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An Approach to Spiritual Development in Schools Tatiana Wilson

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1 An Approach to Spiritual Development in Schools Tatiana Wilson tatiana.wilson@exeter.anglican.org www.exeterccyp.org tatiana.wilson@exeter.anglican.org www.exeterccyp.org

2 A whole with 2 parts!  Spiritual Development: –What is it? http://www.exeterccyp.org/schools/spiritual-development/ –How can we do it?  Core values: –http://www.christianvalues4schools.co.uk/

3 All schools will have a spiritual tradition, whether they identify it or not.  Their value system will underpin their understanding of what they mean by spiritual development, and will inevitably be linked to the moral, social and cultural traditions also in the school.  The values will also affect the moral dimensions by shaping the things that are promoted and nurtured through the school culture.  The value system which characterises the school will have everything to do with the beliefs, values, aims, purposes, goals, policies and practices that are part of the school's ethos.

4 A view:  "Spirituality was generally viewed as enriching individuals in their understanding of and ability to relate to, others and of society as a whole". Education for Adult Life (SCAA 1996)

5 An assumption Many people assume that spirituality is to do with Collective Worship, Religious Education or PSHE and therefore it tends to be put into those boxes. However, the truth of the matter is that it should influence all areas of education and life. Many people assume that spirituality is to do with Collective Worship, Religious Education or PSHE and therefore it tends to be put into those boxes. However, the truth of the matter is that it should influence all areas of education and life.

6 Ofsted The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) in their discussion paper point out that "spiritual" is not synonymous with "religious". All areas of the curriculum may contribute to pupils' spiritual development. Spiritual development relates to fundamental questions about the meaning and purpose of life which affect everyone, and is not dependant on a religious affiliation.

7 "The term spiritual and moral development needs to be seen as applying something fundamental in the human condition which is not necessarily experienced through the physical senses and /or expressed through everyday language. It has to do with relationships to other people and for believers, with God. It has to do with the universal search for individual identity - with our responses to challenging experiences, such as death, suffering, beauty and encounters with good and evil. It is to do with the search for meaning and purpose in life and for values by which to live." SCAA discussion paper

8 “Spirituality is about our relationships with ourselves, our family, friends, those around us, to God and to all of creation.” “Spirituality is about our relationships with ourselves, our family, friends, those around us, to God and to all of creation.” Prof. Ursula King

9 Characteristics of a spiritually developing person.

10 What do we mean by ‘development’ in spiritual development?  Plant - develops new shoots and grows in some measurable way  Debate - orator expands on a point or perhaps more usefully  Photography - an photographic image is ‘realised’ or ‘made visible’ on a piece of paper

11 Spirituality is an innate human capacity  Spiritual development is not about becoming, more spiritual (in a measurable or expansive sense)  It is about realising or becoming more and more aware of one’s natural, innate spirituality.

12 Schools can provide children with openings for spiritual development in three vital ways: WMD

13 WINDOWS:  giving children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life's 'WOWs' (things that are amazing) and 'OWs' (things that bring us up short). In this children are learning about life in all its fullness.

14 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.

15 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.

16 It therefore makes sense that a Church School’s curriculum has strands permeating it like in a stick of rock of: – Christian Values and –Opportunities for Spiritual development

17 Schools considering nurturing people’s spiritual development should consider how it is:  Embedded  Evidenced  Evaluated

18 Recommended further reading: Opening Windows: Spiritual development in the Primary School through Religious Observance and the Wider Curriculum Compiled and Edited by Alison Farnell Stapleford Centre ISBN 978-1-902234-60-1 Making Sense of Spiritual Development in Religious Observance and the Wider Curriculum by David Smith and Alison Farnell Stapleford Centre ISBN 978-1-90223447-2 http://www.stapleford-centre.org/bookshop SMSC website with advice across the curriculum http://www.smsc.org.uk/users/teachers.htm Stilling and Meditation http://www.farmington.ac.uk/documents/new_reports/PS50.pdf


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