We hold at least three ‘Pause Days’ every year to celebrate Advent, Easter and Pentecost. In recent years, we have also introduced Pause Days to mark Harvest, Black History Month and United Nations Anti-Racism Day.
On these special occasions, we ‘pause’ the ordinary timetable and spend the day focusing on the festival in creative and reflective ways. The children are arranged into mixed-age groups and spend one session in each classroom over the course of the day, learning about three different aspects of the festival, concept or issue. The teaching and activities are carefully planned to be accessible to all ages and abilities and might include collaborative artwork, cooking, music and dance, drama, creative writing and other practical experiences. We use story books and reflective stories told with objects to bring the learning to life and create an environment of reflective concentration, which encourages spiritual development, deep thinking and respect for each other’s ideas.
Pause Days are always a genuine delight, in which the children show the school vision in action as they support younger children and build relationships with those in other year groups.
Part of our Advent Pause Day usually involves creating our nativity figure for the annual display at Guildford Cathedral. Lots of the families visit the display over the Christmas period and enjoy finding our figure as well as looking at the contributions of other schools and groups.