Easter, Ramadan and Holi
18 March 2022
Dear Parents/Carers, Staff and Students,
Thank you for all you continue to do in order to make Handsworth a place the community can be proud of.
As I did with Diwali and Chinese/Vietnamese New Year, I hope to mark the significance of three important religious events to our community whilst drawing some parallels with the mission and values of our multicultural and ambitious school. This makes the next few weeks a rich opportunity for learning whether you are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or of any other faiths (or no faith at all). It’s a time to celebrate the values and humanity we all share in addition to embracing the opportunity to celebrate and take pride in the distinctiveness of our identity.
We have a broad programme of events and activities planned during this special time and I encourage you to talk with each other about the things we are sharing during lessons, in assemblies and Tutor Time.
For many of our Muslim students and their families, the holy month of Ramadan highlights the importance of family, the importance of; charity, empathy and gratitude.. It involves fasting and other important prayers and rituals. Our team is working hard to provide very clear guidance on how all this can be balanced alongside learning and studying at school. We are also very aware of the physical demands of the holy month and will ensure we support students in line with our core values of care, community, character and creativity. Many of our staff, including non-Muslims, also will fast (in some capacity) in order to show solidarity with the community and students.This is so we understand some of the challenges they face. Like in previous years, I will endeavor to fast for a proportion of the month. I gratefully received heartfelt encouragement from the community last year and hope to further deepen my own cultural understanding and learning.
Easter is a time of great contemplation and reflection for many Christians and a time where rejuvenation and resurrection holds special meaning. The rich diversity of the school means this will mean different things to our students whose heritage covers the entire globe from the Caribbean to Africa, Poland to Romania and everything in between. It’s part of the magic and uniqueness of Holyhead that should always be protected. Like with Ramadan, we will make a concerted effort to educate all about the meaning behind Easter and how it can be appreciated irrespective of what you believe.
Today also sees the celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi. This celebration of good over evil marks the start of spring in South Asia and is celebrated in a hubbub of colour and sacred temple rituals. This provides another opportunity for us to learn from one another and celebrate together. The optimism that forms a central pillar of this important celebration is something I want everyone to embrace, especially as we start to see some semblance of normality return to our daily lives, alongside the familiar routines that we associate with our curriculum and wider learning offer.
To all those celebrating, participating and learning, I hope the coming weeks bring you many reasons to feel proud of where we live and work.
Mr R Trafford