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> Resources > CCU - Community Cohesion Materials > CCU - Religious Education > CCU - Religious Education - Resource 1

Resource 1

NATRE - National Association of Teachers of Religious Education Religious Education

Community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism
A resource for teachers to use in the classroom

Resource title
Using Persona Dolls in Religious Education: Introducing children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 to five major world religions
Source: – See details below
Persona Dolls provide an enjoyable, innovative and non-threatening way to encourage young children to respond to those of other religions and races with empathy, respect and sensitivity. In an ideal situation children will meet real people of faith but when this is not feasible, the use of persona dolls makes such 'encounters' available to all.

Extracts from Using Persona Dolls in Religious Education, by Shahne Vickery, published by Jumping Fish (2007) is available for download, reproduced with permission of the author

In discussion activities, the Persona Doll 'whispers' answers to the teacher who speaks for him/her. The skill for the teacher is to have a clear knowledge of the beliefs, practices and family life of the doll they are using. The pack for purchase consists of:
  • A4 loose leaf file explaining the use of Persona Dolls and providing details of the 'persona' of five faith Dolls: Elizabeth – a British West Indian Anglican Christian; Samuel – an orthodox Jew ; Harjeet – a British Asian Sikh; Hasan - a British Asian Muslim; Alka – a British Asian Hindu.
  • Guidance for the teacher about the family life and interests of each 'child' – together with activity details for four themes appropriate to early years RE – Being special, Special People, Special Places and Special times.
  • CD Rom of PowerPoint presentations showing each Doll visiting their place of worship helps make the Doll come alive to the children. Each Doll also has a 'backpack' containing a number of key resources to which children are introduced during activities.
Persona Dolls enable young children to begin to understand that people have different cultures and beliefs and are a natural, child centred way of enabling children to talk and play with 'children' from a range of religions found in Britain today.
Links across other subjects within resource
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning
The early-learning goals – personal, social and emotional development
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