Religious Education Enrichment
We are proud to have a strong partnership between our school and St. Leonard's church. Throughout the school year we attend church to celebrate and give thanks.
Celebrating our School Environment
We provide an enriching spiritual and reflective environment we provide for our children. Below are some new photographs to show our commitment to producing high quality learning opportunities and experiences for all who belong to our St. Leonard's family.
Today we say thank you for all the people, right across the world, who grow our food. We give thanks for the farmers, who grow our food; for the seeds that grow and turn into plants; for the rain that waters them, and for the sunshine that ripens them. We thank you for our daily bread and for all those who work to bring it to our tables.
We give thanks for the harvest of the fields. We give thanks for all those who work so hard to gather this food for us. We think of those who do not have much food and who sometimes have no water to drink. Be with us all this day and always and keep us in your loving care.
A celebration of Spirituality Week
"The Christian ethos must permeate the whole educational experience.” SIAMS Schedule 2013
Following our Outstanding SIAMS inspection, we wanted to heighten our children's understanding of spirituality and what this means.
Staff planned a range of exciting learning opportunities around this. We were keen to look at the impact of the week and so asked the children for their thoughts before and after the week.
Some of their responses were as follows:
Spirituality makes me think about...
Infant children’s responses:
- People who are sick and we need to look after them
- Having lots of big hugs with mummy and daddy.
- It makes me think about Jesus, how he died.
- It nukes me think about the Holy Spirit who guides us when we need help.
- It makes me think about how God made the world.
- What God has done for us.
- It makes me feel happy in my heart.
- God the Father, Jesus the Son and my friends.
Junior children’s responses:
- It makes me think about the fancily of God, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.
- Trinity, it’s about the Holy Spirit. The spirit family is everyone.
- Spirituality makes me think about God the Father who made the world and God the Son who died for us.
- Spirituality makes me think that the Holy Spirit is all around us like God and Jesus. I like singing songs in worship and I like art and music too. I like nature in the world as well.
- Being with my friends and helping one another. When |I hear the word spirituality I think about God and Jesus.
- It makes me think about moments I have been through. I think about happy memories. It also makes me think about the Holy Spirit.
- How much I have and all I need is love and family and to make sure I show respect and do all of our school’s Gospel values.
- Being kind to one another and sitting in silence and peace.
- Different religions and God and Jesus and that we are so lucky to be here with a wonderful school and lovely houses and three meals a day.
- God, nature and who I am. My friends, family and Jesus and our great teachers.
Do you have any questions about spirituality?
Infant children’s responses:
- How do people go to Heaven when they die?
- How can you be really spiritual to other people?
- How can I be more spiritual?
- What does it mean?
Junior children’s responses:
- Is it about everybody?
- Why did the Holy Spirit come down to Earth?
- What did the Holy Spirit do to the world?
- Why do we have spirituality week in school?
- What is spirituality mostly about?
- Why do we need spirituality?
- What is my spirituality inside my body?
- Is spirituality a celebration?
- I want to know the true meaning of spirituality for me.
- Does Allah have the same meaning as God?
- Why does spirituality not be a time of year where we take a moment to think of all the good times we have had?
From the range of responses, it was clear to see the children’s developing thoughts as they become older. The questions and responses were poignant and many were addressed as part of spirituality week to help teachers in their planning and delivery of learning.
The impact on the school’s learning environment is demonstrated vibrantly within classes, along corridors and halls and permeates through all that surrounds our children.
The contents of the displays are uplifting and demonstrate how we involve and challenge our children with the big questions that matter to people and which support our children’s place in society.
A lot of what is seen around school shows children’s understanding of how fortunate they are and this reflects their thoughts on spirituality. They demonstrate a close link with well-being which has informed some of their thinking and responses.
The children’s responses are very real; they come from the outstanding Christian education that St. Leonard’s provides. Additional experiences, e.g. Reverend Tracy’s spirituality game that some of children benefited from during spirituality week supported the children’s initial thoughts on what spirituality meant to individuals.
To help measure the impact of spirituality week the same group of children were asked the following questions at the end of the week.
Here are their responses:
This is what spirituality means to me...
- How you feel.
- Helping someone who is hurt.
- Me and my brother being kind, liking each other.
- People playing with you.
- Loving you in your heart.
- Spirituality means to me – enjoying, kindness, generosity, love, helping, sharing, caring, giving and listening to people.
- My friends and my friendship mean more than anything to me. My world is special to me.
- It gives e tine to think about God and Jesus.
- It makes me feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Happy feelings.
- It means you are calm and still.
- It means a wonderful world.
- We have been thinking about the colours of the world.
- Spirituality is something that makes you feel happy and calm.
- Thinking of God and Jesus and showing respect.
- It reminds me of my hobbies.
- It reminds me of the Holy Spirit.
- Spirituality is what you have got inside of you, like if you believe in God then that’s part if your spirituality.
- Spirituality is also what you like doing, it is also thinking about what is inside of you and living – having time the way you like it.
- It means self-control and thinking about the future.
- Being kind to all people, whether they hate me or aren’t nice to me.
- Connecting with the world around me.
- When I’m on the beach and it’s a sunny day and it’s peaceful and all you can hear are the birds singing.
- Hope, generosity and everybody being friends and happy.
Do you have any other questions you would like to continue thinking about in your religious Education learning?
- How to be helpful.
- How to be generous.
- How we love and care for each other.
- Yes, is there anymore things about spirituality that I need to know and what does spirituality mean for everyone?
- I would like to learn more about how God made the world.
- Learning about the world.
- Do you need to wear any clothes or eat anything to be spiritual?
- I would like to learn lots more about spirituality.
- Do all people have spirituality?
- Is spirituality something you have for the rest of your life?
- Is spirituality a natural thing?
- How was the Bible translated around the world and into different languages?
- Why is spirituality called spirituality?
- What is God’s plan for me?
It is clear to see the impact Spirituality week has made in school for our young learners. It would appear that our children are so well versed through our embedded Gospel values and these clearly impact on their ability to attach ideas about spirituality to themselves and their lives.
Later on in the academic year we plan to bring together our teaching and learning surrounding spirituality, world faiths and Christianity around the World into a specially planned week, enriching experiences through art, music, dance and cookery.
At St. Leonard's we pride ourselves on providing a climate where the children feel comfortable to ask and try to answer the 'big questions.'
Recently, some of our Key Stage 2 children were excited to discuss such experiences.
They had been asked...
"What would you ask God?"
Some of their responses were:
- Would you always care about us, even if we didn't care for you?"
- Why do we have wars?
- Why are people homeless?
- Why isn't life so perfect?
Secondly, they were asked...
"What would you describe God as?"
The children's responses were...
Some thought provoking reflections by our children, supporting their depth of awareness of their world, themselves and God.
Prayers and Reflection
Our children are surrounded by opportunities that encourage and develop prayer, contemplation and reflection - a climate for asking questions, searching for answers and possibilities. These photographs celebrate some of these 'awe and wonder' places in school.
God's wonderful world!
We are very fortunate to have such wonderful grounds in which to enrich the lives of our children through outdoor learning. Sharing our Christian values and attitudes and supporting spirituality is at the heart of what we do.
We strive to promote our Gospel values not only within school, but living these values in the wider community, each day of our lives.
Children's Contributions to Daily Worship
It is extremely rewarding to know that the children at St. Leonard's are able to regularly contribute to whole school worship.
St. Leonard's Superstar Singing
Our children enjoy singing hymns together in worship and hymn practice. This is expressed in the words of one of our Year 6 children,
" The way we all sing together makes us feel really happy."
The Saints and St. Leonard
The children wrote their own prayers.
Thank you for the example of all the special people who have loved you. Help us to love you too and to remember that we are your special saints. Amen.
We give thanks for the lives of the saints. Help us to learn from them and follow their good example. Amen.
Please help us to make the right choices. Please help us to be helpful and kind to others like the saints. Give us the courage, perseverance and bravery to never give up. Amen.
Thank you for all of the saints in heaven. Thank you for the way they have changed people's lives for the better. Amen.
Please help everyone to have the strength to be like a saint. Thank you for all the saints in the world. Amen.
The Bethany Family Children's Choir
During Christianity Around The World Week, we were blessed to have the Bethany Family Children's Choir visit us, all the way from Tanzania.
These children belong to one big Christian family who live together in the children's home built and supported by the Bethany Family charity.
The charity helps the most underprivileged, deprived and vulnerable members of society, especially orphaned children. Many of the children who visited our school wouldn't be here today had Bethany not been there to care for them.
Teachers and children alike were humbled to hear about the tragic events that had brought them to the children's home.
Children from Years 2, 4, 5 and 6 had the opportunity to talk with the choir about their daily lives back in Tanzania.
Talking to our children afterwards, it was clear they had a greater awareness of the cultural differences, poverty and lack of opportunity that exists in Tanzania. Many of them realising that they take for granted their comfortable lives in England.
The Bethany Children's positive Christian perspective on life, displayed with such passion through their beautiful hymn singing, will be a lasting memory for everyone who had the honour of meeting them at St Leonard's.
You can learn more about the Bethany Family and how you can support the vital work they do by following the link below.
We believe that excellence in RE is supported by providing reflective opportunities between teachers and pupils.