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Same but different workshop

Today we had a workshop with a special lady called Refat.

The children were given a selection of cards to look at in groups. The cards had images on which the children needed to look at and decide what they could see. We looked at optical illusions and it was really interesting to here what the children could see, especially with the blue or gold dress!

The children realised that although we are similar (humans) we all see things differently.
When something is pointed out to you, it is easy to see or to believe. But when we need to find out the true meaning, it is sometimes too time consuming and we believe what others say. It doesn't matter how many times we hear something, it may still not alter our perception. Our perceptions are altered by our emotions - if we are feeling down and someone says something unkind, we can be made to feel extremely upset. However, if we are feeling happy and someone says unkind things, it doesn't effect us as much.

The children were then asked 'what is a terrorist?'. They wrote a definition on a post it note and handed it in. They were then given a sheet of different people. They were asked 'who is the terrorist on the sheet?' The children discussed their thoughts and opinions. It was extremely interesting to hear their views. We discussed the view of 'it cannot be them because they look like a businessman' and 'it must be her because she's covered up her face'.

After break, we identified the people - most of the people were all 'normal' people. Some were victims of war, or terrorist attacks, some were university students, some were parents, some were

They discussed how 'C' was a terrorist - he was a member of the IRA - these people believed that the government did lots of unkind things and they decided that they wanted to get revenge. He was 'The Brighton Bomber' and he was targeting the Prime Minister at the time. The IRA also targeted Manchester in 1996 - the drove a truck near to the Arndale Centre. Luckily no one was killed - but there were lots of injuries, but no deaths.

We then discussed the Manchester Arena Bombing. The bomber was actually like us - he went to school, he had a family, he spent time with his friends. We discussed how our lives affect how we behave and act. Something must have happened for him to decide that it was ok to hurt the people who we are taught to look after. We know that we don't like everyone in the world, and that's ok, but we shouldn't think that it is ever ok to hurt someone. We need to be civil and have a civilised society. In the future, when we have a job, there will always be people who we don't like, or have disagreement with.

From the dreadful events, we did learn a lot about he attacker. But we do not want to focus on him - the one that made an awful decision. We want to focus on those people who helped - those kind and thoughtful human beings. The ones who helped people be safe, opening their doors and welcoming in strangers to ensure that they were safe - the decent ones.

We returned to the people on our sheets - many of the people listed were everyday people with no significant reason than to be anything other than just that and how  our perceptions from what we learn from media and internet sources can affect our perception of someone. Within every group there will be people who are not very nice - this is not because of their group, religion, language, or colour of skin, but because they chose to do unkind things. We need to remember that although there are the odd few who make the wrong choice, there are hundreds and thousands of others who are loving, kind and are waiting to be part of our community.

It was a really informative day focusing on our british values and the wider community! Regal commented on how open and engaged the children were! Well done everyone!

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