Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) celebrates the beginning of a new year in the traditional Chinese or lunar calendar. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Celebrations traditionally take place from New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year is officially the 22nd of January this year and 2023 is the year of the rabbit. There are some fantastic craft activities at the website below.
Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of January and there is a fabulous Newsround video below if you want to find out more about this very special Christian festival.
World Religion Day is celebrated on the 15th and Holocaust Memorial Day in on the 27th.
December is dominated by the Christian festival of Christmas but we must also remember the Winter Solstice on the 21st (the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere), Chanukkah which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies and on Sunday 3rd we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day to 'commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts'. It is held at 11am on the second Sunday in November (the nearest to the 11th of November, the original Armistice Day which ended the hostilities in World War I).
The 13th of November sees the beginning of 'Inter Faith Week'. UK Disability History Month begins on the 16th and it is International Men's Day on the 19th.
Religious special days include the Christian Festivals of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on the 1st and the 2nd and the birthday of the important Sikh Guru Nanak Dev Sahib on the 8th. Find out more about the founder of Sikhism at the link below.
Some of our School Council members laying a wreath to commemorate Remembrance Day
Find out more about Inter Faith Week using this PowerPoint
October marks 'Black History Month' and opportunities will be provided throughout the month to share and celebrate the struggles and achievements of black men and women in the UK and across the world who have literally made history.
The link below takes you straight to the story of Jack Leslie - Britain's first professional black football player.
'Dyslexia Awareness Week' begins on the 3rd October, 'World Mental Health Day' on the 10th and Ada Lovelace Day on the 11th. This day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Find out more about Ada at the link below.
The Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot also take place this month.
The 21st of September is the 'United Nations Day of Peace', a day on which we pray for those people whose countries are at war, including Ukraine, Lebanon, Yemen and Ethiopia.
'Rosh Hashanah' [25th - 27th September] is the birthday of the universe, the day God created Adam and Eve and it is celebrated as the head of the Jewish year, with candle lightings in the evenings, festive meals with sweet delicacies during the night and day, prayer services and rest from work.
Waqf al Arafa - Hajj Day (Islam) is on July 9th 2022. Find out how 11 year old British Muslim Sara celebrates Hajj at the link below.
Nelson Mandela day is on July 18th. Watch this great 5 minute video to find out the most important facts about one of the world's most inspirational leaders.
'National Windrush Day' on June 22nd, honours the British Caribbean community and the half a million people who travelled to the UK after the Second World War.
June also celebrates 'Healthy Eating Week' between the 13th and the 17th and 'World Blood Donor Day' on the 14th!
It is 'International Picnic Day' on the 18th and St Katherine's will be celebrating a day early with our 'Father's Day' picnic on the field where children can invite their Dads or a special male family member in for lunch.
It is also 'National Pride Month' from the 1st to the 30th.
Find out more about how people across the United Kingdom celebrate diversity at the website below.
Deaf Awareness Week begins on Monday 2nd May. In school, classes will be hearing about the lives of influential deaf people such as Helen Keller and Ludwig van Beethoven. Children will listen to 'Strictly Come Dancing' winner Rose Ayling-Ellis read a bedtime story on CBBeebies.
Mental Health Awareness Week follows on Monday 9th May.
Eid ul-Fitr - the festival at the end of Ramadan where Muslims celebrate after a month of fasting takes place on May 3rd. Find out more below, as eleven year old Sara, a young Muslim living in London explains what the fasting and feasting are all about.
Our Signing Choir performing in Friday Worship: 'You've got a friend in me'!
Ramadan begins on April 3rd and lasts between 29 and 30 days. It is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a day of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
The Christian festival of Easter begins on Good Friday (15th) and ends on Easter Sunday (17th) with a celebration of Christ's resurrection.
Jewish Passover begins at sunset on Friday 15th and lasts until Saturday 23rd which is also the day that many countries and communities across the world remember and commemorate St George - St George's Day.
