Bridging Unit B: How can beliefs and values serve as a guide for moral decision making?



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Learning Together Through Faiths
Bridging Unit B: How can beliefs and values serve as a guide for moral decision making?





About the unit
This unit suggests activities that can be used in teaching and learning about how beliefs and values can guide communities in making moral decisions. It illustrates the provision of the non-statutory national framework for Religious Education (RE) and is adapted from the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency.
The Key Stage 2-3 Transition Bridging units in the syllabus are about the impact of beliefs on people’s lives. This alternative second part, either of which should be taught in the first term of Year 7, focuses on the way in which beliefs affect communities.
This unit intends to deliver continuity and progression in pupils’ learning from Key Stage 2 into Key Stage 3. It explores the difference that religious beliefs make to communities and gives examples from Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism and human values not drawn from particular religious contexts. It also explores the themes of beliefs and concepts, authority, ethics and relationships and rights and responsibilities. Pupils are given opportunities to encounter people from different religious groups, raise and discuss questions, evaluate ethical issues and reflect on and evaluate their own beliefs and values. They use ICT to communicate their ideas using an online discussion group. This unit will need to be allocated six to seven hours.
Prior learning
It is helpful if pupils have:

  • encountered a range of stories from Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism


  • learnt about sacred texts in Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism and understand their importance for believers

  • encountered and discussed ethical values, e.g. love your neighbour, from sacred texts and stories

  • considered the application of religious ideas to questions of daily life.


Future learning
Pupils could go on to:

  • investigate beliefs and values in their own community or in historical, literary, scientific or technological issues.


Where the unit fits in


  • This unit links with the following Key Stage 3 guidelines in the Non-Statutory National Framework for RE:

  • Learning about religion: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f

  • Learning from religion: 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e

  • Religions and beliefs: 3a, 3b, 3d

  • Themes: 3e, 3f, 3i, 3j

  • Experiences and opportunities: 3m, 3o, 3p, 3q.

The ideas explored in this unit could form the foundation for other material about moral decision making in Year 8 and beyond.


Attitudes in the unit
The unit helps pupils develop the following three attitudes outlined in the Non-Statutory National Framework for Religious Education.
Self-awareness

becoming increasingly sensitive to the impact of their ideas and behaviour on other people, e.g. when exploring a way to live peacefully together on their imaginary island

Respect for all

developing skills of listening and willingness to listen to others, e.g. when sharing ideas about the features present in their perfect town

Open-mindedness

being willing to go beyond surface impressions, e.g. when encountering stories from different religious and ethical traditions.



Differentiated outcomes
During this unit pupils have opportunities to show their knowledge, understanding and skills. When working at the differentiated levels, pupils could give the following evidence.
Pupils working at level 3 could:


  • make links between beliefs and sources, including religious stories and sacred texts;

  • begin to identify the impact religion has on believers’ lives;

  • recognise similarities and differences in the values held by religions and beliefs;

  • make links between values and their own attitudes and behaviour;

  • make links between aspects of their own and others’ experiences.


Pupils working at level 4 could:


  • describe and show understanding of religious beliefs and sources;

  • describe the impact of religion on individuals and communities;

  • describe some similarities and differences in the values held by religions and beliefs;

  • describe what inspires them;

  • ask questions and suggest answers to questions of identity and belonging, applying their ideas to their own lives.


Pupils working at level 5 could:


  • explain how sacred texts and stories are used to provide answers to ethical issues;

  • explain the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities;

  • understand that similarities and differences illustrate distinctive beliefs within and between religions and suggest possible reasons for this;

  • explain what inspires and influences them;


  • raise and suggest answers to questions of identity and belonging, relating their ideas to their own lives.


Vocabulary


  • In this unit pupils will have an opportunity to use words and phrases related to:

  • religion in general, e.g. sacred text, worship

  • Christianity, e.g. baptism, parable, sin

  • Judaism, e.g. mitzvah (plural mitzvot), shema, Tenakh, tzedaka

  • Sikhism, e.g. amrit pahul, kirat karna, Kaur, khalsa, nam japna, sewa, Singh, vand chhakna

  • religious and human experience, e.g. convention, empathy, interpretation, justice, kindness, reciprocity.



Theme 1: What is your dream of an ideal town/community/world?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources


Pupils should:


Pupils who have completed the first part of the bridging unit in their

primary schools should begin the unit by sharing with the class the

statements about values by which to lead your lives that they devised in their primary schools.



Pupils:

  • describe and show understanding of what is considered by themselves and others as important in an ideal community




  • describe what values would inspire them if they were setting up a small community;




  • suggest answers to questions about their ideal community.

