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UK News

Anti-racism resources given to Religious Education teachers

Free materials to help of Religious Education (RE) teachers navigate the issue of racism have been launched.

It includes units for primary and secondary RE teachers 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?'

The initiative was put together by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) together with Free Churches and Methodist Schools and included contributions from teachers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 

Talking about the new resources, primary school teacher Saima Saleh said it is 'imperative' that racism is tackled in the classroom. She added that "to improve the situation, change must begin by defining and understanding terms like racist and anti-racist.

"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."

Among the topics covered are the toppling of Edward Colston's statue in Bristol earlier this year and an interview with black British rapper Stormzy explaining his personal beliefs. 

Lat Blaylock, the National RE Advisor for RE Today said pupils are very aware of the issues around racism as some of them have even experienced it directly. 

"Pupils are very conscious of the multitude of current issues surrounding race, from the Black Lives Matter movement to the concept of Cancel Culture. They often have their own distinct views on these issues and may even have encountered racism first-hand.

"It's the role of teachers to help guide young people through this moral maze and make sense of many of the concepts and terms they come across every day. Often teachers are asked to tackle what can often be difficult and sensitive topics. That's why these resources, which discuss the issues using cultural references that are familiar to pupils, are so vital."

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