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St David’s Day
St David’s Day is a national holiday celebrated in Wales on March 1st, honoring the country’s patron saint, St David. In this article, we will provide a brief biography of St David and explain why we celebrate St David’s Day. Additionally, we will offer three sets of lessons, one for each key stage, that teachers in the UK can undertake with their pupils to celebrate and learn about St David’s Day.
St David was a Welsh bishop who lived in the 6th century. He is said to have been a holy man and a miracle worker, and is remembered for founding many monasteries and spreading Christianity throughout Wales. He is also known for his famous last words, “Do the little things in life with great love.” St David was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church in the 12th century and is regarded as the patron saint of Wales.
Why do we celebrate St David’s Day?
St David’s Day is celebrated to honor the life and legacy of St David, who is regarded as a symbol of Welsh identity and culture. On this day, people in Wales wear daffodils, the national flower of Wales, and attend church services to mark the occasion. In schools, pupils may take part in activities such as singing Welsh hymns, dancing traditional Welsh dances, and creating traditional Welsh crafts.
Projects for Key Stage 1 (4-6 year olds)
- Making daffodils: Provide pupils with yellow and green paper to create their own daffodils to celebrate St David’s Day.
- Welsh flag collage: Encourage pupils to learn about the Welsh flag by creating a collage using red and green paper.
- Welsh hymn singing: Teach pupils a Welsh hymn and have them sing it together on St David’s Day.
Projects for Key Stage 2 (7-11 year olds)
- Welsh traditional dance: Teach pupils a Welsh traditional dance, such as the Gorsedd, and have them perform it on St David’s Day.
- Welsh food tasting: Organize a Welsh food tasting session for pupils, including traditional Welsh dishes such as cawl (stew) and bara brith (fruit bread).
- Welsh language lessons: Teach pupils some basic Welsh phrases and have them practice speaking Welsh on St David’s Day.
Projects for Key Stage 3+ (11+ year olds)
- St David biography research: Have pupils research the life and legacy of St David and create a presentation to share with the class.
- Welsh culture and history: Teach pupils about Welsh culture and history, including the Eisteddfod (a Welsh cultural festival), the Welsh language, and traditional Welsh crafts.
- Welsh landscape art: Encourage pupils to create artwork inspired by the Welsh landscape, such as painting or drawing pictures of the rolling hills and green valleys of Wales.
In conclusion, St David’s Day is an important national holiday in Wales, celebrating the life and legacy of the country’s patron saint. By undertaking projects and lessons related to St David’s Day, teachers can help pupils learn about Welsh culture, history, and traditions, while also linking to the UK National Curriculum. Whether creating daffodils, learning Welsh hymns, or researching St David’s life, pupils of all ages will enjoy celebrating St David’s Day and learning about Wales’ rich cultural heritage.
- January 31
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