As part of our Art curriculum here at Heathfield we are always developing projects and links that celebrate and teach our students about the world in which we live. Promoting a tolerance, understanding and respect in young people, who are the future. By teaching Islam through Art the students are able to learn and creatively engage through a medium that allows all students to access and create. It is not just about the final product, even though beautiful pieces are produced, it is about the journey to that point, using the creative process as a learning tool. And through this an understanding of Islam can be taught
How could the teaching of Islam be improved in schools? [Extended Project]
By Razwan Ul-Haq
In this blog, we will have a look at teaching of Islam, with a particular focus on how to make it interesting.
A more cross curricular approach
Mosque Visits and Speakers
Heathfield Community School Case study.
The following are the aims from each subject:
Objectives in RE:
- Introducing the Five Pillars of Islam
- God in Islam
- Expressing Faith in Art
- Sacred Writing – the Qur’an
- Meeting a Muslim
Similarly the Art Department had clearly defined objectives.
- Research skills: a tonal drawings.
- Resource skills: Collecting Calligraphy and Islamic Patterns
- Critical Studies: Create a double spread about me as an Artist by “Annotating” (Own thoughts) B: Biography C: Copying one of my images
- Development: Mirrored calligraphy
- Media: Using clay and a maximum of three layers to create their design. After firing, apply paint and varnish.
- Evaluation: Writing an evaluation of the overall project.
Jade McVeigh liaised with the various different departments and many parts of the school community came on board, which included the schools Cedar Centre for Autistic Pupils and there was an opportunity for non-specialist teachers and student teachers to visit whilst the project was taking place, thus raising the profile of Religious Education. Pupils themselves were instrumental in raised
What we learnt and the changes for the follow up Project.
The Project was so well received that we decided to go for a bigger project in 2015. We are currently in the middle of a follow-up Project in 2015.
- We wanted to make it more cross-curricular by adding another subject. In conjunction with the English department we added a Writer’s Workshop session where Razwan would share his fiction but also have an Art element too through the poetry on Truck Art of Pakistan.
- This was also an ideal opportunity for the Gifted & Talented Cohort to really get involved.
- The Art Department has a policy of doing new projects and new approaches and media are being explored for 2015.
- The RE Department felt that it would swap some dates around and begin studying Islam earlier in the year so that pupils could foster questions before Razwan came in and thus engage in the work at a deeper more enquiring level and also feel more confident in the lessons.
- We decided to hold a Teacher’s INSET and invite teachers from schools nearby.
- Pupils were able to follow me on social media and see that I am a normal human being as opposed to the media portrayals!
- The Enterprise Education department this year is on board. Pupils will be creating a podcast for the local radio station which will be featured on the school website.
- As a whole, the project reflected the schools principles of Citizenship, respect and tolerance.
?”Raz’s visit to our school created a buzz of creativity and reflection. The impact of his workshops is felt across the whole school.” Jade McVeigh, Teacher of Humanities
“As part of our Art curriculum here at Heathfield we are always developing projects and links that celebrate and teach our students about the world in which we live. Promoting a tolerance, understanding and respect in young people, who are the future. By teaching Islam through Art the students are able to learn and creatively engage through a medium that allows all students to access and create. It is not just about the final product, even though beautiful pieces are produced, it is about the journey to that point, using the creative process as a learning tool. And through this an understanding of Islam can be taught.” Heather Essadiq, Acting Head of Art
“Razwan, through his work with students shares his culture and involves them in an exploration of Islam. The students relate to him really well and feel comfortable about asking questions about his faith and culture. He talks to them about the traditions and values of Islam and involves them in producing fantastic art work and encourages wide discussion. It certainly addresses some of the key issues facing British citizens today in a very positive way.” Kim Woodward, Teacher of Maths and Citizenship Coordinator
“Raz’s workshops are the highlight of the RE year at Heathfield. I totally agree with everything said above” Sophie Torr, Head of RPE
Source: The London RE Hub