How one teacher encourages children to express their own beliefs In this series of Key Stage 1 lessons, Paul Newbould from Minchinnhampton School, uses ‘big thinking’ techniques, including his philosophy-for-children methods, to enable Year 1 pupils think deeply in an RE context.

He exploits both AT1 and the often under used potential of AT2 of the National Framework (‘Learning from Religion’), by enabling and making room for children to express their own ideas and beliefs.

Through a series of talk-based activities, including role-play, think-pair-share and thinking books, pupils are encouraged to reflect on the big, philosophical/theological questions of right & wrong and the nature of God. In addition, the activities are designed to help them develop and use an extended vocabulary.

Without the barriers that writing activities present to this age group, pupils can reflect on free-floating questions of wonderment. The lesson’s ultimate aim is to get the pupils to reflect on what they think is their biggest question of all.

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