At the London Waldorf School, there are many festivals and celebratory events throughout the year. Some of these occasions are school-wide, with adults and children invited to participate, and others are specifically for certain ages or classes.
Day One Assembly
First day of school. Each class is given an enticing look at some aspect of their curriculum for the coming year. The first day assembly ends with a welcome to the entering students. The "Rose Ceremony" is a special memory for each incoming student, as an eighth grader presents a rose to each first grader, establishing a bond that will continue throughout the years .
Community Potluck Picnic at Gibbons Park
First Friday of the school year.
On or near September 29, the festival of Michaelmas, in which children experience the image of good overcoming evil in the reenactment of the hero slaying the dragon, is celebrated with an assembly and play. Celebrating Michaelmas reminds us of the value of hard work, steadfastness, strength, and courage.
Martinmas Lantern Walk
November. Two separate lantern walks are held: one for children in the preschool/kindergarten and one for children in Grades 1 through Grade Three. At dusk, children gather in the playground with their parents. The children are then led out of the school by their teachers, carrying lighted lanterns they have prepared, in a procession through the darkened garden and into Gibbons Park. As they walk, they sing songs about lighting the darkness. Each light carried in the dark signifies the inner light we must hold throughout the long, dark winter.
November. A social event to highlight the many gifts we have to share. Families participate by asking local businesses which they patronize for donations in exchange for the advertising the auction generates, sharing creative skills by offering homemade goods or services for auction, and by coming to the event to enjoy an adult-only evening for shopping and enjoying good music and delicious treats.
St. Nicholas Day
December 6th. St. Nicholas makes a surprise visit to each classroom and leaves a special treat of oranges or cookies for each child.
The first Saturday of December. Winter Fair provides families and friends an opportunity to join together for an afternoon of fun and seasonal activities including delicious food and a engaging children's activities such as crafts, "Gnome's Journey," candle dipping, and storytelling. The festival is organized by the Parent Association and supported by the entire parent body.
Sunday in late November or early December. A beautiful, quiet and meditative celebration that focuses on the inner light amidst winter darkness. Children in our preschool/kindergarten program will walk around a spiral of evergreen boughs to the centre where they will receive a lit lantern. On their return journey through the spiral they will place their lantern amongst the crystals and other treasures in the spiral.
December 13. Santa Lucia ( the oldest eighth grade girl) visits each class in her white dress and crown of light, bringing a plate of cookies and a song.
December All-Grades Assembly
In December, the last day of school before the holiday break. The December Assembly is a festive occasion where family, friends and the community are invited to attend. The grade school demonstrates some of their work in the forms of music, recitation, math games and more.
Throughout the school year. Class plays are always a highlight of the school year. The plays start small in the younger grades, generally for just parents to watch , but grow in scope, audience and venue as they move through the grades. In the older grades, an evening is usually set aside to perform the play, complete with full costume and sets.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day
In early May. Grandparents and friends of children in Grades One through Three may visit the classrooms and attend an assembly dedicated to them.
The first Sunday in May . An annual school festival that provides an opportunity to join together as a community to celebrate spring with a Maypole Dance performance by the Grade Four class, children's activities , and delicious food. The festival is organized by the Parent Association and supported by the entire parent body.
Late May. The fifth grade studies ancient history, including ancient Greece. It is common for the Olympiad to coincide with the study of Greek history in the main lesson. Our students join other Waldorf Schools in the Great Lakes area where ancient Olympiad competitions are held. Events include the classic pentathlon: javelin, discus, the 100- yard dash, Greco-Roman wrestling, and the long jump. Honour and integrity in sportsmanship are celebrated.
Mid-June. Families, teachers and students celebrate the graduation of eighth grade students, many who have been in the school for 11 years. Recognition of student accomplishments and remembrances of their journey together are celebrated.
The Year-End Assembly
Last day of school. The final assembly of the year includes performances by each class. Family, friends and members of the community are invited to attend.
June Rose Ceremony
During the Year-End Assembly. Mirroring the opening Rose Ceremony, each eighth grader receives a rose from a first grader.
Community Potluck Picnic
Last day of school.