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'Let your light shine' (Matthew 5:16)



Spirituality is derived from Hebrew ruach, which had a range of meanings:

  • spirit

  • breath

  • wind

  • that which gives life and animation to something

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 Thurnham Glasson C of E Primary School, we believe that exploring Spirituality is by educating the whole child and providing full life experiences meets this desire.


We define Spirituality as an ongoing, reflective journey. At Turnham Glasson C of E Primary School, we explore with the children what their light is and how they can let it shine. We want our children to know that we are all different; we are all unique but God has given us all strengths that we can develop and achieve our potential. Spirituality enables our children to aim high, achieve success and SHINE, as reflected in our motto. 


Through spiritual development, children are able to understand their own feelings and emotions and this enables them to reflect and to learn. Spirituality is a very personal experience and is very difficult to put into words. We all interpret it differently, from person to person, and it often develops within us at different stages of our life.


As a church school, we are focused on developing the mind, body and soul of adults and children alike.  We believe that spirituality should influence all aspects of education and life, therefore we aim that all areas of the curriculum contribute to spiritual development. By being spiritual we are exploring beliefs and our experiences; we respect all faiths, feelings and values; we enjoy learning about ourselves, others and our world; we use our imagination and creativity; we reflect.


Spiritual development is not about becoming, more spiritual, it is about realising or becoming more and more aware of oneself and their natural, innate spirituality. This can be a slow and gentle process, at other times there might be significant stages of realisation, which are part of the ongoing ‘developing’ process.  People don’t reach a finished state of spiritual development, but participate in the ongoing process of spiritual realisation.


As a school, we have defined spirituality as:


"Spirituality is something we feel inside ourselves; is not something we can see. It is about being curious, expressing and sensing the feelings of delight, awe and wonder, to empathise and to consider the views of others, to ask questions, to be inspired and be aware of something ‘bigger’ outside ourselves.”


Our core value 'Love' and Spirituality


We are a very caring school and pride ourselves on our ethos of 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

  • Use the concept of 'Windows, Mirrors and Doors' to develop spirituality throughout worships and the curriculum.

  • Pray and experience opportunities of stillness and reflection. We regularly incorporate time for our children to interact with prayer spaces.


 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, this is especially important. We have a very active Eco Committee and Gardening Club. We have provided bird feeders and owl boxes. Through science and topic work, children learn about the world and how they can care for living things. Our School has been awarded the Eco Schools Award.

At Thurnham Glasson Church of England Primary School we support children’s spiritual development using the ‘Mirror, Door, Window and Candle' approach. 

Through these Spiritual Moments we provide opportunities for the children to 'pause for thought' and reflect  deeply. This enables them to think carefully about the world around them and to consider their role within it.


Mirror moments-SELF:

Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of self. The inner person and the way that this shapes an individual's perception of themselves as a unique human being.

Opportunities for children to look inward and reflect on their experiences, to consider some of the BIG questions of life and consider some possible answers. To explore their own insights and those of others.

Spiritual learners reflect on the relationship that they have with their sense of being a unique person.


Door moments-OTHERS:

Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of others. A growing empathy, concern and compassion for how to treat others.

Opportunities for children to respond, to DO something, to go through the ‘door’ of a creative expression of their own thoughts and convictions. The aim is to develop and nurture children who have the confidence to truly believe that they can make a difference in the world. To foster in them a spirit of agency and engagement with the world.

Spiritual learners reflect on how their values and principles affect their relationships with others.


Window moments-BEAUTY:

Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of a physical and creative world. A growing relationship with beauty through the ability to respond emotionally to experiences of the wonder of the natural world and the results of human creativity. The ‘learning about life in all its fullness’.

Opportunities to look out at the world to learn, to gaze, to wonder and become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life’s ‘WOWs’ (things that are amazing) and ‘OWs’ (things that are worrying or upsetting).

Spiritual learners explore their understanding of beauty and the effect this has on their perception of and relationship with the world.


Candle moments-BEYOND:

Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of the beyond. A growing relationship with higher meaning or purpose in life and the ability to explore experiences beyond the everyday.

A candle symbolises, invites and prepares the children for a time of worship, reflection and prayer. The greeting, “May peace be with you” and response, “and also with you” also settles the community in a moment of stillness in advance of the teaching and learning to come within the  worship session. Spiritual learners search for meaning in their very existence and their place in the greater scheme of things.

If you as a parent would like to understand more about supporting your child’s Spiritual Development please look at the video from the National Institute for Christian Education by clicking on the You Tube logo.