As a school, we have defined spirituality as: “Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something 'bigger' outside of ourselves.”
Imagine a donut. This delicious treat is us as a person, our body, mind and spirit, which includes the precious hole in the middle. While the soft, sweet outer ring can be easy to explain, the important inner space is often harder to understand but is equally import to the ‘whole’ of the donut.
It is the space inside the donut where our spiritual self lives; where our beliefs, faith and ideas support us to share our outer selves with the world.
The school has looked at research into spiritual styles in the desire to promote individuality and ensure all children (and adults) in the school have the opportunity to develop spiritually in their own preferred way. Teachers purposefully plan learning opportunities that incorporate these varied styles in order to actively support spiritual development.
Those that have a preference for the word style, seek spiritual connection, through the words of stories, poetry, hymns, through the words of prayers. This could be by listening to words as well as reading them.
Those that develop their spiritual selves through emotion, enjoy being able to express themselves, often creatively through dance, drama or art.
Those that enjoy the mystery of symbols and rituals such as the beauty stained glass windows, meditation and chants, imagery and reflection opportunities, can be described and developing spiritually through symbolism.
Some people are energetic doers, wanting to share their thoughts and actively seeking out means to express them to others. This might be by writing letters, debating or other practical forms of sharing beliefs.
We use these recognised spiritual learning styles and separate them even further, specifically with children in mind. Before lockdown in 2019-20, we began exploring spirituality with the children and from this, with their help, we adopted the following terms to help plan and deliver spiritual activities for all:
Arts & Music loving
You will see that on the teachers termly curriculum planning, that they refer to the specific styles they intend to use within learning activities that term. Over the course of a school year, there will be opportunities for all styles.
Although not an exhaustive list, these are some of the attributes we hope children will be able to demonstrate when the leave Holy Trinity, which are shared in the Church of England Education Office Publication : Spiritual Development, Interpretations for the classroom - 2019.