Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, but the Western Church celebrates Christmas on 25 December and the Eastern Church celebrates it on 6 January.


Advent is the season leading up to Christmas. In Western Christianity, Advent includes the four Sundays before Christmas Day. In Eastern Christianity, Advent begins in mid-November. The word comes from the Latin ‘adventus’, which means ‘arrival’. During this period, Christians prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth or ‘arrival’ at Christmas. The last day of Advent is Christmas Eve.

Celebration of Christmas

Christmas is seen as a time for generosity and for thinking about the needs of others. Churches run events to provide food and temporary shelter to people in need.

In the UK, Christmas is celebrated in both a religious and a secular way. There are church services with carols on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day is a national holiday on which many Christians attend church services to thank God for his gift of Jesus. Many people, including non-religious people and people of other faiths, have parties with food and gifts. Christmas is sometimes criticised for being too commercialised.

If you would like to find out more about Christmas celebrations, click here.

Merry Xmas


Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word 'Hanukkah' means 'Dedication' in Hebrew. It celebrates a miracle that happened in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago, where just a day's supply of oil allowed the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. Therefore, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah for eight days.

When is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah (or Chanukah in Hebrew) is celebrated in November or December every year. It lasts for eight days.

In 2020 Hanukkah begins on the evening of Thursday 10 December.

Hanukkah Facts

  • Hanukkah is Hebrew for “to dedicate.”
  • It can be spelled many ways including Chanukah or Chanukkah.
  • Some people call it the Festival of Lights or Festival of Dedication.
  • Gift giving wasn’t originally part of the holiday, but children were given gelt (chocolate coins) money as incentive for studying the Torah.  Gifts were added because the holiday is close to Christmas.
  • Many traditional foods served on Hanukkah are fried in oil to symbolize the miracle of the oil burning for 8 nights.
  • Traditional Hanukkah foods include: potato pancakes called latkes, noodle or potato casserole called kugel, gelt (chocolate coins), jelly doughnuts called sufaniyot

If you would like to find out more about Hanukkah, click here.

If you would like to hear the experiences of a young person over Hanukkah, click here.


International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2nd December

Slavery is not merely a historical relic. According to the  International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

In addition, more than 150 million children are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.

Facts and figures:

  • An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
  • There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
  • Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors.

Click here to hear the experience of a modern day slave in the UK.

World Aids Day

What is World Aids Day?

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Why is World Aids Day important?

Over 103,800 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK over 4,450 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

Watch this video about changing perceptions about HIV and AIDS.

If you would like to find out more, see this link.

World AIDs day

International Transgender Day of Remembrance

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually on November 20th as a day to memorialise those who have experienced violence and discrimination as a result of transphobia. It is a day when transgender allies raise awareness of the transgender community through education and advocacy activities.

Recognising and talking openly about gender dysphoria can be a difficult experience for young people and they will need care and support on their journey.

If you are seeking help, support or education about transgender issues, please see the links below:

Breakout Youth
Ditch the Label

Watch these videos:

I'm Transgender
Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender flag

Friday 20 November 2020 - World Children’s Day is UNICEF’s annual day of action for children, by children. This year at CPS things are slightly different. We will not be running our usual event, but we will still acknowledge this important day as we feel it is something to celebrate. 


In Year 7 PSHE, students have been learning about Articles 1 and 4 of the UNCRC and have watched a video about World Children’s Day. In addition, in a few weeks we, REaL3, will be organising a tutor time activity for the whole school on an important theme: climate change. REaL3 has been taking part in UNICEF’s OutRight campaign. Every year OutRight empowers children and young people to realise their own rights and speak out in support of the rights of all children. This year’s theme of climate change is of great importance to us all, but it is young people who have the most to lose if this is not tackled. UNICEF is calling for the government to adopt a six-point plan and the fourth point states: increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change.  REaL3 will continue to support this plan and will work with the school community to raise awareness of this issue.  

For more information on World Children’s Day please click here.

For more information on OutRight please see this link.

Unicef Logo     Silver-logo

National Anti-Bullying Week

Anti-Bullying Week takes place in England from 16-20 November. This nationwide event is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and is intended to raise awareness of the issue of bullying among children, especially in schools. Children of all ages, as well as parents, are encouraged to get involved in the event and take part in activities that will help to shine a light on the problem of bullying and ways to help resolve the issue. This year’s theme is United Against Bullying. What will you do to prevent bullying?

Watch this video about this year’s campaign.

For more information, click here.



Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world.

Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.

In 2020 it begins on Thursday 12 November and lasts for five days, with the main day of celebrations taking place on Saturday 14 November.

