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News / News from our Education and Learning Team – January 2020

News from our Education and Learning Team – January 2020

News / Schools

The Faith & Belief Forum

31 / 01 / 20

F&BF’s education and learning programmes have kicked off to an exciting 2020, full of school workshops, community outreach, online resource development and more!

January saw the first fruits of our new partnership with Arsenal Football Club, in the form of a Link day between long-standing partner schools, JCoSS and Tawhid. The students enjoyed activities and discussions centred on the topic of identity, as well as a tour of the AFC grounds.

Sarah Koster, our Education & Learning Manager said of the Link day: ‘It was wonderful being able to host the students from Tawhid and JCOSS’s first Link day at Arsenal. We’re really grateful to AFC for supporting facilitation of the day and bringing in learning of how football teams are a great representation of diversity in London. The students loved the tour of the stadium and getting the chance to have a kick around together. We appreciate their support for our interfaith work and giving the students a memorable first meet up for the start of their linking journey together.’

It’s not just well-established partner schools making waves with interfaith encounter in schools! This term also saw Yavneh College and Avanti House Secondary, who are new to the programme, hold their first Link day with year 9 classes.

Linking teacher Shelley Harrod said: ‘I really expect our pupils to form long-lasting friendships. I really hope they’ll have an open space to express themselves, to freely discuss their faiths, beliefs and religions and to share that experience together.’

Partner linking teachers planned a day full of activities designed to enable students to explore and discuss their beliefs and values systems, as well as hopes and personal aspects of identity. Students from Hindu-ethos Avanti House were also given a tour of Yavneh’s shul!

‘I’m really excited to meet them and get to know them all, their faiths and backgrounds… I’ve never done anything like this before!’ – Avanti House student

This week also sees our second round of CPD training days for teachers this academic year. We’ll be reflecting on the journey so far and planning for encounter focused on the topic of ‘diversity’. Over 130 teachers will join us from across London, Birmingham and Waltham Forest to build on their dialogue facilitation skills and strengthen relations across our interfaith education network.

In other news, the West Midlands team held their first Community Connectors training session as part of the Walsall Dialogue Programme this week. It was the first time the sixteen community groups met each other and the team, coming together to learn about the project and their role in facilitating community conversations.

The project aims to create safe spaces for local people in Walsall to engage in dialogue about the things that are important to them around the themes of identity, diversity and living together. In bringing people together, those involved will have the opportunity to have their stories heard and to connect with others across Walsall. The next step for the team will be to support the Community Connectors to plan and co-deliver their first dialogue sessions.

Lastly, the education and learning team are working on a new scriptural reasoning project, exploring current realities and existing resources for classrooms.

We’ll be looking to work with experts in the field to review and refine our materials; if you’re interested in getting involved, email paraskevi@faithbeliefforum.org

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