Visitor Opinions – Schools (2018)
Our students really enjoyed their trip and we would like to visit the Mandir again with another group of students in April next year.
We found the Mandir really interesting and the students found the interactive activity in the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition very engaging. They enjoyed the question and answer session but commented that they would have liked more information on the religion itself rather than the history of the building.
Once again thank you for allowing us to visit your magnificent temple and we would definitely like to visit you again. I will contact you with prospective dates in the next few weeks.
Magdalena Van Der Merwe
13 November 2018
I would like to say thank you for the wonderful visit we had to your beautiful Mandir on 10th October. I have just put a thank you letter in the post.
Everyone showed great generosity in welcoming us; we were such a large party. We were all amazed at the beautiful building and the children were very interested in how it had been built. They were also able to witness at first hand the worship they been learning about at school and experience the peaceful atmosphere. My thanks also go to you for allowing us to eat our lunch in the lunchroom before our hour’s drive back to Oxfordshire.
Barley Hill Primary School
29 October 2018
My students and I had a wonderful time at the Mandir. The students were left amazed by beauty of the building. So many students said it was the best trip they had been on.
The students highlight was watching the Arti Ceremony and meeting the students from the school next door to the Mandir.
All the staff at the Mandir were so helpful and made a trip a fantastic experience.
I look forward to booking a visit again for next October.
Thank you for all of your help!
Hailsham Community College
Hailsham, East Sussex
23 October 2018
We have no specific feedback for you this time, other than to say what a wonderful time the students had and as always it is such a pleasure to visit you. We are always made to feel so welcome at the Mandir.
The Warriner School
10 October 2018
We had an amazing visit. We would very much like to pass our thanks to all the staff there at the Temple for making it so enjoyable. We received a very warm welcome and all volunteers and staff demonstrated great generosity of knowledge. Such a beautiful and amazing experience.
The students found it particularly inspiring for their studies.
We look forward to future visits.
HE Lecturer in Floristry
Writtle University College
10 October 2018
We had a lovely time visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir last Wednesday. Each part was equally informative and interesting, and our girls thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
The question and answers at the end was particularly well delivered. The girls were engaged and the information was aimed perfectly at their age level.
Thank you again and we look forward to bringing a new class next year.
Year 5 Classroom Teacher
Queens College Preparatory School
10 October 2018
Many thanks for your hospitality last week – it was a fascinating experience for both our pupils and staff. We particularly enjoyed the beautiful architecture and the Q and A session….
Overall a great experience and I am very grateful to you all for making us feel so welcome.
Head of Religion and Philosophy
Claremont Fan Court Senior School
25 September 2018
On behalf of all three classes from Gateway Academy who visited the temple we want to say a massive thank you.
We found everyone at the temple welcoming, friendly and informative. We really enjoyed being able to explore the area of worship and the question and answer session.
24 September 2018
Thank you very much for an excellent visit. We bring groups to visit you regularly and each new group of students takes away a real sense of engagement and enjoyment from their visit. This time 2 new tutors were also hugely impressed by the organisation of the visit, the sense of welcome and the awe-inspiring buildings.
Particular thanks to our guide who, as ever, blended information with personal experience, giving our students an insight into the Hindu faith and an understanding of everyday life. This is so valuable for student teachers.
Many thanks again for your hospitality.
Dr Linda Whitworth
Senior Lecturer in Primary Teacher Education, Citizenship
& Religious Education
24 September 2018
Thank you so much for our trip. The children had a lovely time and your staff were very understanding of their needs. I would definitely take my class again another year. I will recommend you to other teachers and friends. Your temple was beautiful and interesting to look around. The children had a great experience visiting your temple.
Russet House School
7 August 2018
We had an excellent visit last week and the trainee teachers gained a great deal from the tour, exhibition and Q&A following the visit. Thank you so much for sharing your time and experiences with us. We hope to visit again with the next cohort.
Frances Lane SFHEA
RE Subject Lead
Senior Teaching Fellow – Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
University College London
25 July 2018
Thanks very much again for a warm welcome and professional, well organised and at the same time friendly visit. The students enjoyed learning about Hinduism, found the design fascinating and were impressed how much the midday prayer helped them to come down and sit in peace. Many thanks again and I hope to visit again next year.
Woodlane High School
23 July 2018
Thank you for accommodating our group last month for our visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Our group really enjoyed the visit. We watched a brief film which gave us background on the construction and significance of the building and then attended a service afterwards. We enjoyed a walk around the building and the grounds and finished our tour within a couple hours.
All staff, security, and volunteers were kind and understanding. The Temple is beautiful and was greatly appreciated and wowed our group. The booking process was made with ease and was clear and concise.
