No clip to watch this week...
A simple definition, or meaning, of Islam is to live in 'submission' to the will of Allah. In practice, this means that a Muslim must try to live their daily lives by showing faith in Allah. A Muslim does this by:
I wonder if you find out what "submission" means? Can you think of a time when you have had to submit to someone?
I wonder if accepting everything is God's will is difficult for Muslims?
I wonder if you can you think of an example of a time when you have found it difficult to not be in control of a situation in your life?
Learning about Ramadan with BBC Bitesize
This week, take a look at this page on BBC Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zdgrcqt
Once you've watched the clips, you DON'T need to do the written activities. They are interesting though, so you might want to choose one or two of them to help you to talk with someone you live with about your discoveries. I wonder if you can think of 10 things you are grateful for? I wonder if you can remember the 5 pillars of Islam? I wonder what's the most interesting thing you've discovered about Ramadan?
Finding out more about The Qur'an
This week there are a three short clips to watch, they will help you to find out more about what The Qur'an is and why it is important to most Muslims. Watch the clips and then talk to someone you live with about what you have seen.
Can you answer the questions:
I wonder what surprised me most about The Qur'an?
I wonder if learning to recite (read from) The Qur'an is enjoyable?
I wonder where I get my ideas about how I should live from?
I wonder why Muslims believe the prophet Muhammed's life should be studied?
I wonder if I can think of someone who is a good example of how I should live?
Summer Term 2020
What do Muslims believe about Islam and Iman?
This work is building on the knowledge you already have of Islam and Muslim practises. To refresh your memory here's a video which will remind you about the 5 Pillars of Islam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb8Yk8LaUoc There's lots of information in this video about Ramadan too...and it is Ramadan right now, so millions of Muslims around the word will be fasting while you are doing this activity!
After watching the video why not talk to someone you live with about what you've seen. You might have some wondering questions like these:
I wonder which of the 5 Pillars I would find the hardest to keep?
I wonder if it is difficult to find time to pray 5 times every day?
I wonder why many Muslim women cover their heads in public?
Thinking about the Sabbath and eating Kosher
This week we were reminded of the Sabbath and its importance to Jewish people. Most Jewish people celebrate the Sabbath every Friday night with a family meal. Sabbath is a time for getting together as a family, there are candles, special prayers and good food including challah bread which we were able to taste. The Sabbath continues throughout Saturday and ends on Saturday at sun down with another candle (the Havdalah) being lit. The Sabbath is one of the cornerstones of life for many Jewish people, a time to rest and remember God's gifts to them.
We watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjmjZWHXKFY
Then we watched this video about eating Kosher and what that means: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYk0KeYhqYQ
After a discussion, we split into pairs to create a kosher menu; starter, main course and desert. We also had to decide what we would serve as a drink. We came up with some very interesting and tasty ideas.
Email a believer
This week we talked about the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony. We had a question that none of us could answer, including Mrs. Taylor! So we didn't give up, instead we used REOnline to find a Jewish person who would be able to answer our question.
We got an email answer to our question later that same day, we will definitely email a believer again. http://pof.reonline.org.uk/
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah- Rites of Passage
What are we responsible for? Do we make our own packed lunch, get our PE kit bag ready to bring to school, help younger siblings at home and do our homework? Who are we responsible to? Could it be our parents, our teachers, other people who care about us, our friends and ourselves? Do we have a level of responsibility like an adult? If not, then will this suddenly happen or will it be a gradual process? We discussed these questions in small groups and then shared our thoughts.
In Judaism young people become responsible to G_d for their actions at 12 or 13 for girls and 13 for boys. To celebrate this rite of passage they hold Bar Mitzvah for boys and Bat Mitzvah for girls. We watched these video clips to find out more:
and we took a close look at this photo and discussed what we saw:
Covenant: Abraham and G-d
This week we explored the idea of covenant in more detail. First, we discussed what we could remember about the idea of covenant and how it is different from a promise. Covenant is more like a contract and G-d made a covenant with Abraham. We read this covenant here:
We thought about how Abraham must have felt about G-d to have carried out his part of the covenant.
"He must have been close to G-d"
"He already knew Him"
"He was already religious"
"He trusted G-d"
Then we watched this video from the beginning until 2:35 to help to understand what happened to Abraham's family in the first 5 books of The Bible which are also the Jewish Torah.
We thought there were a lot of laws and in small groups we thought about laws and promises which are important and should be kept. We also noted laws and promises which we thought it might be good to change or get rid of.
Spring Term 2020
What do Jewish people believe about G-d, Torah and Covenant?
This term we will be finding out more about what it means to be Jewish and what beliefs and practices sets the Jewish faith apart from Christianity and Islam as well as ways in which these three faiths are connected.
