“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh 8:10):
: an evaluation of the Bible Explorer Programme

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Bible Explorer (BX) is a non-denominational, non-confessional and non-conversionary programme specifically designed to assist British primary schools in the fulfilment of their Locally Agreed Syllabus on religious education. The aim of BX is to teach pupils in Key Stage 2 (school years 5 and 6) the storyline of the Bible. Children are taught a set of keywords and hand signs to help them remember the overarching narrative of both the Old and New Testaments and to place people and events in the correct biblical order. Lessons are not scripted but the keywords provide a framework for each session. The delivery method is lively and fast-paced, using storytelling, drama and multi-media presentations to engage the children.
The evaluation of the Bible Explorer programme took the form of a case study, using different research methods. There were three data sources: the feedback forms returned by schools after completion of the programme; a series of semi-structured interviews with current BX presenters; and a survey, open to all BXers, which was advertised on the BX website and via email. The dual use of quantitative and qualitative data provided a rich description of Bible Explorer, and reinforced the validity of the conclusions reached.
It is clear that Bible Explorer is highly regarded by the teachers and children who experience the programme. It has survived for 30 years, growing steadily; today, more than half a million pupils in both faith and community schools have participated in the scheme. Much of the programme’s success derives from the material it presents and the method by which this is delivered in the classroom. In its own small and specific way, Bible Explorer demonstrates the range of possibilities inherent in story and story-telling, As such, it offers both encouragement and challenge to the wider church community.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorDominic Erdozain (Supervisor), Clemens Sedmak (Supervisor) & Philip Barnes (Supervisor)

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