Key Stage 2 Take a double 'Journey of the Spirit'

DSC01355Whilst the Year 6's were busy knuckling down to SATs on Wednesday, Years 3 and 4 were taking part in an historical trip to Gloucester. The reason it was 'historical' is due to the fact that neither Blue Coat nor the Gloucester Diocese have ever engaged in organising a school trip that involved comparing two very different places of worship at the same time: a Muslim mosque and a Christian cathedral! The reason? To expose our children to places of spiritual significance in order to better understand some of our 'neighbours' who we share the planet with.

The concept was coined by our very own trailblazer, Mrs Blaken, who worked with Debbie Helme from the Diocese to organise the inspirational school trip. On the day, we were lucky to also have the support of a number of willing parent volunteers, local clergy (thank you, Reverend Axford and Minister Wharin) and school governors.

Starting at the mosque, the children met the charismatic local Imam who was talented in engaging with them, explaining and describing aspects of his faith at a level they could understand and respect. Our pupils were lucky enough to hear him sing the 'Call to Prayer' and also some of the 'Names of God'. They were guided around the various sections of the mosque, and particularly enjoyed the trip to the washrooms, as used by local Muslims in preparation for daily prayers. The children came away from the experience buzzing with new knowledge and understanding and a completely different perspective of what a Muslim place of worship is like and the underlying faith.

After a brief spot of lunch in the sunny cloisters (Harry Potter, anyone?), the children entered Gloucester Cathedral. They were blown away by the scale and beauty of its ornate interior. They then took tour of the building, followed by groups rotating around a series of learning stations set up especially for our pupils, each of which with a distinct learning theme.

A huge thank you to Mrs Blaken, Mrs Helme and the Gloucester Diocese for their talents, time and inspiration in delivering such a unique and valuable enrichment experience for our children. We also thank parents and attending adults for their time and support on the day - it is very much appreciated. So much so, this is what our children had to say about it:

  •  "I learnt about Muslims, Christians and saints at the mosque and cathedral. It was really fun!" ~ Lily

  • "What I enjoyed about the trip was the wash room because it was interesting. I learned that to be a cathedral it needs a spection chair.... but I also learned much more" ~ Joshua

  • "I enjoyed learning about St Andrew because I didnt know he was a fisherman and I didn't know they had a symbol for him! It was a brilliant experience." ~ Sophie

  • "Going to the cathedral I was speechless. It was so decorative and the ceiling was amazing. I learnt so much!" ~ Maddy

  • "I really enjoyed comparing the mosque and the cathedral - they were so different!" ~ Ben