We visited the Grand Central Mosque in Newcastle in March. A mosque is the main religious building for Muslims to worship. We learnt about the main parts of the Islam religion. Did you know Islam is the second most popular religion in the world?
The Muslim holy book is called the Qur'an. It is usually placed on a special wooden stand to be read because it is so important. The Arabic alphabet has 30 letters compared to our alphabet which only has 26. When people go into a mosque they take off their shoes. This is to keep it clean for prayer.
This clock shows the times of day that Muslims must pray. The times change every day because of the sun rising and setting. We were shown how to pray, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what you are doing, everything stops at the set times so they can pray.
Unfortunately some people only think about Muslims when something bad happens in the world like terror attacks. There are millions of Muslims in this world and it is only a small minority who believe that hurting and killing people is the right thing to do. The majority of Muslims are calm and peaceful and believe strongly in their religion of Islam.
The first pillar is Shahadah which is a declaration of faith.
"I bear witness that there is no god, but God; I bear witness that Muhammad is the prophet of God."
The second pillar is Salah which means prayer.
Muslims pray five times a day, washing themselves before prayer and facing in the direction of Mecca while praying.
The third pillar is Zakat. This is where Muslims give a fixed proportion of their money to charity, this is usually 2 and a half percent. They give this money to help less fortunate people than themselves.
The fourth pillar is Saum. You may have heard of a time called Ramadan. This lasts for roughly 1 month of the year and it is where Muslims reflect on their behaviour and strive to be better.
Every Muslim is expected to fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan so they must not eat anything during daylight hours. This year Ramadan begins on May 27th.
The fifth and final pillar is Hajj which is a pilgrimage to Mecca. If they can afford it, Muslims are required to travel to Mecca once in their lifetime. Mecca is where the founder of Islam, Muhammed, was born so it is a very religious place.
This afternoon 2 of our Mini Police Officers had the opportunity to decorate the Christmas trees at Durham Police Headquarters. They were assisted by the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Snowdon and all the trees looked great when the lights were switched on. Both girls represented the school very well and enjoyed their afternoon.
In October 2 Mini Police officers were selected to go to Police Headquarters to welcome the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Kent to Durham. We formed a guard of honour as he landed in his helicopter and then he spoke to us about the Mini Police as he walked to the car. The Duke was in Durham to officially open Wharton Park. Well done to Chelsea and Evie for being excellent representatives for our school.
In July we visited Durham Police headquarters to see how the real police operate. First we went into the control room and watched call handlers answer 999 calls and organise police across County Durham. Did you know they take up to 900 calls a day?! It's very difficult to try and make sure everyone is in the right place and police can get to where they need to be quickly.
We also saw the Command Room where police deal with bigger incidents or special events for example Durham Miners Gala or a royal visit.
Then we went into the armoury section to see the different kinds of weapons police sometimes have to use. We had to be very careful and only touch the things we were allowed to, but the police officer made sure we were safe all the time.
It was a really interesting visit and made us very excited to begin our role as Mini Police Officers!