*Please note a booking is only confirmed once you have received your booking form which will confirm all your details. If you have not received a booking form, your booking may not be yet confirmed so please call us to clarify your information on 01332 360737 at least 4 weeks in advance of your visit.
- All places of worship require modest dress, this means ideally long sleeves and trousers need to be worn by all visitors. For girls wearing skirts, we request you wear thick black tights.
- The Mosque and Sikh Gurdwara require that all visitors wear some form of hair covering (scarves are fine but please check regarding hats as some with large logos or that are in the shape of animals may not be appropriate)
We know that some parents (and pupils) object to these dress requirements but we ask them to think of it in the same way as visiting someone else’s home – you respect the wishes of those whose home you are visiting. Wearing a scarf does not imply anything other than respecting the wishes of those who have been kind enough to invite you in as a guest.
At no point will visitors participate in any act of worship. Covering your head does not mean you are going to participate in worship. It is just a sign of respect. We often find visitors enjoy this part of the experience as it helps them to understand what it is like for different faith groups attending their place of worship.
- If a ceremony or worship is taking place during a visit we ask everyone to respect the privacy of others and to remain as quiet as possible while moving about.
- The purpose of any visit is enquiry – not worship. We do not take part in any acts of worship.
- Our staff are always willing to answer questions that may arise during visits or workshops. However, you, or your group, may have specific questions you wish to discuss so it would be great help to us if you could note them down in writing and hand them to a member of staff at the start of your visit – this will help us to ensure that no questions go unanswered.
- We walk from one place of worship to another. The distances are not great, a few hundred yards in each case, but the streets are narrow, the pavements may not be perfect and cars can be parked haphazardly. High visibility vests for teachers are encouraged so pupils can clearly see their adult and to ensure optimum safety. We have staff vests available at The Open Centre, if required. We also ask teachers to remind pupils to take care when walking – and to bring a raincoat in case it rains. This will all be discussed upon arrival.
- Walks will enable visitors to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of our area. The area is very busy with a wide variety of shops selling all sorts of foods and material that visitors may not have seen before. We may be able to take small groups into shops but please let us know before-hand so that we can arrange this.
- Please note – for wheelchair users, lifts and ramps are available at the places of worship but please notify us in advance if this is the case, to ensure all needs are accommodated for. For some places of worship – we can lay down special cloths for wheelchair users to move along to ensure the prayer spaces are kept clean. We need to be notified in advance in you are bringing someone who requires use of a wheelchair. Alternatively, if the wheelchair user can come out of their wheelchair and use another wheelchair we can provide clean, indoor friendly chairs in the places of worship. Again, please notify us of this in advance.
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 email@example.com to add these to your visit.
- As part of the visits to the different Places of Worship, we ask all schools/organisations to give a donation of £5.00 (groups smaller than 35) or £10 (groups larger than 35) to help support the local community. This will be added to your invoice after your visit.
- If whilst visiting the Open Centre you wish to stay for lunch, we have three different rooms available for you to use that can accommodate up to 100 children. As these are quite large spaces, we therefore need to cover the cost of heating and cleaning these rooms during your visit. We therefore charge £5.00 (For up to 35 pupils/one room used) or £10.00 (For more than 35 pupils/two rooms used) This will be added to your invoice after your visit. We also ask that all groups bring the children’s lunches in large black bags so they can be dropped off quickly before starting activities.
- During the Asian Marriage Ceremony Workshop in the Open Centre it will be necessary to have the permission of parents/guardians because:
- Mehndi (hand painting) involves an orange stain which may last for at least two days.
Please ensure that no-one taking part in Mehndi has any skin problems such as Eczema. If this is the case we can provide the pattern on a card instead.
- Some of our food workshops may involve nuts. Please notify a member of the Open Centre staff at the beginning of the session if anyone in the group has any food allergies.
- The Open Centre has toilets including one suitable for disabled visitors.
School and Parental Support
We understand that preparing for any school trip can be difficult, however at the Open Centre we like to try and make this process as easy as possible. When you have confirmed a booking with the Open Centre, each booking will receive a booking form which includes; costing’s, timetable and specific information relating to your activities. You will also receive up to date risk assessments for either; our premises (if staying on site), Faith Trails (Places of Worship), Workshops/Talks or our Fire Evacuation procedure, if applicable.
Letters to Parents/Carers
If you would like any help with what to send out to parents, in your letter for the trip, please download our Template Letter for Schools which you can edit and amend based on your trip. We recommend sending out trip letters at least 4 weeks in advance.
Some schools are finding that some parents have reservations about their child becoming involved in activities concerning other cultures. If this is the case for you, the Open Centre has created a leaflet with a step by step guide on how to help you with situations such as this. Please email Sam Hussain, Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org for this support guide.
For any additional information you require, we recommend you view our FAQ page first or alternatively contact us on email@example.com or call 01332 360737.