In summer 2019 I attended a seminar at the University of Manchester aimed at teachers of Religious Studies.  At the event we were introduced to an array of resources and asked to email if we created any lesson plans.  Well, better late than never I hope, but I’ve created a lesson utilizing some of these resources.  It’s a bit of a crow-barred lesson in truth as I don’t actually teach Hinduism in any SOW, so I’ve tried to fit it into a Sikhism SOW instead.   

A section of a slide from Matthew’s powerpoint showing the kinds of links that can be created between caste, religion and popular sport and some questions that pupils can engage with

In this lesson I intend to explain how the teachings of Guru Nanak led to Sikhs (theoretically) denouncing the caste system in all of its forms.  I’ve also attempted to link it to the BLM movement as although it’s not specifically about ‘black people,’ I believe the lesson is appropriate as it’s discussing how colonial Britain propagated discrimination which still has considerable consequences today (see links to my favourite sport – cricket!).

I’ve altered the summary of Lakshmibai’s autobiography ever so slightly just so it fits onto three A4 pages and is more accessible to year 8 (12-13 years old) RE students.  I’ve assumed teachers have an element of knowledge regarding the topics and I’ll discuss with them some points I want them to make during the lesson but hopefully you get the gist of how I’ve tried to use the project’s resources.

Finally – I’ve no doubt you’ve forgotten the seminar by now, but thank you for delivering it, I found it extremely interesting and regularly discuss some of the key points I took from it with my students, such as how Christianity is perceived almost entirely through a white-European lens.

It was a real privilege to attend the seminar–the morning session was great and exactly what I hope to attain from a seminar–an element of challenge, resources and ideas all contribute to a sense of enthusiasm and I’ve been wanting to create something ever since.  I also keep meaning to buy Lakshmibai’s biography but haven’t got round to that either – maybe today is the day!

Here is my lesson in a downloadable format!

Matthew Narain, RE teacher, Chapel-en-le-Frith High School

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