In the final lesson of the unit,

each group of pupils must

present a ‘Newsround’ style

report, enabling individual

characters living on the island to speak on how they have

structured a peaceful community.
There are various websites that include guidance on using

‘guided fantasy’ or ‘guided

visualisations’ (see Resources’).
Consider making reference to, or suggesting pupils research, the following: Utopia by Sir Thomas More, Erewhon by Samuel Butler, 1984 by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies by William Golding.


Continued on next page





  • know some of the features that people, including themselves, might want in their ideal community;




  • understand the place of values in achieving change in a community;




  • reflect on their visions of an ideal community.









Then display a PowerPoint presentation showing images of the local community. This should show physical features and characteristics as well as human-made features and behaviour. Ask pupils to record all the features that they see. Use this to generate a mind-map that describes the local community.





In pairs, ask pupils to identify three features of Lewisham that they

would retain and three they would like to get rid of to improve the town. Ask them to record these on a series of six blank cards.






In groups of four, using the notes from the previous activity, ask the pupils to agree on five features/qualities in an ideal town, e.g. a

town with sports facilities, trees and green spaces, beautiful

buildings, no cars, no violence, respect for everyone. As a class

discuss how their desired changes in the community might be

brought about and by whom. Would there be someone in charge of

the process or could it be achieved by individuals?






Ask the pupils to contribute the charters, poems, songs or raps brought from their primary schools. Discuss, as a class, how far the values expressed in these would contribute to an ideal town/community/world.









Continued on next page



Theme 1: What is your dream of an ideal town/community/world?



Learning objectives

A T 1


A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Skills


Sensitivities, points to note, resources











Continued from previous page




Continued from previous page
There are various publications

that include starting points for

developing reflective techniques (see ‘Resources’).

Link to PSHE: participating in

discussions and group tasks.














Engage pupils in a guided fantasy exercise, introducing the idea of

an island that needs to be developed into an ideal community. Ask

the pupils to reflect on the geography of the island, its natural

resources, how they might live in harmony with nature and with

other people on the island and what they could contribute to life on

the island.





Introduce ‘The island’ task, as an assessment task for this unit.

Organise pupils into groups of five or six, giving each group the

following character(s): an older person, two adults (one male and

one female), two younger teenagers (11-15 years, one male and one female) and a child. Give each pupil a ‘character card’ that describes their role.





Explain the following scenario. They have been marooned, with about 150 others, after the plane they were travelling in had to make a forced landing on an island. Because the plane was off-course, and had lost radio contact, the passengers know it may be months or even years before they are found and rescued and so they decide to split into small groups to consider the question of how to constitute themselves as a community. The passengers must come up with their proposals to put to a full meeting of the marooned passengers concerning how they can best organise their community.







Homework: ask the pupils to watch the BBC’s ‘Newsround’ to learn about the format of a ‘press pack report’, or log on to the BBC’s website to learn about the format of a report.




Theme 2: How did Moses and the Jewish people try to create an ideal community in the Promised Land?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources


Pupils should:



Why was life in Egypt bad for the Israelites/Jewish people? Recall

the story in the book of Exodus in the Jewish Bible (Exodus 1-12) -

how the Jewish people were slaves; their baby boys were killed; and the Pharaoh would not allow them freedom to worship God.




Pupils:


  • make links between the story of Moses and the authority of the Ten Commandments;




  • explain why Jewish people and others value freedom from slavery and freedom to worship;




  • suggest answers to questions about the relevance of the Ten Commandments to their lives and the lives of others.


See Resources for videos and websites that can be used to support this activity. Background information about the Jewish people in Egypt, the escape to the Promised Land and the giving of the Ten

Commandments should be

summarised in no more than ten minutes.

Note that when a Bible is used for background information, a Jewish Bible should be used (Chumash). Christian Bibles may interpret words and phrases in ways that are not Jewish. Jewish

Bibles are available in Hebrew with English translation & footnotes. Illustrated Jewish Bibles for children are available

from major booksellers.


Continued on next page





  • know that Jewish people believe that the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses to guide the Jewish community;



  • understand why freedom from slavery and freedom to worship have been, and still are, a feature of society that many people value;





  • reflect on what they and their own communities might learn from the Ten Commandments.










How did the Jewish people escape from slavery? Explain to the

pupils how God sent Moses to the Pharaoh to ask for the Jewish

people to be set free. After the plagues, the Jewish people escaped to freedom but, as soon as they set out on the journey to the Promised Land, Canaan, they began to quarrel. God gave Moses Ten Commandments for the Jewish community for them to live by in the new land.






