St Stephen's Church of England Primary School and Nursery

'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' Philippians 4:13


St Stephen’s Spirituality Statement

The Church of England's Vision for Education states a core desire that children will experience life in all its fullness (John 10:10). At St Stephen’s, we believe that we need to give all of our children the chance to allow them to grow into the people God is calling them to be.

We believe that we can explore Spirituality by educating the whole child, providing full life experiences to meet this desire, which includes engaging with the curriculum and wider curricular opportunities. Our definition of Spirituality is that it is an ongoing, reflective journey. It is something that teaches us about questioning, understanding and relationships: relationships with ourselves, others, the world and beyond.

Spirituality then is about recognising our place in this world and our connection with it, with one another and with God and exploring how that reflected in our daily lives. Spirituality is not about indoctrination or learning facts but about understanding myself in this world. For the Christian it is about understanding myself as being created in God’s image and how that informs and leads me through life in this world. Spirituality is primarily about being, rather than doing.

Spirituality enables our children to be happy, flourish, succeed and live life in all its fullness.

The four elements of Spirituality

Spirituality looks to explore our relationships and connections. 

These are relationships with: 

  • Ourselves
  • Others
  • The World
  • Beyond

How do we support Spirituality in the school?

As a Church of England school our spiritual foundation is built upon our Christian nature and ethos. We therefore seek that all we do is done in the light of that spiritual foundation.

Specifically, we seek to raise spiritual awareness in the following ways:

  • Through example – The way we model behaviour, conversation and care for one another should reflect love, compassion, respect and an awareness of the world around us.
  • Through teaching – Specifically in RE and PSHE but in all subjects where appropriate we will take opportunity to reflect on how our learning impacts our place in the world and how we should respond. More specifically within RE we will reflect on the teachings of various religions with a strong emphasis on Christianity and what we learn about our relationships with the wider world.
  • Through Collective Worship – We place a strong emphasis in Collective worship, whether it be whole school, class or in any other form. Our collective worship should reflect our Christian foundation in all aspects and where appropriate allow space for personal reflection upon how the Christian faith and teaching impacts and leads in our daily lives. It should also offer space for prayer either individual or led and be inclusive to those of others faiths and those of none.
  • Through our relationship with the church – As a school we have a good relationship with the local church and together we seek to encourage all to engage with what scripture has to say to us and about us in relation to God as creator of the world and creator of us within his image.

Nurturing and developing Spirituality

The children encounter a range of opportunities to develop their own spiritual journey. These opportunities are raised throughout the curriculum in order to educate the whole child. We aim to teach the children to reflect on and consider their own actions in a number of different ways:

  • Using the images of windows, mirrors, doors and traffic lights (Church of England Education, Spiritual Development, 2019)
    • Windows are for looking out onto the world and becoming aware of its wonders, both the ‘wows’ and the ‘ows; things that are ‘awe-ful’ and make us wonder and be grateful and things that are ‘awful’ and make us wonder and ask questions.
    • Mirrors are for looking into and reflecting, alone and together, to see things more clearly, for thinking and asking important questions learning from our own and each other’s responses.
    • Doors are for looking through in order to then act or express this in some way in response; for moving on, making choices and doing something creative, active and purposeful in response. This can simply be done through a change in attitude or behaviour or thinking. It can also be expressed powerfully through music or art or drama or dance and through some form of social action or specific acts of giving.
  • Providing opportunities to be moved by creation through being outdoors – in Forest School, learning outside, using natural objects in prayer spaces.
  • Providing opportunities for children to be quiet, to contemplate and to reflect.
  • Providing opportunities for creativity and using imagination.
  • Providing opportunities for children to sing to express adoration, joy and reverence.