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Recommended resources

For infants and the very young

Picture Books on Death and Bereavement 

Please see Books for Bereaved Children.

Junior Fiction

Annaka Harris (Author), John Rowe (Illustrator) I Wonder (Four Elephants Press, ISBN 1940 05104 5)
Explores feelings of awe and curiosity in children, covering a range of mysteries: from gravity, to life cycles, to the vastness of the universe.

Morris Gleitzman Water Wings (Macmillan, ISBN 0330 35014 5)
About the death of a pet and voluntary euthanasia for Granny.

E B White Charlotte’s Web
and
Dick King-Smith The Sheep-pig (filmed as Babe )
Two entertaining animal stories conveying ideas about friendship and respect for others (and for pigs and spiders).

Terry Pratchett Truckers
A story about little people who live in a department store, containing an element of satire on organised religion.

Terry Pratchett The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (Corgi)
Carnegie prize-winning story about an intelligent talking cat and a group of intelligent talking rats. Gripping and witty, with philosophical elements: the creatures acquire language, learn to read, develop consciences, become aware of consciousness, and begin to think about the big questions: death, ethics, what are we, why are we here?

Shirley Hughes Dogger
(and her other stories for young children)

Jacqueline Wilson Bad Girls
Jacqueline Wilson’s books often deal with sensitive issues for children.

Anne Fine Bill’s New Frock (Mammoth)
An entertaining look at gender.

Dennis Whelehan The Dad Library (Young Corgi)
What sort of dad would you get out of the library if you could choose?

Janine Amos Separations: Death (Cherrytree Books, ISBN 0 7451 5272 4)
Stories, fictional letters and advice about feelings and coping, covering the deaths of a parent, of a sister, of grandparents and pets. Comprehensive enough to include most situations and to make a death in the family seem more normal. Humanist families found it honest, balanced and wise, and a family that had recently experienced the deaths of both grandmothers thought that it would have been very helpful at the time for their 10 and 12 year old children. A humanist head teacher found it “appropriate and sensitive” and liked its emphasis on continuity and moving on.

Juliet Rothman A Birthday Present for Daniel (Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-57392-054-1)
This story of a little girl whose brother has died is intended for children aged 8-12, generally liked by humanist parents, but with were some reservations: “A difficult subject handled very well and movingly”, “Honest and direct but the ending is a little contrived and I’m not sure about birthday parties for dead relatives.” A humanist primary head teacher thought it would help children to empathise with others and to think about their own feelings in an honest and unsentimental way.

Philip Pullman His Dark Materials: Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass (Scholastic / David Fickling Books)
An excellent and absorbing trilogy for older juniors and upwards (including adults). An imaginative and humanistic story of growing up, with elements of mythology, fantasy and magic, philosophy and theology. Organised religion is not treated kindly.

Primary, Non-Fiction


Guide to Selecting Plays (Samuel French Ltd, 52 Fitzroy Street , London  W1P 6JR , phone: 0171 387 9373)
A list of plays, with sections on children’s plays, and Christmas plays and pantomimes. Brief descriptions, with cast and set requirements. A good place to start looking for an alternative to the nativity play, though they do not offer much guidance on age suitability.

Understanding Humanism has multiple resources suitable for KS1 & 2 . Introductory information about Humanism and activities for teachers and pupils, photocopiable.

PSHE & Citizenship

You, me, us! (Citizenship Foundation) Free
Stories and suggestions for activities and discussions designed to encourage thinking about moral and social values in the primary school. Excellent materials, all photocopiable – every school should have one.

Dan Barker Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-731-0)
Andrea learns some moral principles and to respect human rights. US import, didactic, but highly recommended by humanist parents. For age 7+.

Roz Bayley & Lynn Broadbent Growing up today (Harlequin Educational Publishers)Series of photocopiable activities and notes for teachers for KS1 PSHE, some based on familiar fiction. Titles include Dealing with problems, Relationships, Understanding Feelings, People and Communities.

Susan Hill Games That Work (Eleanor Curtain Publishers, ISBN 1-875327-16-9)
Dozens of co-operative games for primary age children.

