We've had an exciting end to our winter term: on Tuesday, for the start of Hanukkah, we took Reception and Year 1 children to see a performance of Lemony Snicket's 'The Latke Who Wouldn't Stop Screaming' at JW3, the Jewish cultural centre in London.
The children were excited (some turned up early at school, just to make sure they didn't miss it) and they loved the performance, which also provoked interesting discussion amongst the staff. This was in part due to the vibrant way the story mixed Christmas carols, with Moaz tzur (the central 'hymn' for Hanukkah) and folk music, to explore the similarities and differences between Hanukkah and Christmas.
For each night of the Hanukkah, the festival of lights in school, we have lit candles, sang songs and told stories. Each night we have also learned a little about festivals of light celebrated in other cultures, courtesy of Year 1 who wrote and shared poetry about Diwali, Christmas and Halloween.
Helping children to grow up secure in their own cultures, but with respect for the beliefs and traditions of others is an important part of our inclusive approach to learning at Alma. It isn't a simple task and we don't always get mix quite right, but during this week thanks to the dedication of our staff and the support of our parents, we have really felt the power of enabling our children to appreciate the diversity of the cultures they live amongst, whilst celebrating and enjoying their own heritage.
Happy Hanukah and Shabbat shalom,