For many people spirituality is a broad concept that includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. In Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) the essence of spirituality is a measure of how loving you are, and how unconditionally accepting you are towards yourself and others.

ACCORD Dublin’s RSE programme works with young people to help them to identify what spirituality means to them and how they can develop their own individual spirituality throughout adolescence.

We help young people to understand how actions and words have consequences and how making positive choices allows them to grow spiritually. In sixth class for instance, we achieve this by helping them to identify their behaviour and to reflect on the impact it has both on themselves and on others; to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and to realise that if they wouldn’t like it to be done to them, neither would the other person. We ask them to consider, for instance, have they made anyone smile today?

During the programme we explore how spirituality enables pupils to create and sustain healthy relationships by expressing and managing their emotions.

A key goal of the programme is to give young people the courage to stand up for others and to recognise that our strength lies in our differences when we work together. We work with pupils to be aware of and to value their own self-worth.

The programme aims to equip young people with the skills that allow them to continually develop their own spirituality and self-awareness in order to cope with the ongoing pressures of growing up.