Some classrooms have a Christian reflection area, which are changed regularly. They are places where the children can come and ponder, reflect and pray. Our children cherish using these areas and free access to these is encouraged and supported. Staff use these areas too, which helps to model ways in which these spaces can be interacted with.
Areas tend to have a key Bible verse and cross as the focal point. They include children’s Bibles, artefacts, pictures and questions to engage the children in thought, discussion and prayer. Each area is different and has been inspired by the children in that particular class. They are ever-evolving and the children and Spirituality Team often offer suggestions for how we can keep them refreshed and current. They usually follow the same theme as collective worship or class topics to enable the children to deepen their understanding and thoughts behind each Christian message and flourish spiritually.
Reminders and suggestions for using the area are built into our everyday language and routines so that they are never seen as an add-on task but more as something that can be spontaneously used as desired. Children are able to develop and explore a strong spiritual sense of themselves both as an individual and as a member of our school community when using the prayer spaces around the school.
Whole-school shared areas include the spirituality hall displays and the Reflection Garden. We are blessed to have a peaceful green space for our pupils to visit and spend time in. The whole-school ceramics project to add a cross to the ground has created a path to this little haven. Here, children and staff can be at one with God’s wonderful creations and feel a sense of serenity during our busy days together. The use of our quiet garden is an ideal location for initiating ethical debates, eco conversations and being able to actively value our beautiful setting by taking responsibility in caring for it. Prayers and meetings are led by our Spirituality Team in this garden and the Year 6 children take the lead in the upkeep of the Reflection Garden.
This term in the quiet reflection garden area, the children have been encouraged to use their senses as they pray. They could choose to hold some herbs in their praying hands and breathe deeply as they said their prayers. Many children have found certain herbs to go with certain types of prayers depending on the smells. Here is what they said:
“Coriander is zingy and makes me think of happy things.”
“Basil makes me want to say thanks to God for food!”
“I like the mint, it makes me feel calm to pray.”