A new Islamic weekend school for children focused on developing interpersonal and leadership skills opened on the weekend.
Rise Weekend School, a project of UKIM Leeds, organised by Dr Sabeeta Farpoqui, is found at the Lingfield Centre in Moortown, LS17.
Open to boys and girls, the weekend school is already at full capacity teaching 55 children from the ages of six to 16 with more on the waiting list to be accepted.
The school teaches tafseer of the Qur’an, seerah and Islamic history, morals and values and leadership skills.
The school’s founder says that it is less about teaching “formal academics” and more about providing a faith-based space for children from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities to socialise in.
The school is open from 10am to 2pm and a bookbag with books is provided to the children when they attend their first session.
Dr Farpoqui, said: “I found that there is not much support for children from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the LS17 area outside of school.
“I had a few aims in mind when opening Rise Weekend School. I want to help children with their faith, to develop a strong identity and help them with any mental health issues they may be dealing with.
“Faith is an important factor in our children’s lives, but we felt that they are not able to discuss their religion and couldn’t bring any issues up as Muslims in their normal schools hence why we decided to provide a space on the weekend to give them a place to discuss whatever is on their mind.”
The GP, mentioned: “I hope that parents and children find our school beneficial and that it is not like any other weekend school. Sometimes in our community, there is a focus on academics and not much on their problem solving and thinking skills, which I hope Rise will provide.”
The classes at Rise are taught by volunteers and parents of children attending the school, some of whom are primary school educators, says Dr Farpoqui. “I am not a teacher but I have worked for the NHS for several years and have been involved with various education projects so I thought whatever I could give, I would.
“We also have a few mothers involved but parents who work in leadership will provide the leadership courses. It is a work in progress, but Inshallah we will come up with something that will cater to our children.”
The children at the school are not required to wear a uniform and will be able to run around, play, create and socialise when class is in session.
She added: “The first session went amazing; the children were excited. It is not like a ‘proper’ school, we made sure that the children had fun, were able to run around, play some games, and take part in arts, and crafts. The teachers managed really well, we had lots of questions. The kids didn’t find it boring because we do not have any uniforms or any requirements like you would during normal school. We let the kids be themselves and comfortable with each other.”
The school has a registration fee of £30 with the monthly tuition costing £25 per child, with a £5 discount on the monthly fee for siblings. For more information or to register interest, email email@example.com. The Lingfield Centre is found at Lingfield