In this unit pupils investigate how some religious believers discover the existence of God through experience. Using a variety of written and visual sources they learn about and understand the ways in which people claim God has been revealed to them in their lives. The unit provides opportunities for pupils to examine and reflect on the nature of experiential proof of God's existence. They are encouraged to undertake their own search for answers to ultimate questions using a number of sacred texts. Pupils evaluate the importance of revelation and religious experience within religion, and consider questions about their own belief system. This unit is expected to take approximately 7 hours.
This unit is to be taught at the beginning of year 7, and provides an introduction to a new approach in RE at key stage 3. The unit builds on unit 6C ‘Why are sacred texts important?’, in the key stage 2 scheme of work. At key stage 3 pupils should be given greater opportunities than at key stage 2 to pose critical questions and to research responses to ultimate questions independently. Pupils should build on earlier thinking about the nature of God and about what it means to live a good life, as well as raising ultimate questions.
This unit serves as an introduction to pupils studying the philosophy of religion, and provides them with a basis on which to build later in key stage 3 or at GCSE RE/RS. The unit prepares pupils for evaluative work in GCSE.
At the end of this unit
most pupils will: describe some ways in which people seek to prove that God exists; identify important or ultimate questions as distinct from everyday questions; consider ways in which people might attempt to find answers to such ultimate questions; describe others’ beliefs with which they agree or disagree and select relevant information from sources to give their reasons
some pupils will not have made so much progress and will: show their knowledge and understanding of some ways in which people seek to prove that God exists; identify some important or ultimate questions and suggest ways in which some people might try to answer them; identify the beliefs of others and state their own views in simple terms, giving reasons
some pupils will have progressed further and will: describe some ways in which theists draw upon personal experience as justification for believing that God exists and understand that this experience can take many forms; explain clearly their responses to questions about religious experience, and the authority underlying their responses; describe different responses to the question How do we know if God exists?; express some of their own ideas about the nature of truth and proof, and consider how these relate to religion
It is helpful if pupils have:
Through the activities in this unit pupils will be able to understand, use and spell correctly words relating to the study of:
Speaking and listening – through the activities pupils could:
Writing – through the activities pupils could:
As well as a range of textbooks and published resources, this unit will be enhanced by the use of ancient and modern materials from believers’ sources, including:
Pupils could go on to: