RE resources tackle racism and prejudice

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A suite of free teaching materials to help teachers of religious education plan and provide learning around racism and prejudice has been launched.

The resources, which are relevant to RE in key stages 2 and 3, include units of work such as “What can be done to reduce racism? Can religion help?”, and “Racism: what can be done to reduce its harmful impact? What can religions do to play their part in a more just society?”.

There are also film and book reviews – from Malcolm X and Gandhi, to the Life of Pi and The Windrush Betrayal. The concept of respect is explored, too, with links made with art and British Values.

The resources have been developed by RE Today and the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE). The project was initiated by the Free Churches Group and Methodist Schools and funded by the Westhill Endowment.

The material also covers topical issues such as the toppling of Colston’s statue in Bristol, and an interview with British rapper Stormzy in which he explores his personal beliefs and spirituality.

One of the core guides is “20-plus key ideas for teachers of RE”, a glossary of concepts that teachers need to be prepared to address, including community cohesion, cultural hegemony and a decolonised curriculum.

The resources have been developed with the support of more than 25 project partners, including black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) teachers, pupils, academics, educational partners and a range of people from different faith and belief backgrounds.

Primary teacher Saima Saleh said: “If we want to prepare our pupils for living happily in a diverse world, we have to challenge racism. It’s imperative that we tackle this subject in the classroom; racial disparities are everywhere. To improve the situation, change must begin by defining and understanding terms like racist and anti-racist in the classroom.

“As educators, we might feel uncomfortable addressing these issues, but it is so vital that we do if we’d like our world to be fairer for everyone.”


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