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Unit 1.3: Worship and festivals

Key Question: What is worship?

About this unit

This unit builds on children’s previous learning around ‘special’ places and objects in EYFS and in Unit 1.2: Caring for the world.

Take opportunities to visit, either in real time or virtually; identify places of worship and their key features; link to cross-curricular studies within the local community.

Resources: faith groups in the locality – SACRE members and faith contacts, virtual tours of places of worship, photos, film clips of worship taking place and believers talking about it

RE Learning Cycle
Unit 1.3: Worship and festivals
Programme of study Teaching and learning outcomes (AT1) Teaching and learning outcomes (AT2)
Beliefs & practices

find out about different religious festivals and rituals

name some religious festivals and celebrations

describe and explain some traditions linked to religious festivals

reflect on important days in the year and how faith members celebrate them

ask questions about the ways in which people of faith celebrate
find out about different ways in which people worship 
name different ways in which people may worship

describe and compare forms of worship common to more than one faith
talk about what they find interesting or puzzling about the ways people worship

share views on the importance of worship in the life of a believer
explore a place of worship and how the building is used name different parts and important artefacts in a place of worship

describe how the building and its artefacts are used in different ways
make a response to being in a place of worship and the artefacts they see there

reflect on how faith members use the place and the artefacts


In addition to viewing the individual sections 1-7 below, you may scroll to the bottom of the page to download the full unit as a PDF. You may also download the corresponding PDF of the Burning Core (S) version.

Explore places and objects which are special to the children

Talk about places and objects which are special to them and to others
With a partner talk about their special place, where is it? Why is it special?

Identify places that are special to groups of people, e.g. football/rugby stadium

Introduce the idea that a place of worship is special to a group of believers
What is worship?

Where can people worship? At home? At a place of worship?

What happens in a church? What happens in another place of worship?

Who goes there? Why?

Who looks after the place of worship?

Who leads worship? What do they wear? What do they do? How do they prepare for worship?

What objects do you find in a church? What objects do you find in another place of worship?
Look at photos illustrating worship at home and in other places and identify and name objects used

Interview worshippers and find out about what they do in their place of worship

Investigate the use of holy books, prayer and service books

Find out about how religious artefacts are used in places of worship and at home

Find out about any special clothes people might wear to a place of worship

Find out about festivals linked to Christianity and another religion and the part that the place of worship plays in celebrating these festivals
Visit a place of worship and look at the different parts of the church and how they are used

Recognise some rituals, cycles and patterns in the place of worship

Explore the worship building, furniture and artefacts

Listen to religious music – chanting, plainsong, hymns, organ contemporary worship songs, and discuss what it might mean to a believer

Plan questions to ask a believer about what they do in a place of worship and/or at home and why
Sequence actions that make a religious ritual

Design a ceremony for a special occasion, drawing on learning about religious ceremonies

Make a class book of prayers

Make a montage of special people associated with a place of worship, sharing information about:
  • • roles
  • • clothes
  • • activities
  • • reasons for going there

Reflect on the style and mood of different types of religious music
The special atmosphere in a place of worship or another sacred place

Draw, write, talk about a favourite memory of a place of worship

Talk about feelings when watching or participating in a ceremony or festival

Identify further questions which have been raised that could be answered later

If they’ve been on a virtual tour, ask what the children would like to find out on a real visit to a place of worship


Highlighted text indicates how this unit contributes to overall End of Key Stage attainment.

 AT1  AT2
Recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship and rituals
Suggest  meanings behind different beliefs and practices 
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