EIC Primary School Tours

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1 EIC Primary School Tours European Islamic Centre 79 Manchester Road Oldham OL8 4LN 10 th February 2017 PRIMARY SCHOOLS WEEK: 8-12 May 2017 Dear Head teacher, It gives me great pleasure to invite you on behalf of European Islamic Centre (EIC) to the annual Primary Schools Week. During the week we run interactive tours of the EIC which functions as a mosque and Islamic Centre. The tours are tailor made for Key Stage 1 and 2 learners and include an introduction to the Islamic faith, a tour of the key features of the Mosque, along with its functions and some hands on activities to help provide a hands on and engaging experience. In addition we will be an exhibition that will showcase the Islamic faith through a variety of educational posters and artefacts. In this pack I have included the following: Booking details Importance of Religious Education Detailed description/itinerary of the tour Feedback and testimonials Frequently asked questions Risk assessment To make a booking or for further information please feel free to contact me or Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully Sajjad Hussain Projects Officer European Islamic Centre UKIM UK registered charity, registration number Tel:

2 Booking a Tour We would like to invite Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils from your school to take an interactive tour of European Islamic Centre during one of the booking times available, as shown below. We will normally take one group per school and bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Dates Monday 08 May Thursday 11 May 2017 Friday 12 May 2017 Booking times available each day 09:00 10:30 10:00 11:30 11:00 12:30 12:00 1:30 1:00 2:30 09:00 10:30 10:00 11:30 To make a booking or for further information please feel free to contact me or The following information would be helpful when making a booking: European Islamic Centre Open Week: May 2017 School and Year group(s). Co-ordinating teacher and contact number. Your preferred date and time of visit (see above table). Approximate number of children and teachers. We occasionally take photographs during these visits. PLEASE ADVISE if you have any pupils who have non-consent forms for photographs. 2

3 The Importance of Religious Education Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. Religious Education (RE) is an important subject in itself, developing an individual s knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form part of contemporary society. Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. It can develop pupils knowledge and understanding of the principal religions and worldviews that offer answers to questions such as these. RE also contributes to pupils personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. RE can also make important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as Citizenship, personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE education), the Humanities, education for sustainable development and others. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, deepening the understanding of the significance of religion in the lives of others individually, communally and cross-culturally. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development Section 78 (1) of the 2002 Education Act states that all pupils should follow a balanced and broadly based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of pupils and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Learning about religions and beliefs, through the distinct knowledge, understanding and skills contained in RE within a broad-based curriculum, is essential to achieving these aims. Exploring the concepts of religion and belief and their roles in the spiritual, moral and cultural lives of people in a diverse society helps individuals develop moral awareness and social understanding. Personal development and well-being RE plays an important role in preparing pupils for adult life. It helps children become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. It gives them the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern and value truth and goodness, strengthening their capacity for making moral judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make positive and healthy choices. Community cohesion RE makes an important contribution to a school s duty to promote community cohesion. It provides a key context to develop young people s understanding and appreciation of diversity, to promote shared values and to challenge racism and discrimination. Effective RE will promote community cohesion at each of the four levels outlined in DCSF guidance. The school community RE provides a positive context within which the diversity of cultures, beliefs and values can be celebrated and explored. 3

4 Detailed description of the tour Welcome and Introduction Our friendly tour guides meet teachers and children at the entrance. They then escort everyone in to the main prayer hall of the Mosque for an overview of the visit. Islamic Greeting The Islamic greeting is explained through fun activity. Introduction to Mosque A brief history/introduction of the European Islamic Centre is given. This is followed by a brief introduction into the role of the Mosque in history and in today s terms including the different functions including Worship, Educational and Social. Muslim Beliefs and 5 Pillars of Islam Muslims have 7 main beliefs, these are briefly explained. An important aspect of Islam are the 5 pillars, these are explained via a short and engaging cartoon. Golden Age of Islam This is a new section that has been added this year to complement the revised KS2 syllabus. The Golden age of Islam is discussed with emphasis on Muslim contributions that can still be seen in the classrooms of today. Hands on Activities With the help of the teachers the learners are split in two groups to have a go at the following hands on activities. Learners frequently comment that this is the most fun part of the tour! 1. Wudhu (Ablution) Up to 10 children can have a go at performing the wudhu, if they wish, which is a ritual washing that Muslims undergo before performing religious duties. 2. Muslim Clothing The children have the opportunity to try on Muslim clothing, if they wish, and have a picture taken of them and the whole group. 3. Exhibition and Quiz The European Islamic Centre is privileged to hosting a museum style exhibition. In groups of two or three, learners are given out a quiz sheet and pencil. They have 15 minuteutes to complete the quiz and all answers can be found within the exhibition (if needed the tour guides point learners to the right poster/exhibit but avoid giving them the answer). Questions and Answer Session All learners and teachers can ask questions. Our tour guides will try to answer in a simplified manner. Refreshments Just before leaving, everyone will be welcome to enjoy some light refreshments. 4

5 Feedback and Testimonials Teachers extremely informative and fun for the children We were unsure what to expect but were made very welcome Children really enjoyed the visit.. the activities kept the children interested. Pupils I thought the dome looked really beautiful.. You really entertained me and I really enjoyed the visit. I learnt a lot when I was at the Mosque and I won t forget our trip. 5