Barry Miller & Trish Miller That’s not fair! (RMEP ISBN 1 85175 018 5)
Don’t be put off by the fact that RMEP publish mainly religious books – this is definitely secular and humanist in its approach to moral issues for the primary and middle school. Stories, games, teachers’ notes, photocopiable activities about friendship and empathy, justice, promise keeping, respect for others, community, rules – excellent value.

Evolution for Beginners 

Robert Winston Evolution Revolution (Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 978-1-40533-719-9)
Beautifully illustrated and highly informative.

Laurence Pringle Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution (Boyds Mills Press, 978-1-59078-723-6) Aimed at 9  – 12 year olds, this is a beautifully illustrated and highly informative book.

Mary and John Gribbin Time and the Universe (Hodder)
Winner of the TES Junior Information Book Award.

Eric Madden & Leo Duff Earth Story (Frances Lincoln, ISBN 0-7112-1312-7)
Beautifully illustrated, the true story of how the world began, from the big bang to the first stirrings of life. The author manages to be simple, accurate, and poetic. Also by the same authors, Life Story, about the beginnings of life.

Neil Morris First Book of Long Ago (Dempsey Parr, ISBN 1-84084-046-3)
Excellent value at £6.99 for a large hard-back full of colour illustrations. It covers first life to early man clearly and accurately, with explanations of new words and activities to undertake.

Martin Palmer and Esther Bisset Worlds of Difference (Thomas Nelson / WWF, + Teachers’ book)
Aimed at 7-14 year olds, this is a selection of belief systems, including beliefs about creation, with an excellent chapter on the humanist world view. Well presented, probably best suited to KS2.

David Walker A Leaf in Time (Portland Press , ISBN 1855780976)
One of the Making Sense of Science series, about the evolution and importance of plant life. Suitable for 5-8 year olds and recommended by New Scientist .

Eyewitness Guides: Evolution ( Dorling Kindersley)
Like all this series, clear, scientifically accurate, and well illustrated. Useful for a wide age range, an essential for the library.

Phil Gates Evolve or Die (Hippo Horrible Science series, ISBN 0-590-54282-6) For slightly older children, an entertaining but accurate, approach to evolution by natural selection, illustrated with good jokey cartoons .

Thinking Skills

Ian Gilbert Little Owl’s Book of Thinking (Crown House Publishing, www.crownhouse.co.uk ) An introduction to thinking skills through stories in which Big Owl teaches Benny the owlet about flying and leaving the nest, catching mice, being different … The stories are short and simple (and didactic) enough for quite young children but fairly demanding in terms of vocabulary and concept. Any book that introduces children to the idea that “an unexamined life is not worth living” (attributed to a wise Mediterranean owl who lived 1000s of years ago) must be a good thing. Excellent for reading aloud and discussing.

Robert Fisher Stories for Thinking (Nash Pollock ISBN 1 898 255 09 1)
30 multi-cultural stories for 7-11 year olds with discussion plans and thinking activities and a useful chapter for teachers introducing the idea of philosophy for children. Topics include happiness, anger , beauty, personal identity. Could be used in class or for assemblies – well worth £9.99. Also by Robert Fisher and worth looking at: Poems for Thinking; Games for Thinking; Pictures for Thinking.

Stephen Law The Philosophy Files (Dolphin, ISBN 1 85881 790 0)
An excellent introduction to philosophy for children (top KS2 upwards) presents all the important questions in an easy to read and entertaining way that should get readers excited about ideas and thinking critically. Cartoons, visitors from outer space, arguments between friends written in everyday language, all help to make the big ideas accessible – Is there a God? Where do right and wrong come from? How do you know your parents really exist? Should you eat meat?

Despite the large number of books (and television programmes) which describe ghosts and hauntings and other paranormal events, there seems to be very little published here to counter this steady diet of superstition. So the titles which follow are American imports, useful but expensive (about £8 – £10 for paperbacks) and perhaps a bit American for some tastes:

John C Clayton Alexander Fox and the Amazing Mind Reader (Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-57392-221-8)
Alexander, who believes in thinking for himself, is unconvinced by the “psychic” Mr Mystikos and decides to investigate… Ages 8+.

Joe Nickell The Magic Detectives (Prometheus Books ISBN 0-87975-547-4)
Thirty cases of the paranormal for the reader to examine and solve by looking carefully at the evidence, guided by the principle that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” Intended for 9-14 year olds, but very popular with humanist adults.

