Visitor Opinions – Schools (2013)

2017 – 2016 – 2015 – 2014 – 2012 – 2011 – 2010 – 2009 – 2008 – 2007 – 2006 – 2005

We enjoyed our visit very much and I would like to thank all the people at the Mandir very much for their warm welcome and hospitality.

Many students of my group have given me a very good feedback on the visit, some of them even were able to meditate in the prayer room. What a gorgeous experience for me as a teacher! Your hospitality is highly appreciated and if I may, I will come back with another group of students next year in October.

Thomas Forster
Vocational School Landshut
Bavaria, Germany
4 December 2013

I have to say we were very impressed with our time with at the Mandir. Our two hosts were most helpful in facilitating our visit.

The delights to the visit were:
– it was well structured with clear timings given about each section of the visit
– we were asked to select the order of activity to suit our needs and timescale
– the information we were given about the background of the mandir clearly contextualised the experience of our visit.
– how female host was most welcoming and was professional throughout
– our male host clearly connected Hindu belief with every day life and this was extremely helpful for the students. His power point slides were clear and really focused the conversation. We could have stayed and listened for much longer but he was aware of our time constraints and tailored his approach to our needs.

Please thank your colleagues for us – we had a most enjoyable visit.

Camilla Cole
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool
27 November 2013

Once again it has been a very successful and enhancing experience for all of us. The children had enough time to explore the splendid monument and ask questions.
They were very confident that they had deepened their understanding of Hinduism, especially after watching Arti. Thank you again for welcoming us.

Sandra Genty
The Stonebridge School
Stonebridge, London
27 November 2013

Thank you so much. We had a wonderful visit – all your staff were very warm and welcoming. The man who led our question and answer sessions was fantastic – he was very funny! The girls loved the sugar on the way home and the chance to wear a sari.

Nicola Dawson
The Godolphin and Latymer School
Hammersmith, London
21 November 2013

Thank you so much for a wonderful visit to the Mandir today. The staff, helpers and children all had a meaningful experience and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the spectacular temple. The highlight was definitely the prayer ceremony. All members of staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Gaynor Collins
Akiva School
Finchley, London
21 November 2013

Thank you so much for a great trip on Monday – the children had a great time and they were in awe of the temple. Our guide for the morning was brilliant and he really shared his knowledge of Hinduism and the Mandir. He had a lovely manner with the children. Thanks for being so welcoming.

Rebecca Jeffries
Year 2 Teacher 
Haddenham St Mary’s Church of England School
Haddenham, Buckinghamshire
20 November 2013

We had a very interesting and educational visit with you. And our guide was very good and we felt that he was very willing to answer questions and engage our students in conversation. All in all the visit was a great success. Thank you so much.

Erik Skak
Teacher and Guidance Counsellor
Nørresundby-Gymnasium
Nørresundby, Denmark
15 November 2013

We had a delightful visit last Friday and really enjoyed out time at the Mandir. Our pupils were very impressed and liked the building itself as much as the introduction they got by one of your members. Thus I can tell you that we were very satisfied with the visit as it was;… it was just as it should be. We will definitely come back with out next group next year.

Sabine Kranich
Fürstenberg-Gymnasium
Donaueschingen, Germany
7 October 2013

We have just returned from another lovely day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. I brought 110 students on Monday and another 80 today. As always, the trips have been a huge success. The Mandir is very well organised and always really welcoming. I really appreciate all of your time and effort in ensuring that the students receive a great insight into Hinduism. I look forward to bringing more students next year!

Alice Blackburn
Head of RE
Faringdon Community College
Faringdon, Oxfordshire
25 September 2013

Just a quick line to thank you again for our group visit. The temple is beautiful and well worth seeing. Though we visited on one of the hottest days of the year, my students (from the U.S.) all said they were very glad to have made the journey from Kingston. None of them had ever visited a Hindu temple or witnessed a Hindu religious ceremony. We received a very warm welcome from the volunteer, whose introductory talk was both instructive and pitched at exactly the right level for a non-Hindu student audience. I hope very much to visit the temple with another group of students next summer.

Ben Bethell
Kingston University Summer School
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
25 July 2013

Many thanks to everyone who was involved in making our trips to the Mandir such a success. We were all made to feel very welcome by our guides and it was a very interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile experience for our students.

Rob Hayden
Edgbarrow School
Crowthorne, Berkshire
19 July 2013

Thank you from all of us at St Albans Girls’ School. We’ve had a wonderful couple of days visiting the Mandir and felt very welcomed, as we do every year. Hope to see you again next year. 

