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Unit 6.3: Hopes and visions

Key Question: What is life about?

About this unit

This unit builds on work from  Unit 3.2: Faith Founders  where pupils will have explored some key teachings of faith founders, and follows on directly from 6.2: Living a faith.

This unit provides opportunities for pupils to consider the significance and impact of these key teaching, together with the ways in which they have shaped believers responses to ultimate questions. 

P4C strategies may prove helpful in enabling pupils to identify the difference between ultimate and non-ultimate questions: ultimate questions are questions to which there is no single answer upon which everyone agrees, such as Who are we?  What is the purpose of our existence?  Who or what is God?

When discussing the end of life, be sensitive to pupils who may have recently experienced bereavement

Resources: TrueTube video clips on Bar and Bat Mitzvah; ask the question when do you become an adult? BBC Bitesize classroom resources and P4C resources

RE Learning Cycle
6.3: Hopes and visions
Programme of study Teaching and learning outcomes (AT1) Teaching and learning outcomes (AT2)
Beliefs & practices

investigate the life and key teachings of faith founders and make links with key religious beliefs

explain the significance of the key teachings of faith founders for faith members

consider how key teachings may impact on faith members and the community
Meaning & purpose

consider some ultimate questions

identify what makes some questions ultimate

offer answers to an ultimate question from different faith perspectives

suggest answers to some ultimate questions

compare their responses to an ultimate question with that of a faith member, respecting all viewpoints

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.

Questions about questions: different types of questions; open / closed questions?  Sit the group in a circle and ask:
Where is the beginning / end of a circle?  Ask the pupils if they can define a question.  Can they imagine a question without a definite beginning or end?  What words do we find at the beginning of questions?  What goes at the end of a question?  When do people ask questions?  If you wanted to find an answer to any question how would you try to find out?  Do we always get answers to our questions?  Does anyone know all the answers to all questions?  Does anyone have a question they have not got an answer to?
Give and discuss examples and how pupils might begin to answer these, using key words ultimate and non-ultimate.

Think of a question that no one will be able to answer and test the question on a friend.  Does it meet the criteria?  Can the answer be looked up or found somewhere?  Has anyone come up with a question that is impossible to answer, or a question where people might disagree about the answer?  Share these questions and discuss with the class.  Have a quiz with 10 questions, some with set answers e.g. 2x3 =, What is the name of the river which flows through London?  Some nonsense questions: What is the circle of the square behind?  One or two that people might disagree about, such as What makes something beautiful?

Talk about the type / quality of the questions and which might be the most interesting to investigate

Ask pupils to respond to the question Who am I? in as many ways as possible beginning ‘I am…’
Consider one scientific description – “A human being is enough iron to make a medium sized nail, enough sulphur to rid one dog of fleas, enough magnesium for one dose of salts, enough lime to whitewash a small building, enough sugar for 7 cups of tea and enough fat for 7 bars of soap.”  If this is a true description, how is it true?  Is anything missing?
Invite pupils to think about who or what has the most influence on their life; what is the most important thing they have learned from this person or experience?
What do they want to be when they grow up?
Who am I? Who influences me?

What is life about?

How do people of faith describe who they are? (Christians and Jews Genesis 1:26-28)

What do religions teach about how people should live their lives?

What do people of different faiths believe about the purpose of life? What beliefs are similar between faiths?

Is there something beyond this life?

What are my hopes for the future?
Watch or read about young people and their faith and record any ideas about how faith influences what they do

Investigate key teachings from two or more faiths:

  • • Jesus: Golden Rules – love God, love your neighbour, parables, the Sermon on the Mount
  • • Moses: Ten Commandments, Shema, kashrut- food laws)
  • • The Buddha: Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path
  • • Muhammad (pbuh): Five Pillars
  • • Teaching of the Gurus: One True God, equality of all people, 5Ks, service to others

Share information about different beliefs to do with the point of life and life to come
Pupils compare their writing about self and belief, ‘I am …’, with what young people of different faiths and no faith say about themselves and their beliefs; are there similarities?

Pupils work in groups to investigate key teachings using a template.to record name of founder/teacher, message/s and impact for followers

Prepare questions and interview a faith member about the ways in which they follow the teaching of a faith founder and the impact this has on their life

Participate in a community of enquiry to explore an ultimate question

Describe and explain faith responses to significant/ultimate questions about the purpose of life and beyond
Ask three people outside of school to complete the sentence: ‘My main purpose in life is…’ Create a class display of the responses and finish the sentence ‘I think the purpose of life is…’ to add to the display

Recall a key teaching and explain it to the class

Make a group/class montage to illustrate the ways in which people from different faiths live according to the key teaching of their founder

Express ideas about an ultimate question in a poem, painting or design
Identify what makes some questions ultimate; reflect on big questions in my life

Share my hopes and dreams for my future and for the world


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, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark birth, death and marriage
Reflect on the significance for faith members of participating in celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark birth, death and marriage
Present their own and others’ views to challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth Apply ideas of their own to challenging questions in different forms including reasoning, music, art and poetry
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