March begins with St David's Day on Tuesday 1st (The Patron Saint of Wales) and this is also Shrove Tuesday, a Christian festival celebrated in many countries across the globe. It falls on the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent - a period of around six weeks leading up to Easter. During Lent, Christians give up luxuries to remember when Jesus went into the desert for forty days to pray and fast. Children in St Katherine's take part in annual pancake races on Shrove Tuesday and the KS2 visit the parish church of St Nicholas on Canvey Island for a service on Ash Wednesday.
Tuesday March 8th is INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY. Have a look at the PowerPoint below to find out more. We will be looking at the significance of some of the following women in our assemblies and curriculum, not just this week but throughout the year. Year 1 have already done some fabulous work on Rosa Parks. Some of our other favourites are Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg and our very own Queen Elizabeth II who celebrates her platinum jubilee this year.
Ash Wednesday Service at St Nicholas Church
Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese or lunar calendar. It is also known as the Spring festival because it marks the end of winter. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21st January and 2oth February.
February also marks LGBT+ History month. Children from Reception to Year 6 will be learning about what diversity truly means and appreciating the richness of our differences as beings on this planet earth.
There is a great Power Point below which aims to help children of all ages in Primary school understand what makes us all different and how wonderful it is to celebrate our uniqueness and individuality.
Thursday February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This is a global celebration of the women who work and contribute to the major scientific findings that we see every day, in the past and the future. The day is an important reminder of the accomplishments of women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and an opportunity to promote full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls in all the STEM fields.
This month starts with World Braille Day, celebrated since only 2019 and observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication for the blind and partially-sighted. Find out more at the website below.
Across the World Christians celebrate Epiphany on Thursday 6th - a day of huge significance and celebration, marking the visit of the Kings with their special gifts.
Jews commemorate 'New Year for the Trees' on the 17th of January - eating fruit to honour the significance of trees in the life and culture of the Jewish people.
Buddhists celebrate new year on the 18th of January - it is known as Mahayana and is a time for meditation and self-reflection. The goal is to find ways to improve and learn from past mistakes. Buddhists also believe that buying new items, cleaning and redecorating the home and giving gifts can bring good luck.
Finally, have a look at this PowerPoint to find out all about WORLD RELIGION DAY on the 16th January.
December is Universal Month for Human Rights with 10th December being Human Rights Day and this year the focus is on 'equality'. This day should be one on which we remember that all human beings are born equal despite gender, race, ethnicity or religion.
'All human, all equal' is the slogan for this year - what better way to end our DIVERSITY focus for 2021.
December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 18th of December is International Migrants Day. On these days we can focus our thoughts and prayers on those whose lives are more challenged and problematic, but at the same celebrate their individual and group achievements - perhaps through our school worship, class assemblies or Religious Education curriculum.
December is a busy month for Christians as they prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The children at St Katherine's have all been busy filling in their Advent diaries and completing daily tasks linked with the Advent season as well as learning all about its significance.
We begin with All Saints Day on November 1st, a day to honour all saints, known or unknown. Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light, is celebrated on the 4th. Learn all about it through the links below. The 11th of November is Armistice Day, where we remember those who gave their lives in war and the 19th is the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. [Class 6 are learning all about the origins of Sikhism and its holy book this half term so look out for some of their work below.] We end the month with Advent Sunday, the first day of the Advent season, when Christians prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
School Council members lay a wreath in the town centre for Armistice Day
Class 1's beautiful Diwali lamps
October is Black History Month in the UK, an event that has been celebrated nationwide for more than 30 years. In years gone by, October has been the only time of year when the UK talks about the achievements of Black people in Britain. Hopefully, the events of 2020 will be a catalyst for Black history to be shared much more widely.
Find out more at the BBC site below and look out for photos and news of what the children at St Katherine's have been doing to mark this special month.
The Life and Significance of Civil Rights Activist: Rosa Parks
Look how proud Josh Dimond of Class 1 is - he was totally inspired by the life of Rosa Parks and chose this as his library book!
October is also the month in which we remember that just under 10% of the world's population (689 million people) are considered 'poor'. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty seeks to raise awareness and funds to work to end the difficulties and hardships these people face every day.
