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Commonwealth Day

This 2018 Commonwealth Games resource also supports Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) Humanities and Social Sciences (History) Year 3 Unit 1.

What is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states which provide support to each other and work together toward international goals such as peace and democracy. The Commonwealth is described as a 'family' of nations, originally linked together in the British Empire, and now building on their common heritage in language, culture and education.

The Commonwealth brings together some two billion people of many faiths, races, languages, traditions and levels of economic development. It represents almost one-third of the world's population, half of whom are 25 years of age or younger with a quarter of the population under five years old.

What is Commonwealth Day?

Since 1977, Commonwealth Day has been celebrated throughout the Commonwealth on the second Monday in March. It is an occasion when member countries celebrate their connections with one another and promote important global issues to improve the lives of Commonwealth citizens.

The second Monday in March was selected for Commonwealth Day because it is a day when all schools throughout the Commonwealth are in session. This year Commonwealth Day fell on Monday 14 March.

The idea came from Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. He wanted one day each year on which all Commonwealth countries could mark their membership and encourage commitment to the association.

Commonwealth leaders agreed that the day should be used to promote knowledge of the Commonwealth, particularly among the young people of their countries.

The theme for 2016 was 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'. This theme encourages tolerance, respect, equity and fairness, reflecting the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter.

Commonwealth Secretariat logo

The Commonwealth logo

The logo includes a globe surrounded by radiating spears which form a "C" shape.

It symbolises the global nature of the Commonwealth and the diversity of member nations.

Useful links

Commonwealth Day information and helpful links

Information and activities for children External Link

Informative video about the Commonwealth External Link (duration 2.26 minutes)

Downloadable teachers' booklet, Our Commonwealth External Link

Commonwealth Day theme and map quiz Adobe PDF document External Link

Classroom activities

Year 3 (7-8 year olds) History: Commonwealth Day - Timeline activities Adobe PDF document445K

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This page was last reviewed on 21 Apr 2016 at 02:10PM

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