Inter Faith Week has become a firm fixture in the calendar of many schools.
Schools marked Inter Faith Week with a wide variety of events and activities, at both primary and secondary level, including Sixth Form. Activities included assemblies, debates, visits to places of worship and a range of classroom-based learning initiatives. In some areas school pupils were also invited to attend Inter Faith Week events elsewhere in the community, such as those organised by local inter faith groups.
Inter Faith Week demonstrated that schools and other learning environments are a fantastic way to get young people involved in learning about different faiths and beliefs in ways which supplement and reinforce their regular curriculum learning through RE. Finding out about local faith groups and interacting with these is a big part of that.
Some examples of school activities during Inter Faith Week included:
- An Inter Faith Week assembly at Cardiff Muslim Primary School, where guests from the Jewish and Christian faiths were invited to address pupils.
- A showcase of RE work at Lancashire schools held at Burnley Central Library. This week-long exhibition, organised by the Burnley and Pendle Faith Centre, local schools and others, exhibited a range of RE work on a variety of faiths to students and members of the public.
- An event at Wisbech United Reformed Church jointly held by Wisbech Interfaith Forum and Thomas Clarkson Academy: ‘Hey God, you out there?’ Students presented food, drama, music and poetry in response to the theme and engaged in dialogue and discussion with others.
- A celebration of diversity at Woldingham School, Caterham, an independent Catholic school for girls. Staff and students from different faith traditions came together to share lunch and dialogue, including discussion of the different faith traditions at the school. Staff and students from Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal and Russian Orthodox Christian backgrounds took part, as well as those from the Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths.
- An Inter Faith Week quiz at Uffculme School, Devon. Each year during Inter Faith Week, students at Uffculme school take part in a quiz about the various religious traditions in Britain today, which helps to promote knowledge, understanding, respect and tolerance for all groups in society.
- An Inter Faith Week debate at St Bonaventure’s Roman Catholic School in Forest Gate, East London. Students from across the school came together during Inter Faith Week to hold a debate, include dialogue and discussion, on religious dress and its place in modern Britain.
- An Interfaith Panel Question and Answer session at Blue Coat Church of England School, Coventry. Representatives from a range of local faith communities were invited to the school to discuss their beliefs with students and answer questions.
- A range of visits, talks and workshops organised for pupils at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Sunderland. Events and activities include an Indian dance workshop, a visit to a local Buddhist Temple, a talk about Islam and a visit to a Methodist Church.
- A visit to Madni Jamia Bradford Mosque by students from Rishworth school, where they were given a valuable opportunity to increase their understanding of Islam.
- Workshops at Avenue Primary School, Leicester, facilitated by the St Philips Centre. Pupils at the school marked Inter Faith Week by participating in a range of workshops on Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism.
- An inter faith lunch at Queen Katherine School, Kendal, Cumbria, organised by the school’s RE Young Ambassadors, which is a project of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales. Students had the opportunity to talk to each other about their faiths and beliefs as well as to meet members of different religious traditions from the South Lakes area.
To see how schools took part in Scottish Interfaith Week, visit http://www.interfaithscotland.org/scottish-interfaith-week/.
Published 18 January 2017