Resources

Randalph's Spiritual Quest and Search for Meaning

(8- to-11-year-old learners)

Randalph the Wise sitting in his study




Randalph the Wise sat in his chair, scratched his old grey head, and thought about the very big question.

"What really matters?" he asked the empty room in a deep, booming voice.





What is the series about?

The stories revolve around a character called Randalph the Wise, who is searching for answers to the very big question. He wants to know, ‘What really matters?’ This question takes Randalph the Wise on a journey through Wales. On his travels, he finds some special places and people to help him with his quest. In many ways, this is only the beginning of a journey, as Randalph the Wise challenges his readers to engage with the very big question themselves, and to start new journeys of their own.

Randalph’s Spiritual Quest and Search for Meaning is an exciting new Religious Education series for 8- to -11-year-old learners sponsored by the Welsh Government and published by Bear Lands Publishing in 2019. The series has been created and produced by Religious Education experts with many years of experience at the interface between academic research and educational practice, devising Religious Education resources for learners and teachers.

This series takes the importance of place (cynefin) seriously and is therefore based upon extensive research into how children learn about themselves, others, and the world in which they live. These books are influenced by the Prayer and Sacred Place Research Project and developed in association with Bishop Grosseteste University.


Supporting Religious Education for a changing curriculum

The series has been carefully designed to support approaches to Religious Education that stimulate natural connections with other disciplines in the humanities as well as other areas of learning and experience in the wider curriculum. Firmly embedded in the spirit of ongoing respectful enquiry, the resources have an openness and flexibility, which mean that they are able to be relevant to both Religious Education today and to Religious Education within the new curriculum for Wales in 2022.

All the resources in the series are available in Welsh and English as FREE downloads on this page and also on the Welsh Government Hwb site. The resources include:

  • six storybooks, each exploring a “What really matters?” theme through engagement with places and people in Wales;
  • six films set to music, one for each storybook, connecting learners more closely with place and stimulating further reflection arising from the “What really matters?” theme;
  • six music soundtracks so learners and teachers can make their own films about their own local places;
  • teachers’ guide, supporting confident and creative school-level and class-level design and planning for Religious Education (coming soon).

It is intended that the teachers’ guide may be shaped further when the new curriculum for Wales is published in its final form. However, these resources will remain intentionally non-prescriptive, recognising the important role of schools and local authority SACREs (Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education) in shaping a Religious Education relevant to local needs. 

           

Accessing the resources

All the resources are freely accessible on this page (see below) and also the Welsh Government Hwb site (coming soon).
NOTE: We recommend that you download the resources before using them to avoid any internet connection issues. The storybooks and teachers' guide are pdf files (go to 'View' for slideshow, single page, two page viewing etc.); the films are MP4 files (apart from Bringing Health and Healing and Living with Nature, which are MOV files);and the music files are MP3 files.

Bringing Health and Healing book coverBringing Health and Healing
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers a holy shrine in the Tanat Valley in Mid Wales. Here, he learns that Bringing Health and Healing is something that really matters. Visits to a Buddhist Temple and to a cliff top where a Hindu is practising yoga make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Bringing Health and Healing may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)


Caring for the futureCaring for the Future
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers an eco-centre in Mid Wales. Here, he learns that Caring for the Future is something that really matters. Visits to a Buddhist home and to a mosque make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Caring for the Future may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)



Living with Nature book coverLiving with Nature
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers a botanic garden beside the Menai Strait in North Wales. Here, he learns that Living with Nature is something that really matters. Visits to a Christian graveyard and to a Sikh allotment garden make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Living with Nature may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)
 


Making Spiritual Journeys book coverMaking Spiritual Journeys
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers a windswept island off the coast of North Wales. Here, he learns that Making Spiritual Journeys is something that really matters. Visits to a Muslim home and to a park where a Hindu is talking with his grandson make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Making Spiritual Journeys may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)



Remembering the Past book coverRemembering the Past
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers a national museum of history in South Wales. Here, he learns that Remembering the Past is something that really matters. Visits to a church and to a Jewish home make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Remembering the Past may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)



Serving Others book coverServing Others
In this story, Randalph the Wise discovers some Sikhs on a busy city street in South Wales. Here, he learns that Serving Others is something that really matters. Visits to an Anglican cathedral and to a mosque make Randalph the Wise think even more deeply about what Serving Others may mean.

Storybook
Film
Music soundtrack
Teachers’ Guide (for the whole series)


Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Tomos ap Sion who has granted permission to use his original music in the films and soundtracks. We are also grateful to the academics and professional advisors who have supported the development of this series through their advice, critical insights, and peer reviewing. 

Author: Tania ap Sion
Illustrator: Phillip Vernon
Film: Tomos ap Sion
Music: Tomos ap Sion
Welsh translator: Nant Roberts