Pupils from two primary schools have been spending time together to learn more about one another’s culture and explore their similarities. 

The Olive School, Blackburn and Lower Darwen Primary School have taken part in a six-week education project led by Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum. 

The two schools have been twinned for the project that explores themes around citizenship and belonging.

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Year 5 pupils have been meeting weekly for six weeks, firstly at The Olive School in Meins Road then, for the last three sessions, at Lower Darwen Primary School in Milking Lane. 

Sessions were aimed at encouraging pupils to share their common values and appreciate one another’s differences.  

The young pupils took part in a workshop with six people each from a different faith background: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish.

Exploring the similarities and shared values of the six faiths, the workshop helped pupils to deepen their understanding of major world religions. 

Julie Bradley, Executive Principal at The Olive School, Blackburn, said,“Our school is one of only four schools in the Borough selected to take part in this interfaith project.

"I’m delighted that we could welcome Lower Darwen Primary School to The Olive School for the first three sessions to share experiences and learn from one another as part of the primary RE curriculum.  

“The Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum does vital work helping our local communities to understand one another better. Our pupils have gained such a lot from taking part in activities with Lower Darwen pupils and friendships have begun to form.

"The children look forward to the sessions and enjoy spending time together.” 

Steven Cumbo, Headteacher of Lower Darwen Primary School, said: 
“This project has been invaluable to both staff and pupils and it has been a pleasure to work with The Olive School. It was brilliant to see the two groups of children in contrasting settings.

"There was lots of collaborative work and it has deepened our children’s understanding of RE and different faiths. It was wonderful witnessing the children just talking to each other and forming new friendships. The project has really strengthened our interfaith studies.”

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Rayyan Khanjra, a Year 5 pupil at The Olive School said: “The Interfaith was good and I enjoyed meeting people from different faiths.  The children welcomed us into their school with their kind, caring attitude. They also made us cards for Eid, and the teacher was kind and helpful.”

Ivy Hollings, a Year 5 pupil at Lower Darwen Primary School, added:  “Interfaith made me learn that it doesn’t matter what religion you have. You can be friends with whoever you want to be friends with. I had a lot of fun learning about different religions.”