Where does the name Diwali come from?

The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "rows of lighted lamps".

Houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. People also enjoy fireworks and sweets too, so it's really popular with children.

What's the festival about?

Each religion marks different historical events and stories.

Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile. They also celebrate the day Mother Goddess Durga destroyed a demon called Mahisha.

Sikhs particularly celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru Hargobind Singh in 1619. But Sikhs celebrated the festival before this date.

In fact, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the most holy place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577. The founder of Jainism is Lord Mahavira. During Diwali, Jains celebrate the moment he reached a state called Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss).


  • Many lights and oil lamps are lit on the streets and in houses
  • People visit their relatives and have feasts
  • Fireworks and festivities are an essential part of the occasion
  • Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped as the bringer of blessings for the new year

If you would like to find out more about Diwali, click here.

If you would like to find out more about the story of Rama & Sita and the Diwali story, click here.

Happy Diwali

Children in Need

Who are Children in Need?

BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £1 billion for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. BBC Children in Need exists to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

Their vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential

Where does the money raised go?

We use the money raised to support disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

BBC Children in Need is currently supporting over 3000 local charities and projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

In the last grant year alone, your support helped change the lives of over 600,000 disadvantaged children and young people, right here in the UK.

There are some incredible children across the country. Each one of them is amazing, but they can be faced with barriers too big to overcome on their own – a sort of raincloud that hangs over them, and gets in the way of them achieving their dreams no matter how much they try to combat it themselves. That’s where our BBC Children in Need funded project workers come in– everyday, ordinary people, have the power to support these children to take down those barriers and push away those rainclouds – allowing them to achieve all they’ve ever dreamt of.

What can I do?

Come as Yourself is all about students embracing their identities, wearing whatever it is that makes them feel comfortable and expressing who they are this Appeal day, whilst raising vital funds to support young people who need it most. We will be holding a mufti day on Friday 13th November. If you can donate £1 it will make a difference to Children in Need. Anything that you can donate over £1, we will to support young people mental health and wellbeing projects at Calthorpe Park School.

Together, we can make a huge difference in a time when it’s needed most

If you would like to find out more, click here.

Watch this video of the Children in Need campaign.

Remembrance Day

Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom honours the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices that were made in past wars. The main observance is on the second Sunday in November, but 2 minutes of silence is also made on November 11.

It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918.

The Royal British Legion (RBL), sometimes called The British Legion or The Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

The Legion holds a fund-raising drive each year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday, during which artificial Remembrance poppy red poppies, meant to be worn on clothing, are offered to the public in return for a donation to the Legion.

The "Originator of Poppy Day", Madame Guérin, raised funds during World War I for widows, orphans, veterans, U.S. Liberty bonds, and charities such as the Red Cross and Food for France.

The opening lines of the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields" refer to poppies growing among the graves of war victims in a region of Belgium. The poem is written from the point of view of the fallen soldiers and in its last verse, the soldiers call on the living to continue the conflict.

Moina Michael, who had taken leave from her professorship at the University of Georgia to be a volunteer worker for the American YMCA Overseas War Secretaries Organization, was inspired by the poem. In tribute to McCrae's poem, she vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who fought in and assisted with the war. She then campaigned to have the poppy adopted as a national symbol of remembrance.

For further information, click here.

Please watch this video.

United Nations Day - 24 October 2020

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its founding Charter. This anniversary comes in a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with severe economic and social impacts. But it is also a reminder that times of struggle can become an opportunity for positive change and transformation.

As a Silver Rights Aware School, we know how important it is for students to have an opportunity to learn about their rights and throughout the curriculum we make links to these rights.

We would have been hosting our 21st Model United Nations at Calthorpe Park School this year and we are looking forward to when this can happen.

If you would like to find out more about what the UN will do to celebrate its 75th birthday, click here.

Watch this video.



International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is organised each year with the goal of eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere. The theme for the Day this year addresses the challenge of achieving social and environmental justice for all. In a world characterized by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means and financial resources, that millions of persons are living in extreme poverty is a moral outrage.

Persons living in poverty experience many interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations that prevent them from realizing their rights and perpetuate their poverty, including:

  • dangerous work conditions
  • unsafe housing
  • lack of nutritious food
  • unequal access to justice
  • lack of political power
  • limited access to health care

Here are some sombre facts and figures about global poverty :

  • 736 million people lived below the international poverty line of US $ 1.90 a day in 2015.
  • In 2018, almost 8 per cent of the world’s workers and their families lived on less than US$1.90 per person per day.
  • Most people living below the poverty line belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries.
  • As of 2018, 55 per cent of the world’s population have no access to at least one social protection cash benefit.

