This is a great opportunity for us to work with young people in our area to help them explore the meaning of Christmas. Using a mixture of our own resources and those provided by the national organisation, Prayer Spaces in Schools, we work closely with school management and teachers to ensure the prayer space fits within the curriculum - specifically addressing the spiritual, moral, social, cultural (SMSC) area of the curriculum.
Offsted guidelines describe schools that are encouraging pupils’ spiritual development as ones who will be:
- giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs, and the way in which they affect peoples’ lives
- where pupils already have religious beliefs, supporting and developing these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to them
- encouraging pupils to explore and develop what animates themselves and others
- encouraging pupils to reflect and learn from reflection
- giving pupils the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they affect people and how an understanding of them can be helpful
- developing a climate or ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected
"Prayer Spaces inspire a sense of awe and wonder in young people, about how they perceive themselves, how they relate with others, and how they engage with the world around them. Prayer spaces encourage the development of the non-material aspect of human nature , sometimes called the spirit or soul and allow space to engage with life’s “big questions” in the quest for purpose and meaning, and in the development of a sense of identity, self-worth and personal insight."
Our prayer spaces are always extremely well received by both pupils and staff alike, with several comments along the lines of “Can we do this for our lesson every week?” each time we run them!