Background notes for teachers

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Year 4 ‘Gift’
During the Reveal section in the topic ‘Gift’, pupils explore Advent and Christmas – the Church’s seasons of preparing to receive God’s gift of love and friendship in Jesus. Within Learning Focus 1 the pupils learn about God’s gift of love and friendship.
Teachers are asked to adapt Learning Focus 1, page 91, Activity 1.

• Pupils design a set of guidelines entitled: ‘Preparing for Jesus, God’s gift of love and friendship to the world’, which describes and gives reasons for the loving actions of Christians during Advent (Level 3).

If pupils describe (without giving reasons) they will achieve Level 2
[To achieve level 4 pupils need to show an understanding of how belief in being a child of God shapes their lives. This would only be suitable for Y6 children in a mixed age class using the Y4 Come and See book, as much extra teaching is needed. The following will help.
A life shaped by belief in being a child of God. Level 4

In Learning Focus 1 pupils will listen to St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 1:3-6. This is an early Christian hymn in which we are told that God’s plan for us was this: by giving us Jesus to make us sons and daughters, too. We are God’s children, blessed and loved like Jesus the Son.

In order to achieve Level 4 in AT1iii pupils will have to adapt Activity 2 rather than adapting Activity 1. In this activity pupils are asked to write a character sketch of God’s child, outlining ways in which that person, who knows they are blessed and loved by God, would act. Level 4 is much more than describing ways in which a child of God might live or even giving reasons for their actions. A more appropriate activity would be ‘Write a character sketch of someone who believes they are a child of God outlining how their whole life is influenced (driven, motivated) by that belief.’

Level 4 1iii is concerned with how belief shapes life. Pupils will need to describe situations in which there is a clear link between what a person believes (I am a child of God) and the way they live. They need to move beyond the individual specific actions of believers to draw wider conclusions about how belief in being a child of God shapes all of life. This level requires a more comprehensive view: ‘I believe I am a child of God and my beliefs impact on the way I choose to live’.

In order to do this, children will have to draw on previous knowledge e.g. ‘let the little children come to me’ means I live my life knowing God will never turn me away, I am important and special. Psalm 23 reminds me God will be with me in difficult times, Psalm 131 that I can trust God and be like a child in a mother’s arms, Psalm 63 that God will comfort me when I’m sad. So I live a life of hope and trust. ‘Our Father’ means all people are God’s children and therefore I need to care for my brothers and sisters……(this is merely an example – children will draw on their own knowledge and understanding.)]

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