Feb 24: Shrove Tuesday

6th February 2009 at 00:00

What's it about?

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts, and the day before Ash Wednesday. It is sometimes called Pancake Day after the fried batter recipe traditionally eaten, but it is a time of great significance in the Christian faith.

Assembly ideas

An assembly can be held on Shrove Tuesday itself, or during the week preceding it to prepare the school for any events you may have planned to celebrate the day.

Tell pupils there is more to Shrove Tuesday than just cooking pancakes and deciding what to have on them. Pancakes are part of an ancient custom with deeply religious roots. It was traditionally a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration because it was the last chance to feast before Lent began. It gets its name from shriving - or confessing of sins - in which believers received absolution, or forgiveness, for the things they had done wrong.

During Lent, Christians traditionally give up certain foods, such as meat, fish or milky foods as part of their penance for any wrongdoing. So pancakes were cooked the day before to use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house.

With both primary and secondary pupils, this can be used as an opportunity to discuss with children of all faiths the importance of good behaviour, treating people with respect and valuing others. You could raise issues such as bullying as examples of how actions can hurt others.

An assembly could also debate the difficulty of giving up certain things in life - such as chocolate or sweets. You might even be able to use this as part of a healthy eating drive in your school.

Help, I've got no time to prepare

Visit www.tes.co.ukshrovetuesday and www.teachernet.gov.uk for readymade assemblies.

Where do I get more information?

Go to the Newsround website and search for Pancake Day instructions. On this page, you will find a range of information and activities relating to Shrove Tuesday that you can use in school. www.news.bbc.co.ukcbbcnews.


- An example of using pairs of images:

www.geographyteaching today.org.ukonline- pdcourseprimary- geography-and-ictstimulus1activity-25

- The earth from space: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

- Useful sources for music:

The Soweto String Quartet www.sowetostringquartet.co.za

- Nitin Sawney www.nitinsawhney.com

- Putumayo World Music www.putumayo.com.

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