What is a faith trail?
A faith trail is an exciting opportunity to visit one of Derby’s fantastic places of worship through an immersive experience.
Please see the video below for an example of what this may look like for your children visiting.
Feedback for Faith Trails
Alternatively if you would like to read more detailed feedback, please see our testimonials page.
Why are visits like this important?
Faith Trails for Schools
We are very lucky in Derby to have a wide range of religions and beliefs in our local community and this is reflected in the Religious Education syllabus for local schools and organisations. Please see the links below for the latest Agreed Syllabuses;
As well as our Faith Trails relating to the Agreed Syllabuses, they also support in ‘Promoting British Values as a part of SMSC provisions’ in schools. From our discussions with different schools, this is something that Ofsted are often looking for and will often ask, how the school is supporting this initiative.
Religion and belief are controversial subjects and our visits are designed to help visiting groups to understand the beliefs of others. We are about breaking down barriers and encouraging tolerance and understanding. The Open Centre’s motto is ‘Promoting understanding through personal experience’ – and there is no better way to do this than to encourage visits to the different places of worship in our community.
Where can we visit?
Our Faith Trails usually start at the Open Centre (If visiting multiple places or may start at the place of worship if just visiting one venue) and can include:
Places of Worship
- Mosque – Muslim place of worship
- Mandir – Hindu place of worship
- Gurdwara – Sikh place of worship (We have two different Gurdwaras we use for visits)
- Church (Baptist church)
- Synagogue – Jewish place of worship (We do not currently work with a Synagogue but can provide a ‘Synagogue Experience’ – Please see our workshop page for more information).
Below are pictures of the places you may visit.
What happens during a visit?
Each Place of Worship is a short walk away from the Open Centre. Each talk/visit usually lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour, with plenty of opportunities to explore and ask questions on a range of topics. Most of these visits take place in the morning so we do not disrupt prayer schedules at the Places of Worship. If you would like an afternoon visit, please contact us to discuss the possibilities (Church and Sikh Gurdwara).
All visits are led by Open Centre staff, many of whom are also from a particular faith community. As our services are often in high demand, we cannot always guarantee a person from a particular faith community for each specific Place of Worship. However, we do have a range of staff members who are experienced and knowledgeable enough to lead visits to a variety of Places of Worship. All staff have been trained and are DBS checked.
Our recommended group sizes for visits to Places of Worship are between 25-45 children. We can cater for smaller groups (for example for Special Schools) or for larger groups up to 60 children. However this is dependent on the age of the children and would be discussed in detail, when booking. Working with groups of this size is recommended for two main reasons, one being health and safety and the other is to ensure a quality, differentiated talk where all pupils have the opportunity to take part. As part of talks children will have the opportunity to take part in a range of interactive activities in order to get to know the faith better or to gain a clearer understanding how the building is used.
However we do not take part in any acts of worship during our visits.
At many Places of Worship, especially the Sikh Gurdwara, the children will have the opportunity to try their traditional food for free. Please let our staff know if you have any children with any specific food allergies so we can advise you accordingly. The Open Centre holds no liability for allergic reactions when we have not been informed prior to the visit or if the severity of the allergy has not been made clear.
Can we extend the learning back at school?
We also have a variety of carefully differentiated Activity Sheets based on our Faith Trails, that can help extend the children’s learning back in the classroom. These are currently only available as part of a Faith Trail visit and prices start from as little as £2.50. All activity sheets are related to the New Agreed Syllabuses and are factually accurate for each religion (Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism).
Here as a list of the Activities available:
- Early Years
- Year 1
- Year 2
- Years 3 and Years 4
- Years 5 and Years 6
- Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4
All are available with a teacher resource sheet. Please email our office on firstname.lastname@example.org to add these to your visit
For any additional information regarding Open Centre visits, please see the information for schools page or our FAQ page.