In our first lesson we thought about what we already know about Judaism and Jewish people:
"The Star of David is the symbol of Jewish people."
"They eat tasty bread called challah."
"Their day of rest is called Sabbath."
"Jewish people pray at the synagogue."
"They read Hebrew from right to left."
"The Torah is kind of like The Bible."
"A Menorah is used all year round."
"The Torah is always written by hand. A Jewish child must be able to read it for it to be good enough to use."
"A sefer writes the Torah."
"They don't write the 0 in G-d as they think it is too important."
Then, after a class discussion, we thought about what we would like to find out more about:
How long does it take to write a Torah scroll?
How long does it take to become a rabbi?
How would it feel to be Jewish?
What is a Bar Mitzvah?
Why do Jewish people hang their most holy text on the door?
Is there a big difference between living as a Jew to living as a Christian?
Who is the leader of the Jewish people?
What are some of the important Jewish rules?
Finally, we watched this clip, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ferLIsvlmI from the beginning to 3:25. We talked about what a covenant was like and how it was different to a promise. We are going to find out a lot more about the covenants between God and the Jewish people in our next few lessons.
Prayer/Contemplation spaces in school
Because many Christians believe God is with them and hears their prayers, many use prayer throughout their daily lives. In a similar way, people with many other worldviews use prayer, meditation or contemplation. In order to find out why this might be, we tried a "Thankful Playdoh" session from Prayer Spaces In Schools. https://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/resources/13
We discovered this helped us to;
"have time to think"
A few of us were happy to share what we had made during our session.
Exploring the Christian idea of Incarnation
We're trying to understand the importance of the idea of incarnation to Christians.
To begin with we looked at some pieces of holy text. In this part of Matthew's gospel in the New Testament we got some clues about where Jesus came from and why many Christians believe he is so special.
Then we took a look at the start of John's gospel to find out where Jesus was before he became human.
So this helped us to think about why many Christians believe Jesus to be "God with Us" and about why incarnation is important. Why would God want to become human? We talked about this in pairs and these are the ideas we came up with.
National Interfaith Week 10th - 17th November 2019
We focused on respecting everyone regardless of their faith or beliefs. We had an interfaith assembly and then worked on our artistic responses during our RE lesson.
Qualities of the Christian God
Christians believe God is:
Holy: set apart, precious and perfect.
Omnipotent: All powerful, able to do anything.
Omniscient: All seeing, all knowing and loving.
Omnipresent: Always with us across space and time.
We learnt that "Omni" is just a latin word which means "All"
We listened to this Christian worship song and picked out some of the qualities of God which the song writer is describing:
We explored some texts from The Bible which might help us to see these different qualities expressed in stories, poetry and letters. Then we thought about what this might mean for Christians, how would it affect the way they thought about God?
"God can answers prayer if he's able to do anything."
"God's more powerful than they (Christians) can imagine."
"God is a time traveller."
"God can see everything at the same time, so He might be watching them (Christians)."
"God can help them if they're in trouble."
Autumn Term 2019
What do Christians believe about God and Incarnation?
We have begun to explore the idea of stewardship. We began by listening to the first part of Haydn's "Creation" symphony while we read The Bible creation story https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=ERV.
You can hear the Creation Symphony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXijFfheCbg
We discussed how Christians might think they could show good stewardship based on what God tells them in The Bible about caring for the earth and everything in it.
We played a dice game from CAFOD; https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate/Our-Common-Home Our Common Home is a climate change campaign and there are lots of resources if you want to take a look at the website.
We decided that everyone should look after the earth, even if they are not a Christian. There are so many good reasons to look after our planet. We made a list of ideas for showing good stewardship.
Liz, Our Humanist Visitor
We had a visit from Liz who is a Humanist and lives in Taunton. Liz talked to us about why she became a Humanist, having grown up in a Christian family. Liz has been a Humanist since she was in her 20s and she'll be 67 this birthday, so that's a long time!
Liz also explained what Humanists believe is important; to continue to learn throughout our lives and to put our knowledge to good use to make the world a better place for everyone. Humanists believe this life is all we have, so we must make the most of it.
Liz also talked about her family and brought along lots of special artefacts for us to see including a teddy she was given when she was born, some glass beads her mum wore and a very important pair of shoes worn by Beyruz, her nephew, who travelled from Iran when he was 4 years old to live with Liz's family.
The Golden Rule
Colours affect our mood and make us feel certain ways. We build associations with colours; red and orange can make us feel hot or afraid, green can make us feel relaxed, calm and peaceful...and so on.
