St Nicholas Church of England Primary School

Excellence for All, Excellence from All

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Our Christian School

Spiritual Development:

Spiritual Development refers to the children’s beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values.

At St Nicholas CEVC  Primary School we promote opportunities for spiritual development through:

  • giving children the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs and the way in which they impact on people’s lives. This is done, for example, through acts of collective worship, PSHE  R.E. lessons and wider curriculum.
  • giving children the opportunity to understand human emotions and feelings, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful.
  • developing a climate and ethos within which all children can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected e.g. School Council and celebrating achievement through our weekly Celebration Worship.
  • exploring the spiritual lives of role models through the  Little People, Big Dreams series of books.
  • accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals, for example using restorative justice, safe spaces in classrooms, discussions, an acceptance of disagreeing well etc.

We promote teaching styles that:

  • value children's questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns.
  • enable children to make connections between aspects of their learning.
  • organise enrichment activities and meeting with visitors to promote aspirations.

Fundamentally, it includes offering children the opportunity to explore their own personal faith and to be aware of their own and others' faith journeys. 

We encourage our children to make informed decisions about the world around them. To support children's understanding of religion, philosophy, ethics and morals, we promote the fundamental aspects of Religious Literacy through our RE lessons and PSHE discussions.

Collective Worship

  • Collective Worship forms a valued part of each day. Christian Values are at the core of worship: each value is explored through The Bible, story, drama, song, prayer and children's work.
  • Collective Worship includes all children from Reception up to Year 3 and children with Special Educational Needs are supported to participate within collective worship.
  • Collective Worship is punctuated by inspirational visitors who have included: the Bishop of Tonbridge, a Paralympian, authors as well as representatives from charitable organisations (for example Shoebox appeal organisers), scientists, and musicians.
  • The impact of Collective Worship can be seen many aspects of school life:
    • Children’s behaviour is guided through the values discussed in Collective Worship and children will often talk about and find examples of these values when in the playground (for example when learning about ‘Friendship’ many children could identify when they showed the value and when others did).
    • Children who need additional support with behaviour are reminded about the values, often alongside social stories and visual support.
    • Children show genuine compassion for one another in classrooms, outside and on school visits.
    • Adults within the school model and replicate this care to all children and their families. We have countless examples of how our staff have supported parents and carers, above and beyond the provision of education; we have supported with housing, access to foodbanks, support seeking employment, advocacy in meetings, liaison with professional services etc 
  • Pupils are taught through collective worship how to identify distinctive features of different Christian Traditions, for example:
    • The significance of the lit candle during Collective Worship
    • The liturgical colours of the seasons of the church year
    • The importance of Prayer and different types of prayers offere
    • Responses
    • The singing of hymns and worship songs
    • Christian festivals
  • Charity is a recurring theme during Collective Worship and children are encouraged to help those less fortunate than themselves, not only through showing compassion and generosity; for example, collecting for our school Foodbank, Christian Aid and also through prayers for those in need.
  • Personal prayer and reflection form an important part of Collective Worship and throughout the day:
    • Prayers written in the corridor reflective area are collected and prayed for in school 
    • Children pray at regular times during the day and are encouraged to pray at other times – for example when waiting for collective worship to begin.
  • The school incumbent takes a supportive role in teaching the children about God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, enabling learners to recognise this and talk about it with an impressive degree of understanding.