If you would like further information, please click here.

International Day for Eradication of Poverty 2020

Eradication of Poverty

World Food Day

World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. This year the theme for World Food Day is Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together.

Over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. The global population is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050.

The impact of malnutrition in all its forms - undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, as well as overweight and obesity - on the global economy is estimated at USD 3.5 trillion per year.

A steady increase in hunger since 2014 together with rising obesity, clearly indicates the need to accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen food systems and protect people's livelihoods.

Our future food systems need to provide affordable and healthy diets for all and decent livelihoods for food system workers, while preserving natural resources and biodiversity and tackling challenges such as climate change.

We all have a role to play, from increasing the overall demand for nutritious food by choosing healthy, to not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside, despite these uncertain times.

If you would like to find out more, click here

World Food Day 2020           The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020

WFD2020_Poster Landscape_EN_print


International Day of the Girl

Every year on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, under the theme, “My voice, our equal future”, let’s seize the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.

As adolescent girls worldwide assert their power as change-makers, International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on their demands to:

  • Live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS 
  • Learn new skills towards the futures they choose 
  • Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change

For further information, please click here and watch this video.


National Coming Out Day


National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBT awareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic, transphobic or oppressive views.

Coming Out can be a difficult experience for young people and they will need care and support on their journey. National Coming Out Day celebrates and normalises coming out.

If you are seeking help, support or education about LGBTQ+ issues, please see this link.

World mental health day

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people with mental health conditions are experiencing greater social isolation than before. This is why the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health. 

If you would like to know more, please click on this link and see this video.

To help look after a child or young person’s mental health, see this link.

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance of Black History which takes place during the month of October. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history, culture and heritage of Black people.  In years gone by, October has been the only time of year when the UK talks about the achievements of Black people in Britain. Hopefully, the events of 2020 will be a catalyst for Black history to be shared much more widely. At Calthorpe Park, we will be raising awareness of the often hidden history of Black people throughout the month.  

Why Black History Month is more important than ever this year?

The events of 2020 have laid bare the importance of celebrating and educating about diversity. The disproportionate number of Black people who died from Coronavirus during the pandemic, the tragic killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have raised further debate about the inequalities faced by Black people.

#BlackLivesMatter protests around the world sparked a commitment among many individuals and organisations to educate themselves about Black history, heritage and culture – as part of understanding racism and standing in solidarity against it.

In the UK, the injustices faced by some members of the Windrush generation, the unconscious bias entrenched in society, illustrated by the fact that young Black men stopped and searched 20,000 times in London during the coronavirus lockdown (the equivalent of 1 in 4 young Black men), along with Black MPs, barristers, senior police officers, sportspeople and many more demonstrate the need for open discussion.

Black History Month 2020 is a time for people to come together and hopefully learn lessons for the present and the future. It is a time to stand together against racism, unconscious bias and entrenched discrimination.

Please watch the video and visit the Black History Month website for further information.

International Day of Peace

Int. day of peace

The International Day of Peace is a United Nations-sanctioned remembrance day observed annually on 21st September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1981, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.


This year the theme is Shaping Peace Together.  Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together.

Our students wrote:

The International Day of Peace, sometimes known as World Peace Day, is an annually observed holiday of non-violence and cease-fire held on the 21st September. The UN devoted this day as a reminder to everyone about the horrors of conflict and to strengthen the ideals of world peace. In the midst of a global pandemic, it has become even more fundamental and clear that we should be uniting to fight against this virus and not each other. 

As heads of Real3, we are excited to spread the message that this year's International Day of Peace is dedicated to collecting ideas and hearing everyone's voices and views in this unprecedented time. We pride ourselves here at Calthorpe Park, knowing that we are a Rights Respecting School and are here to uphold the fact that every voice should be valued and heard. It should be a day of focused reflection and sharing. Even though we may not all be able to physically stand next to each other at this point in time, it does not stop us standing with each other to make a difference and aspire together. 

 Maddie and Issy ( Student Heads of Real3 )




Please watch this video link if you would like to learn more.

Rosh Hashanah is Jewish New Year. It is celebrated on the first and second day of the seventh month of the Jewish religious year. This year, Rosh Hashanah will begin at sunset on Friday, 18 September and will continue until nightfall on Sunday, 20 September. A Shofar (a musical instrument made from a ram’s horn) may be played in the synagogue, symbolising a call for repentance. A big feast will be eaten and symbolically apples and honey are eaten to symbolise the hope for a sweet and happy new year.

Click on the video to find out more about Rosh Hashanah.

L’Shanah Tovah! (Have a good year!)