How can we talk about terrorism without being frightening or bland?

Security is now, of course, everywhere. Even at the London Book Fair (not necessarily somewhere that you might expect to be targeted by terrorists), policemen with sniffer dogs now patrol the aisles between the stands.

And indeed, by chance, at the last London Book Fair one of the officers stopped by our stand and saw the book aimed at primary school teachers, “Talking about Terrorism”.

His reaction on seeing the book (and I must stress he spoke in a perfectly reasonable way) was “I have an eight year old daughter. I wouldn’t want her teachers teaching her about terrorism.”

And of course that’s a valid point. Just as parents want to monitor and restrict what their children see on TV and on the internet, so you as teachers don’t want them to learn about the harsh realities of the world around us, at least not too soon.

But the terror is real, and one way or another eight year olds will hear about the latest incident, just as adults do. Which means that somehow, as teachers, you need to be able to respond.

Plus you need to know how to respond to some of the suggestions made in relation to terrorism – for example, that events from British history could be classified as terrorism even though they are not normally called that.

These, and many other issues, are extremely difficult to resolve – but I do feel that they need to be considered and presented to children, because if they are not these same children will be getting information and ideas from elsewhere.

And that information may not be nearly as balanced as the information and thoughts that you, as teachers, could provide, even when the subject matter is incredibly challenging.

Which is why we have published “Talking about Terrorism”, the book the police officer saw on our stand.

It is a book which, if you are uncertain about how you should be answering the questions of primary school children concerning terrorism, you may care to look at.  For the book aims to help you formulate your own answers to the questions that children ask.

For more information or to order Talking About Terrorism for just £19.99 as a printed book, £13.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £24.19, visit https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/talking-about-terrorism-740

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Citizenship, Key Stage 2, Radicalisation and Terrorism, Teaching Ideas

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