Festivals are a central part of school life. The annual rhythm of the festivals fosters a deep sense of our relationship to the earth through all its seasons. They are special times when all of us – children, teachers and the whole school community – can reconnect with the spiritual rhythm of the year and with each other.
The calendar of our school will include the celebration of traditional festivals from a range of cultures. These festivals will include traditional Northern European festivals such as St John’s Day - Christian festivals which are linked to the pre-Christian calendar and to the equinoxes and solstices, marking the turning of the year and drawing on the roots of national culture. Our calendar will also include festivals that draw on the traditions of the local Muslim community such as Eid al-Adha, building community cohesion and emphasising the common Abrahamic roots of our shared culture. Alongside this we will draw on broader global traditions to further enrich our school life.
In this way, our school will emphasise the value of faith and ritual without promoting any specific religious tradition. Our curriculum will not include the teaching of faith-based ideas except as historical examples or as comparative religious study in Religious Education lessons.
We mark the festivals with special decorations, food, songs and stories, and the children are always involved in the preparations. As the children go through their years in Kindergarten, then school, they begin to remember and look forward to the festivals and to enjoy the recurring pattern.
Festivals we will be celebrating this year.
29th September. Michaelmas
13th November. Martinmas
Advent Spiral for Lower School and Kindergarten and a separate Advent Spiral for Class 6, 7 and 8.
Saturday 3rd December : Winter Fair (Whole School Community)
Friday 16th December: Winter End of Term Celebration (Half Day).
March: Spring End of Term Celebration.
May: May Day Festival
May: Ascention Day
24th June: St. Johns
July : Summer Fair (Whole School Community)
Celebrating St Johns Midsummer Festival with fire. June 2016
Seasonal festivals renew our awareness of the rhythms of the year and foster the children’s relationship to the world into which they are growing.
Each changing season enfolds an idea that has meaning for human lives. In celebrating the festivals, we endeavour to bring the mood and purpose of the season into an imaginative picture. Festivals are social events as well as giving space for inner reflection, bringing warmth to the relationship between school and home.