Report from the RE Conference By Maya Mistry and Eve Hood On Friday 25th March 2011 five students from Ashton Community Science College, along with 2 students from St. Andrew’s C of E Primary school went to the Gujarat Hindu Society Temple on South Meadow Lane for the annual SACRE conference and the launch of the new R.E syllabus. During the day there were several workshops held and the opportunity to look around the actual prayer room in the temple. When we arrived we first received our name tags and greeted the guests. We then went into a room, along with everyone else, and were welcomed by Mrs. Harrison. Students from Broughton led the ‘icebreaker’ which everybody took part in and enjoyed. Then it was our turn to lead a workshop. The focus of our workshop was exploring why Buddhists meditate. To start with we asked everyone to empty their mind of all thoughts. When asked, most people said they found this quite difficult because all of their thoughts and worries kept entering their mind. Secondly, we handed out several different quotes. These were similes and metaphors describing different emotions. People identified different ones and compared them to times in their own lives. After that was the main activity. We separated everybody into four groups. Each group had a chance to try out four different types of meditation. These were: zen gardens, rhythmic breathing, meditating with a mantra and walking meditation. Each group had several minutes to try out each. Then we concluded by asking everybody to leave a comment on each and how it made them feel. After a short break, half of us went into the prayer room whilst the other half participated in an activity called ‘Breathe’. The prayer room was very interesting and contained a number of statues of the gods and goddesses. ‘Breathe’ was unique and contained a number of activities which were all guided by tracks on an MP3 player. After this we had lunch. For lunch we had vegetable curry, vegetable pizza, rice, another type of vegetable curry and cake. After lunch was either, breathe or the prayer room depending on which you had not yet participated in. Then we went to a workshop by another school which involved an island. This workshop was fun and very interesting. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope everyone else did too.