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Places of worship visit develops pupils’ knowledge

Second Year Religion, Philosophy and Ethics pupils made the short trip to Cheadle Mosque as part of their places of worship visits.

The Cheadle Muslim Association Community Centre and Masjid (Centre) is based in Heald Green and has been open since January 2004.

Upon entering the building, pupils took off their shoes before taking a seat and listening to a talk from Mr Arshad Sheikh who runs the educational tours at the venue.

During his dialogue, Mr Sheikh introduced pupils to typical phrases such as ‘As-salamu Alaikum’ (Peace to you) and ‘Wa Alaikum Assalam’ (Peace to you too) and spoke about the pillars of Islam.

The pupils then split off in to groups with one set of pupils learning about the language, the alphabet and having a look at the Quran whilst the other group were shown how Muslims pray and talked about the rituals – such as Wudhu (washing before prayer) – that they go through.

The pupils also tried on Muslim garments and were told why members of the religion wore them and why it was important to their faith.

Following the visit, pupil Josh Roberts said: “I enjoyed the trip to Cheadle Mosque, it was good seeing another religion in action. I thought it seemed a bit more spiritual than some other forms of religion and it felt a bit more social. The best bit was the washing ritual and learning that it was about purification.”

May Nassar added: “I liked learning about the Arabic letters and the fact that they write from right to left. The trip was really interactive and it was interesting learning another language.”

Sachin Gholkar concluded: “Seeing how Muslims pray was interesting – learning about the different moves and the direction they have to face. I thought that there was more action involved than in other religions.”

Later in the autumn term, Third Year pupils will visit the Manchester Buddhist Centre in the next step of the places of worship visits.

Other places of worship trips later in the academic year see First Years visit St George’s Church and the Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara Educational and Cultural Centre in Whalley Range, Second Years head to Gatley Synagogue and Third Years visiting the Gita Bhavan Hindu Temple in Withington.