What Does It Mean to Belong to the Christian Family? Church Visit

What Does It Mean to Belong to the Christian Family? Church Visit

Manor Primary School

RE. Year 1. Spring Term.

What does it mean to belong to the Christian Family? Church Visit.

Overview of the Learning
In this unit:
Pupils will be drawing upon their own understanding of belonging, and then relate this to what Christians from different traditions understand about belonging. They look at what Jesus taught about children, and how the church welcomes children into its family. They think about how people show they belong and what is special about belonging. It introduces children to the church as a special place where Christians worship. Children are given an opportunity to experience and reflect on the atmosphere in a church, and to explore the purpose of the building..
Core Aims:
  • retell what happens at baptism services (for infants and adult believers), giving a simple explanation of some of the symbolism;
  • reflect on their own understanding of belonging;
  • talk about what belonging means to Christians from different traditions.
  • know that a church is a special place for many Christians and consider the reasons why;
  • recognise some of the artefacts and symbols found in a church and know the purpose of some of them;
  • reflect on their own feelings and responses to the atmosphere in the building

Pupils should be taught to:

  • explore a range of religious stories and sacred writings and talk about their meanings
  • name and explore a range of celebrations, worship and rituals in religion, noting similarities where appropriate
  • identify the importance, for some people, of belonging to a religion and recognise the difference this makes to their lives
  • explore how religious beliefs and ideas can be expressed through the arts and communicate their responses
  • identify and suggest meanings for religious symbols and begin to use a range of religious words.

Children can reflect on and consider religious and spiritual feelings, experiences and concepts such as worship, wonder, praise, thanks, concern, joy and sadness
ask and respond imaginatively to puzzling questions, communicating their ideas
identify what matters to them and others, including those with religious commitments, and communicate their responses
reflect on how spiritual and moral values relate to their own behaviour
recognise that religious teachings and ideas make a difference to individuals, families and the local community
Learning Objectives / Suggested Learning Opportunities
To know that a church is a family.
To know what is meant by the term extended family. / What is a Church?
What is a church? Discuss with the class what they think is a church and what it looks like.
Explain what the chn think is a church is actually a church building and not a church. To help the children understand this idea, teach them the words and actions to the rhyme: Here's the Church and here's the steeple. Open the door and here's all the people.
You may also wish to use the pictures of churches in England, Mexico and Africa to communicate the idea that a Church is a group of people. Inform the children that a church is also like a family.
Encourage children to talk about their families. What makes a family? Who are the members of their families? Do any other members of their families live in other parts of the world? What is the best/worst thing about being in a family?
The people in churches throughout the world all believe that God is their Father. They think they are like one big family. They try to love each other like brothers and sisters.
Suggested learning opportunities:
  • Write about the different members of their family and their role in the family. E.G) My big sister Laura looks after me when mum goes to work.

To identify buildings which are special to the children.
To understand why some buildings are important to Christians. / Why is the church important to Christians?
Look at different images of church buildings.
Begin by asking children to talk about buildings which are special to them. What are these buildings? What happens inside them? When do these things occur? What makes these buildings special? Do the children know what type of building these are? Inform the children that these buildings are special to some people. Do the children know who these people are? What makes these buildings special? For most Christians, what makes their church building special is not the building itself, but what goes on inside it.
Suggested learning opportunities:
  • Explain what happens in a church by using words and pictures.

To identify important features of the church building
To know of the activities that take place in a church / What is inside a church?
Provide them with a collection of photos + video clips from espresso for them to identify where these are on a church building.
Look at photographs of church buildings – inside and outside. Talk about what the children can see. What is happening? Who are the people? (
Chn look at differences and similarities of an Anglican and Baptism Church using. ( Give children a picture of part of the Anglican building. Chn draw the rest of the building and label key features.
Look at photographs or expresso clips of the inside of churches and identify some of the artefacts and furniture. Talk about how they are used and where they can be found in a church. (Coxhoe: Christianity – Inside the church TRE)
Suggested learning opportunities:
  • Draw/label the inside and outside of a church. Explain each feature – what it represents and why it is important.

To know how to behave in a church. / Preparation for a trip to the church
Explain that the children are going to visit the local Christian Church.
Encourage the children to talk about what they expect to see, what they can remember from their visit from the Christmas Carol Service. Children write questions they would like to ask about the church and Christianity which they could ask the Vicar when they visit.
Discuss how they think they should behave in a church and why. How would you expect visitors to behave in your home?
To know what a church feels like and looks like.
To know why Christians come to the church, what they do there and how they care for it
To know why many Christians want their church to be beautiful / Church visit.
Arrange a visit to a local church – Children to collect information about the building inside and out and what goes on inside a church.
Ask the children what they think the church is for. Talk about the people who use the church. When do they come? Why do they come? If possible, invite a priest, minister to walk the children around the church talking about the different parts/areas.
What is the most important part of the church and why? Provide an opportunity for them to ask questions to the teachers or members of the church who may be present.
Note down any questions that cannot be answered for further research.
To identify features of a church that make it a special place for Christians
To evaluate what they have learnt and present the information in a variety of forms / What makes a church special?
Discuss what the children learnt from their visit to the church.
Discuss how it made children feel, what did they touch, what did they smell? What did they like/dislike?
Create a map of the inside/outside of the building.
Write a report of their visit using notes, keywords and photographs. Give a simple explanation about why and how the building is special for Christians. Discuss what they think might change a room into a church? Children design their own church. What do they think would be the most important part of the church and why?
Write thank you letters to the people who helped with the visit, saying what they think they have learnt.
To know that Christians pray for each other's concerns. / Why do Christian pray?
Begin by reminding children that Sunday is a special day for Christians. Do they know why?
Inform them that Sunday is a day for the church family to get together. Have the children ever been to a family 'get together'? If so what did they do? At most family 'get togethers', people exchange news. This also happens at most churches on Sundays. Give the children an opportunity to share their news, both good and bad, with the other members of their class.
At their family get together on a Sunday, Christians also pray together. Some churches pray in silence, others pray out loud all saying the same words of a prayer they know well, others make up their own prayers. What experience do the children have of praying together? Discuss. What do churches pray about? Many churches pray about good and bad news within the church. If someone is ill, they might ask God to make that person better. If someone has received some good news, they might all give thanks to Children could Create a prayer for the class.
Suggested learning opportunity:
  • Create a prayer for someone in your family.