October 9th is the birthday of the fourth Guru - Ram Das, a poet and musician of the Sikh Faith.
October 31st is All Hallows' Eve in the Christian calendar, the day before All Saints Day, a day to celebrate all Christian saints, known and unknown.
In September faiths across the world will celebrate some of their most special days.
Rosh Hananah - The Jewish New Year (7th)
Yom Kippur - where Jews aim to forgive each other and also seek forgiveness from God (6th)
Sukkot - a week-long pilgrimmage festival celebrated in the last week of September.
The 23rd of September is the International day of Sign Languages and the 26th is World Deaf Day. Children in St Katherine's continue to practise their signing in Assemblies during the retelling of Bible stories and music.
29th of September is Michaelmas Day and St Katherine's will celebrate with their Fayre on the 25th and the Choir will sing for the first time in public for many months. A reason to celebrate!
Signing Club at St Katherine's - singing and signing 'You've got a friend in me'
'It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build'
This month not only marks the end of another school year but it also celebrates multiple special days, holidays and anniversaries from world religions, faiths, nationalities and heritages across the globe.
Sunday July 18th is Nelson Mandela International Day. It is a day where people around the world are challenged and inspired to make a difference in their communities. Read more about it at the website below.
On Monday 19th, Muslims will celebrate The Day of Arafah, an Islamic holiday that falls on the second day of the Haj Pilgrimage (one of the Five Pillars of Islam Year 5 learn about). At dawn on that day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way to Mount Arafar where Muhammad gave one of his last famous sermons in the final year of his life.
'It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength'
Maya Angelou (American poet and Civil Rights Activist)
Wednesday 16th June is the day of the Guru Arjan Martydom, where approximately 30 million Sikhs around the world will celebrate and remember the religious figure who gave up his life for the Sikh people.
National Windrush Day is on the 22nd June. This day honours the British Caribbean community and the half a million people who travelled to the UK after the Second World War.
International Women in Engineering Day is held on Wednesday 23rd.
Refugees' Week, Carers' Week, Learning Disabilities Week and Men's Health Week are also a focus for June.
FIND OUT MORE AT THE WEBSITES BELOW
Sunday 16th May sees the start of Shauvot, a two day Jewish holiday where Jews give thanks for their holy book The Torah and they remember the time God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him The Ten Commandments.
What's on this month?
British Science Week also begins on March 5th and Children in Class 1 have been reading about female scientists. They have recorded some lovely book review sessions to tell us all about what they learned.
Class 6 also researched some female scientists and made some trump cards to celebrate their achievements. See their display below.
Riley and Arthur-John read and talked about 'Ada Twist, Scientist' by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Orla, Nyla and Lea read 'Astro Girl' by Ken Wilson-Max
Class 6's Female Scientists' Top Trumps
February’s big event is probably Chinese New Year, which is celebrated on the 12th of this month. Each year of the Calendar represents one of the twelve zodiac animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2021 marks the Year of the Ox.
Below is a CBBC short video which helps to explain how Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese families in this country
Class 2 enjoying their Chinese New Year work
Shrove Tuesday is a Christian festival celebrated in many countries across the globe. It falls on the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent – a period of around six weeks leading up to Easter. During Lent, Christians give up luxuries to remember when Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to fast and pray.
The exact date of Shrove Tuesday changes from year to year. But one thing stays the same — it’s always 47 days before Easter Sunday. And yes, you guessed it, it’s always on a Tuesday! This year it is the 16th!
The name comes from the old word ‘shriving’, which means to listen to someone’s sins and forgive them. In Anglo-Saxon England, Christians would go to church on Shrove Tuesday to confess their sins and clean their soul. In other words, they would be ‘shriven’.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Canada, Shrove Tuesday has another name… Pancake Day! Traditionally during Lent, Christians would give up rich, tasty foods such as butter, eggs, sugar and fat (some Christians continue to do so, in fact). Shrove Tuesday was the last chance to eat them – and what better way to do so than with a delicious pancake!
