Spirituality at Durrington Infants
“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” Hans Urs von Balthasar.
At Durrington Infants school we give children and adults the opportunity to articulate and explore their spiritual development to enable them to be ‘Proud to me and be the best I can be!’
Our definition of spirituality:
· At DIS we take pride in nurturing and celebrating all members of the school community, equally, showing care for each other.
· We learn by making mistakes and taking risks.
· We aim to live our school values and learn to resolve conflict.
· We take time to be still, to reflect and talk about the world and the environment we live in and beyond, with awe and wonder.
· We instill the confidence to question our knowledge and experiences and think about the big questions.
What is meant by spirituality?
Spirituality concerns a person’s relationship with themselves, with others, with God (or the transcendent), and with nature and the environment. These four elements: self; others; transcendence and beauty form the basis of our work with children in developing a strong sense of spirituality.
It is also vital that all of the adults in school also see the need to develop their own spirituality for their own well-being, so that they can effectively support and help our children and each other.
The four elements
· Awareness of feelings; ability to reflect and express
· Awareness of our uniqueness; happiness with who we are
· Gratitude for the things we have and the person we are
· Exploration of personal faith
· Development of imagination and creativity
· Empathy and understanding; respect, tolerance
· To love and be loved.
· Making a difference; duty
· Encountering/experiencing God (having a sense of what lies beyond the material/physical)
· Ability to formulate and discuss the ‘Big Questions’ (e.g about life, death, suffering, nature of God)
· Opportunities for prayer, connecting with God
· Making sense of the world
· Developing a sense of awe and wonder
· Enjoying the miracles of everyday life
· Taking time for what really matters
· Appreciating beauty in art, music, nature
How we aim to develop a strong sense of spirituality:
We provide opportunities to develop children’s understanding of our school values and how they can act upon them in their everyday life .Our core values are: Friendship. Kindness. Respect, Honesty, Trust and Happiness.
We ensure that there is regular time for prayer. This can take many forms, but can include being thankful, saying sorry and asking God for help.
We have regular time in the day for quiet and reflection. This might be listening to a story, lighting a candle in assembly, going for a walk or Forest school activities.
We provide many opportunities for creativity, using the imagination and we value the opportunities to play.
We sing often, especially with others.
We provide frequent opportunities for children to explore, express and share feelings.
We constantly reaffirm the importance of relationships. How we talk to and relate with each other is fundamental.
We provide opportunities to express awe and wonder, appreciate beauty in all its forms, and appreciate the connections and unity in the world.
We encourage each other to admit mistakes and to say sorry. Recognising and owning up to faults is an important healing and redemptive process.
We encourage children to show kindness, care and compassion, and to express these in practical ways (for example; how we treat each other every day; charitable work; looking after pets)
We explore the ‘Big Questions’ and ‘I wonder’ questions: particularly through our RE programme ‘Understanding Christianity.’
We read often to children, and give them opportunities to discuss and reflect. This includes both secular and religious texts, in particular the Bible
Structures to support and develop spirituality:
· Opportunities are planned across our curriculum.
· Our reflective class RE books are used regularly as a focal point for reflection.
· We have a planned programme for Collective Worship across the school. This maps out themes across the year, based on our school values and other Christian values. We use Roots and Fruits and ‘Values for Life’ to support this planning.
· There is a daily act of collective worship taking different forms, and involving children.
· Displays and pictures around the school continually celebrate and encourage reflection and spirituality.
· Our RE curriculum is inspiring and motivating. Click here to read our RE policy.
· Visits and visitors from the community support all our work.