International Students House
23 July 2018
All of the boys and the staff had the most amazing time on our visit. We are so grateful for the warm welcome and insightful information which was shared as well as being allowed to share in the worship. We are also most grateful for your support in welcoming and accommodating the group which arrived late due to the coach breakdown. We were delighted that they did not have to miss anything thanks to your generosity in creating time to allow them to experience the video after the rest of us had completed our visit. We certainly hope to be able to visit you again next year.
Once again, thank you from all of us at Southend High School for Boys.
Southend High School for Boys
30 June 2018
I just wanted to thank you all for the super day we had yesterday. The children learnt so much about the Hindu faith in addition to the focus in our R.E. lessons. The temple is magnificent and the hospitality and organisation of our visit was exceptionally good.
I will be completing a booking for the following year shortly.
Warden Hill Junior School
27 June 2018
I would like to say a huge thank you for today’s visit to the Swaminarayan Mandir. Children really enjoyed the visit. It was highly informative. We had an excellent tour guide who looked after us very well.
Kiran Kaur Lall
22 June 2018
Thanks very much for having us, especially that we arrived earlier. We enjoyed the visit immensely. All the guides were very helpful and informed us about each part of the visit and also made sure that we got to see everything. Your mandir is simply beautiful. We found the video very informative and the right length. The students said they felt the holy atmosphere of the place and how peaceful it felt for them. Also, they enjoyed the music and the midday prayer. Thanks again to everyone for making us feel welcome and looking after us.
Year 10, Woodlane High School
Shepherd’s Bush, London
7 June 2018
I must say that as always, our students had a wonderful time. They found the whole experience great, the stillness in the Mandir allowed them to just stop, rather than being busy doing. They have talked about this non – stop to the other group who could not make it which has helped as it means that the other group are really looking forward to their visit in July.
As always the staff and students were welcomed and made to feel welcome.
John Colet School
22 May 2018
It was really nice. The girls thoroughly enjoyed it and gained a lot from it. They loved the guide especially; he gives some interesting facts about Hinduism and lovely insights into being a Hindu. Thanks to you too for fitting us in on the Friday when you were so busy.
The St Marylebone CE School
22 May 2018
Thank you so much.
Once again this was an amazing visit for our children. The children always comment on how welcoming and friendly you all are and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
In the past, we have not paid for the ‘Hinduism Exhibition’ but were very kindly offered a complimentary visit this time. It was so informative and the children enjoyed that part the most, so next time we will definitely book it for the children.
We look forward to coming back again in the future.
KS2 Form Tutor
St Benedict’s School
21 May 2018
We would like to say ‘Thank-you’ for a hugely enjoyable visit to the Temple. Your staff were very accommodating as we had to re-arrange our visit due to snow on our first date.
The pupils found it fascinating and awe-inspiring to see the wonderful building and then to see a service helped them focus on some of your traditions.
We look forward to visiting again next year.
Worcesters Primary School
24 April 2018
We turned up on the scheduled date according to our original intention and despite having not made the correct booking were welcomed and fitted in with as much happiness as if we were in the right. I want to say a huge thank you to all your staff who were as patient and informative as ever. My boys were treated as guests without any feeling that their chaplain had made an error. Please pass my thanks to everyone in the welcome team who allowed us to sign in as non-booked guests.
We very much intend to return next year as usual.
Rev. Nicholas Morris
Northcote Lodge Preparatory School
Wandsworth Common, London
16 April 2018
This was my fourth visit to the Mandir and, as always, the warm and generous welcome we received from the staff left a very positive impression on both the pupils and teachers.
We arrived early and were very grateful for the unexpected opportunity to sit in on the Arti Ceremony. Thank you for this – and for the flexibility your staff showed in arranging it.
Thank you too for being willing to adapt your programme to the needs of our particular group. We numbered over 100 and so had arranged to divide up into three smaller groups and visit the Exhibition, Prayer Hall and Shop in a rota. This worked well – but only because your staff were willing to make sure we could begin our tour at the right time, when the Exhibition had emptied.
We very much hope to visit you annually, and look forward to doing so in 2019.
Rev. Robin Lapwood
Head of Religious Studies
22 March 2018
Thank you to everyone at the Mandir for making us feel very welcome, as always. The children (and parents who accompanied the trip) are still talking about their visit.
Deputy Head Academic
20 March 2018
We had a most interesting trip to the Neasden temple in March. The service was excellent and we were well looked after by the staff. The pupils were very impressed by the peace and stillness in the temple area and throughout the building, and they loved the beautiful architecture in the great dome area. It was an uplifting trip.
