Religious festivals (Key Stage 1)
Discuss the difference between ordinary holidays and religious festivals. Ask students how they celebrate New Year. Explain the significance of New Year to Jewish people and the questions considered at Rosh Hashanah.
Draw parallels with the start of the new school year and ask students about their own hopes for the year ahead. Explain the significance of apples dipped in honey and share pieces with the class.
Students could draw or describe important things, people or events (of the past and coming year) in their lives, perhaps for a class display.
Rosh Hashanah celebrations (Key Stage 1)
Describe the religious observance of Rosh Hashanah, eg using videos, a recording of the sounding of the shofar, poster packs and postcards to illustrate the events. Have students ever attended a place of worship to celebrate a festival?
Discuss attending a religious service to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Ask children to talk about why believers attend a place of worship during a festival, eg thanksgiving, remembrance, contemplation. Emphasise that this is the main part of New Year for Jewish people. How do students think a believer feels during the festival?
Festivals and beliefs (Key Stage 3)
Students could then imagine they are reporters for a local newspaper writing a piece on Jewish New Year covering what happens and why. The Jewish New Year newspaper writing frame could be used to support this activity.