Case Study: The Queen’s Park Faith Tour with Castle Newnham School

Cultural Provider: Queen’s Park Faith Tour

Teacher: Alison Boston from Castle Newnham School

Anyone who’s ever walked round Bedford town centre, dived into Primark, bought a coffee, or sat on a bench by the river will know that Bedford is home to a diverse mix of people. Italians, Indians, Eastern Europeans and people from many other countries and cultures have settled in Bedford. But how much do you really know about the people you walk past on the street? And how much do you just think you know?

In October 2016, tour guides for The Queen’s Park Faith Tour accompanied the whole of Year 7 – that’s 105 young people – from Castle Newnham School. This involved visiting three different places of worship – the Gurdwara (Sikh temple), Mosque, and Church all in one day in supaport of their RE and PSHCE subjects, and to help them ‘see inside’ and appreciate cultures different to their own.

Teacher, Alison Boston, said:

“I would really like our Year 7 pupils to experience a visit to a Gurdwara, Mosque & Church in one trip. It is a wonderful opportunity to see where their peers worship and experience this first hand. As a first trip into their secondary education this will provide a unique insight into the beliefs and experiences of others… I feel that the Queen’s Park Faith Tour will broaden the experience of our pupils in their Personal, Social and Cultural Education. It will give a unique insight into British Values. It will support R.E. curriculum needs but most importantly will hopefully make our pupils better citizens.”

Ensuring 100+ Year 7s got to engage and experience three different sites of worship in one day was no mean feat, but we did it, and our tour guides were impressed with the thoughtful questions and engagement from the people on the tour.

The Queen’s Park Faith Tour received positive feedback from Castle Newnham School, and as a result of this trip, they would like to make the tour an annual event (depending on available funding). Furthermore, they said that they’d like to build on this experience by visiting more places of worship to broaden their experience and understanding of different faiths.

Teacher, Alison Boston, said:

“The Culture Challenge Voucher made this trip viable and allowed 100+ children the chance to challenge their preconceptions, experience at first hand other people’s places of worship and deepen their knowledge of different faiths. We really appreciate the work that The Culture Challenge does. Thank you.”

Castle Newnham School scored The Culture Challenge 5/5 for overall quality, 5/5 for suitability for their group, and 4/5 for the supporting material provided.