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St Francis Church of England Aided Junior School

"Let your light shine bright"

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Spirituality (Part of SMSC)


Spirituality is part of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum.


"Whilst learning involves acquiring knowledge and refining skills, it is the deepening of wisdom that truly demonstrates flourishing, through ethical thinking, character development and spiritual formation. Flourishing children are equipped, resourced and empowered to see the future through eyes full of hope, developing the potential to transform a world that their teachers cannot yet imagine." Church of England, Our Hope for a Flourishing School System.

Spirituality is an important part of enabling our children to become responsible global citizens who will be able to enjoy fully our diverse world and have many choices and opportunities open to them. We hope that by Year 7 our children are able to shine their light bright, further into the community (rather than hiding it), while maintaining a strong sense of self-identity, valuing who they are and showing humility and endurance in lifelong learning. 


For over a decade staff have identified with children that they have settled into our school when they have demonstrated the following spiritual capacities to:  

  • be guided by their beliefs and values and be willing to take a stand to defend them 

  • be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others in the school and wider community  

  • love themselves, care for themselves, believe in their potential to achieve, and find inner strength and resilience when facing challenges  

  • exercise imagination and creativity, appreciate beauty in the world and be alive to experiences of awe and wonder  

  • be intrigued by mystery and be open to an awareness of the transcendent in the whole of life  

  • be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer  

  • be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves and to forgive others  

  • be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success  

  • demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life’s big questions  
  • appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life like friends and family, and show generosity towards others  

(Taken from Church of England: Interpretations of Spiritual Developments in Classrooms, 2019)


Our shared definition of Spirituality at St. Francis’ is: 

We believe that spirituality is the nurturing of the inner life of the soul of a child, enabling and embracing their questions, doubts and wonder of existence.  Spirituality is how we understand ourselves and our place in the world, living with meaning and purpose. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, self-reflection, inspiration and being aware of ‘something’ greater than ourselves.  



Spiritual development is closely linked to our school vision and provides children with opportunities to reflect and think about:

  • Themselves (LOOKING IN)
  • Their relationship with others (LOOKING OUT)
  • God and Jesus’s teachings (LOOKING UP)


Matthew 5: 14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. (UP)

A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (OUT)

 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. (IN)

Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (OUT)

 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, (IN)

that they may see your good deeds (OUT)

and glorify your Father in heaven. (UP)


Looking IN at St Francis CE Junior school means:

  • Awareness of their own feelings and being able to reflect
  • Awareness of how unique they are and a happiness of who they are
  • Being thankful for the things they have and the person they are
  • Exploration of personal faith and spirituality

Looking OUT at St Francis CE Junior school means:

  • Showing empathy and understanding in relation to injustice and inequality
  • To love and be loved
  • To shine bright and make a difference  

Looking UP at St Francis CE Junior school means:

  • Encountering and experiencing God and/or having a sense of something greater than me
  • Opportunities for prayer and/or reflection
  • Making sense of the world
  • Being open to more

Spirituality at St. Francis’ includes: 

  • Collective Worship offers daily opportunities for stillness, reflection, Big Questions and contemplating things bigger than our world. 

  • Use of the reflection areas in classrooms 

  • Enquiry led RE curriculum 

  • Philosophy 4 Children Curriculum 

  • Forest Schools offers opportunities for awe and wonder and reflection

Our aim is to establish the right learning environment to enable the spiritual development of all pupils through the following objectives; 

  • Develop an appreciation of their uniqueness and value as a child that Christians believe to be made in the image of God; 

  • Develop an understanding of the distinctive ethos of this church school as well as the context, language and symbolism of the Christian faith; 

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the school’s core Christian values and the Biblical teaching of Matthew 5:14-16 that underpins them; 

  • Develop knowledge and undertsnding about St Francis of Assisi and reflect on how he can help us live a better life. 

  • Develop an awareness of and respect for other people’s beliefs and faiths and the ability to articulate their own; 

  • Develop an appreciation of what it means to be a part of a community (e.g. using their gifts and abilities in the service of others); 

  • Develop strategies to build good mental health; 

  • Foster self-awareness and encourage pupils to make informed decisions; 

  • Develop the creative, caring, critical and collaborative thinking skills and language required to enable them to form opinions and reflect upon the big questions and mysteries of life; 

  • Begin to understand and make sense of their own feelings and emotions around certain encounters and events that occur in their life; 

  • Develop an awareness that experiences of disappointment, failure and loss may be occasions for spiritual growth; 

  • Understand the value of difference and diversity through involvement with others; 

  • Encourage curiosity, creativity and imagination; 

  • Develop the ability to reflect upon experiences of awe, compassion, beauty etc 

  • Develop a capacity to value the natural world, a sense of awe and wonder and a commitment to care for creation. 


These objectives will enable the pupils to have a quality of life that encompasses respect, awareness, compassion, curiosity, understanding and relationships that reflect order, reason, balance and integrity within the context of Christian faith.


In our school we seek to find ways in which all areas of the curriculum can contribute to children’s spiritual development and to highlight opportunities for these in our planning by: 

  • Seeking to foster spiritual capacities, e.g. imagination, insight and empathy; 

  • Allowing children the security and opportunity to explore and express feelings and emotions and to celebrate diversity; 

  • Providing opportunities for invitational prayer including silence and stillness; 

  • Sharing feelings and experiences that foster hope, joy, reassurance and encouragement; 

  • Encouraging children to develop relationships based on the school’s Christian vision and associated values; 

  • Enabling children to make the links between the Church and Biblical teachings, the life of the school and the wider community and how these impact on their own understanding of themselves and their place within the world today; 

  • Providing an environment that promotes space to reflect, think and wonder. 


Monitoring and evaluation 

Spiritual development cannot be measured and continues throughout our lives. However, opportunities offered to children for spiritual development will be monitored and evaluated in the following ways; 

● Observing and listening to children; 

● Regular discussion at staff and governor meetings alongside the school’s Christian vision and values; 

● Sharing of classroom work and practice; 

● Ensuring that staff have a clear understanding of what spirituality means in this school by 

providing them with induction and development training; 

● Evidence from pupils’ work, e.g. P4C responses, RE books, RSHCE work, creative writing, 


● Regular inclusion in the SIAMS SEF; 

● CPD opportunities and sharing examples of good practice with other schools. 

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