ELD - Year 10 Islamic Exhibition & Mosque trip report
As part of our Extended Learning Day, on the 16th and 17th of November, GCSE Religious Studies students from Year 10 took part in a trip to the Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, in Birmingham. This was a trip that had never been done before by Shottery students. We were lucky enough to be invited into the Mosque itself for a tour led by three extremely knowledgeable guides. It would be safe to say that none of us quite knew what to expect from this formidable-looking building we had arrived at, but we were not greeted by solemn halls where we would not be allowed to step out of line – we were greeted by a bright, open prayer hall, decorated beautifully (even with fairy lights!) and open for us to explore and question. After some minutes of quizzing the guides on every corner of the hall, we were led past the Wudu area, where worshippers must wash themselves on entering the building, and up to the women’s prayer hall. This was a smaller, quieter room with windows looking out on the (massive by comparison) main prayer hall, and prayer beads hanging from the walls. One of the guides very kindly played us a recording of an Islamic call to prayer. After another round of questions and informed answers from the guides, we left the mosque full of newly gained knowledge off to lunch.
After leaving the mosque, we visited a nearby Islam exhibition. Here, we ate our lunch and were then shown around by our fantastic tour guides from before. The exhibition had many interesting areas, including faith and history, the five pillars of Islam, Islam and science and family life. These four sections were presented to us in a very interesting and informative way; we learnt a huge amount of information in a very short space of time. At the end of the presentations, both groups had the opportunity to ask any questions that the visit had raised. This was particularly interesting as we learnt about many alternative and sometimes challenging viewpoints that we had not previously come across, in response to relevant and current issues. When we got back to school we were given leaflets and worksheets containing further information.
Overall, the visit was a brilliant experience as we were able to gain an insight into the Islamic faith. The information we were given will prove very useful to us and so we are very grateful to all the teachers who organised and accompanied us on the trip.
Elizabeth Tiskina and Charlotte Arben, Year 10