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Curriculum Overview

 Module 1: The life of the Buddha


For Buddhists, the life of the Buddha is an inspiration. Buddhist honour the Buddha as a teacher and an exemplar. This module traces the Buddha’s birth until his passing, highlighting the main events that occurred in his life.
 
Objectives of module 1:

  • Students will learn the significance of the events in the life of the Buddha.

  • For students to reflect on these events and share their own experiences.

 

Module 2: The Core Teachings

  • The Four Truths and the Eightfold Path

  • The five guidelines or precepts

  • Cause and effect

  • Interdependence

  • Change and impermanence

 
Objectives of module 2:

  • For students to learn the primary teachings shared by all schools of Buddhism

 Module 3: Buddhist values and ethics

 

The ethics in the Buddha’s teaching are a pathway to wisdom and compassion. 
Buddhism is a simple philosophy of how to lead a good life.
Teaching children to be aware of what they think, say and do and to act with kindness, is not only a component of Buddhist teachings, but also helps the children develop skills that will not only benefit their personal development but also the wider community and society.
 
Part 1 - How we think

  • Humility

  • Patience

  • Contentment

  • Delight

Part 2 - How we act

  • Kindness

  • Honesty

  • Generosity

  • Right speech


Part 3 - How we relate to others

  • Respect

  • Forgiveness

  • Gratitude

  • Loyalty

 
Part 4 - How we find meaning

  • Principles

  • Aspiration

  • Service

  • Courage

 
Objectives of Module 3:

  • Enable students to use these guidelines as tools to help them respond to situations they face every day.

  • To understand that their thoughts and actions influence all the people and everything around them.

 
Module 4: Additional Buddhist values

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  • Friendship

  • Harmony

  • Loving kindness

  • Compassion

 
Objectives of module 4:


All of these are found in the ten perfections, or good deeds, that further guide behaviour in actions of thought, words and deeds.
 
Module 5: Meditation and mindfulness

Children face so many distractions and challenges in terms of them developing an ability to focus and think deeply’ Janet Etty=Leal. 2010. Meditation Capsules
 
Meditation and mindfulness are the most valuable life skills that will, with practice, enhance the child’s ability to recognise and manage their emotions.
 
This in turn improves focus and performance, cultivating greater self-awareness throughout life.
The children are guided through the thoughtful meditation practise of being present whilst focusing on their breath, giving them the opportunity to acquire the ability to reflect quietly upon their thoughts that lead to their actions and conduct. This allows them to make sound choices when faced with difficult situations.
A walking meditation allows the children to develop an awareness of the world around them, to be present in the moment at all times.
 
Objectives of module 5:


To assist the children

  • Their general wellbeing

  • Managing their emotions

  • Improving their concentration and behaviour

  • Giving them a sense of calm

  • Offering clarity 


Module 6: What does it mean to be Buddhist?

  • The three jewels of Buddhism

  • Taking refuge

  • Acknowledging Shakyamuni Buddha as our teacher

  • An awareness of the consequences of everything we do

 
Objectives of module 6:


The objective of this module is for the students to recognise that Buddhism has changed and adapted to every culture it encountered after it began to spread from its beginnings in the north of India.  As such, Buddhist practices vary depending upon the tradition and society in which they find themselves.
 
Module 7: Buddhist practices and festivals

  • The Buddhas’ Birthday festival

  • Buddhist alms offering

  • Kathina ceremony (robe offering to monastics)

  • First turning of the wheel of Dharma.

 
Module 8: Buddhist history

  • The spreads of Buddhism

  • Buddhism in different countries

  • The Buddhist flag 

                                                                          
Methods of teaching


Our teachers use a variety of methods to share with the children

  • Illustrated stories from Buddhism

  • Power point presentations

  • DVD

  • Video clips

  • Colouring

  • Art and craft

  • Questions and answers

  • Discussion

  • Sitting and walking meditations

 
Resources

  • Discovering Buddhism published by The Buddhist Council of Victoria

  • The 16 Guidelines

  • The Clear Vision Trusts, Manchester UK.  The Clear Vision Trust is am audio-visual project run by members of the Triratna Buddhist order UK.

  • Prince Siddhartha: The story of Buddha. Jonathan Laidlaw (author), Janet Brooke (illustrator)

  • Buddhanet: Buddhist Education and information network on-line.

  • Ready Set Happy (16 Guidelines for life) published by Essential education, an initiative of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom taken from the vision of Universal Education held by Lama Yeshe.

  • Shantidiva: How to wake up a Hero. Dominique Townsend (author), Tenzin Norbu (illustrator)


For mindfulness and meditation:

  • Sitting Still Like a Frog. Eline Snel (author)  and

  • Mindfulness exercises for kids (& their parents) – audio

  • Smiling Mind – Guided Mindfulness program for children 7-9 and 10-12 years of age – audio

  • Meditations for Children. Sandy Smith (author). Penny Thompson (illustrator)

  • Guided meditation for Primary Students.    www.buddhanet.net

  • This web site also offers many ideas for puzzles and projects for your child at home.