Newton Church of England Primary and Nursery school have been part of the “Interfaith and Belief Forum” since 2017. Essentially, this is an organisation that has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to build good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs, and to create a society where difference is celebrated.
The Charity creates safe spaces in schools where people can engage with questions of belief and identity and meet people with different beliefs from themselves.
Formally known as Three Faiths Forum, Newton Regis school have formed good relationships with pupils from Acocks Green Primary School and Olive School – both based in Birmingham. Prior to the pandemic, this entailed three school visits per year, where pupils had the opportunity to engage in activities with other children from different faiths, learning about cultures, ways of life and how we are both similar and different.
In April 2023, Y3 pupils linked with other Y3 pupils from Olive school and Austrey School – participating in activities via zoom. As primarily an Islamic school, we learnt about Ramadan from children with first-hand experiences of this sacred time for Muslims. We learnt about how Muslim children manage fasting during the busy school day and why it is important to their faith. We learnt that we shared many similarities from liking the same sports, video games, celebrities and TV programmes.
“I learned that they can’t eat between sunrise and sunset – I think between 5am and 8pm”
“When fasting is over, they have a big feast”
“During the day, they stop and pray”
On Monday 15th January 2024 year 3/4 at both Austrey and Newton had a visit from Olive School. Over the course of the morning we engaged in identity activities from looking at our names to designing our backpack- physical traits on the outside and our interests/ characteristics on the inside. We found out that although our lives were different we had lots of similarities . We shared lunch and break with our new friends.
“I enjoyed the visit because I made lots of new friends that I hadn’t met before” Elsie
“We played football with the children from Olive School and they showed me lots of new tricks!” Arlo
“It was really interesting to learn about their religion and when they pray” Dougie