Advent and Christmas Barnabas RE Day

Advent and Christmas is a Barnabas RE Day theme from Barnabas in Schools.

These workshops will offer pupils the opportunity to explore this exciting festival, and to learn more about how Christians prepare for this season.

The workshops will explore the events of the Bible that lead up to Christmas. Using a mixture of interactive and/or reflective storytelling, drama and activities, the pupils will be invited to use their imagination to step into the concepts and stories for themselves. In so doing, they can consider the excitement and the dilemmas of people involved at the time, and respond with what they themselves think about these stories.

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What teachers say

Enjoyable and interesting workshops at levels pupils understood.

Ingleton CE Primary School, Durham

In more detail

A Barnabas RE Day on the themes of Advent and Christmas will focus on those Bible stories that help Christians to prepare for this season. Using a mixture of storytelling, performance and drama games, the children will explore stories from the Old Testament that talk of the coming of a special king, the longing of the people of God for a rescuer, and the strange prophecies that hint that this rescuer would come as a surprise and at a surprising time and place.

Stories from the New Testament will explore events from the opening chapters of Luke's gospel, where the focus will be on the build-up to the birth in the stable through the experiences of Elizabeth and Mary. Overall the session will aim to look into what people at the time thought was going to happen and will provoke questions as to why this otherwise insignificant event in history is now celebrated all around the world.

At KS1, a key focus is on the promise of a special rescuer and the main events of the Christmas story.

At KS2, key ideas include the impact of these extraordinary events on ordinary people - what they thought was going to happen as well as their reactions to what actually did happen. The story of Advent and Christmas will be explored from different viewpoints and through the perspectives of different characters, giving the children the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of these events for people today as well as for themselves.

Curriculum links

This Barnabas RE Day will give pupils the opportunity to do some or all of the following:

Learning about religion (AT 1)

  • Recognise people and places and events from the Bible stories
  • Remember the outlines of the stories connected to the Christmas event and be able to retell them
  • Understand why Christians regard Christmas as a special time of the year
  • Learn about the historical context of the stories

Learning from religion (AT 2)

  • Respond to the story of Christmas in the light of their own experience
  • Relate to the moral and social issues encountered through these stories
  • Express their ideas through drama or dance
  • Explore times of stillness in order to reflect on what has been studied
  • Empathise with characters in the story
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how Christians feel about the events of Christmas and why they still celebrate this festival

What teachers say

The day was amazingly planned and the children are still talking about it and singing some of the songs.

Sutton Courtenay CE Primary School, Oxfordshire

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