St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

Christ is the centre of our School community, where we live, love and learn together

Global Dimension Week 2009

22 to 26 June 2009

During this week, the whole school community took part in a range of workshops, visits to places of worship and celebrations to learn more about our own faith and other religions.

Our focus was on:

  • Knowing that other faith communities have significant celebrations and a variety of forms of prayer.
  • The Christian values which inform love of neighbour and oneself shows ways in which care for others is important for other faith communities.
  • That other faith communities have codes of behaviour based on their beliefs.
  • That other faith communities have writings which are sacred to them.

In Foundation and Key Stage One the focus was:

  • Reception and Year 1 – Exploring a Catholic Church – St. Thomas More.
  • Year 2 – Exploring a Christian Place of Worship – St. Giles Church and comparing it to our own St. Thomas More.

During this week the children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One also learnt about festivals celebrated by other faith communities. Some of the festivals the children learnt about included: Divali, Holi and Hanukah.

To enhance the children's learning and enjoyment workshops were held for each class from Foundation through to Year Three. Each workshop included:

  • Exploring Culture
  • Learning about what Divali means

In Key Stage Two each year group focused on a different religion:

  • Year 3 - Hinduism – The children enjoyed their visit to the Shree Hindu Temple.
  • Year 4 - Judaism - The children enjoyed their visit to Singer's Hill Synagogue.
  • Year 5 - Sikhism – The children enjoyed their visit to Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Birmingham.
  • Year 6 - Islam – The children enjoyed their visit to the Islamic Experience Exhibition.

Key Stage One

During Global Dimension week Years 1 and 2 visited St Giles Church, Sheldon and St Thomas More Church, Sheldon. We looked at the Churches and discussed the differences and similarities between them. We labelled different parts of the Church.

We also looked at different festivals. First, we looked at festivals of light and listened to the story of Divali. As we listened to the story we added sound effects using a range of percussion instruments. We re-told the story of Rama and Sita and learnt about Hanuman another Hindu God. We drew colourful illustrations to go with our written stories. We made our own diva lamps using clay and decorated them with paint, glitter and sequins. They looked very colourful. We also looked at how Hindus honour gods in their homes. We looked at how Hindus create shrines in their houses. We learnt all about Ganesha, the Hindu God of wealth. We created a fact file about Ganesha and learnt about the different symbols related to this god.

We also learnt about Hanukah, the Jewish festival of lights. We listened to the story and sequenced the story. We leant all about the special miracle that took place in the Temple. We also made our own Menorahs, using foil and finger paints. We discussed the different activities Jewish people participate in during this festival. We looked at dreidles and how to play the game.

At the end of the week we looked at the Hindu festival of Holi. We learnt that it is a very colourful festival. We listened to the story of Holika and Prahlad and completed a close procedure activity about the story. We also created dip and dye pictures to show how colourful this festival is. In the afternoon we made puppets of the characters and re-enacted the story.

We had a lovely week exploring different festivals and learning about the different religions as well as exploring our own Catholic faith.

Year 3 trip to Lachmi Temple

During Global Dimension Week Mr Chauhan and Kim visited Year 3 in school to support us in our learning about the Hindu faith and accompanied us on our visit to the Lachmi Hindu Temple in Tyseley. The children spent the morning touring the temple and learning about the different deities and about Hindu methods of praying.

After this the children took part in morning ceremony. The bell rang out to start the service and candles were lit. Some children were invited to offer sweets to the deities.

The guide at the Hindu Temple gave the children the opportunity to ask questions about the Hindu religion. The children found the day most enjoyable.

Year 4 visit to Singers Hill Synagogue in Birmingham

Year 5 at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara

Year 5 were very fortunate to visit the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Birmingham. During the visit they learnt about the Sikh religion as well as experiencing first hand Sikh hospitality. It was a truly inspiring day.

Year 6 visit to the Islamic Experience Exhibition

During Global Dimension Week Year 6 focused on learning more about the Islamic Faith. As part of our study we went on an educational visit to The Islamic Experience Exhibition in Small Heath. This was an interactive experience where we had the opportunity to learn more about the Islamic faith focusing on the following areas:

  • Belief
  • The Five Pillars
  • Family Life
  • Activities

We all really enjoyed the visit and came back to school with a greater understanding of Islamic Faith and Culture.

Years 5 and 6 also had the opportunity to learn some Bollywood Dancing when a professional Bollywood Dancer was invited into school to give us a lesson. We all had great fun trying to perfect our moves.