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Interfaith Harmony Week 2019

Home » News » Interfaith Harmony Week 2019

This year our Interfaith Harmony theme has been 'knocking down barriers and building bridges.'
To set this scene, in worship we looked at how to practically build a bridge using blocks to help two people connect that were separated by a physical barrier. This led us to discuss that barriers between people can often be the way people dress, talk or which religion they follow and the way to build that bridge is by understanding others faiths and cultural differences respectfully.

Each class decided upon a different activity to do this.

Early Years held a very busy 'Bake Off' day focusing on how people from different cultures and religions use food to celebrate festivals and ways of life.

Having looked at the first story in the Old Testament, the creation story, we explored how the Jewish religion celebrates the Sabbath day in recognition of God's creation of the world by having a rest day which starts at sunset on Friday until sunset Saturday. This is a time of peace and harmony with their families. Challah bread pays an important part of their celebration and so we each attempted to create our own plaited loaf. They looked absolutely amazing and filled our classrooms with the most wonderful aroma!

As we are celebrating our Festival of Lights, known as Candlemas, when Jesus was recognised as a great light as he was presented at the temple 40 days after his birth, we compared this with the Hindu lights festival Diwali and made sweet treats called 'Ladoo' to share with our families. They looked a little messy but they tasted very yummy!

Also this week is the Chinese celebration of New Year, with this year being the year of the pig. Preschool created the most wonderful biscuits which were carefully decorated as pigs.

In Year 1 we explored the theme knocking down barriers and making bridges by thinking about what the theme means to us. Our responses ranged from 'It's like something good is going to happen,' to 'people can struggle so they can break down barriers.' Our focus for Interfaith week was learning about the Jewish Faith. Handling all sorts of artefacts enabled us to become interested and intrigued to ask lots of questions about the Jewish faith. We learnt all about the Special book, the Torah and the Star of David. We then drew images of the key artifacts. As we worked together, we created a bridge displaying all our images and thought carefully about what people from different faiths may say to each other. We really enjoyed using figures to act out what they might say too.

In Year 2, we have learnt all about the Jewish faith. We learnt lots of new words to add to our vocabulary, like 'Torah' 'Mezuzah' 'Shabbatt' and 'kippah'. We watched videos of a traditional Jewish family and learnt that there are traditions which are different to being a Christian but also lots of traditions that are similar. We found out they also go somewhere to pray and feel close to God and this is called a synagogue and that instead of a vicar, they have a Rabbi. We drew pictures of special items for Jewish people and learnt the names of them and why they are special. Then came the exciting part to plan out lesson to teach Year 3 all about the Jewish faith. We designed a quiz, showed our pictures and resources and described what they are. We even taught them how to say hello...Shalom! We were confident year 2 teachers and the quizzes showed at the end of the class that Year 3 had learnt lots! Watch our video link below to see us in action.

In Year 3 we looked at the Islamic faith. Our aim for the end of the week was to teach another class all about Islam. We started by gathering our information on our chosen faith through videos, books and examining items in relation to Islam. We discussed prayer mats, Mecca, Qibla compasses, Mosques and Allah. The children were brilliant at being both respectful and asking questions at the same time. We then created posters, designed lessons in groups and finally on Thursday, taught the Y2's all about Islam. Check it out — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZyKmvtYX48

In Year 4 we have learnt about how Hinduism recognises Brahma in many forms and compared this to Christian religion. We looked at the different symbols Hindus have to represent their religion. We watched the story of the blind men and the elephant. Year 4 felt that this showed how the elephant was seen in many different forms and this is the same as Hindu Gods. To celebrate the week, we created art work which was based on painted elephants. The children's aim was to create a painted elephant picture which represented the key aspects of Hindu faith. Year 5 and 4 then held an art gallery for each other so they could share what they had created and discuss the religions they had learnt about.

In Year 5 we learnt about the different faiths and then took closer look at Judaism, Islam and Christianity. We learnt about how they have many similarities, including how the symbolism each religion uses is also very similar. These similarities help us build bridges and help unit us. After that, Year 5 designed their own piece of art work. Everyone designed their own piece, chose the mediums they wanted to use and created their work independently. The artwork that you all created was truly incredible.

Interfaith in year 6 took on a sporting feel. First we discussed the different aspects of faiths and referred back to our British Values and how tolerance and mutual respect linked well to them. We then chose a sporting personality from past or present, and spent some time researching interesting facts about their faith. Our research was then carefully planned into a leaflet and compiled into a class book. We thoroughly enjoyed our week as we considered all the different outcomes.

To bring our week to a close, we all came together at the end of today to showcase what each of us has encountered across the week. It was lovely to hear, first hand, from the children how Interfaith Harmony has impacted on our understanding of tolerance and respect for people of other faiths.

Kindest regards
Mrs Taylor
RE and Worship Coordinator

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