Hy Ruchlis How do you know it’s true? (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87075-657-8)
Subtitled “Discovering the difference between science and superstition”, this is a book which will encourage critical thinking and a respect for empirical science in 11-14 year olds by introducing them to the fundamentals of astronomy, probability theory and statistics.

Philip Klass Bringing UFOs Down to Earth (Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-57392-148-3)
Debunking and useful, for 9+.

Joe Nickell Wonderworkers (How They Perform the Impossible) (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-688-8)
Some mysteries demystified – how some well known psychics, mediums and magicians did it. For 9+, with notes for teachers at the end.

Dan Barker Maybe Yes, Maybe No (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-607-1)
A guide for young skeptics, highly recommended by humanist parents. Through the story of ten year old Andrea, who is always asking questions, children of 8+ learn to check things out, look for proof, think for themselves.

Secondary Resources for teaching about Science, Humanism and Ethics 

Science and Scientific Method (for non-specialists)
Phil Gates Evolve or Die (Hippo Horrible Science series, ISBN 0-590-54282-6)
For upper junior and lower secondary, an entertaining but accurate, approach to evolution by natural selection, illustrated with good jokey cartoons.

Eyewitness Guides: Evolution (Dorling Kindersley)
Like all this series, clear, scientifically accurate, and well illustrated. Useful for a wide age range.

Heather Coupar and Nigel Henbest Big Bang (Dorling Kindersley)
Winner of the TES Senior Information Book Award. Demanding, but clear and beautifully illustrated. KS3-4. Also by the same authors and from Dorling Kindersley: Is Anybody Out There?; Black Holes; To the Ends of the Universe.

Jacob Bronowski The Ascent of Man
and
David Attenborough Life on Earth
Both well known, based on BBC series, suitable for KS3 – 4 upwards.

Melvyn Bragg On Giants’ Shoulders (Hodder & Stoughton)
An enthusiastic history of science, focusing on twelve great scientists who helped to change our view of the world. Based on the Radio 4 programme, but expanded. KS4 upwards.

Carl Sagan Billions and Billions (Headline, ISBN0 780747 220268)
The eminent American scientist and humanist’s final collection of essays. The last one is a moving reflection on facing death as Sagan describes his struggle with bone marrow disease.
Buy it here.

John Gribbin Almost Everyone’s Guide to Science (Weidenfield & Nicolson)
“A breathtaking overview of physics, chemistry, earth sciences and biology, put together with consummate skill … full of memorable insights.” ( TES , Sept 98). A guide for the scientific novice – concepts are clearly explained with liberal use of careful definitions and analogy. One reviewer criticised the lack of illustrations.

Joe Nickell The Magic Detectives (Prometheus Books ISBN 0-87975-547-4)
Thirty cases of the paranormal for the reader to examine and solve by looking carefully at the evidence, guided by the principle that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” Intended for 9-14 year olds, but also very popular with humanist adults.

Hy Ruchlis How do you know it’s true? (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87075-657-8)
Subtitled “Discovering the difference between science and superstition”, this is a book which will encourage critical thinking and a respect for empirical science in 11-14 year olds by introducing them to the fundamentals of astronomy, probability theory and statistics.

Philip Klass Bringing UFOs Down to Earth (Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-57392-148-3)
Debunking and useful for younger secondary pupils.

Joe Nickell Wonderworkers (How They Perform the Impossible) (Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-688-8)
Some mysteries demystified – how some well known psychics, mediums and magicians did it. Intended for 9-14 year olds, with notes for teachers at the end.

Humanism and Ethics

BHA briefings for older students
One or two page photocopiable handouts, which can be downloaded and printed from the Understanding Humanism website.  They give a humanist perspective on a range of religious, social and moral issues, and are suitable for teachers and KS4 RE, or A Level RE, Science, Philosophy or General Studies students. Teachers, examiners and advisers are welcome to ask the Education Officer to prepare new briefings for particular course or syllabus requirements.

BHA briefings for younger pupils
One or two page photocopiable handouts for KS2-3, which can be downloaded and printed from the Understanding Humanism website. There is also some general guidance for teachers on this page. Teachers are welcome to ask the Education Officer to prepare new briefings for particular course or syllabus requirements.