Explain to the pupils that while the Ten Commandments are the

‘headlines’, many Jewish people believe that God gave them 613

Commandments about every imaginable aspect of life. Jewish

people believe that these laws constitute an ‘agreement’. “God has

led the Jewish people from slavery. The Jewish people follow his

laws”.









Activity: Pupils classify a set of cards (each containing one

Commandment) into groups, explaining their classifications to the

class. Then ask the pupils to sort the cards into the usual

classifications: (1) worship of God, and (2) treatment of others.








Continued on next page



Theme 2: How did Moses and the Jewish people try to create an ideal community in the Promised Land?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources











Continued from previous page






Continued from previous page
Set up an online discussion group/forum with only named members of each group having access. The pupils will be able to log in and see their discussion as it unfolds, and respond to what other members say, either from within school or from a home or library where there is internet access. It is a good idea to check each post before it appears. If using an online discussion group/forum, make sure you share with pupils protocols for using the internet safely (see ‘Resources’).

Followers of Orthodox Judaism believe that Gentiles should keep the seven commandments of the Noachide law.












In groups discuss the Commandments - in particular, those

associated with the worship of God - and their relevance for society today.



You could invite a Jewish person to speak to the class about how

beliefs are put into practice in daily life. Ask this person to talk,

generally, about what being Jewish means to them and, specifically, about the following key ideas: worship of God - worship in the synagogue, reciting the Shema, keeping Shabbat and lighting Shabbat candles; rites of passage, particularly bar/bat mitzvah; treatment of others including keeping the Commandments; charity/social justice, welcoming the stranger.






Homework:

Using an online discussion group/forum and working in their island

task groups, ask the pupils to discuss how far the Ten

Commandments provide a model for an ideal community and how

their island community would respond to people/groups who

wanted to worship God in ways in which others disagree.















Theme 3: How do Christians try to make society better?


Learning objectives


A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources


Pupils should:



As a starter activity, display a painting of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden alongside an image of an armed robbery or similar criminal activity. Ask the pupils what they think might be the link between the two. Explain that Christians believe that, by disobeying God, Adam brought sin into the perfect world that God had created. (See also Year 6 Bridging unit)




Pupils:


  • describe and show

  • understanding of the reasons why Christians do not expect their communities to be perfect;




  • explain Jesus’ Two Great Commandments and the ‘golden rule’;




  • suggest answers to questions about the value of baptism for many Christians.

More able pupils could refer to Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes, identify key

teachings and rewrite them and create as rules for a community. Retain these for ‘Fact Files’ for future use.

Stories about Adam and Eve and ‘The Golden Rule’ are found in the Jewish Bible.

The principle enshrined in what is known as ‘The Golden Rule’ is found in most of the world’s religions in some form. This idea can be further explored using a resource from the InterFaith Network UK (see resources’).





  • know that Christians believe that humans are sinful and human society can never be perfect;




  • understand Christian teachings that help Christians live happier lives, both individually and in community;




  • reflect on what they and other communities might learn about the value of symbolic rituals for expressing identity and belonging










Remind the pupils of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of

Eden, which some would have revisited in the Year 6 Bridging unit. Ask them what they might have learnt from that story about why Christians believe that humans and human society is imperfect.





Tell the pupils that although Christians do not expect humans and

human society to be perfect, Christians have beliefs and guidelines

that help them to improve the community.





Display on a whiteboard the text of Jesus’ Two Great

Commandments: …love the Lord your God with all your heart, with

all your soul and with all your mind …love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).








Continued on next page




Theme 3: How do Christians try to make society better?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources











Continued from previous page
















Display on a whiteboard the text of Jesus’ ‘Golden Rule’: 'Do to others what you would have them do to you.’ (Matthew 7:12). Invite the pupils to work on their own and then in groups of four to six, to agree five ‘golden rules’ on how they would like to be treated. Ask individuals to start by recording their five rules on Post-it-notes and take turns to stick their rule on a large piece of sugar paper, explaining their Post-it-notes to the rest of the group. When similar rules are identified, stick them on top of each other.





Ask the pupils to debate which five rules they think are the best.

Encourage the pupils to respond to what other speakers say, perhaps using the sentence starter ‘I agree/disagree with [name of last speaker] because …’ Each group should report their findings to the class.






