Curriculum Kernewek

Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2011

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Suggested Activities
+ Share Zen Cornwall with the class. Ask students; what happened to Bill in the Japanese Garden? Collect student ideas and reveal that Buddhists aim is to see things as they really are. Use this opportunity to revise the teachings of the Buddha and explore what Bill is hoping to achieve by practising Buddhism. Ask students; have you ever heard of similar religious experiences like this? Collect any student ideas e.g. a deep sense of calm, seeing a bright light, psychic powers or seeing the Buddha first hand.
+ Remind students that Bill began his experience with meditation. Ask students; what is meditation? Collect student ideas and help students to establish a definition e.g. meditation is to train, calm, or empty the mind, often achieving an altered state. Reveal that meditation is a tool used by many people, not just practised by Buddhists. Ask students; why do people meditate? Collect student ideas to create a list like Benefits. Encourage students to identify three benefits from the list that might help them with their studies, three that might help them in their family life and three that might help them with a sport or hobby.
+ Explain to students that 'Mindfulness of Breathing’ is a basic Buddhist meditation which uses the breath as an object of concentration., Reveal that the aim is to focus on your breathing and maintain the focus despite your mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another. Ask students to sit comfortably upright (floor or chair) and close their eyes. Challenge students to focus on their breath and to silently count 'one' after their out-breath and 'two' after their in-breath. Encourage students to repeat several times, maintaining focus all the time. After a short while, ask students to count 'one' before their in-breath, 'two' before their out breath, then 'three' before their in-breath and so on until they reach 'ten' and start at one again. Give students time to try this before suggesting that they try dropping the counting to see if they can maintain concentration without it. Try this for a short while before drawing the exercise to a close. Ask students; was it easy to concentrate on your breathing? How did your mind behave? How did you feel? Collect student ideas and remind students that meditation is often referred to as a 'practice' because training the brain requires the kind of practise you might need to learn an instrument or new skill.
+ Take the class to the Japanese Garden, near Newquay. Zen gardens are often designed in order to aid meditation. Challenge students to find a space and practise their meditation techniques whilst at the garden. Ask students; how is the garden different from a standard Cornish garden? Encourage students to identify any key features of the garden which they think may aid meditation or reflection.
+ Reveal that there were 532,273 people recorded as living in Cornwall in the 2011 census (a national survey). Ask students; how many of these were Buddhists? Collect and record student guesses before revealing the answer; 1,726. Challenge students to work out what percentage of the population in Cornwall is Buddhist. Explain that Buddhism is the second most common faith in Cornwall and ask students; would you have guessed that? Did you know that there is a Buddhist community in Cornwall? Collect student ideas and reveal there are different types of Buddhist group in Cornwall. Encourage students to carry out an online investigation to find out more about a local group and their strand of Buddhism e.g. Whitecross Buddhist Centre, Soka Gakkai International Buddhism, Aro Community, Western Chan Group, Crystal Group, Triratna Buddhist Community. Give students chance to present their findings to the rest of the class and combine student findings to create a class display.