11th June 2015
Pupils Fasting Requests
Hamer school is currently receiving requests to see if we are in support of the idea of some of our Year 6 children fasting during Ramadan. I thank parents for making these requests and for seeking to engage with school’s perspective which I will now outline below.
From an educational point of view, Hamer school would prefer it if children whose families wish them to fast, did so on a “partial” basis to introduce them to fasting as per family belief, rather than have them fully participate as they may go on to do when they are older. Certainly, school would not support any child under the age of Year 6 in fasting. The reasons for this position are outlined below:
*Local information suggests that many Secondary Schools discourage fasting for children below the age of 12;
*Hunger and thirst provides a barrier to concentration, which can already be hard for the children in this particular half term with the weather being warmer and classrooms hotter;
*There are many “lively” outdoor activities taking place this half term and school would not feel confident in allowing children who are unable to eat or drink to take part in sports day, trips to Lightwater Valley, the sponsored walk and other things involving quite intense physical activity, for health and safety reasons.
So, balancing educational participation at its fullest, with due consideration and sensitivity to religious and cultural choices of families, it would be school’s suggestion that perhaps fasting can take place partially, over the weekend, for children, in order that they experience this but in a way that does not restrict the opportunities provided at Hamer during the summer term.
Any families who still wish their Year 6 child to take a full part in fasting must send in a letter to request this and expect to be called in for a meeting with the Headteacher to look at possibilities and gain further clarity from the point of view of school.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support,