Making the most of opportunities to develop children's ...

Making the most of opportunities to develop children's ...

MAKING THE MOST OF OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP CHILDRENS SPIRITUALITY Marilyn Cowling Independent Consultant (RE/RS, SMSC, pedagogy, AfL) Email: [email protected] Tel: 07764577064 OFSTED Within the Ofsted 2012 Inspection Framework SMSC is judged under attainment, the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, leadership and management of

the school and overall effectiveness. When Ofsted teams gather evidence there is a separate heading to capture SMSC in other words, the expectation is that SMSC will be threaded through the whole school community and curriculum. Ofsted will be asking pupils about their experiences in school. This is not as daunting as it sounds your school is probably giving plenty of opportunities to develop SMSC. The purpose of this workshop is to help you identify and make the most of the opportunities to develop the spiritual. OFSTED: What do we mean by spiritual development?

Pupils spiritual development is shown by their: Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different peoples feelings and values Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible

Use of imagination and creativity in their learning Willingness to reflect on their experiences Ofsted is not looking to catch schools out, rather it will welcome those schools that are able to say, with confidence, that they are making a contribution to SMSC through collective worship, the curriculum and wider opportunities. See good practice exemplification on Ofsted website: Middleton Moor Primary Lipsom Community College

SPIRIT OF THE CHILD the many religions of Homo sapiens are the richly varied cultural responses of human beings to their natural spiritual awareness each person has their own spiritual signature, a way of looking at human identity that is as individual as a finger print (Rebecca Nye, Spirit of the Child) WHERE DO WE START? Visualisation:

Take a learning walk around your school. Walk into the entrance/reception area, look around what do you see, what do you hear. What ethos does this convey? As you walk into the main part of school, perhaps going to your classroom or to the staff room or some other place you regularly visit, what do you observe on the walls, the state of the displays, what is happening in classes as you pass How do staff and pupils greet each other Take a look round the room in which you spend most time, can you see any questions displayed to prompt reflection, any motivating quotes (for adults and pupils), photographs of pupils engaged in learning How are the chairs and tables organised, does this plan foster dialogue Pick up a lesson plan and look for any aspect that will prompt

reflection, wondering, questions about meaning and purpose Share what we saw and thought about NOT JUST IN RE! All subjects can make a contribution to the spiritual development of children and young people through the content (i.e. what is taught the subject matter) and the processes (i.e. the skills/attributes and the teaching/learning strategies) used. Would a greater emphasis on spiritual development change what and how we teach? Can we identify opportunities for spiritual development in our planning

How do we know that our pupils are responding to the opportunities for spiritual development that we provide for them? (The so what?) How does the way our curriculum is organised support and/or hinder spiritual development? GODLY PLAY Some possible approaches to support spiritual development

Silence to promote deep thinking/reflection, visualisation, stilling Listening to music to aid thinking/reflection

Creating music in response to thinking/reflection Prayer Reflecting on works of art their meaning and symbolism Creating art in response to thinking/reflection Exploring the meaning of story (especially religious and spiritual) Writing stories/poetry to express meaning and emotions

Discussion about feelings and responses (P4C, community of enquiry) Circle time Reflection diaries Responding to big questions - asking big/rich

questions Questions -I wonder at least once a day Big question walls; www wall (we were wondering) Can of worms tin (any ? Any time) Activities to stimulate the imagination and creativity e.g. play Think pair share, thinking hats, group work Self and peer assessment

Imaginative teaching strategies use of Godly Play; role play; freeze frames, hot seating Plan learning from pupils own experiences Use of the senses and alternative forms of expression Higher order questions/thinking HOTS Blooms taxonomy

Spirited Arts competition Outcomes worthwhile and authentic (of use to the community) displayed Meaningful homework such as learning logs see Make notes without words while a story is read to them, create a shape with clay or play dough about a part of the story which they find interesting or makes them think

Thought/word for the week is articulated throughout the school community in all communications Displays in prominent places reflecting the values of the school SMSC:a Christian Perspective Diocese of Norwich SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: 1. As a school/subject leader/key stage/department/faculty what contribution do, can, or should the different curriculum areas make to the spiritual development of our pupils/students

both in terms of the content we cover and the processes we adopt (e.g teaching and learning strategies engaged with)? 2. Think of how you currently organise your schools curriculum or subject areas scheme of work. What are its current strengths in terms of helping children/young people develop spiritually (morally, social and culturally)? How do you know? What might/do you need to change to make further improvements? 3. How might approaches to curriculum design and delivery such as themed or topic based learning or the creative learning journey in the

primary school and project or problem based learning in the secondary school support spiritual development opportunities through the skills and processes such approaches might encourage? What opportunities do exam subjects provide and how do you build on them? 4. How might learning outside the classroom opportunities promote the development of spiritual capacities? WHAT CONTRIBUTION CAN/DOES MY SUBJECT MAKE TO MY SCHOOLS PROVISION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

DEVELOPMENT AND HOW DO THE PUPILS RESPOND? Four questions to think about and focus on: How does MY CURRICULUM AREA in MY SCHOOL: provide pupils/students with knowledge and insight into values and religious beliefs and enable them to reflect on their experiences in a way which develops their self-knowledge, selfesteem and spiritual awareness? contribute to teaching the principles which separate right from wrong and help pupils/students to act on these principles appropriately? encourage pupils/students to relate efficiently to others, take responsibility, participate fully in the community and develop an understanding of citizenship? teach pupils/students to appreciate and develop their own

cultural traditions and appreciate the diversity and richness of other cultures? 1. As a school/subject leader/key stage/department/faculty what contribution do, can, or should we make to provision of opportunities for the spiritual development of the pupils/students we teach? How can we identify such opportunities within our planning? How would a greater emphasis on this dimension of human experience change what we teach and the ways in which we teach it? How do we know how our pupils/students respond to the opportunities we provide for/with them?

2. Think of a lesson or group of lessons taught recently - if you had been focusing on its contribution to the provision of opportunities for spiritual development and how your pupils/students respond to this, how might you have changed: your planning? your delivery? the activities you expected from the pupils/students? your assessment activities and approaches?

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