St John's is a festival which reflects the inner mood we experience at this time of year, one in which we find ourselves being drawn outside into the natural world, our senses reaching out into the cosmos like the flames of the fire or the sun. We find it harder to settle to tasks which require intellectual effort and are more inclined to activities which allow our minds to drift and dream. This day, coming soon after the turning point of the year, is also a time to leave behind that which is no longer serving us and step into a new way of being, just like our older children who leap over the embers of a fire.

This year we missed our St John's fire and community picnic, and instead offered inspiration to our families sharing the festival at home. Here are some pictures of their celebrations...

St Johns 1

St Johns 3

St Johns 8   St Johns 7

St Johns 4

St Johns 5

St Johns 6

St Johns 2

St Johns 9

Our children celebrated Whitsun at home this year. For us, this is a festival of peace and unity, global community and understanding. It is perhaps a more reflective version of the May Day celebrations, in which we recognise that we are part of the human community in our spirit as well as our deeds.

Families were encouraged to join us in different activities such as making bread or paper doves, collecting white flowers and making elderflower cordial. Some of their celebrations are pictured here. 

Whitsun 1      Whitsun 2

Whitsun 3     Whitsun 5

Whitsun 4    Whitsun 6

We usually have a festival of renewal and rebirth when we return to school after the Easter holidays, hunting for hidden eggs in our woodland, celebrating new life with special crafts, songs and stories. But this year was different. This strange experience of social distancing meant that we were not able to come back together after the holidays, the Easter Hare was unable to visit our woods, so instead we encouraged our families to do something different.  

This year, for our Easter festival, we asked everyone to go out into their gardens or local open space and create a piece of Land Art. Using only materials such as leaves, flowers, twigs and stones, our families created beautiful sculptures which echo the beauty of the Earth and the love that went into making them. Here are some images captured on that day: 

 

Land Art 2 Land Art 3    

    Land Art 4

Land Art 6  Land Art 8

Land Art 7     

 Land Art 5

Land Art 9   Land Art 10   

Land Art 11   

Land Art 12  Land Art 13 

 Land Art 14   Land Art 17

Land Art 15 Land Art 16   

 Land Art 18   

Land Art 19   Land Art 20   

Land Art 21 Land Art 1a

Land Art 22   

Land Art 23   Land Art 24   

Land Art 30  Land Art 26

Land Art 25      

Land Art 27   Land Art 28 

 Land Art 29

Class 6/7 have had a wonderful week in Salzburg; seeing the sights, visiting museums and Christmas markets, and spending time with our friends at the Waldorf school in the mountains. They have been ice skating, down a salt mine, played in the snow, and enjoyed two classical concerts. 

During their travels they have seen St Nicholas many times, accompanied by his Angels and the Krampus! While we welcome St Nicholas at Alder Bridge every year on the night of 5th December, we never catch a glimpse of him or his companions so this has been a rare treat for Class 6/7!

Salzburg 6

Salzburg 3

Salzburg 1

Salzburg 2

Salzburg 4

 

We began the journey towards Christmas with our Advent Spiral this weekend. Each child carried their candle from the source and then placed it gently on the earth; each little flame bringing more light and more love into the world.

 

Winter is dark, yet each tiny spark

Brightens the way to Christmas Day. 

 

Shine little light, and show us the way

To the bright light of Christmas Day. 

 

Advent Spiral

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