3 Faiths Forum

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Project Outline

At Harrow Primary School we believe in helping to develop our students into confident young people,

where students develop their skills to become independent, lifelong learners, thinkers and leaders. We strive to ensure everyone feels valued and respected and our ethos brings together our children, community, staff and parents to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all.”  

...extract from HPS Vision Statement.

To achieve our goals, Harrow Primary is working with 3FF to establish and explore these values and provide the opportunity for the students to better develop an understanding of other faiths and beliefs.

First Steps

3FF linked Harrow Primary with Noam Primary, a local Jewish faith school, to bring the two faith schools together and work closely in understanding and appreciating each other’s similarities and differences.  In October the Deputy Head Teacher and the Year 6 Teacher (from HPS) attended their first CPD training to learn more about the link and to plan the school links ahead.

This was followed by HPS staff visiting Noam Primary and meeting the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and the Year 5 Teacher for this programme.  It was an insightful visit and was led by Sarah, the programmes officer from 3FF.

Subsequently, HPS invited the Rabbi from Noam Primary and their Lead teacher, Ruth, to visit the school and plan the first official link day between the two schools. It was a great, informative meeting and very productive.

As part of the project 3FF facilitated CPD for Staff

 Teachers on the linking programme:

  • Build long-lasting links with local schools
  • Receive expert interfaith guidance on the provision of SMSC in their school
  • Network with other teachers and education professionals through our programme of Continued Professional Development (CPD)

There are 3 CPD sessions throughout the academic year for the teachers to attend and gain experience and understanding on how to hold their link days and what creative and relevant activities do they plan for the day.

The Journey

The first Link day between students was on 24th November 2015; the two schools came together and met at the Yellow Pavilion in Wembley stadium.  They had a great start to the day with fantastic 'ice breaker' activities.  The children responded really well and were extremely excited. This was followed by an independent activity about their identity which they shared with their partners. By midday children were comfortable in their surroundings and were having plenty of fun.

The children had their lunch and performed their religious rituals and prayers. Soon after respective prayers, Raj, a Wembley stadium tour guide came to take the children and gave the group a tour around Wembley stadium, walking in the feet of a ‘footballer’. Children were amazed and startled by the tour; they took photos and shared experiences.  They even managed to sit for a few minutes and cheer on a football match that was taking place by the organisers and workers at the stadium.

Overall, the children had a fruitful experience, having the time to meet and get to know one another also to having a sensational Wembley stadium tour.

Our 2nd link day was on 17th March to the Museum of Immigration and Diversity in East London, 19 Princelet Street in Spitalfields is a unique cultural institution housed in one of London’s smallest and most beautiful historic buildings. Beyond the front doors, are secrets and suitcases, poems and potatoes, threads of history linking to today’s debates over migration, minorities and multiculturalism.

Students from Harrow Primary explored the museum with their new link partners from Noam Primary.  They later went to the nearby Mosque to perform their salah and have their lunch. All of the children really enjoyed this trip and it shed a new light to their learning about other cultures and faiths.

3FF Workshop Visit to HPS

To succeed in today's complex and diverse world, young people need to be able to communicate sensitively and effectively with anyone, regardless of beliefs or background. The school invited 3FF to hold a workshop for the Years 5 and 6 and to fulfil an essential role in preparing them to succeed in the wider world.  The activities were to help the children build religious literacy, empathy, and skills for dialogue and communication. The experienced staff came to deliver unforgettable interfaith experiences tailored to our students’ needs.

Link School Visits

The two schools organised reciprocal school link visits during Summer term, 2016 to foster greater understanding of each other and the values held within each school. During the visit students from both schools participated in activities that enhanced their understanding of each others faith and beliefs also. Firstly, Harrow Primary visited Noam Primary on 11 July, which was quickly followed by a visit from Noam Primary to Harrow on 13 July. All the children had a wonderful time...as can be seen from the images below!

 

Letter from 3FF Director to Harrow Primary School3FF Letter to Link Teachers.pdf
PDF 138.89 KB Download

Outcomes and Learning

Learning outcomes for the children:

- We have a lot more in common than that which is different

- The correct ways in which to ask questions that may be sensitive

- Polite and appropriate ways to tell someone how you feel, being respectful of one another at all times

- Be able to discuss their faith openly and confidently

- Friendship forming

Learning outcomes for adults:

- Children form friendships very easily and often ice-breakers are enough to encourage integration

- The location of events is very important, the more exciting the venue the more engaged children will be 

- Children enjoy learning about other faiths in a safe environment where each party respects each others faiths

- Taking risks on sensitive areas of the curriculum pays dividends, but has to be carefully negotiated

Final outcomes

The two schools have built a strong friendship which they can benefit from and intend to continue the bonds built between the two schools!