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Santa, send us some sanity

I was delighted to read your brilliant article about spirituality in the classroom ("Life, the universe and everything", TESpro, 14 December). The staff you interviewed seem to be asking the right questions and are offering the right opportunities for pupil reflection and leading by example. But then I turned a page to discover how some American schools are using Santa's elves as a behaviour management tool for young children ("Santa's helper is coming to town"). So a faith school is exploring a spirituality of compassion, respect, peace and reconciliation. And an American (secular?) school is promoting good behaviour through surveillance and bribes. After rereading both articles several times, I had to go away and lie down - in a futile bid to make the pain go away.

Having thankfully recovered, I reflected that there is such a thing as bad (utilitarian) spirituality, and that the faith school mentioned seems to be deliberately avoiding it. But as for the other sort, with elves? Santa, save us.

Chris Hudson, Northumberland.

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