BHA leaflets on weddings, funerals and baby namings
These are useful resources for projects on rites of passage, to compare with those of the major religions (free). Books also available – see general publications list. See also POSTERS.

Ed Margaret Knight, revised by Jim Herrick The Humanist Anthology (RPA)
Insights from some of the world’s great thinkers, from Confucius to the present day, an excellent source of quotations and inspirational readings for the humanist. Buy it here.

Nigel Bruce A Student’s Guide to Secular Humanism (Humanist Society of Scotland, 1999, ISBN 0-9518219-1-1 from HSS Education, 11a Strathkinness High Road, St Andrews Fife, KY16 9UA, tel: 01334 475501, or email to order.)
Clearly presented outline of humanist thought, written for Scottish schools’ RMPS, but also useful for KS4+ in England and Wales.

Barbara Smoker Humanism (BHA)
New edition (1998) of a popular book, an excellent clear introduction to all aspects of Humanism – its history, philosophy and organisation. Suitable for adults as well as school students, 72 pages, illustrated, very readable. Buy it here.

Humanist Philosophers’ Group What is Humanism? (BHA)
A clear and useful introduction to the philosophical aspects for teachers and older students. Buy it here

Richard Norman On Humanism (Routledge, 2004)
A well written defence of Humanism by a philosopher, for teachers and older students.
Buy it here.

English Literature

Many authors and texts studied in schools, particularly for GCSE and A Level, have humanistic themes. Teachers or students who would like a handout on any frequently taught text are welcome to contact Humanists UK . Examples: Shakespeare, E M Forster, Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, To Kill a Mockingbird, G B Shaw, Arthur Miller, George Orwell, J B Priestley, Thomas Hardy.

E M Forster What I Believe and other essays, edited with an introduction by Nicolas Walter (BHA)
includes An Alternative in Humanism and How I Lost my Faith. Buy it here.

RE, General Studies, PSHE and Citizenship   

Martin Palmer and Esther Bisset Worlds of Difference (Thomas Nelson / WWF, + Teachers’ book)
Aimed at 7-14 year olds, this is a selection of belief systems, including beliefs about creation, with an excellent chapter on the humanist worldview. Well presented, probably best suited to KS2.

Stand up for your rights ( Twocan)
An illustrated guide to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by children for children.

Anita Ganeri & Christine Roche What’s the Big Idea? (Hodder, ISBN 0 340 66719 2)
A lively paperback with lots of cartoons, with a page on humanism, agnosticism, and atheism. Not very informative, but fairly accurate and entertaining. KS3.

Donna Brandes The Gamesters’ Handbooks, 1,2 & 3 (Stanley Thornes)
Dozens of games designed to develop self awareness, assertiveness, confidence, decision making skills etc., for all kinds of lessons and time slots, but particularly useful for PSHE.

Owen Cole Spirituality in Focus (Heinemann, ISBN 0 435 30245 0)
Contains a good chapter on Humanism by John White. KS3-4.

Ina Taylor The Time of Your Life (Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0 340 72546-X)
A balanced approach to the rituals and beliefs that mark important stages of life. Each section describes religious ceremonies and beliefs, but also looks at alternative and secular ones, and asks some pertinent questions in the “What do you think?” and “Things to do” sections.

Issues ( Independence Educational Publishers, Cambridge)
Regularly updated photocopiable resource books on moral and social issues, with accompanying study guides Exploring the Issues ). Each volume contains a varied selection of information and opinions, mainly in the form of articles from newspapers and journals and briefings from interest groups, including Humanists UK . Suitable for KS4 and 16+ RE, PSHE and General Studies.

Ed Lat Blaylock Dilemmas and Decisions (CEM)
48 moral problems for discussion and debate, for 13 – 18 year olds, presented in the form of a game a bit like Scruples. Dilemmas are realistic and mostly everyday ones: whether to give money to a beggar; what to do about a gay friend; consumer and employment choices. Others are less everyday but just as provocative: Would you eat another person if that was your only way to survive on a desert island? Would you get involved in terrorism for a good cause? Good stimulus material.

