Learning Focus 1

Introduction

This lesson planning page takes you through the lesson materials for Year 1, Branch 1, Learning Focus 1.

Before you begin, make sure you have watched the Year 1 Branch 1 Overview videos, which introduce the key themes to draw out across all Learning Focuses within Branch 1.

If you have already seen these videos, feel free to skip on to the next section.

Key Information

Take a look at the following key information about Learning Focus 1, which includes all the links and documents you need to plan your session:

Branch 1
Creation and Covenant


Learning Focus 1
Catholics believe that…God made the world.


Teaching time
Approximately 2.5 hours


Downloads

Lesson Plan Template (access restricted)

Y1 | B1 | LF1

Assessment Framework (access restricted)

Y1 | B1

Self-assessment Proformas (access restricted)

Sorry, as a trial user you are unable to download documents.

You might like to use our Lesson Plan Template for Year 1 Branch 1 Learning Focus 1 to make your own notes/plan as you go along. This template is pre-populated with the Learning Focus, Expected Outcomes and Success Criteria, and a list of titles of available lesson materials. The rest of the document is left blank for you to complete.

What is Learning Focus 1?

Catholics believe that…God made the world.

Children will likely come from EYFS with this knowledge at some level. Now in Year 1, in Learning Focus 1, we explore the story of Creation in different creative ways, with the purpose of helping children understand more deeply that God made the world out of love, and that it is a special gift for us.

This is foundational learning, and time should be taken to ensure children understand and have opportunities to respond.

What are the Expected Outcomes and Success Criteria?

Before we look at the lesson materials in detail, it’s useful to know the desired outcomes. This curriculum is based on the RED Expected Outcomes for each year group. Below is a table mapping specific Expected Outcomes to Success Criteria statements as well as the titles of lesson activities that could be used to achieve these.

 

Lesson Materials

There are 8 main activities that you can use as building blocks to create your own session. These are explored within this section.

These activities have been planned to utilise the screen, but there are always very easy ways for the activities to be adapted for off-screen and we’ll give examples as we go through.

‘The Story of How God Made the World’

‘The Story of How God Made the World’ invites pupils to ask themselves if they have ever wondered how the earth was made. The pupils will watch a short video that helps them to understand how the Bible helps us learn all about creation. Therefore, this activity falls into the Hear Knowledge Lens.

The video introduces the context of the Genesis 1 account, and offers a guide to key vocabulary before children read the Scripture themselves, as part of the next activity.

‘Genesis 1’

‘Genesis 1’ begins with Genesis 1:1-4,24-26 being read. As with all Hear activities, the reading of Scripture should be the foundation of the learning. Especially for the first time that the Scripture is encountered, it should be read directly from the Bible (not from a screen or handout), and the Bible should be treated with reverence and respect.

Then use the Scripture on the slides to check the pupil’s understanding of these keywords: ‘without form’ and ‘void,’ ‘Spirit of God,’ ‘separated,’ ‘livestock,’ ‘likeness,’ and ‘dominion.’  The slides show the story twice, the second time with the trickier terms highlighted. If pupils are struggling with the meaning of the words you could return to the video, ‘The Story of How God Made the World’.

The pupils should then discuss with a partner, what one big truth they think the story is telling us. After feeding back their responses the answer ‘God made the world and everything in it!’ can be revealed on the screen.

‘A Gift from God’

The next activity is within the Believe Knowledge Lens. ‘A Gift from God’ is an opportunity to embed what the pupils have learnt so far and retell the story of Genesis 1 together, in an interactive way that helps pupils understand the key learning point that God loves us and He made EVERYTHING as a gift for us.

This activity uses a series of slides to retell the Creation story. The slides begin by asking the pupils to think about the biggest gift they have ever received. Pupils should be invited to share their ideas and you might like to highlight answers that refer to people rather than things.

The slides then go on to explore each day of Creation. There are two slides for each day.

