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Faith &Belief Forum Schools

The Faith & Belief forum works towards a connected and supportive society where people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures have strong, productive and lasting relations. We are delighted to provide a suite of lesson plans with accompanying films, presentations and worksheets for KS3. Distilling 20 years of The Faith & Belief Forum's knowledge of equipping learners with tools for safe and meaningful dialogue.

The Faith & Belief forum works towards a connected and supportive society where people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures have strong, productive and lasting relations. We are delighted to provide a suite of lesson plans with accompanying films, presentations and worksheets for KS3. Distilling 20 years of The Faith & Belief Forum's knowledge of equipping learners with tools for safe and meaningful dialogue.
Safe Space: 2 The Principle of Respect
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Safe Space: 2 The Principle of Respect

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In the last lesson we created a safe space agreement as a class and discussed why it is important to do this, so we all feel comfortable to share our experiences and views. This lesson we are going to get the opportunity to explore, through a series of activities, the principle of ‘respect’ in more detail. For us to get to know each other it is important we do so in an environment where everyone feels happy and comfortable in being themselves and sharing their thoughts and opinions
Controversial Issues 2: LGBT+ discrimination (Skill: Confidence)
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Controversial Issues 2: LGBT+ discrimination (Skill: Confidence)

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This Lesson 2 uses an LGBT+ topic of your choice (either trans women being excluded from women-only spaces, OR being both an LGBT+ person and a person of faith) to explore the following aspect of controversial issue engagement: To begin with, some issues we shy away from entirely because they are difficult for a number of reasons. We can be unsure of our place to comment, feel like we don’t know enough OR that an issue is too personal, and be unsure how to participate and afraid of the consequences of engagement. This can mean that less meaningful research or discussion around a topic takes place or that conversations get shut down entirely, further clouding it in controversy. Skill: Having the confidence in oneself and one’s position to engage in discussion around a particular controversial issue; knowing what steps one can take to bring about this feeling of confidence.
Identity: 2 Visible and Invisible Identity
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Identity: 2 Visible and Invisible Identity

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This lesson will begin to explore the idea that identity is complex, that it has many layers to it and each person’s identity is a huge part of who they are and what is important to them. Students will learn that there are parts of our identity that are visible to others and parts that are invisible, either because we don’t choose to share them or as simple as they can’t be seen by others.
Identity: 5 Identity Challenges
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Identity: 5 Identity Challenges

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This lesson we’ll be looking at difficulties when different people come together. We’ll also be looking at spaces. Are there conversations or places in which certain aspects of our identities aren’t welcome? Are we responsible for any spaces which dictate which aspects of other people’s identity are welcome and which aren’t? How can we move towards inclusivity – what does it look like and how can we use all the skills learnt so far to ensure it’s being achieved as much as possible, on a continual basis?
Safe Space: 5 ‘I’ is for ‘I’ Statements
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Safe Space: 5 ‘I’ is for ‘I’ Statements

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This lesson is about encouraging your students to dismantle unhelpful modes of engaging in dialogue, I.e. using generalisations to create inaccurate representations of the topic at hand. This lesson will see you steer students to more ultimately helpful ways of expressing their opinions and describing aspects of their identities and lifestyles. In this way they will prevent the perpetuation of stereotypes and misconceptions.
Safe Space: 1 Setting a Safe Space
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Safe Space: 1 Setting a Safe Space

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This lesson is about introducing the students to creating a ‘Safe Space’ where they will explore the importance of creating shared group principles so that everyone feels comfortable. As a framework, creating a Safe Space allows and encourages recognition of topics and themes that might be sensitive, difficult or controversial for an individual, group, class, school or community and develops skills to navigate and address these issues in the classroom and beyond.
Safe Space: 5 ‘O’ is for Oops and Ouch
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Safe Space: 5 ‘O’ is for Oops and Ouch

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This lesson explores a key tool for use when having difficult conversations, or when bringing people together from different backgrounds and lived experiences. As we prepare to move onto the Identity chapter, your students will be able to practice more key skills involved in strengthening the level of respect in a dialogue; Oops teaches empathy, sensitivity, responsibility and self-reflection, while Ouch requires honesty and calls for an awareness of power imbalances. The Oops & Ouch tool comes in use during difficult moments, making space for learning opportunities.
Safe Space: 3 Active Listening
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Safe Space: 3 Active Listening

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This lesson is to explore one of the key principles of Safe Space; ‘Active Listening’, with the students. Giving them opportunities to understand its importance in having a meaningful conversation with others. Active listening refers to making an effort to fully internalise what someone else is saying and reflect before saying a response. There are lots of ways students can learn to show they are doing this.
Safe Space: 4 Dialogue as an aspect of Safe Space
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Safe Space: 4 Dialogue as an aspect of Safe Space

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In this lesson pupils we learn that dialogue is a tool for preventing and resolving conflict. They will identify similarities and differences between each other, recognising themselves in others to help build empathy.
Identity: 6 Identity Stories
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Identity: 6 Identity Stories

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In the last few lessons we have looked at different aspects of our identities and explored differences and similarities among each other. We have also looked at what happens when we meet new people and we reflected on the challenges that might emerge when bringing diverse groups of people together. In this lesson you’ll use your writing skills as a vehicle to celebrate the many aspects of your identity. We will focus on our name and other aspects of our identity as a basis to write poems/prose about our identity, We are a charity and this nominal fee for this resource is a donation and will help support our education work. However we want as many teachers to use our resources and are aware schools are under financial pressure so please contact us info@faithbeliefforum.org.
Identity: 1 What is Identity?
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Identity: 1 What is Identity?

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This lesson is about introducing the concept of identity and exploring what makes up our identity and how it is created. To explore and understand the concept of identity To learn and understand the different things that make up our identity To reflect on what influences our identity and how it is created
Identity: 3 Similarities & Differences
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Identity: 3 Similarities & Differences

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In this lesson we’ll be examining our own identity and the aspects associated with our identity that are most important to us. We will also challenge stereotypes by listening to other’s stories; finding similarities and differences with each other. We are less likely to make assumptions of others when we can understand our differences and find common similarities in what is important to us.
Identity: 4 Encounters and Narratives
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Identity: 4 Encounters and Narratives

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In the last lesson we explored Similarities and Difference, examining our own identity and the aspects associated with our identity that are most important to us. We began to challenge stereotypes by listening to other’s stories in the class and finding similarities and differences with each other. What happens then, when we meet new people? How can we bear all of this in mind and make sure we make full use of the opportunity to learn from them? How can we avoid being hindered by our preconceptions and assumptions? Moreover, how can we articulate who we are to them? How can we encapsulate this complexity and offer an impression of ourselves without relying on, or reducing, our various identities to, stereotypes? How can we sensibly and sensitively navigate the differences we find? And how can we seek out and manage to celebrate commonalities? How can we learn from one another?
Controversial Issues 1: What makes an issue controversial?
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Controversial Issues 1: What makes an issue controversial?

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This introductory lesson uses discussion to explore what some of the factors are which make issues controversial. This lesson serves as a launching pad for exploration of the skills that prove useful when faced with some of these characteristics of controversial issues.
Controversial Issues lesson plan 4: Racism in the UK (Skill: Emotional Intelligence)
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Controversial Issues lesson plan 4: Racism in the UK (Skill: Emotional Intelligence)

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This lesson will be looking at the strong emotions that controversial issues can evoke in us and other people, and all the ways in which these can serve to shut conversation down or make it difficult to engage. Through the topic of being called out for racism, we’ll be looking at developing emotional literacy to help us acknowledge and address what we and others are feeling and ensure that we don’t lose an opportunity to share ideas and learn.
Controversial Issues lesson plan 6:Crime and Rehabilitation (Skill: Flexibility)
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Controversial Issues lesson plan 6:Crime and Rehabilitation (Skill: Flexibility)

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Diversity exists within and across groups – both individuals and groups are complex, therefore issues are too. This lesson looks at what happens when we oversimplify issues and our responses to them. All the factors we have explored so far (issues evoke strong emotions, are often surrounded by misinformation, can expose fundamental differences, etc.) can make it challenging to approach controversial issues with an open mind and with a sense that we are free to change our minds. This can polarize us into ‘camps’ which are hard to deviate from if they are tied up in our identity / notion of loyalty. This means that our own arguments can have weak spots, while we blindly overlook anything of use in a seemingly opposing perspective. Skill: Flexibility – how can we resist the idea of ‘camps’ surrounding a certain issue and open up space for fluidity and complexity?
Controversial Issues lesson plan 5: Do Environmentalists do more harm than good? (Skill: Acceptance)
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Controversial Issues lesson plan 5: Do Environmentalists do more harm than good? (Skill: Acceptance)

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This fifth lesson in the Controversial Issues package, sees students exploring the scenario of discussing an issue with someone from a completely different background. Our own identities, beliefs and backgrounds shape our views and outlooks; these can be vastly different, and this can make reaching common ground feel impossible. Skill: Acceptance, including difference. The aim here is to truly internalise the mantra ‘It’s ok to disagree’ and move towards being open to learning something from people we can’t necessarily agree with.
Controversial Issues lesson plan 3: Does religion unite or divide people? (Skill: critical thinking)
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Controversial Issues lesson plan 3: Does religion unite or divide people? (Skill: critical thinking)

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Having thought about how hard it can be to approach controversial issues, this lesson looks at the challenge of navigating the differing narratives around a certain issue. It explores how critical thinking can be employed to spot biases and harmful agendas in the sources of information we expose ourselves to, as well as to be mindful of our own agendas / influences when seeking out and consuming information. Skill: Critical thinking Spotting our own biases and thinking critically about the media or information we consume; holding assumptions lightly and emphasising nuance.
Free programmes for  London and West Midlands schools!
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Free programmes for London and West Midlands schools!

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We are delighted to announce we have secured funding to provide two free programmes in the London and Birmingham regions! SCHOOL LINKING Our School Linking Programme helps students improve their communication and interfaith skills (critical thinking, empathy, dialogue). It supports schools RE, SMSC and  British Values provision by fostering an understanding and respect for difference amongst students. We offer teachers 2 FREE CPD days, training them to run 3 link days across the academic year with a school from another area/faith/belief/culture. REGISTER NOW WORKSHOPS: Encountering Faiths & Beliefs Our Encountering Faiths & Beliefs workshops bring real-life experiences of faith, belief and identity into the classroom via a panel of trained speakers that students can engage with in an interfaith Q&A. REGISTER NOW