Primary pupils declare interfaith solidarity in East Ham

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 March 2016

Pupils showed interfaith co-operation by working across educational divides to create mosaics in East Ham Picture: Ligita Rozenaite.

Pupils showed interfaith co-operation by working across educational divides to create mosaics in East Ham Picture: Ligita Rozenaite.


Religious educators have been spreading a message of interfaith respect through Newham primary schools.

Religious Education Matters invited year five primary pupils from across the borough to a workshop at Brampton Primary School in East Ham.

Executive headteacher at Ranelagh Primary School, Angela Tapscott, said the workshop helped foster an atmosphere of equality among her pupils.

“Throughout the school year, Ranelagh pupils visit many places of worship to encourage an understanding of the concepts of diversity and difference within our school and community,” she said. “Workshops enable the Ranelagh pupils to discuss these topics with their peers from other local schools and then share their thoughts and ideas with the rest of the school.

“Stimulating discussion is an important aspect of teaching religious education and fostering an understanding and acceptance of others.”

Pupils were told the story of The Most Magnificent Mosque by Ann Jungman, in which a Muslim, Christian and Jew bond over the beauty of a local mosque.

The school’s religious education teacher, Gillian Hall, said the meeting on March 7 also gave an opportunity for her Pupil Ambassadors to reach out to new communities.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to work with pupils from other schools in our community,” she said. “I was very proud of the way our Ranelagh Pupil Ambassadors were able to take part in philosophical discussions in such a mature and respectful way.

“It also enabled them to reflect on how the things they learnt reinforced our Ranelagh Values of Respect, Remarkable, Responsible, Resilient and Right Choices.”

She added that teaching techniques from the workshop were being incorporated into everday life at Ranelagh, citing group discussion sessions as a valuable way to learn.

The children also worked across school divides to create mosaic.

The pupils were also encouraged to question, and voted on the most important question from a list to decide which was the most profound.

Pupils believed the question of whether a team is still a team if somebody breaks away was the most vital of all.

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