Pupils from the Hammond School were given an insight into Islamic life recently when they paid a trip to England’s oldest mosque, the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking.
Year Four pupils have been studying Islam all term and the visit gave them a chance to build upon what they had been learning in the classroom and also to ask plenty of questions of their own, on topics such as Muslim prayer rituals, the Five Pillars of Islam and the distinctive style of the building.
The Imam explained to the children about how and when prayers are said, why men and women worship separately, translated Arabic texts and answered their questions about subjects including fasting, the role of families, and Ramadan.
“From both an educational and a general cultural awareness point of view, this trip was a fascinating opportunity for the children,” said Hammond’s RE teacher Mrs Ward. “Because of this being England’s first mosque, it was also a good local history lesson, so I’m so glad that the mosque was so willing to open the doors to us and let the children in to learn about such a beautiful building and what goes on inside it.”
The outing was one of the first for Hammond pupils since the school, along with its partner school in Lightwater, joined the GLF group in the autumn – a rapidly expanding Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs over a dozen schools across Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire, based around a system of collaborative learning.
"This was an excellent trip which really added a new dimension to what the children have been learning in the classroom this term,” added Mrs Ward. “It will definitely give another dimension to the rest of the studies, as well as giving the children a greater awareness of the local community in which they live."
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