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Understanding Christianity: The Big Frieze



Understanding Christianity has identified eight core concepts at the heart of mainstream Christian belief. 

It sets out some knowledge ‘building blocks’, to clarify what pupils should know and understand about these concepts at each school phase. It provides a teaching and learning approach to unpack these concepts and their impact in the lives of Christians in the UK and the world today, making connections with the world of the pupils and their wider understanding.  


Artist Emma Yarlett was commissioned to create a wall frieze to illustrate seven of the eight core concepts that are explored throughout the Understanding Christianity materials. Effectively, this presents a view of the ‘big story’ of the Bible – an artist’s response to the approach used in the Understanding Christianity materials. 



We used her artwork to inspire us to create our own Big Frieze in the hall. 


Panel 1 - Pre-School: - TO FOLLOW


Fundamental to Christian belief is the existence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit



Christians believe the universe and human life are God’s good creation. Humans are made in the image of God



Panel 2 - Year 1:


Humans have a tendency to go their own way rather than keep their place in relation to their creator.  This attitude is called sin, and Genesis 3 gives an account of this rebellion, popularly called ‘the Fall’. This describes a catastrophic separation between God and humans, between humans and each other, and between humans and the environment. This idea that humans are ‘fallen’ and in need of rescue (or salvation) sets out the root cause of many problems for humanity.



Panel 3/4 - Year 1: 

People of God 

The Old Testament tells the story of God’s plan to reverse the impact of the Fall, to save humanity. It involves choosing a people who will model a restored relationship with God, who will attract all other people back to God. The Bible narrative includes the ups and downs of this plan, including the message of the prophets who tried to persuade people to stick with God. The plan appears to end in failure with the people of God exiled, and then returning, awaiting a ‘messiah’ – a rescuer.


Panel 5 - Year 2:


The New Testament presents Jesus as the answer: the Messiah and Saviour, who will repair the effects of sin and the Fall and offer a way for humans to be at one with God again. Incarnation means that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that, in Jesus, God came to live amongst humans.


Panel 6 - Year 3:


Christians believe Jesus’ incarnation is ‘good news’ for all people. (‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’.)  His life, teaching and ministry embody what it is like to be one of the People of God, what it means to live in relationship with God. Jesus’ example and teaching emphasise loving one’s neighbour – particularly the weak and vulnerable – as part of loving God.


Panel 7 - Year 4:


Jesus’ death and resurrection effect the rescue or salvation of humans. He opens the way back to God. Christians believe that through Jesus, sin is dealt with, forgiveness offered, and the relationship between God and humans is restored.


Panel 8 - Happy Stars 

Kingdom of God 

This does not mean that no one sins any more!  The Bible talks in terms of God’s ‘Kingdom’ having begun in human hearts through Jesus. The idea of the ‘Kingdom of God’ reflects God’s ideal for human life in the world – a vision of life lived in the way God intended for human beings.  Christians look forward to a time when God’s rule is fulfilled at some future point, in a restored, transformed heaven and earth. Meanwhile, they seek to live this attractive life as in God’s Kingdom, following Jesus’ example, inspired and empowered by God’s Spirit.