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December is Here

Ask anyone who has the pleasure of working at St Christopher’s and be prepared to be astonished at the list of creative Christmas activities that occur every day designed for fun with a wonderfully clever educational objective at the heart of each lesson. A good example of this was The Jolly Postman focus in Reception. The children have all enjoyed studying this delightful book by one of our very own House Authors; Allan Ahlberg. Each child has learnt about the journey of a letter and this week, having written a delightful invitation to their parents inviting them to our Christmas Play, the whole class journeyed down to the Post Office in Epsom and each child handed over their carefully counted individual money to buy a stamp, stuck it on the envelope, posted it and returned to school in a great state of excitement. The maths involved in counting out 56p is impressive when you are only 4 or just turned 5 and the literacy skills absorbed writing the invitation are significant. It is the next step of making the whole exercise into a meaningful piece of knowledge and understanding that is exceptional and the conversations during the journey to the Post Office and eager anticipation on the way back was a joy to behold.

The Christmas Play rehearsals have been another source of wonder. The rich range of musical scripts on offer make this annual task a hugely enjoyable one. If I tell you that the title is ‘Lights, Camel, Action’ you will immediately get a sense of the fun involved and if I mention that we required two beautiful revolving glitter balls for the set you will see how Nativity productions have evolved over the years. The wonder comes from watching children ‘come of age to the stage’ and this can happen in just a few short months. Children who in September found public speaking and acting a challenge suddenly emerge as absolute stars leading their scene and lighting up the stage. Caught up in the irresistible colourful costumes, songs and dances, children forget to be shy and use their experiences gained from both the Harvest Festival and autumn Class Assemblies and perform with style and evident enjoyment. I can’t wait to see the actual performances next week.

The Design and Technology skills involved when making decorations for our School Christmas tree were astonishing. Every year a fresh tall fir tree is adorned solely by decorations made and hung by every single child in the school and, thanks to glue guns and our kiln, as well as a brilliantly creative team of teachers, the decorations get more sophisticated every year. This is also true about the artistic skills with the handmade cards and gifts and these will cause a stir on Christmas Day.

Singing is the easiest gift to share but what a gift it can be! Our Year 2 children visit elderly residents to sing Christmas carols to them and with them and then to share another gift which is to settle down and talk to the residents some of whom do not have a family of their own. Each child makes a personalised card for each resident and delivers it personally with a smile and a chat and this scene always warms my heart as I watch the room full of the youngest and the oldest in our community sometimes listening to each other and sometimes not but full of conversation making each other smile.

I have just judged the Junior Bake Off festive cake award and it was a delight to do so. Getting the children involved in making cakes for the Christmas Fair tomorrow was a super idea by our amazing PTA whose energy and capacity for new initiatives surprise me every day. We know how lucky we are. Do come and join us and start to charge your batteries with some early Christmas magic. We have plenty to share.

Annie Thackray