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“Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” (Anonymous)

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Presentation on theme: "“Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” (Anonymous)"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” (Anonymous)

2 The National Curriculum states as one of its two core aims that each school should “aim to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”


4 Archbishop Temple who was asked to produce a statement on spirituality for the Education Reform Act of 1944…

5 “The churches were in such a state at the time that we thought if we used the word spiritual they might agree to that because they did not know what it was”

6 “You think it’s quite easy when you are singing it but when you try and explain it you don’t know which words to use.” Jenny 10 year old girl The Spirit of the Child, David Hay)

7 The 1944 act stated that it was the “duty of the local education authority for every area, so far as their powers extend, to contribute towards the spiritual, moral, mental, and physical development of the community

8 In 1988 the new education reform act continued to promote “the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society;”

9 The UN charter for human rights also refers to spirituality four times

10 The issue relates to your own personal standpoint on the issue

11 Jon Westwood Wyche Deputy Head

12 Geoff Rutherford Wyche Headteacher

13 There are issues for those at both ends of the Spiritual Continuum

14 “Spirituality is not necessarily religious or even dependent on religion as its foundation” (Clive Simpkins)

15 As Jesus pointed out on more than one occasion, religion is often one of the biggest hindrances for those on a quest for true spirituality

16 “Religion tends to be associated with what is publicly available such as churches, mosques, bibles, prayer books, weddings and funerals” … an increasing number of people in Western countries want to distinguish it (spirituality) from religion” David Hay, The Spirit of the Child

17 “Spirituality is almost always seen as much warmer, associated with love, inspiration, wholeness, depth, mystery and personal devotions like prayer and meditation” David Hay, The Spirit of the Child

18 Religious education is principally an academic subject and is the study of theology and of comparative religions

19 We don’t expect children who study elements of World War 2 in the History curriculum to imbibe Nazi philosophy

20 There is an important distinction that needs to be made between “knowing about God” and “knowing God”

21 Howard Gardner found that the characteristics of spirituality did not lend itself to being classed as a neurologically entity

22 In its statement of aims the National Curriculum makes a distinction between the “Spiritual” and the “Moral and Social” elements

23 The word “worship" comes from the Anglo-Saxon, "weorthscipe," it means “the act of focusing on that which is of greatest worth"

24 * Christian worship is a spiritual act flowing from their faith in God * Many children have not formulated an opinion on whether God even exists

25 Spirituality… is that element of the human psyche that is concerned with the inner life. It transcends the mind, the heart and the emotions although we recognise that a spiritual experience may well impact on all of these.

26 A Spiritual Experience is one which opens the mind and the heart to a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s place in the cosmos and the world.

27 We touch spirituality when we encounter an experience on life’s journey that causes us to reflect on the deeper things of life, its meaning and our purpose within it, and as a consequence our lives are transformed






33 Viewed in this light the opportunities for spirituality seemed endless. Most occurring outside of the traditional assembly

34 “All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.” (National Curriculum)

35 “In a world which is gathering pace in the speed with which most of us live if we can develop a generation of children who have learnt the importance of taking time out of a busy day to sit quietly and reflect we will have achieved much”

36 Scientists find that a touch of awe can do us all good Regular awe-inspiring experiences may improve our mental health and make us nicer people, psychologists have claimed, raising the prospect of "awe therapy" to overcome the stressful effects of fast-paced modern life. (Independent July 2012)

37 Whilst in churches spirituality will generally be thought of as a synonym for Christianity, in schools this is not the case.

38 The Spiritual Room with a door marked “God”


40 Is a moral tale spiritual?

41 If the children are gaining a spiritual curriculum through experiences do we always need to go through the extra door into a more traditional faith based spirituality?


43 Schools should “provide opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual development” (The National Curriculum) Why would we not want to include a faith based spirituality?

44 Paul Finch has shared with the staff the concept of “Directive Silence”

45 “God made these” “If you believe in God what do the cobwebs tell you about God?” … and if you don’t believe in God, what do they tell you about the world we live in

46 Put statements put in the third person “some people feel that God helps them when they are in trouble”

47 “Some people think that the earth is flat” (Flat Earth Society)

48 * Developing a sense of Spirituality (Wyche Curriculum) * The National Curriculum says we should look for “explicit opportunities to promote pupils' (spiritual) development in these areas”

49 What do you value in life? or How do we change our own lives?

50 What type of person risks life and limb to achieve a particular goal? or What is there in life that you are really passionate about?

51 “For myself I would rather know what contrition feels like, than how to define it” Thomas a Kempis

52 In a world which is gathering pace in the speed… * Children who have learnt the importance of taking time out to reflect on life * Provide opportunities to develop a life of faith


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