This is how Jo Weaving, our South Wales franchisee, celebrated St David’s Day in classes.
I’m not Welsh but I have lived in Wales for over half my life. Until I had my children I didn’t realise that the Welsh language is taught from pre school level upwards and I didn’t realise quite how much effort is put into celebrating St David’s Day. Schools hold their own Eisteddfods which include poetry, music, creative writing and art. My own children have always gone to school dressed up on St David’s Day – our costumes have ranged from rugby players to leeks and miners. Playschools, nurseries and similar groups hold their own celebrations too. This year, for instance, one of our local playgroups asked all the children to wear red each day, sang simple Welsh songs and ate Welsh cakes.
With this in mind, for several years, I have run a week of classes celebrating St David’s Day, and this year (2014) was no exception. This year we had St David’s Day celebrations in our classes in Barry, Bridgend, Pontyclun and Sully.
Many of our Musical Minis came along dressed for the occasion, as did some of the grown up carers. We started our classes by singing a variant of our name song in Welsh. ‘Bore da, sut wyt ti?’ Which means ‘Good Morning, how are you? And for our afternoon sessions ‘Prynhawn da, sut wyt ti?’ Which means ‘Good afternoon, how are you?
When I attended a preschool group in our local library with my youngest, we learnt a few songs in Welsh, so this year, I decided to include a couple of these within our Musical Minis session as well. We sang ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ in the first half of the session, then replaced 2 of our nursery rhymes with a Welsh song using the dog, mouse and horse puppets followed by a finger counting song.
My aim from running these sessions wasn’t to teach the Welsh language but to celebrate the Welsh culture while having lots of fun.