Welcome to St. Peter's CE Primary, Heswall! We are an Ofsted-rated GOOD school (2024) and a GOOD in all areas (2023) SIAMS-rated school!


Our definition of spirituality

As a Church School, spirituality is all about our relationship with God the Father, whom we come to through Jesus his Son, united in the Holy Spirit. We define spirituality as “the deepest values and meanings by which people seek to live.”  Our school vision embodies this, placing spirituality at the root of everything we do and is reflected in our vision: Like St Peter, we build upon the rock of Jesus, to enable us to shine, achieving our God-given potential, loving ourselves, others, the world and God. It is the way our fundamental values, lifestyles and spiritual practices reflect our understanding of God, ourselves, others and the world around us. At St Peter’s, we acknowledge spiritual development is not a direct path – it is cyclical, and goes through many phases through all aspects of life.


Rebecca Nye suggests that spirituality can be defined as relational awareness. That means awareness of the relationship with: 

  • Self (being a unique person and understanding self-perception) 

  • Others (how empathy, concern, compassion and other values and principles affect relationships) 

  • World and Beauty (perceiving and relating to the physical and creative world through responses to nature and art) 

  • Divine (relating to the transcendental and understanding experiences and meaning outside the ‘everyday’)

 (Nye R (2009) Children’s Spirituality: What it is and why it matters London: Church House Publishing)


Spiritual development comes through:

Self-Awareness or Self Knowledge. 

All humans need to be aware of, and acknowledge, their own inner life of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Jesus taught what it is to be faithful to God and gave an example to us. He gives his Holy Spirit to guide us and shape our lives to be like his. (Galatians 5:21) The New Testament provides examples of what is right and wrong (Ephesians 5) and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

  • What values shape my life? What’s right and what’s wrong?

  • How can I become who I want to be?

  • What shapes my character, lifestyle and decisions?

  • What does a life well lived, look like?


Forming Relationships. 

An important part of personal growth is being able to develop relationships with others, recognising them as people of worth and value. This includes developing a sense of community and building social relationships. The Bible tells us about God and his ways. In it we discover his character and commands (eg the 10 commandments, Exodus 20) We read of people living faithfully and well; we read of people falling short of God. God consistently acts with love, faithfulness, mercy and justice; he summons us to respond to his love by loving one another. (Matthew 22:34-40)

  • How can I show empathy to others?

  • How do I react to different people from different backgrounds?

  • What can I do to empower my community?

  • What would make the world a better place?


Asking Big Questions. 

This is the search for meaning and purpose in life. The youngest children often ask the most profound questions of this type and deserve to be taken seriously when they do so. We believe that it is important that this area of reflection and challenge is encouraged, not stifled. Ultimate questions are not limited only to RE and collective worship but can arise at any time.  Contemplating the suffering, pain, evil and brokenness of the world confronts us with the reality that all is not well (Genesis 6:5, Psalm 73:3, Romans 3:10-18) When life is hard, Jesus tells us that he is present with us in the midst of suffering. 

  • What makes me happy?

  • Where do I find meaning and purpose for my life?

  • How do I respond to suffering and pain?

  • What happens when we die?


Uncertainty, Awe and Wonder. 

Children are born inquisitive, and it is our duty to nurture this natural curiosity and guide them towards looking at the world and noticing, with awe and wonder, the natural and man-made delights all around us. The Bible tells us that people are created as part of the whole earth and universe God created (Gen 1). Aside from people, the natural world and heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1, Psalm 24:1). Unsurprisingly the natural world engenders a sense of awe and wonder with which our spirituality connects. Considering our place in the world expands our view beyond ourselves. 

  • What inspires me about God's wonderful world?

  • How should we care for the environment?

  • Where do I fit in with other people, plants and animals?

  • What action can I take to protect God's world?

Beliefs and Values. 

This is the search for, and development of, personal beliefs and values. Christian faith is Trinitarian, understanding God to be Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19). As a church school, we believe there is a spiritual dimension to the world we cannot see (Ephesians  6:12). The development of beliefs and values naturally includes the development of Christian beliefs, and as a church school we seek to be a supportive environment in which people can explore and clarify their own belief and values.

  • Is there a God?

  • Who is God?

  • How do I know what God is like? 

  • What do I believe?


This is the exercising of the imagination or intuition and insight to express one’s innermost thoughts and feelings, especially through the creative arts. Creative work can be an important tool for exploring some of the other areas of spiritual development, including music, art and opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting. The Bible tells us that people are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) He has created human beings with the unique capacity to relate to him (Psalm 8:4).

  • How do I feel?

  • How does the creativity of others make me feel?

  • What thought or feeling is being created through this medium?

  • What do I want to express and how can I best express this?


Feelings and Emotions. 

The sense of being moved by kindness or beauty, or being hurt by hatred and injustice. This should bring a growing awareness of when it is important to control feelings and emotions. Pupils will be able to foster their emotional life and express their feelings in the community of the church school, knowing themselves to be accepted and loved as unique individuals. The Bible tells us that he who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:22)

  • How can I be resilient when things don’t go the way I intended?

  • How do I process this emotion?

  • What can I do to support the feelings of others?

  • What can I do to forgive or ask for forgiveness?


What does Spiritual Development look like at St Peter’s?