To know that Christians praise God by singing. / Why do Christians sing?
Before the lesson prepare to teach songs featuring the phrase 'Allelulia'.
Begin by discussing the topic of singing. Do the children like singing or not? When and where do they sing? Which are their favourite songs? Sing a selection. Is singing a feature of their family get togethers?
When churches meet together on Sundays, they often sing. To whom do they sing? What are their songs about?
A word which appears in many Christian songs is the word 'Allelulia'. Have the children ever encountered this word before? Do they know what it means? If not, inform them it means 'Praise the Lord'.
If possible, play children a recording of a song featuring the word 'Allelulia'. Discuss the other words of the song, before teaching it to the children.
To know what happens at Sunday school.
To become familiar with the words of the Lord's Prayer. / What happens at Sunday school?
Before the lesson write words of the Lord's Prayer on large sheet of paper.
Begin by asking children to talk about how they spend their Sundays. Invite volunteers to share their Sundays with the rest of the class. Do any of them attend Sunday school? If so, ask them to explain what it is.
If not, ask the children how they would feel about going to school on a Sunday? Inform the children that when Christians meet together on Sunday, many of their children have their own classes in different rooms within the church building. These classes are called Sunday school. What do the children think Christian children do at Sunday school?
Tell them that almost everything that Christian children learn at Sunday school comes from the Bible. Show them a Bible and read from it the words of the Lord's Prayer, as an example of a passage from the Bible which children at Sunday school might learn about. Have the children ever heard these words before? Do they know who first said them?
At Sunday school, Christian children might learn some (or all) of the words of the Lord's Prayer and think about what they mean. Challenge children to learn the opening phrases of the Lord's Prayer. What do they think these mean.
Suggested learning opportunity:
  • Write about what happens at Sunday school.

To understand how we belong to different groups. / How do children belong in Christianity?
Talk about all the different things that happen in church which make Christians belong (communion, prayer, Sunday school etc).
Tell children that baptism is the way that some Christians welcome babies into Jesus’ family. Invite the children to talk about their own personal experiences of going to baptisms.
See espresso video clip: http://espresso.schoolint.wolverhampton.gov.uk/modules/t2_faiths/christianity/video_community_1.html
Suggested learning opportunity:
  • Role play the different ways children can belong in Christianity.
  • Write about the different ways children can belong to the Christian faith.

To know why Christians are baptised.
To know how a baptism is carried out. / What is Baptism?
Recap on how Christian can belong to the Christian faith. Show the class photos of a font taken from the visit to the church. After exploring what a font is, show them what happens at a Baptism.
Explore the importance of naming and the term ‘Christian’ name. Christians sometimes choose their children's names from the Bible. Which children in the class have Biblical names?
Have a class baby doll and decide what they will call it Some Christians welcome their babies into the world by giving them a Bible and/or a candle. What do the children think of those as presents? What presents would the children like to give to their baby doll? How many godparents is the class baby going to have and who will they be? What promises are they prepared to make?
Because everyone does wrong things as they begin to grow, Muslims and some Christians believe that their babies have to be made clean in a way. Muslims do this by shaving off a baby's hair. While Christians pour water over the baby's head. Talk about the symbolism of the cross that is made on a baby’s head.
Suggested learning opportunity:
  • Create a storyboard of events when you baptise a baby.

To know the story of Jesus’ baptism
To know why the story is important to Christians / Jesus’ Baptism
Tell the story of John the Baptist inviting people into the River Jordan for baptism to show that they were turning away from their old lives and beginning a new life; emphasise the symbolism of water. (Matthew 6 13 –17)
Complete the story with the baptism of Jesus, exploring John’s feelings about being asked to baptise Jesus.
Invite children to talk about how it would feel to be asked to do something really important.
Suggested learning opportunities:
  • Write an interview with someone imagining they were present at the Baptism.

To know why people belong to different clubs. / How do we belong?
Ask the children to think about and discuss what is special about belonging to their family, club or school. Link to what is special about belonging to a religion. Look at different clubs such as brownies, cubs, scouts and guides. Discuss what you have to do when you are part of a club to show you belong.
see websites about Brownies:

See website about guides:

See website for cubs:

Suggested learning opportunities:
  • Write an explanation to explain why they are part of a particular club.
  • Write rules for being a Brownie/cub
  • Create a poster to encourage someone to join a particular club.