"Spiritual development is not an accomplishment but a way of life." - David R. Hawkins.
What is Spirituality at Adel St John?
The Church of England’s Vision for Education states that children should experience ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). Through our vision: Love, Serve, Support, Succeed, at Adel St John, we believe that we need to give all of our children the opportunity to ‘Succeed’ and to succeed is to become who God intends us to be. In order to do this, children should be given opportunities to grow spiritually.
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.
As a school, we have defined spirituality as:
‘Exploring our sense of identity, belonging and purpose while instilling a curiosity to seek out the wonders of the world. It allows us to develop an appreciation of differences and values while connecting with the world and reflecting on our own beliefs and opinions.’
The language that we use to define spirituality is not child-friendly, so when talking to children about it we will refer to the analogy; ‘Windows, Mirrors and Doors’.
Windows: allow us to become aware of new experiences. Through windows, we can look out into the world and be aware of the world in new ways. Windows give us the opportunity to wonder about life’s WOWS – the things that are amazing and take us by surprise and learn about life in all its fullness. We provide WINDOWS throughout our curriculum. We have planned specific lessons with an awe and wonder focus with a variety of stimuli, including photos, videos, music, current events and real-life stories. These are planned for at least one subject each half term.
Mirrors: allow us to reflect on our experiences and develop our own self-reflection. Through mirrors, we can look inside ourselves and consider life’s big questions and try to reach some answers. Mirrors allow us to learn from life by exploring our own beliefs and those of others. Our curriculum offers a variety of MIRRORS for the children to reflect on the world in different, deeper ways. It allows them to ask and discuss ‘Big Questions’ and consider their own ideas and beliefs. Through high-quality RE lessons, children are consistently challenged to reflect on their learning about religion to help them learn from religion, regardless of whether they have a specific faith.
Doors: allow us to respond to our reflections with thoughts and deeds in school and the wider world. Through doors we can move onto a new path or situation by doing something creative to develop and apply our beliefs. Doors allow us to put into action our beliefs and values. Children at our school often identify DOORS for themselves. They may hear of a local issue (Candlelighter’s) or an international event (War in Ukraine) and request to take action, through fund raising and raising awareness. We also work with the local community through actions such as litter picking, local fundraising, for example, Leeds North West Food Bank and other activities. We also take part in Comic Relief, Children in Need, Save the Children, British Legion Poppy Appeal, as well as identifying other charities to support during the year.
Planned WINDOWS in our curriculum