Solarity: Primary Sessions
The sessions for primary age children are in two sections: the first group of eight sessions are aimed at 5-7 year olds, and the remaining sessions for 7-11 year olds. With a little tweaking most of the sessions could be made available for older or younger children.
They can also serve as supplementary material for parents educating their children at home, though most of the sessions involve group activities, so it will be important for individual children to meet up with at least two or three others to get the most out of the sessions.
In general, the sessions themselves are presented with the instructions for group leaders in brown text, and titles, questions and other information to be presented to children in blue.
Since many of the sessions depend on stimulus material found on the web, it will be important for the group to meet in a room where there is internet access and an audio system to play films and music.
Each session can be viewed on-screen or downloaded as a pdf. The list on the right, which has links to all the web pages, appears beside every session and there is also a link to the relevant pdf at the bottom of every page. A list with links to all the web pages and the pdfs can be found here.
Aims of the sessions
The general aims of the material presented here are similar to those for school religious education in that they promote learning about contemporary religious and non-religious worldviews and encourage children and young people to develop their own ideas, values and identities. From a Sea of Faith perspective, however, the materials are also intended to help children and young people THINK about and EXPLORE some of the following themes, all of which have featured in recent Sea of Faith conferences:
- Building mental, emotional and ‘spiritual’ health;
- Learning from the wisdom and compassion of others;
- Living with uncertainty;
- Knowing what is of real value in the world;
- Keeping people out of ‘bad lives’;
- Human goods or desires (e.g., decent length of life, bodily well-being, freedom and power, respect and self-respect, relationships, goods of culture);
- Reverence for nature;
- Celebrating the power of enoughness;
- Going beyond what is ‘fair’ and being very generous;
- Living without bitterness or ill-feeling.
Beginning each solarity session
These opening lines should be said together. The words help to bring the group together and remind them of the purpose of the club. The actions help children to free up their imaginations and help to distinguish the club from lessons in school.
“In Religion and Philosophy Club we:
- Think up answers to big questions (draw a huge question mark in the air with their finger)
- Listen to one another (say ‘listen to one another’ round the circle in a whisper, like Chinese whispers game)
- Share and respect views (cross arms to shake hands with the person either side)”.
Finish with a loud shout out / whisper / word said in a certain way:
Now we are ready to do some thinking.
PRIMARY SESSIONS: LIST OF TOPICS
Sessions for 7 – 11 year olds
9. Why ask questions?
10. Making your mind up
11. What does it mean to be wise?
12. The Wisdom of Solomon Part 1
13. The Wisdom of Solomon Part 2
14. What can we learn from a miracle?
15. When the going gets tough
16. What is a ‘bad’ life?
17. Choosing poverty
18. What should be free?
19. What is a good society?
20. Changing the world Part 1
21. Changing the world Part 2
22. Coping with bereavement Part 1
23. Coping with bereavement Part 2
24. Infectious kindness
26. What are the rights of the child?
27. Do you believe in human rights?
28. Stereotyping Part 1 – Places
29. Stereotyping Part 2 – People
30. Why are the arts important?
31. What do we see in art?
32. Identity and personality
33. Is it good to be different?
34. We are what we do
35. Human Top Trumps
36. Zavodovski Island
37. Why are some drugs illegal?
38. Health care
39. Good News Newspaper Part 1
40. Good News Newspaper Part 2
41. Greek Gods, Goddesses, War & Peace
42. Hindu Deities