Shrove Tuesday is followed by Ash wednesday. Many Christians attend an Ash Wednesday service at church and during this service, the priest or minister may rub the sign of the cross on their foreheads using ashes which represent repentence.
Finally, Nirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist holiday celebrated in East Asia. It commemorates the day the Buddha is said to have achieved complete Nirvana – a sense of being where there is no suffering but a feeling of complete peace.
This is celebrated on the 8th of this month.
World Braille Day is January 4th and gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of the issues impacting those who are blind or visually impaired within our society. It is the birthday of Louis Braille, who born in 1809 and blinded as a result of a childhood accident. Determined to overcome his hardships, he was inspired to invent a tactile reading and writing method, now known as Braille, at just 15 years of age.
Wednesday 6th January is Epiphany, when we remember the Magi’s visit to the baby Jesus and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
World Religion Day: January 17th
This day is always celebrated on the third Sunday of January and its aim is to promote understanding and peace between all religions, encouraging people to learn about other faiths and their followers. Class 6 will be beginning a study of Sikhism and the importance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the Gurdwara - look out for photos of their learning.
Holocaust Memorial Day: Wednesday 27th January
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. We remember the six millioin Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of others killed under Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
Hanukkah (or Chanukkah) begins on Thursday 10th December and ends on Friday 18th December. It is known as the Festival of Lights. Click on the links below to find out more about this festival. Look out also for Hanukkah work carried out by Class 2.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on Thursday December 3rd. It is designed to recognise and value the diversity of our global community and to cherish the role we all play, regardless of our abilities. We can learn from the experiences of people living with a disability; look forward to a world where a person is not judged by their abilities or disabilities and we can all make a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights.
Find out more at the link below:
Anti-Bullying Week starts on Monday 16th November - find out more at the web link below.
UK Disability History Month starts on Wednesday 18th November. Its theme is 'How far have we come?' and 'How far have we to go?' It is launched online and continues until Friday 18th December.
Remembrance Sunday is 8th November this year. Learn all about it at:
Sunday 1st November is All Saints' Day, celebrated in honour of all the Christian Saints - known or unknown. Find out more at the website below.
Diwali is the Hindu Festival of lights. It usually lasts five days and symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
Class 1 enjoyed a range of activities to commemorate Black History Month. They learned about the CBeebies' presenters' heroes and listened to some lovely discussion between fathers and their young daughters about what each knew about Black History. They made red buses full of people of colour and celebrated how we are all different and completely unique and individual. In English, they have been reading Handa's Surprise and they were surprised to learn how many cities there are all across Africa! It was not how they pictured the continent at all.
See their fabulous buses below.
Class 2 enjoyed learning about a number of different heroes during Black History Month. They found out all about Rosa Parks and Mary Seacole and compared how their achievements and contributions to the past were very similar. Both were independent, strong women who refused to give up in the fight against injustice. Great work Class 2!
Class 3 created this wonderful wreath of hands during Black History Month to celebrate their differences and as part of their work on 'Give Racism the Red Card'.
Class 4 have been doing some fabulous work based on the book 'I am not a label' by Cerrie Burnell, which describes the lives and contributions of 34 artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from a range of diverse backgrounds and cultures. They have already investigated the singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder, the astronomer Wanda Diaz-Merced and the athlete Emmanuel Ofusu Yeboah.
They are also starting to explore the incredible life of Malala Yousafzai, through her autobiography: 'I am Malala - The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.'
What superb learning, Class 4 - well done!
Class 5 are working on a magnificent piece of artwork on Nelson Mandela and they have been learning about this incredible man and his contribution to the 'rainbow nation' of South Africa - we can't wait to see the finished project.
Class 6 learned all about the dancer Oti Mabuse's heroes through some fabulous Horrible Histories videos. Some of these were very famous, like Rosa Parks and Barak Obama but some were less well-known like the spy Mary Bowser, who posed as a slave in the American Civil War to pass secrets from the Confederates to the Union in the latter's bid to end slavery. The children followed this with some in depth comprehension on Nelson Mandela and the development and significance of Black History month.