We offer a wide selection of workshops at the Open Centre from a variety of different faiths and cultures. We firmly believe that one of the best ways to encourage understanding and diversity is through hands on experience.
All of our workshops are led by trained staff and have an emphasis on fun and interactivity whilst retaining the important message behind them.
We are happy to tailor any of the workshops to your needs and can deliver activities either at the Open Centre or at your own preferred venue. Many schools now are combining workshops to hold a ‘faith day’, if this is something you are interested in, please contact us and we can create a timetable for you.
If there is a workshop you would like that is not listed below, please contact us and we may be able to arrange something to meet your criteria.
Here is a brief list of our current workshops;
• Asian Marriage workshop (Hindu, Sikh and Muslim) and Mehndi Patterns (On hands)
• Asian Cookery
• Asian Food tasting
• African Block Printing
• Faith Badge Making
• Jewish Story Telling
• Hindu Clay Divas
• Arabic Calligraphy
• Hebrew Scroll making
• Jewish Marriage
• Jewish Cookery (Suitable for Key Stage 1 only)
• Passover Workshop
• Interactive Discussion about Jewish Faith (Upper Key Stage 2+)
• Jewish Music
• Jewish Food tasting
• Hebrew Calligraphy
Below is a description of what to expect within one of our workshops. Please note the number of children, is what the maximum recommended for that workshop is though more children may be able to take part – so please ask for more details.
Asian Marriage Workshops (Up to 40 children)
Across all cultures, weddings are an important time for families to come together and celebrate. It is therefore unsurprising that the occasion is filled with tradition and custom. In our marriage workshop we compare the (often) familiar traditions of a Western wedding, with that of an Asian or Jewish wedding. Throughout the workshop, your students will get the chance to learn about food, clothes, guests, music and ceremony, and then culminates in the marriage of two students. During the ‘wedding’ ceremony all children will have the opportunity to try on a range of different outfits (Asian marriage workshops only).
Mehndi Patterns (Part of the Asian Marriage Workshop – Please obtain parental consent for this prior to visit)
For thousands of years mehndi, and the beautiful patterns it is used to create, has formed an important part of the cultural rituals and ceremonies throughout South Asia. Our mehndi workshop offers a chance learn about the significance of mehndi in South Asian culture, and to have a mehndi pattern of your own on your hands.
Jewish Marriage Workshops (Up to 30 children)
Across all cultures, weddings are an important time for families to come together and celebrate. It is therefore unsurprising that the occasion is filled with tradition and custom. In our marriage workshop we compare the (often) familiar traditions of a Western wedding, with that of a Jewish wedding. Throughout the workshop, your students will get the chance to learn about food, clothes, guests, music, ceremony, and then culminates in the marriage of two students. Children will get to look at different ‘props’ used in a Jewish marriage with boys having the opportunity to wear Kippot (Jewish hat). They will also get the chance to learn a typical song that would be sung during a Jewish marriage ceremony.
Asian Cookery (Up to 30 children)
Our cookery workshop is a great chance to try your hand at Asian cookery, making Puri (Fried Chapattis) with delicious chick pea curry (Contains: vegetable or sunflower oil, onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, chilli, tumeric and garam masala). Our recipe has been passed down through the generations and bears little resemblance to any curry you might order at a takeaway restaurant! As well as hands on experience, there is also information provided about the different diets that Asian communities have, and the special occasions that they might eat certain foods. (Please check when booking if it will be suitable for children with particular food allergies as we can then amend the recipes.)
Asian Food Tasting (Up to 40 children)
For children who would like a taste of Asian cuisine then this workshop is for you. Children will get to try a variety of delicious, traditional foods such as; Bombay Mix, Mishree (Sugar Crystals), Makhaney (Sugar balls), Revree (Sugar coated with sesame seeds, Sakar Para (Sweet Pastry), Jeera Para (Salted pastry), Tea Rusk (Bread), Saunf (Sugar coated fennel) and Cake Rusk (Shortbread). In addition to this, children will be able to look at a variety of traditional Indian vegetables and they will learn all about the Asian diet. (Please check when booking if it will be suitable for children with particular food allergies as we can then amend the recipes).
African Block Printing (Up to 30 children)
This is a great ‘hands on’ and practical workshop, allowing all participants to express their creative side. As well as learning about how people in parts of Africa used to communicate through symbols and shapes there will be a chance to practise these symbols through using a range of methods. The final product will be a beautifully and brightly coloured piece of material decorated using a range of block printed shapes and symbols. Perfect for brightening up any room!
