Resources for Schools to help understand Race, Identity and Empathy


This is a complex time for all of us in schools as we make decisions about reopening to more pupils and the unfolding news in the US and the response around the world. Young people we have spoken to from a range of backgrounds have spoken of their anger and confusion. One young person said: ‘The emotions I have personally felt this week include anger, confusion, shame, hypocrisy that this has been going on for so long and suddenly everyone is caring, but shouldn’t this have started beforehand and a mixture of hopelessness and helplessness – feeling what can you really do. I feel so upset because it has made me realise how many people, including people in power, do not stand against racism.’ As a Network our shared commitment is to support schools to help their pupils explore identity, celebrate diversity, promote community and champion equality. We know this includes challenging prejudice in all its forms and promoting active citizenship. We are committed to learning, listening, supporting, reflecting as part of the essential work to create the kind of society where black lives matter. There is no room for complacency. Across The Linking Network we have been thinking about our current response and how best to support pupils, their teachers and families. We continue to share resources on social media that we feel may help teachers find a pathway through and help teachers address students’ current questions and emotions. We are keenly aware that pupils will not be able to access the usual support they receive from teachers through face to face conversations about distressing and difficult issues.

We have gathered an initial list of resources that may be useful.

Teacher Resource 

 Oxfam Controversial Issues teaching resource (This resource seeks to support educators in developing essential skills that allow learners to constructively discuss their own values and ideas and develop as active global citizens.).

Primary Resources 

We feel these resources might be of particular relevance – some are resources we have developed as well as those developed by others:

Secondary Resources 

We feel these resources might be of particular relevance- some have been created by TLN, as well as those created by other organisations:

  • Reflecting on the death of George Floyd and the importance of Human Rights This resource has been designed to support students in reflecting on the Black Lives Matter movement, the death of George Floyd and the importance of human rights for all. It also allows students to reflect on positive ways forward. The resource is available to download as a powerpoint or video to watch and can be shared with students at home to work through individually or in the classroom.
  • Looking after our mental health during Covid. Many students will be finding the current situation very difficult. We created a pdf file which lists the places where students can seek help and support for their mental health.
  • Fake News – Seeing the bigger picture. This resource explores why it is good to be sceptical about what you read on the web. It may be useful in supporting students to check the veracity of the opinions and information they are reading online at the moment. It has been designed as a resource students can access at home and work through independently as well as working well in a classroom.
  • Show Racism the Red Card. The website has a range of resources which can be used in the classroom. This resource on Immigration includes a film exploring immigration.
  • Childline. On their website, Childline have some great resources and information explaining what racism is, how to get support if you’re struggling with the current news or help available if you experience racism or don’t feel safe as well as suggestions on how to help.
  • Identity Pack. This pack includes six sessions based around Schools Linking’s four key questions: Who am I? Who are we? Where do we live? and How do we all live together? The purpose of these lessons is to develop discussion around the concepts of identity, diversity, uniqueness and belonging. This set of lessons is just one way of exploring these discussions.
  • BBC Newsround. This online episode of Newsround looks at the recent events (the death of George Floyd and the subsequent reactions in the US and around the world). It features footage of young people sharing their views. It is currently being updated daily as events progress and includes short video clips, text and links. It would work well for younger secondary students but provides a good basis for students (and adults!) of all ages.