What is Spirituality?

It is very difficult to define what spirituality is. Here at Little Milton, we have a shared understanding of what it means to us a school community. We believe spirituality to be about:

  • An expression of one’s faith, belief and values
  • A sense of connection and belonging
  • A sense of awe and wonder
  • A sense of connection with something greater than ourselves

 

How do we express our spirituality at Little Milton?

While spirituality is understood individually, it is often expressed in how we connect within our community.  We aim to nurture pupils to grow and flourish in their own individual spiritual journey in the context of our Church school.

They are given opportunities to:

  • to meditate and reflect
  • to pray and worship God
  • consider life’s fundamental meaning and purpose
  • learn and grow in the natural world of the local Forest
  • wonder about life’s diversity in all its fullness
  • reflect on their experiences and insights
  • ask and explore “big questions”
  • express what they believe and value through action and the creative arts
  • understand how their brains work and how this impacts behaviour

 

Opportunities to develop spirituality across the curriculum

Opportunities for spiritual development are both planned and spontaneous. Our smaller setting and class sizes facilitate the opportunities to become engrossed in an activity, to pause and sense our smallness in the universe, to allow the children to lead where the learning is going. These opportunities span our whole curriculum and our time together. Some examples are listed below:

 

Collective Worship

 

This gives our community the opportunity to slow down, find stillness and focus on what is important. Lighting candles and hearing familiar Bible stories and verses remind children that they are loved and valued for who they are. They can share a sense of togetherness and shared vision. Pupils have the opportunity to explore big questions about life and its meaning and are encouraged to grow in their own personal spiritual journey.
Forest School

 

Children are taught about how life interacts in the forest and our place within the natural world. Older children have a “sit space” like the Native American tradition. They practise being thoughtful in their care of the natural world with a trained and experienced Forest school teacher.
Godly Play

 

Every half term, all the children experience Godly Play. These sessions are run by an experienced Godly Play teacher who offers space and freedom to “wonder” and explore a range of Bible stories.
RE

 

Children are encouraged to explore fundamental questions about life and meaning. They learn how people of faith express their spirituality and can consider their own personal responses.
Mind up

 

Children are given the opportunity to pause, reflect and connect to their senses and emotions. They are taught about how their brains work with a view to understanding behaviour and interactions. They are encouraged to develop empathy and understanding for one another and why we behave the way we do. In our small school, positive relationships and interactions are nurtured and strengthened by our restorative approach.
English

 

Children respond to literature and poetry. They are given times of reflection as well as times of immersive writing. Debate is encouraged when discussing character motives and reactions. Stories are examined and explored by recognising our own character traits, flawed or positive, and a growing sense of fate and purpose.
Maths

 

Patterns and sequences are explored numerically as well as visually. Awe and wonder is encouraged when seeing these patterns woven throughout the natural world. A sense of self is developed through acknowledging “mighty” mistakes are part of learning.
Science

 

Children are encouraged to wonder at the natural world, how life connects and the cycle of life around us from our amazing human bodies to the creatures that we see in the Forest. A curiosity of what is around us is developed.
Geography

 

Understanding the power of the natural world and how we fit into it form the basis of our Geography teaching. Impact of community and  how our decisions impact each other are explored.
History

 

Children are taught about our journey as a nation, how we fit chronologically in our history, how our actions and decisions can impact others, as well as learning about our human understanding of our universe. Links between us and our ancestors are explored as well as how the worship of higher beings has been practised throughout history.
Art Art is a vehicle to express our spirituality and creativity for example painting to music. Children are given freedom to explore different media and opportunities to express their creativity.
Music

 

Music lessons are a vehicle to express, compose and reflect. Pupils are given the opportunity to collaborate as a group and play and sing together as a community.
PSHE

 

PSHE gives us the opportunity to own our own development, develop friendships, explore our feelings, remain positive and calm when confronted with change, and grow in our community and relationships. We aim to develop perseverance, independence and resilience.
DT

 

Physical elements of structure and texture and understanding how things work can lead us to explore purpose and design. Pupils can creatively explore how to solve problems.
Computing

 

Computing teaches us how we can connect to the wider world, consider our impact on others and our technological responsibilities.
PE

 

We recognise the link between physical health and emotional and spiritual health. Teamwork and communication skills are developed and encouraged.

 

 

How is spirituality experienced in school life?

In addition to opportunities in the curriculum, at our school, spirituality is experienced through

  • School traditions (Ascension Day walk, Christingle, Maypole)
  • Regular visits to our local churches
  • Welcome events and open mornings
  • Residential visits
  • Prayer spaces
  • Partnership events
  • Celebration and achievement good work assemblies
  • Whole school themed weeks (e.g. road safety, book week)
  • Community events (Little Milton fete, pensioner’s lunch)
  • Pupil voice
  • Leadership opportunities for pupils across the school on pupil council, eco-committee, worship team, prefects
  • Behaviour management approaches based on repair and restoration
  • Buddy systems with older children helping younger children
  • Supporting charities and outreach work

 

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