When teaching about world religions, teachers tend to have a mixed reaction.
There's enjoyment in being able to explore other cultures and pride in listening to class members respond maturely to customs different from their own. However, there can also be a sense of nervousness and concern on the part of the teacher, especially at the topic planning stage: do I know enough about the religion to teach my class in sufficient detail? Will I be able to sensitively explain rituals and practises without 'getting it wrong'?
Of course, part of the enjoyment of teaching is learning yourself and when it comes to learning about religion, children of faith can teach us just as much, if not more, than we can share with the class.
The power of experts
Getting the opportunity to chat to an 'expert' is valuable in every subject. For primary school teachers in particular, the chances are there are some subjects that are their strengths and others where a little help and expertise goes a long way. I personally felt very confident teaching reading and writing but PE took some practise... (memories of teaching cricket spring to mind!).
With this in mind, we're pleased to announce the arrival of a new page of Virtual School Visits, connecting classrooms with experts in each of the 6 main world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism). Let's look at what's on offer in the virtual Islam session:
An introduction to Islam
In this virtual visit, pupils will chat to Imran from Muslim Learner Services. They will learn about Muslim beliefs, festivals, clothing and food. More specifically, the online workshop looks at what it's like to be a Muslim in Britain today and covers:
• Muslim beliefs and practises • Important Islamic festivals • The significance of a Muslim diet • Religious clothing • For older children, Imran can also discuss Islamophobia
All sessions will allow for 10+ minutes of Q&A. However, if you prefer, Imran can spend the whole 30 minutes listening to and answering pupil questions (perhaps you've just finished your topic and know lots already).
Through Muslim Learner Services, Imran regularly visits schools in person, delivering assemblies and workshops. He's visited hundreds of schools to date! This virtual offering now means that pupils all over the UK (and internationally) can listen to his expertise and enhance their Islam topic.
Imran's testimonials speak for themselves:
"Once you meet Imran, you will want him to come to meet your pupils. I have always found Imran to be friendly, approachable, adaptable, reflective and open to any questions which you may have. I am confident that any session for pupils or staff will be an excellent use of your time and resources."
If you would like to book a virtual visit with Imran, click here.
Imran separates 'facts from fiction' as he chats to older pupils in Furness.