Underneath the Stars

Key Element: Spiritual Awareness
Year 9

The rationale for the inclusion of Spiritual Awareness as a key element of the curriculum is informed by our human need for some sense of meaning, purpose and appreciation in our lives, especially in circumstances of adversity, bliss, challenge and fear. The overarching curriculum framework requires that teachers should help pupils to:

  • develop an inner appreciation of life purpose; and
  • develop the personal strengths and resources to cope with adversity.

Teachers can assist the development of spiritual awareness by providing frequent opportunities, within and beyond the curriculum, for young people to reflect on aspects of their personal experience and its meaning to them beyond the material dimension. For example, pupils may explore:

  • the uniqueness of creation and of themselves as individuals;
  • the aesthetic beauty of their surroundings;
  • the diversity and creativity of humankind;
  • the natural wonder of the earth and space;
  • the experience of love; and
  • their own inner strength in times of need.

In particular, young people need opportunities to reflect on current and future challenges, such as, loss, bereavement and other forms of stress, in order to develop strategies to survive and find resilience and meaning in the face of adversity.