What does Jesus’ Incarnation mean for Christians today?


Key Questions

  1. Who is the Messiah?
  2. What happened at Jesus’ birth?
  3. What beliefs about Jesus does Christmas reveal?
  4. What was Jesus like when he grew up?
  5. How do Christians show love today?
  6. How important is salvation to Christians?
  7. Why is Christmas an important Christian festival?


About the unit

This unit looks at the ways in which Christians today find meaning in the accounts and stories of Jesus’ life, especially those associated with his birth. Using a variety of written and visual sources, pupils learn and understand some of the ways in which Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth. The unit offers opportunities for pupils to examine and reflect upon the concepts of incarnation, virgin birth and salvation. Pupils develop their understanding of a Christian sacred text. They evaluate the relationship between belief and practice for a Christian believer today.

This unit is expected to take approximately 7 hours.

Where the unit fits in

This unit is to be taught in year 8. It builds on unit 1C ‘Celebrations: why do Christians give gifts at Christmas?’ and unit 4B ‘Celebrations: Christmas journeys’ in the key stage 2 scheme of work by looking for the deeper meaning behind Christmas celebrations and their importance to the Christian faith.

This unit helps to prepare pupils for GCSE RE/RS by developing their understanding of the relationship between scripture, modern practice and belief.


At the end of this unit

most pupils will: explain the stories associated with Christmas and explain concepts of incarnation, salvation and love in Christianity; describe some of the ways the Christmas story offers meaning to the lives of Christians today; list some Christian perspectives on the purpose of Jesus’ life and the value of human life; identify beliefs of others and express their own views, explaining their reasons; express their own values and commitments, relating their insight to the study of Christianity; reflect on questions about the purpose of human existence, formulating their own response to such questions

some pupils will not have made so much progress and will: describe the main Christian beliefs associated with Christmas and understand something of the concept of incarnation; identify and consider some basic questions about human experience posed by the Christmas story and celebrations, and consider their own response to such questions; identify beliefs of others and express their own views, giving at least one reason

some pupils will have progressed further and will: evaluate critically the Christian belief in Jesus as saviour; analyse what beliefs lie behind Christmas celebrations; begin to explain Christian practice and ways of life in relation to their historical and cultural contexts; describe some Christian values concerning love, service and sacrifice

Prior learning

It is helpful if pupils have:

Language for learning

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:

Reading – 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 original ancient and modern materials from Christian sources, including:

Out of school learning

Pupils could:

Future learning

Pupils could go on to: