What is Spirituality ?
Spirituality can often mean different things to different people. To some people it is about understanding yourself, to others it is about understanding and experiencing awe and wonder.
For us here at The Forest CE Federation, developing spirituality is about developing a person as a whole. It is concerned with the growth and development of each person as a unique, individual child of God; developing their sense of worth and helping them to understand their place in God's world. Spirituality is also concerned with how our faith, beliefs and values inspire us to act. Finally, spirituality is about how we experience God and how he meets with us.
At The Forest CE Federation, we see spirituality in many ways:
- A sense of awe and wonder
- Care for nature and living things
- Wanting to love and to be loved by people
Awe and Wonder
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 all around us. We want to encourage them to ask ‘big questions’ about life, religion, nature, science and any other area of fascination.
Caring for Nature and Living Things
We provide many opportunities for children to learn about nature and the role they play in protecting our world. As a Church School Federation, this is especially important. We have a very active Eco Committee and School Council. Through science and topic work, children learn about the world and how they can care for living things.
We pride ourselves on our ethos of the Federation family. Through our Christian Values, we teach children to care for friends, family and the community. Indeed, our curriculum includes learning about those we love and who love us.
Children’s spiritual development is fostered through all aspects of our provision. It is about the relationships and the values that we consider to be important, as well as the development of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes. We give children opportunities to:
- Express personal beliefs and compare views with others, sharing feelings and opinions through discussions and stories.
- Begin to develop their own system of beliefs which may or may not include religious beliefs.
- Experience a love of learning through rewarding their enthusiasm and by encouraging exploratory play and learning.
- Reflect upon the world around them and show a sense of awe and wonder towards aspects of the natural world or human achievement.
- Reflect on the situations of others through role play, stories.
- Experience a range of stories, music, art, drama and dance.
We develop spirituality in many ways including:
A daily act of Collective Worship: Collective Worship is important to us as a school community. It is a great way to come together to listen to God's word, sing songs and pray together.
Time for reflection: During our Collective Worship, time is given for children to sit quietly and reflect on the message that they hear and think about ways in which they might live out what they have heard.
Time for prayer: Prayer is an important aspect of the school day. We have school prayers which we say at the end of the day and before lunch. Praying together helps us to worship together as a family. We also have a prayer area in school, each week there are different activities laid out for children to interact with, say their own prayers and have quite times of reflection
Sharing our values: Our Christian values form part of who we are as a school. Sharing these and encouraging each person to behave in a way that upholds our values is part of developing ourselves as individuals.
A well taught RE Curriculum: We have a well resourced and well planned RE Curriculum that not only teaches children about Christianity but supports their understanding of other faiths too.
Celebrating as much as possible: We love to celebrate the successes of our children. We have a special celebration worship on a Friday, where we celebrate the achievements and attitudes of our children. We also have a VIP gathering once a term, in which parents are invited.