Using artefacts in the classroom can help bring religions to life and help pupils understand much more about the different beliefs and practices of believers. There is no substitute for a visit to a place of worship, but letting pupils handle and ask questions about a real Muslim prayer mat or Jewish mezuzah enables them to gain a keener sense of what is special and sacred to different religious people.
Each box of religious artefacts should provide you with every artefact that you are likely to need when teaching about that particular religion. Boxes are available for each of the six religions studied in the Somerset Religious Education Syllabus – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
Boxes of religious artefacts are available on loan to a school through the School Library Service for £16.98, which covers the cost of delivery and collection of the boxes.
Reflect is an exciting new resource provided by Somerset SACRE. It is available on loan to a school through the School Library Service for £16.98, which covers the cost of delivery and collection of the boxes.
Reflect is aimed at KS2, and it takes pupils on a personal reflective journey. It explores Christian responses to the big issues of life, and asks questions which help pupils form their own response to many of these questions that are at the heart of good RE. It combines imaginative reflection, a verse from the Bible, and an object to handle. Reflect includes such topics as “mistakes and regrets”, “who decides what is right and wrong?”, “what are people worth?”, “chance or destiny?”
Brightly coloured and numbered cloth bags each contain different objects to handle as a focus for reflection. The guiding commentary is played to individual pupils using MP3 players and headphones. There are enough bags for a whole class to use at any one time. It is intended for use by the whole class and the lesson usually takes a little over one hour.
Ofsted has found that RE lessons in many Primary schools tend to concentrate on “learning about religion” at the expense of “learning from religion.” Reflect is an effective tool in redressing that balance – and pupils enjoy it! It also raises standards in RE as the questions asked are accessible, whilst also being challenging and profound. A sheet is provided to enable pupils to record their responses as they work their way through.
Reflect is currently available in two versions, “Ourselves” and “Lent and Easter.”
The “Ourselves” version has 36 bags which cover the following 12 topics.
- What do you see?
- Special places
- What would you ask God?
- Regrets and mistakes.
- Right and wrong
- Listen to your heart.
- What are people worth?
- Facing challenges
- Chance or destiny?
- Good years, bad years
- Creator God or accident?
- Judging by outside appearances
The “Lent and Easter version has 11 bags which cover the following topics.
Pic purple bag and palm cross
- Easter Story
- Shrove Tuesday – fasting (going without)
- Ash Wednesday – Sorrow / Regret (ashing)
- Owning Up – Confession
- Palm Sunday – Who is King?
- Maundy Thursday -Serving Others
- Maundy Thursday – Forgiveness
- Judas’ betrayal – Betrayal
- Jesus is mocked – Persecution
- Maundy Thursday Vigil – Remembrance
- Easter Day – Resurrection – New Beginnings
Other RE resources are available from:
- Diocese of Bath & Wells Centre: a comprehensive collection of material to support RE and Collective Worship for all schools. Resource Boxes linked to AMV units available.
Tel: 01749 685129
Website: www.bathwells.anglican.org for online catalogue and reviews.
- Somerset Schools Museum Service
Tel: 01823 320200
- Resources4Learning, Parkway, Bridgwater
Tel: 01278 421015
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