Either interview a Christian or watch a video / DVD to learn how Christians put their beliefs into practice. Ask this person questions about the impact of the Two Great Commandments and the Golden Rule; what they understand by ‘their neighbour’ in a modern context; how they identify themselves as members of the Christian community through the ritual of baptism and the promises made at this time.






Homework:

Working in their ‘island task’ groups and using the online discussion group, ask the pupils to discuss: similarities and/or differences between rules/guidelines for living in the Christian and Jewish communities; how an initiation ritual such as baptism or Bar / Bat Mitzvah can be used to identify yourself as a member of a community.





Theme 4: How do Sikhs try to make society better?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2



Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources


Pupils should:



Using screenshots from the online discussion group/forum

encourage pupils to share some key points from their discussions.



Pupils:


  • describe and show understanding of key Sikh values;




  • explain how Sikh values might have an impact on a believer’s life;




  • suggest answers to questions about the value of different ways of expressing identify and belonging.

A QUADS grid is a means of planning, guiding and recording pupils’ detailed research. Provide a table with four columns -

Question - Answer - Details -

Source. Pupils use these

headings to structure the

planning and recording process. Encourage pupils to formulate questions to research, and to record a brief summary in the

‘Answers’ column and a more detailed response in the ‘Details’ column. Pupils should record the source of their answer in the final column.
There are various Sikh stories that can be used for this activity (see Resources).





  • know three key values for the Sikh community;



  • understand the impact that these values might have on a Sikh’s life;





  • reflect on the wearing of symbols and taking of common names as a way of expressing identity and belonging.










Explain to the class that they are going to use a research strategy

called ‘QUADS’ (see ‘Points to note’) to explore some Sikh values

and to decide how these might contribute to their island community. Ask the pupils to work in groups made up of one representative of each of their island task groups, i.e. groups of older people, adult males, adult females, teenage males, teenage females, and children. Give the groups a range of resources, e.g. textbooks, stories from the Sikh tradition (especially from the ten Gurus), DVDs/videos, access to Sikhs.






Before pupils start independent work, model how to use the QUADs grid. Ask each group to research one of the following Sikh values: remembering God (nam japna); working honestly to earn one’s living (kirat karna); sharing with others (vand chhakna); service to others (sewa).




Ask the pupils to consider the following questions to research.









How might people who are old, or who have very little money, be

expected to live according to these values?

Continued on next page


Theme 4: How do Sikhs try to make society better?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources











Continued from the previous page
















Why might these values be important to Sikhs or to others?





What might living by these values involve, e.g. Sikh customs and

ceremonies such as worship in the Gurdwara, seating arrangements, sharing the langar, cleaning the shoes of others? What might be the challenges of living by these values? In what situation might these values have the greatest impact? When might a Sikh have opportunities to show that these values are important, e.g. in their community life and their personal life, as individuals and in their community, and what might they do, e.g. wear certain symbols (the 5 Ks), use certain names (Singh / Kaur and forenames)?





Pupils now return to their mixed island task groups and share what

they have learnt and discuss how these values might contribute to

their own island community.







Homework:

In their island task groups, and using the online discussion group,

ask the pupils to discuss similarities and differences between the

guidelines for a community in Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism and the impact of wearing symbols as a means of expressing identity for the individual and community.





Theme 5: What have we learnt about the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources


Pupils should:


Pupils should work in their island task groups to respond to following questions in preparation for making their presentation in

the form of a press pack report.



Pupils:


  • explain the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities;




  • explain how sacred texts and stories are used by some individuals and communities to provide answers to ethical issues;




  • ask and suggest answers to questions of identity and belonging.







  • know that beliefs impact on the lives of individuals and communities;




  • understand that religion may provide the source of the rules and conventions that guide individuals and communities;




  • reflect on how communities express identity and belonging.













Setting the scene. Ask the pupils to explain: the name of their island community and the reasons for choosing that name; whether or not everyone will be a member of the community or whether some people will be excluded, and on what grounds; whether or not people will have to go through a ceremony or make certain promises before they can become a full member of the community; whether or not there should be a hierarchy within the community - should some people be more important or have more privileges than others?; whether or not the community has rules or conventions about doing good and not doing harm, e.g. that members are kind to all people and all animals or just some people and animals or just people and not animals; arrangements for people to seek justice if they believe someone has wronged them.







Rules and guidelines. Pupils should agree guidelines for their

community and, where appropriate, identify the inspiration / source

from which they have been selected. Ask them to agree how the

guidelines are expressed to the community and how they will be

passed on to future generations, e.g. as a charter of rules or through telling stories to exemplify the guidelines.










Continued on next page




Theme 5: What have we learnt about the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities?