Jeremy Weate, illustrated by Peter Lawman A Young Person’s Guide to Philosophy (Dorling Kindersley)
An excellent introduction to some of the big questions through the ideas of famous philosophers, presented in a clear, chatty style. Not at all intimidating, useful for a wide age range.

Ed Jo Fageant & Lat Blaylock Faith in the Future (PCfRE, ISBN 1-851000-136-0)
An anthology of pupils’ writing on a variety of religious themes, collected during the National RE Festival, 1997. Includes a range of viewpoints, including a few atheists, agnostics and humanists – useful as starting points for discussion.

Jeremy Hayward, Gerald Jones and Marilyn Mason Exploring Ethics (John Murray, ISBN 07195 71812)
Photocopiable learning activities, with useful glossary and notes, introducing values and ethical concepts to students through games, role play and discussion. Useful for 16+ / KS 4, in any subject where moral values are an issue. “Timely, useful and lively in getting pupils to think critically and morally.” (Bernard Crick)

Stephen Law The Philosophy Files (Dolphin, ISBN 1 85881 790 0)
An excellent introduction to philosophy for children (top KS2 upwards) presents all the important questions in an easy to read and entertaining way that should get readers excited about ideas and thinking critically. Cartoons, visitors from outer space, arguments between friends written in everyday language, all help to make the big ideas accessible – Is there a God? Where do right and wrong come from? How do you know your parents really exist? Should you eat meat?

Ted Huddlestone and Don Rowe Good Thinking 1,2, and 3 (Citizenship Foundation, 2000)
Lesson plans and photocopiable activities for education for citizenship and moral responsibility for pupils from KS3 – KS5. Excellent introductions to the skills and understanding underpinning moral education.

Alastair Gunn For and Against (Classroom Resources, PO Box 1489, Bristol BS99 3QJ,http://www.classroom-resources.co.uk/ , Secondary English, Item 5103)
A new 80-page booklet giving ‘for and against’ positions on 25 issues including Atheism is the only sensible belief, Religion must be banned from Government schools , and There is a right to die.

Audio-Visual Aids

CD-ROM

Living without God (ISBN 1902540069, I-Seek Limited, PO Box 1015, Yateley, Hampshire GU46 7ZR)
Everything you need to know about Humanism, atheism and agnosticism, produced with assistance from Humanists UK and featuring humanists talking about their beliefs. One of a series “Living Religions”, attractively presented and user-friendly for a wide range of ages, but especially useful for KS4 / KS5. Available from Humanists UK – Buy it here.

Videos / DVDs    

The Great Detective Story (BHA – Buy it here. )
A 20 minute introduction to the beliefs and views of humanists, with Jaye Griffiths, George Melly and Claire Rayner, and footage from a humanist wedding and funeral. Suitable for KS3 – 4.

Why Atheism? (DVD / Video, Team Video, www.team-video.co.uk ) – very useful stimuli for discussion, with teachers’ notes. In 6 short films: atheists of all ages and from many cultures talk about their beliefs about “leaving God”, birth, marriage and death, and life in Belfast; students “defend the faith”; and Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen discuss atheism. Click here for a flier For a version without the teacher notes buy it here.

Why Morality? ( Team Video, www.team-video.co.uk )
Gives atheists and humanists (represented by poet Michael Rosen and ex Humanists UK Executive Director Robert Ashby) a very fair hearing, though doesn’t really answer the question.

Charles Darwin – His Life, Journeys and Discoveries (English Heritage, 1999, product code ZT14087, phone 01536 533500 to order or request catalogue)
A sound introduction for secondary age children to Darwin and his impact. Though it shows rather more than one might want of Down House (only to be expected from its source) and is rather dependent on stills for much of its visual material, it does nevertheless give a good account of Darwin’s life and ideas, and comments on their contemporary and lasting impact from Richard Dawkins and several theologians.

Speaking for Ourselves (RMEP, ISBN 1-85175-256-0)
BHA member John White appears in this video, which features members of various faith groups talking about their beliefs and practices, and includes a teachers’ guide. A useful resource for teaching KSs 3 and 4 about diversity.

