The staff at the academy will create excellent opportunities for the spiritual development of students. Their relationships, based on the values, will create an environment that enables spirituality to flourish. Working with staff to develop their individual and collective understanding of spirituality and how it can be developed, will be an important aspect of the professional development plan.
In addition to this investment in staff, the academy will organise itself to maximise the opportunities for spiritual development. Spirituality will:
- Inform the vision and exercise of leadership throughout the academy by:
1) championing the importance of spiritual development in a crowded list of priorities;
2) encouraging and enabling staff to express their vocation in serving students and;
3) recognising the talents of each individual through distributed leadership and creating opportunities for students to take responsibility in the life of the academy.
- Be central to the students experience of the curriculum (informal and formal) and the way it is taught which will provide intentional opportunities for spiritual development and reflection through:
1) a holistic curriculum;
2) physical pursuits, endurance and perseverance;
3) the appreciation of beauty and wonder;
4) team membership and group learning;
5) discovery, experimentation (Eureka!);
6) collective worship, prayer, reflection, discussion;
7) questioning and challenging.
- Be developed intentionally. This does not mean programmatically – meaning cannot be forced on any individual – but equally, cannot be left to chance and circumstance. Ways of assessing whether individual students have been given a range of meaningful opportunities, which allow them to develop spiritually will be explored; perhaps using “can do” and “have experienced” statements;
- Be enriched by the values that will underpin behaviour for learning for students and staff (truth, justice, forgiveness, generosity and respect). These values will be exemplified through:
1) the way in which students, staff and guests interact with each other. Students and staff of all faiths and none will be expected to be concerned with the spiritual development of each other, and behave accordingly;
2) the use of Achievement teams as described in academy organisation;
3) mentoring and nurture groups to create and sustain close personal relationships;
4) all school policies.
- Underpin the academy’s relationship with families and the local community. The academy exists to serve students from the local community and so will strive to:
1) be responsive to the particular needs of each student and their family
2) support families and carers in being good parents;
3) provide facilities and resources to the local community;
4) draw on and contribute to the wider Church community in the area;
5) inform the way in which the academy is designed and organised to ensure:
6) inspiration through the built environment;
7) Space and time will be given for quiet reflection;
8) Opportunities for informal group interaction are given in circulation areas.
The academy’s specialisms will be sport (including games, dance and physical education) and science. Both subjects will provide many opportunities to develop students’ spirituality through:
- Individual and team performance;
- Celebration of personal success and of others;
- Creative expression and an appreciation of beauty;
- Experimentation, observation and discovery;
- Awe and wonder;