BRINGING BIG IDEAS TO LIFE: MEDIUM TERM PLANNING
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
BI 5: INFLUENCE AND POWER: AGE-RELATED BIG IDEA FOR AGES 3-5
Religions / worldviews make a difference to communities.
This Big Idea focuses on the idea of a community; these can be geographically local or much wider, including ‘virtual’ communities of people with a shared interest. There are good links to made here with other ‘humanities’ subjects.
TrueTube: ‘Charlie and Blue’ videos, e.g: ‘Charlie and Blue learn about Enlightenment’
If you have Gill Vaisey’s The Reverend Freddie Fisher soft toy character from the Puddles series of books, this will also be useful here.
Similarly, the University of Birmingham project, ‘Gift to the Child’, Series 1 (Simon & Schuster, 1991),can be used to explore the influence of religious belief on people’s sense of need and hope, e.g., through the story of ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’. Download the pupils’ books from here.
RE Today also has relevant lesson ideas in the Primary RE Books, e.g., ‘Community’ in the ‘RE Ideas’ series, ‘Inspirational People’ in the ‘Inspiring RE’ series, or ‘Leaders and Followers’ in the ‘Exploring’ series. BBC Bitesize for Early Years has relevant material here for ‘Understanding the World’, especially on ‘People who help me’: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z7sfg2p
|Children will be learning:
|Practical ideas and resources
|about the names and roles of some local and national religious and community leaders (e.g. priest, imam, minister, bishop, archbishop, rabbi)
|Invite visitors to talk with the children about their occupation / voluntary work linked to their religious or non-religious beliefs, e.g. religious community leaders – Christian vicar, minister, pastor, Jewish rabbi, Muslim imam, Hindu priest, Buddhist monk (bhikkhu), nun (bhikkhuni), or other ordained Buddhist teachers, humanist celebrant. Use Gill Vaisey’s The Reverend Freddie Fisher soft toy character from the Puddles series of books to explore further the role of a vicar. ‘Hotseat’ Freddie to encourage children to ask questions and think about what answers Freddie might give. Explore the topic of people who help us with the help of the BBC Bitesize resources on ‘Understanding the World’ (see above).
|that Christianity has a long but changing influence on life in Britain and that more recently other religions and traditions are playing an increasingly larger role in society (e.g. at the Coronation of King Charles III)
|Tell children about the Coronation of King Charles III and how he was crowned by the leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but that representatives of other faiths also gave their blessings at the event. Help children to know the names of some religions and beliefs that have a significant presence in Britain. Gill Vaisey’s Belonging and Believing series will help with this – use the thumbnail circular images of each of the eight children from the different worldviews, identifying their names and the worldviews to which they belong. Ask the pupils if they know whether they belong to any of these worldviews or any others. Take the children to visit a Christian church. If you have Gill Vaisey’s soft toy cat Puddles and / or accompanying Puddles Lends a Paw book, this will help children investigate many features of the church. Ask a Christian community member to accompany the children / host the visit so that they can talk about why the church and their faith is important to them. Visit other available local places of worship or community facilities which can be hosted in an age-appropriate way.
|about some important characters and events from the past related to religious / worldview traditions.
|Explore the idea of all children being ‘special’, and people who are special to them. Tell the story of a leader from a tradition of religion or belief and explore the influence of that person over time. For example, the story of the Buddha and how he went on a search for what is really important in life. Use the Charlie and Blue video (see Sample resources above) to start exploring how the Buddha’s teaching has been put into practice by Buddhists communities from the time of the Buddha up to today. You could connect this with the story of Caitlin and her Buddhist family in the Belonging and Believing series. Ask if any parents / carers go to yoga or mindfulness classes and explain how meditation, which is used in Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and other religious traditions, has become a popular practice for anyone interested in improving their mental, emotional and physical well-being. Create a quiet area in the class and explain that it is for just sitting and being calm and peaceful. Make some times in the day when children are encouraged to use the space in that way.
Are religions important?