonder, the natural and man-made delights around us.
- We want to encourage them to ask 'big questions' about life, religion, nature, science and any other area of fascination. We promote teaching styles which value pupils' questions and give them time to reflect on their own thoughts and ideas and explore responses.
- We allow pupils to know that spirituality is all around us and it is what makes us who we are.
To aid our spiritual development, we use the Window, Mirror and Door Concept
Giving children the opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life's WOW's (things that are amazing and OW's (things that bring us up short). In this our children are learning about life and all its fullness
Giving children opportunities to reflect on their expereinces; 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.
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.