What is the significance of water in Christianity?
Exploring the Sacrament of Baptism
Pupils will focus on exploring the significance of water, both as a physical necessity for life and its spiritual significance in Christianity. Through examining selected examples from the Old Testament and the Gospels, they will learn about the significance of water in the Bible and the Christian sacrament of Baptism as initiation into Christian belief. Pupils will compare and contrast Baptism rituals in the UK and Mozambique, and consider what difference baptism and belief in Jesus as ‘water of life’ makes individually, locally and globally.
Consideration will be given as to how Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit helps Christian believers follow Jesus commandment to Love their neighbours, in ways that make a difference to people’s lives. In exploring the impact of Christian beliefs and actions pupils are able to benefit from the ‘live relationships’ between Christian believers in their local church communities and communities in Mozambique. This is enabled through their local churches with the Angola, London, Mozambique, Association (ALMA) network of ‘live’ partnerships between churches and schools in the UK and in Mozambique. (This is an example of the Church of England Diocesan Companions overseas links.)
An extended ‘values in action’ reflection enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of concepts and apply their learning through creating a ‘gift’ or sharing in a project between their local church and overseas neighbour, on the theme of water of life and baptism. This opportunity can be initiated through the school’s communication with the local church and overseas church community.
Examples of ‘gifts’ created as part of an extended reflection include translating their ideas and learning into textiles designs for the overseas community, e.g. an altar cloth, designs for stained glass windows or a fundraising project (See case study: Water of Life, which involved pupils in designing windows for the church in Lichinga, Mozambique, contributing to the Southall parish’s ALMA partnership.)
Encouraging pupils to consider key questions: ‘Why is water important for physical life?’ and ‘Why is water important in Christianity?’ may prompt pupils to consider their own experiences and creative ways that they might express these.