I am aware that Ramadan will begin next week on around Tuesday 15th May. I understand what an important time this is in the Islamic Year and I appreciate the observance of fasting for adults and children of secondary school age during this time. I also recognise that some older junior school children may want to undertake a partial fast during Ramadan.
However, please try to encourage your children to be sensible about fasting. School is an extremely busy working place and fasting may weaken some children. I have had advice that children below who have not reached puberty are not expected to keep the fast every day. Due to the time of year that Ramadan is in this year, the days are very long and may be hot, so it would be good if your child was encouraged to fast at weekends with the family instead of during the week when they are at school.
As such, we do not expect any children younger than year 5 to be fasting at school.
If you would like an older junior child (years 5 & 6) to fast during the school day, please support us by writing a letter before they begin the fast so that we are kept informed about dinner numbers. Kitchen staff work very hard and we do not want to waste a lot of food during the month of Ramadan.
Finally, KS2 SATs tests begin next Monday 14th May and last until Thursday 17th May. These are very important tests and the children have been working very hard all year in preparation for them. I am aware that the pursuit of education is also a religious and moral duty for Muslims and I know that, as parents, you will want to balance the obligations of the children as young Muslims with their studies and the importance of their tests and education.
As such, I would not expect any children in Year 6 to be fasting next week during SATs week. It is important that the children are calm, relaxed and well prepared having had good, uninterrupted sleep and plenty of food for breakfast to keep them going so that they concentrate throughout the day. I am sure you will support school and explain this to your children.
Thank you as ever for your support,
Mr A Beale