Spirituality is not just the development of the tangible but also the intangible, the tingling moments that help to shape our ideas, values and belief in ourselves and others.

To talk about spirituality is, essentially, to talk about something which is beyond words.

This language of spirituality begins from a Christian understanding that everyone is a valued creation, individually and uniquely made by God, like pots made by a potter (Isaiah 64:8). Yet, in life things happen that impact on the physical ‘pot’ of life and create cracks that provide a glimpse of something ‘beyond’ the tangible.

Cracks may be caused when something so good and breath-taking happens that the pot expands and cracks – the wows of life.

Cracks may happen when something challenging happens and threatens the comfort of everyday – the ows of life.

Cracks can also happen in the stillness and ordinariness of everyday – the nows of life, when a moment of stillness, a pause or prayer creates a crack in the normal, physical every day. In these special moments there is a spiritual opportunity. Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with golden joinery or glue, creates something that has been broken into something even more beautiful. Using this metaphor, the wows, ows and nows of life offer the possibility of cracks that are filled with gold and make the pot even more beautiful. The gold in the cracks reflect a little of the wonder of spirituality.

Spirituality Fortnight at AKPS

Each year at Ashton Keynes all classes start with a Spirituality fortnight. This is linked to shared school text. This fortnight allows all pupils to explore the wows, ows and nows of Spirituality.

Spirituality fortnight 2023-2024

Our common home: love your neighbour as you love yourself based on the shared book ‘Dear Earth’ by Isabel Otter

We have welcomed the new school year back with our learning metaphor ‘Our Common Home : Love your neighbour as yourself’.  Across the school we have read the book Dear Earth by Isabel Otter which is written as a letter to the Earth by little girl praising its beauty. We have then gone on to considered how wonderful and diverse our world is but also how we are damaging it.We have explored this story in connection with the parable of the Good Samaritan and the teaching ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself. We have thought about what this means in terms of our Spirituality, how we are all interconnected,  considered why the Earth, our unique home, is so special, delicate and in need of our protection and care. Not just for ourselves but for everyone around the world as caring for our world is loving our neighbour.

Previous year’s spiritual fortnights

Our title of learning metaphor was Wonderfully made taken from the Biblical quote ” I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139 

The text which was chosen for the whole to share this year was it starts with a seed. This beautiful book looks at how one small seed can grow into a beautiful tree. Every class in the school shared this book with the pupils- it is important part of learning metaphor for this to be whole school shared text. This book was used as spring board to start off the children’s English work.  The classes then looked at books suited to their age groups to explore these and similar ideas further.

This text then enabled children to explore how they are like little seeds that can grow into something bigger over the year.  Children used this text to create goals for themselves and class charters for how we can all learn to flourish together.

An important part of this is exploring links to the metaphor in the Bible. This was done through looking at line from Psalm 139 as well as exploring seed parables as told by Jesus to identify the meaning. This meant that children all over the school explored the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the sower looking at the meaning Christians would take from them and how we can apply some of these messages in our lives

Looking at the idea that we are fearfully and wonderfully made allowed the children to explore what is unique about them at their level. We then continue this spiritual growth throughout the school year with children regularly reflecting. We build on the children’s understanding of how important difference is and this leads us into looking at and celebrating diversity across our Shine Curriculum.