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St Swithuns CE Primary School

Year 6 trip to the Mosque

Throughout the primary curriculum we learn about different faiths and in order to enhance our learning, we are fortunate to visit places of Worship. 

At the beginning of January, Year 6 visited the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies where were had a fascinating and inspiring talk by a lady called Caroline.  She introduced us to the amazing building, and what it is used for.  There is large library and lecture theatres, and there is also a mosque.  The building was impressive, and we were amazed at the different architectural features such as wood carvings, intricate stonework, and stained glass.  We also saw the most beautiful and huge piece of cloth given to the centre as a donation.  This was once covering the door of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  We were told that every year, parts of the Kaaba cloth is donated to different places and organisations across the globe. 

Caroline also told us about her journey in faith and how she and other Muslims show their commitment to Allah.  We talked about the five pillars of Islam and how these are significant parts of life for Muslims.  Caroline explained about the Shahadah, an Islamic oath or creed, which she declared when she became a Muslim.  We were also told about the other pillars which are prayer (Salat), the giving of alms (Zakat), fasting (Sawm) and pilgrimage (Hajj or Umrah). 

Before looking around the mosque we were taught about the important Wudhu, which is an important washing ritual Muslims carry out before they pray.  They need to wash different parts of their body and then in the mosque, they need to take their shoes off.  When stepping in through the door, this is always with their right foot.  The mosque has a domed roof to support acoustics and the mihrab which is a niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca.  Here we learned a little more about prayer and the learning of The Quran.  We did not meet the Imam, however he is the person who leads the prayers in the mosque which happen five times a day.  He also shares the Quran with followers, especially on a Friday which is a holy day.                                                                                                                                      

Year 6 thoroughly enjoyed the visit and found it very informative.