BI 6: THE BIG PICTURE: Age-Related Big Idea For Ages 14-18


The bridge between the Big Idea and the substantive knowledge is the topic-related question.

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

Topic-related Questions and Learning Objectives for Ages 14-18


Many religions / worldviews have constructed an overarching narrative, sometimes called a ‘grand narrative’, which in most cases refers to the relationship between God or ultimate reality and the world, the nature of human beings and their place in the universe. Most narratives that attempt to explain what the world is like claim an authority for their explanation. Nevertheless within each tradition there are variations of belief about the truth and meaning of these narratives. Many religious people accept scientific accounts and find no conflict with their religious beliefs. Others say it is only possible to believe one or the other.

Topic-related questionPupils know and understand:
1. What authority do religions / worldviews claim for the way they understand the world?i. on what grounds particular texts and individuals are said to be authoritative voices for their religion / worldview 
ii. how the understanding of individuals relating to the world depends on their interpretation of texts and teachings.
2. What do people believe about the relationship between God(s) and the world?i. how a divine being(s) relates to the world in the ‘grand narrative’ of some religions: in particular the role of a divine being(s) in creation; beliefs about time; beliefs about the end of all things; beliefs about the immanence / transcendence of a divine being(s)
ii. how other religious ‘grand narratives’, such as Buddhism or Jainism, are not based on the concept of God
iii. why many people deny the existence of divine beings and the validity of any narratives in which divine beings play a part.
3. What do people believe about the nature of human beings and their place in the universe?i. the nature of human beings and their place in the grand scheme of things; in particular ideas such as: body/soul/spirit/no-self, origins/creation, sin, human weaknesses, delusion, determinism versus free-will, destiny, karma and rebirth, salvation, liberation, heaven(s), hell(s), unity with the divine, Buddhahood
ii. how the nature of the divine and the position of humanity may be expressed in theistic traditions in terms of relationship, e.g. father/son (Christianity), vice-regent (Islam), servant or lover (theistic Hinduism), mother/daughter (feminist Christianity)
iii. the relationship of humanity to other living things.
4. Are religion and science compatible with each other?i. science-based accounts of the origins of the universe and of the evolution of life on earth: scientific method and the contingency of scientific theory and conclusions
ii. how science has challenged traditional religious teachings
iii. different ways in which people of faith have responded to scientific challenges 
iv. how this debate has contributed to the development of different interpretations of religious texts and different attitudes towards the authority of texts within most religions.


(Word Download) EXEMPLAR 1: Life, the Universe and Everything


Are human beings in need of salvation? Has science made God and religion redundant? 

What happens when we die?