1. How is the trip organised and who will my child meet during the visit?
Each faith venue has an hour visit. Pupils remain under the direct supervision of their teachers and support staff at all times. Our Faith Tour Leaders operate in a well planned and supervised (comprehensively Risk Assessed) environment. All three Faiths act in strong liaison with each other. We hold regular supervisory meetings and continuous teacher-based Tour Assessment reviews, to ensure we provide the most appropriate and suitable tour content and standard for pupils' learning.
2. What activities will my child undertake during the faith tour?
Our tours are designed to complement and reinforce pupils' classroom learning. Pupils are welcomed and introduced, at a suitable level, to the key elements of each faith at each faith venue. Pupils have an opportunity to look around each place of worship and ask questions at end.
3. What special preparations will be needed and why?
Because the Sikhs have a strict 'vegetarian only' rule inside the Gurdwara, everyone is asked to bring vegetarian only lunches on our tours. Packed lunches need to be fully vegetarian (without eggs, meat or fish). Head scarves are worn by everyone inside the Gurdwara and by females inside the Mosque. Pupils often bring their own scarf, although we have some available just for school tours, if required. Shoes need to be removed inside the entrance of both the Gurdwara and the Mosque.
4. How does the faith tour support classroom learning?
Pupils direct observations of the similarities and the differences between three main-stream religions brings their classroom learning to life. They observe Tour Leaders, holding different views, but fully cooperating together in a friendly and respectful way. This reinforces their knowledge and understanding of other people and how they live and extends pupils' learning within R.E, P.S.E and other parts the wider school curriculum.
5. Will my child take part in any worship/prayer?
No! Our Faith Tours are provided strictly to inform pupils about the views and practices of the three different faiths, in an atmosphere where the differing views of pupils are fully respected. Pupils hear about prayer and worship practices, but not asked to engage in any activity that may be inappropriate, or that they would feel uncomfortable about. Pupils might observe how a person may pray and consider any objects that aid prayer, this will be the case at the Mosque, where the leader will collectively & briefly go through some of the moves of prayer in order to demonstrate a practical understanding of prayer. At no time would the pupils be required to recite any words of prayer.
6. What happens to the fees paid for the tour?
The fees are divided between the three places of worship and the administrative team and goes toward the costs of heating, electricity and the upkeep of the buildings.
7. How do I know that my child will not be indoctrinated?
The teachers are present throughout each tour and would act immediately if any content of the tour was ever deemed unsuitable. The aim of our Faith tours is to empower the next generation with understanding about others, who are seen as different from themselves, so that they will understand what a Christian, a Muslim or a Sikh was in their future lives. This enhances community cohesion through mutual understanding and benefits all by helping everyone live in peace together.
8. What happens if security is heightened in the UK due to world events?
Faith tours will proceed unless there is a specific threat advised by the government. The government will issue a warning to the public if that’s the best way to protect a community, or venue facing a specific threat. The Queen's Park community gets on well together, neighbours and local community leaders know the local community extremely well and we are fortunate to live and work in such a peaceful yet diverse community atmosphere, where we all feel at ease with each other. Our Faith communities have regular meetings with specialist police officers, who are trained in providing advice and liaison to community groups such as ours, regarding security and safety issues. Teachers and parents can speak to a member of the administration team or our faith tour leaders, who will address any immediate concerns in this regard.