At All Saints’ CofE Academy, Thurlestone we pride ourselves on nurturing the spirituality of everyone in the school community. All children have an inborn spirituality which should be nurtured.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is about relationships: relationships with ourselves, others, the world and beyond. It is the sense of our engagement with the world, with ourselves and with others that is intangible but a deep part of us.
What does Spirituality do for our children?
To be in touch with your spiritual self means that you are self aware. Inevitably, spirituality requires reflection, introspection, questioning and engagement with ideas. If we can support the children’s spiritual being then we can enhance their self esteem, we can improve their empathy and relationships, we can allow them to find their place in the world, to value others and themselves. Beyond academic learning, we can support children to be grounded, strong, meaningful and engaging citizens of the world who can bring greater value into their own lives and those of others.
To help the children understand their developing spirituality we explain it using clear language and symbols. This explanation is displayed on a poster in every classroom and the symbols are used around school to show where evidence of developing spirituality can be seen.
10 Steps to Nurturing Your Child’s Spirituality
- Read to your child every day. Stories feed the imagination, especially those such as fairy tales, which are about good and evil, courage and weakness in an imaginary place or a mythical time. Bible stories can be great stories in themselves about what it means for Christians to be human.
- Share times of quiet – whether listening to a story, going for a walk, lighting a candle for someone in church or simply watching the ants.
- Keep in touch with larger communities like the family, school or church.
- The best toys for encouraging the imagination are a large cardboard box or a blank piece of paper and a pencil.
- Play is important for both adults and children. It helps repair the broken and worn out pieces of life. The word recreation means creating again.
- Singing, especially with someone else, gives voice to joys and sorrows and forges relationships. This is why singing together at football matches and community sing songs bind people together.
- You may wish to teach your child different ways to engage with quiet times of reflection; for some this may include prayer.
- Listen to your child and show that you recognise his or her feelings are important – in turn they will learn to listen to yours.
- Show that relationships matter and everyone’s dignity should be respected whatever their age and whoever they are. This is fundamental to Jesus’ teaching that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.
- When we make mistakes help your child to reflect on them. Explain that making mistakes is human and everyone makes mistakes. The importance is in recognising mistakes and thinking about how we can learn from them.