Interfaith Celebration for Supplementary Schools

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Diverse supplementary schools from across the District joined together to take part in celebrating the cultural diversity of the people of Bradford as part of the Inter Faith Week which ran from 15 November until 21November.

The first of its kind the event was held at the University of Bradford, organised by the Bradford Council’s Children Services attracted over 150 people from different communities and performed their cultural music and dance. 

The chief guest was the Bishop of Bradford Rev Dr Toby Howarth, and also included the president of Council for Mosques Rafiq Sehgal and president of Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, Ranbir Singh Rai as well as representatives from the council, University of Bradford and local faith groups.

The children, young people, parents and grandparents from diverse supplementary schools attended and participated in the performances including: 

  • Bradford Polish School
  • Bradford Ukrainian School
  • Bradford Chinese School
  • Bradford Latvian School
  • Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara
  • Jamia Muhammadiya Qadriya

The Inter Faith Week aims to strengthen good inter faith relations, increase the awareness of the different faith communities in the UK, and increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs. It also reflects on the work done by local faith-based groups and organisations while celebrating diversity and developing communities.

Supplementary schools are voluntary organisations which exist to support mother tongue learning, usually at weekends and sometimes in the evenings. Bilingual children and young people attend these schools in addition to their mainstream school.

Supplementary schools have existed for at least a century, with a significant expansion in numbers since the 1960s, driven by increased immigration. Over the years supplementary schools have fulfilled a range of different roles and purposes, reflecting the schools’ differing origins, contexts and motivations.

At present there are 100 supplementary schools in the district, operate independently, mainly staffed by volunteers, and are often free, or charge a small amount to the families who attend and support them. They meet in mosques, temples, churches as well as mainstream school premises and run a range of cultural activities and events for the children and their communities.




Published: 01/12/2015
Audience: All
Contact: Javed Bashir

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