Earlier on in the Summer term, our Year 10 REP (Religion, Ethic, Philosophy) class went to visit various paces in Oxford related to our course.
We began the day visiting the synagogue in Jericho. We were able to sit in the main room of the synagogue where the services take place which was very interesting to see. We got to ask questions of one of the members of the congregation and learnt very interesting facts about Judaism. He taught us about Jewish holidays and the importance and meaning behind them. He also taught us about how the synagogue runs and the different services that take place there. For example, he talked to us about the Shabbat service and the bat/bar mitzvah and the context of its name. Later on, he told us about his own experiences, some of which were very moving, in the synagogue and how friendly the community is. This was extremely educational because it showed us the inside perspective of a synagogue and Judaism which will help us in our REP GCSE.
Before lunch, we went to the Crown Court in Oxford, where the most serious court cases are dealt with. We observed three cases varying in significance from a low level public indecency case to a high priority drug dealing case. We listened to the defence attorneys and prosecutors present their arguments to the judge while the criminal listened in (all three had pleaded guilty to their crimes) in a separate room that was connected by cameras. It was really engaging to listen to what they were saying and how they presented evidence to the judge. Once everything had been said, it was evaluated by the judge and they decided on a sentence for the criminal, mainly depending on the severity of the crime. We thoroughly enjoyed it and many of us would love to go back there to sit in on more cases. It was interesting to see what we had learnt about crime, punishment prisons, deterrents and rehabilitation, etc. and how it is applied in real life situations.
We then made our way to Christ Church in Oxford which we enjoyed very much as the guides were very informative. We were taken round the key rooms including the Grand Hall filled with many historical portraits of previous students and teachers, as well as the traditional religious cathedral in all its glory. This part of the trip was really useful in teaching us about the practices and teachings of Christianity as well as the deep history behind it. Lastly. we were able to ‘grill’ a priest, asking whatever questions we wanted. For example, what his beliefs on same-sex marriage; whether war was ever justified; whether ghosts were real; his view on abortion; whether evil people could ever be forgiven..
Overall, it was a very interesting day and thank you to Natasha Wertheim for organising it.
Maya, Helena and Romany, Year 10