Lesson in Islam for CofE schoolchildren

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RELIGIONS met in harmony when a church primary school welcomed their local imam to teach them about the holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

Year six boys and girls at Wickham CoE Primary in Wickham shared a historic event as they welcomed Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, the Imam at Al Mahdi Centre of the Wessex Jamaat in Wickham, for the first time.

The sheikh brought a scale replica of the Kaaba holy Mecca building into the classroom.

The children walked around the replica to help them imagine the real-life scenario with up to three million people.

Youngsters also enjoyed dressing in the Ihram, the clothing worn when performing Hajj, or pilgrimage.

Kayleigh Gunn, 10, said: ‘I really enjoyed pretending to walk around the Kaaba.

‘People were standing on my toes and we were all squashed together!’

Peter Banks, 11, said: ‘I thought the experience was very interesting.

‘I learned a lot about Hajj and its importance to Muslims.’

Maria Ackland, headteacher, said: ‘The visit brought an important personal element to the children’s learning.

‘School staff are keen to embrace further opportunities to enhance learning and promote understanding between those of different races, creeds and outlooks.’