Title: What is the meaning of life?  


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About This Project

The National RE Festival

The National RE Festival in Autumn 1997 involved over 1,250,000 children and young people in around 14,000 schools along with people from about 9,000 different faith community groups.

The purposes of the Festival included offering opportunities to children and young people to explore and articulate their own beliefs and perspectives on a range of religious and spiritual topics, and one way in which the PCfRE sought to put this aim into action was by developing and distributing a questionnaire for pupils to complete.

The Questionnaire

Thousands of pupils completed a questionnaire. Teachers reported surprising levels of interest, insight and thoughtfulness as seven year olds and eighteen year olds recorded their ideas about faith in the future, their visions, reflections and arguments about spiritual things.

The festival office was inundated with parcels of youthful wisdom from all over the country. Around 25,000 questionnaires in all. They represent a snapshot of youthful opinions, and tell us what 'faith in the future' might be like.

The Database

About 500 pupil records were selected, searchable by phase, age, gender, religious affiliation and question. The online search allows these records to be searched separately from all subsequent additions, if required.

The online version of the database, launched in May 2003, also allows pupils to participate in the questionnaire, adding their own ideas and views. All additions will be moderated before being made available for public viewing.

The 'Help' section provides guidance on both searching and contributing. Teachers are strongly recommended to read the help section before using this website in the classroom.

The 'Resources' section provides a copy of the actual questions in the form of a template which can be copied and used with pupils in an offline context. Some suggested activities for using the database, and details of the paper publications based on the National Festival questionnaires are also available.

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