  • The first is full of images of things connected to what was created on that particular day. The images should inspire and encourage discussion. For example, the images for day six include a variety of animals with different numbers of legs. You may want to encourage the pupils to count the legs, or name other non-pictured animals with the same number of legs. A key point to repeat in all of these first slides is that God didn’t just X, He created everything! For example, ‘God didn’t just create streams, He didn’t just create rivers, He didn’t just create seas and oceans – He created everything!’
  • The second slide for each day gives summary text from Genesis and the pupils should be encouraged to join in by saying “It was good!” and later on, “It is very good!” and “Thank you! It is very good.” Children might also enjoy signing this. Watch the following British Sign Language (BSL) video to learn the signs in order to teach children.

The slide for Day 7 encourages the pupils to think for themselves how they like to rest before suggesting ideas on the next slide. You will also see symbols for different religions, who also have a day of rest as part of their religious practice. You might like to ask children to say which religion is represented by these symbols.

The final slide invites the pupils to wonder about what they have just learnt and explored. You could lead with ‘I wonder…’ questions for them to answer, for example:

  • I wonder which day you would have liked to be there for?
  • I wonder which day was the noisiest?
  • I wonder if there are any days God could have left out and we still have everything we need?

Alternatively, or as well, you could invite children to ask their own ‘I wonder…’ questions. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers, you can honestly respond with “I wonder that too!”

You should feel free to use the slides if they want to, or you could instead use the structure to go off-screen and use props that represent each day. For example, you could include items such as a lightbulb, water bottle, or packet of seeds. Or you may even want to gift wrap each item or pictures of each gift from God and let the children open them like a game of Pass the Parcel, with messages within each layer announcing the gift.

Finally, whether you have facilitated this using the screen or not, you should ask the pupils what the story helps them to know. You should consolidate their understanding of the following points by clicking to reveal them on screen:

  • Everything that IS comes from God. He made everything!
  • God loves us and He made everything as a gift for us.
  • God made a world that gives us all we need. This shows us how much He loves and cares for us!

‘True or False’

This next activity falls into both the Hear and Believe Knowledge Lens. ‘True or False’ provides an opportunity to assess the pupils’ understanding of the Scripture and associated beliefs.

  1. You should choose one side of the room to be ‘True’ and the other to be ‘False’.
  2. Read the statements on the screen and ask the pupils to decide whether they think it is ‘True’ or ‘False’.
  3. The pupils should then move to the side of the room that corresponds to their answer.
  4. Once all the pupils have moved you can click the slide on to reveal the answer and some additional information.

‘Seven Days’

The next activity falls into both the Hear and Live Knowledge Lens. ‘Seven Days’ is a memory game activity. Slide 1 shows the completed 7 days of Creation, with images and short descriptions. You should explain to the pupils that they will have 30 seconds to look at the slide and try to remember everything on it.

On the next slide, the images and descriptions appear one by one on separate clicks. Invite the pupils to answer from memory what will appear next, before clicking to reveal the answer on screen.

The second part of this activity is an opportunity for pupils to demonstrate their learning in a creative way. Ask the pupils to  draw or cut out the numbers 1 – 7. They should then decorate them with the things God created on each day. They could draw, paint or create a collage. The pupils should then use their numbers to retell the story. The finished numbers could be hung on a washing line as they retell the story, or displayed elsewhere in the classroom.

The final part of this activity is pupils writing a guide to their numbers, explaining what they like or how they enjoy each part of creation. There are some examples provided on the slides.

‘Inspired to Create’

The next activity falls into the Live Knowledge Lens. ‘Inspired to Create’ invites the pupils to reflect on God’s gift of Creation in all its amazingness! It also introduces them to the fact that for thousands of years, it has inspired people to retell the story or show what it means to them through art, music, and poetry.

On the slides, pupils will see artworks which show the seven days of Creation from Genesis 1.

