Spiritual Development involves: -
- The development of insights, beliefs, attitudes and values, which guide and motivate us.
- A developing understanding of feelings and emotions, which cause us to reflect and to learn.
- For all pupils a developing recognition that their insights, principles, beliefs, attitude and values influence, inspire or guide them in life.
- In St. Margaret Mary’s, the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship, together with our ‘come and See’ lessons, combine to help our children to acquire insights into their personal existence, which are of enduring worth.
Aims and objectives.
In St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant school we aim to encourage pupils’ spiritual development by: -
- Giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including their own and other religious beliefs, and the way in which they impact on people’s lives.
- Where pupils already have religious beliefs, supporting and developing these beliefs in ways, which are personal and relevant to them.
- Encouraging pupils to explore and develop what animates themselves and others.
- Encouraging pupils to reflect, and learn from reflection.
- Giving pupils the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they affect people and how an understanding of them can be helpful.
- Developing a climate or ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected.
- Accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals.
- Promoting teaching styles which:
- Value pupils and their questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns.
- Enable pupils to make connections between aspects of their learning.
- Encourage pupils to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference (e.g. asking why? how? and where? as well as what?)
- Monitoring in simple ways, the success of what is provided.
The role of Governors
The Governing Body supports the Head Teacher by promoting and developing:-
- The distinctive nature/ethos of the school. The Governors have collaborated in our Mission Statement ‘loving, learning, growing, together with Jesus.’
- Curriculum subjects especially Religious Education.
- Collective Worship-the Governors support and take an active role in all our activities.
The Role of the Headteacher
The Headteacher will promote the following characteristics to develop pupils’ spirituality:-
- A set of values, principles and beliefs, which may or may not be religious, which inform their perspective on life and their patterns of behaviour.
- An awareness and understanding of their own and other’s beliefs.
- A respect for themselves and others.
- A sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion.
- An increasing ability to reflect and learn from this reflection.
- An ability to show courage in defence of their aims, values, principles and beliefs.
- A readiness to challenge all that would constrain the human spirit, for example, poverty of aspiration, lack of self confidence and belief, moral neutrality or indifference, force, fanaticism, aggression, greed, injustice, narrowness of vision, self-interest, sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination.
- An appreciation of the intangible-for example, beauty, truth, love, goodness, order, as well as for mystery, paradox and ambiguity.
- A respect for insight as well as knowledge and reason.
- An expressive and/or creative impulse.
- An ability to think in terms of the ‘whole’-for example, concepts such as harmony, interdependence, scale and perspective.
- An understanding of feelings and emotions and their likely impact.
The Role of the Teacher.
Teachers in St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant School will find effective ways of developing pupils’ drive, sense of identity and self worth. They will develop principles, beliefs and values, including those that have a religious basis, in our children.
Through the ‘Come and See’ education programme, the wider curriculum and the relationships we have with the children and the community, the teachers’ role includes promoting within the children:-
- A sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
- A sense of transience and constant change.
- An awareness of the possibility of order, purpose and pattern.
- An awareness that there is often more to things than meets the eye-a sense of transcendence.
- A sense of the importance of silence and reflections and the ability to listen.
- A sense of self-esteem and worth.
- An appreciation of the worth and qualities of others.
- A sense of community and an understanding of its celebrations, rituals, values and responsibilities.
- A sense of joy in life and the worth of play.
- Awareness of limitations and frustration, loss and the sadder side of life.
- Appreciation of the natural world and its patterns as a source of meaning and symbols for our existence; seasons, light, bread, water, wind, the earth.
- Appreciation that freedom and ability to choose are at the heart of human dignity.
The Role of the teacher includes promoting the following skills in our children:-
- An ability to listen.
- An ability to be still.
- An ability to feel for, and with others.
- A capacity to respond to experiences with imagination.
- The capacity to perceive pattern in experience.
- The strength to cope with contradiction and the sense of futility.
- The ability and opportunity to reflect.
The Role of the Parents.
Parents have the responsibility to support the schools’ spiritual development policy and to actively encourage their children to fully participate in the life of the school.
Parents will be invited to participate in collective worship, assemblies, services and celebrations.
Parents are the child’s first educators and as such, we hope will continue to promote the sense of awe and wonder within their children.
In St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant School all children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and to make their own decisions.
Opportunities are given throughout the day, during lessons and assemblies, for quiet reflection.
The school rules help our children to fully participate in the awareness of self and the spiritual and moral values we cultivate through personal and social behaviour. They are encouraged to make decisions and be pro-active in the development of attitude and values which influence them in school life.
Assessment of Spiritual Development.
OFSTED have suggested that pupils may display evidence of having benefited from provision intended to promote spiritual development if, at a level of appropriate to their ages and ability, they demonstrate such qualities as:-
- Knowledge of the central beliefs and ideas and practices of major world religions and philosophies.
- An understanding of how people have sought to explain the meaning of the universe through various myths and stories, including religious, historical and scientific interpretations.
- Beliefs, which are held personally and the ability to give some account of these and derive values from them.
- Behaviour and attitudes which derive from such knowledge and understanding and from personal conviction, and which show awareness of the relationship between belief and action.
- Personal response to question about the purpose of life and to the experience of beauty and love or pain and sadness.
The class teacher will monitor and evaluate the skills attained by children in his/her class according to these qualities demonstrated.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the governing body and any amendments which may be deemed to be necessary will be made accordingly.