Islington Peace assemblies- September 2019
We were delighted to be invited by Islington Faiths Forum (IFF) Director, Roz Miller, to work in partnership with members of the forum to present assemblies to schools in Islington on the theme of peace.
Martin Spafford, Tania Aubeelack, Caroline Kamana, Pat Boyer and Carrie Supple met to plan assemblies for primary, secondary and special schools. ‘What Peace Means to Me’ was our title for the sixteen assemblies we delivered in Islington schools during the first two weeks of September.
It was a very rich and rewarding experience, both to be working collaboratively with colleagues from IFF and to be welcomed into so many diverse and stimulating schools. Roz’s organisation and co-ordination of the project was superb and made everything possible.
Together with the faith speakers, we helped many children think more deeply about what peace means to them and others and how peace needs to be maintained and created. We aimed to encourage children to be proud of the way they already, through their daily kindness and caring and through their actions of concern for the environment and natural world, are activists for peace; to understand the importance of working together; and to feel that they can make a difference. They were introduced to stories of peace activism in Islington and Newham as well as in Ethiopia, Mauritius and South Korea.
The children’s responses in all the schools we visited were outstanding. They engaged with the interactive activities, questions and discussions about peace showing a mature understanding of issues, such as solidarity and perseverance, and their own role in promoting peace. They understood that peace is more than the absence of conflict.
We enormously enjoyed taking part in this new JtoJ project and feel it was a very successful collaboration. The feedback from the schools was encouraging and positive, such as:
‘Headteacher and staff said how inspiring and moving they thought it (the assembly) was. All the material covered was great – a talk about creation linked with climate change, reflecting on peaceful music, a story about working together, real life stories about young people changing things, asking the children who represent different faiths and none, to come up and join together in the name of peace.’
‘We loved the way you got the children involved, and gave them such important message – that they can work together to make a difference in the world. We also enjoyed your passionate delivery’
All the JtoJ team hugely enjoyed taking part in this project and would be very enthusiastic about working with again with IFF if the opportunity arises.
(JtoJ was given a generous fee by IFF for the peace assemblies)