 

The final slide shows an image to present the belief that God made everything. The pupils should use the following questions to guide their reflections on the artwork:

  • What do you notice?
  • How does it match the story?
  • Is anything missing?
  • What do you like or not like?
  • How does it help you to think about and understand the story?

Encourage honest responses, especially about what they like/don’t like. For example, if a child says, “I don’t think God looks like that”, you can encourage them to let it inspire their own creative response.

‘We Can Pray’

The next activity falls into the Celebrate Knowledge Lens. ‘We Can Pray’ is a video that explores how we can draw closer to God our Creator through prayer of different styles.

Starting from the idea of receiving a gift and wanting to say ‘thank you’, pupils should watch the video and consider how they could say ‘thank you’ to God for the gift of Creation.

‘Time with God’

The next activity also falls into the Celebrate Knowledge Lens. ‘Time with God’ is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that God loves it when we spend time with Him. The pupils will first explore how using a prayer station can help us to focus on God, and then spend time with God in prayer.

Firstly, on screen there is an interactive prayer station which requires pupils to drag and drop items to create a digital prayer station. Click on each item to discover more about what it means and how it might help us to pray. Alternatively, you could also create a physical prayer station in the classroom.

Then, once you have created your station, you can begin your time of prayer. Begin by making the Sign of the Cross – and if pupils need a reminder of what this is, you can watch the video first shown in EYFS.

Then invite the pupils to pick a sentence starter to begin your prayer:

  • I want to thank you God…..
  • I want to praise you God…..
  • I want to tell you God…..
  • I want to ask you God….
  • I want to listen to you God….

Pupil prayers could take a variety of forms:

  • Writing or drawing on labels, post-it notes or in books.
  • Saying out loud or sharing with a partner.
  • Recording contributions in a floor book.
  • Simply sitting quietly and listening.

Please be aware that it won’t be appropriate for some children from other faith backgrounds to make or say the Sign of the Cross, so make sure you facilitate accordingly. Where it is not appropriate for children to pray, you can offer alternative starters in the final section of the activity, for example instead of ‘I want to thank you God…’ they could begin ‘I’m thankful for…’

Explore More

There are two activities in the Explore More section, which you might like to use to extend learning, or instead of other suggested activities.

‘Genesis 1 Retold’

This activity is from the Hear Knowledge Lens. ‘Genesis 1 Retold’ is an opportunity to explore how Genesis 1 has inspired people to retell the story in their own words. Pupils can watch different short videos that retell the story and give details about what was created on each day of the week. The three videos are The Beginning: A Perfect Home from The Jesus Storybook Bible, When God Made the World by Matthew Paul Turner and God’s Brilliantly Big Creation Story by Dai Woolridge.

After each story they should consider:

  • What stood out to you from the story?
  • How did it help you to understand the truth that God made the world and everything in it?
  • Did it help you understand any other truths?

This final question is helpful for pupils working at a deeper level, or you could try to draw out answers relating to the belief that God loves and cares for us by making a world for us that gives us all we need; or that God loves us so much He made everything as a gift for us.

'Your Turn'

This activity falls within the Hear and Believe Knowledge Lens. Now the pupils have read the story from the Bible, heard other people retell it and seen artworks other people have created responding to it, it is their turn.

Ask the pupils ‘How will you retell the story of Creation?’

This activity could be done as part of continuous provision rather than a structured activity within a designated session.

Children could retell the story using small world figures, using a tuff tray, Lego, Playmobil, playdough, writing, drawing, painting, roleplay etc. However the pupils decide to express their learning, encourage them to include the sequencing of the days and some of the key truths they have learned.

A prayer as you plan and lead this Learning Focus

God Our Father,

Thank you for the opportunity to explore this content with the children in my care. 

By the power of your Holy Spirit, lead and guide me as I prepare this lesson. 

Bless me, and each and every child, with an open heart and mind to continue our journey of knowing you more clearly.

I ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our Lord,

Amen

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