Festivals are an important part of the Steiner education curriculum at Trinity Gardens School.
The school celebrates a range of festivals that are inspired by the changing seasons and the natural rhythms of the earth. Festivals are typically celebrated through a range of activities, such as storytelling, music, poetry, drama and craft-making. The celebration of festivals helps students connect with the natural world and develop a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the changing seasons. Festivals are also an opportunity for students to connect with their community as families gather together to share food and festivities.
Celebrating the seasonal festivals brings a sense of rhythm and anticipation. Children build their sense of time, as year-by-year their class takes a new role in the festivals. A festival is a joyous celebration of life and helps to lift us out of the ordinary and into the mysteries and magic of the rhythm of the seasons.
A very significant part of the Steiner stream and for Waldorf schools across the globe is the recognition of milestones, significant moments in childhood. We celebrate these with rituals that have meaning for children and one of these is the Rose Ceremony. This ceremony has a long tradition reaching back to the very first Waldorf school. The ceremony involves the oldest students in the school welcoming the young Class One students with a rose, in recognition that leaving the kindergarten, or Steiner Reception, and entering first grade is an enormous shift for children. At the end of the year these same Class One students mirror this gesture by giving a rose to the students in Class 6, to wish them well on their journey to high school.
The Autumn Harvest Festival sees a bounteous gathering of mother nature’s treasures and the celebration of the “Michaelic” spirit as we move into the cooler months.
The Winter Festival celebrates solstice and incorporates beautiful lanterns that the children have prepared and decorated. The community shares warming soup before gathering to sing and watch the lanterns paraded through the darkness. The Winter Festival helps remind us of our ability to bring light into darker times.
The Spring Festival is celebrated with colour and dancing. This cheerful event sees the children weaving wreaths of flowers to wear in their hair. Class 4 children have practiced together to perfect the dancing of the maypole. Then families join together for a community picnic.