BHA colour posters on celebrations , £1.50 each or £5.00 per set:
Everyone celebrates living together – weddings
Everyone celebrates living together – the UN
Everyone celebrates new beginnings 
– baby namings
When people die we can celebrate their lives …

Speakers and Visits  

Speakers 
Humanists UK may be able to provide a speaker for your school or conference. These can be ceremony officiants, members of your local humanist group, or the trained humanist school volunteer . Other humanistic organisations such as Amnesty International, the United Nations Association, or the Council for Education in World Citizenship may also be able to provide useful speakers on issues such as human rights and our common humanity.

Or if you can’t find a live humanist speaker…
Why Atheism? (DVD / Video, Team Video, www.team-video.co.uk ) –  atheists of all ages and from many cultures talk about their beliefs about “leaving God”, birth, marriage and death, and life in Belfast; students “defend the faith”; and Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen discuss atheism.

Visits
As Humanism does not have places of worship or sacred sites, it is difficult to recommend visits, though an outing to a natural history museum or Charles Darwin’s house at Down in Kent would supplement teaching about evolution and human origins. (Visits to Down House need to be pre-booked.) The British  Museum or the Commonwealth Institute can be useful to demonstrate cultural diversity and common humanity .

Background reading for Students and Teachers

Several very clear and readable introductions to many of the key questions in Philosophy and Ethics:
   Nigel Warburton Philosophy: The Basics (Routledge)

   Simon Blackburn Think   (OUP)

   Simon Blackburn Being Good (OUP)

   Thomas Nagel What does it all mean? (OUP)

Professor Robert Hinde CBE FRS Religion and Darwinism (BHA booklet)
An important and readable analysis of religion and morality from an evolutionary viewpoint. Buy it here.

Peter Vardy The Puzzle of Ethics (Fount – HarperCollins ISBN 0 00 627701 2)
Vardy gives a readable account of the major theories and asks some probing questions without displaying any religous bias.

Stephen Law The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking
(Headline)
“A vivid,enlightening introduction to clear thinking” Philip Pullman
Buy it here

Mary Warnock An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Ethics (Duckworth, ISBN 0 7156 2841 0)
Clearly written, humanist in outlook (though it never mentions the word), and an excellent introduction to the subject, well suited to sixth formers.

Richard Robinson An Atheist’s Values – long out of print, this excellent defence of humanist morality and critique of “Christian values” can be read at http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/athval0.htm

Paul Selfe & Mark Starbuck Religion (Hodder & Stoughton Access to Sociology series, ISBN 0 340 71182 5)
Aimed at A Level Sociology students, a good general introduction for anyone interested in the sociology of religion; includes a chapter on secularisation.

Simon Hoggart & Mike Hutchinson Bizarre Beliefs (Richard Cohen Books, ISBN 1 86066 022 3)
Rational and scientific explanations for many current irrational beliefs: from corn circles to clairvoyance, hypnotism to faith healing – invaluable ammunition for the sceptic. Every school library should have a copy.

Theodore Schick, Jr & Lewis Vaughn How to Think About Weird Things (Mcgraw Hill, ISBN0 7674 2048 9)
Excellent accessible and persuasive course in applied theory of knowledge and informal logic, reminding us of how we know things, the difference between knowledge and belief, and the questions we should ask ourselves when faced with phenomena that contradict what we think we know about the world.

Richard Holloway Godless Morality (Canongate, 1999, ISBN 0 86241 909 3)
The former Bishop of Edinburgh writes about the necessity of keeping religion out of ethics. “Lucid, convincing and manifestly compassionate, everyone ought to read this book,” Mary Warnock .

Julian Baggini Making Sense (Oxford,   2002, ISBN 0-19-280339-5, hb)
The editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine explores the “philosophy behind the headlines”, examining news stories for the philosophical issues they throw up: the problem of knowledge; ethics and privacy; the morality of war; faith and reason, and so on. Clearly written for the general reader, this would be an excellent Citizenship and General Studies resource for teachers and Sixth Formers .
Buy it here.

Julian Baggini Atheism – a Very Short Introduction   (Oxford)
A robust and entertaining defence of atheism and atheistic (humanist) ethics. Challenging for some?
Buy it here.

Colin Swatridge General Studies – an A Level Coursebook (Collins Educational ISBN 0 00 322413 9)
Very superficial, as one might expect of a book which crams all human knowledge into 150 or so pages – but also very even-handed in its consideration of topics like religion, medicine, the universe, giving the rational secular view its full weight, though never mentioning humanism except in references to Erasmus and More.

