Faith and Culture Day 2017/18
We celebrated Faith and Culture Day with some very special visitors. Iain Cunningham from West
Grange Church came to talk to the children about Christianity. The children heard about the Bible
and the life of Jesus. Year 3 made collages about Noah and discussed the 10 commandments and
Year 4 researched religious symbols and investigated British Values.
Helen Michael from Sinai Synagogue visited Reception, Yr1 and Yr2. The children learnt about the
Sabbath and why it is so important to Jewish families. They even got to taste the special Challah
Yr1 continued their day by learning about other important festivals and celebrations, like Eid.
Yr2 designed their own covers for the Challah Bread using the Jewish symbols Helen had told them
Jodie ran a Bollywood dance workshop for Reception, Yr1, Yr2 and Yr3. Everyone enjoyed putting
the dances together with the exciting music.
Adam ran a Gamelin workshop for Reception, Yr4, Yr5 and Yr6. It was very noisy but great fun. The
children got to experience a completely different form of music
Nabilah Karim from Leeds Grand Mosque visited Yr5 and Yr6 earlier in the week, where Yr5
investigated geometric patterns and designed their own prayer mats. Yr6 investigated religious
symbols and their meanings. Later on they used Venn diagrams to show the similarities and
differences between a variety of faiths. They were glad to see so many similarities, especially
regarding respect, tolerance, sharing and being kind to others.
Things we have learned
Faith and Culture Day 2016/17
This week we have celebrate different faiths and cultures. We had some very special visitors who came in to school to talk to our pupils. The children enjoyed learning some traditional Indian dancing, had workshops on the 5 Pillars of Islam, learnt about the history of Gamelan Drumming before getting the chance to play. Our regular visitor, Ian from West Grange Church came in to talk to the children about Christianity and the children got the chace to look at some Jewish artifacts and made their own Kippahs.
Here is some of the work produced by our children
St John and St Baranabas Church
Year 1 visited St John and St Barnabas Church as part of their work on Christianity. They were welcomed by Fr. Chris who encouraged the children to explore the church and ask questions about the many interesting features. The children found out about the altar, lectern, bible, pulpit, font, statues, pictures, organ and stained glass windows. The children were very impressed when Fr. Chris put on his colourful vestments and explained how the church is used for different services and ceremonies each week.
Leeds Grand Mosque
Year 2 had a super visit to Leeds Grand Mosque. We were warmly welcomed by Nabilah and Lasaad who helped us all to find out more about Islam in a most enjoyable and interesting way. They spend lots of time answering the children's interesting questions. We heard the call the prayer, and found out about how the community pray in the Mosque. We found out about the 5 Pillars of Islam and the Qu'ran. The children were facinated to learn about the many similarities between Christianity and Islam.
Year 3 visited Sinai Synagogue as part of their Topic onJudaism. They listened to information about all of the different things the Jewish people celebrate. They saw a Decalogue, which is the Jewish version of The Ten Commandments and looked at a Jewish prayer book called a Siddur.
Year 4 visited Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Beeston. They spent time with the Sikhs learning and reflecting on their religion and listened to some prayers being sung in Punjabi accompanied by a tabla (drum) and harmonium music. The children were also shown where the Sikhs take prayer and were given the opportunity to walk down the aisle and bow to show their respects.
Jamyang Buddhist Centre
Year 5 visited Jamyang Buddhist Centre where they practiced meditation and talked about Buddhist
teachings. They saw statues of Buddha, Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, Offering Bowls and the burning
of inscense. They also learnt that Buddhist try to live good, honest, helpful and peaceful lives.
Year 6 have visited Shree Hindu Temple. We were warmly welcomed by Mr Vakharia. The children enjoyed finding out about the Hindu faith and asked lots of interesting questions. They heard about the origins of Hinduism in India mor than 4,000 years ago. They were very impressed with the amazing wall paintings, statues and decorations. Mr Vakharia helped the children understand that Hindus worship only one God and that the many images of different Gods and Goddesses were different representations of the same God. We were very privileged to be present at he community morning prayers. It was a lovely experience and the children returned to school keen to find out more through their own research.
One of the ways we teach the children to have Mutual Respect is through our curriculum.
In RE the children are taught to have Mutual Respect for people of all faiths or people who do not have a faith. We teach RE using the Leeds agreed syllabus and add to the children’s learning experiences by taking them to a different place of religious worship every year they are with us.
Place of Worship
We encourage all children to attend these visits and ask parents with reservations to put these in writing and meet with the headteacher, Martin Lumb before withdrawing their child for legitimate religious beliefs. In this way we are also modelling Mutual Respect and Tolerance to our whole community.
An example of a letter to Year 2 regarding their trip to the Islamic Mosque.
Year 2 School Trip
Dear Parents / Carers,
As part of our RE topic, ‘Special Places’, we will be visiting a Mosque. Every year group visits a different place of worship throughout their time at Hunslet Carr. Last year the children visited a church and this year we are visiting a mosque.
The school follows the Leeds Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and it is written in our policies that as a school we promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.
The children will be learning about why a mosque is special to the Muslim faith and will be comparing it to other religions. The children are very excited about experiencing a different culture.
The date of the trip is on Tuesday 17th March. Both classes will be visiting for half a day and they will have lunch at school as normal.
Please note that Religious Education is part of the National Curriculum and underlines our principles of the school in promoting an understanding, tolerance and mutual respect between different cultures and beliefs. If anyone has strong religious beliefs that means they would not like their child to visit the mosque or any other place of worship in subsequent years then they must write a letter explaining their reasons to Mr Lumb, followed by a meeting. As this is an educational trip, parents would be required to provide appropriate alternative work around their own religion.
Please feel free to speak to us if you have any questions regarding the trip.
Key Stage 1 Team
An example of the headteacher’s response to a parent requesting their child to be excused from a religious trip.
I am sorry to hear that you have requested to withdraw your son/daughter from our visit to…
The visit is an exciting opportunity for our pupils to learn about different faiths and ensure that they are aware of the diverse nature of modern Britain.
Religious Education forms part of the basic curriculum in schools and its teaching is enshrined in law.
The school follows the Leeds Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and part of the curriculum encourages children to study Christianity in great detail, as well as finding out about Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam through school trips, visits from outside speakers and class teaching.
The school recognises that parents have the right to withdraw their child from RE in whole or in part, and provide alternative work.
However, the school is aware that children growing up in south Leeds are part of a community that is rapidly changing and that they will need to live side by side with people from other faiths and cultures, and it is aware that it has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to promote good relations between people of different beliefs and ethnicities as part of its single equality duty.
The Governing Body fully supports this trip and the teaching of RE, including Islam, as it ensures that the school meets its obligation to teach the children about British Values, specifically mutual respect and tolerance
It is the governors' expectation that the visit to the mosque will provide an insight for pupils into the nature of British Islam, help them understand how Islam is presented in the media and that groups like ISIS are not a true reflection of the Islam followed by the vast majority of Muslims in Britain.
As a school we have a responsibility to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and are judged on the effectiveness of our planned provision by Ofsted. The visit to … significantly contributes to this area of a pupil’s development which is part of preparing all pupils for a life in modern Britain.
A full risk assessment has been conducted for the visit and there is no more risk attached to this visit than any other school visit. The place of worship we are visiting runs regular school visits. Their website details are…if you would like to find out more.
Many schools in Leeds run successful visits to a range of places of worship within Leeds and beyond. I am happy to share some case studies with you if you would like to know more about the nature and impact of such visits.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your decision to withdraw your child from the visit and have made an appointment to see me at ______________. If this date is not convenient would you please call the office to rearrange.
Mr Martin Lumb