Hello and welcome back following the half term break. We hope you managed to have some time to relax and spend time as a family.
This half term is always one of the busiest periods in the school year. As well as having our Year 11 students sitting their mock exams, and our Year 10 students preparing for their mid-year assessments in January, this term also features a number of different occasions and celebrations.
This Sunday is Halloween, and this will see many of our students marking the occasion with a variety of events and activities. Whilst we want our students to enjoy themselves this weekend, we also want to remind them about being responsible citizens within our community. What may seem like a bit of harmless fun can sometimes have a distinct impact on people and local communities. Many houses may display a poster requesting no trick or treaters and we would ask all of our students to respect the homeowners wishes.
On November 4th many people in our community will be celebrating Diwali, the festival of light. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is an important celebration in the Hindu calendar. During the Diwali period, those celebrating dress up, light up their homes, temples and businesses with oil lamps and candles (diyas) and worship Lakshmi. They also light fireworks and enjoy special meals with their family, sharing sweets and gifts.
To our families who are celebrating this special festival, we wish you all a happy Diwali.
In November we also have bonfire night. Bonfire night can be great fun for everyone, but we urge our students to take care and stay safe.
It’s a fact that many accidents are caused by improper use of fireworks and by carelessness, in fact figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks. Injury figures support the advice that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display – far fewer people are injured here than at smaller family or private parties.
But if you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler and bonfire safety tips.
Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used. Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks.
- Only buy fireworks which carry the CE or UKCA marks, keep them in a closed box, and use them one at a time.
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
For our students, we would like to remind them that it is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you’re under 18 and fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18.
The safety of our students is paramount to us, and by being careful and sensible we can all enjoy these events safely.
(We won’t talk about the celebration that takes place later in December just yet as we’ve got lots to do in school before we start getting the tinsel out).