At Finmere Primary we believe that spiritual development is not necessarily religious but is a ‘concern to foster the growth of the human spirit’. We consider that spiritual development is about helping children to develop academically but more importantly personally so that they become well rounded and ready to take their place in society fulfilled, happy, spiritually aware and socially and emotionally engaged.
We believe that spirituality is essential for personal happiness. No child is complete without spiritual engagement, be it through art, music, literature, nature etc. One of the ways spirituality can be expressed is through the awareness or understanding of the value of silence and reflection. We therefore actively provide opportunities for our children to reflect and give them time to think more deeply about things to fully appreciate the world around them and to consider the contribution they can make to it.
It is often said that Spirituality will only happen when we are open and willing to go deeper. At Finmere we try to develop spirituality by being creative and engaging, by enabling our pupils to connect with stories, by empowering our children to ask and respond to questions, by promoting play and creativity, by developing relationships, by providing a sense of belonging and by the use of rituals and symbols.
To read our Spirituality Policy use the link below:
Fellowship Assemblies 2018 - 2019
In September, Amanda Houston led the first of our Fellowship Assemblies that are planned for across the coming year. The assembly was for the whole school was based on the theme of Harvest, the fruits of the spirit and our value of the term, Thankfulness.
Previously Amanda has led the very popular Funday Club after-school sessions. Using the church calendar, bible stories and art and craft activities, she was able to deliver a really powerful assembly that inspired the whole school community. It was wonderful to see the children working in cross-age groups and to see them demonstrating an understanding of giving thanks at harvest time. Thank you Amanda.
The next Fellowship assembly in October will be based on the theme of Jesus, Light of the World.
Schultuten Assembly September 2018
In September 2018 we welcomed Rev Alice into school with some of her helpers from church. Over the summer the ladies had been busy making Schultuten gifts for the new children and staff at school. Schultuten is a German tradition which strengthens links between the church and school. We were delighted to receive our gifts and look forward to this becoming a new tradition at Finmere School.
Harvest Festival October 2018
In October at Finmere Church we held our Harvest Festival Service. Parents, relatives and friends joined us for the service.
We asked for donations of non-perishable goods e.g. tinned soup, tea, sugar, flour, rice (with long sell-by-dates). All donated goods were sent to the charity 'Bicester Emergency Food Bank'.
We will also welcomed donations of fresh produce which we sold at the end of the service and money raised was also donated to the Food Bank.
At the end of the Church service tea and coffee was served.
Remembrance Service at Finmere Church November 2018
in November all of our children made poppies for a poppy wreath which we laid at the Finmere memorial.
Carol Service at Finmere Church December 2018
We'd like to say a huge thank you and well done to the nine children in our school choir. They performed beautifully at Finmere Church Carol Service in December. They looked fantastic in the choir robes and their conduct and behaviour were exemplary. We were very proud of them.
The children attended Choir after-school club for four weeks and really showed commitment and determination learning their songs; a special mention goes to Jake, Kaitlyn and Lillia for their beautiful solos.
Thank you to Rev Alice Goodall and the wider church community for welcoming us to the Carol service.
Journey to Bethlehem Prayer Day December 2018
In December we were joined by members of the Shelswell Ministry Team who led a wonderful day filled with Christmas craft and activities. Under the guidance of Amanda Houston, the children learned about the Journey to Bethlehem and the relevance of traditional symbols and images of Christmas.
The children really enjoyed the day, with some even exclaiming, 'It was the best day ever!' Across the day, each pupil journeyed to a workshop station where they were then able to learn about an aspect of Advent and take part in a craft activity. By the end of the day each pupil had made an angel, a star, a wreath, a peg doll shepherd, a Wise Men placement, a Christmas table decoration, a crown biscuit and a Christingle.
The children also had the opportunity to pause, reflect and write a prayer for our Christmas prayer tree.
Many, many thanks to all the volunteers from the Shelswell Ministry Team; Rev. Alice, Penny, Janet, Margaret, Rosemary and Amanda. We really appreciate the time and effort you gave to the school, ensuring every one of our pupils enjoyed a truly memorable day.
In March Messy Church came to Finmere School. Rev. Alice and her team organised the event and the theme was "thinking about how God used three special women to look after the baby Moses, and thinking about the special women who have looked after us".
There were lots of crafts, posies to make for mums, woven baskets, and wheels to tell our mums all the things we love about them! There was a visit from a sheep and her three lambs. There was a sort time of worship followed by a delicious tea.
Easter Prayer Week
We all took part in an Easter Prayer Week learning about the significance of crosses in 4 different countries: El Salvador, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Ireland. The activities gave us the opportunity to look at different styles of crosses and churches and to reflect upon the cross in the Easter story as a symbol of life and death. Working in mixed age groups, everyone had the chance to make a cross in the style representative of each of the four countries.
Ethiopian crosses are woven, Bangladesh crosses were made from natural materials, the cross from El Salvador was made up of pictures we each drew of ourselves and things that were important to us and the Irish cross was made by folding and cutting paper.
Many thanks to Mrs Carpenter, as RE lead, for all her hard work in researching the learning and enabling us to reflect upon Jesus' messages of tolerance, acceptance and of treating everyone equally.
It was wonderful to celebrate this learning as part of our Easter service and to see all the crosses on display.
In April Finmere School went to Fringford Church for the morning. There were lots of fun activities including making things out of play-doh that stop us from feeling so alone like God did in the Garden of Gethsemane. We also drew and wrote our hopes and dreams on stones which we placed on a model of the path that Jesus travelled down on Palm Sunday on his way to Jerusalem. In this activity we thought about the people who don't have as much as us. We prayed for them to be happier. On the next activity we thought about Jesus at the Last Supper. We sat at a big table, lit candles then ate bread and wine (which was juice) to represent Jesus' body and blood. In the final activity we thought about when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and we talked about how we should be more like Jesus, by being kind. At the end the whole school listened to the last part of the Easter story and there was a model of where Jesus lay. This was a brilliant trip. Thank you Rev. Alice.
By Jake and Eden (Year 6)