Some of our students will start a month of fasting from Tuesday 15 May. We know that this is a special time for our students and their families. At this time of year, they may go without food and drink for a long time and this will also be during the time they will be taking exams. They must be prepared for this by making sure they have food of good nutritional value in the pre-dawn meal before they fast.
One of the strengths of St Martin's is the diversity of faith groups represented in both our student and staff population. This is something quite special at the school. Whilst some students and staff will fast and need time and space to practice their faith, please remember that the Dining Plaza will remain open and most people will continue to eat and drink throughout the day.
During the school day students who are fasting should avoid running or standing around in the sun. Instead find some shade and occupy themselves in low energy activities. In the same way they must also wear the correct school uniform. Obviously when it is very hot, they will be allowed to remove their jumpers and blazers.
When it is very hot it is important that students, who are observing Ramadan, remain hydrated but without food or drink. This is a challenge which most of them will have experienced having fasted in previous years. Small things like washing their hands with cold water or running cold water over wrists will help keep them cool. This should be done at break/lunchtimes. We do not want students constantly out of lessons unless it is absolutely necessary.
The real significance of the month of Ramadan is about self-discipline and working on improving your character. It is not just about going without food for long hours, it is working on values such as honesty, truthfulness, charity, forgiveness, respect and these are the values that this school upholds.
The school community will be focusing on Ramadan in tutor time this week in order to discover more about the Muslim faith and its practices. We will also have a space in school for students to go to for quiet and for prayer Lab 1 or B6. The rooms will be supervised by Ms Hammoudi and Ms Addo.
We wish our students a Happy Ramadan.