Learning Unit

The Big Picture for Teachers

Interfaith Explorers is a web based learning resource designed to promote mutual respect through greater understanding of the three Abrahamic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As such this learning unit focuses on RE and PSHE and also makes some cross-curricular links to English, mathematics, art, design and technology, history and geography. 

In the light of curriculum changes for 2014 this learning resource will support schools and teachers to meet the aims of the National Curriculum in England in providing ‘an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens’ and in recognising that ‘The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term, and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.

Whilst initially designed for pupils in Years 5 & 6 at primary school, other groups can easily adapt the materials for their own use. Indeed we anticipate that you will adapt and enrich it according to your own experience and the context of your school.

During the initial video clip of the challenge, Professor Khalili introduces the three Interfaith Explorers Ci, Sul and Rul who will point your pupils towards becoming successful Interfaith Explorers themselves. They will support your pupils to develop their confidence as individuals, their skills to be a successful learner and their understanding of the world in order to become responsible citizens.

We hope you and your pupils will find the video clips interesting and enjoyable. We asked those who spoke about their faith to bear in mind an audience of 10/11 year olds. However, we have been ambitious in choosing the real life clips with which we hope to stimulate curiosity and discussion, perhaps raising as many questions as they answer. Our expectations of your pupils are high. Some of the clips will need several viewings, offering the opportunity to extend their vocabulary and a focal point for deeper discussion. This is all part of The Challenge!

Once your pupils have completed the challenge you will be able to download individual and school certificates. You will be asked to give a little feedback about how your Interfaith Explorers went about the challenge and then you will be able to download your certificates.

Organisation of the Learning Unit

Within the Learning Unit pupils’ learning is organised into two main sections:

Enquiry based independent research-based learning:
  • Areas which pupils can choose from for their independent research

A selection of teacher led classroom activities including:
  • PSHCE, Literacy, music, art and design, history, geography, design and technology and mathematics 

When schools have decided how much time to allocate to this Learning Unit, they may find they have to make choices. This may involve weighting of the approach towards either a teacher led activity based approach with some independent research, or a pupil led enquiry based approach including some of the teacher led classroom activities.

Alongside these main sections it is suggested that teachers develop pupils’ personal and social competencies and include discussions on and around the core values, particularly that of Respect.

A starting point and end product is suggested in all our curriculum material in order to provide an engaging and motivating context for pupils’ learning. In this instance there is a real life context provided by Professor Khalili in his challenge to Year 5/6 pupils

Possible Starting Points
  • The full 6 week implementation – The context of the Learning Unit is a real request by letter (Professor Khalili’s Letter to Pupils – see below for text of letter) and video clip (Professor Khalili’s Challenge to Pupils) to Year 5/6 pupils from Professor Khalili. Teachers might find it useful to create a display using the materials provided including the letter, Interfaith Explorers characters and their Top Tips (Ci,Rul and Sul), the key vocabulary and the ‘I can’ statements (1-3 and 4-6) as a starting point and for reference to support the pupils learning during the 6 weeks. (Example Display Photographs)
  • Top 6 taster activities – try a few activities.
  • Bulletin – dip in for information and ideas across the year.

Possible End Products
  • Teams of pupils could prepare an exhibition/presentation initially to inform each other of their findings. These exhibitions/presentations could then be shown to pupils’ families and the local community.
  • An internal school competition, between classes/groups to find the most informative, interesting exhibitions/presentations.
  • Entry into the Professor’s annual national online Interfaith Explorers Competition.

Dear Fellow Explorers,

I am writing to introduce you to some new friends of mine - the Interfaith Explorers. 

You can learn all about them, including what they get up to, by exploring this website. They will also help you with my challenge - to become an Interfaith Explorer yourself by finding out more about the children around you, in your school, in your community and all over the UK.

It is my dream that people respect each other and their way of life even if it may be very different to what we know and believe. For this to happen we must all try to learn more about the people who we share our country and our world with.

Wherever you are in the UK, you can join us in exploring the similarities and differences between children of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds.

My Interfaith Explorers friends will show you how to become successful explorers, and when you do, you will get two certificates, one that you can hang on your bedroom wall and one to display in your school. You can also enter a fun competition to win a great prize for your school!

Good luck - I am really looking forward to seeing what you have achieved.

Professor Khalili

Prof. Nasser David Khalili PhD KCSS KCFO
Chairman of The Maimonides Interfaith Foundation 

Teacher Information and Guidance
We strongly recommend you look at the following audio and text guidance prior to planning for this project

The teacher information and guidance covers the following areas: