Children's questions about terrorism can be penetrating and hard to answer. Why do they hate us? How does someone become a terrorist? Will they plant bombs in our city? many teachers (and parents) will be caught unawares by such questions, uncertain themselves about terrorist motivation and goals and torn between the natural instinct to reassure and the awareness that Britain is on continuous terrorist alert.
Since the attacks in Tunisia, Paris and Brussels, and with regular news headlines about teenagers leaving Britain to join ISIS, children as young as 7 are aware of terrorism. They have questions to which they expect answers, and teachers need resources to help them respond.
The Prevent strategy urges schools to create 'safe spaces' for the discussion of controversial issues. With Ofsted inspections evaluating their efforts in this regard, primary schools are being placed under increasing pressure to teach about terrorism.
Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint are following up their highly successful 'Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Teacher's Handbook for Addressing Extremism' with a brand new resource book for teachers of 7-11 year olds. Structured in a question and answer format, 'Talking About Terrorism: Responding to Children's Questions' will help teachers to face the most difficult questions children ask. Parents will also find it invaluable.
Aimed at meeting the needs of lower and upper KS2, the book includes a full range of classroom activities including brain storming, group discussions, role play, hot seating, responding to visual stimuli and evaluation, together with a guidance section for teachers.
Alison Jamieson is a freelance author, writing on issues of political violence, drug traffi cking and organised crime for over 25 years. She has worked as consultant to the United Nations Offi ce on Drugs and Crime, served on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (published by Taylor & Francis) from 1992-2010 and has published four books on terrorism for the educational market (with Brilliant Publications, Wayland Publishing and Arcturus/Franklin Watts). Jane Flint is a primary school teacher, whose experience teaching a predominantly Muslim class in Beeston, Leeds at the time of the 2005 London bombings was an inspiration for the books.