Whissendine Primary School's multi-faith day broadens pupils horizons
Representatives from six major world religions attended Whissendine Primary School's first ever multi-faith day.
The faith leaders spent time with pupils answering questions and helping them create something linked to their different beliefs.
Rev Peter Holmes, a christian, and Aga Cahn, a jew, worked alongside pupils in Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2). Both spoke to the children about what their faiths mean to them and what effect it has on their family life. The pair also assisted children making stained glass windows and Kippar hats.
Mrs Sukania Manji, a muslim, Mr Harkirat Singh, a sikh, Rak-ma-Kelsang, a buddhist, and Mrs Nipa Modhvadiya, a hindu, joined pupils in Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 6).
Mrs Manji taught the children about how, within the muslim faith, God is not represented using images or statues. The children then had the challenge of thinking about how they would represent their own beliefs about the world through poetry or rhyme rather than just pictures.
Mr Singh taught his group about the Gurdwara temple and in particular, the importance of the Langar kitchen to the worshippers and families in the local community surrounding it. The children then had the opportunity to create some foods that were served to the parents at the end of the day.
Rak-ma-Kelsang, a buddhist nun, created an oasis of calm in the corner of a classroom by establishing a small shrine and talking to the children about how her faith permeates every aspect of her life. She then supported the creation of prayer flags which will flutter around the school, dispersing the children’s hopes into the world.
Mrs Modhvadiya, a parent at the school, shared with the children the story of Prahlad and Holika which led to an understanding of the Hindu festival of Holi. The task was then to use bright powder paints to create a piece of art to represent the story.
A spokeswoman for the school said: “The focus of the day was faith, families and festivals.
“The visitors and staff were left exhausted by such a busy day, but captivated by the children’s excitement and enthusiasm for the new experiences and learning that took place.
“The children are still talking about the visitors that we were privileged to welcome to our school and the hope is that, as these connections and relationships have now been made with our faith visitors, they will continue long into the future.”