To talk about spirituality in schools may be challenging. Essentially, it is to talk about something which is beyond words. To support schools in their approach to this with pupils, the education team along with the diocesan department for mission and ministry, have worked together to create a simple diocesan language of spirituality.
This language of spirituality begins from the 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. Christians would view this as an opportunity to relate to the Divine Creator God.
- Cracks may happen when something challenging happens and threatens the comforts of everyday – the ‘ows’ of life.
- Cracks may be caused when something so good and breath-taking happens that the pot expands causing cracks – the ‘wows’ of life.
- Cracks can also occur in the stillness and ordinariness of everyday – the ‘nows’ of life, when a moment of stillness, a pause or prayer can create a crack in the normal, physical every day.
Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with golden joinery, makes something broken into something differently beautiful and even more valuable. Using this metaphor, the ows, wows and nows of life offer the possibility of becoming cracks that are filled with gold, adding significance and value to life.
This language of spirituality is being used in many of our family of schools. For further ideas of how this can be developed go to our publishing arm Jumping Fish, see below or contact Debbie Helme, our Strategic Lead for RE and School Christian Character.
These documents draw on our shared language of spirituality.
Diocese of Gloucester Model Policy for Spirituality
See below for our printable leaflet explaining the language of ‘ows’, ‘wows’ and ‘nows’.
Drawing on the ideas for this language of spirituality, we have published a book to support teachers to explore these ideas in collective worship.
Explore the Language of Spirituality in Collective Worship
There are training events available throughout the year both in person or virtual which explore how this language of spirituality can be developed in schools from collective worship to the playground to each individual curricular subject.
A School Approach to Spiritual Growth
For Headteachers, leaders, staff, governors
Spirituality is not easy to talk about—whatever your age. This training offers a simple language of spirituality that explores what spiritual growth might look like at the ’wow, ow, and now’ moments of life. Using simple metaphors grounded in the Christian faith but will relevance for people of all worldviews, there will be ideas of how this language and approach will work throughout the school day from individual curricular subjects through to playtime and lunchtime.
This popular course is now available for schools to book as an after school, twilight or INSET session. To book your bespoke spirituality training please complete the online form to make a request here.
In-school training and support costs will apply.
Fresh Ideas for Collective Worship & Spirituality
For Headteachers, school leaders, clergy, governors.
Tuesday 14 March 2023 at 10.00am-2.30pm
Venue: Discover DeCrypt, Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1TP
Drawing on experience from across our family of schools, this training will provide fresh ideas for your collective worship. From tips to help children lead and evaluate worship through to celebrating spirituality—we hope there will be something fresh for everyone!
Booking deadline: Tuesday 28 February 2023
Cost: £75.00 per delegate