Hebrew Badge Making -Faith Badge Making (Up to 30 children)
Find out more about the fascinating language of Hebrew and the importance it plays in the Jewish faith. As part of this unique experience, participants will rehearse the letter sounds and use different methods to practise writing in Hebrew. This workshop includes the opportunity to write and decorate your own name in Hebrew with support from one of our experts, and finishes with the creation of your very own button badge with your Hebrew name and design displayed for all to see.
Arabic Badge Making – Faith Badge Making (Up to 30 children)
Find out more about the fascinating language of Arabic and the importance it plays in the Islamic faith. As part of this unique experience, participants will rehearse the letter sounds and use different methods to practise writing in Arabic. This workshop includes the opportunity to write and decorate your own name in Arabic with support from one of our experts, and finishes with the creation of your very own button badge with your Arabic name and design displayed for all to see.
Haj (Up to 40 children)
The Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (Haj) is an incredibly special journey for Muslims to embark upon. In our Haj workshop students learn about all the stages of the pilgrimage including, flights, food, prayer, artefacts and people. All of our staff that deliver the Haj workshop have been on the pilgrimage and can therefore give first-hand experience on this life changing journey for Muslims around the world.
Jewish Story Telling (Up to 30 children)
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment in the world, and is a great way of exploring the history, traditions, and customs of a different culture. Our story telling workshops are exciting and immersive, and cover story telling from the Jewish faith.
Hindu Clay Divas (Up to 30 children)
The Hindu festival of Diwali celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. One way in which many people across world choose to celebrate the festival is to decorate their homes with lamps and candles, often known as ‘divas’. Our workshop gives students the opportunity to make and decorate their own clay divas, as well as learn about this exciting and colourful festival.
Arabic or Hebrew Calligraphy (Up to 35 children)
This workshop immerses the children in the world of calligraphy in Arabic or Hebrew. Prior to the children attending the workshop we will ask for a list of the children’s first names, then one of our workshop leaders will write on card in Arabic or Hebrew their name ready for the children to start. At the beginning of the workshop children will hear about calligraphy and talk about the different letters of the alphabet in Arabic or Hebrew. Afterwards children will be given the opportunity to practise writing their names and decorate an item using different craft materials to take home.
Jewish Music (Up to 30 children)
In this music workshop, children will have the opportunity to learn and practise singing or chanting traditional Jewish songs with our experienced workshop leader. This is an interactive session not just for students but teachers as well.
Jewish Cookery (Suitable for Key Stage 1 only- Up to 30 children)
Children will be able to experience Jewish food by first tasting some of the traditional foods they have such as; bagels, honey cake and falafel. Children will then create a pastry item which relates to the festival of Purim to eat afterwards. (Please check when booking if it will be suitable for children with particular food allergies as we can then amend the recipes)
Passover Workshop/Jewish Food Tasting (Up to 30 children)
The popular Jewish holiday, Passover, is explored in detail through this workshop. Children will get to rein act a Seder meal where they will get to taste Matzah, Charoset and many more foods. They will also learn facts about this festival through a discussion with our experienced staff member. (Please check when booking if it will be suitable for children with particular food allergies as we can then amend the recipes) Early booking is recommended for this session so all food can be freshly prepared and unusual ingredients can be aquired in plenty of time.
Keep an eye on our workshop list, as we are constantly looking at ways in which we can extend the experiences children and our visitors have through the Open Centre.
In addition to our workshops we also work with ‘Footprints Theatre Trust’ who have a range of story and drama based activities that can provide your school with a unique focus on Cultural Diversity, Citizenship, PSHE and Literacy.
Footprints Theatre Company was formed in 1978 to provide original theatre performance and drama workshops for adults and children. Its founders, Steve & Janet Stickley, were both originally trained as drama teachers and the work of the company mushroomed throughout the following five years taking in schools, festivals, promotional tours for organisations and other special events.
Footprints was registered as a UK Charity (no. 277884).
Footprints latest service ‘The Jesse Tree’ provides schools with the perfect format to celebrate characters and stories from the Bible in chronological order. The day is good fun and ensures every child, teacher and TA enjoys a unique journey. Ofsted have gone on record suggesting that schools might benefit from an off-timetable day for all children to cover Christianity in RE.
For more information about Footprints Theatre Trust – please see their website.