As part of our (Secondary) Religious Studies PGCE trainee teachers attend various field trips throughout the year, visiting a number of Christian and non-Christian places of worship, including churches, mosques, synagogues and Buddhist centres.
One recent field trip included a visit to Holland Road Baptist Church in Hove, where trainees had an opportunity to explore the building, engage in a re-enactment of an adult baptism and ask questions to a number of Christians from the church about their teachings, beliefs and practices. This field trip provided an interesting contrast to one made earlier in the year to Saint Laurence’s Church in Falmer. From these field trips, trainees gained an understanding of unity and diversity within the Christian faith and learned to recognise the importance of reflecting this in the RE curriculum.
Trainees also visited Al-Medinah Mosque in Brighton that has an Islamic supplementary evening school, providing basic Islamic education to children between the ages of 5 and 15. On the field trip, trainees observed one of the five daily prayers (Salah) taking place and ritual washing before prayer (Wudu) , toured the building and asked questions of a religious leader (imam). This supported them in their teaching of Islam, which is a popular option for GCSE Religious Studies, and develop their subject knowledge.
Prior to field trips trainees explore the importance of visiting places of worship with pupils when teaching RE in a secondary school and engaging in dialogue with believers of all faiths as a way of developing knowledge, understanding and empathy.
You can find out more about this course on the University of Brighton website.