Plenty of room for free-thinking at Islamic school

21st January 2005 at 00:00
The idea that Islamic schools do not teach about other cultures and beliefs is disproved at Al-Sadiq and Al-Zahra school in north-west London.

Inspectors visiting the private school last October found 15-year-olds grappling with the differences between the Islamic and atheist views of evil and suffering.

An Islamic studies class was split into Muslim and atheist camps with each challenging the other to justify their opinions.

Dr Mohammed Movahedi, the head, said: "They are going to be citizens in this country and they must know about their rights and what is expected of them."

The school uses visits from public figures, including The Duke of Edinburgh two years ago to educate pupils about British society, he said. Pupils also get the opportunity to visit Parliament as part of their education about public institutions and services.

The mixed school for three to 16-year-olds charges fees ranging from Pounds 1,800 per year for reception pupils to pound;3,450 at secondary level.

It emphasises moral education which the Office for Standards in Education found enabled pupils to distinguish between right and wrong and respect the law.

"Pupils are enabled to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence through... Islamic studies," Ofsted said.

"A great deal of attention is paid to the theme of Islamic akhlaq (good character); all classrooms keep akhlaq charts as part of the reward system.

Pupils are encouraged to discuss and evaluate moral and spiritual issues and apply this to their personal lives."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now