Promoting spiritual development is at the core of our curriculum design. Our approach at St Peter’s first starts with acknowledging that spirituality will be a different experience for all individuals and that children will be at different stages of their own journey. The everyday experiences that our children encounter support asking the ‘big questions’ and allow them to explore the awe and wonder of the world around us. Spiritual experiences will offer time and space to consider topics that are possibly unknown or challenging as concepts but central to the development of individual values and beliefs. The experiences will explicitly develop our children intellectually, emotionally and morally. As a school, we have chosen to use Liz Mills’ Windows, Mirrors, Doors concept as a common reflective structure for spirituality and is accessible for all of our pupils, from EYFS through to Year 6. This will enable our children to build upon the rock of Jesus and to enable our children to achieve their God-given potential, loving ourselves, others the world and God.

(Liz Mills Farmington Millennium Research 1997)

Windows allow us to look into the world, to the physical, to people, religion and faith. Windows allow us to look outward and develop skills and knowledge around a theme or subject area.

Mirrors allow us to look inward, to reflect on our accomplishments, our beliefs, our creativity and when moments create a ‘feeling’ for us. Mirrors help us develop our own moral skills, our own talents and feelings.

Doors allow us to consider our learning and act upon what we have seen or learned. Doors allow us to think more widely about how they can take what they have understood about themselves and the world into the community in order to lead or model change.


What are the indicators of developing spiritually?

The following are seen as the indicators of effective spiritual development in our school. Pupils who are developing spiritually are likely to be developing some or all of the following characteristics:

  • a set of values, principles and beliefs, which may or may not be religious, which inform their perspective on life and their patterns of behaviour 

  • an awareness and understanding of their own and others’ beliefs 

  • an ability to understand the notion of community and to see themselves in relation to a variety of communities 

  • a respect for themselves and for others 

  • a sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion

  • an increasing ability to reflect and learn from this reflection 

  • an ability to show courage and persistence in defence of their aims, values, principles and beliefs 

  • an appreciation of the intangible – for example, beauty, truth, love, goodness, order – as well as for mystery, paradox and ambiguity 

  • a respect for insight as well as for knowledge and reason 

  • an expressive and/or creative impulse 

  • resilience in the face of challenges or when things don’t go the way we expect or want

  • an ability to think in terms of the ‘whole’ – for example, concepts such as harmony, interdependence, scale, perspective 

  • an understanding of feelings and emotions, and their likely impact, and an ability to talk about feelings


Opportunities to develop spiritually at St Peter’s

We provide rich opportunity for our children to develop spiritually within our curriculum. 

Physical Education

  • By delighting in movement, particularly when pupils are able to show spontaneity. 

  • By taking part in activities such as dance, games and gymnastics which help pupils to become more focused, connected and creative. 

  • By being aware of one’s own strengths and limitations. 


  • By wondering at the power of the digital age e.g. use of the internet and social media. 

  • By understanding the advantages and limitations of modern technology. 

  • By using the internet as a gateway to big life issues. 


  • By allowing for insight, self-expression and the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes and consider other viewpoints

  • By writing creatively, embracing our own skills and imagination, understanding of words and language

  • By exploring texts and stories that challenge our perspectives and express ‘big ideas’ about life and ethical issues


  • By allowing pupils to show their delight and curiosity in creating their own sounds. 

  • By considering how music makes one feel and can ‘move us’ deeply. 

  • By understanding the way artists communicate their feelings through their music

Art and Design Technology

  • By enjoying and celebrating personal creativity and reviewing and evaluating created things.

  • By exploring different artists’ interpretations of a key figure or event and asking what the artist was trying to convey. 

  • By allowing pupils to show what they know through their own expression of big ideas about life and the world around them


  • By developing awareness of and responding to others’ needs and wants. 

  • By exploring meaning and purpose for individuals and society. 

  • By developing resilience and inner strength. 

  • By valuing self as unique in the image of God. 

  • By cherishing relationships. 

Religious Education 

  • By experiencing wonder and joy through learning about and from stories, celebrations, rituals and different expressions of religion and worldviews. 

  • By asking and responding to questions of meaning and purpose. 

  • By considering questions about God and evaluating truth claims. 

  • By exploring spiritual practices such as worship and prayer, and considering the impact of these on believers as well as relevance to their own life. 

  • By developing our own beliefs


  • By using maps and asking pupils to imagine what it might be like to live in different parts of the world and comparing their lives with others. 

  • By making links with history when exploring the environment and speculating on why the landscape has developed in a certain way, and human impact upon this. 

  • By exploring the awe and wonder of the natural world


  • By considering how things would be different if the course of events had been different

  • By looking at local history and investigating the reasons why our community developed in a certain way 

  • By considering how we mark important events from history and the people who shaped them. 


  • By exploring the beauty of languages from around the world. 

  • By exploring the way language is constructed. 

  • By developing an understanding of the language of others.


  • By demonstrating openness to the fact that some answers cannot be provided by Science. 

  • By creating opportunities for pupils to ask questions about how living things rely on and contribute to their environment

  • By experiencing awe and wonder of the natural world and the diverse individuals who contributed to the field of science.


  • By developing resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge

  • By  reasoning and solving problems, understanding other points of view or approaches

  • By developing an appreciation of the intangible and abstract

We hope that this explanation gives a clear understanding of Spirituality and spiritual development at St Peter's, allowing  our children to build upon the rock of Jesus, and achieve our God-given potential, loving ourselves, others, the world and God.