FITRAH SIPS

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FAQs

1) Why do we need an Islamic School? Aren’t normal state schools good enough?

Muslim or Islamic schools have increased in number both here and across other parts of the world to provide a values-based approach to educating children and young people. 

Whilst there are many benefits to conventional methods of schooling, the focus of Islamic education is rooted in holistic development of the learner to attain academic excellence, nurture moral character and conduct, and facilitate positive impact upon society. Islamic education helps to nurture righteous, productive, responsible children and young people that use their heritage and identity for the common and greater good. 

A key significance of Islamic schools is that it helps educate pupils on ways to succeed in every endeavour that betters themselves academically, as a global citizen and as a future contributor to the economy. 

 





2) Do you teach the National Curriculum?

Yes - the school covers the vast majority of the National Curriculum for England. Music is addressed through learning and reciting nasheeds (spiritual ballads) and is a development area for the school as we seek to master the art of using the ‘Duff’ (drum) to enhance pupils’ understanding of rhythmic sounds.  The school has a pro-active approach to inter-faith and community bridge building, delivered through Citizenship stuidies as well as personal development and wellbeing instilled through the PSHE programmes of study.  

3) Do you teach the National Curriculum in Arabic?

No, the National Curriculum is taught in English.  We do, however, teach the Arabic Language as a modern foreign language as part of our curriculum package. Arabic lessons are taught mostly in Arabic with English used for classroom management purposes. By the time pupils leave Year 6, most will have developed tri-lingual capabilities. 

4) Are you promoting separatism instead of integration?

It is a statutory requirement for all registered schools – including Fitrah SIPS – to ensure that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils is being met.  The school is committed to ensuring:   

  • pupils can distinguish right from wrong and have respect for civil and criminal law;
  • pupils understand how they can make a positive contribution to society – at a local and wider level;
  • pupils appreciate their own and others’ heritage ‘in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different
    cultural traditions’; and
  • where political issues are discussed in school that pupils are ‘offered a balanced presentation of opposing views’

The noble conduct of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was such that it catalysed progressive social, economic and political reform. For that reason, the school has a moral imperative to develop positive values amongst all its pupils in order that they emobdy exemplary conduct of a British Muslim. 

5) Aren’t there enough Islamic schools already?

There are a number of different ways to answer this:

  • Islamic schools are far less in number than their counterparts from other faith communities
  • The proportion of school age Muslims is far greater than the number of registered and active Islamic schools in the UK
  • Muslim pupils are less likely to be educated in faith schools than their peers

Outside of London and other large cities, the South East and South West has very few Islamic schools established…Portsmouth, Reading and Bristol are the only other options. 

Registered and active Muslim schools that are being run independent of state funding, such as ours, are numbered to be approximately 140. 

When putting this into perspective, Muslims are the 2nd largest religious group - 2.7 Million (4.8 % of the population) in the UK - and in Southampton, just under ten thousand Muslims were recorded at the last census in 2011.  Given such demographics, the rationale for Islamic education and the shortage of forecasted school places in Southampton means that there is a role for Fitrah SIPS to exponentially grow and consolidate its place amongst other educational institutions. 

6) Do you have qualified teachers to ensure our children have the best education?

Whilst we are not required by law to have qualified teachers, our teaching standards are monitored in the same way as other schools' assess the quality of teaching and learning taking place. Further, every school inspection carried out means that there is independent verification to the judgements that we make. This, alongside staff appraisals and teacher training, means that Fitrah SIPS pays close attention to development of its teaching staff to ensure every pupil is consistently receiving a high standard of education.   

Since Spring of 2013 we have been actively supported by the Portswood Teaching School Alliance to improve aspects of our teaching and learning provision and have developed a good working relationship with Southampton’s Local Education Authority (LEA) to ensure we have a ‘critical friend’ to support us in our endeavours. 

7) What school of thought do you follow?

The school seeks to be inclusive in its approach – with the school family comprising of Governors, staff and advisors from a variety of backgrounds.  The school follows mainstream Sunni Islam and does not seek to discriminate against pupils from homes following any other school of thought (madhab) or none.  

8) Is the school open to non-Muslims?

Yes – it is about parental choice and we welcome applicants from families of other faiths and none.

9) How much of the day is used for Islamic education?

Our approach is to normalise an Islamic way of life for pupils rather than just rely on studying Islam for knowledge acquisition. Hence, there is an emphasis on discussion, everyday practices according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), self-reflection and contextualising contemporary topics with a faith-sensitive approach. By doing so, pupils have a sense of identity in the global village in which they will serve, work and make a tangible difference to.

10) How long is the school day?

The school opens at 8:25am and finishes at 4:00pm from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the school is open at the same time but closes earlier at 12pm. Sufficient time is allocated for morning and afternoon breaks, Golden Time, Lunch time and opportunities to perform prayers.

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FITRAH SIPS