We thought about the colour gold and words we associate with it:
Then we tried to unpack The Golden Rule:
We thought about why it's called The Golden Rule and looked for examples of its power in our own lives.
Then we discussed other colours. Are there any other colours which have great importance and why? This is what we came up with.
Agape love - A visit from Taunton Street Pastors and Foodbank volunteers.
Adrian and Elaine came to tell us all about the work of Street Pastors and the Trussell Trust food bank which operate in Taunton every week. These charities are run by Christians and Adrian and Elaine helped to explain to us how these opportunities offer them a way to show Christian agape love in our community.
The Beatitudes (or Be- Attitudes)
We have been trying to find out exactly what Jesus was trying to explain when he spoke to a crowd of people about "right living". We split into small groups and worked on one of the Beatitudes per group. Here is our final work, each Beatitude in our own words.
Agape in Action!
We researched the lives of four famous Christians; Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, H.M The Queen and Bill Gates to find out how their lives and work show agape love in action.
Summer Term 2019
This term we are exploring the question "What do Christians believe about Agape?" We thought about the different kinds of love there are:
love of family and friends = Storge,
romantic love = Eros,
love of things, like pizza, starry skies and action movies = Philia,
sacrifical love showing goodwill to all =
We watched a clip from The Iron Giant which shows the giant displaying agape love.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXy3f6f9DxI watching from 0.32 seconds until the end.
We discussed other films we could think of which include examples of agape, including: Harry Potter, Star Wars and Frozen.
What does it mean to belong to a religion-Easter 2019?
These items helped us to recall the main events in Holy Week. Then we worked in pairs to write about one event in Holy Week in our own words.
We used https://www.biblegateway.com/ and found the Easy To Read version of the Bible to help us to understand what was happening throughout the story. At the school's Easter church service we read our writing to share the retelling of the Holy Week events with the whole school.
What does it mean to belong to a religion- Judaism?
We explored the importance of The Torah, the Jew's holy text and the first 5 books of The Bible. We watched this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QZ792rjcVE
We discussed how precious The Torah is and how important and difficult the job of a Sefer must be. Then we had a go at writing a few Hebrew letters... we can't read Hebrew though, so we're unsure of their meaning!
Some of our writings about Nate Saint.
We were asked to think about the life of Nate Saint and write about why we felt he was an inspirational person. These reflections may be published in RE Today, a national magazine for RE teachers. We'll let you know if they are!
The story of Nate Saint, a Christian martyr.
We heard the story of Nate Saint who was killed because of his faith. Nate was one of the men who set up the MAF. We discussed what a martyr is and thought of modern day examples of people who are prepared to die for their beliefs; this included British Suffragettes in the early part of the 20th Century and American Civil Rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Exploring The Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
We have been researching the work of MAF and linking it to Christian values in order to understand why Christians might feel helping others is important. We looked at some passages of Christian holy text (the New Testament in The Bible) which describe all people as belonging to one body and being interconnected in this way. Perhaps this is one reason why...
We designed banners which could be flown behind MAF planes with phrases which reflect MAF values.
Spring Term 2019
This term we will be asking the question: What does it mean to belong to a religion? We will be looking at how Christians and Jewish people express their belonging.
This week we will begin to find out about the Christian charity MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) which might help us to understand how being a Christian might affect the way people live.
We are holy text detectives!
Today we have been taking a close look at the two Bible accounts of the nativity story in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. We were very surprised to discover no donkey, no stable and no camels mentioned in the holy text! We found no mention of the exact number of wise men who visited Jesus and we couldn't find anywhere the Bible mentions the wise men following the star until after their arrival in Jerusalem. We did find the story full of the mention of angels though. From the beginning to the end they are written about, but the Angel Gabriel is only named once. We're creating some artwork to reflect this.
Writing Diwali poetry
We were inspired by David Harmer's poem "Diwali". We took his poem and created our own work focussing on writing stanzas which reflect the darkness and the light in the Diwali story. Here are a few of the finished poems.
October to December 2018
This half term we'll be working on three major Festivals of Light which happen at this time of year; Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas. This week we began to explore "Diwali", a poem by David Harmer . We are creating our own Diwali poems.
by David Harmer
Winter stalks us
like a leopard in the mountains
It grows dark,
bare trees stick black bars
across the moon’s silver eye.
I will light my lamp for you Lakshmi,
drive away the darkness.
Welcome you into my home Lakshmi,
beckon you from every window
With light that blazes out
like flames across the somber sky.
Certain houses crouch in shadow,
do not hear
your gentle voice.
Will not feel
your gentle heartbeat
bring prosperity and fortune.
Darkness hunts them
like a leopard in the mountains
Autumn Term 2018
This term we are exploring the question "How do people express their beliefs, identity and experience?"