Derbyshire pupils celebrate diversity with mosque trip

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Highfields School students broadened their horizons during visits to a Sikh Gurdwara and a mosque in Derby.

Students from year seven at the Matlock school spent the morning learning about how Sikh worship forms part of their religious education at school, throughout the trip in January.

They also visited the Jamia Mosque to learn about Islamic customs of worship.

In both places, students were made very welcome.

They were shown around the buildings, and at the Gurdwara enjoyed being taken to the ‘langar’ – the food kitchen, where students had the opportunity to sample different types of food.

Highfields’ head of philosophy and religious studies, Sophie Collis, said the trip was a brilliant experience for the students.

She said: “Visiting the Gurdwara and the Mosque in Derby is a highlight of our religious education programme in year seven.

“We are always made very welcome and it provides such an insight into the customs of Sikhism and Islam. 

“We find it very valuable taking learning outside the classroom.

“I am very proud of the respect and interest our youngsters show in learning about these religions.

“Understanding different religions is key to achieving tolerance in modern British society.”

All places of worship require modest dress. The Mosque and Sikh Gurdwara asked that all pupils wore some form of hair covering and female visitors were recommended to wear trousers.

As part of the school’s exploration of sacred places, students are also visiting St Giles Church in Matlock.

The Open Centre has welcomed 562 children from schools all across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Since the Open Centre has been around for the last 30 years, it is therefore very experienced with supporting school visits.

For more visit www.derbyopencentre.org.