At Leicester Racecourse, Oadby, today for "Time to Shine: Sharing Good Practice", a community cohesion pupil conference organised by Learning South Leicestershire Partnership.
I've been invited by Rita Pancholi, Community Cohesion Co-ordinator at Bushloe High School (where I led a session with the school's Community Club just two days ago). I'm taking three workshops and have brought along the Council of Faiths full set of banners.
There are students and staff from eleven schools here today:
- Birkett House
- Bushloe High School
- Countesthorpe Community College
- Gartree High School
- Lutterworth College
- Madani High School
- Manor High School
- Robert Smyth Academy
- South Leicestershire College
- Thomas Estley Community College
- Wreake Valley College
An earlier event with the same title was held at the same venue in November 2010, involving many of the same schools (with a different cohort of students, of course).
My workshop is based on a variety of images, each one of which should allow us to talk about different ways the students might have seen diversity in the world around them, or have experienced it in their own lives. This is an amended version of the workshop I did with Bushloe High's Community Club earlier this week.
Other workshops are presented by Karl Brown (Basketball), Shuki Chani (Media and Community Cohesion) and Gaynor Nash (Legacy of 2012 Olympics). On the programme I'm listed as "Multi-Faith Leader". I'd like to see that on my next business card!
I take the first workshop is before lunch, the second and third after it. By the end of the day, I've seen all students and staff. The first two sessions could hardly go better, but by the time of the third one either the attendees or I (or both) are a bit tired, so the final session is a bit tougher than the other two. Nothing I can’t handle, of course, it just feels a wee bit more of a slog. It's been a hot day, we've all just had lunch and so on.
There's a very good atmosphere today, our presence here generates positive interest and the students make a variety of excellent contributions, both in the workshops and in the plenary sessions. I'm glad I was asked to take part in this enjoyable and worthwhile event. I hope I can do so again.