‘Be the Light’ – Matthew 5:14
As a result of the trusting relationships between all members of the school community and embedded Christian Values in every aspect of our practice, pupils grow into respectful, resilient and compassionate young people who have an understanding and respect for diversity and difference together with a motivation to help others in their community and beyond. Throughout all that we do, we encourage our children to ‘shine’ in their own special ways.
‘Be the light means the be the best you can be’ – Frank
‘Be the light means shining in all that you do’ – Niamh
‘We are beacons of light, like a lighthouse, helping to show others the way’ – Theo
‘Be the light is about ensuring our children are nurtured so that they shine inside and out’ - Parent
Please see the links to the Diocese of Leeds and the Church of England websites and three key documents:
Worship & prayer
Collective Worship is an integral part of life in school and we recognise the importance of making sure this special part of the school day is enjoyed by all members of the school community. To ensure that Collective Worship is valued, meaningful and enriching, we focus on a Christian Value each half term as well as important events within the Christian calendar. Our collective worship committee often support in leading and evaluating collective worship. They also help with worship times; writing prayers; setting up for worship each day and in occasionally leading our worship together.
Collective worship has an emphasis on Christianity however all sessions are conducted in a manner that is sensitive to everyone. We enjoy a daily act of Collective Worship together and hope to capture the children’s interest and imagination so that they will look forward to and participate fully in Collective Worship.
We often welcome governors, parents, volunteers and members of the local community to join worship, especially in our weekly ‘Praise Assembly’ where we enjoy handing out our shine awards to recognise the achievements of the children.
Spiritual Development at The Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation
What is Spirituality?
It is difficult to put into words what ‘spirituality’ actually is because can be a unique feeling to each individual or a personal experience. Spirituality changes within people during their lifetime. It changes as life circumstances change. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith.
How do our pupils define spirituality?
How do our teachers define spirituality?
‘It is a sense that there is something beyond what we can see’
‘It is noticing the small things in life’
‘…the feeling you get when you notice how wonderful life is’
‘a warm feeling’
‘…a sense of worth and that we can offer something back and that overwhelming feeling you get when you’ve given something such as love’
At The Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation, we define spirituality as
‘Spirituality is invisible; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking big questions, showing our love and care to others and celebrating life’s joys and achievements’
We consider the following areas when thinking about spirituality in our schools:
- A sense of awe and wonder
- A time to pause and reflect
- Love and care for the living world
- Ask big questions
- Celebrating life’s joys and achievements
We have close links with our parish and local church, as well as with the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
We go to Church regularly throughout the year for services celebrating Harvest, Christmas, Easter and for our Leavers Service at the end of each academic year to which parents; families and other members of our community are always welcome.
Ministers from all different churches in the area also come into school regularly to lead our Worship.
We attend a special service at St Michaels Church which is led by the older children. All the children are invited to take part in the service, retelling the story of Jesus’s birth. Our family and friends come to the service and Reverend David is there too.
At Christmas time our youngest children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 retell the nativity through drama, song and dance. All of our families are invited to join us for this special occasion.
On Ash Wednesday the Reverend visits our school and leads a special collective worship. They tell us about why Christians mark this day and invite anyone to receive a blessing and special cross mark on their forehead which is made using burnt palm trees.
We attend a special Easter service. During the service the older children retell the Easter story. We end the service by taking time to reflect on the life of Jesus and why Easter is such as special time for Christians.
Children in Year 5 go to Netherside Hall to take part in Rewind to Easter, they are joined with their Year 5 friends from the federation.
Every year we attend a remembrance service at church. During the service we recount poems and stories of people who have fought in wars and take time to think about those who have lost their lives as a result of fighting and wars.
Big Question Thinking
We incorporate elements of Philosophy for Children, known as P4C, in to our curriculum. During lessons such as RE or PSHE, the teacher and children collaborate with each other in a philosophical enquiry, to grow in understanding, not only of the material world, but also of the personal and ethical world around them. It enables children to explore their own values and to share these thoughts with their peers. They learn negotiation and tolerance and become articulate, confident individuals through active discussion.
We are also passionate about encouraging children to think about the world around them by asking questions about what they see, hear and experience. We do this by thinking of 'big questions'; this approach allows children to acquire and embed a range of skills across the curriculum areas through one motivating topic. As with Philosophical enquiry -there are no right or wrong answers to.
What would your answer be questions such as: What is Freedom? or What does God look like? or Is everyone equal?
The questions posed really make the children (and adults) think!