“Children are naturally spiritual,” says Rev’d Peacock. “I find that, regardless of a child’s religious background or connectedness to their church or faith tradition, they are receptive to spiritual ideas and approaches.”
Nurturing the capacity to reflect, to contemplate, and to connect with the spiritual dimension and with God underpins spiritual education, according to Rev’d Peacock, because they lie at the heart of who we are, at the centre of our being as humans.
“Our Religious and Values Education (RAVE) programme at Grimwade House considers a number of different approaches to spirituality. Our heritage as an Anglican school, reflected particularly in our weekly chapel services, provides a foundation for the exploration of a range of different religious traditions,” says Rev’d Peacock. “In addition, we spend a lot of time talking about values. Respect is a particularly important word in our curriculum. We focus on respecting each other, respecting the environment, and respecting God.”
Students from a wide variety of religious backgrounds attend Grimwade House. These include Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. However, the majority come to the School with little connection to their church or religious tradition and with only a limited understanding of religious practice or beliefs, according to Rev’d Peacock. “It is not our aim to indoctrinate children into a particular religious viewpoint, or tell them what to think or feel,” he says. “However, I find young children, in particular, like to bring their concerns to prayer. They also enjoy hearing the stories from the Bible, and this gives them a basis for wider spiritual exploration.”