Journals

All these below are readable journals, the first American and devoted to scepticism about everything which can be doubted, the second British and similar, if a little less academic in substance and tone; The Philosophers’ Magazine is a lively magazine, aimed at the general reader with an interest in philosophical issues, and Philosophy Now is also a readable introduction to current philosophical thinking aimed at non-specialists. Think has a bias towards critical thinking. All good resources for (Sixth Form) students and teachers.

Skeptical Enquirer

The Skeptic (Details from PO Box 475, Manchester, M60 2TH)

Dialogue (Subscription details from John Waters, 53 Richmond Wood Road, Queen’s Park, Bournemouth, BH8 9DQ, 01202 530569)
Journal for A Level RS and Philosophy students, very accessible. Article on Humanism in Summer 1999 .

For Teachers

Dr Mike Newby’s guide to the use of story in spiritual and moral development 
(A4 booklet, 40+pp, BHA)
Thinking about actions, attitudes and values in the classroom: a list of fiction suitable for teaching about moral and spiritual isssues to KSs1,2 and younger secondary pupils, with brief descriptions, analysed by theme and content. Compiled by a humanist teaching RE in the Education Department of Kingston University, an excellent resource for teachers or parents.

Jeremy Hayward, Gerald Jones and Marilyn Mason Exploring Ethics (John Murray, ISBN 07195 71812)
Photocopiable learning activities, with useful glossary and notes, introducing values and ethical concepts to students through games, role play and discussion. Useful for KS5 / 4, in any subject where moral values are an issue. “Timely, useful and lively in getting pupils to think critically and morally.” (Bernard Crick, Professor Emeritus, Birkbeck College).

Ed Ben Rogers Is Nothing Sacred? (Routledge)
Philosophers discuss whether ideas of the sacred or spiritual can mean anything to the non-religious.
Buy it here.

Eric Matthews The Challenge of Secular Humanism (Humanist Society of Scotland, 26 Inverleith Row, EDINBURGH, EH3 5QH)
A philosopher explains Humanism very clearly and makes a good case for including it, or the philosophical way of thinking it embodies, in RE.

Anne Thomson Critical Reasoning in Ethics (Routledge)
A practical introduction to thinking about ethics requiring no prior knowledge, with some stimulating and useful exercises and discussion material. Use with 16+.

John Foster Viewpoints (Collins Educational, ISBN 0 00 320190 2)
A photocopiable resource pack on 10 contemporary issues, useful for PSE or General Studies, giving a wide range of viewpoints, mostly from the broadsheet newspapers; includes two pieces from Humanists UK, on euthanasia and homosexuality.

Ed. Lat Blaylock and Colin Johnson A Teacher’s Handbook of Religious Education (CEM, 1 85100 099 2)
A useful handbook for any RE department or SACRE, particularly notable for a good 2 pages on “Approaching non-religious ethical life-stances” which acknowledges that many students do not identify with religious faith and that secular ethics have a place in RE.

Michael Palmer Moral Problems (Lutterworth, ISBN 0 7188 2791)
A course book for 16+, an excellent collection of primary sources, including extracts from many famous philosophers, with useful commentary and questions for General Studies, RE, Philosophy.

Owen Cole & Judith Evans-Lowndes Religious Education in the Primary Curriculum (RMEP, ISBN 1 85175 039 8)
A book which would encourage reflection and good practice amongst RE teachers in primary schools, often non-specialists and or non-believers. The book acknowledges and respects non-believing teachers and pupils, and offers much sensible advice on strategies and activities.

Re-collection (from the Worlds of Belief series, CEM, ISBN 0 1332 296655)
A 32-page booklet to accompany a BBC schools television programme, but also useful as a resource on the responses of 6 major faiths, including Humanism, to issues such as life and death, racism, love and marriage.

Assemblies

Ideas for inclusive assemblies – advice and suggested starting points for humanist assemblies, a list of useful anniversaries and events, and lots of recommended resources .

BHA briefing for teachers on collective worship – a statement of the current legal position, Humanists UK policy, and suggestions for teachers involved in taking assemblies.

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