PS087: An investigation into the impact of trips and visits on the SMSC aspects of learning for young people

My work was inspired by a piece of artwork, ‘The things I have to do to maintain myself’, by Roxanne Swentzell, from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico. Her rationale for the piece led me to consider my own relationship to wild places. I set out to investigate perceptions of ‘wild places’ and the spirituality to be encountered in them, leading to an evaluation of how the environment can be linked to opportunities available to pupils at Lacon Childe School, in respect of SMSC aspects of the curriculum and the Learning Outside the Classroom Agenda, and how this may […]

PS086: The value of silent assembly with the support of themed artwork and guided meditation to the spiritual wellbeing of young people

The underlying drive for this research in our increasingly secular and divided society, is the growing concern for the mental health and well-being of our young people, reflected in the notion that with the large-scale withdrawal of the population from organised religion, there is much of value beyond faith itself which is being lost. My Farmington Scholarship has explored the impact of offering opportunities for art mediated silent assemblies and meditative practice on spiritual well-being. The greatest obstacle to this action research was finding a meaningful mechanism for attempting to measure spiritual well-being. The basis used was the spiritual well-being model constructed […]

PS085: The journey to create a visual model to support Spiritual Growth in our school community

Through research and conversations I have explored: What is spirituality? How can spirituality be defined and why is it important? As a result of my research I have created a ‘Spirituality Wheel’ which has given us the framework we needed to move forward in not only giving pupils opportunities for spiritual growth, but helping our school community to engage in understanding their own spiritual growth, what it means to them and our school vision for spirituality. My report explores how the wheel has impacted on these conversations and how we have started to use it to support spiritual growth in […]

PS084: Teacher wellbeing: how good are we at looking after ourselves?

Tragically, I increasingly hear of teachers who have decided ‘enough is enough’, they are leaving the profession. I decided to research well-being amongst teachers. Particularly self-love, self-compassion and their importance in our lives. I sent out questionnaires to determine the realities of well-being in the lives of teachers, managers and teaching assistants in Primary and Secondary education. I examined links between self-love, well-being and happiness and hope that what I have found will lead to a change in focus within schools to enable everyone to grow and thrive despite the pressures we all experience.

PS083: Lighting the candle: children’s responses to sacred spaces

This project asks how teachers and educators working in cathedrals and churches can best support children’s search for identity and meaning within a Christian environment. It explores the responses of 120 school children to focused and creative activities in three specific areas of Hereford Cathedral. Adopting a qualitative approach, the project uses video, photos, and written and drawn feedback to analyse the children’s responses. The design of the project is predicated on the understanding of children’s spirituality as ‘relational consciousness’, initially identified by Hay and Nye in 1998, with each cathedral space reflecting a particular dimension of ‘relational consciousness’.

TT359: ‘How do people express their spirituality through the arts?’ – To incorporate P4C and enquiry based learning into the Telford and Wrekin new unit plans for RE

Summary: During my Farmington Fellowship year, I have had the opportunity to develop a Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach at the primary school where I teach. My aim was to research ways of incorporating P4C and a more enquiry–based approach into the teaching and learning cycle of a unit of work and to offer colleagues practical ways of getting started by leading P4C sessions with their classes. My initial reason for introducing P4C was to raise the level of questioning in my Year 6 class, from ‘teacher led’ question and answer to more genuine discussion, to develop ‘thinking skills’ ; […]

TT277: Introducing Philosophy: Socrates – From the marketplace to the classroom

Summary: I feel very fortunate that, through the Farmington fellowship I have been given the opportunity to develop my passion for philosophy. I have been able to research, reflect and spend time developing a scheme of work, introducing philosophy for key stage 3 pupils I have used this precious time to develop and create a scheme of work introducing philosophy as well as promoting philosophical thinking. I have used the basics of Socratic dialogue, through the Philosophy for Children programme, to develop a series of lessons, in which the pupils are encouraged to develop thinking skills, to participate within active […]

PS79: ‘How do people express their spirituality through the arts?’ – To incorporate P4C and enquiry based learning into the Telford and Wrekin new unit plans for RE

Summary: During my Farmington Fellowship year, I have had the opportunity to develop a Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach at the primary school where I teach. My aim was to research ways of incorporating P4C and a more enquiry–based approach into the teaching and learning cycle of a unit of work and to offer colleagues practical ways of getting started by leading P4C sessions with their classes. My initial reason for introducing P4C was to raise the level of questioning in my Year 6 class, from ‘teacher led’ question and answer to more genuine discussion, to develop ‘thinking skills’ ; […]

PS78: Spirituality: A vehicle to teach better RE? Or the other way round?

Summary: As a teacher in a primary special school, I know from my experiences in over 20 years of teaching children with barriers to learning, that our approach to the teaching and learning of Religious Education could be better. My aim is to begin to break down some of these barriers by providing opportunities for our pupils to discover what is important and special to them through the context of Religious Education. Through this study I have: • Sent questionnaires to staff and parents at the school; • Interviewed religious leaders from different faiths; • Interviewed an OFSTED inspector for […]

PS77: Attitudes to RE in Roman Catholic Secondary Schools in Scotland

Summary: This study attempts to examine ‘Attitudes to Religious Education in Roman Catholic Secondary Schools in Scotland’ in the belief that as we approach the third millenium the time is apposite for a reassessment of, and fresh learning in the field. The method employed to gather information was questionnaire. Copies of the questionnaires are given at the back of this report as appendices. This paper makes no attempt to subject responses to any kind of quantitative or statistical analysis. Scoring or scaling have no part to play in this research. Rather, because of the wish to allow respondents to be […]