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Unit 4.1: Belief in the community

Key Question: What does it mean to belong to a faith?

About this unit

This unit builds upon work covered in Unit 1.1: Looking at me, looking at you about birth rituals, and Unit 3.2: Faith founders about faith teachings; it provides opportunity to study a local faith community in depth and explore patterns in our lives, contrasting them with those who share a religious faith. 

Pupils will question how personal beliefs affect a way of life, how actions and rituals demonstrate a sense of belonging and how symbols and artefacts play an important role in rites of passage, especially focusing on marriage.

There is opportunity to explore the values that guide believers and influence the way in which they live their life.

Resources: community members living a faith, holy books, symbols and artefacts

RE Learning Cycle
Unit 4.1: Belief in the community
Programme of study Teaching and learning outcomes (AT1) Teaching and learning outcomes (AT2)
Identity & values

explore issues of justice and freedom

explore religious rituals that show identity and belonging in different religious traditions

explore religious stories that identify how believers are expected to behave

explain the significance and use of symbols and artefacts in rites of passage

consider how they are expected to behave and where these rules come from  

compare the symbolism associated with rites of passage in three faiths

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 what it means to belong to a group and talk about groups pupils belong to

Collect photos and watch video clips of people involved in routines and rituals, secular and non-secular (such as New Zealand Rugby All-Blacks' Haka Haka).

Consider why group sessions often involve rituals

Consider symbols such as uniforms, badges and insignia seen in the community and what they mean to individuals
Consider significant moments in the pupils’ lives and what symbols may be associated with these special times

Watch video clips of marriage ceremonies and rituals; consider what aspects of the ceremony are about belief and belonging

Consider clothing worn, artefacts used and symbols seen and think about their importance to the faith member
What does it mean to belong? Why do people belong to groups?

Where do people get their sense of identity?

What ‘big promises’ and commitments are made during marriage ceremonies? How does being part of a faith community help faith members to keep the ‘big promises’ involved in the marriage ceremony?

What symbols and artefacts are used within marriage ceremonies and what are their meanings?
Find out about Christian beliefs and values and those of at least one or two other faiths: explore similarities and differences between them

Invite a faith member to talk about where their values come from and respond to pupils’ questions about putting belief into practice

What are the ‘big promises’ made by faith members during a marriage ceremony?

Identify the ways in which members from two or three faith communities gain a sense of identity and belonging from celebrating and supporting marriage within their community
Roleplay stories involving key teachings from Christianity (see Key Content); identify the key values that come from these

Consider the key values from at least one other faith and how these influence a believer’s way of life

Roleplay a Christian marriage ceremony and talk about how it makes them feel

Compare the promises made in marriage ceremonies from Christianity and at least one other faith and consider the meaning behind them

Explain how symbols and artefacts used within marriage ceremonies remind a believer of the teachings they follow and the vows they make
Design a marriage ceremony using creative expression

Explain the meaning of the rituals in the marriage ceremonies of two or more faiths

Use Venn diagram to demonstrate similarities and differences between in marriage ceremonies in Christianity and one or two other faiths

Devise a grid to show key rules of living for two or more faiths and showing where these teachings have come from
How does a set of beliefs provide a code for living? What freedom of choice does a believer have?

Share ideas about the difference it makes for a believer to be married in a place of worship


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

 AT1 (Knowledge & understanding)  AT2 (Reflection & response)
Describe and make connections between different features of religions, including celebrations, worship and the rituals which mark birth and marriage Reflect on the significance for faith members of participating in celebrations, worship and the rituals which mark birth and marriage
Explain similarities and differences within and between different religions and worldviews including key rituals, key artefacts, sacred places
Reflect on similarities and differences within and between different religions and worldviews including key rituals, key artefacts, sacred places
Identify ways in which diverse communities can live together for the well-being of all Respond thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect
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