Elizabeth Tierney
Curriculum Leader for RS
St Albans Girls’ School
Hertfordshire
11 July 2013

Thank you for today. We had real fun with you and the boys thoroughly enjoyed their visit. I love every year being welcomed by all of your smiling faces! 

Tim Young
Lay Chaplain and Head of RS
St Paul’s Prep School, London
10 June 2013

On behalf of the students at Turnford School we just wanted to say a big thank you for making us feel so welcome last week. The students and teachers had a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. We look forward to seeing you again soon. 

Jenni Blank
Teacher of SMSC
Turnford School, Cheshunt
14 May 2013

Thank you so much for providing my team with such an interesting tour this morning. We all enjoyed it very much. Please pass on our thanks to the volunteers and others who were involved with looking after us so well. We had first class attention and the warm welcome was much appreciated. 

We were all impressed by the beauty and holiness of the Mandir and it was especially good to witness first-hand the prayers and devotions of believers. It is a truly lovely place. Our enjoyment was complete with a delicious lunch across the road at the restaurant with much chatter about our visit to the Mandir!  We have learned lots that will help us when we work with many Hindu children who visit us as part of their Religious Studies. 

Janet Marshall
Head of Schools & Families
St Paul’s Cathedral
30 April 2013

I just wish to let you know that the staff and Year 8 pupils of Norwich School thoroughly enjoyed their visit to your Mandir on Friday, 15th March. You always make us so welcome and are so very understanding in letting us observe the arti ceremony with no strings attached; it is very tolerant of you and sets an incredible example of inter-religious understanding. The staff at the shop in the temple are very patient and understanding, too – as well as efficient, and generous.

I would hope that you would pass on our warmest wishes and thanks to your volunteer-guide who has been accompanying us now for many years during our annual visit. The pupils really enjoyed their visit and didn’t complain once about the 3-hour trip there or back. Mind you, it helped that they had an amazing vegetarian curry at lunchtime at the Shayona Restaurant! They were very full and satisfied – I hope spiritually, as well as digestively! 

God-willing, we will see each other again next year. I think I have been taking trips to the Mandir now since about 1998 (at first while I was still teaching in London), then from Norwich where I currently teach. You certainly know how to reach out to young people and make them feel welcome in your place of worship, for which I am extremely grateful.

Diane Saywack
Head of Religious Studies
Norwich School
7 April 2013 

I am writing to thank you, on behalf of the form 3 pupils of Northcote Lodge, for the wonderful trip we had on Monday to the beautiful Mandir. The presentation of exhibition, enthusiasm and knowledge of the guides, and contents of the displays were of the highest standard. Upon returning to school the boys remarked on what a fantastic trip it was. We all felt privileged to visit such a sacred space and share, for a short time, Hindu worship.

I have just worked with the boys in a follow-up lesson. Their perceptions of Hindu worship and Indian culture have really changed. Before our trip I made the statement: ‘Hindu worship is hard for non-Hindus to understand.’ They were able to revisit this statement and build a greater level of understanding and appreciation into their response. Breaking down this fear and misinterpretation of religious rites and rituals is, I feel, the central aspect of RS teaching. I, therefore, thank you professionally for allowing me to provide first-hand experience of your faith to our pupils.

We hope and pray that the learning opportunities offered by your Mandir continue. I look forward to my next visit in 2014!

Richard Lock
Head of RS and PSHE
Northcote Lodge
London
7 March 2013

I am writing to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to visit your beautiful Mandir. The children were in awe of the magnificent grand building which involved such intricate, detailed carvings on the interior and exterior. We were all amazed to learn that the Mandir was completed in three years. A wonderful example of what can be achieved when a community is pulled together by true belief and determination. The exhibition was informative and clearly presented. The biggest problem was trying to extricate the children from the fascinating facts written on the colourful plaques. We were greeted with a truly warm welcome and our visit has given us much to think over and discuss. The children were thrilled with their interesting booklet which they referred to when completing their class work and homework, prompting interest from parents. Thank you again for a special morning and we hope to return next year.

Sue Baker
Kew Green Prep School
Richmond
28 February 2013

On behalf of the children and staff at Froxfield I would like to say thank you very much for making our visit to the mandir so enjoyable and memorable. Everyone made us feel very welcome and were so helpful and we came home feeling very well informed. Many parents also came into the office this morning to say how much their children had enjoyed their visit.

Sue Atkins
Froxfield Infant School
Froxfield, Hampshire
6 February 2013

I am writing this to offer our greatest thanks. All students and staff really enjoyed visiting you at the Mandir and much was learned. Students have written articles for the school newsletter expressing their enthusiasm and interest for the trip and this was all down to your dedicated staff.

Nicholls Laura
William Parker Sports College
East Sussex
4 February 2013