Year 5 Sikh answers: visit to Gurdwara deepens understanding

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Year 5 students have been learning about Sikhism and the importance of belief and practice.  To help deepen their understanding, they were lucky enough to visit the Sikh Gurdwara in South London in the company of a member of the family who founded the temple.

Junior School teaching assistant Mrs Suresh Takk joined class teachers and parent volunteers to accompany the pupils on their visit and introduce them to the rituals at the temple..  It was Mrs Takk’s family who founded the Gurdwara in 1971 because at that time there was nowhere for Sikhs to worship in the area.

The visit was designed to allow the pupils to find out more about how Sikhs practice their religion by seeing the day to day elements of worship and hearing the prayer service of simran.

The activities centred on the Gurdwara hall and the ritual aspects related to the Sikh holy book – the Guru Granth Sahib.  In line with Sikh respectful religious practice, everyone had to cover their hair and enter the hall barefoot, after washing their hands. The pupils saw that men and women kneel on separate sides of the hall and at the same level as the person leading the worship. The students then saw how the Guru Granth Sahib is so highly revered that it is treated like a person with its cloth covers being changed daily.

Class teacher Andrew Hart said: “The pupils experienced a unique place of worship – one unlike anything they had seen before. It was an invaluable learning experience where they saw the practices of Sikhism in context.”