Stepping Stones: building school capacity to resist radicalisation

Course summary: This one-day workshop builds the capacity of both staff and children to resist radicalisation by exploring feelings of discrimination, victimisation and alienation in a safe space with no religious context, and by promoting community cohesion and cross-cultural understanding

Trainers: Michael Hallett and Emily Garratt

Course content:

This course has three main sections:

  • A staff session that explores the process of radicalisation as a sequence of stages identifiable by specific emotions, and provides an opportunity for staff to explore tools to facilitate discussions with pupils
  • Little Decisions, Big Consequences — a class role-play workshop that shows children how anti-social reactions may lead to radicalisation while pro-social actions lead to a stronger sense of identity, a recognised place in the community and greater access to avenues of social justice
  • The Sultan’s Turret — an interactive workshop exploring the role of different cultures in the history of science and mathematics, and how scientific knowledge spread across cultures to the benefit of humanity

Intended course outcomes:

  • Build staff capacity to assess and assist children that may be at risk
  • Assist pupils to develop their emotional vocabulary
  • Help pupils recognise the long-term consequences of short-term decisions
  • Develop pupils’ resilience, community cohesion and cross-cultural understanding
  • Aid schools to meet requirements under SMSC, PSHE, Citizenship and the Prevent duty
  • Provide links to the national curriculum for on-going activities

Venue: In school

Who is it for? This course is for teachers and teaching assistants who work with pupils who may be at risk of radicalisation

Course structure:

This course begins with interviews with selected teachers and pupils to explore the school’s current capacity for resisting radicalisation, the tools available to the school and its level of emotional vocabulary around radicalisation.

Staff session:

The staff session takes teachers through the emotional stages of radicalisation using the role-play exercise Little Decisions, Big Consequences (see below). The staff session ends with a discussion of the various ways this course links into the curriculum, allowing schools to build on the coursework.

Pupil session 1: Little Decisions, Big Consequences:

The first student workshop, Little Decisions, Big Consequences breaks radicalisation down into eight clearly defined stages, each of which is associated with a specific emotion. This role-play exercise presents students with scenarios around discrimination, frustration and victimisation. Students are asked how the scenarios make them feel and how they respond. As a role-play, students can reply either for themselves or as an imagined character, creating the space for a wider and safer exploration of emotional situations. The exercise shows how differing responses may lead either towards or away from community cohesion, with little decisions having major long-term consequences.

Pupil Session 2: The Sultan’s Turret:

In the second workshop, pupils join the presenter on a world tour through time to witness how different cultures have contributed to the development of science and mathematics and provided a base for later discoveries. The key figure here is the brilliant 9thCentury Islamic mathematician al-Khwarizmi.

The course concludes with follow-up teacher and pupil interviews to determine the increase in the school’s capacity to resist radicalisation and the improved emotional vocabulary of both staff and pupils.

For further details, including the cost, please contact:

Community Learning, The Rivers Centre, Trent Road, West Bletchley MK3 7PH Tel 01908 270409

Stepping Stones was jointly developed by Michael Hallett and the Milton Keynes Council Ethnic Minority Achievement (EMA) team.