BI 3: A GOOD LIFE: Age-Related Big Idea For Ages 3-5


The bridge between the Big Idea and the substantive knowledge for pre-school children is the learning objective in the left-hand column of the table below.

The Practical Ideas right hand column draws largely on Gill Vaisey’s curriculum support documents (used with kind permission) and in particular her Religion and Worldviews and EYFS 2021 and Development Matters 2020 (England). Some further suggestions have been added also.

Schools should interpret the sections in relation to the religions / worldviews they have chosen to feature for this age-group. These decisions will reflect the national legal requirement and any local or denominational requirements.

Learning objectives, helpful resources and practical ideas for Ages 3-5


Religions / worldviews teach their followers how to be good.

Sample resources

This Big Idea focuses on matters of right and wrong, fairness and unfairness and can be linked to aspects of PSHE.

TrueTube: ‘Charlie and Blue’ videos, e.g: ‘Charlie and Blue find out about Jesus

If you have, or can buy, Gill Vaisey’s publications, e.g., the Belonging and Believing series, they will also be useful here.

The VAT of Belonging and Believing digital tool: Early Years – Kindness is a useful free to access interactive resource to explore the way in which a five year old child, Wilf, and his humanist family illustrate kindness in their daily lives.

Similarly, the University of Birmingham project, ‘Gift to the Child’, Series 1 (Simon & Schuster, 1991), can be used to explore values like love and admiration, liking and being frightened, saying sorry, e.g., ‘Ganesha’ and ‘Jonah’. Download the pupils’ books from HERE. RE Today also has relevant lesson ideas in the Primary RE Books, e.g., ‘Fairness and Justice’ in the ‘RE Ideas’ series, and ‘Opening up Respect’ in the ‘Learning from Religion’ series.

Children will be learning:Practical ideas
that we all make choices about our behaviour and actionsExplore children’s feelings about different foods, games and other activities: what do they like / dislike? Ask for their responses to examples of good and bad behaviour in a story or in the class.
that we can hurt ourselves as well as others when we make bad choices about our behaviour and action or when we are thoughtless and unkindTell children about the ‘golden rule’ about being treated as we would like to be treated. Explore examples through story or anecdote where people behave kindly and unkindly. Encourage them to consider consequences of words and actions. Invite children to represent such behaviour in drawings. Explore caring for others using a soft toy and following the ideas described in the RE Today booklet ‘Opening up Respect’.
about reasons for rules, including their own school / class rules, such as feeling safe and secure, caring for others, and being fair and kindTake each class or school rule in turn and invite children to consider why they have been made, e.g. what it would be like if everyone broke that rule. Encourage children to make responses in words, facial expressions and drawings to ideas of feeling safe, caring for others, being kind, showing love and admiration, liking and disliking things, being frightened, saying sorry.
that many rules and values have their roots in religious / worldview traditionsIdentify the work of religious and non-religious people in school and in the community, focusing on how they help others and their motives for doing so. Use the interactive digital tool (resources above) to explore some humanist beliefs about kindness and how Wilf and his humanist family express acts of kindness in their daily lives. Help children to understand that some books such as sacred texts are of particular importance to some people, that they contain guidance and rules for life, and are used and handled in special ways. Examples could include the Bible, the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib and the Torah. These are illustrated well, for example, in Gill Vaisey’s Belonging and Believing series.
about the names and example of some key people in religions / worldviews who have influenced the ways in which we behave.
Tell children’s versions of stories about important people in religion and belief traditions and help children to understand how their words and actions have encouraged good and / or brave behaviour amongst their followers. For example, you could use the illustrated ‘story’ pages from Gill Vaisey’s Belonging and Believing series to find out about some key figures and their significant life events, e.g. My Christian family – Jesus; My Sikh Family – Guru Nanak; My Muslim Family – Muhammad; My Hindu Family – Ghanshyam (Lord Swaminarayan); My Jewish Family – Avram (Abraham); My Bahá’í Family – Baha’u’llah.


How do we know what is the right thing to do?