Spiritual, Moral & Social Development
Ficino School is open to students of all faiths and religions (or none), and through our practice of philosophy, offers a non-denominational spiritual foundation.
Children are taught to read using a phonics system developed at St James School in London.
Ficino School aims to foster this passion for inquiry. The older students use the P4C method to propose and discuss philosophical questions that are meaningful to them. This leads to an ability to engage in respectful dialogue with the aim of discovering universal principles for a healthy, happy and rewarding life.
Ficino School invites parents to learn more about the philosophy of Ficino School by attending an introductory course of nine lectures at the School of Philosophy. Parents are also invited to various school events in which the children share what they learn.
In all philosophical and religious traditions great weight is placed on the need for inner quiet and contentment.
We feel that it is important for children to gain an early taste of their own capacity to experience the quiet within. By using techniques such as ‘the Pause’ and meditation, children develop their power of attention, make better decisions and foster their love of learning.
At the beginning and end of each activity, led by their teacher, the children briefly close their eyes and come to rest. They listen to the sounds around them, pay attention to their senses, and are simply in the moment for a few seconds. This gentle exercise, known as ‘the Pause’, refocuses and re-energises the children and teachers for whatever lies ahead.
Older students are also offered a period of quiet reflection or meditation time each day. Following consultation with parents, the School facilitates an introduction to mantra or word-based meditation. Pupils who do not wish to meditate in this way may use any form of contemplative practice from their own tradition or other simple mindfulness practices given by the school.
The children are encouraged to develop their power of attention. The ability to work without distraction greatly improves the way children learn, and their efficiency while working.
We believe in integrating the best material our cultural heritage can offer into students’ everyday learning.
Ficino School students’ study and enact Shakespeare plays in English, Speech and Drama, and learn from great men and women in their history, myth and culture lessons. We introduce the Bible and classical tales from works such as the Odyssey and the Iliad, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as a range of other substantial modern, traditional and ancient writings. Our students get just as much enjoyment from the tales of the Upanishads as they do from the legends of Ancient Greece, and the moral lessons ring just as true!
All students also have a unique opportunity to learn the Sanskrit language, one of the oldest classical languages, and a specialty of our School. It has a wonderful system of sound and grammar, which gives the child an excellent base for the study of any language. Children love its order and beauty.
Courtesy, respect and good manners are ingrained in Ficino School – visitors frequently comment on the positive way children behave towards each other as well as adults. It is the Ficino School way to care for and serve others.
Truth, discipline, goodness, courage and personal responsibility are all highly valued and practised on a daily basis.
Outside of interactions at school, children are given a sense of caring for the wider community through various fundraising events and Christmas donations to the City Mission and other charities chosen by the children. They also sing regularly at local community centres and participate in environmental clean ups.