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Round Up

This month

October 5 National Poetry Day

This year's poetryfest is even bigger than usual as it coincides with Poetry International, Britain's biggest poetry festival (running from October 6 to 14).

A joint fundraising initiative by the Poetry Society and Childline will include:

* a new sponsored children's poetry competition and a chance for schools to win a prize by organising their own fundraising events;

* a dozen poets and film-makers will be dispatched to schools and children's cinema clubs to make a series of 12, one-minute poetry films in locations featured on this year's commemorative stamps;

* poetry performances, readings and poetry-related events at bookshops, libraries, festivals and arts centres.

Many schools are also planning activities, such as writing anthologies, poetry competitions and hosting visits from poets. Education packs are being sent to every school with suggestions for using poetry in the classroom. For more information, visit www.poetrysoc.com.

October 6-13 National Schools Film Week

Events kick off at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, on October 6, when Lord Attenborough introduces hislatest film, Grey Owl.

On October 9 there will be regional launches previewing Purely Belter, and fresh from their success with Chicken Run, Aardman animators will be on the road talking about their work.

Methods used in film classification come under the spotlight in regional seminars organised jointly with the British Board of Film Classification. For more information call Film Education on 020 7976 2291 or visit www.filmeducation.org.

October 13 The Art of Star Wars

The exhibition, which started at London's Barbican Centre, is now at The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford. Workshops for teachers include using film in the literacy hour. Education packs are available. Call 01274 202040 or visit www.nmpft.org.ukeducation.

October 23-29 Parents' Week 2000

Putting Families First is the theme of the National Family and Parenting Institute's first annual Parents' Week, which aims to promote a more family friendly society and to celebrate parenting. It includes:

* the launch of its website offering parents advice and information;

* a Parent-to-Parent resource pack;

* a guide to legal issues affectingparents. For details, call 020 7424 3460 or visit www.nfpi.org.

National Theatre Performing Arts in Primary Schools Project

The Royal National Theatre has joined with pop group Steps and makers of novelty eggs, Knder Surprise, to launch Steps to the Stage, a new initiative to support the performing arts in primary schools. The initiative includes:

* a free teaching pack;

* a collection scheme whereby schools exchange empty capsules from Kinder Surprise eggs for performing arts resources and teaching materials;

* an opportunity to win a Steps performance at school as part of a prize draw from all the capsules collected. For details call 01304 626222 or visitwww.kindersurprise.co.uk.

Web and Red Nose Days Red Nose Day, organised by charity Comic Relief, doesn't actually happen until March 2001, but already there is a lot of activity. Available now is a free pack, Pa Pa Paa, which looks at Fair Trade and chocolate making. Write to Education Direct, Pa Pa Paa Teaching pack, PO Box 105, Rochester ME2 4BE or visit www.comicrelief.org.UK. Teachers can also order the Red Nose Day Education Pack, by calling 0207 820 5555.

Web Nose Day for schools, launched last month, asks schools and colleges to submit websites about Red Nose Day. Visit www.becta.org.ukschoolswebsiteawards2001awards.html.

FESTIVALS

October 9 Yom Kippur (Jewish)

The Festival of Atonement is a time to ask forgiveness for broken promises to God. But first, people try to make things right between each other, asking forgiveness, on the eve of Yom Kippur, for past wrongs. The day itself, the highest holiday in the Jewish calendar, is a day of fasting and prayer.

October 14-22Sukkot (Jewish)

A week-long celebration, when Jews are commanded to "Rejoice" - affirming the view that by behaving joyfully you can become joyous. Jews also spend time in a "Sukkah" - a shelter where they recall the time the children of Israel spent in the wilderness. The last day, Simchat Torah, focuses on celebrating the Torah.

October 15-22Week of prayer for world peace (Christian)

Weeks of prayer are a relatively modern concept, agreed by Christian churches.

October 24The Prophet's Night Journey to Jerusalem (Muslim) The Angel Gabriel took Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem on the winged horse Buraq. He then ascended to the presence of God who gave him many instructions. Mosques and minarets are lit up and Muslims pray and telling stories of the event.

October 26 Diwali (Deepavali) (Hindu)

The most widely celebrated Hindu festival, which was the first non-Christian festival to become part of British life. Lamps are hung outside houses and in the streets. The story of Rama and Sita - a victory of good over evil - is associated with Diwali.

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