Year 7 RE: Exploring Spirituality and Connection
In the ever-evolving landscape of education, fostering students’ holistic growth remains a paramount goal. Recently, Year 7 Religious Education students embarked on a journey that blended spirituality, introspection, and nature. Through an innovative approach, they delved into the concept of prayer using the ‘Five Finger Prayer’ technique, followed by creating an Earth Altar, culminating in a shared experience that reinforced their connections to both their inner selves and the natural world.
The ‘Five Finger Prayer’ approach, a thoughtful strategy to guide students in their conversations with God, was at the heart of this exploration. Students were prompted to consider five key aspects of their lives: family and friends, teachers, leaders, the sick, and themselves. This exercise encouraged them to embrace empathy, gratitude, and introspection as they composed personalised prayers. The activity not only deepened their understanding of various roles in their lives but also refined their ability to communicate their thoughts and wishes in a mindful manner.
Following their exploration of the ‘Five Finger Prayer,’ students headed outdoors to interact with the natural world. Armed with the intent of creating an Earth Altar, each group of students sought out elements from nature that resonated with them, thus forming the foundation of their collective prayer focus. This engagement with nature offered an opportunity for them to pause, observe, and appreciate the beauty around them.
As the Earth Altars took shape, students found themselves immersed in the process, seamlessly integrating their spirituality with the natural elements they had gathered. The creation of these altars symbolised a connection between human aspirations and the organic world, emphasising the inherent interconnectedness between all forms of life.
The culmination of these activities occurred as the students reconvened to share their prayers with the class. Each group unveiled their Earth Altars and shared their heartfelt prayers. Witnessing the diverse perspectives, hopes and wishes reflected in their classmates’ prayers fostered an environment of mutual understanding and respect.