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources











Continued from previous page

















What rules and responsibilities are appropriate for the island community? How will they be enforced? How will children learn the

guidelines? What happens if someone does not follow the guidelines, including any arrangements for people to seek justice if they believe someone has wronged them? Ask pupils to select from a range of case studies as a means of exploring this issue, e.g. a person does not respect the views of others, treats others unfairly, steals food.








Will religion play a part in the community? Pupils should decide whether they will allow places of worship to be constructed, and explain the rationale behind this decision. They should decide

whether people will have time away from tasks to worship, again giving reasons that show they have considered more than one point of view. The pupils should decide how they will respond if one or more people have different views about whether religion should have a part in the island community life for anyone or everyone.





How will community members express identity and belonging? Ask the pupils to decide whether or not identity and belonging should be expressed: through initiation ceremonies and what these would involve and why; through special dress and/or symbols, and what this would involve and why; by making promises, what these would be and why; or not expressed at all, with reasons. Ask the pupils to decide, in their island task groups, which member will present which section of the report. All members must be involved in the presentation.





Theme 6: ‘Newsround’ press pack report on the island community



Learning objectives

A T 1

A T

2


Suggested teaching activities


Learning outcomes


Sensitivities, points to note, resources



Pupils should:



Ask the pupils to present their decisions in the form of a ‘Newsround’ press pack report.




Pupils:


  • describe and show understanding of a set of guidelines for an island community;




  • describe the way that religion may be a source of authority;




  • ask and suggest answers to questions about identity and belonging.


There are opportunities for

assessment for learning

throughout this unit. However, in this activity, there are particular opportunities to collect evidence of what children

know, understand and can do, using the learning objectives and outcomes and relating them to the Level Descriptors as appropriate.




  • know that communities have agreed rules or conventions for living together;




  • understand that religion may or may not provide the source of those rules and conventions;




  • reflect on how communities interpret sources and express identity and belonging.












Ask the pupils, in their island task groups, to present their reports to the class. These may be recorded, either as audio or video files.








The remaining groups should peer- assess each group’s presentation. A peer assessment should be made for each of the four areas in theme 5 and could be based upon how well the groups ‘described’ their decisions or ‘explained’ their decisions. Clear explanations would achieve higher marks.






Differentiated outcomes

Level Descriptors for the Assessment Activity
Note that the following Level Descriptors relate to this assessment activity only. For Level Descriptors relating to the unit as a whole, see ‘Differentiated outcomes’.
Pupils working at Level 3 can:


  • make links between the beliefs / guidelines selected and their sources;

  • begin to identify the impact of religious belief on the community;
  • make links between values / guidelines and behaviour, including their own.



Pupils working at Level 4 can:

  • describe and show understanding of the beliefs / guidelines selected and their sources;

  • describe the impact of religion on communities;

  • ask and suggest answers to questions of identity and belonging, applying their ideas to their own lives.


Pupils working at Level 5 can:

  • explain how sacred texts and stories are used to provide answers to ethical issues;

  • explain the impact of beliefs/guidelines on communities;

  • ask and suggest answers to questions of identity and belonging, relating their ideas to their own lives.


Resources
Don’t just do something, sit there, by Mary K Stone (1997) – This book includes a range of activities that are the starting point for developing pupils’ imaginative and reflective capacities.
‘E-safety’ - this page on Becta’s Schools website includes information about internet safety.
‘Newsround’ - these pages on the CBBC website includes information on Newsround.
‘Pathways of Belief.’ Judaism - produced by the BBC, this Video/DVD includes material to help pupils understand the basic beliefs of Judaism.
‘Belief File - Sikhism’ - Video/DVD produced by the BBC. This resource shows Sikhs putting their beliefs into practice.
’Presspack’ - pages on the CBBC website includes information on Presspack.
‘Reflections: Strategies to support spiritual and moral development’ - available from RE Today, this book contains ideas for reflective, participatory activities in Religious Education.
‘Religion and ethics’ - these pages on the BBC website include guides to the UK’s religions, religious news, programming guides and audio links for Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism.

SikhNetwork - this website include Sikh stories.

Sikhs.org – this website includes information about Sikhism, including information on the ten Gurus, sacred text and Sikh names.
Complete website addresses are available from the RE pages on the QCDA website (www.qcda.org.uk/re/). QCDA monitors and updates these website addresses, but accepts no responsibility for their content.

Teachers have responsibility for checking the relevance, accessibility and suitability of any web-based material that they or their pupils access.


Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2009

KEY STAGE 3 UNITS – 8.





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