Religious Education

During this time of global crisis young people may well be questioning their beliefs and ideas about life, death and purpose. Discussing these ultimate questions is central to the study of Religious Education but can also provide a forum for developing SMSC. This lesson explores the idea of suffering, the nature of trauma and how this can challenge faith. With so much concern and focus in schools and communities on mental health, addressing trauma, building resilience and overcoming adversity this lesson aims to work with students in an RE context to explore and discuss the nature of suffering and faith.

This is done by using three short extracts from Tom Palmer’s historical fiction After the War to examine how the character of Yossi – a Jewish boy, struggles with his faith following the traumatic things he witnessed during the Holocaust.

This lesson enables students to approach these extracts with respect and empathy, reflection and hone close-reading skills, whilst also exploring the specific historical context underpinning the extracts and their contemporary relevance today. It also serves to deepen knowledge and understanding of Jewish belief and practice. The lesson is intended for students in Years 7 or 8. It is intended to take approximately 1 hour. The lesson can be divided into two separate lessons if this better suits the learner.

Lesson materials

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