What Is Spirituality?
It is very difficult to put into words what ‘spirituality’ actually is because it is a very personal experience. It differs from person to person, and often spirituality changes within people during their lifetime. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith.
'It is something we are and cannot escape, regardless of how we feel about it.'
Pupils' spiritual development is shown by their:
- beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different feelings and values.
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible.
- Use of imagination and creativity in their learning
- willingness to reflect on their experiences
Teaching Opportunities and Strategies
Liz Mills from The Stapleford Centre, a Christian charity fostering Christian engagement in education, has identified 3 ways that schools can provide opportunities for spiritual development:
WINDOWS: giving children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life's 'Wow!s' (things that are amazing) and 'Oh!s' (things that bring us up short). In this children are learning about life in all its fullness.
MIRRORS: giving children opportunities to reflect on their experiences; to meditate on life's big questions and to consider some possible answers. In this they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others.
DOORS: giving children opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something creative as a means of expressing, applying and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value.
Throughout the curriculum, opportunities are provided for reflection to enable space to be made to reflect on thoughts and experiences.