Sikhism – RE With Mrs Mathison

Today, Year 2 learn about Sikhism. We found out that some of our classmates are sikhs and learned a bit more about their culture and traditions.

What is Sikhism?

Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. It is a distinct religion with its own unique, divine scriptures and beliefs. The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev.


The 5 K’s

The five K's

The children demonstrated to the rest of the class what the 5 K’s represent. We found out that the 5 K’s remind Sikhs of their traditions, which include:

  1. Kesh
  2. Kangha
  3. Kara
  4. Kercha
  5. Kirpan


Mrs Mathison explained to her Year 2’s that one pupil has never had her hair cut and this relates to Kesh. As hair is a gift from God, uncut hair symbolises devotion to God. The rule: be thankful for all that God provides.


This then linked to the use of a turban, which is used by men to keep their hair clean and tidied away when it grows very long. We can see a great illustration of how a turban is used below:

sikh turban process


Next came Kara – a bangle, circular because it shows that God’s love is eternal. It is worn on the right wrist and shows an attachment to God. Rule: you must love and respect God.

One of our pupils explained how she wore the bangle since birth and still has her original bangle!

The 5 K's

Kirpan is a sword, a symbol of freedom from oppression; shows that Sikhs are loyal to their faith and would defend it; reminding them also of Guru Gobind Rai. Rule: you must be true to your faith and be prepared to defend it.

Kangha is the comb, representing tidiness and cleanliness. Rule: you have to be disciplined in all aspects of life.

And lastly, we learned about Kachera. Kachera means shorts, the shorts are worn to remind Sikhs of moral purity. The rule: you must lead a good and modest life.

The Childrens Work

Naming The Child – Sikh Traditions

The children went away to draw what they felt most drawn to and then wrote a small summary of what the symbol was. After discussing why they chose their symbol, we moved onto other aspects of Sikhism and found out that Naam Karan is a Sikh ceremony of naming a child. For the Sikh community, baby naming is a family affair in which religion plays an important part. A newborn is named during the formal presentation of the baby to the Sikh’s Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Two of our pupils explained that their middle name is ‘Kaur‘ – Kaur means ‘Princess’ and most girls’ middle name is Kaur. The boys middle name is often ‘Singh‘ which means ‘Lion’. Symbolism plays a great part in the Sikh religion and therefore, names too become an important aspect.



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