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Hindu temple welcomes Stratford pupils

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 March 2016

Arun Shastri teaches Stratford pupils about Ganesh Picture: Ranelagh Primary School

Arun Shastri teaches Stratford pupils about Ganesh Picture: Ranelagh Primary School

Archant

Primary pupils have been embracing cultural and religious diversity by learning about Hinduism.

Radha Krishna Temple in Stratford welcomed year four pupils from Ranelagh Primary School as teachers aim to expand pupils’ knowledge of community cohesion, individuality and globalisation.

The temple, which was founded in 1967, opened its doors to teach pupils about Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga and Ganesha.

Executive headteacher Angela Tapscott said it was important for children to learn aboout religion to foster an environment of tolerance.

“The teaching of religion and belief are an important part of the curriculum at Ranelagh Primary School, as they help to encourage understanding, tolerance and unity,” she said. “The Leadership Management Team and staff recognise that these subjects help to establish the children’s personal values, their role as future citizens in a multi-faith society and to challenge racism and discrimination.”

In line with the trip’s aim to encourage understanding between different faiths, pupils were taught the importance of tranquility and listening, as they sat peacefully in the temple and enjoyed artwork depicting Hindu gods in the visit on February 5.

They also learnt the importance of Ganesha’s elephant head, whose fan-like ears and small mouth are thought to encourage him to listen to teachings in his role as lord of success and destroyer of evil.

But the visit wasn’t all silence, as pupils also got a chance to ring the temple’s bell, which calls Hindus to prayer.

Teacher Susie Walsh, who joined pupils on the visit, said pupils were keen to question temple representatives about Hinduism.

“The pupils were all very well behaved, they listened attentively, were quiet and respectful and asked relevant questions,” she said. “It is very important that the children at Ranelagh are able to learn about the different cultures and religions in the Stratford community.

“Ranelagh Primary School would like to thank the Radha Krishna Temple for inviting our pupils.”

The temple is open every day and encourages community cohesion with language classes teaching English as well as offering residents the chance to learn Hindi and Gujarati.

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