What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is something that touches us all. It is a connection to something that is bigger than ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking ultimate questions and being inspired to look beyond ourselves and serve and care for others and nature. It is about relationships, including the internal relationship within ourselves, and external relationships with one another and from a Christian perspective with God.
In our Outdoor Spiritual Environments we hope to replicate and enhance the spiritual pathways that we have within school by;
- developing outdoor prayer spaces using natural objects
- responding with awe and wonder about how we are moved by sights, sounds, smells and things that we can touch
- using visualisation techniques
- use stilling and Christian mindfulness techniques
- encouraging silence and enjoyment
- ensuring that the whole community feels welcome.
Our flourishing Spiritual Garden was developed as a ‘sacred’ space where children and adults can experience stillness, reflection, find quiet and calm and to allow for prayer whilst also being able to explore ‘Big Questions’. It is a space which provides opportunities to expand and explore growth – spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and academically.
Every child, member of staff and volunteers from the community developed our garden area. Our flower beds and vegetable field represent areas of our local community that are special and important to us and our village. We have won various awards at the Leek Town Council & Leek Allotment Holders & Gardeners Association including ‘Best School Garden 2020‘.
We are now developing another area of our school grounds as a community spiritual garden.
In 2021, we unveiled our Community Orchard which is dedicated to the life and work of Keith Hollins (1952-2021) who was the Chief Executive Office of Staffordshire University Academies Trust (SUAT). The trees were planted to coincide with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee campaign to create a ‘Green Canopy’ across Britain (1926-2022) . Every member of our school community helped to plant one of the 25 fruit trees that are in this area, with Councillor Joe Porter and the ECO team ensuring that the planting was complete.
Watch this space to see how our third garden grows!
Our School Animals
At St. Edward’s Academy, one of the ways in which we develop our spirituality is by being RESPONSIBLE caregivers (Loving God by loving others) and looking after the animals that we have within our school. We have a dog called Morris, guinea pigs, tortoises, fish and chickens and we share the task of looking after them and giving them the care and attention that they need.