Teacher of Sanskrit
St James Girls’ School
20 March 2018
We are very much looking forward to coming again next week. The experience we had previously was wonderful and the students thoroughly enjoyed it. To the extent that, the rest of the Year 7 students are incredibly jealous and cannot wait to visit.
Head of RE
New Haw, Surrey
8 March 2018
Guides were all helpful and imparted lots of knowledge in an age appropriate manner. Our particular guide was lovely responding to questions and very positive in his feedback to us, which schools always appreciate.
The itinerary set which moves us from rooms for different parts of the day works well to keep concentration levels up.
Thank you, as always, we have been treated well and are grateful to all involved. It is wonderful that our pupils can visit such an amazing architectural structure and learn first hand about different religious customs.
5 March 2018
We really enjoyed the experience, especially the invitation to the prayer. The boys have really been enjoying studying Hinduism and did in fact complete a project on Mahatma Gandhi. They were enormously proud of their achievements as they presented them to the class, but have also been fascinated by Rama and Sita and the theme in the Bhagavad Gita about the family and the testing of faith. Perhaps next time questions could be presented to the children on these topics so they can show you how much they have learnt and enjoyed looking at the Hindu faith and the marvellous ideas it has to offer us all.
Keble Prep School
5 March 2018
I wanted to say that your talk was really good and I really hope that we can have you as our guide once more. I will be returning in the Autumn.
Thanks once more for making the visit so special. I went and ate in the restaurant afterwards and have recommended it to the students. I will be returning with my vegetarian daughter who will love it.
Senior Lecturer in Art History
Regent’s University London
Regent’s Park, London
5 March 2018
Once again, it was another excellent visit which we all greatly enjoyed. The staff are all so pleasant, helpful and lovely to see each year. The Mandir is so welcoming and it is a real highlight of the year for the Year 6 children.
Now we have discovered the luncheon room that we can pre-book, that was the final piece in the jigsaw that needed sorting and we now have that in place.
Thank you for all your help in organising the visit which is so special. I have no further recommendations as the whole trip runs so smoothly.
The pupils enjoy the question and answer session and watching the DVD and the ceremony and sketching in the temple.
I will be sure to be booking again for February 2019.
Holmewood House Prep School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
4 March 2018
As always, the visit was very interesting and informative. Coming from a very mono-cultural part of the country, we find the children gain a lot from the visit. It is a delight to see how awe-inspired they are by the Mandir. We feel privileged to be welcomed so warmly. I am always amazed at how tolerant worshippers are of the school parties.
Many thanks again for your generosity in welcoming us into the Mandir and explaining things for us.
St. Andrew’s Junior School
Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford
4 March 2018
The visit was marvellous as usual and the teachers and the children would like to thank the Temple organisation which facilitated the visit. The staff are always courteous and willing to share their experience with all the pupils who were visiting the Temple for the first time.
Once again thank you very much and we hope to organise another visit next school year.
Ecole Française de Londres Jacques Prévert
27 February 2018
Thank you so very much for making our Year 5 pupils feel welcome when we came to visit
Thank you all so much for another splendid visit to the Mandir. It was lovely to be back there amongst friends. The children learn so much from the experience in stunning surroundings and now that we have recently discovered the luncheon room, it all makes for a very fine educational experience. Please pass on my grateful thanks to all the wonderful staff who are so helpful and kind. The ceremony is stunning, exhibition excellent, the DVD very informative and the question/answer session both amusing and informative!!
I look forward to booking up for our 2019 visit, in the Autumn, for our visit in February 2019.
Holmewood House Prep School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
8 February 2018
Thank you so very much for making our Year 5 pupils feel welcome when we came to visit the Mandir on Monday. They had a fantastic time, and it was so wonderful to hear their gasps of amazement as they walked from the prayer hall into the exhibition and then up to the central hall of worship.
I would also like to say thank you to our guide for supervising our visit and making sure that as many of the children’s questions were answered as possible. We do appreciate the way you make the Hindu faith accessible to the children.
We have been visiting your Mandir for 4 years and I have already requested permission to book the same educational visit for January 2019!
Three years ago, on the day of our visit, I had a phone call to say that my daughter had been rushed into hospital, and you and your staff were so thoughtful in the way you supported me during the morning. Your kindness was particularly touching.
Best wishes to you all and I look forward to bringing another group of children to visit BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir next year.
Bishop’s Strotford College Prep School
31 January 2018
I visited on January 11th (in the morning) with Middlesex University students as planned. The visit was a wonderful experience and the students found it very beneficial for their learning. Our host did such a lovely talk that was inspiring and uplifting as well as very informative. We would like to thank him and everyone there for making us all feel so warmly welcomed throughout our visit.
Senior Lecturer in Education (Practice)
The Boroughs, London
15 January 2018