Kindergarten and School life follows a strong daily, weekly and seasonal rhythm highlighted by the celebration of seasonal and traditional festivals throughout the year. Beechtree Steiner Initiative recognizes and has regard for each child’s religious persuasion, ethnic origins, cultural and linguistic background, so that each child is valued as an individual without racial or gender stereotyping. Our children will be helped to develop positive self-identity and to value and respect all cultural and ethnic groups through our dedication to celebrating festivals from different cultures, and working with the parents to find out more about their own heritage and culture in order to make our celebrations inclusive and relevant. Within the festival cycle set out below, we also strive to recognize the culturally diverse nature of our wider society, outside our immediate community.
Through the use of songs, stories, activities and food and in our preparations, we allow festivals to be a whole sensory experience for children. Although there may be some religious references in some of the festivals, we do not consider them to be religious events. We value the reference to how or where a festival originated from whilst keeping our school non denominational.
The dates given are the traditional dates of the festivals, yet we may celebrate them on different days from year to year, due to term dates. Many Festivals will include the parents and wider Beechtree community and some are held within Kindergarten hours for children to experience together as a group. We have several festivals each year with the parents so you can share in the enjoyment of what the children are doing in the Kindergarten. Please see our Important Dates page for the current festival calendar.
Harvest (end of September)
We celebrate the harvest at our apple picking festival.
Our Lantern Walk is the first reminder as winter approaches to call on our own inner light and warmth. It is also a festival to share what we have with others, such as the light of our lanterns. We invite the Beechtree community for a lantern walk one evening at Moor Road, finishing with a warm drink & biscuit around the fire.
Midwinter Spiral (December)
during December we begin to prepare for the winter darkness with this festival of light. Parents join the Kindergarten children for this festival, which is usually the last day of the autumn term.
is traditionally the very beginning of spring. We celebrate the awakening of the earth by making candles and planting the first seeds in the garden.
Spring Festival (March/April)
We celebrate the re-birth of the earth and the plant world. We often have an egg-hunt in the garden during a Kindergarten morning.
In Leeds, families used to celebrate this “White Sunday”, by wearing white and it was an opportunity to buy new clothes and whitewash their houses. It is an opportunity to celebrate the abundance of white blossoms around us.
Midsummer’s Day (21st June)
We celebrate the fire of the sun with a small fire of our own during the Kindergarten morning and we encourage everyone to wear red or orange clothing that day!
Butterfly Day (last day of summer term)
We celebrate the last day of the Kindergarten year with a festival for children and parents. We wave goodbye to our big butterflies who are ready to fly from the Kindergarten. This is a simple, yet special celebration for everyone.