6 Frequently Asked Questions Q: What is a Mosque? A: A Mosque is a place of worship used by Muslims. The English word Mosque is derived from its Arabic equivalent, Masjid, which means place of prostration. It is in the Mosque that Muslims perform their prayers, a part of which includes placing the forehead on the floor. Q: How is a Mosque used? A: Mosques play a vital role in the lives of Muslims in Britain. The primary function of the Mosque is to provide a place where Muslims may perform Islam s obligatory five daily prayers in congregation. A Mosque also provides sufficient space in which to hold prayers on Fridays, the Muslim day of communal prayer, and on the two Muslim holidays, called Eids or festivals. Q: Is a Mosque a holy place? A: A Mosque is a place that is specifically dedicated as a place of prayer. However, there is nothing sacred about the building or the place itself. There is no equivalent of an Altar in a Mosque. A Muslim may pray on any clean surface. Muslims often pray in public places. Q: How big are Mosques? A: In Britain, Mosques vary in size from tiny storefronts serving a handful of worshippers, to large Islamic Centres that can accommodate thousands. Q: Do Mosques welcome visitors? A: Mosques in Britain welcome visitors. Tours can be arranged at most facilities. We, of course, recommend a visit to the Neeli Mosque as we cater especially for Primary Schools. Q: What are the distinctive features of a Mosque? A: The Musalla, or prayer hall, in each Mosque is oriented in the direction of Mecca, toward which Muslims face during prayers. In Britain, Muslim worshippers face south-east. Prayer halls are open and uncluttered to accommodate lines of worshippers who stand and bow in unison. There are no Pews or Chairs. Members of the congregation mostly sit on the floor. Q: What else is in the prayer area? A: All Mosques have some sort of Mihrab, or niche that indicates which wall of the Mosque faces Mecca. The Mihrab is often decorated with Arabic calligraphy. Its curved shape helps reflect the voice of the imam, or prayer leader, back towards the congregation. Many Mosques also have a Minbar or Pulpit, to the right of the Mihrab. During the Friday prayer service, the Imam delivers a sermon from the Minbar. Q: What about children in the prayer area? A: Children will often be present during prayers, whether participating, watching or imitating the movements of their elders. Their presence continues the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), who behaved tenderly towards children. The Prophet sometimes carried one of his grandchildren on his shoulder while leading the prayer and was also known to shorten the prayer if he heard a baby cry. Q: What might I hear during my visit? A: You might hear Muslims exchanging the Islamic greeting, the Arabic phrase Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you). Muslims return this greeting by saying Wa Alaikum assalam (and with you be peace).if you attend at a prayer time you may also hear a call to prayer. Q: What about the rest of the building? A: Facilities to perform wudu or ablutions, can be found in all Mosques. Muslims wash their hands, face and feet before prayers as a way to purify and prepare themselves to stand before God. 6

7 Book shelves are found in most Mosques. They contain works of Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Law, as well as collections of the traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Copies of the Quran, Islam s revealed text, are always available to worshippers. Calligraphy is used to decorate nearly every Mosque. Arabic quotations from the Quran invite contemplation of the revealed Word of God. Other common features found in the Mosque are clocks or schedules displaying the times of the five daily prayers and large rugs or carpets, covering the Musalla floor. Q: Is a Mosque used exclusively for prayer? A: Though its main function is as a place of prayer, the Mosque plays a variety of roles, especially in Britain. The Neeli Mosque provides evening study classes for children, daytime classes for women and youth club activities. Marriages and funerals also take place in the Mosque occasionally as well as potluck dinners during the fasting month of Ramadan and interfaith dialogues and community work. Q: Are there any special clothes/requirements to visit a Mosque? A: The school uniform is acceptable to visit the Mosque. There are no special requirements to come in Islamic dress or to remove nail varnish, etc. Shoes are left at the entrance to the prayer area so as not to soil the rugs or carpets. Visitors to Mosques should behave as they would when visiting any religious institution, but they should feel free to ask questions about the Mosque, its Architecture, furnishings and activities. Muslims are happy to answer questions about their religion. Q: How long should we allow for a visit? A: The standard tour time is about 90 minutes. Q. Are parents, Governors, etc. allowed tovisit? A: We welcome all visitors. Special visits for parents, teachers, Governors, etc. may be arranged. Q- How can a school reassure parents who are concerned about sending their children to places of worship, such as Mosques? A: All our staff and volunteers are highly trained individuals who give their time voluntarily and have undertaken DBS checks and safeguarding training, to enable them to engage with young people on this tour. We are in regular communication with authorities and organisations from different faiths to ensure we can develop good practice around RE education. Should parents wish to discuss any concerns around the content or purpose of the visit, then we are more than happy to provide them with additional information, or invite them to attend the school tour with their children. 7

8 Frequency Daily /Weekly/Annually RISK ASSESSMENT Number 1 of 2 Sheets Teachers / Adults ratio Visit / Task Description: Visit to Neeli Mosque, Rochdale HAZARDS IDENTIFIED (Task/Activity/Situation/ Process/Stressor) Persons at Risk RISKS IDENTIFIED Risk N = No Risk P = Physical B = Biological C = Chemical W = Workplace / Environment Initial Risk Rating L=Low M=Medium H-High Existing Controls Interim Risk Rating L=Low M=Medium H-High Further Measures to be taken Residual Risk Rating Comments Getting on and off the coach. All Children falling off seat on coach. Staying seated on the coach and being belted. Children not to sit on front seats or back middle seat. P L Ensure seatbelts are fastened before setting off. Talk to children about their behaviour. Tell children where to seat. L Each adult will have a list of names of children in their group to supervise. Walking to and from the mosque All Traffic and other pedestrians P L Staying in groups with adult to supervise. Staying away from the roadside. Counting children in and out for the building. L Each adult will have a list of names of children in their group to supervise. 1

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