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St Mary's Academy

Where children come first; belonging and building together








Spiritual development is relevant to all children not only those who come from Christian homes. In developing the spirituality of children, we help them to become aware of: 

  • The human search for meaning and purpose of life which may lead to an understanding and belief of God 
  • Encountering and experiencing God. 
  • The joy of being alive 
  • The beauty of the natural world 
  • The mystery and wonder of existence 
  • The world of imagination and creativity
  • The value of the non-material dimension of life 
  • The need to understand oneself and one’s feelings 
  • The need to value oneself and one’s feelings. 
  • The need to recognise the feelings and achievements of others 
  • Ability to formulate and discuss the ‘Big Questions’ (eg about life, death, suffering, nature of God)
  • Opportunities for personal and corporate prayer, connecting with God
  • Making sense of the world. 


In this way, spiritual development encourages:

  • Self awareness 
  • Reflection 
  • Reasoning 
  • A sense of enduring identity 
  • Good relationships 
  • Co-operation and empathy 
  • The formation of long-term ideals 
  • Curiosity
  • Imagination
  • Faith


The school will promote spiritual development through:

  • Fostering high self-esteem by encouraging children to take risks or face 

challenges in their learning within a secure and positive environment. 

  • Demonstrating appreciation for work of the child’s imagination and provide opportunities for them to use their own creativity and imagination. 
  • Offering opportunities for aesthetic experience in art, music, dance, and 


  • Making time for stillness and reflection which may lead to children coming to the threshold of prayer. 
  • Posing questions that encourage children to consider issues of meaning and purpose. 
  • Developing good listening skills in the children; the school will show that it is listening to the children through its response to issues raised, by them, via the Pupil Council. 
  • Showing that it is not always possible to provide an absolute answer and at such times it is a positive experience to value a variety of interpretations and responses. 
  • Improving co-operation and understanding in relationships, providing opportunities such as group activities where children have constructive and enjoyable interaction with others; it is important that they sometimes work with those children who they would not normally choose as partners. 
  • Fostering emotional well-being by encouraging children to express their feelings and to have the ability to control their emotional behaviour. 
  • Developing the capacity for evaluative reasoning and critical thought by encouraging children to look beyond the surface and ask big questions      
  • To explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs, and the way they impact on people’s lives. 
  • To support and develop existing or emerging religious beliefs
  • To have confidence to express ideas, views and opinions, even if others do not agree. 


These opportunities appear across the curriculum although are clearly scheduled in RE, Collective Worship and the Creative Arts. As a school, we value opportunities presented within PE and Mathematics, along with our work in the IPC in the broader range of subjects such as science, history, DT etc.