St Patrick’s Day 17th March – Bite-sized for KS1, KS2

By Robert Reed

St Patrick’s Day Parades

St Patrick’s Day originally celebrated the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.  Nowadays, it’s celebrated equally as a festival of Irish heritage and culture.  The celebration is marked throughout the world, not just in Ireland itself.  The biggest St Patrick’s Day parade is in New York City; but, Ireland holds the record for the smallest parade! (lasting a distance of 23.4 metres between the only two pubs in the village of Dripsey, Cork).

St Patrick’s Day school assemblies

Every year schools worldwide celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a school assembly.  A couple of scripts for primary school assemblies are available here: http://www.artdramascripts.com/st_patricks_play

Dressing up like leprechauns

In addition to parades, people celebrate by “the wearing of the green” (shamrocks) and dressing up.  This includes wearing ginger coloured wigs and beards and looking like mischievous leprechauns- who are said to love collecting gold.  [Hmm, that’s a bit like international bankers, but when bankers get up to mischief they wipe a few trillion from the global economy.]  If you’re feeling energetic, you don’t have to be a member of Riverdance to try Irish dancing and appreciate Irish folk music.

St. George’s Day 23rd April – Fun Facts for KS1, KS2 Kids

By Robert Reed

St. George, or Georgius as named by his mum and dad, came from Lydda in Palestine.  He followed his father’s footsteps and became an officer in the Roman army.  Georgius seemed destined for a brilliant military career, until it was decreed that soldiers were banned from being Christian.  That was a problem because there was no way that George was going to renounce his faith. He was martyred on 23rd April CE 303 after some very unpleasant treatment.

The more popular story of George as a knight in shining armour defeating the dragon and saving a fair maiden dates from the Golden Legend– a thirteenth-century best seller in England.

If you’d like to read or perform St George’s story with children – in class or in a school assembly – visit : http://artdramascripts.com/st_georges_play where you could find a brilliant fictitious fun play featuring Saint George and his heroic quests adapted from the legend of St George and the Dragon.

George became the model of a chivalrous knight- the kind of bloke who’d give your granny a ride on his horse back from Tesco with all her shopping without complaint.  The English began to call upon St. George’s help in tricky situations: for example, before the battle of Agincourt, “Cry ‘God for Harry, England and Saint George!’”

Nowadays, St. George’s Day is celebrated with parades, pageants, a few re-enactments of St. George’s altercation with the dragon, and lots of flag waving of course.  People used to wear a red rose in their lapel, but that doesn’t happen any more.  (I think that’s a pity.)

Also, Saint George is the patron saint of several other countries, including Georgia. In fact, the Georgians loved the legend of St. George so much they named their entire country after him (kind of).

Interestingly enough, the 23rd April is the same day William Shakespeare was born… and died.

If you’d like to find out more about St. George, visit: http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/stgeorge.html .