This PDF unit explores the symbolism of light and darkness, asking: How do religious people use these symbols? Examples come from Jews, Hindus and Christians. Pupils will enquire into the ways different religions use the symbols of light and darkness in their celebrations, rituals and worship, and their ways of talking about God and ideas about good and evil. Using art and story, pupils learn about the nature of symbolism. They have opportunities to examine some abstract concepts simply and to respond for themselves with creative work.
The focus is on common ground between religions and their symbols, as well as on the distinctiveness of different faiths. Pupils are asked to enquire and think for themselves about questions to do with light, darkness, goodness, evil and symbolism. Pupils are encouraged to consider what can be learned from a range of symbolic uses of light and to think about examples from different faiths, linking these to their own experiences, beliefs and values.
This unit will help teachers to implement the requirements for RE by providing them with well-worked examples of teaching and learning about the theme of symbolism that focus on different religions and link to children’s own experiences. By using the concept of symbolism, and by expressing experiences and ideas, pupils will clarify ideas of their own.
This unit contributes to the continuity and progression of pupils’ learning by furthering their understanding o specific aspects of Christianity, Judaism and Hindu traditions that they will have encountered earlier in the course. The focus on understanding symbolism and making links from symbols to beliefs also anticipates further study of meaning and explanation later in primary RE and in the secondary phase.
Suitable for Year Groups 3/4.