On Wednesday 27th June, one hundred and eighty pupils from Linden, Mayflower and Krishna Avanti Primary School gathered at Mayflower for a day workshop on the theme of “learning to live well together.” This gathering was the culmination of a project, funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, that the three schools have been participating in over the past few months. All the pupils are in the year five classes at the schools and as well as two lessons in their own classrooms have also been on a visit to the National Holocaust Centre in Laxton, in the company of pupils from the other two schools.

The workshop began with some icebreaker activities, and then we heard from three speaks on religious perspectives on learning to live well together. Revd Anthony Lees-Smith of St Denys Church in Evington shared a story that Jesus told, of a Samaritan man who crossed racial and religious boundaries to help a Jewish man who was in need. Sumaya Mulla, a regular contributor to St Philip’s Centre’s education programmes, shared a story of the Prophet Muhammad’s life. He experienced abuse from a neighbour, who used to throw rubbish at him from her house. One day, when this did not happen. Muhammad went to investigate, and finding she was ill, cared for her. The woman was amazed that a man who she had treated as an enemy was so kind to her. Third, Pradip Gajjar, President of the ISKCON Centre in Leicester, shared a story from Hindu tradition. The story focused on two princes, who were set different challenges by their teacher. Duryodhan was told to find someone greater than himself to learn from but concluded that there was no one greater than himself. Contrastingly, Yudhisthir was ordered to find someone whom he could help improve, and concluded that he must first work on improving himself. Duryodhan’s pride stands in contrast with Yudhisthir’s humility. The story encourages us to work on our own faults before judging or criticising others.

The main work of the day was focused on pupils sharing their own thoughts on living well together. They worked in small groups, two or three pupils from each school, discussing what helps and stops us living well together, what applies in a school context and how they could share these thoughts with their friends, family and colleagues in school. They day finished with all twenty groups presenting their thoughts to the whole conference.

The pupils all worked really hard during the day, and indeed throughout the whole project. We are grateful to the schools for taking part and continuing their journey of learning how to live well together. Arguably, the biggest challenge in this regard came at play time, which was happily sunny and without incident!