As we start the month of Ramadan, it’s important for schools think about how they will support Muslim students and staff and recognise an important month for all Muslims. This post aims to share reflections schools should make to ensure that Ramadan is approached considerately and resources schools can use to engage students (and staff!) in learning about and celebrating Ramadan.
Some general considerations that may be useful, include:
- recognising that Muslims are a hugely heterogenous group and therefore not all Muslims observe Ramadan in the same way. Schools and staff must be very sensitive to this and recognise there is not a one-size-fit-all response to supporting Muslim students and staff;
- for schools where Muslim students are a small minority, considering that they might not want to be singled out in anyway and instead, approach them sensitively and discretely in relation to their needs during Ramadan;
- being considerate of/ adapting activities for fasting students in subjects like PE and food technology;
- making sure students and families know they are entitled to a holiday for Eid and are able to complete any requests to do so beforehand;
- ensuring that those observing have access to (and are aware of) a room to pray and wash beforehand and they can do so at prescribed times;
- reflecting on class content and school activities and whether they are inclusive for Muslim families and also sensitive to the religious month (perhaps delaying sports days; arranging parent evenings so they don’t clash with breaking their fast; and postponing sex education until after Ramadan).
Advice & Guidance:
- Shuaib Khan, a teacher and host of the anti-small talk podcast has written this fantastic blog explaining what Ramadan means and includes, in addition to outlining some considerations schools should make for Muslim staff and students.
- TES have also written an article on steps schools can take to support Muslim students.
- Hackney Services for Schools wrote this this useful guide for schools for 2020.
- The Muslim Parents Association has also developed a guide for schools available here.
- Lewisham Council has this advice document from 2019 with important points.
- Bradford Council’s Ramadan advice for schools from 2017 is here.
- The BBC have developed an article and a video explaining Ramadan to children.
Resources and Activities:
- A compilation of different art and craft activities related to Ramadan is available here with information detailing how they are linked to the celebration.
- A list of different recipes for Ramadan is here.
- Abed Ahmed, a teacher with the twitter handle @stammer_teacher has also generously allowed us to share the his powerpoint for a Ramadan ”Deed of the Day” which encourages all students to engage in a different act of kindness and charity each day in recognition of Ramadan. A really lovely idea!
- “Hannah and the Ramadan Gift” (Qasim Rashid)
- “It’s Ramadan, Curious George” (H. A. Rey)
- “Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story” (Reem Faquri)
- “The Gift of Ramadan” (Rabiah York Lumbard)
- “Ramadan Around the World” (Nada Hassan)
- “Under the Ramadan Moon” (Sylvia Whitman)
If you have developed other resources, or think we’re missing something from our advice please get in touch with Megan at [email protected] to share!