This term pupils in both the Senior School and Junior School have been visiting different places of worship to understand more about the different religions that make up our community.

Year 12 International Baccalaureate pupils visited the Mary Rose Museum to discuss the Theory of Knowledge.

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Year 4 Visit to the Hindu Temple

By Patrick H, Year 4

On Friday the 8th of February Year 4 went to the Hindu temple. We went there to learn about Hindu culture because we were studying Hinduism in Religious Studies.

First we got our bags and walked to the bus. Once we got on the bus it took approximately 45 minutes to get there. I was quite excited about the trip as I enjoy learning about different cultures. When we arrived at the temple we had to take off our shoes to keep the temple clean.

Once we took off our shoes we went inside the temple and were given clipboards, worksheets and pencils. We were given 20 or 25 minutes to do the worksheet. The questions made us look around the temple to find the answers. Then the Pujari (Hindu priest) did a ceremony. After that we had some more time to finish the worksheets off. Then we came back to the carpet and the Pujari explained about Hindu culture which included things such as the Trimurti Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The Trimurti are the three most powerful gods in Hindu religion. We also learnt about other Gods such as Ganesh and Yama. Yama is similar to the Greek God Hades because Hades is the God of the underworld and Yama is the God of death.

After the talk we went into another room to have our snack. Then we handed our worksheets in and took a group photo. Then we went out to get our shoes and coats and got back onto the bus.

I enjoyed the trip and I think that it helped me learn and understand more about Hindu culture. Before the trip the only religious places I had been to were churches and cathedrals. I thought the Hindu temple was very different to a church because it wasn't made out of stone and there weren't any stained glass windows. When I was there I learnt about lots more Gods and Goddesses such as the God and Goddess of love.

Understanding the Call to Prayer

By Phoebe Clark, Year 10

Pupils taking GCSE PRS undertook a fascinating trip to London Central Mosque this term.

New to us all, the girls were asked to wear a headscarf as a sign or respect, and to cover legs and shoulders to show respect to the Muslim beliefs, we all found it to be an eye opening insight into the life of a Muslim woman.

We arrived at 11 o’clock, about half an hour before the Zuhr call to prayer, we were introduced to our tour guide, an Irish, Catholic born man who converted to Islam after making friends with a Muslim he had originally planned to convert to Catholic! He reiterated many aspects of Islam that we had already learnt about but it made the knowledge come to life and made us understand their way of life.

After a short break we entered the main prayer hall. This surprised us because women usually aren't allowed to pray in the same area as the men, but they let us all in to observe and fully appreciate the Muslim men during prayer. I think many of us were surprised how relaxed they were about timings of prayer and how to pray, there were many people coming in late or creating their own smaller lines afterwards. What is important is that an individual has taken the time to devote themselves to their religion rather than arriving at the specific time.

This trip helped us all realise that this is a way of life for Muslims, not just words on paper, it made us think of reasons and arguments to bring to the classroom, making our knowledge strong and reasoned.

Visiting Southsea Synagogue

By Abigail S and Isabella H, Year 5

As we arrived at school that morning, buzzing with excitement, Year Five started gathering their things for the Synagogue. As we arrived we had to make sure all the boys were wearing hats because it is a sign of respect.

Inside the Synagogue we were taught all about the history of the Jewish religion and the story of Moses. We learnt about the Torah scrolls and they are written in Hebrew and kept in the Ark, which is a little room behind. There was a special light that is never allowed to go out and God gave Moses the Ten Laws.

The special days for Jews starts on Friday and they are not allowed to work or do anything, so they have to make dinner and then keep it heated up. When it was time to leave, we thanked the kind man who gave up his time to talk to us and went to continue our day at school.

Theory of Knowledge

Year 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) pupils headed off through the morning mist to the Historic Dockyard to visit the Mary Rose Museum for a day with a specific Theory of Knowledge focus as part of their diploma studies.

During the day they considered the ‘first-order knowledge question’ “What sank the Mary Rose?” and, from this, ‘second-order knowledge questions’ such as ‘To what extent can knowledge of the past be certain?’

At the end of the day the pupils gave a short presentation on their thoughts and findings to their peers.