Nationwide attention attracted by the toppling of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston’s statue has sparked the creation of a brand new resource for schools – an online workshop called ‘A Tale of Two Statues’ which contrasts the lives of Colston and John Wesley, prominent 18th century anti-slavery campaigner and founder of the Methodist movement.

Available online via the New Room in Bristol, the fully-supported 1.5 hour workshop explores racism and prejudice through the stories of two statues in the same city and challenges students to consider whether religion contributes to racism, to justice and fairness, or both, and also encourages discussion of how communities might become more just.

Aimed at students aged 7-11, this workshop, which was developed in partnership with RE Today, is part of a comprehensive new programme of materials suitable for use by teachers working across key stages 1, 2 and 3.

Mandy Briggs, education officer for the New Room in Bristol, said: “We are very aware of the challenges that schools currently face with regard to Covid-19, and we’ve been trying to think of ways we can help teachers who may be struggling to find alternative ways to bring subjects to life.

“Our new lessons can be delivered online by the New Room’s education team, or safely presented in class for schools in the Bristol region by a visiting member of the team, or – for small groups – through a fully risk-assessed site visit to the New Room, which has been awarded ‘Good To Go’ status regarding COVID-19 safety arrangements.

“We also offer school assembly packages, as well as online lessons or socially-distanced site visits for children’s and youth organisations, Junior Church or Sunday School groups, and invite teachers, head teachers and club leaders to contact us to discuss how we might work together to provide engaging activities during this challenging period.”

Details of the New Room’s new education packages are available from Mandy Briggs by emailing education@newroombristol.org.uk or online here: https://www.newroombristol.org.uk/schools/