“With the increased use of the internet in classrooms, teachers now have unprecedented access to a whole range of resources to help with delivering the curriculum. While there is plenty of content available to access, teachers come to the BBC because we are a trusted brand and recognised provider of quality teaching resources. We wish to build on our reputation with BBC Teach, a new and exciting platform for schools and teachers.
BBC Teach aims to support teachers by curating the best of BBC videos, clips and other curriculum-related resources for use in the classroom. The BBC Teach brand is a dedicated teaching resource site hosted on YouTube.”
Along with lots of other material, the BBC Teach website currently offers a new series titled “A to Z of Religions and Beliefs” that is described as “an animated A to Z guide exploring and introducing a variety of religious topics for students aged 11 – 14”.
One would of course expect material touted as “quality teaching resources” produced by a self-described “trusted brand” to take particular care to be accurate and impartial and to refrain from propagating archaic religious stereotypes. That, however, is not the case in all the videos in that series.
In the video titled “J is for Jesus“, the target audience of 11 to 14 year-olds is told that the Jews:
“…turned against him [Jesus] and had him executed by the Romans; nailed to a cross.”
The video titled “T is for Temples” tells viewers that:
“Centuries later the Jewish people were able to rebuild, only to have the Second Temple destroyed by the Roman as punishment for a rebellion. But a small part – the Western Wall – still stands and it is the most sacred place for Jewish people.”
The Western Wall is of course not a “part” of the Second Temple but a section of the retaining wall of the plaza on which the Temple stood. Neither is it “the most sacred place for Jewish people”: that title belongs to Temple Mount.
Later in the same video, pupils are told that:
“It’s [Jerusalem] also where the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. The rock he ascended from was incorporated into the Islamic shrine the Dome of the Rock. It’s built where the Jewish Temple used to stand and is sacred to both Jewish people and Muslims.”
The Dome of the Rock is of course not “sacred” to Jews as suggested by that wording: Temple Mount – on which it and additional structures stand – however is.
Obviously any teacher considering using BBC Teach material needs to carefully fact check its content before doing so.