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5 ways the sector is keeping festive in 2020

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This year, COVID-19 has caused major disruption for all schools across the country, and the long awaited festive season has been no exception. Schools have had to spend a lot of time rethinking and reshaping the way they approach their usual end of year activities and plans. We take a look at some of the most creative solutions school’s have come up with to help spread some much needed festive cheer.

Virtual Nativity plays

Nativity plays have long been an important part of the primary school experience, and no doubt many children (and their parents!) will have been heartbroken at the thought of not being able to put on their annual nativity. Which is why many schools have decided the show must go on! 

Belgrave St Bartholomew’s Academy in Staffordshire has recorded this year’s nativity in the style of a video call. The school has released an episode a week leading up to the Christmas break. Some of the children have acting roles and others are doing voice overs. This is a really creative way of removing the COVID-19 barriers and creating something that pupils can be proud of and enjoy. You can watch the trailer video here

Festive themed recipe cards for families

After a year of repeated lockdowns, many families will be looking for inspiration for new ways to spend time together around the house over the holiday season. Highfield Hall Primary in Derbyshire has found an easy and effective way to teach pupils how to cook meals from scratch, while also encouraging and incorporating real-life maths problems involving weights and measures. The school provided pupils with 5 simple festive-themed recipe cards, which created an opportunity for families to cook together, talk about their day, and get in the festive spirit. Check out these budget Christmas recipe ideas for inspiration and to help you keep festive food cheap.

Virtual festive fairs 

Festive fairs are a great way of bringing together school communities, supporting local businesses and providing a much needed source of additional income for schools. With COVID-19 making a physical fair almost impossible, Denton Community College in Lancashire decided to hold a virtual Christmas fair instead. The school’s annual fair is usually full of loyal and local independent businesses - who needed support now more than ever. This meant the school needed to get creative and so they decided to showcase the various products and gifts online instead. The school also used the fair as an opportunity to raise money for a local charity. You can take a look at the school’s virtual fair here

Christmas cards for the elderly 

A thoughtful gesture can really make someone’s day, especially during a time where many people have been isolated from their communities. With this in mind, Nottingham Girls High School (NGHS) decided to spread a little festive kindness this holiday season by reaching out to local elderly residents. Pupils in years 2-6 have tried to ‘make someone else’s day’ by writing cards to former NGHS alumni over the age of 80. They plan to send a total of 149 Christmas cards this year. Sumanveer, a year 6 pupil from the school said “I feel that writing a card for someone who may be alone for Christmas will fill them with joy as they know someone cares.”

High-tech drone

Some schools have access to technology that can provide pupils with unique learning experiences. Exeter School decided to use its tech to help capture their own festive celebrations this year. The school held its annual Christmas Jumper Day in the school’s chapel, and recorded the event on a drone! If this doesn’t capture Christmas spirit, we don’t know what will. You can watch the drone recording here

These innovative festive solutions are yet another example of how schools have really stepped up this year and gone above and beyond to support their communities - no matter what. 

We’d like to wish all those working in schools health and happiness this festive season and the new year to come. 

For more inspiration, members of The Key School Leaders can access our dedicated article on ways to bring your school community together this festive season here. Not a member? You can sign up for a free trial here

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