A highlight of the Christmas holidays was taking my children to the cinema to watch the film, ‘Ferdinand’, which told the tale of a giant bull with a very big heart and the underlying message to be yourself regardless of how others may judge you.
I enjoyed the film immensely but gave no more thought about it until I discovered the film had been based on a story, Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, written 82 years ago in 1936. It was an opportunity too good to be missed to not share this with the children in an assembly, and so with a few clicks I ordered the book and read it to the children this morning.
Many of them had seen the film and were as surprised as I was to find out how old the original story was. We thought about how the message the story gives is still so important nearly a century later and how we can learn some lessons from it. I also took along three of our values characters, Lion Law, Respect Rhino and Liberty Leopard, to help us think about how everyone has the right to be who they want to be, to do what they want to do and enjoy whatever they wish to enjoy as long as they keep the laws/Golden Rules and that everyone else should be able to respect the choices others make. We also thought about how we hope everyone feels as brave as Ferdinand to be able to make their own choices without fear that others might mock them.
This thing called life and ‘growing up’ is never an easy journey but hopefully by giving children these messages from such a young age we can plant the seeds of these ideas in the hope they will grow with them and blossom fruitfully.
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