Hosting our visiting schools
The Three Faiths Forum (3FF) has worked to build good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and identities for over twenty years and St Augustine’s Priory is proud to be one of their linking schools, having been involved in the programme since 2010. Spearheaded by Head of Religious Studies, Mrs McDermott, we are part of their School Linking programme, which gives students of different faiths the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. On 5th December we hosted two other schools for a day of friendship and activities, learning about our respective holidays, Eid, Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as discussing correct and incorrect assumptions made about them in the exercise ‘Identity Cupboard’. Sennen Powell, Upper IV Alpha, takes up the story:
‘Tuesday this week was extremely fun because as part of the Three Faiths Forum we invited the schools JCOSS (the Jewish Community Secondary School) and Unity Girls High School, a Muslim school, to visit our school. Throughout the day we toured them around the school whilst asking each other about our faiths and showing them our Chapel which most of them had never been inside.
Normally we do religious things without thinking about them, like genuflecting, so telling the other schools about it made us focus on certain things more. We also had a session of getting to know each other and sharing our likes and dislikes and finding out what we had in common. I felt quite nervous at first as getting to know new people is hard but when we became more confident we had a lot of fun together especially watching each other’s plays about our religious celebrations. I met so many nice people and learnt a lot of new things from talking to the other girls. I can’t wait to meet them again.’
As the Three Faiths Forum says: “In our diverse societies good relations between our communities are essential. We need spaces where people from different backgrounds can interact and learn from each other in order to tackle ignorance, fear and prejudice – and instead create understanding and trust between people. Improving community relations benefits us all – it creates a more positive and productive climate for all people. By building good relationships between communities we make wider positive social change possible”.
Categories: Faith Life Senior Whole School