School assemblies/ collective worship
IFN has commissioned a number of videos that can be used in schools’ assemblies and as part of collective worship. All of these videos focus on real people who are engaged in inter faith activity, some of whom do not profess a faith at all.
The Inter Faith Network for the UK has produced resources for primary and secondary schools to help them teach about the ways that faith communities across the UK come together to learn about each other, discuss important things that unite and divide them and work together for the common good. As part of this work IFN has commissioned a number of videos that can be used in schools’ assemblies and as part of collective worship. All of these videos focus on real people who are engaged in inter faith activity, some of whom do not profess a faith at all.
They are ideal for use during Inter Faith Week, but can be used at any time.
Each video is between 3 to 5 minutes long and has been developed to promote reflection on two themes:
- Social action
These videos can be used during Inter Faith Week or at any time of the year to enable pupils to reflect on what it means to be a friend and what it means to do good in your community. The videos can be used cross phase and are suitable for primary and secondary settings.
Some of the videos feature young people themselves and others more mature adults. Together they reflect people from many faiths/beliefs and parts of the country.
How to use the videos
There is no set order to the videos and they may be chosen as best fits the school’s collective worship/assembly programme. Sometimes schools will wish to use all the videos in either series but they may choose not to. Similarly they may also want to use a mixture, perhaps with the same or different year or class groups.
Below is a brief description of the focus of each video that will help teachers to choose what they want to ask pupils to reflect on and where it may fit in a programme across a week, term or year.
Friendship – video content
Imam Irfan Soni (Muslim) and Rev Mark Umpleby (Christian)
This is a short video that explains how these two religious leaders became friends, what they value in their friendship and what they have learned as a result of it. It also has a short section showing some of the ways they’ve used their friendship to challenge people to live better lives. They note that the thing they don’t talk about if football because that divides them more than faith.
Jo Backus (Buddhist) and Elizabeth Fewkes (Christian)
This video is part of a longer conversation and focuses on what they value about their friendship. One theme is how they can be honest with each other and how they can talk about things they find difficult. In this they value each other from their own faith perspectives.
Eda Molla Chousein (Muslim) and Josephine Davidoff (Jewish)
Eda works for Religions for Peace (UK) and Josephine for the Faith and Belief Forum. The video is part of a longer conversation about friendship and explores how religion is part of their identity but does not wholly define them, focusing on all the things they have in common that they share.
Mohinder Singh Chana (Sikh)
Mohinder is a Trustee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Here, he shares some reflections on friendship and the ways that friendships with people of other faiths have enriched him, including following a bereavement.
Social Action – video content
Responding to climate change - Aisling Griffin (Catholic Christian) and Sabrina Pears (Jewish)
Aisling works for Pax Christi England and Wales and Sabrina for Religions for Peace (UK). They are both in the same youth network and speak about the ways that they are active in highlighting climate issues and the practical things that they are doing to reduce global warming as young people of faith.
How inter faith encounter can make a real difference: The creation and value of a peace garden - Jeff Bateman
Jeff introduces the Watford Peace Garden, how it developed and the role it has played in bringing communities together to build a better community. He looks at the way the garden has become an important place for commemorating some of the awful events that have occurred around the world and have had an impact here. There also an important environmental aspect to this project.
Further resources for collective worship/assemblies
When exploring the themes of friendship and social action it might be good to start by exploring the Golden Rule. A downloadable poster produced by IFN can be found at: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/shared-values-golden-rule. This can also be displayed in classrooms to support RE.
Many local inter faith groups exist throughout the UK and a list can be found by accessing the interactive map in the Inter Faith Network website: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/involved/groups. The videos here can be used as a springboard for further engagement with inter faith groups in your area.
Videos and RE