For Interfaith Week this year, St. Marks became activists! Each year group looked at a different question, which examined different aspects of how we are damaging God’s creation and what we can do to rectify this. The classes responded in a variety of creative ways: painting, collage, poetry, letters, drama and digital art. The pupils of St Mark’s truly are activists for change!
The children in Reception had a wonderful time during Interfaith Week thinking about ‘All God’s Creatures’. We had to think about ways in which we could help the animals who live in our local environment. We thought about how God made all the animals. He made a wonderful world for them to live in but we are messing it up. Then, we used our art skills to paint pictures of animals we would find in our local area.
Year 1 listened to the story of Noah’s Ark, where we learnt all God’s creatures are important and so as humans we should look after them and protect them to show respect to God. Sadly, humans cause damage to God’s creatures and our planet through deforestation, dropping litter in the oceans and hunting. In response, we created art to show which animals are most affected and wrote in speech bubbles what we would say to the unkind humans, who are not looking after God’s world.
During Interfaith Week, Year 2 thought about God’s good earth and how our green faith can help us to have a green future. We discussed the following big questions and then responded through our art work and knowledge about the Creation story.
For Interfaith Week, pupils in Year 3 made links to their autumn 1 RE topic, understanding the importance of the creation story for Christians. To show what is amazing about God worlds, children drew pictures on leaves that had phrases from the Bible. They then depicted the bad things that are happening to the world by decorating leaves with pieces of rubbish. Finally, children came up with ways in which we can save God’s world, and wrote them inside an outline of people. These three elements have been put together to recreate the tree of knowledge, from the Garden of Eden.
Year 4 looked at the story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ and in particular the roles of the different characters in the community. We discussed how we would expect these religious people to behave and what values they would uphold. After reading the story, we created freeze-frames for the different parts and speech bubbles sharing thoughts and feelings. Finally, we became activists by writing letters to either a Priest or Levite explaining what we think they should have done when they saw the injured man.
During Interfaith week, Year 5 explored the story of Esther and how this linked to the Jewish festival of Purim. Like Eid-ul-Adha in the Islamic faith, Purim is the celebration of a religious story. In this story, Esther is locked in battle ‘between darkness and light’ and finds the courage through God to stand up for her people, even though she is in danger of being killed. Year 5 retold the story of Esther through comic book imagery, exploring the message of courage, and ‘doing the right thing, not the easy thing’. This challenged the children to consider the time when the right decision might also be the hardest. To conclude the week, the children worked incredibly hard to write a narrative poem of Esther’s story, as a class, in the style of William Shakespeare. Moving forward, we hope the children use the story of Esther to focus on making the right decisions, even when this may not be the easiest.
Year 6 based their work for Interfaith Week around the title: Faith In Action, Values In Action. We thought about the phrase – Practice What You Preach and what this means in relation to faith. If we carry out what we believe, what will our behaviour and actions look like? What will be the effect of this behaviour on ourselves? Our community? The World? Throughout the week, we conducted a silent debate and then collected vocabulary related to our learning. From this, we created Kennings, which are two-word poetic phrases, and then used Tagul to create Word art designs.