Religious Education

At St. Silas we follow the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education Scheme of Work. The children have the opportunity to study all of the major faiths during their time in school. There are opportunities to work with local schools on interfaith activities. The lessons are designed to be interactive and every child’s point of view is valued. The children handle artefacts, create works of art, make models and take part in discussions and role play activities in order to foster an interest and empathy with people of other faiths.

Interfaith Week 2020

Everyday during this special week, we looked at a different world faith. 

As a school, we looked at the festival Diwali. We learnt that Hindus place lights in their homes, as the Goddess Lakshmi only enters well lit homes. We also decorated some footprints as some Hindus like to leave these around their home to show that Lakshmi has visited! Year 5 studied Hinduism in more detail one afternoon, they created their own Diwali lanterns and learnt that light has special significance in Hinduism as it symbolises beating the darkness. Some children in Year 5 also gained the experience of participating in their own Holi festival as they went out onto the yard to throw some special Holi powder to create some artwork (even though most of it ended up on them!) they learnt that Holi celebrates good triumphing over evil.  
During worship time, all children learnt about the birth of Buddhism and how it started. We looked in detail at the life of Siddhartha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism) and his journey to enlightenment. We were taught about the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path that Buddhists follow throughout their lives, we found it really easy to spot the similarities between Buddha’s eightfold path and our own school rules! In our worship time, we wrote our own eightfold path! Year 6 studied Buddhism in more detail and they looked at Tibetan prayer flags. A Tibetan prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas They are used to bless the surrounding countryside. Year 6 children created their own and filled them with their own mantras, as it is believed that the wind blows the mantras around and spreads the goodwill and positive energy around! 
During this week we also looked at Sikhism. The children learnt all about the daily life of a Sikh and where they worship. We found it really interesting to learn all about the 5 K’s and the things that Sikhs wear to make them feel like they are closer to God. We worked together in our classes to list 5 things that we would like to carry around with us to make us feel closer to God. Year 4 had an afternoon studying Sikhism more closely. They drew a traditional Sikh and looked at the importance of each object they carry! They were also really creative and created their own Kangha (a comb) out of lollipop sticks! 
Year 3 had a wonderful afternoon looking at Christianity in more detail. They focused on the trinity and on what this means to Christians. They began by creating their own name tags, they wrote every name that they are known by on their name tags, for example daughter, sister, niece. This taught them that even though there are lots of names, Christians believe that the Holy Spirit, The Son and God are all one being. After this, they also created their own plaits, this reinforced the idea that although there are three strands, they come together to make one! 
As a school we really enjoyed learning all about Judaism. We looked at the history behind the religion and we could spot some big similarities between Judaism and Christianity! We found out that the Torah (which is the holy book Jews read) is the same as the Bible’s Old Testament! We also looked at the rules that Jews and Christians follow- The Ten Commandments and where these came from. As a class, we wrote our own Ten Commandments, this was lots of fun as we could see the similarities between each other’s rules!  Years 1 and 2 completed some creative activities all about Judaism, they looked at the Star of David in detail and looked at why it was so important to Jews. The children made their Star of David out of lollipop sticks and they looked great! 
Reception children had a wonderful time looking into Islam and their beliefs. The class, looked in more detail at the Five Pillars of Islam and how important these are to Muslims. The children learnt that the Five Pillars of Islam are the five obligations that every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life according to Islam. For their creative activity, the children created handprints and wrote down each pillar on their fingers. They learnt lots from this activity and had lots of fun while doing it!