At Whinmoor St. Paul’s everything we do is underpinned at all times by the Christian ethos of valuing the individual and, in this way, we seek to fulfil the spiritual, mental and physical capabilities of every child—the future adult members of our society. These values permeate all aspects of life within, from daily worship and behaviour, to our Golden Rules.
At Whinmoor St. Paul’s, Religious Education is taught in accordance with the new Leeds and York Diocesan Syllabus and reflects the distinct and inclusive ethos of the Anglican church. The RE curriculum aims to support children in developing their thinking skills and their understanding of Christianity and other World Religions. The teaching of RE is taught through an enquiry based approach and encourages cross-curricular links including; role play, music, art, dance and Science.
Each class (Reception –Year 6) focuses learning about the Christian faith, with a special emphasis on Creation, Incarnation and Salvation across the school. Foundation Stage focus on Christianity and other religions and beliefs represented in the local area. KS1 and KS2 focus on Christianity for approximately two thirds of study time with the other third studying other world religions:
At Whinmoor St. Paul’s we respect all faiths and no faiths and we believe that our quality Religious Education curriculum supports all our children as they develop their understanding of Christianity and major World Faiths. This understanding is essential to help our children make sense of the world we live in.
Christian and British Values
Our Christian and British Values are at the heart of all we do and this links to our central focus of valuing each child as unique in God’s eyes. Over a two year rolling programme, each half term we explore a Christian Value in depth, linked to our British Values. We base our daily worship around these values, with different children, classes and adults leading on specific days.
Our display in the main entrance hall changes termly and is a reflection of how we live out our values within school and within our church and wider community; always ‘Growing in God’s Love.’
We incorporate the values of the school within our Positive Behaviour policy, focussing on the importance of following the Golden Rules’, both in and out of school. The Golden Rules are simple to understand and promote kindness, care and respect.
Adults in school always seek to live out these values – acting with integrity, compassion and wisdom as they go about their daily work. We model for our children a fair and just society where it is safe to discuss, debate and challenge. Children are not afraid to express themselves and to share their beliefs in a thoughtful way, which makes for a calm, peaceful and understanding learning environment. This links in with our belief that the spiritual development of every child and adult within our community is of paramount importance. We believe that spirituality is about enabling the very essence of each individual in our care to grow and flourish. To do this we ensure time is set aside to reflect, look at the world around us and to take opportunities to look beyond ourselves to explore and reflect on life, faith and God.
What do we mean by spirituality?
We believe that spirituality concerns a person’s relationship with themselves, with others, with God (or transcendence – a belief or feeling extending or lying beyond the limits of our ordinary experience), and with nature and the environment.
These four elements: self; others; transcendence and beauty form the basis of our work with children in developing a strong sense of spirituality.
It is also vital that all of the adults in school also see the need to develop their own spirituality for their own wellbeing, and so that they can effectively support and help our children and each other.
The four elements – what these consist of:
Opportunities to develop spirituality are certainly not confined to collective worship or RE teaching. These opportunities are planned for and presented to our children by way of the whole curriculum, for instance through our daily reflections on our learning, our discussions and understanding of national and local events, through our art work, dance and drama, yoga workshops and English lessons. Within school we also firmly believe in making the most of spontaneous moments which fill us with wonder, clarity and joy or which may make us question our assumptions. These may not be planned for or anticipated but can make a lasting impression on each and everyone of us.
How we aim to develop a strong sense of spirituality
Structures to support and develop spirituality: