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Nightingale Academy

St Thomas Cantilupe Church of England Primary School

Shine bright your light (Matthew 5 : 14-15)

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Spirituality at St Thomas Cantilupe

Spirituality is not easy to explain. It means many things to different people and can seem complicated. At  our school, we have thought carefully about what we mean by 'spirituality'. 


As humans, we are all spiritual beings. This is not necessarily linked to religion. People of any faith and of no faith can be spiritual. We have explained what it means for us, below. 


Spirituality is the way that we think and feel, how we relate to and reflect on life’s events as we grow. It is the way we are aware of, and choose to spend time with, others. It is how we see the world and reflect upon the things which are much bigger than us and our time on earth.



How do we nourish spirituality?


  • Through a continuous focus on our values of unity, perseverance and love. Linking with our badge and vision. 
  • Through linking spirituality to all subjects, from poetry, music, teamwork in PE to beautiful art work e.g. taking part in dance at the Courtyard.
  • Through moments of stillness and quiet throughout the day.
  • Through how we speak and listen to one another, for example in debates.
  • Through how we make others feel, for example when giving feedback in D.T.. 
  • Through spending time in different places, for example by the river or in our reflection garden.
  • Through sharing moments of awe and wonder, for example in music, listening to an organ recital in the cathedral or collecting leaves on an Autumn day.
  • Through asking big questions in maths, R.E., PSHE and science.
  • Through thinking about and learning from the views of others in PSHE, for example Herefordshire's Mind CEO
  • Through taking care of our world in science, for example our garden, River Wye project.
  • Through time in worship to think about windows, mirrors and doors e.g. to think about how what we learn in worship can be applied outside.
  • Through thinking about how we and others worship e.g. welcoming others.
  • Through being courageous e.g. Fair food project
  • Through learning about how we feel e.g. with Libby 
  • Through being thankful for all we have and for one another.
  • Through supporting others to shine and enabling them to grow e.g positivity notes.


We are delighted to have developed quiet spaces both inside and outside school. Our reflection area inside is small, available for prayer and for stillness. It is simple and can be used by all. Our spiritual garden outside has been nurtured by staff and children. Created during COVID it has become an important place in school to just be. Sitting alongside the Blackfriars Monastery ruins it generates a feeling of tranquility.


Why are we talking about spirituality at school?

Recognising the importance of and nurturing our spiritual development is important to us. It can seem complex but we all have an inborn spirituality.


What do we think spirituality is? An unexplainable, intangible part of who we are.

  • Relationships – with ourselves, others, the world and for those who have faith, with God
  • Engagement - with our world, ourselves and others


Why do we think spirituality matters for our children? Because it supports self awareness through:

  • Reflection
  • Questionning
  • Engagement with ideas


This makes a difference to our children because it helps them to:

  • Build relationships
  • Show empathy
  • Value themselves and others
  • Be citizens who can make a difference 


How might spirituality look and feel for different people?




Staff training helped us to think about how we might interpret spirituality and in turn how our children might. 

  • For the emotion-centred person, feelings, music, the arts and especially singing are at the heart of their spirituality.
  • The symbol-centred person values silence, reflecting on mysteries, nature and using symbols to represent what can't be fully explained.
  • The word-centred style values knowledge, talking, reading, learning and stories.
  • The action-centred person is inspired by acts of compassion and justice and will take action of their own to make a positive difference.


We aim to give children time, space, stillness and opportunity to find out who they are and to develop their own sense of spirituality.


What can parents do to support your child's spiritual development?

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Nightingale Academy

St Thomas Cantilupe Church of England Primary School

Shine bright your light (Matthew 5 : 14-15)

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