Archbishop Temple who was asked to produce a statement on spirituality for the Education Reform Act of 1944…
“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”
“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)
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
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;”
The UN charter for human rights also refers to spirituality four times
The issue relates to your own personal standpoint on the issue
There are issues for those at both ends of the Spiritual Continuum
“Spirituality is not necessarily religious or even dependent on religion as its foundation” (Clive Simpkins)
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
“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
“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
Religious education is principally an academic subject and is the study of theology and of comparative religions
We don’t expect children who study elements of World War 2 in the History curriculum to imbibe Nazi philosophy
There is an important distinction that needs to be made between “knowing about God” and “knowing God”
Howard Gardner found that the characteristics of spirituality did not lend itself to being classed as a neurologically entity
In its statement of aims the National Curriculum makes a distinction between the “Spiritual” and the “Moral and Social” elements
The word “worship" comes from the Anglo-Saxon, "weorthscipe," it means “the act of focusing on that which is of greatest worth"
* Christian worship is a spiritual act flowing from their faith in God * Many children have not formulated an opinion on whether God even exists
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.
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.
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
Viewed in this light the opportunities for spirituality seemed endless. Most occurring outside of the traditional assembly
“All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.” (National Curriculum)
“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”
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)
Whilst in churches spirituality will generally be thought of as a synonym for Christianity, in schools this is not the case.