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Part and the Whole

This session has been put together by Oliver Leech and is closely related to 'The Meaning of Ant Life' in Peter Worley's The If Machine. Philosophy This session introduces a discussion of purpose in the context of the concept of parts in their relation to the whole. We think of parts as serving a purpose, or perhaps it would be...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Themes: Parts and wholes, God and religion

Performance enhancement and competition

Context Play this video to the class, first providing the following context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e6Cfq_YchM This is a clip of the 100m men’s final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The two fastest sprinters were Carl Lewis, an American sprinter, and his longtime rival, Canadian Ben Johnson. Although Johnson held the current...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: Ethics

Phunny Phone?

Phunny Phone? Take a smart phone with an ‘intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator’ function such as ‘Siri’. Ask Siri to tell a joke. You could do this more than once. Task Question: Is Siri funny? Nested Questions What is ‘funny’? What makes someone funny? Can or co...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Metaphysics


Starter activity I start by getting the children to play a game of 'True For You'; they should change places if what I say is true for them. After beginning with a couple of easy ones ('I am a girl', 'I am wearing red' etc) I usually include a couple of slightly harder ones ('I don't understand the rules to thi...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Logic

Themes: Truth & Falsity, Logic

Playing With Dolls

An original two-minute play by Darby Smith. Revised by Paul Bodin. (NOTE:  Student 1 should be acted by a girl, and Student 2 should be acted by a boy.  Fill in the names of people <inside special brackets> before performing the play.) For information on how to use this play in the classroom, take a look at Pete's ...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Humanities, Ethics

Themes: Identity, Difference, Choice, Beliefs


BACKGROUND This session is a good way for children to look at which things religions have in common and which things set them apart. If we don’t know much about another religion it is easy to make the mistake of assuming that its followers do the same as us or that what they do is completely different when actually the differences are s...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 16-18 (KS5)

Subjects: RE

Prince Gautama (1)

BACKGROUND The story of Prince Gautama, a prince who left his palace to become The Buddha (meaning Enlightened One) is central to the Buddhist tradition. In this session, we focus on the main story without going into the teachings of Buddhism. So you could use it as a stimulus for thought on these issues without even mentioning Buddhism, but ...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: RE

Prince Gautama (2)

INTRODUCTION Buddhism has several distinctive features. One of these is the rejection of the world. The everyday world we move about in is, for the Buddhist, a distraction. If we are too attached to it, we will always be caught up in suffering. Although this rejection of the world can be found in other religions too, for Buddhism it is the ce...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: RE


STIMULUS There was once a poor farmer. He was always struggling to get enough food. One winter, he was left with just one chicken. If the chicken laid an egg the farmer would eat that day, and if it didn’t, he went hungry. Desperate, he went to a neighbour who was very religious and asked for advice. The neighbour told him: ‘Do...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: RE


* Please refer to attached image Looking Is it a man, woman, girl or boy? Is the painting bright or dark? Are there any objects that are moving in the painting? What is the person in the painting looking at? Why is the person looking intense or relaxed? Are there any surprises in the picture? ...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: Aesthetics

Themes: Art, Ancient Greek